‘Downton’ may be standing tall in its fourth season, but its residents are in shambles. Matthew’s death was just the start of their problems!
I’m not exactly sure when Downton Abbey became a 20th-century British version of Game of Thrones, but I’m definitely digging it. The show’s fourth season premiered Jan. 5, kicking off a ferocious — and surprisingly twisted — battle for control of the
Iron Throne abbey. Now, only one question remains: Do you stand with House Mary (Michelle Dockery), or House Robert (Hugh Bonneville)?
Mary spent much of the premiere, which picked up roughly six months after Matthew’s (Dan Stevens) death, moping about the house, though her disposition became much sunnier in the second hour — well, as sunny as Mary “Ice Queen” Crawley will ever be. The discovery of a note, naming Mary as Matthew’s sole heir, lifted her spirits, even if Robert did everything in his power to discredit the questionably legal document. Seriously, can we all take a moment to discuss what a d-bag Robert is? I know it’s 1922, but come on, women is people too!
As it is now, Mary, Robert and Tom (Allen Leech) basically split control of the abbey, and it seems as though Mary and Tom will be butting heads with the Crawley family patriarch all season. I just wish they were arguing about something more interesting; am I the only one who essentially tunes out when they start yammering about taxes and sheep and debt? Too much yammering!
In fact, for once, I was actually more interested in what Edith (Laura Carmichael) was up to on the premiere! She and Michael Gregson are hotter than ever — “It feels so wild to be out with a man,” she actually said out loud — and he’s conjured up the perfect to plan to divorce his vegetable! I mean, his wife! I see these two getting into some risky business this season. Very risky, indeed.
I’ve never been a big fan of Rose — she’s clearly the “Cousin Oliver” of Downton Abbey — and her shenanigans on the season premiere definitely didn’t endear her to me any further. The progressive princess dragged Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Jimmy (Ed Speleers) to a waltzing party, where she quickly incited a fist fight between two unruly suitors.
They say every rose has its thorn, but in the case of Downton‘s Rose, she’s basically shaping up to be one giant thorn in the viewers’ collective side. Why couldn’t O’Brien have just taken her to India?!
Downstairs Drama: Edna’s Return, Mrs. Patmore’s Appliance War & More
Question for the group: Are we supposed to care about Molesley (Kevin Doyle) now? With Matthew dead, Molesly’s out of a job, and the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) spent much of the premiere trying to secure him a new position. Ultimately, she failed, though Bates (Brendan Coyle) did come to his aid with a surprise gift of 30 pounds.
Speaking of Bates, it looks like Anna’s got herself a new/old enemy in the abbey! Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Burning) has returned to Downton — she’s filling O’Brien’s now-vacant position, because God forbid Cora should have to dress her damn self for even one day — and she’s stirring up some serious s**t with Mrs. Bates. I guess I probably should have seen trouble brewing when Edna became friends with Thomas (Rob James-Collier), and I use the word “friends” loosely.
Oh, Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) also has a new enemy: the sinister electric mixer! Their scuffle may have been my favorite part of this admittedly unexciting premiere.
HollywoodLifers, what’s your review of the season four premiere? Is Downton Abbey still as addictive as ever, or is the British important beginning to show its age in season four? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the episode below!
— Andy Swift