Downton Abbey Season 4 finally premiered in the US on Sunday, three months after it was first broadcast in the UK.
The much anticipated continuation of the period drama was missing a central character, after Dan Stevens who played cousin Matthew Crawley, was killed in a tragic car accident while on his way to deliver the news of the birth of his firstborn and heir.
The reason for the tragic ending of Downton Abbey Season 3 –which left viewers in the UK mourning on Christmas Day– was that Stevens had not signed a contract to renew his stay with the super successful show.
Downton Abbey Season 4 focuses on Matthew’s widow, Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), who, six-months following her husband’s untimely death, finds herself the mother of a child and struggles to go on without the love she fought so hard for.
As has become customary, the show premiered with a two-hour episode, in which viewers could see what has been going on with their favorite and least favorite characters.
Missing this season is not only Matthew Crawley, but the youngest sister Lady Sybil, who died during childbirth, as well as downstairs scheming lady’s maid O’Brien.
But that doesn’t mean that Downton Abbey has less drama this time around.
The mourning is still ongoing, as Lady Mary wears black to remind all of the tremendous losses she suffered just a few short months ago.
Everyone in the family is worried for Mary, as she is withdrawn and uninterested in her son, George, whom she calls “poor little orphan”.
After talks with those she holds dearest to her, Carson, the dowager Countess, and Sybil’s widower, Branson, she “snaps out of it” so to speak and a more determined version of her old self surfaces.
We also see how England is becoming more modern and women are out and about, perfect example is Lady Edith, who after being left at the altar last season is trying to put her life back together and dating again.
Lady Cora, hires an ex-lady’s maid without realizing she was fired for flirting with Branson. Mrs. Hughes gently admonished her for her haste.
There is plenty more drama in the opening episode of the much anticipated Downton Abbey Season 4 both upstairs and downstairs, which will continue to develop as the season moves along. Did you watch Downton Abbey on Sunday?