This is supposed to be an article about how season 4 of Downton Abbey is going so far, especially after the (cruel) deaths we had to go through last year. This means that I am not going to talk about the “event” from Episode 3, because I’m starting to feel that creator Julian Fellowes wants to turn Downton into Game of Thrones: Edwardian Edition.
I was quite concerned about how the absences of Sybil and Matthew would affect the show, particularly the latter-how do you kill him in such a cruel way on CHRISTMAS DAY?-. So far, I can state that every time someone mentions their name, I get a lump in my throat.
But, surprisingly, the show remains strong. They have definitely taken a different angle: a gloomy one, I might add. But it is working so far.
It can be hard at some points, because heartlessly removing two important characters has clearly affected all the others. At least we still get funny bits from Thomas messing around with people.
And as for the new additions, I am glad about the incorporation of Lady Rose. My main worry was that they were trying to use her as a substitute for Sybil, but far from that, she has a personality of her own that is going to help the show join the 1920s.
There is one thing I don’t like: the return of Braithwaite. For those of you who don’t remember her -this show has had a bazillion characters-, Edna B. was a housemaid who was first seen in the “doomed” Christmas Special ten months ago, and she tried to get close to Branson. TOO CLOSE. I suffer from a lack of objectivity here, since Sybil was my favourite character, but no one can get “friendly” with Branson. No one, sorry.
Oh, and O’Brien also left the show. We all knew Siobhan Finneran was not going to do season 4, so I was already expecting a meteorite to fall on her, but Fellowes was “kind” enough to just send her to work somewhere else.
At least Dame Maggie Smith hasn’t said anything about leaving the show yet. I fear what might happen if she leaves because a) the show would lose the best one-liner on British television, and b) she would probably have a traumatic death within the last five minutes of an episode -she would definitely not die of old age-.
Welcome to Downton 4.0! Matthew-less, Sybil-less, everybody is a bit depressed, but we will get through and it will paid off!
That is what I’ve been telling myself with Game of Thrones since “The Rains of Castamere”… Why do they keep doing this to us?
Because they know we will still keep watching.