It’s been almost a full year since season two of Downton Abbey aired in the U.S. For those of you who haven’t pirated the latest season which aired in the UK this fall (the Dowager Countess would applaud your prudence), this Sunday marks the return of the series to PBS. Here are the reasons you should be tuning in, and no, that bitch Edith is not one of them.
- In last season’s Christmas special, Lady Mary and Matthew got engaged after his fiancé died and his penis started to work again (you can’t make this up). We’ve waited two seasons for these two to tie the knot, and it looks like it just might happen.
- Sybil and Branson! The couple was notably missing from the Christmas special, written away to Ireland where we discover the youngest Crawley sis is expecting a baby. Watch out for the soap, Sybs!
- We ended last season post World War I, so all you history nerds will be able to watch Lord Grantham deal with the aftermath of the world forever changed.
- And for all of you who are just watching for the fashion, drama and eye candy, never fear. There are new characters aplenty, including a O’Brien’s nephew, who is a new employee in the house.
- Of course, we haven’t forgotten that we left Mr. Bates rotting in jail as he barely escaped the death penalty. The authorities have convicted Bates of killing his wife Vera, but it looks like he’s getting an appeal. Personally, I just want to see Anna turn into a Law & Order: SVU Olivia Benson-type as she fights for justice.
- In somewhat spoiler-y news, it’s been confirmed that Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew, will be leaving the show after this season. If anything, it’s worth watching to see how Fellowes figures out how to craft his exit.
- Guys, SHIRLEY MACLAINE. I can only envision her running around Downton screaming “GIVE HER THE SHOT!” like she did in Terms of Endearment and the Dowager Countess just being like “Hmph. Americans,” as she rolls her eyes and slowly shakes her head.
We’ll be watching on Sunday and back on Monday with a recap of all the action!