Downton Abbey: Season 4 Plots Revealed!
For April Fool’s 2013, I used Swungover* to vent some of my frustration at Downton Abbey’s third season. Swungover became “The Low-Downton, official fan site of Downton Abbey,” and featured this post about season four. Viewers of the show should note: Season three spoilers mentioned.
Alright Downton Devotees,
We know many of you loyal fans were devastated by the finale of season three in which a major character died.
Some have argued that the way the show handled the character’s death was cheap for using such a trite method of killing off the character, for sadistically using a moment of great joy for the family just to create greater shock value, and thirdly for killing off the character in the last few minutes of the episode, thus robbing both the other characters and the audience a chance to mourn together. Not to mention that the show lost one of the only four characters left you don’t want to punch in the face. But such criticisms are not exactly in The Low-Downton spirit, right readers!?!
To our surprise, many of our loyal subscribers have expressed that they are not sure whether or not they will continue watching the show. Well, for those who are on the fence about it, we have exciting news! You will not believe it, but we here at The Low-Downton have actually got our hands on the first draft scripts of season four! We of course can’t tell you how, but can only mention that it involved a fire alarm and Maggie Smith’s ignorance of computer security. But once we reveal it to you, surely it will prove to you that Downton Abbey’s last season was not really the “hard evidence that a show that pretended to be more than a soap opera is actually just a soap opera,” as some have claimed. But instead it is only now beginning to unfold into the greatness it has had the potential for.
Though season three ended with a death viewers couldn’t mourn, season four will make up for it by killing another character at the beginning. We won’t tell you who it is, but it is either the cook or Tom Branson, both of which are two of the other likable characters. Such a gut-wrenching death following the long break after the previous season finale really gets the viewer emotionally invested from the beginning.
Here’s where the nay-sayers will claim that this is yet another over-the-top attempt at manipulating the emotions of the viewers via cheap plot devices and now casticide. But once you see the episodes we think you will see this is not just for the sake of plot, far from it. The death will serve the much higher purpose of giving Mary a chance to show some other emotion than blandness. (As we have mentioned time and time again on our site, this is because we believe the actor is playing up the famous “stiff upper lip” British reserve. And as you will see in season four, we are proven right: it is only upon missing a step on the grand staircase and stumbling slightly that her stolidness shatters into a torrential rage that will make the first quarter of season four seem like three hours of attic scenes from Jane Eyre. Michelle Dockery, the actor who plays Mary, will surely be winning all the awards come next season.)
Once the house has begun to move on emotionally from that death, Thomas will accidentally poison Lord Crawley while trying to kill Mr. Bates, not just because Thomas wants the valet job, but also because Thomas had came onto Mr. Bates earlier in the episode and was rejected. The staff will finally decide Thomas can’t be trusted and will fire him. (But don’t worry, Thomas-Love-to-haters, he’ll be back working for the family again by episode three!)
Of course, the big question is what will happen to the Abbey, with Lord Crawley’s death (it wasn’t the poison, but the “cure” that ultimately took his life) and Mary’s infant son’s horrible tragedy in episode two. Well, just so we don’t get everyone riled-up that the show “always concentrates far more in the depressive side of the family’s drama than the happier side,” we’ll go ahead and give this spoiler: It turns out the original heir, who went down with the Titanic, was saved by whalers, and survived. He returns to the Abbey to claim his heritage, however his desire to sell the place immediately of course puts the remainder of the family in despair. It’s only with the arrival of the other, forgotten heir who was thought miscarried before his birth that things get more interesting.
Of course, the question of whether Mary will marry one of them comes into question, especially after her depressing tryst with Tom gets its own episode arch. We don’t mind telling you readers that, fear not, Mary finds yet another incredible, compassionate and intelligent man who will love her despite the fact that she has no personality, unless for some reason you count the strange combination of bitchy and haughty. However, we don’t think we’ll surprise anyone when we say that we don’t think the relationship will be as well-written as her and Mathew’s. After reading the scripts from beginning to end, it looks like there is hardly any explanation of why these two new love-birds actually like each other, except that they just keep saying they do. This is far different from the countless instances of character-rich dialogue shared between her and Mathew, where we really understood — nay, experienced for ourselves — those charmingly personal reasons why they were obviously soul-mates destined for no one but each other.
We’ve saved everyone’s favorite for last: Anna and Mr. Bates. Now that they were finally able to find happiness in season three, what’s to become of them? Surely, our readers often demand, the show won’t find more sadistically calculated ways to keep them apart just to draw out the story? Fear not readers. Sure, there’s a bloody run-in with Mr. Bates’s dead wife’s lover. And of course, their child is accidentally (and humorously) switched with Mathew and Mary’s baby at one point, which leads to yet another question of who is the true heir of Downton Abbey, and thus some plots on all the children’s lives. But rest assured, the show can’t keep the two love birds apart forever.
To make a long story short, by the halfway point of Season 4, the only people who have survived the great typhoid epidemic of 1925 and the resulting fire are the servants, Mathew’s mother Mrs. Crawley, and The Dowager Countess. The show then will mostly revolve around the two women living together, confronting the modern era, and arguing over how to treat the servants. So, you see, the show is only a few episodes away from being at its best.
And, after it’s all said and done — mark our words — a certain Downton Abbey actor will wish he hadn’t tried to do “legitimate” theatre to pursue “multi-dimensional complex characters,” written with “integrity,” and instead had stuck around at Downton Abbey.
— Downton Bobby