Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere: Mourning Matthew

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Downton Abbey finally returned to U.S. living rooms last night, causing glee from coast to coast.

But the mood on the Season 4 premiere itself was far more dour, as Mary and company continued to react to the death of Matthew from six months earlier.

The installment kicked off with a painful sequence that featured a crying baby, a mourning Mary and a photo of her ex-husband by her bed.

From there… things didn't exactly pick up in the happiness department.

Dowager Countess Violet stopped by Matthew's tombstone in the village, as change was a constant theme of the hour.

The servants were introduced to an electric mixer, something that baffled Mrs. Patmore to no end. As for Ms. O'Brien? She "up and left like a thief in the night," according to Robert, following Siobhan Finneran's announcement last year that she was leaving the series.

Lily James, meanwhile, debuted as Cousin Rose MacClare, Lady Susan's daughter. She tried to help by placing an advertisement for a new maid in the window of the post office. It led to some major trouble.

But the premiere was really all about Matthew's passing. His mother lamented the loss of her child, while Matthew's lack of a will caused problems all around.

Mary is only entitled to a third of the estate as a result, with the rest of the inheritance going to little George. What does this mean for the future of the mansion? That's the big question going forward.

Tom thinks Mary can run Downton on her own. But Robert may want to be back in charge once again. Yes, there's a family feud brewing.

Elsewhere:

  • Edith and Michael Gregson have grown far more serious.
  • Mr. Molesely sought for, even from Isobel at her house, eventually receiving some help from the Dowager.
  • Edna Braithwaite returned as the new maid.
  • Mr. Carson let Mary "have a good cry." And viewers everywhere joined in.

Love the opening episode? Hate it? Watch Downton Abbey online now to relive it.

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