Must-read hilariously snarky recap of Episode 1:
10:00 PM, JANUARY 5 2014
Downton Abbey Season Four—Premiere Recap: Lady Mary Hosts a Horrid Pity Party in Memory of Matthew
by Julie Miller
It seems like a decade since we stateside viewers were last whisked inside the cavernous halls of Downton Abbey. We remember it not so fondly. . . Julian Fellowes was out back hastily digging a grave for Matthew Crawley and dumping him in it during the final few seconds of the Christmas special—happy holidays!—after Lady Mary had birthed a replacement heir. Memories! The season-four premiere opens six months later, in 1922, with Lady Mary handling the loss of her darling cousin/husband Matthew with the grit and class that her ancestors—porcelain figurines, we think—intended.
Haha, no. Actually, Lady Mary is in the throes of a pity party so magnificently unsympathetic that even Anna, Mary’s sister from a downstairs mister, looks like she is this close to slapping the grief right out of her. Determined not to let any fresh air or lavender walking accessories kill her mourning buzz, Mary deposits her plump cherub, Master George, with Nanny West. Bidding him a fond farewell—“Poor little orphan”—she then gets back to her self-pity proceedings. If she can find the strength to do anything more than stare dramatically into the distance, we’re sure that she will work some sweatpants and the consumption of Chunky Monkey in bed into her grueling schedule.