Only a few days left to the premiere of Downton Abbey season four. (Set your cellphone alarm clocks for January 5 at 9 p.m. on GPB.) While I got a preview of the first episode last month at GPB's gala and screening, it left me not only wanting more but thinking about how several storylines will play out this season. Here are five storylines I can’t wait to see unfold this season.
1.) How Lady Mary and the family come to terms with Matthew’s death: Since the season starts six months after Matthew’s tragic death, we viewers were robbed of taking part in his proper funeral and sobbing uncontrollably during his wake. It will be interesting to see how the family and Lady Mary are coping after the passage of time. From preview clips, we know that Lady Mary struggles. But how about Matthew's mom Isobel? How is she handling it? Getting back to Lady Mary, how fast are the new suitors descending on her and really now guys, her husband just died six months ago! Can’t you give a woman some time? Well maybe not you Lord Gillingham - you are tall, dark and British. We’ll cut you some slack.
2.) Whether Edith’s relationship with Mr. Gregson lead to marriage: Based on preview photos, Lady Edith looks really happy; I mean really, really happy! Could this be because of her relationship with Michael Gregson? Photos show them kissing and Laura Carmichael her portrayer revealed that Edith does go on unchaperoned dates with him. We hope that Downton’s most unluckiest at love resident finally gets her happy ending. Maybe Mr. Gregson’s crazy wife will die in a fire set off by a mad rage just like in the book "Jane Eyre." Hey that will work! Are you listening Mr. Fellowes.
3.) Who Jack Ross is and can he really sing?: This season Downton gets more diverse with the introduction of its first black character. “One of the issues with Downton Abbey is for black members of the audience - there was nobody who really sort of represented them,” Jessica Fellowes, niece to Julian and the bestselling author of “the World of Downton Abbey” and “The Chronicles of Downton Abbey” recently told me in an interview.
“Equally there just weren’t as many black people around. They were much more of a minority. There were a few but not many. But you know I think Julian was right; he did it the right way. It was a black American jazz musician; they were in London at that time. What was great is that he kept him as a very positive character.” You’ll get to hear my full interview with Jessica in the January/February issue of our iPad magazine Your GPB.
We also hope that Jack Ross, played by Gary Carr can sing as all of the clips show him singing.
4.) How Branson handles single parenthood: We know he’s a good chaffeur and a mediocre activist. But how does Branson handle being a single dad? Can he change a diaper if necessary? Can he give his daughter a bottle? How hands on will he be?
5.) Good Thomas or Bad Thomas: Yes Mr. Barrow there is some good in you. We saw his better side come out when he took those punches for Jimmy. Is the good Thomas here to stay? Or will he revert back to his scheming self? Given that O’Brien won’t be around to be his partner in crime, will he perform all of his dirty deeds by himself or find another sidekick?