Jun 28 2012 4:00pm

Great Expectations: Downton Abbey Season 3

Lady Mary and Matthew CrowleyI love Downton Abbey! The wide pans of people walking through all the gorgeous rooms of the manor house, the to-die-for clothing, the upstairs/downstairs plot lines, the sisterly snark, Isis, the dog, and oh, the intro music.

And I simply miss the show. The last angst-tastic episode aired months ago and since then I’ve found myself daydreaming about what they’re going to DO with all our beloved favorites.

So, here my little “wish-list” of plot twists and turns I’d like to see on Season Three of Downton Abbey. Are you listening, Julian Fellowes?

Dowager Countess Violet and Mrs. Crowley1. The Dowager Countess Violet dishes a liberal helping of sass to Shirley Maclaine (and vice versa):

Haven’t we all heard that Shirley Maclaine will be joining the cast next season as Lady Mary’s American grandmother, Martha Levinson? Ooh, I cannot wait to see sparks fly between the two countries. I do hope Martha can sass up the dowager countess with equal aplomb, don’t you? And frankly, I wouldn’t mind if Isobel jumps in the mix too. Maybe Martha and Isobel can give Violet a run for her walking stick! Though my money remains on Violet, make no mistake.

2. The return of Lady Sybil and the Irish dude she married:

I wasn’t the only one missing Lady S at the end of Season 2, was I? She was one of my favorites! Unique, smart, and beautiful, I always wanted to see what she was up to next. The end of Season 2 hinted at her return and I can’t wait to see what happens to her.

3. They stop talking about Mr. Pamuk and Lady Mary’s scandal from 10 years ago:

Very well. Perhaps, it hasn’t been quite ten years, but it feels like it. I admit this was a great storyline, but methinks it’s been played out. Let’s all forget it, shall we?

Lady Edith in Downton Abbey4. Lady Edith gets a man:

I’m not sure I’m the biggest fan o’ that toothy older guy she’s been traipsing after, but I would like to see Lady Edith find a man—uh, other than the married farmer. What was that about? But of course, she should not settle down…yet. What fun would that be? I will go on record, stating, however, that I’d much prefer Sir Tooth to the uber-creepy pseudo-dead cousin guy. I still shudder when I think o’ him. And it wasn’t because of his war injuries. Something about his wide eye and his overly loud, seemingly disembodied voice wigged me out.

5. Mr. Bates is hanged:

Before you throw tomatoes at me, I have to say, the tortured love affair of poor Mr. Bates and Anna (who I really like) just got to be too much for me sometime around the episode where he went to go tend bar instead of telling his wife to go you-know-what herself. While I’m a big fan of angst, the noble self-sacrifice has to be done with a very deft hand to get me on board and in this case (sorry, Bates) it just wasn’t for me. Disclaimer: Along with Elaine on Seinfeld, I wanted The English Patient to die too, so maybe it’s just me…and Elaine.

Thomas and O’Brien in Downton Abbey Season 26. O’Brien and Thomas continue their dastardly ways:

In Season One I detested these two meanies, but by Season Two, I began to relish seeing what they were up to. Meanwhile, I hear a new footman is coming and he’s O’Brien’s nephew, so I expect more evil hijinks to ensue with a new villain. (rubs hands together)

7. Lady Mary and Matthew DON’T get together:

Okay, okay. I realize this may be a super unpopular take on this, and believe me, I was swooning along with the rest of the Downton Abbey-watching world at the end of last season when Matthew dropped to his knee, but don’t all shows get bad after the main love interests get together? Let’s face it, we like the drama, we like the uncertainty, we like the will they or won’t they of it all! So, here’s hoping that Downton delivers and somehow pulls these two apart again in episode one. Give me more angst!

Season 3 is set to air (in the U.S.) in January 2013 and I can’t wait. Bring on the roaring ’20s, Downton. I’m ready.

I scrounged this little tidbit from Wikipedia: “Downton Abbey’s executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, stated in an interview that during series three a couple will get married, a baby will be born, a well-known character will die.”

Here are my guesses: Edith and Sir Tooth will marry, Sybil’s baby will be born, and Bates (I can hope, can’t I?) will die.

So, Downton fans, what are you hoping for in Season 3?

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Valerie Bowman writes Racy Regency Romps. You can find her on Twitter at @ValerieGBowman and on the web at

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Ashlyn Macnamara
1. Ashlyn Macnamara
I wish I watched this show from the beginning. I know it's something right up my alley. Unfortunately, it didn't hit my radar until last spring, and I don't know if I'm doo late to jump on this bandwagon. OTOH, if I can get hold of the seasons, I can catch up, and I won't have to wait too long for more, right?
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
Valerie, I like a lot of your points, but I have to say--I think the Irish dude is a dud. He's not hot, he's just full of hot air, and I think he's gonna drag Sybil down.

I agree about Lady Edith finding someone--anyone (who isn't married!)--and I hope she gets a better title or position than Mary will, so we can watch their catfight continue.

Poor Bates! I just want to know who did kill his ex...but I don't want him hanged.

And I agree that while I want Mary and Matthew together, it's better for the show if they have issues.
Valerie Bowman
3. ValerieBowman
@Ashlyn You MUST catch up. Get the Seasons. Join us in Downton Abbey fandom!
Ashlyn Macnamara
4. Lisa Cooke
Hi Valerie- I love Downton Abbey! I think you're right about Mary and Mathew, but I don't want Bates to die. Who would Thomas and O'Brian bedevil? I suspect the wounded cousin will show up and claim to want to marry Mary and she'll have to decide between money and love. There's no way they're going to let Matt and Mary get together that easily.
Good post!
Valerie Bowman
5. ValerieBowman
@Megan Ooh, wouldn't it be cool if Lady Edith becomes a duchess!? And I'm kinda with you on the Irish dud/e. But I figure if she comes back, he'll be there too. Now, if they had cast Henry Cavill as the Irish dude, I'd love him. OR BETTER YET, Henry Cavill (as new character) comes and sweeps Lady Sybil off her feet (uh, after she gets a divorce).
Ashlyn Macnamara
6. Kathleen Bittner Roth
I just got Downton Abbey #2 this past week from my neighbor on DVD since we don't have it on TV here in Budapest. I am so busy getting ready for my trip back to the U.S. that the day runs out before I have a chance to sit down and watch it. Definitely on my to do list and can hardly wait.
Ashlyn Macnamara
7. brontëgirl
Interesting post! Yes, there are plots that need to be resolves as soon as possible!
I'd rather not see sass sparks between Martha and Violet because that would be too predictable, too "Downton Abbey meets Steel Magnolias," too a la the conversations between Ouiser and Clairee. Tho' I do like Steel Magnolias, but have stopped watchin' it whenever I run across it while channel surfin' 'cause I get all teary every time, lol.
Ashlyn Macnamara
8. Saralee
Valerie, I love Bates, so he'd better live!
I actually haven't watched the second season yet, but I saw a teaser clip of Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine, and I want the entire third season to be the two of them. They are awesome. So yadda, yadda, marriages and births, but sassy Maggie and Shirley in great outfits 4evah.
Wendy La Capra
9. Wendy La Capra
Love your post, Valerie! I'm behind on my Downton Abby watching, but your post made me want to catch up and fast.

Love the Dowager, too. Can't wait to see Maggie Smith and Ms. Maclaine clash...
Ashlyn Macnamara
10. Madeline Martin
I've never seen this show, but confess that now I'm intrigued!! Great article! :)
Ashlyn Macnamara
11. Linda Avellar
I'm with you Valerie- I miss Downtown Abbey too. I think I've seen each episode twice :) But I hope Mary and Matthew don't fall apart. I agree that shows can get boring when things are too happy, but there's enough angst here to keep things going. Those two deserve a little happiness!
Ashlyn Macnamara
12. Heather Nickodem
Excellent critique and suggestions, Valerie! I agree with all, except for hanging Bates. I just love that guy - well, not as much as Matthew, but you know. Also can't wait for Violet and Shirley Maclaine to go at with their canes!
Ashlyn Macnamara
13. Carla K
I need to open my mind a little. I'm not much of an Anglophile but I've heard so many good things about this, I really have to give it a try. Something in my brain doesn't process accents well. (Which is weird, since I grew up with my father, who still has a heavy German accent.) I watched "The Full Monty" and didn't pick up on half of what was said. Sigh.

Enjoy the next season and your upcoming release, Valerie! May all your wishes come true! (Happy Birthday!!)
Ashlyn Macnamara
14. Mary Behre
Confession...I've never seen the show but after reading your post, I'm curious. Hmmmm, wonder if they have the first two seasons on Netflix?
Ashlyn Macnamara
15. Ashlyn Macnamara
Mary, they have the DVDs on Amazon at a reasonable price, or you can "rent" the series relatively cheaply.

Valerie, I ordered both seasons last night, so this better be good. ;-)
Ashlyn Macnamara
16. Karen H in NC
I'm so in agreement with your points. However, I do think Mary and Matthew will tie the knot, but it's going to be a very rocky road. Afterall with all of the beautiful 1920's fashions we've seen so far, nothing more beautiful than a '20 period wedding dress.

Can't wait to watch the verbal sparks fly when Violet and Martha get together. Both of those actesses are at the top of their game and will definitely be bringing it to this show!

But, I have to say, how about Henry Cavill as a Scottish Duke down to find a wife and hits on Edith? That would really put a knot in Mary's knickers!

I have mixed feelings about Bates....but if they say someone is going to die, I think it really should be him...still declaring his innocence as he's led to the gallows!

@ those of you who missed all or part of the 2 seasons, is available on Netflix. Trot yourself over there...pick up the DVDs to watch S1 & 2 over the summer to prepare yourselves for S3. And that's exactly what I'm going to do...rewatch S1 & 2 to refresh my memory and prepare for S3. January is so-o-o far off.....sigh...
Ashlyn Macnamara
18. Dee2
Like many of your plot points but not all. I'd like to see Bates live and the complications of Anna and Bates dealing with the conviction and fall out from that, even if he's cleared or let out early. And Edith getting married to neighbor guy and discovering married life not all its cracked up to be??? Maybe going wild and running off to Africa with an adventurer?

I think the new footman nephew is really Miss O'Brien's son and her bitterness can be traced to her pregnancy. Probably seduced by an
"Upstairs" guy and abandoned. Would explain some of her snarkiness and guilt about the miscarriage.
Ashlyn Macnamara
19. jbrenner24
MFampton, I totally agree re: Irish dude. She can do better.
As for the rest of the post, brilliant and Valerie I nominate you for writing staff Season Three!
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