The end of our beloved holiday season has always yielded one major silver lining, and that’s the return of Downton Abbey for us Americans. Although last season ended on the most somber note possible, and forced us to bid adieu to the most bewitching blue eyes we’ve ever seen, we’re still yearning to get our annual Crawley fill on Sunday evening (9/8c, on PBS).
Unlike last season, we’ve been able to avoid the major spoilers from across the pond, but we’re not entirely in the dark about what to expect. In fact, after appetizing on a few previews, we’ve taken a fancy to the new characters who will be shaking things up for our favorite British aristocracy. Still, we haven’t forgotten about our old favorites, because let’s face it, things don’t typically resolve themselves on our favorite soapy period series. Here are the 5 characters we’ll be watching closest as Season 4 unfolds.
1. Lady Rose
We met Lady Rose, the daughter of Violet’s niece, last season and got familiar with her vivacious personality and mischievous ways. She’s Downton’s resident party girl and quintessential roaring twenties siren with her ornamental headpieces and drop-waist shift dresses. You’ve got to love a girl that has no qualms threatening her family’s social standings.
2. Jack Ross
Ladies, Matthew Crawley might be out of the picture, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be gentlemen setting your heart a flutter. It all begins with Jack Ross, a jazz singer whose charm and charisma is reflected in everything from his smooth croons to sharp dressage. Not only is he easy on the eyes, he’s also the first black character to be introduced in the series, which means the show will finally come to head with race issues.
3. Lord Anthony Gillingham
Speaking of lady-killers, we were a lot less worried about the recently-widowed Lady Mary when we learned that Lord Anthony Gillingham, a devilishly-handsome old childhood friend, would return into her life. As we’ve learned time and time again, the oldest Crawley daughter is a tough one to crack, but having faced his own perils, we think that he might just be the man for a crushed Mary.
4. Lady Edith
She’s made mistakes along the way, but we’ve always admired Lady Edith’s desire to overcome her adversities and make her mark on the world. While you can never be sure when it comes to her luck of the draw, it seems season 4 is shaping up to be her most exciting thus far as she’ll keep writing her column The Sketch, partaking in that scandalous affair, and hitting London in head-turning frocks.
5. Harold Levinson
Don’t get us wrong, we love all of our Downton characters dearly, and Shirley MaClaine brought more star power than we could’ve asked for, but we can’t pretend we weren’t jazzed when we heard that Paul Giamatti would guest star for this season’s Christmas episode. He plays Lady Grantham‘s aristocratic brother, Harold Levinson. He’s from New York, need we say more?
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