Downton Abbey Season 4 Clip Focuses On Mary's Grief

Across the pond, Downton Abbey is gearing up to start its fourth series this weekend, but those of us in the States still have a few more months to wait for the show to return. I've actually felt pretty patient about the series' return, and probably wouldn't have thought much about it if not for the trailer that circulated earlier this month, and now the above clip. Both remind me of the drama that awaits and the issues that need to be resolved, Mary's grief in particular. Now that I've seen footage from Season 4, I want more! Patience is a virtue, I suppose. Spoilers ahead if you aren't caught up through Season 3.

The trailer indicated that Mary was still in heavy mourning over Matthew's death, and the new clip goes even further to emphasize that. When Anna offers Mary something to wear over her outfit, she insists on wearing the black one, which is an indication that she's determined to show her grief in her wardrobe. And then she refers to the baby as an orphan, which is puzzling, considering she's the child's mother. Her very existence means the baby isn't an orphan. Anna's quick to politely point that out. And that's one of the things I love about Anna. She may be a servant, but she's also a human being who cares about Mary, and though I expect she's biting her tongue a bit on how Mary's behaving, she still knows when to speak up and point out the obvious. George has a mother, which an orphan wouldn't. Mary's response is to point out that he's not poor either, which not only indicates that money's not a problem, but also that she's relatively indifferent when it comes to arguing with Anna on technicalities.

Suffice it to say, things aren't going so well for Mary. And given how devastating Matthew's death was to viewers, some extended mourning seems to be in order, if only to allow us to properly grieve his death during the show. If it picked up with everyone including Mary having moved on from the ordeal, it would've felt rushed, even if there is a jump forward. We need this time to mourn with Mary. But on the same token, let's hope that she doesn't carry it on for too long. Life does, after all, move on. And it looks like there are happy times ahead for the Abbey, including dancing in fancy dresses!

The previously released preview for Season 4 shows Dowager Countess having a heart-to-heart with Mary where she tells her that she has to choose death or choose life. Mary's response is "You think I should choose life," as if choosing death is actually a reasonable option. But people deal with grief in different ways. Mary will hopefully make it out from under it, if not for herself then for her son, who's obviously being cared for, but still needs his mother.

Downton Abbey returns to ITV September 22. Season 4 debuts January 5, 2014 on PBS Masterpiece.

Kelly West
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Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.