Yet another Downton Abbey cast member is opting to leave ITV’s period drama, which has also found plenty of fans across the United States, where it airs on PBS. This time around, Siobhan Finneran has announced she will not be returning to Downton Abbey in Season 4.
No doubt the actress, who has played the deliciously devious O’Brien through the first three seasons of the series, will be happy to hang up that horrible maid’s uniform. However, after both Jessica Brown Findlay and Dan Stevens decided to leave in Season 3, losing one more character is an especially large blow. Especially since O’Brien’s rapport (or lack thereof, depending on the year) with Thomas is such an important part of the series as is her ability to sway the Countess of Grantham on important matters. O’Brien reported the news to the Daily Mail on Friday, noting that she had fun with her character.
Although Finneran seems to think she won’t be back to the series, word on the street is that the writers won’t be killing the character off and will instead “send her off” in some fashion or another. Hopefully, this means she’ll return for a guest stint at some point. When Findlay left it was sad and when Stevens left I thought about future possibilities for Mary, but O'Brien may be an even bigger blow. Now the character is out of the picture, I’m not sure what household worker fans will love to hate. Luckily, there should be plenty of new characters introduced in Season 4.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.