17 February 2013 7:45 PM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Oh dear, just when things were looking better. . . . If you haven’t watched the game-changing final episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3, you might want to turn back now, because all will be revealed. Downton Abbey may be a delectable, self-enclosed fictional world, but now and then real life pierces its bubble: as you probably know, Dan Stevens decided not to return for Season 4, and his character departed with him. Really departed. Poor Matthew, on the very day his son was born, was happily driving his car when a truck came around a curve and led to the episode’s next-to-last image: Matthew lying on the ground, trapped under the car, blood trickling from his pretty head. (Any optimists who think he isn’t actually dead: sorry, even creator Julian Fellowes has acknowledged in interviews that he had to kill Matthew off.) With Matthew’s death, you can see where the season was headed all along. »

- Caryn James

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