The major-character deaths that rocked the third season of “Downton Abbey
” have left series creator Julian Fellowes
with considerable work to do as the fourth flight begins, and he responds with a slow-going premiere that quickly escalates in the second chapter. Not all the new or new-ish characters are created equal (sorry, cousin Rose), but for those intoxicated by the program’s split-level charms, a new season of “Downton” is about as close to blue meth as PBS has to offer.
Without giving too much away, the premiere finds Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery
) still reeling from the loss of her husband, while eventually beginning to take an interest in the future of the grand estate – to the modest chagrin of her father, Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville
), who has his own ideas (if history’s any guide, likely awful) about how the place should be managed.
Thankfully, even with the casualties suffered,