When we first met Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) back in Downton Abbey Season 1, the British beauty was — honestly — kind of a bitch... but in the very best way possible. We’re talking confident, snarky, and not afraid to speak her mind... just like her granny (Maggie Smith).

Then Mary fell in love with Matthew (Dan Stevens). As much as we loved M&M as Downton’s resident power couple, we have to admit: Matthew turned his wife into a bore. She lost her sharp edges. She lost much of her wit. Frankly, she lost her spark.

So if there is any silver lining to the news of Matthew’s tragic passing, it’s this: Mary will be back to her brilliantly catty self in Season 4. TV Line reports that the eldest Crawley’s transformation will be noticeable when the show returns to TV in the US in January 2014.

“She mellowed with Matthew [and] opened up a lot more,” Executive Producer Gareth Neame tells the site. “But I think [after losing Matthew and little sister Sybil], she would be just so devastated that I think it would lock her down and [she would] go back into a lot of the traits that she had before — that very difficult to read characteristic she’s got. I think we’ll see a lot of those very dark and complex things about Mary.”

Credit: WENN

We’ve already heard that Mary will spend the first part of Season 4 “trying to rebuild her life” after her husband’s gruesome death. The single mom will also be getting a potential new love interest, played by 27-year-old Welsh actor Tom Cullen.

Tom is set to play Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys. But if he does set his sights on Mary, he should be forewarned: She’s probably not going to make things easy for him! And you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Source: TV Line