UPDATE (October 6, 2013):
Turns out there is a major twist in Season 4 Episode 3 and it's a painful one. If you're okay with spoilers or just need to review the details of the October 6 episode, we've got the story.
ORIGINAL STORY (October 4, 2013):
With just two days left before the premiere of Downton Abbey’s Season 4 Episode 3, the internet is alive with rumors that a big twist lies ahead. Fueling the gossip flames: British channel ITV’s has made the unusual decision to withhold episode preview copies from the press.
That’s the same move ITV made before Season 3’s two most shocking plot twists: Lady Sybil’s (Jessica Brown Findlay) death after childbirth in Episode 5 and Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) fatal car accident in the Season 3 Christmas special.
So what could this mysterious twist be, if there even is one? It’s anybody’s guess, but we have a hunch it’ll happen downstairs rather than among the Crawley family proper. After all, the vast majority of photos currently available of Episode 3 focus on a party the family hosts at Downton with particular attention paid to Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) new love interest. Could this be an attempt by ITV to distract us from downstairs drama?
Potential candidates for a brawl amongst the help include Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and her husband Bates (Brendan Coyle) versus the conniving duo of Thomas (Rob James-Collier) and new lady’s maid Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring). Another conflict might also spring up between Bates and visiting valet Mr. Green (Nigel Harman) who looks to pay the married Anna some rather pointed attention during the 30-second promo for Episode 3.
Of course, if Julian Fellowes really wanted to throw us for a loop, he’d have Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) elope to Germany. After last week’s intimate scenes of her with paramore Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards), this seems a likely choice for the middle Crawley daughter on her road to self-discovery, independence, and better clothes.
Fingers crossed, the potential upset doesn’t involve a funeral. We’ve heard from no one less than Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) himself that we can “settle back and relax — there are going to be no funerals this year.”
Let’s hope Carson’s not wrong.