Credit: © Copyright ITV plc 2013

As sad as it’ll be to see Downton Abbey’s fourth season draw to a close this Sunday (February 23) there are a few highlights to it being the finale. First, the episode is two hours long! Second, we get to meet up with the Crawleys’ American relatives.

We already met Cora’s boisterous mother, Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine), last season. Martha proved herself to be one of the very few people who can give the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) a run for her money. Now, joining her on this year’s trans-Atlantic journey is a much-discussed but never-before-seen character: Martha’s son and Cora’s brother, Harold.

Played by acclaimed actor Paul Giamatti, Harold has arrived in London against his will. As he tells his niece Edith (Laura Carmichael) upon meeting at the family’s home in town, “Watching debutantes in a ballroom’s not my kind of fun.”

“No, but every now and then it’s fun to try something new, isn’t it?” suggests the polite Edith, who’s looking remarkably well considering everything that’s happened to her since the last episode.

“Well maybe it is and maybe it ain’t,” Harold says in perhaps the most American response he could have leveled at his posh relative.

Cultural differences also emerge downstairs where we meet yet another new character: Harold’s valet, Ethan (Michael Benz). As we learned while first watching this episode when it originally aired on Christmas 2013, Ethan proves to be all kinds of interesting. Want to know more? We can tell you but only if you don’t mind spoilers.

Source: PBS on YouTube


Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!