The Downton Abbey Season 4 Trailer Countdown Begins Here…

What are you doing with your Saturday, Downton Abbey fans?

I don’t know about you, but I’ll sipping tea and patiently waiting for ITV to release the season four trailer scheduled to drop this evening in Britain (we’ll be bringing it to you as soon as possible, fellow American chums, even though we’ll be forced to wait an additional four months for the Jan. 5th PBS season four premiere to actually watch this season). Season three was a bit (okay, a lot) grim thanks to the untimely demises of Lady Sybil and Matthew. But as the British say, we must keep calm, carry on, and start theorizing on how hard Edith will rock the Jazz Age. However, our first task is to examine the teaser released earlier this week:

“You have a straightforward choice before you: you must choice either death or life.”

Those words are spoken by the always sage Dowager Countess of Grantham. While we can’t see who she is speaking too, the person most in need of such advice will be the mourning Lady Mary. As Michelle Dockery told TV Guide, there are dark days ahead for the perpetually unlucky eldest Crawley sister. She is now the mother of the heir to Downton Abbey, offering her more security than she had when the series commenced, but she has lost the man she loved and will have a difficult time embracing motherhood– even though season four will pick up six months after Matthew’s car crash.

While Mary’s heartache will surely be at the forefront, my season four wishlist involves the following (and feel free to share your own lists in the comments):

1. Edith becoming a full-fledged newswoman. I want my girl to embrace the coming modern age in all of it’s jazzy, debauched glory. I don’t care if she finds love (“Spinsters get up for breakfast” would make a killer epitaph–in fact if Lady Edith doesn’t use it, I will), I just want her to continue to annoy Robert as she embarks on her journey toward self-discovery in earnest.

2. An organic obstacle for Anna and Bates. If Bates had made one more loop around that prison yard last season, I would have went madder than his first wife. Remember how great Anna and Bates’ chaste courtship was in season one? I would love for the series to remember it too aand then find something nice and juicy (but not quite so soapy) to shake their marriage up.

3. Thomas gets a love interest. It’s okay to admit it, we all love Thomas by now, right? He was the standout character for me last season and now that O’Brien is gone, I no longer have to worry about his ex-best buddy attempting to ruin his life for the sake of advancing her tool of a nephew’s career. I don’t want Thomas to stop being snarky or manipulative, but I would like to see him finally get some action. If that’s too much to ask, can we at least keep the burgeoning Thomas/Jimmy bromance going?

4. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes continue to pretend they’re not totally in love. Yep, this is one area where I want the status to remain qou. Their denial of their affections and occasional brushes with intimacy marks the last of Downton‘s exquisitely crafted will-they-or-won’t-they relationships (sorry, Daisy, no one wants to see you with Alfred), and what would the series be if there weren’t at least two people quietly pining for each other?

5. Jack Ross (Gary Carr) makes a splash…and maybe strikes up a relationship with Rose. Jazz man Jack Ross will mark Downton‘s first black character and I’m hoping his jazz player will start bringing the Crawleys into the new era, whether they like it or not, and if he hits it off with the whirlwind that is Rose, all the better. I know opinions were split about the obvious Sybil replacement last season, but I see Rose not as a Cousin Oliver, but rather a necessary boost of energy to the cast after a season of sadness.

6. More screentime for the Dowanger Countess. Because there’s never enough.

7. Branson continues his road to reform from certified creepster to reluctant social climber. I adored Branson in season one, but his incessant badgering of Sybil in season two was less romantic than it was creepy. Then his whole revolutionary bent led him to abandon his pregnant wife in a foreign country and generally act like an insecure jerk. Then she died and he suddenly reverted back to being the passionate, lovable and strong-willed within reason chauffeur that could have charmed most ladies’ ankle-length skirts off any day of the week.

Let’s keep that going as he continues to struggle to find his place within the family and the house where he was once a servant. Plus he’s a dad now, and he’s going to look awfully charming carrying around his rugrat.

8. More Isis scenes. You have your wishes, I have mine.

Now that I’ve shared my list I’d love to see yours. Also feel free to share your favorite scenes, lines or even the Downton Abbey moments that made you rage at your TV screens. We’ve got time to kill before we get a proper look at season four later today, so let’s don our best flapper dresses and hit those keyboards. It’s almost time to return to our favorite Abbey and I feel like celebrating…in a totally proper and demure manner befitting my station, of course.

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