SPOILERS: 'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Premieres With A Wedding, Financial Crisis
Series three of the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey finally aired Sunday in the U.S. on PBS. Downton Abbey already premiered across the pond way back in September, leaving only the most disciplined of viewers to resist spoiling the season premiere.
“Episode One” of series three kicked off with a wedding between between Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens). Unfortunately, this celebration of love was haunted by Downton’s crippling finances, specifically because Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) invested most of Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) money into a failed railway company, jeopardizing the estate. And while Matthew looks to inherit a hefty sum from his fiance (who died at the end of last season) Lavinia’s (Zoe Boyle) father, he didn’t feel right about using the money for Downton.
Lady Cora's wealthy American mother, Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine, in her Downton debut) arrived at the estate, and while the estate’s members tried to tease money out of Levinson, she instead argued that Downton didn't need money as much as it needed a reality check — they can’t keep living like this.
In other Downton news, Daisy (Sophia McShera) grew a fondness for Alfred (Matt Milne), the new hire, Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) hid her concerns about her health, and Thomas (Robert James-Collier) and O’Brien (Sioban Finneran) had a falling out. There was also plenty of drama surrounding Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay), who is pregnant, and Anna’s (Joanna Froggatt) struggle to get John Bates (Brendan Coyle) out of prison.
Tune in next week for “Episode 2” of Downton Abbey’s series three, airing Sunday on PBS at 9 p.m. EST.