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SHOCKING 'Downton Abbey' Spoiler: Season 3 Will Break Our Hearts

by Linda Sharps on December 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Downton AbbeySometimes when I write a recap of a television show here at The Stir, I feel a little eye-roll-y about putting a SPOILER ALERT warning in the first paragraph or two. I mean, it's a recap, of course it's going to contain spoilers. Right? Right. But this post is a little different, in that I'm about to share a MAJOR CHARACTER SPOILER about season 3 of Downton Abbey. Which, as you probably know, has been airing in the U.K. but doesn't premiere in the U.S. until January 6.

If you're hoping to watch season 3 spoiler-free, READ NO FURTHER. I'm not kidding. This is your chance to click away. DO IT! Unless you want to know. Which I thought I did, at least until I actually saw the spoiler and then I thought, dammit, I wish I hadn't read that. SERIOUSLY I AM GIVING YOU EVERY WARNING THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO AVOID THIS ONE.

Still here? Okay, here's what happens on the season 3 Downton Abbey Christmas special ...

So, remember this moment from the season 2 Christmas special (which I covered on my own blog because I am a dork):

Well, who knows how many happy moments we get to enjoy between Matthew and Mary in season 3, but their love was not meant to last. A spokesperson for the show confirms that Dan Stevens, the actor who plays Matthew Crawley, will not be back for season 4 ... and the season 3 Christmas special explains why.

Ready for this? Okay, deep breath: on the season 3 Christmas special, Matthew -- who is newly married, OMG DOWNTON ABBEY WEDDING -- gets killed in a car accident.

I know. I know. The worst. Just ... let's just try and take solace in the fact that it was Matthew and not the dog. (DO NOT PUT ISIS IN JEOPARDY AGAIN, ABBEY CREATORS.)

I spoiled myself further by seeing a screen shot of the accident (gah) and learning what Matthew had been doing right before he got in the car, but I'll spare you. You can google for that if you want, but I recommend against it.

As for Stevens, he sounds a little bittersweet about his character's death, calling it both "odd" and "liberating":

We were always optioned for three years. And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.

I guess he'll have time to do so now, but ... damn you, Downton Abbey. Damn you to hell. *sobs brokenly into a delicate lace-trimmed handkerchief, rings bell for emotionally-stabilizing cup of tea*

Did you just spoiler yourself by reading this, or did you already know about Matthew? Will you miss him on the show?


Image via PBS

Filed Under: television

Comments

10
  • kiowa...
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    kiowagirl75

    December 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM
    Sybil also dies in ep. 5 from preclampisa.
  • tracy
    -- Nonmember comment from

    tracy

    December 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM
    i unknowingly found out about the spoiler on wikipedia....dangit....so then i had to know the truth....can't any of these people lead happy lives without having their hearts broken every 10 seconds?
  • highs...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    highstream

    December 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM
    As I watched series 2 and then 3, it increasingly struck me how stale the writing was becoming, how little development was occurring for most characters (e.g., Robert, Mary, Carson and Tom are the same as in episode 1). At the same time, history seemed to be leaving the show behind, giving little more reason for its existence than the British aristocracy had remaining after WWI. Signs of it are everywhere, from the shortened length (47 mins), the much more rapid and hence increased cross-cutting between scenes and the start of gimmicks replacing genuine plot/character development. William's death - a car death or serious accident was so predictable - empties the story of a reason for existence, just as WWI did. Sorry, now time to get a life.
  • Nancy...
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    NancyJ422

    December 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    NOOOOOOOOOO! Hahaha - I just spoilered myself but I can watch things just as eagerly when I know what's going to happen as not. I also read that Dan Stevens was hoping to be in a movie with Jessica Chastain (did I dream it?) so what was going to happen with DA was questioned. 

    I just love the replication of the time periods - it's fun. 


  • Vicki
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Vicki

    December 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM
    *sobs brokenly into a delicate lace-trimmed handkerchief, rings bell for emotionally-stabilizing cup of tea* OMG..I broke out laughing. Tea...the English can murder each other, die tragically, and still call for tea to calm them in a time of crisis. Love it!
  • Laurie
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Laurie

    December 28, 2012 at 3:45 PM
    Ermaghad! I totally spoilered myself... despite your 50 warnings. I had already heard Matthew was leaving the show so. Oh well, at least I knew to watch the Christmas special :)
  • broad...
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    broadwayfan

    December 31, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    I read on the FB page, from British fans, that Sybil had died. But no details. Now I know, thank you.
    I hate to lose Matthew...poor Mary; can't catch a break!! But, I'd rather know. I'd feel like I got run over by a truck if I had no idea of these deaths; then BOOM! Still looking forward to Season 3 starting next Sunday.


  • Seeker42
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Seeker42

    January 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM
    If he dies before he renounces the inheritance from Lavinia's father, Mary will inherit it and be able to save Downton. He's a bit of a prick, so I won't be that sorry to see him go (along with his prissy mama). As a wealthy widow, Mary will have many more options to grow and develop as a character.
  • Shawn...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Shawna Leah Swetech

    January 26, 2013 at 12:09 AM
    We just finished the 3rd season. What a horrible ending, so disappointing. What were the writers thinking, killing off two of the main characters in one season? The beautiful birth of their son, and then kill off the father??? I will not be watching season 4. AWFUL.
  • Debra
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Debra

    February 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM
    I just finished watching the season 3 DVD. I didn't know about either death until watching and it was just too much of a shocker. Two main characters killed off in one season is not smart. It was just too much trauma, and ruined it for me. I don't think I will be watching next season.
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