A spoiler-free look at the return of ‘Downton Abbey’

  • By Melanie Munk Herald Writer
  • Friday, December 28, 2012 4:19pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Our friends are coming back! Our rich friends, and our poor friends, too.

The third season of “Downton Abbey” starts at 9 p.m. Jan. 6 on KCTS Channel 9, with a luxurious two-hour launch. It continues for seven Sundays, until its 90-minute finale Feb. 17 (one week before the Sunday Oscar broadcast, thank goodness!).

Be careful! Spoilers in the news abound. This entire story, however, is spoiler-free. Unless you haven’t seen seasons one and two.

A quick orientation is in order.

The Great War is over and the Spanish flu, which ravaged the countryside at the end of the war, spared Cora, the Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), but took poor Lavinia (Zoe Boyle), Matthew’s fiancee.

I know it’s unkind, but this rather clears the way for Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, downstairs, the poor head housemaid, Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt) waits patiently for her Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), who is in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Are the two destined never to find happiness?

The new season may not answer every question, but one thing is sure: A new character will provide a satisfying foil to the acid-tongued Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith). Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Martha Levinson, Lady Cora’s very American mother.

If you’re getting in the mood, you still have a chance to watch the final episode of season two at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS.

If that’s not enough, you can receive “Tea Times,” twice-weekly emails with “Downton Abbey” tidbits, highlights and recaps; go to kcts9.org/downton-abbey to sign up.

The website is a trove of information about previous episodes, the characters and the actors who play them.

So. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a wedding. But whose …?

More in Life

Lots to see in Upper Skagit, even if the eagles are elusive

A guided hike through a mossy old-growth forest more than makes up for a lack of raptor sightings.

Shopping cart showdown: Which stores have best food prices?

Jennifer Bardsley compares Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, WinCo and Whole Foods offers.

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

Samish Flats in Skagit County prime turf for winter birders

This spot is great for birdwatching because of the mostly flat land, marshy areas and open water.

Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

GET OUT Christmas bird count: Volunteers are needed for the Everett-Marysville Christmas… Continue reading

Relationship do’s and don’ts: Lessons from 40 years of marriage

Paul Schoenfeld reflects on what he’s learned about relationships after four decades with his wife.

Making it through the holidays on 4 legs and 4 wheels

1. Driving safety Here are some travel tips from the Red Cross… Continue reading

The top 10 albums of 2017: From Jay-Z to St. Vincent

This year saw an upward trend in music industry revenue due to the popularity of streaming services.

Snohomish County book calendar

Jennifer Wilhoit Noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 13, Edmonds Bookshop Wilhoit will… Continue reading

Most Read