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If you listen closely, you can hear a collective cry of sorrow on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
“Downton Abbey” has officially announced that Siobhan Finneran, who plays the deliciously evil maid O’Brien, will not be returning for Season 4. O’Brien, who was the source of several tragedies and most of the drama within the Crawley house, is rumored to be leaving through better job prospects and a chance to travel the world (remember her catty run-in with the Scottish maid?). This departure could means the loss of one of the best villains of all time, a loss sorely felt by fans. O’Brien joins Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil Branson as casualties of Season 3.
Not all news is bad, though. Plenty of new characters have been announced, including Lord Gillingham (played by Tom Cullen), who is rumored to be the newly widowed Mary Crawley’s new love interest, and the return of Shirley MacLaine. But can “Downton Abbey” go on without its worst (or best, depending on the way you look at it) villain? Many speculate that Thomas, who has been tame as of late, will return to his formal evil glory in O’Brien’s absence.
“Downton Abbey” returns to the UK for Season 4 in Fall 2013.