While we are not going to see any more Dan Stevens or Jessica Brown Findlay on “Downton Abbey” season 4, there is at least one departing actor who is going to stop by for an episode to wrap up the story: Siobhan Finneran, who played the part of the often-ruthless O’Brien on the ITV hit.
Just in case you are curious as to how well some other members of the establishment are going to take the exit of the character, the answer there is “not well,” and for a number of reasons. As for an actress who plays one of O’Brien’s downstairs co-workers in Mrs. Hughes in Phyllis Logan says (per TV Guide), there is going to be much more put on her character’s plate as the house scrambles to get another person in there to handle all of her duties … at least at first:
“Mrs. Hughes is tasked with the real headache of finding another lady’s maid for Lady Cora. But someone interferes and ends up taking the decision out of Mrs. Hughes’s hands, which is totally wrong. My toes get stepped on!”
Meanwhile, another actress in Elizabeth McGovern (Cora) teases that it is really thanks to some of the other departures on the show that members of the upstairs family feel even more emotional about losing someone who may have otherwise not been so big of a deal:
“Well, O’Brien’s departure is a minor trauma, but it takes on an even greater proportion as a displacement for the major trauma, which is of course the hole created by Matthew’s death.”
In addition to handling O’Brien’s exit, the premiere will touch on Mary’s mourning process, Tom trying to find his place yet again in this society, and the early days for Lady Rose down at the Abbey. If you want to read more about this episode (which airs on ITV Sunday night), click here for the full synopsis.