Downton Abbey: Season 4 (2014)


Season 4
Downton Abbey

Critics Consensus

Though its cast remains strong, Downton Abbey's fourth season is a bit of a comedown after the multiple story arcs that challenged viewers in past seasons.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 42

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 111

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 5, 2014

Season 4 opens six months after Matthew's death with Mary and Isobel in deep depressions. In other events, O'Brien causes a crisis; Violet tries to help Molesley gain employment; and Thomas takes a dislike to the nanny.

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Air date: Jan 12, 2014

The Crawleys host a party for friends and acquaintances, including Lord Anthony Gillingham, who has eyes for Mary, and Gillingham's valet, who is attracted to Anna. Gregson, meanwhile, hopes to impress Robert, who seems intent on ignoring him.

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Air date: Jan 19, 2014

Mary, Edith, Tom and Anna each struggle with a dilemma; Gillingham makes clear his intentions to Mary; Edith endangers her reputation; Tom turns to Mrs. Hughes for help with Edna; and Anna keeps her distance from Bates.

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Air date: Jan 26, 2014

Bates attempts to learn what's troubling Anna; Thomas finds a new ally on the staff; and Alfred takes a test in hopes of becoming a chef.

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Air date: Feb 2, 2014

Rose's surprise party for Robert risks scandal; Mary meets an old suitor; and Edith receives troubling news.

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Air date: Feb 9, 2014

Robert and Thomas leave on an unexpected trip; Mary and Blake bond over pigs; and Green returns to Downton with Gillingham.

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Air date: Feb 16, 2014

Robert and Thomas return from America; Bates takes a day off; Edith and Rosamund announce their plan to travel abroad; a suitor woos Mary; and Rose makes her move.

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Air date: Feb 23, 2014

The Season 4 finale finds the Crawleys in London, where Rose's coming out ball is to be staged at the stately Grantham House. In other events, Cora's mother visits; the family finds itself in the midst of a potential scandal when a letter from the Prince of Wales is purloined; Mary is wooed by Gillingham and Blake; and Carson arranges a day to the beach for the staff.

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Downton Abbey: Season 4 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 4 of the costume drama opens six months after the tragedy that befell the Crawley household at the end of Season 3. Mary (Michelle Dockery) is especially bereft, though she comes to terms with her new reality as the season unfolds and even steps in to help manage the estate, a move that's encouraged by brother-in-law Tom (Allen Leech) but opposed by her ever-traditional father, Robert (Hugh Bonneville). Other story lines involve Edith (Laura Carmichael) , whose involvement with the married Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards) has unwanted consequences; Rose (Lily James), whose feelings for an African-American singer find her willing to buck the taboos of the 1920s; Anna (Joanne Froggatt), who suffers a vicious assault at the hands of a visitor's valet that she then tries to hide from Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle); and Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), whose one-time vaudeville partner Charlie Grigg (Nicky Henson) is facing hard times.

Cast & Crew

Hugh Bonneville
Robert Crawley
Brendan Coyle
John Bates
Michelle Dockery
Lady Mary Crawley
Jim Carter
Mr. Carson
Phyllis Logan
Mrs. Hughes
Jessica Brown Findlay
Lady Sybil Crawley
Laura Carmichael
Lady Edith Crawley
Penelope Wilton
Isobel Crawley
Samantha Bond
Lady Rosamund
Siobhan Finneran
Sarah O'Brien
Allen Leech
Tom Branson
Shirley MacLaine
Martha Levinson
Matt Milne
Alfred Nugent
Lesley Nicol
Mrs. Patmore
Ed Speleers
Jimmy Kent
Cara Theobold
Ivy Stuart
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Critic Reviews for Downton Abbey Season 4

Audience Reviews for Downton Abbey: Season 4

  • Apr 07, 2021
    It's a step back from a great show, to just a good one. The ensemble cast has too many tentacles which make this season slow and harder to follow. It's also boring at times, but it's a wonderful soap opera that's worth watching!
  • Jul 31, 2020
    In many ways, Season 4 of Downton Abbey is a return to form, since it eschews the darker subplots of Seasons 2 and 3 in favor of lighter ones reminiscent of the show's first season. However, this is also its downfall; it can't help feel like creator Julian Fellowes is recycling subplots we've seen before. Again, we watch the parade of suitors court a main cast member; again, we watch Bates glare around moodily and feign leaving. After a ton of character development last season, Thomas Barrow snaps back into place as a sneering villain with virtually nothing to do. Even characters who used to be interesting, like Allen Leech's Tom Branson, descend into one-dimensional blandness. A promising subplot for Crawley sister Edith also pans out in a disappoingly cliche way. Fellowes even includes a disturbing subplot which seems to have no purpose but to add drama. The relief for it all is in the usual suspects: Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley, and Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes. I was surprised that my favorite subplot featured Kevin Doyle's comic relief character Molesley, who has some truly excellent moments with a new character this season. In all I have to commend Fellowes for having such a strong cast of older women characters and developing them very well (how many shows can you say that about?), but the show as a whole has become a tad tedious and repetitive.
  • Jul 07, 2020
    Not one of the best seasons.
  • Nov 13, 2019
    The storylines, characterization, costumes, sets, etc. all beautifully done. Bravo!
  • Oct 26, 2019
    Even though it is not as good as its predecessors, this season has new challenges and all of our characters are tried in multiple ways that will only increase the love we have for them. After the death of Matthew, everything seems lost, but there is a light at the end of the spectrum. The lively presence of Rose is a nice touch, Mary's suitors are good additions and the hardest problem faced by Mr. and Mrs Bates is so hard to watch that it is a great relief when it is sorted out.
  • Oct 24, 2019
    felt like it struggles to keep up with the high standards before, but plot twist which felt like it was put in there to shock, which it did for sure which culminates in a rather underwhelming climax
  • Jun 20, 2016
    While it does improve on certian aspects upon season 3, season 4 feels like a lowpoint for the series that although more consistent, happens to have even more underwelming plotlines plus a plot twist that's almost offensively handled.

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