I don’t know why we didn’t recap Downton Season Three last year — I’m sure I made some noise about it being a period piece blah blah blah why won’t I shut up? — but it’s happening now and I’m very excited, because Downton is basically my favorite show. It’s all People Have Romantical Problems In Olden Times, and that is my most favorite thing. (Although it might be for the best that I didn’t do last season because a few recaps would have just been the word, “TEARS.”) The premiere was two hours long and happened while I was actually in England, so premature apologies for (a) tardiness and (b) length, but there are a lot of things to discuss, like: hats! coats! babies! That NATURALLY Edith is in love with a man who decided becoming a German in 1922 was going to work out super great over the next couple of decades! And of course the various meddlings of everyone in the affairs of everyone else. Also, fabulous Persian rugs, good furniture, and fact that Maggie Smith is a national treasure — nay, universal, as I would also like to lay claim to her here in the United States — and must live forever.

A NOTE ABOUT SPOILERS: I know you lovely people who live in the UK (and you lovely people who have been watching by less than legal means) have already seen this season. I trust that you will continue to be lovely and considerate and you will not spoil those of us here in the US as to what we have in front of us. Please keep the comments spoiler-free. We all sincerely, sincerely, really appreciate it. Thank you! (It goes without saying, I hope, that if you have NOT caught up through season three, then this will have spoilers for seasons one through three.) And now…to the hats!