It’s been rumored for a while, but now we have official confirmation from the man himself: Dan Stevens, aka the ever-adorable Matthew Crawley, will not be retuning to Downton Abbey for its fourth season.
What. An. Asshole. Or, excuse me arsehole, since this is a British programme. Hasn’t anyone ever told Dan that Matthew Crawley is an indispensable part of my happiness? We’re already a full season behind the Brits, so I’m in a very emotional and vulnerable place, and now you’re going to tell me that I have to watch the full third season knowing that I’m living on borrowed time? It’s like looking at a beautiful star shimmering in the sky and knowing that it’s already burned itself out and moved to Hollywood to pursue its career months and months ago.
And here’s the thing. I don’t care if this move is good for your career, or if you’ll make more money, or whatever. I can’t be bothered about any of that, and you know why? You sacrificed your career a long time ago, Dan Stevens, the first moment you portrayed someone so charming on my telly. (See? I’ve made compromises for you, like using the British spellings of words and not pirating season three before it’s available in America. Why can’t you compromise for me?) If you wanted to retain career autonomy, you shouldn’t have made Matthew Crawley so goddamn likable. Did you ever think about that? No, you didn’t, or else you wouldn’t be tearing our TV family apart right now.
I’m reacting from a place of anger, and I’m sure I’ll regret saying this later, but let’s just take him out. Take him all the way out. That’s right, not just out of season four, but season three, too. Out of SPITE. I don’t know how film works, but it can’t be that hard to manually cut him out of every frame. Or…digitally remaster it. That’s a term I’ve heard before. All I know is I won’t watch another moment of this show until Dan changes his mind…oh who am I kidding. I still love you, Matthew. Take me back. I’m sorry I yelled.