Poor Matthew is dead, Mary is a widow with a baby, and Tom is trying to keep the Abbey in business. Yet the producers of PBS insist on making us wait 4 months later than when Downton Abbey is shown in the UK. In the meantime the spoilers fly around on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and the surprises get ruined anyway.
But what can you do besides move to Britain for 8 weeks in the fall?
There are ways to catch the latest episode of Downton Abbey online after it airs in Britain. We told you about some last year, but we have found a much better alternative.
How to install Expat Shield
To use Expat Shield:
1. Open the shortcut from your desktop.
2. Your default browser will open and Expat Shield will launch. Wait for it to launch until you see Connected in the window.
3. Open another browser window and go to the ITV player or the ITV Downton Abbey home page
4. Find the episode you want to watch, and open it.
5. NEW THIS YEAR: ITV requests that users enter a UK postal code to watch ITV player content. Here are a few to try:
Highclere Castle: RG20 9RN
Downton Abbey Village (Bampton, Oxfordshire) OX18 2HA
Lady Rosalynn Painswick's house in Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AL
Jane Austen's House in Chawton: GU34 1SD
Platform 9 3/4, King's Cross Station: N1 9AL
6. When you are done watching, simply launch the Expat Shield shortcut again, and click Disconnect. If you don't disconnect you will find you are brought to the UK version of sites like amazon.com and google.com.
Is Expat Shield Legal?
Here are some links to help you decide for yourself.
How to watch BBC and ITV
Expat Shield for Brits Abroad
This Facebook page, Downton Abbey Series 4, may have links to watch episodes after they air. This page WILL contain season 4 spoilers when the season starts.
Yes, there are other alternatives too, such as illegal 'torrents'. We do not recommend these because, apart from the moral issues, they usually involved registering email addresses, allowing cookies and other downloads of software that could be malicious.
When does Downton Abbey Season 4 start in the UK?
The series will air on January 5, 2014 on PBS in the United States. And we'll all be watching then, too!