I'm still disappointed with the O'brien storyline. I also wonder how much this is playing havoc with Julian Fellowes concept for Downtown Abbey? I think he tried to talk one character into staying but the the person refused(it wasn't one of my fave characters anyway). I wont miss this character. But I will miss O'Brien and think she should've got her come-uppance.
I do remember that Thomas did mention O'Brien leaving, but it was done in a spirit of malicious gossip and not to be taken seriously as O'Brien vigorously denied it(if memory serves me correctly). I was also looking forward to Thomas's revenge on O'Brien which now wont be happening.
SPOILER SPECULATION BELOW
And Shirley MacLaine is returning...ho hum
I thought she was a bore to be honest. But anyway I will look forward to season 4...But I have a feeling it could be the last...
...Not because it has dropped in ratings, but because the actors are jumping ship!