Lanford Beard
April 06, 2012 AT 08:28 PM EDT

By the end of Downton Abbey‘s third season, someone is going to be out of a job. That’s right, Masterpiece fans, producer Rebecca Eaton told the Orlando Sentinel that “somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast.” I’m quite sure I’m not the only one rooting for (or against, as it were) the cold-as-ice O’Brien or the villainous Thomas (Siobhan Finneran and Rob James-Collier, pictured). Of course, that’s highly unlikely since their scheming has provided water cooler fodder many a Monday morning. What’s in store for Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), and what will Violet the dowager countess (Dame Maggie Smith) make of the intrusion of Cora’s American mother (Shirley MacLaine)? Read on…

“There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine — Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever,” said Eaton. MacLaine plays Martha Levinson, who arrives to bail out the strapped-for-cash Crawleys. Though other details are scarce, one thing is certain: The battle between these two Oscar winners is sure to be deliciously barb-filled. Added Eaton, “Maggie barely restrain[ed] her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes.”

As for the finally united young lovers, Eaton promised there will be a wedding between Matthew and Lady Mary. Could the aforementioned birth be related? Given Downton‘s sweeping time frame (season 1 spanned 27 months, and season 2 took place over the course of more than three years), it’s possible that Lady Mary could be a mother before the next set of episodes ends.

The next season doesn’t hit U.S. airwaves until January 2013. How will we ever endure these next eight months? For starters, by sounding off in the comments! What do you hope to see in season 3, Downton fans?

Read more:

EW Recaps: Downton Abbey

What’s the best new ‘Downton Abbey’ parody?

‘Downton Abbey’ meets ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ in brilliant collision of worlds — VIDEO

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