Downton Abbey season premiere: 5 min. recap helps (VIDEO)

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Season three of PBS' award-winning drama series Downton Abbey begins tonight. A five minute primer on the previous two seasons is a perfect way to prepare.

With the long wait for Downton Abbey's season three, including having to avoid spoilers on the Internet, it's hard to remember every important plot point. Recap of seasons one and two posted below.

Update: Season premiere episode is recapped here.

Do you remember how cousin Matthew came into the picture? With his impending nuptials to Lady Mary it's hard to remember exactly what the objection was to him as a suitor for the eldest daughter of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham.

What about Bates? There isn't one character in the show that has had more bad luck and misfortune befall him.

He was hated from the beginning by the conniving downstairs staff. They sabotaged him yet he remained as Lord Grantham's valet. What earned him that loyalty?

Shirley McClain's role as Lady Cora's mother has been touted and fans can't wait for her and Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess to chew the scenery with their icy stares and dripping sarcasm.

While the role wasn't filled in the first two seasons, what do we know about the character that was critical to the survival of Downton Abbey?

Then there is the evolution of middle daughter, Lady Edith. Clearly not as blessed with the beauty of her two sisters, Edith began as one of the villains in the show.

What set her off on that path? Her evolution to a kind and giving caretaker to wounded soldiers returned from World War I is 180 degrees from where she began.

The most radical change in character was exhibited by Lady Sybil, the youngest Crawley daughter.

From an innocent young lady to a woman who did not fear being shunned by her family, Sybil was the first to escape the privileged life. What about her new husband, the former family chauffeur transformed her forever?

As for the downstairs staff, angry and devious O'Brien represents one side of the equation while young Daisy holds down the spot of righteousness.

Will Daisy bloom under the umbrella of caring supplied by her new father-in-law? More importantly, will Mrs. Patmore give her more respect?

There will be viewing parties and for those who prefer the virtual world, a Twitter event. Sign in to your account and watch along with others using the hashtag #DowntonPBS

Tune in tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on your local PBS affiliate. In the meantime, enjoy the recap. Image: PBS/Downton Abbey

Watch Downton Abbey: Official Seasons 1 & 2 Recap on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

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