Cora's mother, the notoriously American Martha Levinson, sweeps into Downton Abbey with her unapologetic endorsement of the future. Unflappably forward thinking (even her maid is modern!), Martha freely offers her perspective -- whether solicited or not. A welcomed breath of fresh air to some (Isobel), to others (Robert), she is a presence that must be tolerated. To Violet, her diametrical opposite, she is a philosophical opponent -- until she and her money -- could once again prove useful to Downton Abbey.