Those of us who have carefully avoided Downton spoilers are still in a state of shock after last night's gripping episode. Those of us who (quite inadvertently) stumbled upon a spoiler or two are simply sad.
Last week's episode of Downton Abbey was sort of lackluster. My friend Rachel captured it nicely here. It all boiled down to a few simple admonitions: Man up, Branson! Blow your nose and and get on with it.
But this week!
A few months back, I Googled Downton trying to find out when the new season was starting here in the U.S.. Instead I found out that Sybil was to die in childbirth. So last night I knew the outcome, but it was still so sad to watch. Oh. My. Goodness.
And the fall out . . .
The Dowager Countess walking into the house with a heavy heart and an unsteady gate, looking every one of her eighty or so years . . . her sigh as she leaned into a column to brace herself . . . her trembling chin.
Cora saying goodbye to her youngest child . . . and steeling her heart against the husband she views views as complicit in her daughter's death.
Thomas weeping in the hallway.
Mrs. Hughes when asked what everyone was to do about Branson: We will show him that we are kind people.
Where do you go from here? From the previews, I guess we'll see a battle over the child being baptized Catholic or Anglican, Mary and Robert teaming up against Mathew for control of the estate, and the steady erosion of Robert and Cora's once warm marriage.
Gloomy, gloomy times!