They’re going after the dog. Beloved characters have snuffed it (and slightly less well loved figures have pegged it and of course there have been various occasions when lives have been feared for. It’s obviously all very much par for the course in 1920s rural England what with the rampaging tractors and inexplicably vague illnesses). People have had all manner of reproductory related issues: apparently a decade or so of marriage with no wee nipper to show for it; struggling to buy and conceal what I’m assuming has to be a diaphragm in ever so slightly less enlightened times; and conceiving sprogs at terribly inconvenient periods. Like half an hour before the menopause when you’ve only just got the new heir settled in or just when your unmarried baby daddy is poised to skip off to Germany to meet his untimely and gruesome death.
They’ve certainly been trying to jack things up on the dramatic front. It’s all becoming ever so inappropriate really. Mary hopped into bed and promptly out of love with one of her nine hundred and twenty eight suitors. There have been hints of suggestions of proposals that Carson and Mrs Hughes might one day shack up together. Violet has gone as far to express an emotion beyond scorn and disdain for those beneath her. And we’re not even beginning to mention people considering flitting off to America, the impending marriages that aim to mix faiths and, more incredibly, classes and poor Edith scampering away to London with her bastard love child before being swiftly recalled by mummy dearest.
But now they’re simply going far too far on Downton Abbey. The dog has cancer. Beautiful Isis the labrador, Lord Grantham’s one true love, is not long for that world. How could they do this to us? Send a meteor, an alien invasion, a crazed former schoolteacher with a grudge against the aristocracy armed with a machine gun, only spare the dog.