Sep 17, 2012

Okay. Who's Going to Kick the Bucket on Downton?

Well, friends.  Next weekend, Downton Abbey begins again across the pond.  It won't premiere in the U.S. until January, but I'm sure there will be ways to find it before then.

A few months ago, one of the producers was interviewed and said that the new season will include (a) a marriage, (b) a birth, (c) there will be a storyline involving Catholicism, and (d) a death of a 'pretty key character'.  (a), subsequent interviews with various people, referes to Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary.  (b) doesn't really matter, but will probably either be Sybil and Branson's pup or one for Matthew and Mary (or maybe Anna and Bates?).  I don't think Julian Fellowes will be so lame as to introduce another Lady-Grantham-is-pregnant-with-a-boy storyline.  (c) might play into (d) (I'll explain), but otherwise is kind of a minor side-bit.  So, we're left with (d).  Who's gonna buy the farm?

Josh's List of Who Might Die in Downton and Why/Why Not

Live: He's a main character, and him dying would make Matthew the Earl of Grantham automatically, which removes any future heir storylines.

Die: It would make Matthew heir, but then we'd have two Dowager Countesses, and Cora just can't hold her own against Violet.

Live: She's a main character.  She already had a miscarriage in season 1 and almost died of Spanish flu in season 2.  Poor woman's been through enough.

Die: I don't really know...she trips on a frill in her flapper gown and breaks her neck?

Live: What on earth is the point of watching this show without the Dowager Countess?

Die: Dear God, no.  She is old (born 1845), but not that old.  She'll be 75 in 1920, so she should be around at least through World War II.

Live: I wouldn't even count her as a 'key character'.  She's a funny accomplice in the Dowager Countess's schemes.

Die: No one would really notice if she did.

Live: She's too much of a main character to die.  The entire show circles around Mary's (in)decisions and shenanigans.

Die: In childbirth, maybe?  Seems exceedingly unlikely.

Live: Poor Edith, the unloved middle daughter.  You don't like her, but you want her to be happy.

Die: No one really likes her, and if she died, it wouldn't ruin (or affect) any major plot points.  She could be a contender.

Live: She's going to have a baby.  She creates a family bridge into modernity, with her tradition-flouting marriage to renegade Irish chauffeur, Branson.

Die: In childbirth?  It would leave Branson in an awkward position as widower son-in-law to the Earl, with a kid.  I see this as a distinct possibility.

Live: Why kill Isobel?  She's such a mom and is the cause of many laughs/embarrassed sighs.  She and the Dowager Countess are great frenemies.

Die: Why save Isobel?  Her nose is always where it doesn't belong, which might yield some unfortunate results.

Live: I give a roughly 100% chance of this.  Otherwise, we have to find a new heir, and that would just be annoying.

Die: Not going to happen.

Live: Carson keeps the house running, and he's a good second father figure to Lady Mary.  Downstairs would be thrown into utter chaos without him.

Die: It would open up the chance for Thomas to become the new butler...

Live: She keeps the house running.  She gives us a lot of exposition (by listening in on people and telling people things and being a surrogate mother to everyone).

Die: I like her too much to entertain this possibility.  Anna would probably replace her.

Live: Poor man never gets a break.  He's always fighting something.  Everyone loves his and Anna's story too much to actually kill him off.

Die: He might get shivved.  Also, he never said he didn't kill his wife.  Everyone else says that for him...

Live: She's a good pseudo-bad-guy for downstairs.  She is really protective of Cora after causing the miscarriage in season one, which is vaguely endearing.

Die: She basically feels a life-debt to Cora after the miscarriage.  Might sacrifice herself or something.

Live: How else will Downton have any food?  She's also Daisy's mentor, so any development of Daisy's character will come under her tutelage.

Die: Um, she's oldish?  It could give Daisy the chance to be a cook?  No, Daisy's too incompetent for that.

Live: He's the bad guy of the series.  The preview of the new season indicates that he's going to be involved in some illicit love polygon.

Die: He would've certainly earned it.

Live: Her husband is in jail for life.  She's too likeable to die.  She and Mary are palsie-walsies.

Die: Maybe she stages an ill-advised prison breakout scheme and is killed in the process.

Live: Why kill Daisy?  She's got a really adorable thing going on with poor William's dad.  She's his "someone special."  Don't ruin that, Julian.

Die: That would just be silly.  Maybe she burns herself on an oven or something.

Live: Allows there to be many, many episodes of arguing with the good Lord Grantham about politics.

Die: He's my #1 contender for this.  He's angry, he's Irish, and I think he might be Catholic.  That all indicates that he might go fight in the Irish Rebellion of 1919-1921.

Side question that I want to know the answer to: If Sybil and Branson have a boy, does that baby become the new heir, displacing Matthew (since the baby would be a direct male descendant of the Earl)?  Probably not, right, since it's still through the female line, which is a gigantic no-no?  And, anyway, all Matthew and Mary would need is their own boy, and it would go to him through the primogeniture of Mary.


Helen said...

Hello Josh, Love your caricatures. I am especially fond of Mrs. Patmore, I seen them at the Facebook Group DA US fan club. I would like to ask your permission if I can use Mrs. Patmore as an avatar. That would be the only use of your work. Thanks in advance, keeping fingers crossed lol.

Helen said...

I guess my first comment did not go through. Will try again. I love your work, the caricatures are outstanding. I especially am fond of Mrs Patmore. I would like to use your drawing of her as my avatar for Facebook DA group. I would not use your work for any other purpose. Thanks in advance for considering my request. Helen