So it seems that the police will visit Downton Abbey this season, possibly related to the investigation of Mr. Green’s (Nigel Harman) mysterious death. Lord Gillingham’s (Tom Cullen) infamous valet died in an awkward accident last season after he had been the protagonist of one of the most shocking moments of the series, the rape of Anna Bates. The suffering of the sweet Anna Bates, one of the most beloved characters of the show and brilliantly played by the competent (and no less sweet) Joanne Froggatt, had moved the public in the last season.
The terrible event brought once more pain to Anna and John Bates (Brendan Coyle), who had been through a very troubled period with Bates conviction and incarceration during series 3. What we saw during last season was a couple struggling to rebuild their relationship while Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery)and Mr. Bates himself sought to help Anna to recover from something that is almost unrecoverable.
Then the police back to Downton Abbey means that we will have a new period of tribulation for this couple again? This is just one of the questions that arise when we analyze the story line related to the Green’s death. Why the police are still investigating his death, almost a year later? And why do they came to Downton Abbey? We know that the accident that killed Green was witnessed by countless people, since it happened on the streets of London in full daylight. So, maybe have someone seen something and after some time had denounced to the police? Is Mr. Bates really involved in this supposed crime?
The only people who had suspect that Bates could be involved in the possible murder of Green were Mrs. Hughes and Lady Mary. But both had decided to keep it secret. Lady Mary had even destroyed the evidence that would put Bates in London on the date of Green’s death. Anna, although distressed and suspicious of what her husband had done that day, doesn’t even know that one day there was a train ticket that could incriminate him. Mrs. Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) suspects something, but we can’t be sure of how much she really knows. But Baxter is unlikely to do anything against Bates, not only because of her relationship with Anna, but also because of her own past. And that brings us to Thomas Barrow (Rob-James Collier) and his machinations. Will the blackmail of the evil-not-so-evil-under-butler still have some effect on Baxter now that she had confessed (at least part of) her past to Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern)? Does he know something else behind Baxter’s secret that could force her to tell what she knows about Bates, Anna and Green?
And the charming Lord Gillingham? How much he knows about the death of his valet? Is he also involved? The awkward conversation between him and Bates in the first episode was enough to put him on the list of suspects.
So many questions, so few answers …
What we know for sure:
- Yes, the police will come to Downton, this is proven by the cast listed on IMDb and by series 5 promotional images .
- Lady Mary will visit the prison, in principle, the same prison where Bates was incarcerated before, which leads us to believe that she is visiting a man (unless the prison in question also accepts women).
- There will be at least one scene with Bates in prison, but not as a prisoner, as he is wearing normal clothes.
- Interviews with Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt suggest that the end of this story will be a big surprise, which by itself eliminates Mr. Bates and Anna as murderers. In addition, they also suggested that there is a happy ending for the couple.
My speculations, theories and wishes:
- Mr. Bates didn’t kill nor have anything to do with Green’s death and at some point, a good explanation for what he was doing that day will come up.
- I sincerely hope that Anna won’t decide to take the blame for the crime to protect Mr. Bates of a possible hanging, although I find it is entirely plausible that Lord Fellowes can bring the drama to its last consequences.
- Tony Gillingham knows anything about Green, and maybe is not something related to his death, but something about his character, and this may affect his relationship with Lady Mary (and oh, the whole history of “let’s spend a week together as lovers and I’ll convince you to marry me” will be subject for another post).
- If the end of this story is really something surprising, then the assassin can be another character yet to appear in the plot, or even, someone who may be expendable (like Gillingham himself, for example, which will represent a twist in two story lines, the Bateses’ and Mary’s, but I can’t buy Tony as a murderer, at least not for all we know about him so far).
Well, I could go on endlessly speculating about it, but then it will be the largest post on the universe. Then I’ll collect myself and wait for the next episode to gather more clues. And hope that Anna and Bates afford to have a happy ending.
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