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Tonight’s Downton Abbey season 4 episode had a shocking twist that has seemingly rocked one relationship. Our recap breaks down the events of the storyline.

On last week’s Downton Abbey season 4 premiere we watched as Mary began her road to recovering from the loss of her beloved Matthew.

Downton Abbey season 4, episode 2 kicked off with the arrival of several guests for a party at the estate. Of the many visitors is Lord Gillingham (“The glamorous pirate” as described by Robert) and his valet Mr. Green. He and Mary have known one another since childhood and spend some time reminiscing over their past. We learn that Gillingham has a lady in his life but he’s not married yet. Meanwhile, Green meets Anna and tries to have a little fun banter with her, but she’s more interested in working.

Tom has difficulty having small talk with the guests who’ve grown up living a higher lifestyle than he, though Violet tries to offer a little help. Also troubling Tom is Edna, who he speaks to for the first time since their trouble last season. Edna asks that they be friends going forward. Later, Edna gives Tom a glass of whiskey and proceeds to enter his room when he goes to bed. While we don’t see what happened, next episode we’ll learn about the repercussions of this nighttime rendezvous.

Also at the party is Edith and Michael. The latter decides to join a card game Robert will be participating in so that they can bond. This comes after several failed attempts by Michael at bonding with Edith’s father. The card game ends up being trouble for everyone, as Samson is secretly rigging it. Michael is on to him, however, and gets Robert’s money back, which wins the Lord over.

There’s an accidental date for Mary and Gillingham: They go horseback riding by themselves after no one else expresses interest in participating. While out together they talk about Downton’s tax bill, and her potential suitor offers some help. “It’s nice to know one’s not alone, that others are facing the same trials,” Mary says atop her horse.

Downstairs, Mrs. Patmore and her team are swamped and it’s stressing out our favorite red-headed cook – so much so that she suffers a heart attack. And while planning for an event the following day, Carson accidentally decides to not invite their party’s opera singer to dinner with Robert and family. Cora later yells at Robert and Carson for deciding that she have dinner in her room. It’s one of the funnier moments of the episode.

During the opera singer’s performance, Anna leaves the performance to cure a headache. Downstairs she encounters Gillingham’s valet Green who tries to give her some “real fun” because the “sad old cripple” (referring to Bates) can’t possibly keep her happy. He proceeds to physically attack and then rape her. No one is downstairs to intervene because they’re all at the performance.

Later that night Anna seeks help from Mrs. Hughes, who suggests that she tell Mr. Bates. Anna doesn’t want to tell him because Bates would go after Green and possibly get thrown back in jail. She later runs into her husband and won’t let him touch her.

Other notes…

- At a dance event at Downton, Mary and Gillingham are dancing when she notices that the gramophone is Matthew’s. She becomes upset and runs away, but only for a short time.

- Carson gives Molesley a job as a footman after he needs some extra help.

- Isobel is still struggling from Matthew’s loss and is afraid to smile again because it means she’s moved on. She doesn’t like seeing Mary and Gillingham hitting it off, and Tom tries to comfort her.

What did you think of tonight’s ‘Downton Abbey’ and the attack on Anna?

Downton Abbey season 4, episode 3 airs Sunday, January 19 at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific on PBS. See a preview below:

  • lorepottter

    It was a disturbing episode, i watched it online months ago, and just 2 weeks ago i was ready to what woul happened next..i hate that man, i hate him

    • John

      > Anna, the only character we love since the beginning

      Really? Not Sybil? Not Mrs. Hughes? Not Daisy? Not Bates?

      • leeann

        I know. I don’t even love Anna TBH. Not since her whole life became about Boring Bates.

        Sybil? I loved her. And Matthew who is gone. And others.

        • sasha

          Daisy? I detest Daisy. she is a self righteous petty little prig and not a nice person.

          • Sara

            Wow get over yourself. What show have you been watching? Certainly not Downton Abbey..

        • George

          Yes. Exactly!

      • Kira B

        AMEN TO THAT

  • https://twitter.com/slasher777 Alex

    Well, fuck…

  • purensymple

    It made me cry, but what what left me indignant was what Edna did to Branson. Because she may not have violently attacked Branson like Green did Anna, but if that “rendezvous” actually leads to sex, then she raped Branson. Of course poor Branson is going to have a hard time realizing that himself or convincing anyone else of it since guys who get drugged/drunk and then taken advantage of today often have the same problem, so just imagine how it’d have been a century ago. . . But rape is rape and Branson did not consent while in his right mind.

    • Anthony Runyon

      wait till next episode, thats all i can say…

  • luna97381

    why anyone would do something to someone as genuinely and completely sweet as anna makes me want to throw up. what a terrible ending to the episode

    • John

      BECAUSE THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN EVERY DAY. Get that through your head. Downton Abbey is not a magical place where nothing bad ever happens, it’s just like the real world. Sad ending? Yes. Terrible? Not by any means.

      • luna97381

        i was not commenting on the reality of rape, more so talking about the CHARACTER of the valet who would viciously attack such a sweet and kind person… as for the use of my word “terrible”, yes it was a “terrible” event, again, not commenting on the quality of the episode whatsoever.

  • miranda

    Regarding the attack on Anna — seems like the writers are really grasping for content if this is what they come up with — sorry but it seems to tarnish the show and I regret to see it. I also am sickened that Edna is back on the scene — she makes O’Brien look warm and fuzzy. Tom may be confused about his social position and how to handle it, but it still does not explain his failure to detect Edna’s false character and firmly rebuff her. Also, it is not really believable that Susan would steal Cora’s maid while Cora is hosting Susan’s daughter, nor that O’Brien would take off in the dead of the night after declaring that she “would never do anything to her Her Ladyship.” Glad to see Nannie West is gone. At least Thomas can sometimes engineer a good outcome through his manipulations and scheming. All in all, the series seems to have lost a lot with the absence of Lady Sybil and Cousin Matthew. Even O’Brien’s departure seems a loss and I prefer William to Alfred or James. Yes, I know the actors chose to leave, but still… finally, thank God Jane is gone !!! (“But how are you — really???”) See what happens when you get me started! Nevertheless I love Downton Abbey and even with the loss of major characters, the whole show could be carried by Maggie Smith and Jim Carter.

  • Oh my…

    I was terribly upset by the rape. I didn’t think it was necessary and I agree that it tarnishes the show. If I had known, I would not have watched this episode.

    • faithful viewer

      I agree. The viewer warning of content discretion does nothing to prepare us for what happened to our beloved Anna. Once viewed, it cannot be erased from the chronology of events. It was infinately sadder than the deaths of Sybil or Matthew.

      • leeann

        Wow, I TOTALLY disagree. Did you watch the episode where Sybil died? Convulsed to death in front of her family, leaving behind a newborn child?

        There was NO warning before that awful episode. None. If you have a warning, you need to be prepared for something bad to happen.

        Sybil’s death was brutal, and horrifying, and traumatic. If you care more about Anna this is more upsetting to you, fair enough. But Sybil’s death left me sleepless for a week. So speak for yourself about which was sadder.

        Infinitely sadder than a lovely, sweet, new mother dying in pain? Wow.

        • Fara Wiles

          poor choice of words. Not infinitely *sadder*, infinitely more disturbing. If you were seriously that disturbed by a TV character’s death, then I truly believe that there is something deeper going on in your personal history to be moved to such an extent by a scene on television.

          Anna’s rape was grotesque. It brought forth a beast from the depths of all that is evil and threw them onto one of the more honorable characters of the show.

          What woman could they have possibly chosen to be raped that would have been worse than Anna? DAISY?? Why not make it even more disturbing and have Thomas raped by a gang of men b/c they find out about his sexuality? Or Lady Grantham?

          Why rape and why rape Anna? Whoever I talk to online about this show, including friends who moved clear across the country so we can’t watch together, all agree that Anna’s rape was too much.

        • James

          AMEN TO THAT. At least Anna still has her life.

      • Hailey

        I don’t see how rape is sadder than the loss of life and the result of eternal grief..

    • Francis

      They didn’t even show the rape! Obviously it wasn’t necessary but in no way does if tarnish the show. OH NO, Downton Abbey isn’t a fantasy place after all, WHO KNEW? Rape happens every day, and Downton Abbey is a drama based on historical fiction. Maybe you should consider only watching PG movies from now on

  • James Spirup

    I was very disappointed that the producers/creators of what I had considered a very fine piece of British television would choose to cheapen it in such a manner. We all know that life has its “real” side–that’s old news. Frankly, I’m completely sick of the “in your face with reality” attitude that the entertainment industry chooses to promote. Yes, many will say that I’m naive–so be it! I would be more than willing to bet that I’m not the only one who feels this way. What happened to Anna was shocking, disturbing and in very poor taste. It was completely unnecessary to the development of her character and to the Downton storyline. Shame on you! Are your tiny minds so divoid of any creative juices that you must resort to this kind of end–seemingly all in the name of character development and ratings? I seriously doubt that you will achieve what you set out to accomplish. For what it’s worth, as far as I’m concerned you have a long road back to take in order to try and redeem yourselves. A very poor choice, gentlemen!

    • Alan Gaunt

      I totally agree with most of the discussions here, the rape of Anna was totally unnecessary, and shows what this splendid show has descended to. Julian Fellowes has now proven to me that he is no better a writer than the soap opera drivel we see here in the states. You would think he could come up with better story lines than this, and if not, end the show gracefully. I was so disgusted last night I cancelled my upcoming order of Downton series 4 on Amazon, and will not watch anymore of this show, which I have now relegated to the trash heap of garbage which makes up most of television!

      • John

        > Julian Fellowes has now proven to me that he is no better a
        > writer than the soap opera drivel we see here in the states.

        Seriosuly, it too this long? Patrick showing up from the Titanic and Bates being in/out of/in/out of/in/out of trouble, and Mary and Matthew’s on again/off again/on again/off again relationship didn’t make you think this?

        • Fara Wiles

          LOL…well, now that you mention it….

    • Gary65

      Rape is never necessary. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss it on TV. What do you want them to do? Have a show specifically about rapes? You’re confusing character development with plot development. Nothing that happens in any plot is “necessary”(save when you’re adapting a book). But the plot is the plot and it is whatever the writer chooses to make it. DA belongs to Julian Fellowes, just like Allegiant belongs to Veronica Roth & GoT belongs to GRRM. They can do what they want with it. This is their vehicle. You’re just along for the ride. If you don’t like it, jump ship.

      And, really, if their stories aren’t allowed to be grounded in reality, I’m not sure what story you want them to tell. Do you want a meteor to land in Downton or something? All stories are grounded in reality or they’ll be totally unrelateable.

    • Sonataa

      I totally agree with you, Mr. Spirup. It was shocking, awful, unnecessary, and horrible. They should not have gone there. Poor Anna. : (

      • John

        So how was Mary’s rape in season one not awful and unnecessary?

        • Fara Wiles

          Mary was raped? I lived through a nearly IDENTICAL situation… You really consider coerced sexual intercourse on par with rape? Hm…

    • Jared


    • JDay

      The scene was brilliant. Hear me out. Yes, it was disturbing. Like many here, I watch to escape and after that ep, I needed an escape from the escape! But I believe Fellowes knows what he’s doing and will make watching this episode worth the anguish. Consider: he could have had it take place inside while everyone else was outside at an event or picnic (or vice versa), so the opera singing was a deliberate choice – not just to provide noise to drown out Anna. This allowed him to contrast two women, vocalizing simultaneously, one singing, one screaming, brutality and beauty, terror and transcendence, like two sides of a distorted mirror. You have to admit it was artful. And did it make a social statement? Evil occurring while others sit entertained and distracted… or commenting on Internet articles…

      As for the rapist, Fellowes could have made him a one-time visitor to the Abbey. But by making him Lord Gillingham’s valet, he will return and probably more than once. His presence will torture Anna, but at some point it will provide an opportunity for his comeuppance. I can’t see anyone outright murdering him, but he could die if he attacks again and is killed in self-defense. Or he could get caught in another attempt and go to jail for that. Or maybe he’ll be overheard bragging about the attack or threatening Anna again, by someone of influence. One way or another, he WILL NOT get away with it. Don’t get me wrong – nothing Fellowes writes could make me glad for this story line. I love Anna and this was hard to watch. But he knew this was a risky choice and must have believed it was worth the wrath of so many viewers. Judging by seasons 1-3, I think this is much more than just a shocking twist and I trust him to bring it to a satisfying, even inspiring, conclusion.

      • JDay

        I mean, didn’t anyone here see Braveheart? Shawshank Redemption? I love sunshine and rainbows as much as anyone, but we need stories of phoenixes rising from ashes, too. Rise, Anna, RISE! And take us with you!

  • Bonnieann

    Really people, we sit down to an hour of Lords and Ladies and beautiful souls like Anna. We can accept a death from childbirth, or an untimely auto accident, but rape is just out of place within such a lovely English estate. We look forward to the costumes, the banter and the upstairs/downstairs situations but a full court press on rape is not what we want. Weren’t we all so happy when Bates and Anna were living happily ever after? Now we will be drawn into a storyline that will tear at Anna’s relationship and most don’t want to go there. We just want to enjoy, be engaged in our fantasies and giggle out loud when Maggie lets ‘em have it. Downton is our escape time for the week;not a reality show.

    • Disappointed

      very well said!

    • Tyler

      Exactly!!! Poor choice on Mr. Fellows part. It seems like a lot of his audience has just fallen out of love with the show.

    • leeann

      Sorry, the brutal death in childbirth while her husband and mother sobbed hysterically beside her was worse for me.

      She died. She’s dead. And there was no warning that this horrible scene was coming. This episode had a warning. What did people expect?

      • Fara Wiles

        You also have to understand that HUMAN BEINGS are actors and sometimes leave a job. Their deaths were easier to handle because the actors move on to other work that they want to be a part of.

        Besides, their deaths were accidental. Rape is not accidental. Their deaths were not at the hands of a murderer but of something ‘going wrong’. Anna’s rape introduced enraged, unjust, VIOLENCE into the show and that was just too disturbing for Downton Abbey.

        • Julie

          Too disturbing? Really? It’s a DRAMA. Clearly not everything is sunshine and rainbows, that’s not how the show is or ever was intended to be. If this episode was too disturbing for you then how are you going to handle living in the real world? Things like this and things even worse happen all the time. Grow up.

          • Fara Wiles

            Oh give me a break. I’ve heard “Sunshine and Rainbows” about a hundred times in the last two weeks. People need to socialize more OFFLINE and get a wider vocabulary.. or at least a wider range of cliches to choose from.

            It’s FOR THAT REASON I LIKE TO WATCH FICTIONAL SHOWS. To get away from the real world where Jihadists train their 7, 10, and 12 year old boys how to cut the head off of a living breathing human being. Think I exaggerate? I watched the news clip myself. You need to take your horrifically judgmental personality and stifle it. “Grow up”? Get outta my face.

    • Julie

      Get over yourself. Downton Abbey is a DRAMA. If everything was sunshine and rainbows it wouldn’t be nearly half as good as it is. It’s not this fantasy show, it’s historical fiction. The characters in this show go through the tribulations that many people have to endure. The bad things that happen to the characters on Downton Abbey are precisely what make them into the people they are, just like in the real world. Sure, the rape wasn’t necessary, but nothing in the show really is. I cannot believe that you said the rape is “out of place” when it takes place nearly EVERYWHERE and is an enormous issue in our world. So I suggest you get over yourself because the writers of the show are PROFESSIONALS and certainly know what they’re doing AND have good reason to. It’s their show and they’ll do what they want. Don’t like it? Too bad. The fact that they didn’t follow the norm and chose to take a risk doesn’t warrant your criticism.

  • Neil

    My wife and I weren’t surprised but it left us mad. They’ve given serious downturns to almost every other character so it was her turn. We understand that but why did it have to be this? We hope they resolve this quickly. It is true to the time but I want justice!

  • TJ

    Horrible “twist” at the end – I will only keep watching to see how they handle the rape situation in the context of those times. Wonder if, after people find out (which they will), Anna’s character will be attacked because she was playing cards with the rapist. I really wanted her to grab a kitchen knife and do him in. We were given plenty of warning that O’Brien would leave, not to mention that she was terrified Cora would find out about the soap now that Bates mentioned it.

  • Leela

    The rape of Anna is just a bridge too far for me. Rape should happen to no one, but especially not to someone as sweet as Anna. She and Mr. Bates had been through enough and I am not going to watch the future that will be for them now. This is neither entertaining, nor edifying. I’m done. No more Downton Abbey for me. Sigh….

    • Eddy Thomas

      WOW, you can’t handle a rape? Wake up call, these are FICTIONAL characters and rape happens every day in the real world. It was not meant to be “entertaining” it was meant to be character building. The fan base certainly won’t miss having whiners like you

      • Fara Wiles

        There is a great piece written by a blogger/interviewer online. It discusses the scene in Deliverance where one man raped another. A woman wrote in great detail WHY that was so disturbing to so many and why it may have been more so disturbing to women than men.

        If I can’t find the link to post it here, I ask that you Google it. I’ll see if I can find it though. It may give you insight as to WHY knowing someone got raped is so disturbing to viewers. FICTIONAL or not…

      • Fara Wiles

        I did post the blog but I believe they removed it b/c of the link included. Probably to prevent spam.

        The title to the blog is:

        The Rape Scene in Deliverance: “I Didn’t Read That Much Sex Into It.”

  • Disappointed

    Really Julian Fellows? This is what you dump on us for the beginning of season 4?? You have gone too far. I hated this episode and it has left me wondering what is wrong with the writer/creator of this series – in no stretch of the imagination does doing this to Anna make any kind of good sense…what’s it for?? Ratings?? This most definitely negatively affects MY ratings! So now we loose yet another beloved character!! Anna will never be the same Anna we have loved and so basically another loved character is gone now. I feel disgusted….this was my favorite show until the last episode of season 3 and now this?? Julian Fellows needs some psychological therapy!!!

  • Jd

    Horrible what they did to Anna. There was a reason I was watching Downton Abby…to get away from all the violence on cable tv. I doubt I will continue to watch the rest of the season. Sad, sad, sad….

  • amy6700

    Did we really need to have Anna get raped on Downton Abbey? Haven’t we put up with enough from last year?? AND- hasn’t SHE been through enough?? I knew something was up when they posted the “viewer warning” at the beginning. It is one of the few “rated G” shows that is so wonderful, but I have a really bad taste after last night. Also Edna hitting on Branson isn’t helping! Can we have some fun again soon?? These first 2 episodes are depressing.

    • rainning2

      very depressing. You could have played this out differently. I see its all about the ratings. There could have been a struggle and Anna getting away instead you went for the female sole. been a fan for a long time.. have to rethink this show..very depressing.

      • Lisy Meyers

        Did you mean female “soul” ? I agree with you. This was ugly and Anna should have gotten away.
        Edna going around after Tom was ugly, too. It had better turn out all right for Bates and Anna or the show will become too depressing

    • JDay

      I don’t know why this puppy pic is attached, but thank you – doxie’s are my favorite breed and this one’s adorable!!!

  • bakerp2004

    The rape of Anna was very distrubing. I wanted someone to save her so bad I literally jump from my chair. We can only hope for swift and severe justice for Green at the hands of Mr. Bates or others of the Abbey staff. As to the Edna and Tom storyline, I think it is one of the more interesting developments. After all they are now social equals (lady’s maid and estate manager: both called by thier “real” last names). Although it does make me wonder if Edna really likes Tom or is trying to socially climb by marrying into the family.

  • cass

    So my 11 year old daughter got to witness Anna’s rape. I was sleeping by that time, woke up to my husband trying to console her. Not sure what the fallout will be of this. Gee, thanks for being pushed into grappling with these issues with a scared daughter.

    • Gary65

      It was on 9PM and there was a warning beforehand that the material was disturbing. How is it Julian Fellowes fault that you didn’t monitor what your child was watching? If you wanted PG, you should have put on Disney. When you let an 11 year old child loose with the remote, they’re going to come across things that you may not have been ready to discuss with them. Were you ready to discuss dying in child-birth? Your daughter will be fine, just like any child who got shown scary movies when they were young will be fine. She’s not going to be scarred for life. Children aren’t as frail as people like to pretend they are.

      • cass

        so, you doubled up on your nasty pills today??

        • Gary65

          No. I’m just sick and tired of parents using their children as tools to tell writers what they can and can’t say. What will the fallout of this be? There will be no fallout. She’s not the first child to see something unpleasant on TV and she won’t be the last.

          She’s your child. It’s your responsibility to keep an eye on her and what she’s watching. Writers like Julian Fellowes don’t owe you a duty to keep your children’s outlook all sunshine & rainbows. That’s your job. Stop shafting it on to other people.

          • leeann

            Yes, there was a warning and that is key. There was no warning before the childbirth episode which was more traumatic IMO.

        • Goof

          Get over yourself

      • EBA

        BTW I am a grown-up and I missed the warning due to the 10 minutes of commercials that clutter up the interval between shows . . . . it was harrowing but I agree that Sybil’s death ripped my heart out more because it was a sustained experience not interrupted multiple times –

    • Leeroy8959

      There has been multiple sexual scenes and multiple deaths and plenty of violence on Downton Abbey yet you choose to let your child watch it and proceed to blame the writers for writing a show that was never intended for children in the first place? Learn to monitor what your child is watching and then you won’t have this problem again.

  • John

    I’m a little puzzled why everyone is so upset about this when in Season 1 we had Mary practically raped (or maybe actually raped…they were a little vague about how much he forced himself on her and how much she consented) by Kamal Pemuk, however you spell it. True that wasn’t as violent, and he died afterwards, but still it probably constitutes a rape, and it was certainly forced. I think it’s obvious why this happened, plot-wise: everything now threatens to be lovey-dovey between Anna and Bates otherwise, which would make for dull TV even though many viewers probably think that’s what they’d like to see. (They wouldn’t.) So Fellowes has the option of a health scare (happened already with the lower class people several times), love that can’t be fulfilled for some reason (are we going to find out Anna has a secret husband as well?) or some event in history to break them apart, and there are none. So what can you do but something like this? And yes, in real life this sort of thing did happen, probably more than was ever reported.

    • Leela

      With all due respect, you have no clue what others may or may not wish to see. Sad that you think a happy marriage is boring. Not very imaginative IMO. People have also already explained pretty well why they are so upset. I’m a little puzzled at how you can not get that.

      • John

        They have explained it, and I do “get” it; what I don’t “get” is why the same elements didn’t have the same effect on them in season 1.

        • Leela

          The Season 1 content was very different. Mary was not the sympathetic character that Anna is. Mary was all steel and ice, not sweet, innocent, nice and extremely likeable like Anna. Also, while I doubt Mary expected things to get as out of hand as they did with the Turq (Kamal Pamuk (sp?)), she was certainly complicit in what happened, having flirted with him and pushed the bounds of propriety. She enjoyed the attention and flirting with danger right up until it bit her. By contrast, Anna did nothing to bring on the violent attack and everything she could to fight if off. Watching someone be brutalised is horrible.

          • John

            Ah, so Mary asked for it. Just like the girl in the denim cutoffs. Gotcha.

          • Leela

            Well…I don’t know that she “asked for it”. I think girls with little to no experience who want male attention, find that attention very alluring, terribly exciting. This can make them vulnerable to being taken advantage of, and seeing this happen to Mary was surely unpleasant and disturbing. That said, I didn’t really like the pre-Matthew Mary.
            By contrast, I liked Anna very much and to finally see her and Mr. Bates reunited and happy was a necessary oasis in the midst of all the difficulties and upheaval at Downton. While I do not wish to minimize the horrific nature of rape for anyone, my aversion to what happened to Anna was far more intense, partially because of the content of her character and her likeability, partly because I get tired of the entertainment industry’s obsession with “exploring” all aspects of sexuality. These things have been done to death, so do we really have to do it again?

          • Fara Wiles

            I have to agree. I lived through a nearly identical situation as Mary and at the time I felt mortified. But at what point did my dislike for what was happening and my lack of fight constitute my situation as rape?

            Gray area. Disturbing, yes. But was Mary raped? She certainly didn’t act that way for a single moment afterward. She acted guilty and responsible.

            Anna on the other hand acted crazed and terrified. Quite the different mind-set during the sexual…whatevers.

          • Leela

            Thank you! You said this much better than I could have.

          • Shea’s

            Oh really? So what would you define Anna’s flirting as?

          • Leela

            ??? Anna’s flirting? What are you talking about?

          • Fara Wiles

            I am *highly* offended that flirting would constitute “asking for it”. I don’t see her as having been flirting, I see her has finding commonality in another human being and having fun. Letting herself have FUN. At no point did she lower her chin and look up at the man through her eyelashes nor tilt her head to the side and stick out her lip or wink at him or any such “invitational flirting”.

            She was behaving like a woman who found a man to be surprisingly and refreshingly entertaining. Her husband, however, knew this man by the look on his face. Mr. Bates could see right through that Rapist and knew he wanted more from Anna than just a game of cards. Mr. Bates wasn’t jealous, he was protective b/c of Anna’s propensity to see the good in people and not prepare to be attacked by anyone who looks her way. She had no reason not to have fun and enjoy herself… at least not in her perception. She did NOTHING untoward to cause that man to think he should have his way with her. It just goes to show that he was determined to have her whether she was flirting with him or not.

          • Leela

            ??? Um, when was Anna flirting? I don’t recall seeing her flirt with anyone.

    • Lillie Marie Peterson

      I agree with you. Happy couples in stories are boring. I’m not saying I don’t want my favorite characters to be happy, but the novelty of their happiness wears off pretty darn quickly and it gets stale. No one actually watches tv or movies or reads books to see their heroes happily ever after, despite what they may believe their motives are. It’s a psychological thing and you often don’t recognize it in yourself unless you are trained to do so (and storytellers like myself are). I’m also interested to see how this situation is dealt with in the period. Since we are generally so horrible at dealing with rape in our present day culture, it may bring some much needed light to the subject when we see how much worse it was back in those days. I don’t think it cheapens the story in the slightest. In my opinion, saying something like that implies that being raped is something shameful or that it makes you less of a person in the eyes of others. I am not at all saying that that is what is meant by those here who have said so, I’m just stating my own opinion.

      • Leela

        So, people have to be unhappy or have their lives be roller coasterized in order to be interesting? I don’t agree. There is a fair amount of comfort in the solidity of a good marriage. Doesn’t mean you don’t ever do anything interesting. Different genre, but the marriage of FBI Agent Burke in White Collar is a fine example. Sad that it is so rare. Anyways, I have no interest in watching the sort of ugliness through which they are subjecting Anna and Mr. Bates. Fellowes can make whatever sort of story he choses, but I do not have to watch. There’s enough of that sort of horror on the news.

        • Huil

          They didn’t even show the “ugliness”. Rape happens all over the world EVERY DAY. How
          Do you deal with that when you can’t even handle a fictional TV show?

          • Leela

            Actually, I don’t deal with it all that well, so why would I tune into a show to have another dose of the ugliness and evil the world serves up?

      • Hahaj

        I could not agree with you more. A drama like Downton is meant to keep people enticed and look at us all jabbering away about the show–enticed!

  • ladydevora

    It’s possible Julian Fellowes has alienated a huge part of his audience by the rape of Anna. Certainly not necessary to the entire story line… a lot is already going on, little story lines both upstairs and down that have been started. The need to toss in something that horrific to a beloved character – really?

  • Val

    I hated this episode

  • Kristi in Chattanooga

    So, I asked my husband after the episode, “What would you do if I saw you with a bashed up face and a change of clothes after a quick trip to get an aspirin?” The rape was ridiculous and poorly handled. Bates would not have just gone on about his business, and you know Mrs. Hughes would not have just offered to cover it up with a rapist in the house. The lack of sensitivity and logic bother me. So far Season 4 has been like watching a brilliant friend who is terminally ill.

    • Fara Wiles

      Wow… really well put. And I agree. Hughes would never have just kept it quiet. That’s the kind of thing people do TODAY. Keep rape quiet because the person asked them to.

      Just like today, people have multiple partners and don’t care who knows how many people they’ve slept with. Unlike THEN, when a person could lose their entire futures simply because they weren’t chaste before marriage.

      At that time, and for who Hughes is, Hughes would have told SOMEONE. Mr. Carson I suspect, who would have notified Lord Grantham who would have sat down with his old friend Mr. Bates and told him what happened to his wife and I suspect Lady Grantham would have insisted Anna be sent to stay at the hospital to recover from the attack for a couple days.

      Now *that* is a Downton Abbey solution right there. You’re welcome.

  • Fara Wiles

    Here we go. Let me guess.. ANNA GETS PREGNANT! Oh NOES!

    Please, PLEASE tell me they aren’t going to go down the hard-ridden Soap Opera road with the pregnancy-rape-that-ruined-a-relationship storyline. :-|

    So obnoxious.

    • Cassandra

      YES – that was my horrified thought as well!!! Anna preggers, then the rapist who works for the guy Lady Mary starts seeing will try and blackmail her, then maybe she’ll hate the baby and Mr. Bates will hate her! UGH soapsoapsoap.

    • Gary65

      They’re not.

      • Fara Wiles

        Seriously? Thank Goodness. Really. I don’t want spoilers, but the anticipation that they’d do a whole rape-pregnancy story line just depressed me.

        Now I can wait in positive anticipation in what they’re going to do with this story.

  • veggie val

    And on BBC…disgusting. I really looked forward to season 4, but doubt that I will watch any more of it. Aside from knowing that Anna was being raped while everyone listened to opera, what about the story line – Where was Mary taking her part in running Downton? Where was Tom being a major change to the financial saving of Downton?
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Julian Fellows could have followed a more interesting story line than a country party and a horrible assault? I wish I could erase it from my mind.

  • Kendra Baird

    I watched this episode months ago online and it broke my heart. Now it’s breaking my heart all over again! Having lived with someone who was a victim of rape, it’s gut wrenching to see how much it can change a person. And unfortunately, it happens far too often. I know how awful this episode made me feel simply because I know someone who had the same thing happen to her. I can’t even imagine how horrific it could have been for my friend to watch. I wish they could have come up with a different plot twist.

    • Gary65

      But don’t you think that, if more people are shown it and learn to understand it and its effects, they’d be better able to empathise with your friend? Nothing ever went wrong from just discussing something and airing issues out.

      • Fara Wiles

        Non-Rape victims don’t gain much by watching a fictional rape on television. I don’t know what more to say about it than that. Rape is altogether an mind-altering, personality-altering, and soul-crushing event.

        • Gary65

          And it is an event which regular people could never hope to understand unless they’ve lived through it. Unless you want to round up the population en masse and start raping them, we’re going to have to find another way of making them understand and empathize with what victims go through. One of the most effective ways to do that is through TV.

  • Jan

    So tired of sexual violence seen as entertainment or acceptable in any way. Considering NOT continuing with DA-last nights episode very disappointing with all the usual defaults of lack of character…us that what attracts and retains DA viewers?

  • Jan

    Really don’t understand the story line withAnna but ‘thanks’ for the hopelessness

  • Chris

    I love Downton Abbey…I should say “loved”. I am also a survivor of torture, abuse and rape and just began my therapy….i thought I’d be “safe” watching Masterpiece Theater and Downton Abbey in the regards to the topic of rape and sexual abuse…BOY WAS I WRONG..rather I was watching a moment from Law & Order: SVU and had to leave the room to shake and have a cry. Sorry Downton Abbey but now i’ll never watch the show again. I understand by having a storyline such as this they bring awareness but they also traumatize those of us who had a live action demonstration of what the definition of rape is. Guess my scars are too close to the surface.

    • Fara Wiles


  • Gary65

    It’s actually hilarious to watch Americans flip their tish over a show daring to broach a controversial topic. Brits saw this months ago and they didn’t lose their minds. For Christ’s sake, chill.

    • Cassandra

      We’re a cheerful, optimistic people, and we don’t like it when things go bad. If many of our ancestors had enjoyed being miserable, they’d have stayed in the Old Country. Have a nice day! :)

      • Gary65

        Hm…..I guess that explains why Americans watch Game of Thrones in their droves. Cos they’re cheerful and optimistic and don’t like it when things go bad :P

        • Leela

          How very charitable of you Gary65, laughing at the distress of others. Wow!

          • Gary65

            If we took American distress seriously, we’d all be in a state of collapse everytime we opened a newspaper.

          • Leela

            …and therein lies a very comfortable rationalization for lacking compassion. It is true that an episode of Downton Abbey doesn’t rise very high on my outrage list, but I would not like to be as jaded as you are. Good day and good bye.

          • Gary65

            Honestly not giving a damn about the latest scandal-of-the-day is not the same as lacking compassion. I’ve plenty of compassion when you’re actually going through something worth being compassionate about. Do I feel compassion for Anna & Bates? Sure. Do I feel compassion for you, curled up on your couch in idle histrionics? No I do not.

          • sasha

            Gary, You’re old and jaded, and rather pathetic in your desperation to put Americans down. We could find plenty to rag on you about, if we were as mean spirited as you are.

            I do feel compassion for you, though you don’t deserve it.

          • Gary65

            You do realize the rest of the world can watch Fox News, MSNBC & CNN, right? You know we can see that stuff and can see you all lose your minds over the most nonsensical issues ever(Gretchen Carlson in a tizzy about a Festivus Pole, the marijuana debate & the “debate” over Obamacare “death panels” being a few examples of it)? Even Americans have to admit that you make a huge fuss over nothing aaaaallllllll the time. I see no reason why we should coddle you everytime you throw a hissy fit.

            And, if you think I’m putting Americans down, you should try leaving the US for a while. You’ll notice that you’re not very popular these days. Might put things in perspective for you.

          • Fara Wiles

            As an American, I couldn’t give two flaps how popular you think we are. And one thing you’re mind seems not to comprehend is our GOVERNMENT and our MEDIA are not AMERICA. America are the people who live in this country. All 300million+. Some of us don’t deserve to breathe oxygen, I’ll admit it. But most of those Americans are in Congress.

            Instead of pointing out the flaws of our MEDIA which is strongly dictated by the government and what the media outlets see as their best advantage, maybe you could join the efforts from abroad to encourage the reformation of our Government into something less warmongering and hysterical and something more to what they were created to do. VERY FREAKING LITTLE.

            Stop dumping on Americans and start looking deeper than the Mainstream media that feeds the world as much propaganda about The States as they do TO the States.

            And I don’t mean Alex Jones, who is an hysterical charlatan all on his own.

          • Gary65

            I wasn’t the one who raised the issue of American popularity. Sasha did. I couldn’t give a damn how popular you are either.

            You seem to be forgetting that a wide cross-section of your population do believe the mainstream media. A 2012 Gallup poll shows that Fox News is simultaneously the most trusted name in news & the most un-trusted name in news. Think about how stupid that is. This wasn’t a poll done on Congressmen or news anchors. This was a poll done on American people. And a lot of them are incredibly inept when it comes to the issues facing America & the world today(don’t even get me started on guns or global warming). You cannot help someone to change if they don’t want to change themselves.

          • Fara Wiles

            *smh* When there’s actual proof that global warming is caused by human behavior and that it is something that will kill us in the end, let me know. Otherwise, can you clarify why CO2 causes flora and fauna to grow rapidly (which also increases oxygen production)? Just wondering.

            Guns — yeah, don’t get ME started. When you can prove that people will stop killing each other when all weapons are banned, then I’ll agree with you right this second that all weapons should be banned.

            Live and let live!

          • Gary65

            Cos that’s how nature works. Animals take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. It’s the balance of nature at work. The problem occurs when animals(namely humans) start producing extra(a lot extra these days) amounts of carbon dioxide and then start cutting down all the forests. If you insist on lighting both ends of the candle, you’re going to get burned in the end. And there is actual proof that global warming is caused by humans. 99% of scientists around the globe & their peer-reviewed studies prove it, the same way they can prove evolution. Ignoring cold, hard fact isn’t going to get you anywhere.

            As for guns, no one ever claimed getting rid of the 2nd Amendment would bring an end to murder. In fact, no one ever said we needed to get rid of the 2nd Amendment. It should be limited so children, criminals & lunatics(and any combination thereof) can’t get their hands on a rifle. How is it that people not legally allowed to drive a car are allowed to have a deadly weapon? There are cities in the US with more gun violence than entire countries.

            It’s hard to live and let live when thousands of people are dying annually from natural disasters and gun violence that could be curtailed.

          • JDay

            Gary, I’ve been with you on some things (Anna’s rape, our propensity for outrage – sad but true), but I have to respectfully disagree with others:
            I’m not convinced global warming/climate change is truly man-caused. Earth has warmed and cooled in cycles, historically. You can find scientific data to support both sides. I think a lot of people take it up as a cause because they need to feel good about themselves, to “make a difference”. Others promote it because there is money to be made in carbon credits, energy-saving devices, and propaganda. That said, I do care about the environment and do more to conserve and recycle than any of the libs I know (and living in NY, I know a lot of them).

            Fox News is vilified and mocked by its competition and the entertainment industry, so many people swallow “don’t trust Fox” without ever watching it for themselves. Fact: Fox regularly features reps from BOTH sides of an issue and often (always?) lets the liberal have the last word. Do the other news outlets regularly present both sides and give the con the last word? Fact: Fox’s ratings continually blow the competition away. Fact: It’s the only network that isn’t left-biased.

            In America, gun violence has been shown to increase in cities that implement gun control. Gun violence decreases when they repeal it. Disarming us makes us easier targets. I’ll support gun control when someone can guarantee me that criminals won’t have guns either.

          • Gary65

            It is quite true that the Earth has heated up and cooled in cycles in the past. But this has always been as a result of our position relative to the Sun, which fluctuates over time. But that is not the case now. Our position to the Sun shouldn’t be causing this much heat and it shouldn’t be happening this quickly. Fluctuations like this are measured in centuries, not in decades(as is currently the case with the massive rise in the global temperature). 97+% of scientists confirm global warming exists, using veriable, peer-reviewed science. They have no reason to lie. Money from carbon credits goes to companies who sell their credits. It doesn’t go to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. And American investment in renewable energy research, compared to the rest of the world, is so low, it’s shameful(which is all the stanger, considering that mastering renewable energy would create 100,000s of jobs and nullify the US’ reliance on foreign oil reserves).

            The average age of the Fox News viewer is 74. Their information has been consistently proven incorrect by anyone who does the most basic research & they are downright hypocritical at best(best example being the Martin Bashir & Phil Robertson incidents). There is no true liberal on Fox News ever. I’ve seen their “liberals”. Bob Beckel has never said a truly liberal idea in his life. Fox News are villified & mocked because they are a disgrace to journalism. Their coverage of issues such as Heath Ledger’s death & the Trayvon Martin case was vile & disgusting.

            The US has a 10.3 per 100,00 citizens firearm-related death rate. The nearest Western country to that is Switzerland(which has a lot of gun control), with a rating of 3.8. Lots of countries have gun control. And their criminals do have guns. But gun deaths are very uncommon. Where do you think US criminals get the guns? IN GUN STORES. Laws need to be put in place to stop them. No one’s saying you can’t have a gun. They’re just saying that you should be legally required to store it in a proper way so it can’t be stolen or found by children, it shouldn’t have 30 bullets in one magazine, it shouldn’t be a semi-automatic & you shouldn’t be allowed to walk around with it like it’s no big deal. You have no reason to take a gun to the movie theatre or the doctor’s office or anywhere else. Any criminal who attacks you is probably going to shoot you before you even have a chance to draw it(this is of course assuming that every single gun death is the work of criminals, which just isn’t true).

          • Fara Wiles

            I thought switzerland was the country that mandated their citizens be trained in arms, starting as children with air pistols..

          • Gary65

            That would probably explain why they’re second. What keeps their gun-related death rate low is their ammunition laws. The trade and use of gun ammunition is strictly regulated by the government and any ammunition issued is periodically inspected to make sure it is all accounted for. While it may be a more unique approach, ammo regulation is still gun control. It’s hard to shoot and kill people when you don’t have the ammo to do it.

          • JDay

            Man-caused global warming… it would be interesting to know how scientists are arriving at their conclusions. Are they all using the same data and methods? If they are, then of course their conclusions would be the the same, making 97% no more impressive than 1%. I’m not saying that’s what they’re doing, but it’s something to consider. I also wonder what happens to the reputation and career of scientists who come out with evidence disproving a highly publicized consensus. Might they encounter some resistance? How likely is the majority to say, “Oh, wow! Thanks for setting us straight!”? lol I’m just saying. I’d count the cost very carefully before coming out with a counter if my livelihood depended on it. I might not even research it at all and just accept the word of others. But again! It shouldn’t take a threat like mcgw to make us respect the earth. I rescue plastic from the lunchroom garbage and haul it home (on the train!) to recycle (my work building doesn’t do it), bring my own re-usable containers when I get take-out, shut off the water between lathers during showers, etc. My mmgw-believing coworkers, friends, and roommates don’t do things like that.

            Fox. I’m not talking about hosts. I’m talking about guests.
            When addressing a controversial subject, they give time to both the liberal rep and the conservative rep. And judging by the heat generated, well, I wouldn’t risk calling the libs fake to their faces.

            As for demographics, “FOX News Channel (FNC) will end
            2013 as the most-watched cable news channel among both total viewers and Adults 24-54 for the twelfth consecutive year. In total viewers, FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined in both Total Day and in primetime while surpassing all other cable news networks in adults 25-54. Additionally, during each hour, FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers.” tvbythenumbers.zap2it.___/2013/12/26/fox-news-channel-is-most-watched-cable-news-channel-among-viewers-adults-25-54-for-12th-consecutive-year/224973/ (replace the underscore with “com”)

            Here are the actual numbers for recent weeks: tvbythenumbers.zap2it.___/category/cable-news/cable-news-daily-ratings/

            Fox beats ALL the other networks in ALL age categories. And as the younger set ages and takes on more responsibility, many who consider themselves libs now will realize… nope, not going there. I’ll just say that with age often comes wisdom, so Fox will always have an audience.

            Vile and disgusting? I didn’t personally see Fox’s coverage of Ledger and Martin (did you?), so I can’t comment on that. But do you really believe the other networks have ANY room to talk in that area (or that they’re unbiased and don’t engage in selective reporting)? Lol Please, please, please don’t make me list examples. It’s too depressing. If you didn’t notice them, it was probably because you felt they were justified and I’ll be wasting my time if I try to convince you otherwise.

            Guns. Criminals get their guns in stores??? This is the most amusing thing I’ve read so far. If one intends to use a gun illegally, are they going to buy it in a store so it can be tracked to them? Really? Oh how I wish they would! :) We already have laws about storage and carrying of guns in areas that allow them. And no, I don’t see the need for civilians to have automatic weapons with large clips. BUT if criminals can put their hands on them (and I assure you, they can), then civvies should be able to as well. Only news of violence done makes the news. How much violence have they deterred or stopped? If you’re thinking of doing harm to someone (or a group), would you do it to someone (or a group) known or suspected of being armed? Or will you select an unarmed target(s)? Not a hard choice.

            It’s been a pleasure, Gary. You strongly disagreed, but never made it personal. Thanks for keeping it civil in a venue known for being the opposite. In the tradition of Fox News, I’ll let you have the last word. ;D

          • Gary65

            Science is a field predicated on debate & disagreement. If dissenting voices were stifled, no one would get any work done. Sallie Baliunas, for example, doesn’t believe in mmgw(instead arguing that it is a result of natural processes & ozone depletion). She still has her job in the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. She hasn’t been fired. A lot of her colleagues disagree with her but doesn’t mean she isn’t given a voice in the scientific community. If science was built on absolute agreement all the time, it would never advance.

            I don’t have a degree in environmental science so I can’t give you the exact details but I would imagine they would figure out mmgw the same way anything in science is figured out: through observation. You set up a comparison(for example, 1900-1950 & 1951-2000) and begin to examine the differences, factors, correlations & causes for the differing phenomena you observe. The polar ice-caps are melting, the sea has a higher pH, there are more extreme weather events, the sea level is rising, as is the global temperature. What could the causes for this be? Why is it occurring? When did it start? Has it happened before and to what extent? Through this, the vast majority of scientists have concluded that increasing industrialisation & environmental pollution is the main contributing factor to this problem. It doesn’t matter whether I look at the sky through binoculars or through a microscope. The sky is still blue and differing methodologies won’t change that almost universally observed fact.

            Who are these liberal guests you’re seeing? Cos, as far as I can see, they’re uncommon. According O’Reilly Factor’s Wikipedia page, the majority of them are conservatives. If you want an actual, honest debate from both sides, watch Bill Maher’s show. His panel always has at least 1 conservative who is given time to speak(instead of shouting over them when they disagree, like O’Reilly does).

            Fox News’ numbers have been consistently falling over the last decade(to be fair, so have all the cable news channels). Cable News is going the same way Newspapers are going(which is south). The only people who watch Fox News & MSNBC are people who already know what they believe and only want it confirmed by their TV. The entirety of cable news is a joke. They’re all bought & paid through corporate governance. But Fox is the worst of the lot.

            I did see/hear Fox’s coverage of Heath Ledger & Trayvon Martin. That’s how I know it was vile & disgusting. They spent half their time blaming TM for what happened, as if it’s his fault a lunatic walked up and shot him on the way home from the shop. On Fox News Radio, John Gibson openly made fun of Heath Ledger’s death and went unreprimanded. How he could be allowed to keep his job when Fox News has the gaul to freak out over Martin Bashir is beyond me.

            Criminals get their guns in gun stores before they’re actually criminals. The idea that you shouldn’t have to submit to a background check before buying a gun is utter lunacy. Don’t even get me started on the gun show loophole. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you suffer a few weeks waiting period while a background check is carried out. Similarly, concealed carry & proper storage laws are arbitrary & uneffective. Criminals can get their hands on grenades & rocket launchers too, you know. Do you want access to them too?

            In terms of violence deterred or stopped, the answer is not a lot. You only need to look at other countries to see that. If wanton access to guns was a true deterrent to crime, the US would have one of the lowest crime rates in the western world. Instead it has one of the highest(including the highest homicide rate). If you can really look at the state of your gun laws and think there’s nothing wrong with them, then there really is nothing to say.

          • JDay

            Two of my three oldest, dearest friends are staunch democrats. And I’ve been surrounded by liberals at work and home (roommates) for as long as I can remember. Despite the countless conversations we’ve had about various issues, none of us has changed each other’s minds about ANYTHING (that I know of). So while I truly enjoy debate – the passion, and how I always come away a little more informed (about my position and theirs) – it’s also exhausting. If I thought you or I might eventually be persuaded to the other’s point of view, it would be worth it to continue. But experience tells me that’s highly unlikely. Besides, I’m sure we both have access to the same info if we’re inclined to research further.

            I said I’d give you the last word (on the issues we discussed), so I won’t post a rebuttal… as tempting as it is. :) Thank you for a stimulating exchange and all the best to you!

          • Fara Wiles

            “amounts of carbon dioxide and then start cutting down all the forests.”

            There are more acres of forest NOW than there were before logging started. Invalidates your “cold, hard facts”.

            I wasn’t specifically talking about the 2nd Amendment. I meant any weaponry at all. Anything that could be used as a weapon. Have you seen that meme that all notorious serial killers used their bare hands?

            Killing isn’t going to stop just because you limit the weaponry. Just like laws don’t stop people from doing drugs, soliciting a prostitute, or drinking a ginormous Soda in NYC, banning weapons only offers insane murderers other ways to take people out.

            And many people who have committed crimes who were insane, etc. got those guns (not to mention bombs) illegally. So.. what’re we supposed to do? Beat our swords into plowshares and hope for the best?

          • Gary65

            Where are these acres of forests that you seem to think have sprung up recently? It takes the average tree 50 years to reach full maturity. The problem of global warming and climate change was first posited scientifically in 1975. Assuming the world immediately began planting extra trees to compensate for rising CO2 emmissions(which they didn’t), those trees won’t reach maturity and be quantified as curtailing deforestation for another 11 years. This is even assuming that these trees will be able to reach the same capacity as the trees being cut down, which is unlikely given the rate of desertification & environmental pollution that will stagnate and stunt their growth. You’re also working off the assumption that CO2 is the only pollutant causing climate change, methane being on example. It’s a much easier problem to solve than CO2, but it is still contributing to global warming and all the trees in the world won’t stop it.

            No one’s talking about banning all weapons. We’re talking about reducing gun deaths across the board. Gun deaths won’t stop if you limit the guns. But they will be reduced. There’s a big difference between someone chasing you with a gun and someone chasing you with a knife(the main one being that they actually have to catch you and can’t kill you from a distance).

            Nancy Lanza bought all her guns legally. She didn’t secure them in her home and she taught her mentally-ill son to shoot them. Then he stole them and killed her. She shares some of the blame in what happened. James Holmes bought all his guns legally. So did Seung-Hui Cho. In fact, some research shows that up to 75% of guns involved in mass shootings were bought legally. Stop making statements before checking to see if they’re true.

        • leeann

          I love GoT….but I expect bad stuff to happen on that show. I also read the books. Since Sybil died in childbirth (worst/most upsetting episode ever) this show has just gotten more and more graphic and brutal.

          I am jaded to it now but it’s a pity. I don’t mind this sort of thing on other shows, but this used to be an escape of sorts and now it’s not.

  • keshi

    It would have been different (I would not feel so badly about the show itself) if there had been no cover up. If there had been immediate action against Green, the story would then have been about dealing with the aftermath of a horrid situation and how Anna heals. But with the cover up, Mrs. Hughs going along with it, Bates believing she had an accident, that’s the part that is unbelievable, inserted for the sake of drama only, and severely disappointing for the show. I can only hope that action is taken in the next episode.

  • honeyapl

    I just saw the episode and I am heartbroken. I literally wept for Anna – she is my favorite character on the show. As so many other viewers have already commented…her attack was completely unnecessary! I was so excited at Downton’s return. Now, I’m not sure I can stomach the remainder of the season. I see the show in a different light now and quite honestly, I’m furious about it. Here was the one show I could rely on not to be vulgar and violent. Where, with the exception of a few, I really connected with the characters. And now this, to Anna who is a wonderful character. She didn’t deserve that brutal attack and neither did the viewers.

  • JDay

    The scene was brilliant. Hear me out. Yes, it was disturbing. Like many here, I watch to escape and after that ep, I needed an escape from the escape! But I believe Fellowes knows what he’s doing and will make watching this episode worth the anguish. Consider: he could have had it take place inside while everyone else was outside at an event or picnic (or vice versa), so the opera singing was a deliberate choice – not just to provide noise to drown out Anna. This allowed him to contrast two women, vocalizing simultaneously, one singing, one screaming, tragedy and beauty, terror and transcendence, like two sides of a distorted mirror. And did it make a statement? Evil was done while others sat entertained and distracted…

    As for the rapist, Fellowes could have made him a one-time visitor to the Abbey. But by making him Lord Gillingham’s valet, he will return and probably more than once.
    His presence will torture Anna, but at some point it will provide an opportunity for his comeuppance. I can’t see anyone outright murdering him, but he could die if he attacks again and is killed in self-defense. Or he could get caught in another attempt and go to jail for that. Or maybe he’ll be overheard bragging about the attack or threatening Anna again, by someone of influence. One way or another, he WILL NOT get away with it. Don’t get me wrong – nothing Fellowes writes could make me glad for this story line. But he knew this was a risky choice and must have believed it was worth the wrath of so many viewers. Judging by seasons 1-3, I think this is much more than just a shocking twist and I trust him to bring it to a satisfying, even inspiring, conclusion.

  • John

    Correct me if I am wrong but shouldn’t this have been episode 3, not 2. Did America skip an episode. Check IMDB and Wikipedia, the one with Anna’s rape is Ep 3

    • JDay

      You’re probably right, technically (without looking at IMDB). But they aired the first two hours back-to-back here, so it seemed like one episode.

    • Fara Wiles

      JDay is correct. They often do that in the states… I thought they also did it in the UK.. but they usually show Season Premiers and Season Finale’s as a Two-hour Event.

  • Andrea

    If you all who protest Annas rape on a TV show are so concerned about her “character” insomuch to comment or take action here by commenting use your time and energy by dedicating your time towards real rape victims in Real life, this world would be a much better place. I know a lot, many young innocent women who have been raped. Not all violent like Annas rape, but it happens too often. Look at statistics. Parents, love your children, know where they are at all times, and be careful of everyone in their lives. This show is a drama, so dramatic things will happen.

    • Fara Wiles

      Not to mention the Anti-Human Trafficking projects going on around the country and the world. Good points, Andrea. Very good points.

  • Jared

    Well, one more show I won’t watch any more. Same old tired violence against the viewing audience. Hey, this WAS one of the few safe family shows. There really aren’t many of those. Sexual violence is hard to avoid in TV and movies after the year 2k. Downton Abbey was a refreshing change. WAS! Now they’ll carry these plot lines through the whole season. The show is ruined!

    • leeann

      Was the childbirth death part of a nice safe family show?

      • Fara Wiles

        No, but childbirth isn’t evil. It happens. Rape is innately EVIL. The violence and violation comes from a human soul who is willing to destroy the soul of another.

        Death during childbirth is traumatic and devastating — but sense can be made of it. Why, how, “it happens in nature sometimes”.

        But rape? There is no…. excuse.

  • Dmilne

    What horrific writing and truly disgraceful and sickening work! I use to look forward to these episodes but after the last one it was like a crater being blasted in my mind that causes unnecessary grief. What of morals and values in a dying and ultimately desensitized world? We are already well aware of the unfortunate events that happen to some in this world. We find (or did find) relief from all of that in this program for the most part. The course of events that will now follow makes me speculate what evil lurkes ahead. Bring back something of wholesome, uplifting television. It’s easy to follow the crowd. Step up and produce something of true, original beauty. Something that gives us hope and rest in a dying world.

    • Patrick

      reality? From season 1 episode 1 there was death, violence, a miscarriage, tremendous grief, sickness, heartbreak, economic hardships, and every other tribulation that befalls people in the world today.If you’re looking for an “uplifting” show then I suggest that you look elsewhere because Downton Abbey is a drama and is not nor ever was intended to be a “relief”

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