I thought the last spoiler we heard from the fourth season of Downton Abbey was shocking. I mean ... well, I don't want to spill here in case you avoided reading it because you don't want to know. But let's just say, I'm surprised that Julian Fellows is pushing the limits yet again. The latest Downton Abbey bombshell of a spoiler is at least happier ... or at any rate, less heartrending and damaging. It's about Lady Edith, and I'm both thrilled for her and a little scandalized on behalf of the Crawleys. This behavior does not become an Earl's daughter! Is this PBS or Bravo? It's getting hard to tell.
SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT! Reader beware.
With no further ado I'll just tell you: Edith sleeps with her married lover and gets pregnant. Knocked up -- Lady Edith! Well I never. Whatever will she do now?
So here's the plot as I understand it. Edith is still in love with Michael Gregson. Against her aunt Lady Rosamund's advice, she spends the night with Michael in London. (Is it me, or does something terrible happen whenever an unmarried Crawley woman lies in bed with a man ...?? Oh I'm joking. No one dies this time.) Edith returns to Downton and Michael travels to Germany to make another attempt at shaking off that pesky wife of his. Time goes by, and Edith becomes nervous when she doesn't hear from Michael.
And then she discovers she's been knocked up and really starts to panic. This is the 1920s, and she risks being shunned by society and losing her title. (I guess that was a possible outcome in those days.) That the father is a married man just makes it exponentially worse. "Even going to dinner with a married man is quite shocking," says actress Laura Carmichael.
Then again, I've always gotten the impression that the aristocracy could get away with more indiscretions than the middle class could. Maybe that's always been more of a European thing than an English licence (huge cultural differences). You know, there's all that financial security, for starters. Remember when that maid became pregnant by one of the Crawleys' guests a couple seasons ago? She resorted to prostitution, among other things. I expect Edith's storyline to be significantly less tragic.
Anyway, scandal aside, can we get a WHUPWHUP for Lady Edith getting laid? Oh yeah! It's just what she needed. I hope Michael knows how to get his lady exactly what she needs. And I hope it was worth whatever hell she'll go through if she has that love child.
By the way -- about my headline? I mean, that's just the way it is. But the real shame on the Crawleys should be the rape of Anna. That's a million times worse.
Do you think there were -- and are -- different moral standards for people from different social classes?
Image via ITV