In the annals of Downton Abbey disastrous dinner parties, this one was a fright to remember.
Carson: “Do other butlers have to contend with the police arriving every 10 minutes?”
There is usually at least one disastrous dinner party every season of Downton, whether it be the result of an accidentally liberal guest, an accidentally emotional family member, an accidentally rude snob, or in probably one of the most memorable moments, a man who is determined to serve something foul in the tureen. But though most of the spoiled dinner parties have been more on the passive side of aggressive, this one took Fellowes love for the reality of medicine and health 100 years ago, stopped off at the Monty Python store of effects and arrived at the dinner table just in time for his lordship to spray the entire household with it out of his mouth, like Carson had just convinced him to have a wafer thin after dinner mint. Ladies and Gentlemen, there will be blood.
I suppose that was one way to convince the Dowager to stop fighting the whole modernization of the hospital once and for all, but for the PBS crowd, I believe it was a tad much. We tune in to see the fine china glistening white, not red. If we wanted to see the landed gentry’s finery be sprayed with blood from his lordship’s own mouth, we would have gone to a Tarantino production. I will say though, after a couple of episode where nothing much happened other than lining our characters up for happy endings, that was a bit of a left turn.