Downton Deathwatch

Isis, in Happier Times

Isis, far left, in Happier Days

In which we keep a close eye on Isis, the dog from Downton Abbey, to find out whether the producers will send her to Doggie Heaven, just because her name has recently acquired some admittedly horrific connotations.   The producers have said that there’s no connection.

Nobody ever believes producers.

A lengthy Spoiler from last night’s show follows:

This is a little strange.  Many media outlets are claiming that Isis died in last night’s episode.  I’m not so sure.

We learned earlier last night that Isis had cancer, and was not, as Lady Cora had speculated, merely suffering the results of eating a dead squirrel.  In the final scene in this episode, Lord Grantham tells Lady Cora that Isis probably won’t last the night, and that he’s going to sleep in the same room as the dog, so that it won’t die alone.  Instead, Cora invites Robert back into her bed, with the dying Isis cuddled between them.

I have some problems with this.  First, it’s Robert who says the dog is dying.  In the entire run of Downton Abbey, has Lord Grantham ever been right about anything?   From his near-criminal financial ineptitude to his constant misreading of the character of his friends, guests, and employees, he always gets it wrong.

Then there’s the whole let’s-go-to-bed-with-a-sick-pet ickiness.  I can imagine Cora waking the next morning and calling her maid:  “Anna, there seems to be a large, dead dog in my bed.  Could you dispose of it before bringing me my tea?”  We won’t discuss the whole “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas” issue.

But most important, there was no actual death scene.  We don’t see Isis kick the bucket, which might mean that we’ll either see a miraculous recovery, or that Downton Abbey is saving the death for inclusion in the cheery Christmas special, as they did with Matthew’s death two series back.

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