Downton Abbey: Shocking rape scene for Anna sends fans into frenzy

Rumours of a potential 'plot twist' had been circulating this week after ITV decided not to send out advance previews of 'Downton Abbey ' to the press. The only times this has happened before is when there has been a death on the show or a major storyline.

As fans debated whether or not yet another of our favourite characters would be killed off, so early on in the series, the warning ahead of Sunday night's episode advising view discretion only added to the atmosphere. If I'm honest, I thought there was some kind of accident or a major fight scene coming, I mean, this is 'Downton Abbey' after all, not some kind of horror movie. How bad could it be? Pretty bad, as it turns out…

The episode opened with Lord Gillingham, an old friend of the family and his valet Mr Green (Eastenders Nigel Harman) descend upon Downton Abbey like a whirlwind as everyone rushes around them. Green is initially flirty and forward with Anna, who brushes it off as banter and continues about her work. Bates doesn't trust him from the very start though.

Branson feels out of place as usual as he struggles to keep up with the etiquette of the Downton world, constantly prompted by everyone around him. Edna Braithwaite also catches him off guard and tells him that she hopes that they can still be friends. Poor Tom, he looks as though he really is doing his best to please everyone!

Lady Mary gets up close and personal with Lord Gillingham as she arranges a horse riding session. No-one else wants to come with her when asked though, so it looks as though it will be a nice cosy date between her and Lord Gillingham. Is she ready for this, so soon after Matthew's passing?

There is obviously a lot that happens in-between, but the most shocking and unexpected part of the show comes when Mr Green, who has been seemingly harmlessly flirting with Anna until now, gets extremely nasty and subsequently brutally rapes her.

The scene was shocking, realistic and switched from the point of view of the people upstairs listening to a performance, to the screams of poor Anna as she desperately tried to fight off Mr Green, to no avail. Although we didn't actually see anything too brutal on screen it's what we heard and Anna's devastating reaction to things afterwards that made the whole thing so shocking I think. Credit must go to Joanne Froggatt for her startlingly realistic portrayal throughout.

What were your thoughts on this episode? Was it all too much for Sunday night TV as some fans are saying?

Rebecca Bowden is a self-confessed film, TV and celebrity gossip addict with a love of all things 'Downton Abbey' in particular! She's based in Somerset UK where she lives with her husband, their 10 year old daughter and a slightly hyperactive Jack Russell You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter here:Bex_Bowden

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