(Note: this post originally ran back when the episode premiered in the UK in October.)
MAJOR DOWNTON ABBEY SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Although Downton Abbey does not premiere on PBS in the U.S. until January, the sixth and final season has been quietly chugging along in the UK. Or it had been quiet until Sunday night’s fifth episode, which Mashable is describing as Downton Abbey‘s “Red Wedding” episode. If you really want to spoiler yourself, Wikipedia has detailed plot descriptions of the season so far. However, the gory scene in question involves a plot point which had apparently been introduced in season five’s Christmas special, when Lord Crawley learned he had a stomach ulcer and is forced to stop drinking. (I say “apparently” because I threw in the towel after season four. So, we’re all learning things today!)
ITV warned viewers going in that the episode would contain “shocking scenes,” and did not disappoint. During a Crawley family dinner affair, Robert’s ulcer exploded right out of his damn stomach, transforming the dinner party into something straight out of a horror film:
Alas, Lord Crawley does survive basically exploding… for now, after he is rushed to the hospital where he undergoes an operation. However, being that it seems as though the series is grooming Mary to run the estate, I’d be surprised if he makes it to the end.
At any rate, those on Twitter in the UK reacted with predictable enthusiasm, many comparing the moment to that scene in Game of Thrones: