Downton Abbey, The Isis View, Series Season 3, What Will Happen Next?
Dowton Abbey, It's a Dog's Life and the Revenge of Isis
17 Oct 2012 - Downton Abbey, in case you have never turned on a television, is an award winning British TV Drama written by Julian Fellowes.
This is where you can discover something of what will happen next in Season 3 of Dowton Abbey currently being screened in the UK.
Downton boasts an all star cast that includes Dame Maggie Smith, with Shirley MacLaine thrown in to the mix as Martha Levinson, Cora’s Mother, for the early part of season 3.
However, you may not be aware that the cast also includes a dog called Ellie who plays Lord Grantham’s dog Isis.
Downton has been sold to over 100 countries and has won a sack load of awards including British BAFTAs and US Emmys and Golden Globes.
Here is a flavour of a little of what will happen in season 3 through the keen eyes of Isis, Lord Grantham’s Labrador.
In practice the poor dog hardly appears on camera in season 3 so far and when she does she is almost immobile at Lord Grantham's side. So let's find out what is going on when the cameras aren't rolling.
Warning: Spoilers will follow:
Edith in the Woods
The early morning sun shines brightly on the damp grass. The beginning of a perfect Summer’s day at Downton. Isis dashes expectantly through the formal gardens towards the woods.
The air is saturated with doggie-sweet scents and smells. There is, on days like these, a canine magic that pervades all of nature. Hence Isis is consumed with doggy joy.
Suddenly, the labrador spies Thomas approaching. Isis does not warm to Thomas. She remembers past gratuitous kicks from Thomas’s boot and the acrid aroma of tobacco smoke that Thomas wears like a cloak.
She also recalls that the valet once locked her in a dark, dank shed for several hours for no reason at all (season 2).
Isis veers rapidly away from Thomas and accelerates towards the walled garden. Once out of sight of the valet, she sprints past the glasshouses and into the safety of the wood.
However the morning is far too good for a bitch like Isis to worry about the likes of Thomas. The dog rushes into the wood randomly pursuing the scent of squirrels, foxes and badgers. After ten minutes or so of joyful running the dog slows, searching for the stream and liquid refreshment.
She sniffs the air and thinks of Edith. Isis likes Edith. In fact Isis adores all three of Lord Grantham’s daughters. Although she hasn't seen Sybil for some time (plot clue). But she has never smelt Edith in the wood before. Lady Edith is normally only found in the Abbey or its immediate grounds.
The dog forgets the stream and goes in search of Edith. For Isis, locating women easy. They have an overpowering, unnatural scent.
Isis Knows About Us!
Isis finds Edith is not alone. She reclines on a blanket beneath a large oak tree and with her is Janet Egge. To Isis this is not unusual. The fact that Janet is Edith’s maid means nothing to the dog.
Isis doesn’t understand about 'upstairs' and 'downstairs' and the English class system although she notes with doggie logic that Edith and Janet seem more intimate and at ease with one another than is usual at the house and have discarded some of their clothing.
Isis approaches with caution. Unfortunately, the sight of the family dog causes Edith to scream briefly. Janet’s firm hand quickly stifles the cry.
“Someone must be with her!” hissed Edith fastening up her blouse, defensively.
“Not necessarily, said Janet, “I’ve often seen Isis out walking on her own before”. Janet coolly retrieves her skirt from a nearby branch while Edith locates her discarded bloomers.
Isis sits down politely and the two women eventually persuade themselves that neither Thomas nor Lord Grantham are in attendance.
“You worry too much,” said Janet, grinning.
“I can’t help but worry now Isis knows about us.”
“Yes but Isis will hardly tell your father will she?” Janet pats the dog reassuringly.
Isis licks her hand and wanders away to find the stream.
As she drinks deeply Isis reflects on how much happier Edith seems since Janet's arrival at Downton. Edith’s evident joy makes Isis happy too.
The dog feels sleepy now and makes her way slowly back to the house for a doggie nap.
"This house is full of dark secrets but one day soon cupboard doors will fly open and everything will come tumbling out into the light. Then who knows what will become of us all?”
Violet in Morning Room
Isis wakes sometime later and finds that she is no longer alone in the morning room. The Right Hon. The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Lady Violet for short, sits in a nearby armchair.
Violet tries to read a magazine but seems restless and preoccupied. Isis regards her with a half open eye.
Isis likes Violet and so shuffles along the floor and lies politely at her feet. At last Violet absently bends forward, scratching between her ears.
“I’m frantic with worry,” she confided to the retriever. “Poor Robert. His daughters are just the tip of an iceberg of scandal big enough to sink the Titanic ten times over and wipe out in an instant the family’s reputation built over 300 years."
"On top of all that we have Martha Levinson and the Americans to contend with. What next?”
Isis ponders how strange it is that everyone in the house shares their secrets with her when Isis hasn't a clue what they are talking about.
“I wonder how long before Robert finds out about Edith? What with Sybil dead and Mary snatched from the altar by Matthew after her wedding. The Edith affair could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
Lady Violet pauses to scratch Isis once more then adds ominously,
“This house is full of dark secrets but one day soon cupboard doors will fly open and everything will come tumbling out into the light. Then who knows what will become of us all?”
Isis has no idea at all but suddenly thinks of Mrs Patmore and the kitchen. She rises politely and ambles from the room leaving Violet alone brooding on her dark thoughts.
As usual, Mrs Patmore, the cook, shoos Isis from the kitchen on grounds of hygiene but then rewards her for her visit with a tasty bone. Isis likes Mrs Patmore very much. Her only regret is not being allowed into the kitchen.
Downton Dog Quiz
Mary in the Secret Garden
Isis takes her bone outside where she encounters Lady Mary, Lord Grantham’s eldest daughter sitting pensively on a shady bench in the ‘Secret Garden’.
Isis settles at her feet. Mary loves this garden. It is secluded and a great place to think.
“What have I done?” She asks Isis. "Why do I always act out of passion and throw reason to the winds?"
"First the shameful Kemal Pamuk incident (what was I thinking of?) and then abandoning my husband Richard at the altar. Perhaps I should have ignored dear Matthew and true love and stuck with Carlisle?"
"So why couldn't Matthew have got to the church a bit earlier, before I said 'I do'? It is so awful. Once Richard has published everything in his grubby papers, the family will be ruined and Matthew and I will have to flee the country and who knows when Matthew and I will be able to marry?”
Isis is disappointed in Mary. Isis is happy and she wants to hear lighthearted conversation and be scratched behind the ears or tickled on the tummy. Melancholy chat from Downton’s residents threatens to spoil a beautiful summer’s day.
Suddenly she hears her master’s voice calling in the distance. She dashes like lightening to her master’s side. Lord Grantham quickly clips on her lead. Isis’s doggie heart leaps for joy. The Labrador’s ultimate favourite activity is a walk with her beloved master.
“Sorry old girl but I don’t have time to take you today but don’t fret because Thomas is on stand by.”
Gloom descends on the poor dog like a rain cloud. She hates walking with Thomas. How she misses the kindly John Bates (Lord Grantham’s original valet now in prison falsely accused of murdering his wife).
Isis is handed over and Thomas moans to Isis as he walks about how unfair his life is. From time to time he tugs cruelly on the lead, half choking the dog.
The Revenge of Isis
Finally Isis can take no more. She makes her head small and skilfully slips the lead and sprints around the house and heads for the woods.
Thomas’s curses rapidly fade as the Labrador accelerates at high speed through the trees.
Isis wanders deep into the wood and at last finds a disused shed. The door hangs open and the dog slips inside.
She waits patiently for several hours and then begins to scrape and scratch up and down on the inside of the wooden door until her claws and paws are red with her own blood. She then goes outside, rolls in some brambles and then drags herself wearily home.
Once back at Downton, Isis is soon the centre of attention and the groom carefully treats her damaged feet while her anxious master looks on. When Thomas finally appears Isis howls and whimpers with apparent fear.
Later, as the dog empties her supper bowl, she hears Lord Grantham shouting at Thomas and the next day it is Lord Grantham who takes her for the afternoon walk.
Isis cunningly leads her master to the shed and sniffs helpfully at the pool of her own congealed blood.
“My God,” exclaimed Lord Grantham. “You must have been locked in that damn shed again. No wonder you were afraid of Thomas. He must have locked you in!”
Unfortunately Isis can do nothing to correct this dreadful misunderstanding.
Happy Endings, Joy Plus John and Anna Bates
Some months later Isis’s joy is completed when Bates unexpectedly returns to Downton. His appeal was successful and he has been released from prison.
Bates takes up his role once more as Lord Grantham’s valet and resumes his duties as Isis’s walking companion.
On their first walk together, John Bates and Isis sit together on a grassy bank and Bates cuddles the dog affectionately.
“Its so good to be back. I've missed you Isis. By the way, I hope you don’t mind but I’m meeting someone here. We've had so little time together since our wedding.”
A little later Anna the house maid slips into view with a twinkle in her eye. She stokes Isis affectionately but it is obvious she really only has eyes for her husband.
Soon she and John are deep in one another’s arms, entwined so closely that Isis can no longer tell where Anna ends and John begins.
Isis respectfully retreats some distance away and soon falls asleep on her back with her paws in the air under a rowan tree leaving the couple on the grassy bank to do what lovers do best.
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