Spoiler and advisory warning: this articles goes into the gory details of what happened in yesterday's episode. Do not read if you have not seen it and/or if the prospect of vomiting blood freaks you out.
The latest installment of Downton Abbey left viewers in a numbed state of shock last night, when central character Lord Grantham vomited blood across the table at one of the family's dinner parties. His poor beloved Cora, sitting opposite, was unfortunately in the line of fire when it happened, but she faithfully rushed to her husband's side as he collapsed onto the floor.
The previous four episodes of the series had been hinting quite strongly that something was brewing regarding the Lord of the abbey's health, and this came to a riveting climax in last night's showing. The bloody display was caused by a burst stomach ulcer, according to the local GP, Doctor Clarkson, who was thankfully also amongst the guests present.
The trauma of episode 5 has been met with a mixed, albeit strong, reaction from the dedicated Downton Abbey community. On one end of the pole, viewers likened the scene to something out of Alien, suggesting that this latest stunt was quite unusual for the general vibe of the show.
At the other end, fans were a lot more sympathetic and appeared fully invested in the health and welfare of Lord Grantham.
Others were just plain horrified.
With one of the main storylines focused on the fate of the local hospital (the deciders of which were all in attendance at the dinner), we can't help but think Robert's untimely actions will have a force on driving the plot forward. Fans of the show seem to agree.
Although viewers were left to ponder over Lord Grantham's fate, the teaser for episode 6 featured a recovering Robert in a hospital bed, awake and conscious.