Should we blame a script oversight or shoddy editing for our collective emotional blue balls? It's a question Downton Abbey fans are asking themselves after being left at the alter midway through the season three premiere.
After two years of following Mary and Cousin Matthew's dramatic push and pull, we expect a payoff. We want the estate's equivalent of a royal wedding.
Instead, they met at the isle, exchanged a tiny joke and the scene went to black.
We got screwed.
There weren't even vows exchanged on camera -- restrained British wedding vows are public broadcasting's equivalent of a money shot. They were meant to be our climax, our arch that converts their relationship from courtship into handfasting. But just wait, we'll watch every painful detail of Edith's wedding -- a poor man's plot substitute.
Since Downton Abbey's writers are dedicated Mixmaster readers, here is my short list suggested ways they can apologize for last night's massive error.
-- Dame Maggie Smith comedic B-roll after each episode
-- Hire a private eye to give Anna a hand, she looks sleepy
-- Edith's old man husband dies under her on the honeymoon. She and Mary finally share conversational common ground and the Abbey is saved, cause that old dude's rich.
-- Call The Midwife character crossover episode for Sybil's labor, done in the vein of Facts of Life meets Diff'rent Strokes.
-- Sybil tells her husband that he's being a bit of an asshole, when he's being a bit of an asshole.
-- All mouth kissing done between Edith and her betrothed is done off stage. It's gross, and he always looks like he's about to sneeze.
-- Bates uses his time in prison to write a comedic one-man play. After he's released, he secretly performs it two villages over at an open mic night.