Welcome to this week’s “The Crimson Field” Question from the Front! Before reading and participating in the poll, do note that there are many spoilers ahead.
As much as tending to fallen soldiers is a lot for any volunteer nurse to deal with, sometimes such a task isn’t the most pressing item on a person’s mind. For Kitty (Oona Chaplin), her life away from the front has been a challenge for her to keep in the back of her brain. Unfortunately, this has led to sleep loss and arguably more stress.
In an attempt to rectify her struggles back home, Kitty pens a deeply personal note with the hopes that her message in it will bring back some form of resolution. What Kitty didn’t bet on, however, was Matron Grace (Hermione Norris) perusing her personal mail. During a meeting to discuss Kitty’s probation, Matron Grace opts to inform her strong-minded nurse of the access she has to letters – and to lend her opinion.
Matron Grace: “Ms. Trevelyan, you are aware that I have to read all outgoing women’s post.”
Kitty: “I thought it was random.”
Matron Grace: “All letters…and I have to read each one thoroughly.”
Kitty: “I see, um, in training we were taught that it was exclusively for censorship purposes and there would be most discretion and no need to discuss.”
Matron Grace: “But, I do think there is a need. All confidences are kept, but am I to understand there’s a child? Such forcible separation must be very difficult. It certainly explains why you don’t sleep.”
Kitty: “I’d really rather not talk.”
Matron Grace: “No woman is a blank sheet of paper. We all have histories. I’m not about to start clawing yours apart. It’s the here and now that concerns me. In your letters, you ask for forgiveness.”
Kitty: “Call a spade, a spade: I don’t ask, I beg.”
Matron Grace: “What are you going to do if forgiveness doesn’t come?”
Kitty: “It has to…[but] I don’t know.”
While the conversation between Kitty and Matron Grace was tense and emotional, there are other matters at hand to focus on, including an influx of wounded soldiers and ensuring that a terribly injured Major and his wife are capable of living on together despite the damage the war has done to them.
Kitty, of course, continues to perform duties to the best of her ability, but can’t help but focus on the arrival of new letters. Even though she seems to feel optimistic about what will be written back to her, she winds up being crushed upon eventually opening the envelope addressed to her.
At the bottom of the letter, “You are dead to me” is clearly written. Soon enough, it’s revealed that this note came from Kitty’s mother and that said mother will never let Kitty see her child again. Thus far, it remains unclear as to how this family drama reached such an epic level.
Kitty may not be emotionally out of the woods, but she takes a walk to the beach determined to let go of what’s haunting her back home. She tears up the letter, lets the wind take it, before removing her nursing outfit and jumping into the water. Kitty is cleansing herself; ready for a fresh start.
Even if that’s the case, do you think Kitty will continually be able to remain strong on the front and put the past behind her?
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Encore episodes of “Downton Abbey” air at 10pm ET/7pm PT, immediately following the conclusion of “The Crimson Field.”
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