If you haven’t seen S4 E2 then you probably don’t want to read this post. And if you are lucky (or sneaky) enough to have already seen more of S4, then no spoilers please!
After watching the episode, a friend (E) and I were consoling each other about the tragic turn of events. After everything that Anna and John have been through they were finally having a bit of happiness. I knew something bad was coming based on an article in EW that I had read, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad, this soon.
Despite the tragedy, the attack on Anna had E and I discussing the reasons that Bates and Anna are our favorite couple on the show. From the first step into the house and their first slightly fliry exchange, I shipped the two of them more than almost any other TV couple ever (except maybe Castle and Beckett).
- Their utter devotion to each other. Yes, it is sometimes frustrating – like when Bates kept things secret to try to protect Anna. Or now, with Anna trying to hide the truth from Bates. But when Anna glares at Mr. Gillingham and says, “If you must know, yes. He keeps me very happy,” I just wanted to cheer. And Bates was annoyed and seemed harsh during the episode, but he had a reason – he only wanted to protect Anna from anything that felt off to him. He defends her to Lord Grantham in the first episode as well. They love each other and they don’t care who knows.
- They aren’t “pretty people.” I tried to figure out how to word this for about five minutes. I’m not trying to say that either of them is unattractive, but it’s so refreshing to see a regular couple who are attracted to each other because of who they are, not what they look like.
- They aren’t defined by their relationship. They both have jobs, interests, and friends outside of each other. Anna is probably the most loved character both by staff and the family. Pretty much everyone likes her and trusts her. She is helpful and kind and friendly because that is who she is, not because she is trying to impress Bates (or anyone else for that matter). We haven’t seen much of Bates’ outside interests, but mostly that’s because of all of the problems with, you know, prison and such. However, he too is trusted by both staff and family (well, most staff), and honestly, Barrow is so threatened by him because he knows Bates is trusted and liked.
They’ve been through so freaking much and they can still joke and laugh and enjoy each other, as we saw in S4 E1. I’m afraid that the attack on Anna will be a gamechanger. Bates isn’t stupid – he knows something has happened. She can barely let him touch her right now. The intensity and intimacy of this attack can’t help but create a barrier between the two of them, especially as Bates will get frustrated, knowing that Anna is keeping something from him, and Anna will be dealing with the emotional backlash alone. My other great fear is that Anna will discover she is pregnant from the attack and will have to decide how to deal with that.
They’re such a great couple and I really am sad for this turn of events, but also curious to see how things will play out over the rest of the season.