Much as our own modern, polite society has been forced to deal with the intrusion of ISIS with grim determination and a stiff upper lip, so too must the family of Downton Abbey deal with its own Isis threat—specifically, that viewers may confuse the terrorist group, ISIS, with its beloved dog, Isis.
As reported by The Independent, the show, currently airing its fifth season in the U.K., began hinting that the Labrador’s days may be numbered in a recent episode, where [spoiler alert regarding an occasionally glimpsed dog] Lord and Lady Grantham note that Isis is looking “terribly listless” and not at all interested in normal dog things, such as sniffing out scandalous disregard for propriety or sending telegrams. And, as every seemingly innocuous conversation on Downton Abbey must immediately be read as a looming portent of disaster, it stands to reason that Isis may soon die, for reasons besides wanting to get away from Lady Edith.
Killing off Isis would take care of the awkward PR situation Downton Abbey has suffered, ever since viewers noticed the dog shares a name with the terror group responsible for several beheadings (when any beheadings she’s responsible for have mostly been squirrels). And yet an ITV spokesperson insists it’s all just an “unfortunate coincidence,” reminding viewers that Isis was named for the Egyptian goddess—just an idol of pagan worship and protector of the dead, and not anything unnerving.
ITV also refused to confirm that, like Archer before it, the show is looking to eradicate Isis, in much the same way that the world is looking to eradicate ISIS. Still, in the dog’s case, she was already an adult when she was first introduced in 1912 and is still hanging around the estate in 1924, so—unfortunate associations or no—we can all agree it is high time she be married off, then die tragically, preferably around Christmas.
No word on whether the death of Isis would mean Downton Abbey will have to reconfigure its credits around someone else’s anus.