I had heard the briefest of speculation that Matthew might be bumped off during the special, especially after the TV spot from Norway showed an apparent car accident, but I didn't believe it. It's too much, too close to Sybil's death, thought I.
Then 5 minutes in, the family's getting on that train for Scotland, the door shuts behind Matthew and Mary, and Matthew's mother keeps pace with the train for a few steps while it steams away from the platform. The camera lingers, lingers, LINGERS, LINGERS on the fond looks between him and his mother so pointedly that all I could think was, "She's never going to see him alive again, how can you do this to us????"
Still I watched. What a nightmare. I'm upset about all the time they got us to invest in that relationship, somehow it felt like the cornerstone of the show.
Still, I will watch Season 4, because I hope they will make something good of Mary's storyline, and Branson's story is becoming ever more compelling. In another year I will have gotten used to the idea of no more Matthew, I guess. I just hope the cast is able to remain fairly stable for a while now. No deaths in season 4! Please! May all the cast members be willing to continue their contracts for a while -- this is just too hard!