'Downton Abbey': Did Sir Richard kill Vera Bates?

bates-vera-downton-abbey.jpgPBS Masterpiece has been conducting an on-going series of chats with stars of "Downton Abbey" (you can read about Hugh Bonneville here, Laura Carmichael here and Allen Leech here). Monday (Feb. 20) as a post-game analysis of the Season 2 finale, PBS welcomed Brendan Coyle, who plays valet Mr. Bates.

We've posted some of his Q&A in a separate piece, but one thing we just had to discuss right away. Someone asked during the chat if Bates really killed Vera and Coyle responds, "The jury thought so ..."

Then PBS put up a poll, asking "Who do you think killed Vera Bates?" Almost 70% of chat participants said "Sir Richard." And then Coyle typed "You lot are brilliant..."  But it wasn't in response to a question from a chat participant.

It was never addressed in the chat - it moved on to more questions about Bates. But it certainly has our gears turning. We actually had never even considered that it was Sir Richard. Does that even make sense?

At that point in the season, what would his motive be? Just to cause trouble for the Crawleys because of his jealousy over Matthew and Mary? It's not as if Vera died after Mary dumped Sir Richard.

And we are certainly, in no way, saying that Brendon Coyle has confirmed that this is the case at all. It might have been a coincidence of him complimenting the chat participants. But it was an interesting moment and it set our spidey sense a-tingling. Oooh, it's fun to speculate.

What do you think, "Downtonites"? Below is a screengrab of the moment in the chat, so you can see for yourself.

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Photo/Video credit: PBS