The Dowager’s impeccable timing made much of last season bearable. Truly, it was her flawless one-liners that saved us. When curled in the fetal position in front of our televisions surrounded by tissues sopping wet from the tears we shed upon the deaths of Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay) and Cousin Matthew (Dan Stevens), it was the Dowager’s sass that reminded us why we fell in love with Downton all those plot twists ago.
True, the 78-year-old Dame Maggie has no shortage of awards commemorating her illustrious career. She’s been nominated six times for an Emmy and won three of the little winged globe-carriers, two of which were for her role on Downton. All the same, a woman who has given the world the likes of “That is the thing about nature: there is so much of it” and “What is a weekend?” deserves all the awards.
To Maggie’s fellow Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nominees, we just have a few words of comfort: Anna Gunn, you kick ass as the wife of Walter “I Am The Danger” White. Christina Hendricks, no one could play Joan like you. Christine Baranski, your transformation from Christmas Who to ballbusting lawyer — inspirational. Morena Baccarin, we’ve loved you since Firefly. And Emilia Clarke, you’re the freakin' Mother of Dragons. But ladies, we’re sorry. No one beats a countess.