Before Series 3 started I jokingly said I wouldn’t call Bates “John” until Anna did, so sure I was that she would in the very next episode. She didn’t, but he was in prison and that made sense I guess. So I made a big fuss about how it would happen in 3.7 when he was released (I even created an elaborate graphic to celebrate) but no… 3.8… 3.9? It didn’t happen. It didn’t happen in series 4 or series 5. So he’s still Bates to me for now.
Fellowes knew it was significant when he had Bates ask Anna to call him john in episode 2.1. He still knows it’s significant as we hear it will also be a topic for Carson and Hughes. My fear is that they will get that moment and we never will (or before we ever do). Is it some inside joke now?! I adore the teasing or loving “Mr. Bates” from Anna but I need that John! I’m afraid if I hear Charles first it’s going to bring out the worst in me.