Monday, January 28th

Tragedy at Downton

Before I get into this week’s recap, I just want to remind you that this will contain spoilers. And this episode was MAJOR. So don’t read on if you don’t want to know. And you can find previous recaps here:

The season is about halfway done, so I guess it was time to get punched in the gut. I mean, again. I’m still bummed for Edith. Although if her dad takes his boot off her neck, she may find success and happiness as a columnist. There is life after Oldie after all.

In servant news, it looks like Carson might be making James Jimmy First Footman and asks him to wind the clocks. Jimmy doesn’t have a clue on how to do this so Thomas shows him the ropes and gets up close and personal. It’s practically a gay nightclub up in here.

Downton Abbey James and Thomas

Meanwhile, Daisy still likes Lurch. But Lurch fancies new kitchen maid, Ivy, and Ivy fancies Jimmy. (And Thomas fancies Jimmy.) No one’s looking to date Daisy and she’s being a real pill about it. Mrs. Patmore tries to convince Daisy that her one-sided love is okay. Remember the old days when Mrs. Patmore was crabby and mean to Daisy? It’s nice to see that she’s become friendlier.

Aside from their love triangle, the staff and are all abuzz about the same thing as the family: Sybil has gone into early labor. Robert doesn’t trust their normal physician, Dr. Clarkson, so he calls on Sir Phillip to deliver the baby. Cora and the girls prefer Dr. Clarkson, but Robert is adamant that Sir Phillip is better.

Sir Philip and Dr. Clarkson

Sybil looks pale and is disoriented, which worries Dr. Clarkson. He recognizes signs of eclampsia and urges the family to move her to the hospital. Sir Phillip disagrees and the family panics, unsure of what to do and who to believe. Robert ultimately insists that they follow Phillip’s orders. Sybil eventually gives birth to a baby girl and everyone is relieved.

Sybil and Tom's baby

But things take a turn for the worse and she starts seizing and stops breathing. Surrounded by her family, Lady Sybil dies. Oh, this is horrible. The kindest and gentlest character, everybody’s favorite, is now gone. This is like Beth from Little Women all over again.


The rest of the episode focuses on the extreme grief of the family and staff. Cora sits bedside and says goodbye. (Also, she tells Robert she blames him for Sybil’s death.) Edith and Mary share a final sisterly moment. Dow-Count declares it the worst tragedy she has ever endured. Carson and the staff are equally grief-stricken, most of all Thomas, who openly weeps. I’m sure we have just scratched the surface of the mourning.


Dowager Countess Mourning

It’s hard to care about anything else, but Isobel gave Ethel a job working as her maid. When her old maid, Mrs. Bird, protested that she didn’t want to be associated with a former prostitute, Isobel gave her the boot. Have to hand it to the old busybody, she’s got a heart of gold. Well done, Izzy.

Also, Anna seems to have found the proof she needs to prove Bates’ innocence. But she needs to get someone to agree to testify on his behalf. And his cellmate is not going to let him walk out of there easily.

So that’s where we are. What are your thoughts?

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