I just want you to know that I am still really, really upset about #RIPSybil… like so mad, I may abruptly stop this recap. I’m that mad.
Okay. I’m back. After reliving the misery of Sybil’s death in the “Previously on Downton Abbey” spot, I immediately relegate myself to the ever present possibility of a dream sequence. You know, the fake-out episode or scene where it turns out one of the characters just imagined everything?!?!? Well, needless to say that didn’t happen because this episode opened with all of the funeral attendees driving away in their horse drawn carriages and or black early 20th century versions of a limo.
The general theme of this episode is “throw rocks at Robert” and I’ll be honest, he kind of deserves it. He’s not really my favorite character and he’s a cheating, man-whore (yeah, you all might have forgotten, but I didn’t) and he listens to pompous jerks who tout themselves as medical professionals. Although, Dr. Clarkson does carry himself like a bumbling idiot 87% of the time. Anywho, Cora gives her husband the cold shoulder, throwing all the blame at his feet for the death of her youngest daughter. She shoos him off to the proverbial doghouse. Matthew accuses Robert of estate mismanagement. All the ladies undermine his authority by attending a luncheon catered by a former prostitute. And I even sense a little distance from his beloved pooch, Isis. Alas, it all works out in the end as he manages to shed a few man-tears as his guilt is assuaged by Dr. Clarkson’s white lie– Sybil would have died from her condition with or without the Cesarean.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Thomas Barrow is showing some emotion!!! And I’m like ‘what? who is this person?’ Sybil has that effect on people, I guess. Mr. Barrow expresses his sorrow by reaching out to the new footman, James for support via inappropriate caresses and groping. Of course, James feels violated and confides in O’Brien. Back to her nasty tricks, she flips the story 180 degrees telling Mr. Barrow that James returns his affections. What’s her aim? Getting James to quit? Embarrassing Mr. Barrow? Honestly, I think her collar has gotten a little too much starch and is slowly choking the sense out of her.
Across the way, Mrs. Crawley decides to host a luncheon as a show of solidarity and support for Cora. Against her better judgement, she allows Ethel (the former prostitute) to prepare a light meal. Ethel finds her inner over-achiever and enlists the reluctant assistance of Mrs. Pattmore. The Whore Luncheon is a rousing success but Lord Grantham crashes (Mr. Carson’s loyalty to propriety dictated that he tattle), demanding the ladies of the house to leave such lowly company. They refused. Good for them! They must have known that red-headed prostitutes deserve our support. Here’s to you Pretty Woman.
All the while, Dowager Duchess Grantham is dropping sarcasm bombs like crazy! She suggests Cora take a retreat to see “that woman” (Shirley McClain as Cora’s mother). She invites herself to Mrs. Crawley’s Whore Luncheon. She claims “lie is so unmusical a word.” It is my ultimate goal to be a crotchety, snide, wealthy, titled lady like her when I get old. Also, I’m pretty sure she does magic on the side…
Mrs. Pattmore calls Daisy, Ivy, Alfred and James out, declaring that ‘you’re all in love with the wrong people!” There goes cook, telling it like it is. I swear she could host a cooking talk show as a blend of Ricki Lake and Paula Dean…and I would watch it everyday. Daisy loves Alfred, who loves Ivy, who loves James, who is probably in love with an older woman somewhere. He does upstage Alfred in the dancing department (fox trot) and I realize I wouldn’t mind if Daisy transferred her affections to him. Meanwhile, in the strangest fairy godfather situation ever, Mr. Mason asks Daisy to own his farm. In another series of lines comprised solely of vowels and the occasional consonant Daisy explains how “Ah dohn disurv ih. Ah dihen eyen lohv eem.” (translation: I don’t deserve it. I didn’t even love him.)
And now the good part!! In the regular session of the Breakfast Club, Lord Grantham, Matthew and Edith (newly joined by Branson) discuss what the baby will be called. Branson decides Sybil (against Lord G’s wishes) “I want to remember her mother when I look at her.” (insert ugly cry and plea for Sybil to return from the dead) and then Branson drops the bomb “Sybil will be Catholic like her father.”- so Lord G throws a dignified tantrum.
Later, Matthew and Branson walk the fields during their Bro time as they rant about the archaic ideas of their father in-law. I just love to look at them…. Maybe Branson can stay on and manage the farming portion of the estate… and again, Sybil can return from the dead!!
During dinner, we again broach the topic of Catholicism vs. Church of England. Lord G and Mr. Travis definitely lose the debate. Trump card: Mary reveals Sybil’s wishes for the baby. Branson’s face lights up for the first time since I don’t know when and the world almost seems right again…. if only Sybil would return from the dead! (do I sound like a broken record yet?)
Later, Matthew and Mary (M&M) have some pillow talk time and have cute couple conversation as they promise to love each other forever. I sincerely hope this is not ominous foreshadowing people… similar to the calm before the storm.
Speaking of foreshadowing… even though Branson insists on raising baby Sybil, I get the impression M&M may adopt the wee lass. Look at how happy they are! And look at Branson’s face. He knows he can’t raise the baby on his own. And let’s be real, it would be so terribly painful. Ugh. I ache. Whoever’s brilliant idea it was to kill her off should be waterboarded indefinitely. Too much? I think not.
What will happen at baby Sybil’s christening? Which of the “downstairs” couples will find love? What happens to Mr. Barrow now that Bates is back?