After last week’s sob fest, we were reluctant to tune into this week’s Downton Abbey. But watch we must, even if this week the show went up against the biggest sporting event of the year. We’re pretty sure the Dowager Countess would say, “What is a Super Bowl?” Let’s dig in.
The house is still dealing with the death of Saint Sybil, who has gone to heaven to be with her family members that were on the Titanic, William and Lavinia. We’re sure she’s happy and wearing pants in that big Abbey in the sky. We get a look at the house post-funeral, where the Crawley family, still devastated, is coping with the loss.
Cora has put the freeze on Lord Grantham, who she blames for Sybil’s death. Side note: Elizabeth McGovern is KILLING it in these episodes as the grieving mother and should win all of the Emmy awards.
Branson is adjusting to his roles as father and widower. He has never quite fit in with the Crawley clan, and without Sybil to defend him and his lack of social standing, he is more alone than ever. Rather than trying to adjust, Branson starts to plan his escape into a new life with his daughter in Liverpool. Branson announces he wants to name the baby Sybil, which is fitting, but Lord Grantham reminds him that he can’t replace the old one just by giving the new baby the same name.
Sybil 2.0 is going to be baptized a Catholic which is a slap in the face to Lord Grantham, who hates nothing more than the Irish Catholics. His behavior is pretty gross at this point, as refers to her name as “ghoulish” and announces that her only chance in life to be anything is because she is from his bloodline. The Dowager Countess tries to talk some sense into him–both about trying to be nicer to Branson so baby Sybs can be close to home and to mend his relationship with Cora. “People like us are never unhappily married,” she says, basically telling him to suck it up and fix his relationship.
The Dowager Countess goes to Dr. Clarkson and begs him to talk to Cora. She believes that the doctor could have saved Sybil, though this remains an uncertainty. The Dowager Countess convinces Dr. Clarkson to tell the family that his efforts probably wouldn’t have saved Sybil, which could be untrue, but it’s the only thing that can save the marriage of Cora and Lord Grantham. He complies, and it actually works because Google and WebMD were not things that existed at the time.
Downstairs, Thomas is a hot mess of sad. He’s walking around looking like this:
So when his crush, Jimmy the footman, reaches out to comfort him, Thomas sees it a moment to make his move. Sadly, Thomas has been misled by O’Brien, and Jimmy is starting to get really uncomfortable with his touchy feely advances.
Ethel somehow still has a job at Cousin Isobel’s house, even though she’s the worst cook of all time. Cousin Isobel wants to help the Crawley girls in their time of need by throwing a party, because nothing takes away the sadness of loss by a freaking party. Really Isobel, send a pie and move on.
Because Ethel is such a crappy chef, she has to enlist Mrs. Patmore for cooking lessons, which only reminded us of Sybil even more–remember when she made the cake? Mr. Carson, ever the traditionalist, is unhappy that Mrs. Patmore was spending time with a former prostitute, and even more upset that said nightwalker is going to serve the ladies of the house. He tattles to Lord Grantham, who tries to make his family leave the luncheon due to Ethel’s past. The ladies refuse to leave, and this act of rebellion shows Lord Grantham that he truly has lost his sense of power in his family. When Mary confronts him, we get a glimpse at his grief, and though he’s been acting like a total idiot, he confesses that he has been dealing with his sadness all alone.
Mary and Matthew seem to have made up and are coping with their grief together. Matthew continues to focus on the business of making Downton successful again, and tries to bring Branson in on his plans. For someone who really hated money and the whole idea of Downton, Matthew has really come into being nouveau riche. It won’t be long before he starts throwing shirts at Mary’s head, Gatsby-style.
Daisy is still in love with Alfred, who is still obsessed with Ivy who is in love with Jimmy. This is all really annoying, and even when Mrs. Patmore calls them out on it, they stare at each other like big idiots. Against the plot of Sybil’s grief, these scenes seem superfluous, and generally annoying. Please Daisy, accept the offer to go run that farm, and take all of these young idiots with you, especially that harlot Ivy who paints her face.
In other news, the world spins, the sun shines, and Bates is STILL in jail. This is storyline that doesn’t end. Yes it goes on and on my friends. Bates finally catches on the sabotage going on around him, and threatens the inmate who can help him get testimony to be freed–and the threats work! Bates will be freed! This horrible story line is over and we can get back to awkward Bates/Anna sex shots! Yay and also gross! Have fun with this image for the rest of the week!