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Sunday, January 12, 2014
Episode 6 Season 3 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 3.6
Episode Summary: Tom Branson along with the Crawleys mourns the death of Lady Sybil. The passing of the kindhearted Lady Sybil did not go amiss with the servants including the seemingly coldhearted Thomas Barrow whose grief is evident in his demeanor. As one would expect from a mother who had lost a child, anguish fills Lady Cora, but more than that resentment also consumes her. She holds Lord Grantham responsible for the death of Lady Sybil so much so that she could not bear sharing a bed with her husband. She resents him for listening to Tapsell, a man of status, instead of Dr. Clarkson, who knew Lady Sybil’s medical history. Lord Grantham favored something as shallow as prominence over reason and it cost him the life of his youngest daughter. Loathing towards Lord Grantham eclipsed Lady Cora’s heart enough to tell her husband unequivocally that he was the one who blocked Lady Sybil’s chance of surviving death.
Tom plans to leave Downton Abbey with his daughter as soon as he finds a job. Lord Grantham does not contest his decision, but becomes riled at hearing that Tom would want his child brought up a Catholic. Moreover, he is to name her, Sybil, after her mother. It is a very painful choice of name, but Tom argues that he would want to remember his beloved wife every time he sees his daughter. Not wanting to cause Tom more grief, Lord Grantham manages to contain his anger at the thought of his granddaughter becoming a Catholic. He confides his trepidation to Lady Mary, but his daughter does not come in his defense. Moreover, she points out that Lady Sybil’s daughter is a Branson and she argues against her father’s statement that his granddaughter’s chance of becoming anything solely rests on her Crawley blood. Lord Grantham appears to have come to Lady Mary only to vent and not to listen that he continues with his tirade and ends it with his disapproval of having his granddaughter named Sybil. He, however, did not find a supporter in Lady Mary in any of his arguments. He then turns to his mother, Lady Violet. Instead of ranting, Lord Grantham confides his marriage woes to his mother who advises that a little distance between him and Lady Cora might do them good.
Ever-so-thoughtful Mrs. Crawley plans a get together with the Crawley women as a way to help them endure grief. However, the Crawleys might have better chances of surviving the loss of Lady Sybil than Ethel’s cooking. Fortunately, Ethel is very much aware of her cooking skills or lack thereof, which is why she turns to Mrs. Patmore for help. Mrs. Patmore is knowledgeable of Ethel’s fall to prostitution and is reluctant to help the young woman especially since Mr. Carson instructed the servants not to consort with Ethel. Ethel pleads Mrs. Patmore to set aside her feelings towards her and asks her not to punish Mrs. Crawley for her shame. Mrs. Crawley, unaware that Ethel had sought the help of Mrs. Patmore to teach her to cook, advises Ethel against cooking and instructs her to buy food instead. Nevertheless, Ethel would like to make a delightful spread for the luncheon as a way to show her and Mrs. Crawley’s sympathies for the Crawleys’ loss. Mrs. Patmore brings to her recipes for salmon mousse and lamb chops portmanteau. More than that, she gives Ethel confidence in her acerbic yet effective way.
Lord Grantham is not as forthright as Mrs. Patmore is that he instead invites Mr. Travis to dinner in a devious attempt to prevent Tom from baptizing his granddaughter as a Catholic. Mr. Travis criticizes the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and its faithful. Lady Edith unable to bear Mr. Travis’ arguments contest the reverend’s criticism of Catholics; soon after Lady Mary, Matthew, and Mrs. Crawley join her in defense of the only Catholic in the room, Tom. Lord Grantham, seeing that most of his family has begun to gang up on Mr. Travis, points out their hounding only to be served with a dose of his own medicine with Lady Mary unveiling her father’s intention of forcing Tom to submit to his will. Lord Grantham confesses of not wanting his granddaughter to become a Catholic and uses Lady Sybil in an attempt to get his family onboard with his wishes. The best defense comes from Lady Mary with her declaration of Lady Sybil’s approval of her daughter becoming a Catholic. The matter is settled for no one can argue against a dying woman’s wish. Moreover, it provided comfort to Tom, who has no desires of going against his wife’s wishes.
Daisy pays a visit to Mr. Mason’s farm and learns that the old man would want her to run his farm when the time comes. Mr. Mason has confidence that Daisy would do well managing his farm. Her decision to accept his offer, however, would require her to leave her life of service that she may live with Mr. Mason as he teaches her the trade. Daisy, never imagining an occupation other than the one she has now, becomes apprehensive of Mr. Mason’s offer. Mr. Mason, however, argues that houses like Downton might not be able to cope with the changing times. He is giving Daisy a chance at a future. Daisy confides in Mrs. Patmore that Mr. Mason had asked her to live with him at the farm that he may train her sufficiently for he plans to make her the sole heir of his tenancy and property. Although Mrs. Patmore is delighted for Daisy, she could not help but feel saddened at the thought of losing her assistant cook. Meanwhile, Ivy flirts with Jimmy who appears disinterested with her. She fails to see that it is Alfred, who fancies her. Thomas becomes hopeful having witnessed Jimmy’s lack of interest in Ivy and having received the young man’s compassion at his time of grief.
Seeing the grief of Lady Cora and her resentment towards Lord Grantham, Lady Violet takes it upon herself to arrive at a solution. She speaks with Dr. Clarkson about the death of Lady Sybil and her concerns of Lady Cora’s belief that Dr. Clarkson could have saved Lady Sybil if Lord Grantham allowed him to perform a Caesarean section. Although Dr. Clarkson believes that Lady Sybil would have survived if she had the operation, he admits that he cannot be certain that it would have saved her life. Lady Violet asks the doctor to inform Lord Grantham and Lady Cora of his uncertainty so that husband and wife may reconcile and face their loss together.
Matthew confides in Tom the concerns he has regarding the mismanagement of Downton. He is surprised to learn that Tom is knowledgeable of running an estate being a grandson of a tenant farmer. He finds it unfortunate that Tom dislikes Downton, but his brother-in-law surprises him again with an honest declaration that he does not dislike Downton. His seeming aversion to it is only a result of his feeling out of place. Matthew, however, is saddened to hear that Tom plans to leave for Liverpool with his daughter, because Tom has no desires of being separated from his child. Sybil is all he has left of his wife. Regrettably, Lord Grantham is one of the people who make Tom feel like an outsider. He makes it clear that Tom has no say in the management of Downton and makes him the excuse to evade having to discuss the estate with Matthew. Matthew has run out of patience that he lays out the many issues he uncovered surrounding the estate due to bad management. He makes it plain that they run the risk of losing it again if they do not act on it. Lord Grantham takes offense and becomes even more adamant at not wanting to discuss the affairs of the estate.
Mr. Durrant and Craig resume taunting Mr. Bates with intimations of his appeal going awry. True enough, Mr. Murray speaks with Mrs. Bartlett only to hear a story very different from her original statement. Mr. Murray and Anna inform Mr. Bates of the unfortunate news. Mr. Bates is not surprised to hear it knowing that Mrs. Bartlett would want to keep him in jail. He knew that the woman would reverse her testimony the moment she realizes that it will lead to his freedom. Mr. Murray believes Mrs. Bartlett’s original statement that he heard from Anna, and he suspects that someone tipped Mrs. Bartlett of the consequences of her testimony before she spoke with the lawyer. Mr. Bates knows very well who had warned her. Mr. Murray supposes that Mrs. Bartlett would most likely be aware of the consequences of being dishonest with a lawyer. He suggests playing on her fear in order to force her to tell the truth. Mr. Bates reckons that the person who had tipped her off most likely threatened Mrs. Bartlett into risking lying to a lawyer. Mr. Bates is certain that Craig and Mr. Durrant were the ones who forced Mrs. Bartlett to lie. He pulls Craig into a corner and puts fear in him in order to force him to tell Mr. Durrant that he must inform Mrs. Bartlett that the police are on to her for being dishonest to a lawyer. Mr. Durrant must convince Mrs. Bartlett to tell the truth otherwise Mr. Bates will inform the Governor of Craig and Mr. Durrant’s drug trade, the consequences of which will not be pleasant for Craig and Mr. Durrant.
Mrs. Crawley becomes worried after smelling cooking in the kitchen and not finding any ham or salad to serve. Ethel assures Mrs. Crawley that she will not be disappointed for she had help. In fact, Ethel’s helper had just been caught after Mr. Carson saw her leaving the Crawley house. Having become aware of the reason for reprimanding Mrs. Patmore, Mrs. Hughes supports Mrs. Patmore in her decision to help Ethel despite Mr. Carson’s strict order disallowing them to consort with the fallen woman. Mrs. Patmore declares with pride that the Crawleys will be at the luncheon at the Crawley house believing that Mr. Carson will change his tune after hearing it, but she was mistaken. This information only added to Mr. Carson’s disgust that a woman of the streets is serving the Crawleys.
At the Crawley house, Mrs. Crawley is stunned at the delicious luncheon Ethel prepared. Being witness to Ethel’s new skill, Lady Edith begins to wonder if cooking is one she would want to learn given that she has not found an activity that will keep her busy. Mrs. Crawley asks her about the offer the editor of the newspaper presented her and learns that Lady Edith has neither accepted nor rejected it. Mrs. Crawley does note that Lord Grantham is against Lady Edith working for a newspaper, which prompts Lady Cora to express her opposition towards her husband’s desires. Lady Cora believes that her husband makes decisions based on obsolete values. Lady Edith, however, gains a supporter of Lady Mary and Matthew who both think that she should pursue writing. Soon, Lord Grantham barges in the Crawley House after hearing from Mr. Carson that the women are having luncheon prepared by a degraded woman. He demands that the women leave at once to avoid scandal, but his actions did nothing but substantiate Lady Cora’s claim of his misplaced values. Although the women are shocked to hear of Ethel’s shameful past, they, nevertheless, show their support of her by the mere act of staying. Lady Cora, on the other hand, takes it a step further with her praise of Mrs. Patmore after learning that the cook had helped Ethel prepare their meals. She notes of Mrs. Patmore’s good heart and for being uncritical of others. News of Lord Grantham’s failed mission to rescue his family from a supposed scandal reaches Mr. Carson, who shares it with Mrs. Hughes. The incident gave everyone including Mrs. Hughes license to associate with Ethel again for in what authority can Mr. Carson forbid the servants to consort with Ethel if the women of the house including the Dowager have no qualms about it.
The servants hear of the incident at the Crawley House. Mr. Molesley is in disbelief that the women had allowed themselves to be attended by Ethel in spite of their knowledge of her indiscretion. Meanwhile, Jimmy proves himself a man of many talents as he plays ragtime on the piano causing Thomas to praise him with affection. Jimmy becomes uncomfortable of Thomas’ inappropriate touches and confides his annoyance to Miss O’Brien. More than that, Jimmy informs Miss O’Brien of his plan to inform Mr. Carson about it or even the police just to keep Thomas from touching him affectionately. Inspired by the previous night’s music, Alfred wishes to learn to dance the Foxtrot, a dance Ivy knows. Alfred learns that Daisy knows how to foxtrot and he asks her to teach him. She, however, learns from Jimmy that Alfred only wants to learn it to please Ivy. Jimmy sees how clumsy Alfred dancing. He takes Daisy in his arms and shows Alfred how the Foxtrot is done. Unlucky for Jimmy, Mr. Carson walks in just as he and Daisy are dancing, and scolds him for dancing at a time of mourning.
Anna hurries to see Lady Mary and Lady Edith to inform them a most fortunate news about Mr. Bates. She tells them that Mr. Murray had somehow managed to compel Mrs. Bartlett to tell the truth. Given Mrs. Bartlett’s testimony, Mr. Bates’ release is now a certainty. The women ask Anna to share the delightful news to their father for Lord Grantham’s spirits are low. It seems that the world is working against Lord Grantham and his attempts to revolve with it remain futile. His efforts to woo his wife proved unsuccessful as well for Lady Cora’s anger towards him has not subsided. True enough, the marvelous news of Mr. Bates’ homecoming gladdens Lord Grantham.
Lord Grantham and Lady Cora accommodates Lady Violet’s request to meet with her. They are surprised to find Dr. Clarkson at the Dowager’s house. Lord Grantham begins to apologize to Dr. Clarkson for his behavior on that fateful night, but the doctor interrupts him. Dr. Clarkson informs husband and wife that he had given them false hope with his recommendation to operate a Caesarean, giving them the impression that Lady Sybil would have survived if Lord Grantham had allowed him to perform the surgery. He tells them that Lady Sybil had suffered from eclampsia, which is fatal with or without the operation. Dr. Clarkson proved himself a bigger man swallowing his pride in order to save Lord Grantham and Lady Cora’s marriage. Although he will not go as far as to concede that Sir Philip Tapsell was right, he goes against what he believes and tells Lord Grantham and Lady Cora that Lady Sybil’s death was certain and they could not have done anything to prevent it. His statement released the burden of blame on Lord Grantham allowing husband and wife to grieve the loss of their daughter together.
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