Welcome back to Sadton Abbey, where we are reminded right away that Sybil is and always will be dead from now on. Couldn’t it all have been a bad dream? Couldn’t Downton have gone sci-fi on us, and had Sybil come back to life? I know I wouldn’t have complained or accused them of jumping the shark. Not for dear Lady Sybil!
But, alas, she’s gone forever. Luckily m’ladies, this is the most Mrs. Patmore-centric episode since she was going blind in season one (I loved that plot line). Settle in and pay attention, because I’m launching a new hash tag with this recap, and that hash tag is #Patmorewisdom, because she is filled to the brim with it.
But first, I know we’re really sad right now, but check out those dragons!
Okay, now back to being sad. Sybil’s funeral has just ended and look at poor Tom’s face. My heart is breaking for him right now. Matthew and Mary wish that they could do something to help Tom feel better, but as he says, “My wife is dead, I’m past help. But, thank you.”
Downstairs, Thomas and Anna are grieving pretty hard for Sybil too. Unfortunately, in true Thomas fashion it looks like he’s going to use his grief to try and get laid. When James says, “Your grief speaks well for her,” which really is a sweet thing to say, Thomas grabs James his hand and squeezes it and says thank you. And we all cringe. Thomas, we all wish that James was into you, we really do! But, he’s not, and you’re being kind of a creeper.
In more pressing matters, what is going on with Anna’s hair here? She’s got a real case of helmet-y in the front, pretty in the back going on.
Mary and Anna have a true moment because Anna realizes that Mary wants Bates out of prison almost as much as she does. They are very hopeful that Mrs. Bartlett’s testimony will prove his innocence, although Anna is worried that the lawyer won’t get to speak to her fast enough.
The worst day ever is finally ending, and Lord Grantham wants to move back in to the bedroom with Cora. Poor Cora, she’s not only grieving for her daughter, but it seems like for the loss of her marriage too. I feel like she and Lord G really need to comfort each other right now, but I understand Cora’s anger and pain, so sad.
Ah yes, the token breakfast scene of the episode where Edith gets to be the star. Also, is anyone else wondering why we haven’t seen the baby yet? Lord. G freaks out again in a very British manner, which means he gets up abruptly and says “It’s time I started my morning.” But what he’s really saying is, “I hate this fucking chauffer.” Baptizing Baby Sybil Catholic and naming her after her mother is not sitting well with him. Also, Lord G. has the balls to encourage Tom to move on with his life. Hi, it’s the day after the funeral, Lord G. Slow it down, will ya? But, I do feel sorry for him. He lost his dear daughter and his wife hates him for it. My sympathies all around.
Here we go, you guys! Ethel sees Mrs. Patmore in town and stops her. Mrs. Patmore knows that Carson has banned everyone from speaking to Ethel, but when it comes to food, Mrs. Patmore just can’t bear to know that someone is messing stuff up in the kitchen. Ethel asks Mrs. Patmore for cooking help and seems to convince her when she asks “Why should Mrs. Crawley be punished for showing me kindness?” Right now is actually an #Ethelwisdom moment, and Mrs. Patmore being the smart and independent thinker that she is, can’t argue with Ethel there.
Okay, first grey and dreary prison scene of the ep. The mean guard basically says “I’ve done something mean but I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
Out on the beautiful Downton grounds, Lord G tells Mary that he can’t believe that Tom wants the child to be “left-footer.” After furiously googling “left-footer” on my phone, I can tell you that the phrase is from “the Northern Irish saying that farm workers in Eire use the left foot to push a spade when digging.” Because that makes sense. Anyway, we know he just means Catholic. Lord G also says that it is “ghoulish” to name the baby after Sybil. Mary tries to talk some sense into him, reminding him that the baby is a Branson, and not a Crawley, but he’s not trying to hear that.
Lord Grantham goes to talk to his mother, the Dowager Countess, who seems to be the only woman who understands him right now. In a rare and touching moment between the two, the Dowager tells Lord G that she knows his heart is broken right now. She suggests that it might be good for Cora to visit “that woman” in New York for a while because the time apart might help them make up. Because as we all know:
Ugh, back downstairs, Alfred is creepily checking out Ivy. I feel like he’s worse than Thomas when it comes to hitting on someone who’s just not interested.
Anyway, it doesn’t even matter because as soon as Mrs. Patmore enters the kitchen the servants scurry out. It’s called respect. She somewhat cryptically tells the kitchen staff that she’ll be “back before the gong,” and we see that she’s going to help Ethel. Setting Ethel’s worries straight she says, “Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse.” And that, my friends, is #Patmorewisdom.
Back at Downton, Cousin Crawley invites Cora and the girls for luncheon, and OMG Granny is hiding in the corner! She says, “Do I count as one of the girls?” And I had the same reaction as Cousin Crawley. Startled shock! I can’t believe she was sitting there and didn’t say hello! The Dowager plays by her own rules lol. Here is Cousin Crawley’s startled face:
Cora tries to graciously decline Cousin Crawley’s offer because she is just too sad. But they end up inviting her to stay for dinner because even though she is “wrongly dressed,” the Dowager points out, “I doubt Mr. Travis has an eye for fashion.”
Downstairs, Mrs. Patmore finally says what we’ve all been thinking, “the trouble with you lot, is you’re all in love with the wrong people.” #Patmorewisdom.
Mr. Travis has obviously been invited to dinner to try and convince Tom not to baptize Baby Sybil Catholic. Um, right, like that’s going to work. Actually the plan totally backfires as it seems like everyone, even the Dowager whose dear friend the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk is “more Catholic than the Pope,” just doesn’t care and wants Tom to be happy. Mary finally reveals to the family that Sybil told her that she wanted the baby baptized Catholic before she died, and Tom is so happy and relieved to hear this, it’s heartbreaking. Also, when Lord. G says that he’s flabbergasted by what Sybil said, Cora says “You’re always flabbergasted by the unconventional.” And the marriage tension continues to be awkward.
After another horrible day of life without Sybil, Mary and Mathew have a very romantic scene in which they say “we must never take us for granted.” There are so many tender moments in the episode! And at least someone is in love in this family. Poor Cora and Robert.
Meanwhile, the lawyer finally talks to Mrs. Bartlett and she lies about everything. Based on the clues we’ve gotten from the evil cellmate and prison guard, we can guess that they somehow told her to lie, or something like that. Once again, Bates seems screwed.
Daisy goes to visit William’s dad (with whom she is still close) and he offers her his farm when he dies and to have her run it now and live with him. Hooray for Daisy! Personally, I’d do anything to live in a farmhouse with such dreamy kitchen windows.
Although, I’m sure Mrs. Patmore would miss her, don’t you think? Daisy says she needs to think about it. William’s dad says that grand houses like Downton are not going to be around in another forty years- I’m sure if you told that to Lord G he wouldn’t believe you! Can you guys picture Daisy in 1960? Because I can’t.
Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess has decided to take the matter of Cora and Robert’s now unhappy marriage into her own hands. She invites Dr. Clarkson over to talk about what really happened the night Sybil died. She wants Cora to think that even if they had listened to Dr. Clarkson that Sybil would still have died. Dr. Clarkson is very uncomfortable with this, and when he clarifies that the Dowager wants him to lie, she says “Lie is so unmusical of a word.”
When Dr. Clarkson says, “even to ease suffering, I could never justify telling an outright lie.” The Dowager replies, “have we nothing in common?” I agree with her that the only way Cora and Robert can conceivably bear their grief is if they face it together, but she is putting Dr. Clarkson in a tough position.
Meanwhile, Carson spots Mrs. Patmore leaving Crawley House. Of course he doesn’t say anything to her right away though, that’s not really Carson’s style. Instead we cut to a prison scene where Bates is told that Mrs. Bartlett is lying. So, did I totally miss why the guard and cellmate want to ruin Bates’s life, exactly? I feel like there should be more of a concrete reason for all of this. Bates and the Lawyer suspect that the guard bribed her to lie, or something like that, and that they need to come up with a way to lead her back to the path of truth, which also feels really vague to me.
Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson ask Mrs. Patmore what she was doing at Crawley house, but of course Mrs. Hughes seems to be on Patmore’s side. Yay women looking out for each other! Carson just doesn’t understand and when he accuses her of spending her time “frolicking with prostitutes,” she replies with “Do I look like a frolicker? #Patmorewisdom.
Back in the kitchen it appears that Mrs. Patmore invented “he’s just not that into you,” when she tells Ivy that James is just not interested. Then Ivy says “well he’s got to be interested in someone.” Hold the phone- does James like Daisy?!?!?!? Of course Thomas thinks it’s him that James is interested in but as we all know, he couldn’t be more wrong.
Side note: look at the awesome wall clipboards!
Everyone ends up at the Cousin Crawley’s luncheon, and it appears that Ethel has pulled it off thanks to #Patmorewisdom! Although, did anyone else think ham and salad sounded delicious? Cousin Crawley is supes surprised. Just as they start discussing the idea of Edith becoming a writer for the newspaper, Lord G barges in and tells everyone that they’re all going right away. You can tell that he expects them all to quietly stand up and leave without question! But once again Lord G is in for a big wakeup call in that no one agrees with him yet again. He informs everyone that their lunch was cooked by a prostitute who bore a bastard child (although Cousin Crawley is once again the only person who can say the word “prostitute"). But no one cares, because after all, it “seems a pity to miss such a good pudding!” The ladies are in charge at Downton and they know good food when they see it! Also, they are kind souls who do not judge other women less fortunate than them. God, wouldn’t this show be so boring if the Crawley’s had had three sons? Snoozers! Girls rule and boys drool! Lord G. leaves alone, slamming the door. What a baby. Completely unrelated, I’m loving the grey color scheme of Cousin Crawley’s dining room.
Back at prison, Bates tells his cellmate to tell Mrs. Bartlett that she’ll end up in jail because she lied to a lawyer. To threaten him, Bates pokes something pointy on his cheek and says that he’ll tell them about the drugs thing. I hope this works because I don’t think I can take any more of these silly prison scenes! This is the only problem that doesn’t get wrapped up neatly in one episode on this show! Sheesh!
Back downstairs, Mr. Carson tells Mrs. Hughes what happened when Lord. G went over to the luncheon. Her response to the fact that even the Dowager stayed is “maybe the world is becoming a kinder place.” Mr. Carson replies by saying “you say kinder, I say weaker and less disciplined.” The old men in this episode are so out of touch and afraid of losing their power. I reiterate: boys drool! Here is the look Mrs. Hughes gives Carson when he tells her he “never thought of her as a woman with no standards.”
Hughes don’t give a fuck!
Upstairs Mary and her father are talking, and I have to say I love their relationship. Mary tells her father that she’s never against him but that she disagrees with him on a lot of things. When he tells Mary how much he misses Sybil and keeps forgetting she is gone when he goes to show her something funny in the newspaper or tell her that her favorite rose is in bloom, Mary pleads with her father to say these things to Mama.
Finally, it turns out Bates’s threats worked and he’s going to be set free! Anna runs to tell Mary and Edith and everyone is so happy. Especially me, because no more prison scenes. JK, I’m happy he’s out of jail, but seriously! Also, does no one ever hug in 1920s England? How can the three of them NOT be having a group hug right now? I wouldn’t be able to stand it!
The episode ends with Cora and Robert going over to the Dowager’s house and listening to Dr. Clarkson kind of lie to them, but he can’t help but say, “Sir Phillip Tapsell ignored all the evidence in a most unhelpful and I may say, arrogant manner” and I say good for him! Here, here! Thank god, it looks like the Dowager’s plan worked! Finally, a hug! I hope the Crawley’s will finally be able to start healing.
There was so much going on in this ep, including O’Brien slowly and patiently building her revenge plan against Thomas. She just might be the more evil of the two! Thomas is not going to see it coming, especially since he actually believes O'Brien when she says that she thinks James has a crush on him. Thomas’s guard is down because he’s blinded by love and O'Brien knows that this is her only chance to get the ultimate revenge on him! I can’t wait to see more evil schemes play out next week.
Also, there are so many love triangles downstairs that anyone who says that Downton Abbey isn’t a soap opera is a liar. This is what we know: Daisy likes Alfred but Alfred likes Ivy. Ivy likes James but I think James likes Daisy (omg!) Thomas likes James and no one likes Thomas.
Instead of talking about the preview, which makes next week’s episode look very modern, (jazz clubs and cricket!) I would like to address the Viking River Cruises commercial that always plays at the end of the episode. As the example for a “cultural treasure” they use an old lady in a babushka. Does that make anyone else feel uncomfortable? Or is it just me?