Monday, January 28, 2013

Dishing on Downton, Week 4

Okay, who cried last night? I did. My daughter did. I suspect my son-in-law did although he didn't admit to it.

I've watched 3 seasons of Downton. I've felt sad when William died, when Lavinia died--although both were awfully convenient, weren't they? I did feel a few tears when Matthew proposed to Mary but this is the first time that the story really touched me. I suspected that the story for Sibyl and Tom couldn't end happily but I suspected that Tom would die in some kind of Irish uprising and Sibyl would come home.

But I really didn't think that sweet, adorable Sibyl would die thanks to a stupid doctor and a stubborn father. My daughter and I both said instantly "She's got pre-eclampsia" when they mentioned swollen ankles and confusion. They should have listened to us.

So now there are only two Crawley sisters and a hint that Matthew may indeed be sterile. Is there going to be no heir to Downton? I can't stand it!

On a lighter note, I'm enjoying the downstairs love triangle/quadrangle and evil O'Brien up to her tricks again. But what a lot of holier-than-thou pricks when it comes to Ethel. Would one of them let tbeir child starve? Would they have behaved as nobly by finally giving him up? Good for Mrs. Crawley.

But please--Bates and Anna have gone on long enough. Either kill him off or set him free.

What do you think is going to happen? I think Edith is going to make a name for herself. I hope Mary's going to get pregnant.

Can't wait for next week. Buying more tissues, just in case.


  1. I was also diagnosing Sibyl and yelling at the stupid men. And yes shedding tears.
    But Downton does have an heir now, a wee baby girl who may be raised Catholic! I know the female line is not suposed to inherit, but what if there is no one else?
    It does show how far we have come in a hundred years that a woman in Ethel's situation would not be judged the same way today, by most people, and certainly would still be employable.

  2. I haven't asked my son yet, but I suspect he cried, as did I. Just when I think the story lines are getting a little old and tiresome, something like this tear-jerker comes along and grabs you back. And I couldn't believe Thomas cried -- this is the first time I have felt compassion for him since that money-grabbing guy told him he didn't have any real feelings for him, way back in an earlier season.

  3. Oh yes..I spotted the pre eclampsia thing right off..I bet Cora never lets Robert back in her bedroom. It i s sometimes so hard to to look at the way women had not rights at all, the MAN, the rich MAN always had the final say in anything. I guess if we look hard enough it is still true in many respects. Yes the Catholic thing will come in for scrutiny..I remember when I was young a protestant girl was never allowed to date a catholic..times do change..though I suppose there are still many who feel that way. It will be interesting to see how the "gay" thing is dealt interesting the subtle way it is being set up.

  4. Super post, Rhys - I agree on all counts. The Bates and Anna thing is so dismal and long-running, it doesn't fit the tone. This is a fast-moving series, except for that incredibly slow story-line.
    Last night's episode was a good reminder that before 1920,50% of women died in childbirth. So glad we live in these times.

  5. Yes, I too shed tears at Sibyl's death which took me completely by surprise. And yes, I am SO! tired of Bates.
    I thought the best line in the episode was Mary's frank response to Edith's question of whether or not they would treat each other better in the future. Full marks to Julian Fellowes for not sugarcoating the sisters' difficult relationship.

  6. It was a very intense scene and I was both enraged at the men and move to tears by the women (including the Dowager). BUT - the Dowager also din't disappoint and pulled another goody from her hat. - What were her exact words? "The decision is up to the chauffeur" - was that it? Made me laugh laugh out loud.

    ~ Karen

  7. To answer the question about women not inheriting this brings us back to Series 1 where Matthew is in line to inherit Downton Abbey and all the lands because there was no male born to Cora and Robert. So Matthew is in line or if he has a son with Mary, the estate goes to that son. (I think).
    FREE BATES so he can go to another BBC series. Good actor, boring story.

  8. I bawled my eyes out! Poor Sybil..I really loved her character and I am sad she is gone. I am interested to see what happens next though. I'm still in shock that they killed her off. She was so sweet!


  9. I cried, but not as hard as I did last week when Ethel gave up her son. I couldn't believe they killed Sybil off! I, too, was yelling at the tv to get her to the hospital. You do not mess around with pre-eclampsia. stupid men! I was glad to see Cora giving Robert the cold shoulder.

    The heir thing is driving me nuts. I mean, how likely is it in that era for Robert's brother and nephew to die, plus have no sons of his own, plus have the nearest male heir be a 3rd or 4th cousin and then have him die without an heir? Families were large back then. My paternal grandfather was one of 4 sons and between him and his brothers (one of whom died in a car accident before having any children) there were 8 boys.

  10. Rhys, thanks for your clear summary of last night's episode. I was surprised and very sad and angry when Sybil died. I am grateful for the changes in society since then!
    I hope Bates is freed and comes back to Downton Abbey. He and Anna deserve some time of happiness! It will be interesting to see how Matthew tries to change things in order to make Downton more profitable, and, whether he and Mary have any children. I would think after Sybil's death she will be terrified to give birth.
    Happy watching next week's episode!

  11. I cried. Sybil was my favorite character, and her death was so needless! Mary's getting less likable with each episode. I hope Edith's career takes off and she gets out of that house; maybe if she had something meaningful to do with her life she'd be a better person.

    I hope Lord Grantham likes it up there on his high horse. He isn't getting back into the bedroom any time soon.

  12. Of course I cried...and, like many of you, I recognized pre-eclampsia immediately...and I knew she
    was doomed...that pompous doctor was sooo annoying... I wonder if Lord Grantham will get over
    this...I hope he doesn't...and, then we had Mary being her usual nasty self to Edith...Edith should
    get out of there, although everything she tries to do is put down by Lord Grantham...And, I agree
    wholeheartedly that the Bates thing has run its course...

    Normally, I re-watch each episode during the week, but I really am not inclined to see this one

  13. Please continue to warn us of Spoilers, as you have been careful to do in the past. I'm so glad my eye didn't wander past the first line this morning, as I don't have network TV and must watch Downton online the next evening. Perceptive comments as usual though, once I've watched it -- thanks!

  14. I lost both my parents when I was four. Ironically, it was a happy, happy time for them as they kissed my little sister and me "goodbye" and set off on their "second" honeymoon. In actuality it was their first because they were too poor to afford one when they were first married. Consequently, I do not like tragedy in fiction. It all seems too real and hurts too much. Fiction, to me, should be the one place where every thing ends well. I feel no need to live through tragedy vicariously. Real life has been sufficient for me. That said, I am a man who is generally not afraid to cry. My wife and daughter often nudge each other gently in the side while keeping their eyes on me as a touching scene is about to unfold. I suppose it's a bet, of sorts, of when Dad will first shed tears. But Sunday night I shed no tears. I sat in abject horror watching that lovely girl's unnecessary death. It was all too real and I am glad it was just fiction.