TV: Downton Abbey S3 – Episode 5 Summary + Review

“With each new life granted…”

(“I really thought this haircut would suit me, but not right now…”)

Airing on: ITV

Genre: Family, Slice of Life, Drama, Age: All ages

Released: 16th September 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

From the previous episode, Sybil is around to deliver the newest addition to the Crawley family. While she deals with massive pressure, the rest of the household carry on with their lives…

Warning! May contain spoilers!




James, the new handsome footman, has caught the eye of gay footman Thomas. James frequently catches Thomas being overly close to him, and tries to complain to O’Brien about it. O’Brien doesn’t want her nephew Alfred to be caught under James, and she encourages James to get closer to Thomas, in hope of a scandal.

(Thomas manages to sniff James without being TOO obvious)

Matthew confides in Mary about changing some of land that is owned by Lord Grantham. Now that Matthew has equal stake in Downton Abbey, he is entitled to making changes, and is eager to see Downton become financially prosperous again.

(“We used to live in this run-down farm, but moved out when we bought the mansion”)

Dr Clarkson, the local doctor is taking care of Sybil, but Lord Grantham has also called Sir Philip from London to have a look as well.

Matthew Crawlry shares is concerns about being infertile, but Sir Philip reassures him that it’s probably just anxiety.

(A moment so awkward, standing on nails would be less painful)

Edith receives an invitation to start her own newspaper column. Although she’s excited by the prospect of writing her opinions for national viewing, Lord Grantham warns that it could be only for her title.

(“Oh come on, I got jilted. I still need the sympathy!”)

Daisy has been hard on the new kitchen maid, Ivy Stuart. Alfred, the person who is like by Daisy, is unaware of Daisy’s feelings,. and has his eyes set on Ivy instead. Ivy and Alfred pull together when Daisy pushes Ivy particularly hard.

(Bro-fisting is the initial stage to dating)

Sybil seems to have difficulties with the birth, and Dr Clarkson warns that it could harm her and the baby. Sir Philip tells Dr Clarkson off for putting the Crawley family under unnecessary worry.

(Competition time! Whoever can say the bad news in the funniest way, wins.)

Edeth is hired as a house maid and cook by Mrs Crawley. Although she may have had good intentions, Ethel proves to be a terrible cook and causes Mrs Crawley a lot of trouble.

(It counts as food if it’s not TOO black)

Sybil’s confused about her location or the time. She doesn’t appear to be aware that she is the middle of giving birth, and that worries Dr Clarkson even more.

(“Oh God, it’s so hot, I need ice-cream. A lot of ice-cream…”)

Dr Clarkson suggests moving Sybil to the hospital to be checked for eclampsia, where he can have a Cesarian. Sir Philip guarantees that Cesarian would be the thing to kill her, and the family stays put.

(“We could cover our ears and sing ‘la-la-la-la-la'”)

The baby is finally born, and everyone is thankful. Everyone leave the room to let Sybil have a well deserved rest.

(Everybody at home: “Awwwwwww….”)

In the middle of the night however, Sybil suffers from birth complications and dies.

(This moment may terrify any small children watching at home…)

The Crawley family and the staff are devastated at what has happened.

(The shocking news that someone might be joining Sybil’s place in the cast)

Lord Grantham’s lawyer, Mr Murray meets with Anan to discuss evidence that might be able to free Mr Bates from prison. While he is still around, Matthew tries to discuss the Downton Abbey investments. He is rebuked by Mary, who tells him it is the worst possible time to talk about money.

(“Don’t worry, Mr Crawley. Lawyers are also called at the worst of times..”)

The entire family goes into mourning for the youngest Crawley sister. Mary and Edith call a truce in their schemes.

(Mary and Edith though Sybil was immortal, like many viewers at home)

Mr Bates receives the news of Sybil’s death from prison. His release would mean that Lord Grantham would have some support. Unfortunately, his roommate and a prison guard are planning on never letting Bates escape.

(“So I get out at some point, right?”)

Overall, this was a heartbreaking episode. I think at one point, I was glad that the child-bearing was over, and now Sybil and Tom could live happily ever after, but it was not meant to be.

Kudos to Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays Sybil, for one of the most horrific death scenes that I’ve ever seen on British dramas. Her corpse is still haunting my eyeballs.

Compared to the main story, the rest of the arcs were petty. I didn’t care about Ethel’s new job, or Edith’s. The rivalries between the kitchen maids was rather vanilla when you compare to the death of the youngest sister.

Oh, I think I’m going to mourn over her for a little while. It was pretty crushing.

Rated 4/5 – Shocking turn of events.

See the next episode!

See the previous episode!

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