‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Shocking Death Shocks Everyone With Deadly Shocks and Death

ALTGuys, I don’t know if you heard, but someone died on Downton Abbey Sunday night. We are going to have to change the name of this show to One and a Half Weddings and a Funeral at this point. I’m going to tell you know died in just a minute, so you have been warned. But you’ll probably still complain about it anyway, you stupid spoilerphobic jerks. Maybe you should go read today’s “Dick Tracy” instead of a recap of a show that aired last night if you don’t want to know what happened.

Anyway, for all of us who watched and want to talk about every detail below are the things I loved and hated about last night’s episode called “Sybil Is Dead.” Oh, did I forget the spoiler alert? Oh well.


Lady Edith in Orange: Doesn’t Lady Edith look absolutely stunning in orange? We see her wearing an orange dressing gown at the beginning of the episode and again by Sybil’s bedside when she dies (spoiler alert). She also wears a drop-waisted orange gown to dinner that is absolutely smashing. And with that finger wave in her hair she’s looking more smashing than ever. Does that mean someone is finally going to love Edith as much as I do.

Everyone Hates Dr. Clarkson: I take it as a slight acknowledgement of how crappy their second season was that everyone in Downton now thinks that thick-skulled Dr. Clarkson is a crappy doctor. I mean, he did miss that Lavinia was going to die of the flu and that Matthew wasn’t paralyzed he just had a bruised spine. Yeah, that’s pretty darn crappy. And now you’re just going to let him help give birth to a baby? This quack probably doesn’t even know out of which hole the baby comes. He’ll be out in the front yard waiting for a stork to come by with a bundle while upstairs, Sybil is dying of some crazy thing that Dr. Clarkson knows about but no one else does. Maybe that’s the only thing he studied in medical school.

That Matthew Can’t Say Penis: Come on, Matthew, you can ask the fancy baby doctor that Lord Grantham hires if there is something wrong with your penis. Just ask. It’s only a word. It’s not even a dirty word. Come on, say it with me. “Penis.” Yes, there you go. Now you can find out all about your problems while Sybil is dying upstairs.

Alfred and Ivy Vs. Daisy: The only thing worse than Sybil dying is Daisy. God, I hate Daisy so much and it is just like her to throw around what little weight she has to try to get Ivy in trouble. And it’s only because the apple of Daisy’s always crying eye, Alfred, is more interested in helping out Ivy than he is in indulging Daisy slash fiction fantasies she’s made up in her head. Now Alfred has teamed up with Ivy to help win her heart by making her job easier, only making Daisy angrier in the process. I love that gentle ginger giant Alfred and now that he is pissing off Daisy, I only want to strip him down and make sweet, sweet love to him even more.

O’Brien Killing Them with Kindness: We’re used to O’Brien being a vicious devil (those curls are really hiding a pair of budding horns) but now she seems intent on making everyone happy — including her former ally Thomas, who was so broken up about Sybil’s death. But here is what is brilliant about her latest plan: by encouraging Thomas to get close to Jimmy, the dreamy new footman, O’Brien knows that Thomas will eventually do something inappropriate and that will get him fired. Now, it’s totally wrong that everyone is so freaked out about gay people (even Jimmy, who seems to have a growing awareness that Thomas is more interested in “winding his clock” than showing him how to wind the clocks) but what O’Brien is doing is genius. She appears like she’s helping Thomas and Jimmy by putting them in close situations, but she’s really going to destroy them both so that Alfred (who is totally her son) can take the place as first footman. Welcome the devil back, because she’s doing her best work when you think she’s an angel.

Carson Knows About Whores: When Carson learns Ethel has a new profession helping out as Isobel’s maid after her stint in the oldest profession, he tells Mrs. Hughes to keep all of the maids out of the house because he doesn’t want them to know a whore is working there. He also tells her to keep the footmen away because, well, obviously. That Carson, always so hilariously practical, even when Sybil dies.

Sisterly Love: I don’t really want Mary and Edith to get along, and neither do they, but I loved their embrace over Sybil’s death bed and Mary’s observation. “She’s the only person living who thought that you and I were both nice people,” she says to Edith. Well, at least Mary knows she’s a bitch.

Violet’s Zinger of the Week: “A woman of my age can face reality far better than most men.”


Sybil’s Haircut: I know she cut her hair short earlier this season, but couldn’t they at least give the poor girl a comb before she died? It looked like a bee hive that got stomped on by a stampede of overweight antelope. They never let Lady Mary look this ugly, why you gotta do this to Sybil? And right before she dies.

Mathew’s Indiana Jones Hat: I know that the years fly by on Downton, but we’re not anywhere close to the ’40s. Why is Matthew wearing this ridiculous wide-brimmed hat while lording over all he surveys. Someone get this man a flat cap or something and save the brim for Sybil’s funeral.

That We All Know Sybil Is Going to Die: As soon as there was all that drama with the doctors you knew she was doomed, didn’t you. Yeah, and I knew that her father would get blamed for it too for being cautious about the awful Dr. Clarkson. But I wouldn’t trust him either. Now everyone is going to hate the Lord of the Granthams and it’s not his fault. Also, if you happened to do any Googling or Wikipedia-ing before the season aired, you probably came across this spoiler already. Stupid PBS delay.

Sybil Dying: She died, you know.

Everyone Being Mean About Edith’s Job: Listen up, all you jerks in Downton Abbey. You have maligned and neglected Lady Edith her whole life. You robbed her of the one man she loved and forced her to be an old spinster who eats breakfast with the boys. Now that there is something that gives her one bit of happiness you can’t make jokes about it and try to take it away from her. She is smart and capable and lovely and you all need to get over your stupid jealousy and just let the woman write her newspaper column already! You don’t want her to die, like Sybil, without having done anything with her life.

That Stupid Dr. Clarkson Was Right: Ugh, does this mean we have to like him now that he almost prevented Sybil dying? I sure hope not.

Mary in Everyone’s Business: God, Lady Mary really is the worst. Now that Sybil is dead, she has to get all mad at Matthew about how he’s running Downton. Wasn’t it her idea that he give all this money in the first place to save the house and now she wants to tell him what he can and can’t do as its master? Mary needs to realize that, if she wants to preserve her cushy way of life, that some things need to change. That means thinking about business and taking a minute, just a minute, away to talk about some serious matters while the solicitor is there. God, why was it Sybil, sweet, wonderful, pants-wearing Sybil who had to die and not her curdled toe nail of a sister?

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan

[Photo Credit: Masterpiece]


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