Downton Abbey
Episode Four

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 9 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Good Night, Sweet Princess
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

It's nighttime at Downton, and after a quick shot of him entering and ascending the stairs, we see Dr. Clarkson attending to Sybil, who's apparently been experiencing pre-labor pains. However, he announces that whatever was happening has stopped and smiles that the blessed event is still in the future...

...and then, with the women in tow (you'd expect this with childbirth issues, but once again we see how the women of this show are a hardier lot than the men by a wide margin), he emerges onto the landing and announces that Sybil is fine. In fairness, of the men, it's only Branson who looks a real wreck, but when Dr. Clarkson goes on that the early pains are a sign that the womb is preparing itself for childbirth, Cora cautions him that Lord Grantham doesn't enjoy frank discussions of what she calls "medical details," but I think actually means "goings-on below the Equator." They all resolve to go back to bed, but Lord Grantham oh-by-the-ways that "Sir Philip Tapsell" will be arriving at Downton the next day and from the way Clarkson stiffens and sniffs that that's fine, "if you think it advisable," I'm thinking that Clarkson is the Absolutely Fabulous hairdresser of Edina's with the inferiority complex to Tapsell's Nicky Clarke. Before everyone dissipates, though, Branson asks Clarkson if there's really nothing wrong and Clarkson assures him there isn't. I'm going to try my best to limit references to the episode's future events, but it will turn out to be ironic that on first view I was thinking "Yeah, I've heard that from you before, guy."

Downstairs, new girl Ivy says she'd rather have a baby in a hospital, "with all the modern inventions," but Anna takes the con side in this little impromptu debate, saying that she'd rather be close to the people she trusts. After a bit more of this, Carson ends any further discussion, but before he sends them to the day's work he cautions them to curtail any noise in Sybil's vicinity. Ivy smiles that it'll be exciting to have a baby in the house, to which Daisy practically spits, "It won't make much difference to you." The attitude is obviously uncalled for, yet I kind of like it. I mean, she's no less transparent here than usual, but at least her usual whining has been replaced by some steel. Daisy adds that Ivy should get back in the kitchen and after she stalks off, O'Brien sardonically notes in Ivy's direction that she supposes that message got through. And my feeling is that if you're being nasty enough to impress O'Brien, you're doing something right.

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Downton Abbey

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