Downton Abbey
Episode Four

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
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Good Night, Sweet Princess

Upstairs, Lord Grantham is telling Cora that he feels bad benching Dr. Clarkson for Sybil's case, but he misdiagnosed Matthew and also missed the warning signs with Lavinia. Regardless of whether you think he could have done anything differently in Lavinia's case (it's not like when Cora was at death's door that they were working some miracle cure for her), it will sadly seem in retrospect that those failures served to make him more vigilant. (I know what I said, but I can't help it; I'm not going to be in much shape for analysis later.) Cora takes Clarkson's side, saying that while Tapsell may be OB/GYN to the stars (or at least British royalty), he doesn't know them like Clarkson does, so Lord Grantham offers to have Tapsell include Clarkson in his deliberations and Cora agrees to the plan.

Downstairs, O'Brien sees a perplexed look on Jimmy James' face and asks him what's up, so he tells her that Carson has asked him to mind the clocks. O'Brien -- without a discernible trace of anything malicious -- congratulates him, saying that's a job for the first footman. Jimmy James says he knows, but the thing is, he knows zip about that job, so O'Brien tells him to ask Thomas for help as he used to do it before he became a valet. Jimmy James asks if Thomas won't mind, which seems a little off, since Jimmy James made a point of asking Thomas if he wouldn't help him out from time to time, but does give O'Brien the opportunity to encourage him, saying that Thomas obviously likes Jimmy James, which is great for him given that Thomas has Lord Grantham's ear. I don't know how exactly how far O'Brien's game is going to go, but the "job well done" look she gets on her face at the end of this conversation makes me fear for young Jimmy James. (As for Thomas, he dug his own grave a while ago.)

Sybil is detailing the physical suffering she's going through and Mary's like, you're not going to talk me out of having a kid of my own. I'll at least pass up the obvious comment in favor of wondering when Mary got more certain about the idea. Of course, she could be dissembling, an idea given credence by Sybil admitting she was wondering if Mary was waiting to have a child. Sybil then moves on to something that's been on her mind -- she and Branson had agreed that the baby would be raised Catholic, but given their present circumstances, the christening will have to happen at Downton. Even though she didn't expressly hear Lord Grantham's opinion of the Catholic Church, the implications of this revelation aren't lost on Mary and she tells Sybil that she doesn't have to give in to Branson's wishes. Sybil says she doesn't mind and that she does believe in God, but then seems to contradict the first point by adding that she's not so sure about the trappings of the Church, and wonders if a vicar really knows any more about God than she does. She goes on, though, that she loves Branson very deeply, to which Mary -- processing Sybil's conflict -- assures her sister that she'll fight her corner with Travis if it comes down to it. Sybil smiles gratefully and the sisters clasp hands...

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Downton Abbey

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