Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 5

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Set in Fall 1920

Everyone is up in the middle of the night waiting for the birth of Sybil’s baby…

Sybil talking to Mary about pregnancy

Sybil doesn't say much to recommend pregnancy

O’Brien schemes to get the new footman James and Thomas closer, but Thomas gets a bit too friendly with James while winding the clock (and on other occasions). James comments about Thomas’ familiar ways to O’Brien, but she discourages James from implying anything unseemly. James definitely prefers women. Downstairs is quite the seething hotpot of romantic longing these days. Alfred has the hots for Ivy. Daisy can’t stand Ivy because Alfred likes her. But Ivy has the hots for James. As does Thomas.

Thomas and Jimmy

Let me show you everything I know...

Meanwhile in prison, Bates wants Anna to question Mrs Barlett again about the pastry under her fingers on the night of her death. The pastry proves Bates was on the train to Downton while Vera made her poison pie. The poison was in the crust. Bates’ happiness about the uncovered evidence is noticed by his two enemies, Craig and the shifty prison guard. Murray comes to Downton to talk to Anna about Bates. The challenge is to get a statement from Mrs. Bartlett before she realizes its significance. Craig and the shady prison card seem willing to do their best to prevent that happening. Will Bates’ travails ever end?

Craig and the prison guard scheme

What will happen next to Bates

Isobel offers Ethel a job. Mrs Bird, the current kitchen maid, won’t work along side Ethel, so she is given a month’s wages and hits the road. Isobel understatedly insults the righteous Mrs. Bird a few times for her during their final conversation, but Isobel’s subtlety seems to escape Mrs. Bird. Molesley shows the letter he receives from Mrs. Bird to Carson. Carson is incensed but Mrs. Hughes thinks everyone should give Ethel a chance. Carson bans all maids, and especially footmen, from entering Isobel’s house.

Mrs Bird

The very plain and righteous Mrs. Bird

Edith receives a job offer as a newspaper columnist. Her father dismisses the job, implying the editor is merely interested in selling her title and position.

Edith gets a job offer

Can Edith do anything right by Downton?

Sir Phillip arrives to deliver Sybil’s baby. Matthew quizzes him about his own possible fertility issues. The doctor says it’s too early to worry. Lord Grantham wants to cut Clarkson the family doctor out of the delivery, but Cora wants to keep Clarkson involved. Ethel fetches Clarkson from the village. He and Sir Philip have words over Sybil’s condition and Sir Philip tells Clarkson not to worry and remain silent if he’s to be present at the delivery.

Sybil dying

Not looking good for Sybil...

Branson holds his baby

Branson, the single father

Clarkson defies Philips orders because Sybil has the symptoms of Eclampsia. Clarkson suggests a risky cesarian section delivery at the hospital, but too much time passes to take her there. The baby is delivered and everything seems fine, with Sybil sleeping it off. In the middle of the night, Sybil suffers the final seizures of Eclampsia and dies with everyone trying to save her, except the stuttering doctor, Sir Philip. The staff downstairs are quite shaken by sweet Sybil’s death. Cora blames Lord Grantham and Sir Philip for Sybil’s death.

Matthew tries to discuss the estate with Mr. Murray while he’s at Downton. Murray seems receptive but Mary feels the conversation is inappropriate so soon after Sybil’s death.


Quotes from Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 5

Lord Grantham: “We cannot risk her welfare to suit Clarkson’s feelings.”

Mean Daisy

Daisy turns mean

Daisy: “It won’t make much difference to you. Now get back in the kitchen and do as you’re told.”

Anna: “I hope she’s burning in hell.”
Bates: “Don’t go down that road. Once you do, there’s no way off it.”

Matthew: “I think he equates being business like with being mean. Or worse, middle class, like me. Middle classes have their virtues and husbandry is one.”

Sir Philip: “Anxiety is an enemy to pregnancy.”


Matthew: “Will you write under your own name?”
Edith: “I hadn’t thought…”
Lord Grantham: “You won’t have an option. That’s what he’s buying, that’s what he wants. Your name and your title.”

Edith: “Don’t bother Matthew, I’m always a failure in this family.”

Mrs. Bird: “She says there’s plenty of work for a plain cook these days.”
Isobel: “And they will find one in you. Good luck Mrs. Bird.”

Violet: “I hate to get news secondhand.”

Mrs. Patmore: “I’ll tell you Daisy. Alfred won’t like you any better for being rough on her.”

Matthew: “Edith has had an invitation to write a newspaper column.”
Violet: “When may she expect an offer to appear on the London stage?”

Lord Grantham: “My dear, this is just Clarkson’s professional pride. Like barbers asking who last cut your hair. They always want to be better than any other practitioner.”

Violet: “If there’s one thing I’m quite indifferent to, it’s Sir Philip Tapsell’s feelings.”

Carson: “Mrs. Crawley has hired a prostitute to manage her house?”

Violet: “Please, a woman of my age can face reality far better than most men.”

Violet: “Cora is right. The decision lies with the chauffeur.”

Matthew: “We men are always helpless when a baby is in the picture.”

James: “Mr. Barrow’s so familiar all the time, isn’t he?”

Lord Grantham: “But this can’t be, she’s 24 years old. This can’t be…”

Lady Cora and Branson

Mourning Sybil

Thomas: “In my life, I can tell you, not many have been kind to me. She was one of the few.”

Cora: “Mary, could you ask your father to sleep in the dressing room tonight.”

Mary: “She was the only person living who thought you and I were such nice people.”
Edith: “Oh Mary… do you think we won’t get along a little better in the future.”

Violet: “We’ve seen some troubles you and I, nothing worse than this.”
Carson: “Nothing could be worse than this my lady.”

Carson and Violet

Carson and Violet haven't seen worse times

Cora: “I have to apologize for our behaviour… Because if we’d listened to him, Sybil might still be alive. But Sir Philip and your father knew better and now she’s dead.”

Violet: “When tragedies strike, we try to find someone to blame. And in the absence of a suitable candidate, we usually blame ourselves. You are not to blame. No one is to blame.”