Now that we were put through the pure hell that was last week’s debacle, there is nothing they could throw at us that would emotionally effect us now.
Post funeral and thank heavens not showing us a sad dead body, we were able to focus on the staff and the drama that has been simmering there for awhile. But first, we watched Lord Grantham with his junk in a vice because Cora truly blames him for the death of their daughter.
Robert asks Cora if he can resume sleeping in their bed, because apparently she kicked him to the couch since that tragic day. She reminds him that he is not invited back and that he is responsible for not listening to the family doctor because he was too busy respecting the knighthood and flashiness of Sir Philip. The truth hurts man!
Robert approaches the Dowager and let’s her know that his marriage is on the rocks. She is concerned and suggests spending some time apart, perhaps sending Cora to NYC to be with her horrible mother. After he leaves, the Dowager decides to get Dr. Clarkson to ‘review the evidence’ about whether his emergency c-section would have saved her and how slim the chances of her survival would have been. He doesn’t exactly lie to Cora and Robert by telling them that she most likely would have died either way, but he makes it clear to the Dowager that the operation could have saved her.
Meanwhile Mrs. Crawley has decided to host a luncheon for Cora and her daughters to cheer them up a bit. She suggests to Ethel to only have ham and salad, things that any dummy in the kitchen couldn’t possibly screw up. But Ethel really wants to do a great job and enlists the help of Mrs. Patmore to give her some fail proof recipes and make sure she is cooking them correctly. Patmore goes against Carson’s advice that all staff stay away from the Crawley residence because Ethel is bad news.
Daisy visits her old father-in-law who let’s her know that she can inherit his farm and all of his money if she wants it. She tells him she plans on working in service all her life and he responds that a day will come when houses like Downton will falter. Daisy decides to go easy on Alfred and teaches him the Frox-trot to impress the new girl Ivy. Ivy is into Jimmy the other new dude and he is just trying to avoid Thomas who keeps touching him and making him feel uncomfortable. O’Brien is fueling Thomas’ fire by letting him know that Jimmy has a crush on him.
The attorney can’t get Bates’ ex-wife’s friend to tell the truth about her death and so Bates is still stuck in prison. I love how the writers are employing Mary, Edith, and Robert to care because no one else does. Finally, Bates threatens one of his enemies in prison to get that old brawd to tell the truth and he will be released in a few weeks. Even Robert is very happy about the news. Previews for next week show that Bates resumes his old position as Robert’s footman and this doesn’t bode well for Thomas. Oh the drama!
Branson is just about as sad and miserable as they come. He wants to move away from Downton and find a life of his own now that Sybil is gone. He also wants to name the little baby, Sybil. Robert finds it ‘ghoulish’, but Mary and Matthew love the idea. Branson also wants to have little Sybil christened in the Catholic church rather than the Anglican church. Robert is aghast at this news as well and invites the local Anglican pastor to convince him out of it at dinner. Mary tells everyone that Sybil wanted the baby to be Catholic and said so on her dying day. Cora says that Robert is an idiot for always following English ways, choosing them over family. It’s all awkward and everyone realizes this isn’t going to be an easy thing to figure out.
It all finally culminates after Carson finds the staff fox-trotting, finds out that Patmore hoped Ethel with the luncheon, and tells Lord Grantham about the Ethel situation. Robert busts in on the luncheon and tells Cora and the girls to leave immediately because Ethel is a prostitute and it would tarnish their family name. Cora tells him to stick it where the sun won’t shine and he realizes he can’t be mean in front of Ethel, so the ladies finish their great tasting meals. Hopefully the Ethel garbage is over and Carson will realize that nobody cares whether people party with prostitutes or not.
Also important to note, Mary was actually cool this episode. She was nice to Matthew nearly the entire way through, told her father to chill about the mismanagement of Downton, and told him that he would lose on the little Sybil christening argument and that he needed to give that up. It was kind of awesome to see Robert get his ass handed to him by all these women, but I think one episode will suffice. The man is good regardless of his mistakes and he is willing to come around after a good chastising.