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3-4: 2013.01.27


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#31

nasagirl

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:26 PM

Robert was in the wrong several times this season...

Picking an outside doctor instead of Clarkson (sort of understandable given his record)
Ignoring Edith's need for something useful to do outside the house
Ignoring the state of Downton's finances even after his close shave with bankruptcy

He needs to get into the 20th century with the rest of his family :)

....don't get me started with his squeamishness about bodily issues...how did he have three children?!

#32

Andiamo

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:27 PM

In fairness to Clarkson, there probably wan't much, if anything, that could be done for the condition once it had fully manifested. The pharmacopeia was woefully inadequate until WWII -- another 25 years to go.

Even 40 years later, eclampsia was still a very serious complication. A dear friend of mine developed it after childbirth and was actually given last rites. (Thankfully, she lived.) And this was in the '60's. Even today, eclampsia is onsidered life-threatening. So there really was no hope for poor Sybil once Robert decided to go with Sir Thingy. Time Piggot-Smith nearly always plays an asshole.

Still, I hoped they wouldn't go there. And I bawled like a baby.

#33

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:28 PM

Less earthshattering things I did like:

1. Mrs. Patmore clueing Daisy into the actual emotions of Ivy and Alfred and Jimmy.

2. Thomas crying. That was unexpected, and well done by the actor.

3. The stunned reaction from the rest of the staff.

4. Some progress on the Bates storyline although still bored.

5. O'Brien setting up that footman and Thomas for a fall. You go, O'Brien.

6. Mary and Edith having a sister moment even after Mary bluntly said, nope, we're not going to like each other.

Less earthshattering things I did not like:

1. Who puts honey in someone else's tea without asking or issuing a warning first? I'm beginning to think that Ethel fell into a life of prostitution for multiple reasons.

2. I already had about 25 reasons not to like Lord Grantham, but....After he finally shows a spark of intelligence by noting that Clarkson has not exactly been on the ball with medical decisions recently, he has to be told that yes, yes, they do in fact have to talk to Sybil's HUSBAND about this?

3. Great to have the doctors and the nurse just hanging back as Sybil's convulsing her way to death. That was nice.

#34

The XZFactor

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:30 PM

I actually took that as (realistically). I appreciate Mary's honesty about her view of life. They are both mourning their sister and they love one another, but that doesn't mean they will, or have to, get along and she makes no bones about it. They're too opposite in too many ways. It doesn't mean she wouldn't fight to the death to protect Edith if the chips were down. I have a brother I'm the same way with. I'd give him a kidney, and he'd do the same, but frankly we're better off seeing one another once or twice a year at best. We don't see eye to eye. It doesn't make either of us disdainful or hateful.


ITA. I have a similar relationship with my sister. I know that in death there's a tendency to oversentimentalize things and make promises that can't be kept. I appreciated that Mary wasn't trying to be cruel in that moment, but she knew that just because Sybil died it didn't mean it fundamentally changed who she and Edith were or their relationship.

I knew that Sybil was going to die, but for some reason I thought it was in episode five, so I wasn't entirely prepared for it. I was near tears with Tom's reaction. I understand that Clarkson doesn't have a great track record lately, but I wanted to throttle Robert and that stupid doctor. That doctor was so unbelievably arrogant, just blithely insisting nothing was wrong and refusing to consider other possibilities.

I'd heard horrible things about DS and his reaction in Sybil's death scene of hugging the bed post, but I honestly don't see what was sooo bad about it. He looked suitably devastated to me.

Edited by The XZFactor, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:40 PM.


#35

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:30 PM

Just when I thought everything was OK despite all the arguing over it, they pull the rug from under my feet.

Allen Leech was amazing tonight. I hope he stays on and that Tom and baby don't have to leave DA.

Why do I get the feeling they're giving Thomas a redemption arc?

Maggie Smith really sold that broken walk of the Countess.

Glad the show won Best Ensemble on the SAGs tonight.

#36

mikep47

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:30 PM

I'm not upset with Michelle Dockery's performance, but the way her character is being written is rather bizarre. She 'wants' Downton Abbey, but she wants her father's good name more so than that. Yet, if she loses Downton Abbey, it will be because her father's name will be rather besmirched. So she's supporting her father and in doing so, is ruining her future at Downton, yet, she had no problem shaming Matthew into donating his money to the estate. And you'd think that Robert would be thrilled with Matthew's taking over the books and Mary would appreciate that, allowing her father to continue enjoying the priviledges of being nobility. There ARE ways of making changes that people won't be too upset about. My moment in that story line was the solicitor's comment 'That's music to my ears'. Since I would have thought he surely should have told Robert that the account balances were in some kind of downward spiral before things got out of hand, maybe Robert had told him to shut up.

While Sybil was going through labor, I was really of two minds, not sure which doctor I wanted to be right, because going with either of their diagnoses could lead to sad conclusions, especially since the story line had been putting some kind of lessened credibility on their family doctor. Somebody was going to come off looking really bad here, yet only Sybil and the baby were going to pay the price. We have to remember that childbirth even in the 1920's was still risky, and lots of doctors who had come up through the late 1800's would not necessarily be in the forefront of latest knowledge, still relying more on their experience. I'm still not so sure even with today's understanding that doctors by their 'education' should still be considered demi-gods. They are human, after all.

Edited by mikep47, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:33 PM.


#37

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:31 PM

I had accidentally found out that this was going to happen, and yet cried non-stop throughout the second half of the episode. Just so sad.

I'm completely spoiled on what happens this season, but it was still horrible to watch. I had to look away and flipped over to the SAGS to ironically see the DA cast win just as Sybil was dying. I managed to keep it together until Cora was talking to Sybil after her death, and then I lost it. I wish they had a similar scene with Tom saying goodbye to her.

I'm assuming they killed her off because JBF wanted to leave (?).

That's my understanding. And Allen Leech wanted to stay, so they decided to keep Branson without Sybil, which meant they couldn't just send them off to live happily ever after in Ireland.

The setup was bad, but the aftermath of Sybil's death was handled very well. It was moving. The acting, especially, was good - it seemed believable for how people might act. I felt their grief.

Yes, as usual I think the acting far outshone the writing. I feel like they've underwritten Tom and Sybil as characters and as a couple since Season 2, but AL and JBF did a commendable job of bringing more to their relationship than was written. They managed to show a sweet and loving relationship even when they were just in the background of a scene. I will miss them as a couple. Wish we had seen more of them. (And less Bates, my God, enough already.)

Edited by absolutelyido, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:54 PM.


#38

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:32 PM

Oh my, Downton Abbey. Your soap opera suds are showing so painfully this season.

Yeah, we're supposed to sympathize with Cora, but to my mind, Robert was the one being reasonable. Dr. Clarkson was a country bumpkin screw-up as evidenced by, well, every major medical decision he'd made up until then. It's just that hindsight being 20-20 and all, Robert picked the wrong replacement. And fooey on the writers for killing Sybil off because they lost interest with the story line once she married Branson. And at the very moment the family is supposed to be grieving the loss of their beloved free spirit, we get how many minutes of the Bates-Anna story line? Just spring him already, or hang him. Frankly, I don't care.

And why does Matthew love Mary? I mean seriously, what does he see in her? She's awful.

#39

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:32 PM

Add to Quarks' "Did Not Like" list:

When Violet walked into the drawing room to offer her sympathies, she should have gone to Cora first. It was almost like she didn't notice her, and went straight to Edith, then Mary. The Dowager Countess, even as emotionally shaken as she was, would have known to speak to the mother who had lost a child first. I was so annoyed by this that it took me completely out of the scene.

AL and JBF did a commendable job of bringing more to their relationship than was written. They managed to show a sweet and loving relationship even when they were just in the background of a scene. I will miss them as a couple. Wish we had seen more.


So will I.

What did Mrs. Hughes say, "The sweetest soul under this roof is gone." ? I totally agreed. Seeing Thomas cry for her was very moving. I remembered not only that they worked together but they were partners in helping the young gentleman who was blinded by mustard gas, the one Thomas cared for. He probably was thinking of that also, that two lovely people who were friendly to him and liked him were both dead.

ROFL moments: When Isobel and Mrs. Byrd had the conversation and Mrs. Byrd gave her notice, Isobel insulted her twice in one go!

Edited by RedHawk, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:41 PM.


#40

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:35 PM

I was spoiled by some Brit friends who thought we were on the same viewing schedule and was much more moved than I thought I would be. It was quite disturbing to see both doctors just stand there and watch her die. Even if there was nothing they could do they could have made it look like they were trying to help. I guess compassionate doctoring is a modern thing.

Please let this be the end of the Edwardian version of OZ. Bates was only ever interesting because of the rivalry with Thomas and O'Brien. He is not interesting at all away from Downton.

#41

bibliosylph

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:35 PM


In fairness to Clarkson, there probably wan't much, if anything, that could be done for the condition once it had fully manifested. The pharmacopeia was woefully inadequate until WWII -- another 25 years to go.


Even 40 years later, eclampsia was still a very serious complication. A dear friend of mine developed it after childbirth and was actually given last rites. (Thankfully, she lived.) And this was in the '60's. Even today, eclampsia is onsidered life-threatening. So there really was no hope for poor Sybil once Robert decided to go with Sir Thingy. Time Piggot-Smith nearly always plays an asshole.

Still, I hoped they wouldn't go there. And I bawled like a baby.


I haven't been here much lately; inserting quotations and names used to be simpler...I'll figure it out eventually.

I was born in 1965, came out blue and not breathing, they set me aside to save my mother's life due to eclampsia, after emergency C-section. An off-duty nurse stopped in and decided to charge me up.

So I was wondering, if they had brought her to the hospital, what that might have meant for the baby. It was less dangerous than just leaving Lady Sybil there to die of the crazy, but still very, very risky.

#42

totallycontra

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:36 PM

Well, that was the second time I've lost my favorite character in a TV show ("Not Penny's Boat", anyone?) and although I was spoiled for it, I sobbed through the entire episode. The dialogue was spot on, and props to all of the cast for a very well-acted episode. Did JBF want to leave, or did Fellowes just decide it was time for Sibyl to go?

And (unspoiled) methinks the issue with Mary having a baby is Mary, not her husband.

In 3.3, Mary's been to see Clarkson and Matthew (?) asks her if there's anything she wants to tell him and she says no, so I'm assuming you're right.

Loving Thomas currently, but I'm really not liking Ivy at all. Maybe it's the actress, but I just don't care about her existence. Don't care about Ethel, wish I did, but I don't. Ms. Patmore explaining things to Daisy was fantastic.

I wish I'd been able to focus on the Bates stuff, but I was too busy being emotional about Sibyl...I do agree that it's time to bring Bates back to Downton though, this plot is moving way too slowly.

Otherwise, loved the Carson/Violet scene, loved Cora actually doing something, hating on Matthew & Lord Grantham, and just generally wanting to give Branson a hug.

#43

thethinman

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:37 PM

This show is rapidly becoming 'Downer' Abbey.

#44

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:38 PM

Yes, as usual I think the acting far outshone the writing. I feel like they've underwritten Tom and Sybil as characters and and as a couple since Season 2, but AL and JBF did a commendable job of bringing more to their relationship than was written. They managed to show a sweet and loving relationship even when they were just in the background of a scene. I will miss them as a couple. Wish we had seen more.

I think this was the first time I ever heard Tom say "I love you." (In their scene with the baby.) Given the writing on this show, that alone should have clued us in that she was going to die.

#45

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:38 PM

The first thing Violet did was stand behind Cora and put her hand on her shoulder.

#46

starlitskyy

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:41 PM

How dare Matthew have an opinion about the estate he is going to inherit, and to which he freely gave his entire fortune? Especially, how dare he question a man who has shown to be nothing but absolutely brilliant when it comes to handling financial matters?

/sarcasm off/

PLEASE get Bates out of jail and end the world's worst storyline ever. Does anyone understand why Prisoner Cellmate and Random Guard even have it in for Bates in the first place? And why the cellmate is so chummy with a guard?

And, while I hate to agree with Lord Grantham on anything, I sort of do understand why he sided against Clarkson. I mean, has the man ever been right, before today? And, given that the baby is healthy and there is likely nothing anyone could have done for Sybil anyway, I doubt the outcome would have changed much in the end.

I loved Violet's character today. She has really shown herself to be far more progressive and open-minded than her son. If Grantham had half of her intelligence and understanding, he might actually be capable of doing something.

Edited by starlitskyy, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:42 PM.


#47

ProfCrash

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:41 PM

Wow, I was not expecting that. I knew what was coming when Clarkson's voiced his concern. Where there malpractice lawsuit's in the 1920's? If so, Robert can look to Tom o save Downton after he screws up with Matthew's money.

How long until Mrs. Patmore starts giving Carson cooking lessons on Mrs. Hughs's orders and will Carson see this as a regrettable reason to fire Mrs. Hughs?

#48

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:42 PM

And why does Matthew love Mary? I mean seriously, what does he see in her? She's awful.


Because she's prettier than Robert. Seriously, Mary and Robert are the same snobby self-righteouss sanctimonious shrill character who I pretty much can only tell apart based on who they are having a conversation. Mary is obnoxious to Matthew and Robert is obnoxious to Edith, Cora, Tom, Sybil (R.I.P.)...

#49

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:43 PM

Re Robert:

....don't get me started with his squeamishness about bodily issues...how did he have three children?!


He didn't.

#50

martod

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:43 PM

Well this is the tragic episode in which we discover Robert is in fact suffering from Homer Simpson Syndrome, the incurable degenerative mental illness that only television characters suffer from. If the specialist had argued that the cesarean was a big risk itself (which it might have been back then), that would be one thing. But his entire argument was "Don't bother. She's fine." No real father would have picked that argument over another doctor who claimed her life might be in danger and they should take her to the hospital just to be safe even if that doctor had made overcautious mistakes in the past. And I can't believe no one called him out on it except Cora. I'd expect Tom to want to gouge out his eyes.

I didn't particularly care for Sybil either way, but between the fact that she died screaming in agony and gasping for breath, and the reaction of the household afterwards, that was rough.

#51

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:48 PM

I loved the extra scene with Carson, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore discussing the baby. Too bad it was cut from the UK broadcast.

I watched the episode UK time as well, and I was totally unspoiled then, so I was crying my eyes out at the end of the episode. I do not know how they got away from keeping the death off the British press. But it was great.

#52

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:49 PM

The first thing Violet did was stand behind Cora and put her hand on her shoulder.


Yes, I saw that, but some words were called for. There just didn't seem to be enough connection for me, although I suppose we could say Violet had no words and knew words could do nothing anyway.

No real father would have picked that argument over another doctor who claimed her life might be in danger and they should take her to the hospital just to be safe even if that doctor had made overcautious mistakes in the past.


She was very close to delivering the baby. Taking her "just to be safe" wasn't exactly an option. They would take her and start a Caesarean, which would have been very serious and dangerous surgery in those days.

Edited by RedHawk, Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:52 PM.


#53

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:51 PM

Why couldn't the OB to the rich have done the c-section right there? I mean, if the hospital was so awful, why not keep her at Downton? I'm sure there is at least one room that could be used as an OR.

And I've officially started overanalyzing this way too much.

#54

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:53 PM

Martod wrote:

If the specialist had argued that the cesarean was a big risk itself (which it might have been back then), that would be one thing. But his entire argument was "Don't bother. She's fine."


I think the specialist did, at one point, say that the mother and baby might both die if they did a Caeserian.

#55

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:54 PM

Where the hell was Matthew's mother during all of this? She would have taken down the specialist (just as she took down the other doctor over the guy with the heart condition), gotten Sybil to the hospital, and everyone would be fine.

#56

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:57 PM

Where there malpractice lawsuit's in the 1920's? If so, Robert can look to Tom o save Downton after he screws up with Matthew's money.

I was incredibly moved by this episode, especially by the staff's reaction, but this cracked me up!

#57

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:57 PM

Why couldn't the OB to the rich have done the c-section right there? I mean, if the hospital was so awful, why not keep her at Downton? I'm sure there is at least one room that could be used as an OR.


C sections were very complicated back then. I recall watching an old movie from the 1930s where they did a c-section to save the baby. The mom died.

#58

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:58 PM

Useless speculation I suppose, but if Branson hadn't engaged in such risky activities and Sybil had gone into labor in Dublin, you have to wonder if the result would have been different, perhaps with a savvy midwife recognizing her condition in time to get her to a hospital for a C-section that might have saved her life.

#59

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:58 PM

Maybe I'm the only one who was confused, but when Branson turned to Cora and said "Would you take her to the hospital," and Cora smiled and replied, "I would have taken her there an hour ago," I assumed the hospital was where Sybil was now going, post-haste.

So when it turns out the next morning that Sybil is still in her bedroom, I was, like, WTF?

Edited by Milburn Stone, Jan 27, 2013 @ 11:01 PM.


#60

lulee

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:58 PM

I was spoiled for Sybil's death, had even watched the death scene on youtube a few weeks ago, but seeing the aftermath still had me in tears. Elizabeth McGovern especially killed me when Cora was saying goodbye to her baby. AL was also fantastic; Tom's sense of powerlessness was really palpable.

I get that Fellowes didn't want to write the lord of the manor as a letch as in Gosford Park, but why does he have to write Lord Grantham as such a pompous doofus who seems to succeed and sustain mostly by luck and others' decisions. I don't know how Cora's put up with him this long, but yet he always seems to come out of problems with little residual stench. Cora will probably forgive him in an episode or two.