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#31

johchi

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 12:56 AM

And notice that when Clarkson did what he did, Robert immediately had to know that Sir Philip (and thus he) had been "right." That should not have mattered at such a moment, but to him being validated is the most important thing, always.

That really bugged me. Sir Philip argued that there was nothing wrong with Sybil at all, so he wasn't right. I think Clarkson stated the facts well: he was right about the Caesarean, but she probably wouldn't have survived either way.

I'm surprised Isabelle didn't take more heat, and also surprised Violet was more interested in dessert than in propriety.

If I live to be Violet's age, nothing will be more important to me than dessert.
I don't think they had anything to lose by being there. They are the big cheeses in town. Who's going to criticize them?

Robert and Carson should run off somewhere and be huffy together.

O'Brien is no damn good.

#32

Caryn

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:03 AM

There were so many lovely moments this evening. For example, I loved Carson handing Tom the plate. It was a small kindness, but I think also the first time he's willingly waited on the former chauffeur. I also love Daisy acknowledging that William was her husband and her interaction with William's father. I too hope that eventually she leaves the house and makes a life for herself on the farm. I also noticed that she wears a wedding band. And Mr. Caryn and I laughed out loud when the dowager Countess chose not to waste a perfectly good pudding...

#33

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:20 AM

I love the affection between Mr. Mason and Daisy, but tonight I had a flash like the affection wasn't quite familial. I'm happy to be wrong about that.

Mrs. Hughes had all the best lines of the night, followed by Mrs. Patmore. So glad everyone finally mouthed off to His Lordly Lordness and his top servant, Mr. Snooty McSnooterson. It was a right feminist revolution, upstairs and down.

And Violet, as always. The "unmusical" lie and her line about the pudding made me laugh out loud.

Wouldn't high church Anglicans ALSO use smells-n-bells, similar to the Roman Catholic church?

I have to agree with this. Though I don't know what Anglicans in the early 20s would have felt about Catholicism and its practice, I'm pretty sure the Anglican tradition is and was no less high church. That was weird.

Hey, Edith has a great "hat face", that hat really suited her.

Yes. In that scene, Edith really outclassed Mary, style-wise.

#34

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:22 AM

Hey, Edith has a great "hat face", that hat really suited her.


She looked beautiful!

I loved all the ladies of Downton staying for lunch and leaving Robert to huff off by himself.

As someone upthread said, my biggest qualm with Cora bullying the doctor into minimizing Sybil's chances is that they might someday be in the position to advise someone else in that situation. They should have the best information possible.

I think O'Brien is trying to get Jimmy to report Thomas to the police. That's what he said he'd do if Thomas kept touching him.

#35

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:38 AM

I love the affection between Mr. Mason and Daisy, but tonight I had a flash like the affection wasn't quite familial. I'm happy to be wrong about that.

I started to think along those lines too. I wish the actor playing the father could be a little more senior looking, a little less dignified, so I won't get flashes like that.

Hey, Edith has a great "hat face", that hat really suited her.

She also had the worst wig I've seen so far. Is the show hard up for money? That wig barely hung properly on her head.

#36

Kate the Cursed

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:57 AM

I think O'Brien is trying to get Thomas to go "too far" with Jimmy so that Jimmy throws a punch, gets him fired, gets him arrested, etc. She wants him punished for starting the rumor she was leaving. And I sort of can't blame her.

Any of the above could cause Jimmy problems as well, however. I don't think she cares. If they both go down that much better for Alfred. This reminds me nicely that she's really a pretty wretched human being.

(Of course we don't know how she'll feel about it when her nephew, OBVIOUSLY, becomes a butler, emigrates to America, and answers a "butler wanted" ad in Gotham City.)

Edited by Kate the Cursed, Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:59 AM.


#37

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 2:15 AM

So inviting Mr. Travis over for dinner was only to sway Tom from baptizing his child Catholic. Fat chance Robert. Insulting someone's belief is not going to get you Brownie points. I don't think that Branson is that religious (or maybe he is riddled with Catholic guilt), but I think he equates being Irish with being Catholic.

#38

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 2:49 AM

"Me too"??? Did that turn of phrase ring false to anyone else? I find it hard to believe that Lady Mary said "Me too" twice, in bed, to Matthew


I giggled when Mary said this -- not just because of the possible anachronism -- but because it sounded so much as if she was saying "I too will love myself until my dying breath".

#39

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 5:51 AM

I loved Violet's little cheery aside about not abandoning a "good pudding." And the way Maggie Smith pronounces "luncheon."

I'm also loving Mrs. Patmore's character. The image of her stout little figure, dressed properly in coat and hat, marching out of Isobel's home or sounding off to Carson, makes me smile.

We hear various regional accents amongst the staff. I assume most are northern English accents, but are there others? Is Mrs. Hughes Scottish, and what about Carson?

Edited by pasdetrois, Feb 4, 2013 @ 5:51 AM.


#40

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 6:03 AM

I'm not sure how to react to Violet's meddling. I understand why she did that, but it still rubs me the wrong way.

Ugh, Robert (and Mr. Carson). I absolutely loved all of the women (upstairs and downstairs) pretty much ignoring the orders of the men. I was cheering when Cora snubbed Robert at the luncheon.

I can't stand Robert. Baby Sybil is Tom's child, therefore she's going to be whatever religion he decides. Oh, and he can name her anything he wants! At least he's grieving...I'd like to point out that Robert was banging the maid (or close to--can't remember) when his wife was dying.

Daisy--take the damn farm! You don't want to be in service and under the supervision of an old fart like Mr. Carson forever!

#41

altopower

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 6:46 AM


Wouldn't high church Anglicans ALSO use smells-n-bells, similar to the Roman Catholic church?

I have to agree with this. Though I don't know what Anglicans in the early 20s would have felt about Catholicism and its practice, I'm pretty sure the Anglican tradition is and was no less high church. That was weird

I don't know about 1920 but I know that even in 2013 there are "smells and bells" Anglican & Episcopal churches. Maybe not every service, but certainly for the major feast days. It can be hard to tell the difference between them and Catholic churches if you aren't paying attention - or see the sign out front.

#42

ClaireK

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

It can be hard to tell the difference between them and Catholic churches if you aren't paying attention - or see the sign out front.

True. I'm Catholic and when I once attended an Anglican service - no idea if it was High Church or Low Church - I was really surprised at how similar it was to the Catholic Mass. And it was a 'regular' Sunday service, not Easter or Christmas or a particular religious festival.
And I doubt it was different in 1920, so I also found Robert's remark kind of weird.

#43

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 7:28 AM

O'Brien is definitely setting Thomas up for the fall. I wonder if its going to backfire on her. Afterall, he does know about the soap.

Then I wish he would expose her. That would be an outstanding story line.

I too love Daisy's relationship with William's father - it is very sweet. I too hope she takes the farm. You can do it, Daisy!

#44

molshoop

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 7:45 AM

I loved the look on Mrs. Patmore face when Ethel mentioned the unlikeliness of Mrs. P being corrupted by associating with her.

#45

cherry malotte

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:19 AM

I'm for Daisy to take up farming as well. She can always still make appearances selling her products to Downton.

Did they show the baby in the nursery last night, or did they just talk about the baby? I know this particular class of people have the baby brought to them for a viewing and then the kid is out of sight for the remainder of their day, but it would be nice to see Robert or Cora having a look see at her.


eta since things just shouldn't be worded that way sometimes...

Edited by cherry malotte, Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:34 AM.


#46

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

Robert should have said something about Latin services rather than smells and bells. Would have made more sense.

What were broad/low church services like back in the 1920s? I went to an Anglican church for a while that had "traditional" (i.e. high church) services at 11:!5, but a more "modern" service at 9. The early service very, very different - acoustic music with guitar accompaniment for some of the hymns, for example.

#47

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:36 AM

I enjoyed this episode so much more than the last few - as someone upthread said so well, they all seemed awake. One thing that took me out of the moment and seemed anachronistic was Matthew telling Tom he had been on "a steep learning curve" about farm management. That sounded wrong to my ears. And about the Anglican/Catholic thing - as an Epsicopalian I can tell you that "high church" Anglicans would definitely have "smells and bells" in their services.

#48

stillshimpy

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

I hope Daisy does go and learn to manage the farm instead. I felt a bit like Mrs. Patmore last night, "The trouble with you lot is that you never like the right people at the time they like you." I like Ivy well enough, but the love quadrangle, or triangle or blob in the Footman/Kitchemaid are is not overly interesting. It would be nice to see Daisy making a different sort of life for herself.

If I live to be Violet's age, nothing will be more important to me than dessert.


Amen to that and then some.

I don't think they had anything to lose by being there. They are the big cheeses in town. Who's going to criticize them?


I also think that not only did they have better perspective about scandal than they might have at the beginning of the series, they also had fresh reason to pull a "Oh who the hell cares?" Sybil is dead, they are sad beyond the telling of it. Edith has been left at the altar. Mary went through everything she went through with Matthew and the very tiresome Lavinia story that would.not.end. Poor Sybil died after having her husband's child, their former driver being the father.

That horse has long, long since left the barn. There is no way to make themselves anything other than the subject of much gossip, so they seemed to have the "Oh screw it. Whee! We're the county liberals and that pudding looks marvelous. Next week maybe Cora will join the circus and give them something fresh to talk about, because Robert, freaking hardly a week goes by around here that we aren't scandalizing the bejesus out of the place."

Did they show the baby in the nursery last night, or did they just talk about the baby?


They showed her and apparently Fellowes couldn't get anything resembling a newborn, because that baby was at least four months old. This would fit with how long Sybil appeared to be pregnant in the story, but it was also vaguely amusing "Aha! Clarkson and Sir Snooty McBaby both missed the fact that Sybil gave birth to a baby bigger than she was. A clue?"

#49

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:51 AM

I know this particular class of people have the baby brought to them for a viewing and then the kid is out of sight for the remainder of their day, but it would be nice to see Robert or Cora having a look see at her.


That really did bug me, even though I know it was the custom of the times. If my daughter/sister/wife had just died in childbirth, I wouldn't be letting that baby out of my sight. That baby would be my security blanket something fierce. Yet we've only seen one instance of "oh, how's the baby?" like it lived across town, and it looked like Mary only held it the once because she accidentally stumbled in the room it happened to be in.

#50

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 8:53 AM

Ah, I don't know. I think if I hadn't already given two and a half seasons to this show I would be giving it up right now. I don't want characters who are one dimensional but neither do I care to see entirely different people in every episode. Last episode Dr Clarkson believed in the life saving potential of the operation enough to fight hard for it and now it would most certainly have caused unnecessary suffering. This whole season Mary has been an insufferable bitch to Matthew and now he's making flowery declarations of undying love. Violet was horribly rude to Cora's mother over her America ways and glared at her while Martha ate cake by herself. Now pudding is reason enough to overlook anything at all. Edith has never really reacted to being jilted at the altar. Crushed one week, all over it the next.

No one is as stupid as Daisy. A kind man wants to leave a girl who works 15 hours a day for a few pounds a month, a thriving farm and all she cares about is chasing a guy who isn't interested in her. Her nastiness to Ivy has no defense. I hate to see the "you should like them because they like you," thing that was first pushed on Daisy about William. Albert isn't attracted to Daisy. The other footman isn't attracted to Ivy or Thomas -- leave them alone.

The whole girl power moment at the luncheon made me throw my remote on the floor. When my mother's cousin had an illegitimate baby in 1955, Mother went to help her but all the rest of the family, including my father and aunts and uncles shunned the cousin for ever after and were angry at my mother for not joining them. "Judgmental," was not the frequently used insult then that it is now and forgiving a young woman for choosing to have unmarried sex was like forgiving someone for choosing to run a meth lab. They were angry at her for embarrassing the family and any female family member who associated with her furthered the disgrace through an assumed tacit approval.

I can just barely stretch myself to believe that the powerful Crawley family could or would overlook Ethel's past but Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore and even Carson had something to lose in future job potential by close association with a known former prostitute. When Fellowes chooses to overlook all that for the easy script that he knows will bring cheers from the contemporary audience it takes away everything I like about a period piece. Why not change "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," to make Angel tell Tess that her past was no big deal, just a good learning curve? The drama of good period pieces comes through these harsh moral rules of the past. Otherwise it's all just "Sex in the City," in vintage clothing.

#51

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:16 AM

Whan Tom handed the baby to Mary, with Matthew standing lovingly by, I thought: Anvil City!

#52

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:18 AM

I also wish that JF put events in a more accurate social context. Everyone but Robert seemed to think it no big deal for Sybil Branson to be raised Catholic. Anyone who has read Brideshead Revisited knows that being raised Catholic at that time was a serious blow to a young lady of rank. The number of Catholics in the upper class were few - leaving an extremely small dating pool. Its sets young Sybil on a much more difficult path for her to be a different religion that most of her contemporaries.

I'm not saying Sybil shouldn't be raised Catholic, but a discussion of the real obstacles that choice throws in his daughter's way would have been much appreciated.

Same goes with the Ethel storyline. I loved how the women all stood up to Robert, but don't believe it was in any way an accurate historical portrayal.

Loved Mrs. Patmore, and great acting by 'Dr Clarkson'.

#53

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:21 AM

I get the distinct impression that O'Brien would be much more pleasant if she had gotten laid really good in her younger days.

Lord Douche keeps screwing things up royally in part because "Mama" keeps cleaning up his crap. If I were Tom I would get my child away from DA and Lord Douche as soon as possible. He has no respect for anyone or anything outside of his understanding.

Are Mary and Edith spending more time together? They were out walking together when Anna gave them the news about Bates.

Daisy please please go live on the farm, opportunities like these don't come along everyday.

I wanted Cora to keep Douchey on the outs longer. This way he will never learn about the consequences of his actions. The death of his own daughter hasn't humbled him one little bit given his attitude toward her husband.

Good for the ladies sticking up for both Tom and Ethel.

Edith get the hell away from DA and make a life for yourself. The job with the newspaper sounds like a perfect oppurtunity.

#54

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:24 AM

I can't be too angry with Daisy. It is 1920 and as she said to William's father, she assumed she would always have a life in service. It's never crossed her mind to run a farm and sell her wares. She is doing what she's been brought up and taught to do - - service.

That said, I loved that William's father had the astuteness to realize that estates like Downtown wouldn't go on forever and things would change. Something the residents at Downtown clearly cannot see.

I am wondering if Jimmy/James just likes older women. He doesn't seem interested in Ivy or Daisy and certainly not Thomas or Alfred. When he was discussing his former employer to Carson, he did seem rather familiar. JMO.

#55

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:26 AM

Loved the lunch scene; however, now I can't remember if it was BEFORE or AFTER Violet had R&C in for the doctor's talk. If the lunch was BEFORE, Cora's actions would've made more sense, in that she was still in "punishing stage" with Robert. He's in for falls on many levels -- Cora will stand up to him more, Matthew's going to run the estate properly, Baby S will be Catholic, and next week Edith will become a journalist! (At least that's what the preview implied.)

I liked the interchange between Carson and Mrs. H; he was all "propriety" and she was "piety" -- IE, the "Christian" thing to do. (In some ways, Christ was a revolutionary.)

Yay! Bates will be out soon, and preview hints that Thomas will be back to a footman. Fireworks next week, no doubt.

#56

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:45 AM

Same goes with the Ethel storyline. I loved how the women all stood up to Robert, but don't believe it was in any way an accurate historical portrayal.


I think much of what the story conveys about the Crawleys attitudes are historically inaccurate. Their involvement in Bates and Anna's lives is also unlikely. Lord Grantham ever having accepted Carson's past on the stage is also not a likely thing.

But I did enjoy the fact that the story treated that "Eek! Ethel has been working as a prostitute!" (and for once it wasn't poor, socially clueless Isobel trumpeting that fact) as if it happened in context to everything else that happened in the story. Almost everything involving the Crawleys would have them as a rather infamous family. Whether it was Mary's Pamuk scandal, poor Edith being left at the altar in front of just about everyone she knows or even Sybil dying in childbirth after having given birth to the driver's baby.

Robert's fluttery, vapor-filled reaction was likely closer to historically accurate, but the Crawley family just sort of shrugging at this stage and saying, "Well, we've already eaten the mousse as it is. Why let the pudding go to waste?" fit with what has happened within the Crawley family in the time we've known them. They are Scandal in Nice Dresses and smart hats, basically.

Plus, Matthew's mother -- the future Lord Grantham -- having a former prostitute in her employ does as much, if not more damage than the Crawley women refusing to leave. That none of them reacted with so much as a gasp of horror indicates a couple of things -- they have changed from their experiences. It makes sense that Mary wouldn't fall down in a faint, she's had not one, not two, but three rather significant scandals attached to her (Pamuk, the broken engagement with Richard and then marrying Matthew after Lavinia shuffled off the mortal coil at the big house). Edith too would be a bit over caring what people were saying by necessity, because my God, tongues would wag about what made Anthony dump her in front of everyone. Cora is used to being the subject of the stink-eye and hairy-eyeball simply because everyone would know she had been married for her fortune and then every single last one of her daughters had some rather significant social scandal attached to them.

Sure, it's historically inaccurate, but frankly, they'd already be so socially ruined and probably already rumored to be completely and utterly insane as a family that it likely wouldn't matter. "Memo to Lord Grantham: Embrace the Wild Eccentric Label, it's preferable to the Cursed Crawleys thing you have going now."

I also liked that Robert isn't really super scandalized. He's receiving this news from his former Stage Persona Butler and later will be just delighted that his accused of homicide servant is bound for home. Robert was just seizing on the opportunity to have an excuse to talk to Cora as much as anything and she stood her ground. The whole thing was barely about Ethel within the context of the story.

Sure, they couldn't really exist in that world, and Fellowes takes such license with everything he might as well have them be time-travelers at the end of the day, but I liked seeing the characters react as if they've been present for their storylines and growing with them.

Also I'm assuming that Bates immediate doing of something stupid will bring still more scandal down upon them all, so they might as well eat the pudding.

#57

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:47 AM

Afterall, he does know about the soap.


I must've missed something; when did Thomas find out about Ms. O'Brien's soapy revenge?

Speaking of Ms. O'Brien, I know she's being presented as villainess extraordinaire for her machinations surrounding Thomas and Jimmy, but, honestly, I don't see that she deserves as much blame (or praise) as she's getting. It is rather like shooting fish in a barrel the way those men are behaving. After all, she's not making Thomas feel on Jimmy like he's a lamb at a petting zoo, in front of a room full of people who dislike him at best. And she's not making Jimmy squeamish enough to threaten telling Mr. Carson andthe police, or a good enough actor to hide this revulsion from everyone but her (and us, of course). On the whole, I think whatever awful thing is going to happen with these guys, it could just about happen by itself.

#58

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:58 AM

Loved the lunch scene; however, now I can't remember if it was BEFORE or AFTER Violet had R&C in for the doctor's talk


It was before. Dr. Clarkson's "explanation" to R&C was the last scene of the episode.

The actor did sell that scene. After this ep, I can't quite decide how JF wants to play/the audience to view Dr. C. I'm coming to think that he is supposed to be a basically competent, if sometimes flawed, local GP. Or mabye I'm overthinking things and he's merely used as a convenient plot device who's "competence" changes week to week depending solely on where JF wants the scene/show to go?

Daisy SHOULD take the offer of the farm. However, I can also see it as very daunting. Changing "careers" is very common today; even two generations ago, it was very rare. In the 1920s, I would think it a huge deal for her to give up a "sure career" of service, where she was doing well, in favor of a risky venture.

Finally, I agree with those who would have liked to have seen a bit more reaction from Edith re her being jilted at the altar. Yes, Sybil's death intervened. But still . . . a short time later and it's as if it never happened.

#59

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 9:59 AM

I also wish that JF put events in a more accurate social context. Everyone but Robert seemed to think it no big deal for Sybil Branson to be raised Catholic. Anyone who has read Brideshead Revisited knows that being raised Catholic at that time was a serious blow to a young lady of rank. The number of Catholics in the upper class were few - leaving an extremely small dating pool. Its sets young Sybil on a much more difficult path for her to be a different religion that most of her contemporaries.

I'm not saying Sybil shouldn't be raised Catholic, but a discussion of the real obstacles that choice throws in his daughter's way would have been much appreciated.

Same goes with the Ethel storyline. I loved how the women all stood up to Robert, but don't believe it was in any way an accurate historical portrayal.


Was there a decent-sized Catholic middle class at that time?

#60

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 10:03 AM

Everyone but Robert seemed to think it no big deal for Sybil Branson to be raised Catholic. Anyone who has read Brideshead Revisited knows that being raised Catholic at that time was a serious blow to a young lady of rank. The number of Catholics in the upper class were few - leaving an extremely small dating pool. Its sets young Sybil on a much more difficult path for her to be a different religion that most of her contemporaries.

I'm not saying Sybil shouldn't be raised Catholic, but a discussion of the real obstacles that choice throws in his daughter's way would have been much appreciated.


My take is that Lady Sybil is dead and, to the rest of the family, nothing else matters quite as much as it used to. A baby is without her mother, a new father without his wife, and a family without its sister/daughter/granddaughter. Even in those times, in that society, keeping up appearances and tradition might have taken a backseat to the reality check that Sybil's death provided. Combine that with Mary's reply that Sybil agreed with Tom on this issue, and... well, really, who's going to argue with a dead mother's wishes? (Besides Lord Grantham, of course.) My guess is that if Lady Sybil were still alive, more people would have questioned or seriously discussed the religious upbringing of the baby.

The same might be said for Ethel's employment at Crawley House, Edith's possible future writing career, etc. Some of it is a reflection of the changing times worldwide. But I think these issues would be met with more resistance to change if there weren't such tragic matters still at hand.

Edited by JanGator, Feb 4, 2013 @ 10:04 AM.