Posts tagged ‘Sybil’

January 28, 2013

Downton Abbey React: Season 3 Episode 5

Note: If you have not watched the Downton Abbey episode that aired on Sunday, January 27th in the U.S., please avert your eyes now.  Nothing beyond this past week’s episode is spoiled.

Way before this season started, I accidentally stumbled upon a mountain of Downton Abbey spoilers.  Mixed in the spoiler article  was “Oh yeah, and Sybil died.”  I was frustrated at this because it wasn’t even the main spoiler I was reading about and I had just ruined yet another plot point for myself.  But, I still watch the show every week to see the events leading up to everything.  When my mom started making “I called it” comments about this most recent installment, I figured this would be when Sybil dies.  So, I grabbed some comfort food and pillow and watched the tragedy unfold.

I would like to go on record as feeling pretty neutral about Sybil.  I neither loved nor hated her.  She was just kind of there for me, occasionally doing something important like nursing.  She has really faded out of the show recently after running off with Tom, which has probably added to my indifferent feelings.  None of this means I wanted to see her die, but damn.  It made for a bunch of great scenes.

Sybil Neck

First, we need to give props to Jessica Brown Findlay for showing us what the most painful way to die looks like.  I was almost too distracted by her giant neck, but I definitely felt her pain.  At several moments I was actually worried her head might explode by how strained every  movement looked.  This was made even more powerful by the various reactions in the room- including Tom and Cora’s pleas for a loved one’s life, the fancy doctor having a serious case of “Oh s***!” face (yeah, we all hate you now), and random back and forth shots of a stunned Edith and Matthew leaning on a bed post.  I feel like Matthew never really fits in during these group scenes….

carson tells staff about Sybil

Although this quick death scene was jam-packed full of drama, I felt the quiet scene where Carson tells the staff downstairs of Lady Sybil’s passing had ten times the impact.  They all just looked shocked with grief, and I think this whole theme of how caring goes beyond class hit home here.  Thomas’ breakdown right afterwards was a little awkward, but poignant in its own right.  I think  Carson’s watering eyes were more meaningful since that man is always so stoic.  His moment with the Dowager Countess, who also rarely shows such frailty, continued the waves of sadness as the episode finished out.

Edith and Mary

I was a bit of a fool to get hopeful when I saw Mary and Edith together at Sybil’s bedside.  Mary had made a comment a few episodes ago before Edith’s wedding about how even though they didn’t get along, she still wished her well.  I figured this would be a time for them to come together.  Edith tested the waters and asked Mary if maybe Sybil’s death might finally make them close as sisters, and Mary was almost too quick to say no and offered only a half-hearted hug as a consolation.  Seriously?  At least Mary’s mention of how Sybil was the only one that thought Mary and Edith were nice people shows me she might realize just how much of an a-hole she is turning out to be.  I know Edith did some crappy things to her sister, too, but it’s not like Mary is suffering right now for it.

cora says goodbye

Finally, I want to recognize Elizabeth McGovern.  She played Cora beautifully in this episode.  I loved her line when Tom is trying to decide which doctor to listen to:

Tom: Would you take her to the hospital?

Cora: I would have taken her an hour ago!

There was so much urgency in her voice that you knew this couldn’t end well.  Then she later had the scene where she had to say goodbye to her already deceased daughter.  This was extremely sad, and I think the only thing that stopped me from crying was the frosty comment about Mary asking her father to sleep in the dressing room.  I was like annnnnnnd, things are about to get a lot worse for Robert.  Cora’s last line in the episode which essentially blamed Robert for Sybil’s death (yes Robert, there IS truth in that) confirmed that a reconciliation between the two is far off- if at all possible.

RIP Sybil.  A lot of people will remember you as the sweet and passionate Crawley sister.  I, though, will remember you as the girl in the poofy Jasmine pants.

lady sybil pants