Downton Abbey Series 3: Lady Sybil dies in child birth!
We reported earlier this week that rumour had it Lady Sybil was due to have her baby last night, and that she did, but a dramatic twist of fate left fans of the epic period drama shaken to the very core, when after a safe delivery, Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) dies after a series of fits in her sleep.
The episode started with Lady Sybil experiencing false labour, but being warned to prepare as it looks like the baby wouldn’t take too much longer too arrive.
Prescribed bed rest by the family’s physician, Doctor Clarkson, Lady Sybil spends the remainder of the episode in her bed, whilst the rest of the family wait patiently for the arrival of the new baby.
The subject of Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) plans for a family featured heavily, with both now admitting that they want a baby as soon as possible, but with Matthew confiding in a specialist maternity Doctor brought in to help Sybil, that he has concerns that his war injury may have left him infertile.
When Sybil starts full labour, Doctor Clarkson tells the family that he believes that her baby is too small and that she is showing signs of eclampsia.
Lady Sybil starts to hallucinate and shows real signs of distress, but the specialist Doctor insists that Doctor Clarkson is wrong, and that her child birth seems to be absolutely normal. Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) isn’t convinced and pleads with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) to take Doctor Clarkson’s advice and have Sybil taken to hospital so that a C-Section may be performed in order to save her and the baby.
Tom is outraged that nothing has been done yet, and after hearing Lady Cora say that if it were her decision then she would have had Sybil transported to the hospital an hour before, decides it is the best option.
However, at that very moment Sybil lets out a scream and it is clear that the baby is not waiting for anyone. The baby is delivered safely, and both mother and baby, a little girl, are doing well at first it seems, but after the family have all gone to bed, Sybil wakes up experiencing the exact eclampsia fits that Doctor Clarkson predicted, and dies in front of all her family.
This leaves the entire house in an utter state of shock, both upstairs and down.
Thomas (Rob James Collier) takes it particularly hard, having worked with Lady Sybil in the hospital during the war, and viewers are treated to a softer, more sensitive side to his character as he weeps alone in the kitchen.
Upstairs, the Countess Dowager (Dame Maggie Smith) arrives, and is so visibly shaken by the loss of her granddaughter, it is disturbing. But the worst moments of the episode come from a deeply grief stricken Cora, who sits all night by her youngest daughters lifeless body, telling her how much she loves her, and vowing to look after her new granddaughter and son-in-law Tom.
After the body has been removed, Downton Abbey is finding it hard to return to normal life, all except Matthew it would seem. The family solicitor, Murray, arrives to speak to Anna (Joanne Froggatt) as she has found evidence which will clear her husband, John Bates‘ (Brendan Coyle) name. Whilst at the house Matthew uses the opportunity to discuss with him the management of the estate, having already told Mary he has plans to change things.
Mary walks in on the conversation and is horrified to see her husband plotting to take her father’s business away from him on the same day he lost his daughter.
Elsewhere Lady Cora very clearly blames Lord Grantham for Sybil’s death, a notion she shares with the entire family, including the Countess Dowager. After a very difficult day she heads off to be, but not before telling Mary to tell her father that he is not welcome to share her mother’s bed for the foreseeable future.
The final, and most heart-breaking scene, shows a heartbroken Tom, holding his new baby, up to one of the windows, unable to conceal the grief he is feeling.
Downton Abbey can be seen Sundays at 9pm on ITV1/ITV1 HD.