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Last week’s shocking turn brings some family and staff closer together, while others are driven apart on Downton Abbey.

The atmosphere in the Abbey was shaken this week while upstairs and downstairs alike tried to regroup after the heart-wrenching loss of Sybil in last week’s episode.

As anticipated, tension between Robert and Cora was at an all-time high as Lady Grantham – trembling on the verge of tears throughout the episode – continued to blame her husband for Sybil’s death. In an uncharacteristically direct intervention, Violet arranged for Dr. Clarkson to fudge the facts and assure Cora and Robert that Sybil’s life could not have been saved; it remains to be seen whether that will be the all on the controversial progression of Sybil’s fatal labor.

Robert also clashed with Sybil’s widower Tom, over Tom’s determination to baptize his daughter as a Catholic. The rest of the family rose to Tom’s defense, however, and luckily Mary’s blunt support of Sybil’s wishes seemed to settle the bulk of her father’s vociferous objections. For his part, Tom remains uncertain as to his future, and that of his newborn daughter.

Elsewhere on the estate, Isobel continued to battle prejudice as Robert and Carson loudly protested the female members of the Crawley family enjoying a lunch cooked by former prostitute Ethel; hearteningly, it was only the men who seemed to mind, as even the Dowager Duchess refused to leave the table.

Meanwhile, Anna learned that Bates has secured his release from prison, Matthew continued to chafe against Robert’s resistance to change in the management of Downton, and romantic tension continued to sizzle downstairs between Daisy, Alfred, Ivy, Jimmy and Thomas (yes folks, it’s a pentagon).

As for next week, ITV says:

It’s a happy day for Downton as Anna’s patience is rewarded.
Edith receives admiration from an unexpected quarter.
Matthew refuses to back down over the estate management, will his tactics pay off?
Branson’s plan for the christening causes consternation, as does the arrival of his brother.
O’Brien counsels Thomas but what are her motives?

ITV has also released its official synopsis for the series 3 finale, airing on Nov. 4.

There is excitement in the house and village as the annual cricket match approaches, and it brings out Robert’s competitive side.
As Violet’s great niece Rose arrives, a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye.
Thomas’s future is in Carson’s hands, but Bates may be an unlikely ally.
What secrets are Mary and Matthew holding back from each other?

What do you think these next two episodes will bring?

  • Lauren

    I didn’t think season 3 was airing until 2013…am I missing something?

    • antonia31

      It’s airing in the UK right now.

      • Lauren

        Ah gotcha! Thanks. Whew, I thought I had missed 6 episodes without realizing it!

  • nameless

    You can watch it in the states, if you know where to go *ahem*

    • Anglophile


      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

        google! just google it and look around

  • Anna S.

    *cough*a man is a widower*cough* sorry hate to be that person…..

  • Elphaba Thropp

    I think that Mary will find that she is unable to have children, and they’ll ask to have little Sybil while Branson works out his future.

    O’Brien…I’m pretty sure her plan is to have Thomas fall hard for Jimmy, and then get crushed when he (finally) realizes that he doesn’t return his affections.

    • Anna S.

      I was thinking Mary and Matthew will be Godparents. I really hope Tom keeps the baby. I’ve had such hard Tom feelings since the last episode.

      • Stinekey

        Technically speaking at least one Godparent has to be Catholic if a baby is being baptized Catholic. Exceptions are allowed nowadays, but I don’t think exceptions would have been granted in the 1920s. Unless the show is just going to ignore this rule. I’m hoping Mary and Matthew get to raise Sybil. :)

        • Anna S.

          Perhaps his brother could be the one instead of Matthew…

          Personally, Matthew and Mary need to get their own baby and keep their hands off Tom’s. It’s all he has left.

          • Stinekey

            Oooh, I never thought of that – with Tom’s brother. Good call. :)

          • Anna S.

            Thank ya kindly! Two more days! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Scribbler01 Brittanie Ouellette

    Oh no! Thomas fate is in Carson’s hands! Has O’Brien scheme worked, I fear it has! Though my greatest fear is that Dan Stevens and Maggie Smith have yet to sign on for the next two seasons. Downton Abbey would not be the same without them.

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    mary/matthew, robert/cora, tom/baby sybil blablabla we know that’s all going to take precedence… but:

    1) we gotta find out what Daisy decides to do about Mr. Mason’s proposal. I mean, that would be HUGE.

    2) is Bates really back for good or are his schemes going to backfire? dude can’t catch a break even when he’s being a good guy… (side note: maybe while he’s back he can help pull that stick out of robert’s butt)

    3) Edith seemed very legit this week. she needs to get that writing gig and try to continue the work that Sybil would have liked to start? getting women the vote and what not?

    4) All this proposed restructuring to Downton by Matthew… what is it going to mean for the future of everyone? upstairs and down? is this going to be a more drastic change than anybody could have seen coming?

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    i’m not entirely sure who likes who in this love pentagon, it’s completely convoluted, but it’s no less entertaining!

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