Downton Abbey recap: Oh, Baby

Sybil gives birth to a baby girl, but a devastating turn of events shakes the Crawley family tree
Ep. 04 | Aired Jan 27, 2013

THE HAPPY FAMILY Tom and Sybil share a moment of peace with their newborn daughter before tragedy strikes.

Joss Barratt/PBS

Isobel and Ethel: Isobel hires Ethel to work around her house, so that she may have a respectable reference. This doesn't sit well with Mrs. Crawley's cook, Mrs. Byrd, who up and quits because she doesn't want to work with a former prostitute. The scorned cook writes a letter to Molesley, who tells Carson that Matthew's mom has hired a women of ill repute. Carson orders Molesley to keep the maids -- and the footman -- from Crawley house.

Thomas: He's getting very flirtatious with Jimmy (who does, as some of you point out, look exactly like Simon Baker). With his hands on Jimmy's shoulders, showing him how to wind a clock, Thomas tells the new footman to "never go past the point where the clock is comfortable." From Jimmy's reaction, Thomas should take his own advice.

Alfred, Daisy, Ivy and Jimmy: Daisy likes Alfred. Alfred likes Ivy. Ivy likes Jimmy. Jimmy likes to flirt. Throw in Thomas' affections for Jimmy and we have a love pentagon.

Anna and Bates: When Anna visited Vera's friend Audrey Bartlett a few episodes ago, she did pick up vital information -- that Vera was cooking the pastry that contained the poison that killed her after Bates had left. So he couldn't have poisoned her. Now all they have to do is get Mrs. Bartlett to give a statement. That won't be easy, since Bates' old cellmate Craig and the corrupt guard Durrant are out to sabotage him.

Matthew and Mary: Before Sybil's untimely demise, Matthew corners the visiting Sir Philip to ask if his spinal injury might have affected his fertility. The doctor wonders if everything is working properly, and when Matthew assents that it is, he tells the Downton heir not to worry -- there should be babies in his future. And speaking of the future, with Murray at Downton to talk to Anna about Bates, Matthew pulls him aside to discuss the management of the estate. Mary interrupts their conversation, and she's not too happy with her hubby, accusing him of trying to take Downton away from her father the same day he lost his youngest daughter. Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How will Downton grow?

Edith: Based on her letter to the editor, she's offered a weekly column and storms out when Robert insults her at the breakfast table. "Don't bother Matthew, I'm always a failure in this family," she says as Matthew tries to defend her. (Robert is definitely being a jerk, which comes as no surprise. Poor, poor Edith.)

And now for the Dowager Countess' best quotes:

I hate to get news second-hand. -- on wanting to stay until the baby is born.

When may she expect an offer to appear on the London stage? -- on Edith's job offer.

A woman of my age can face reality far better than most men -- after Robert chastises Dr. Clarkson for discussing the contents of Sybil's urine.

So how will we ever recover from Sybil's death? And how many boxes of tissues did you go through tonight?

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