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Downton Abbey recap: Oh, Baby

Sybil gives birth to a baby girl, but a devastating turn of events shakes the Crawley family tree

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Downton Abbey Sybil Tom
Joss Barratt/PBS

Downton Abbey

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith

We begin in the middle of the night, when Dr. Clarkson is attending to the very pregnant Sybil. He says that she’s just experiencing early labor pains, and tells everyone to go back to bed. In their room, Robert informs Cora that Sir Philip will be arriving tomorrow. Cora is upset — Dr. Clarkson has known the girls since they were born and she doesn’t think it’s right to call in another doctor. Robert, however, is unmoved. “I like the old boy, but he did misdiagnose Matthew and he did miss the warning signs with Lavinia.” In defense of Clarkson, how could he have known about the miraculous spinal recovery? And thank goodness he couldn’t save Lavinia. Otherwise, she’d still be around.

The next morning, Sybil, in the midst of complaining about her pregnancy, slyly questions Mary as to why she’s not pregnant herself. And despite Sybil being unable to “recommend this to anyone,” Mary says she’s “dying to start one of her own.” Does this mean more scenes of Matthew and Mary in bed together? We haven’t had one in a while. Some of us are getting antsy.

Back to the baby at hand. Sybil implores Mary to take her side when it comes to the christening, since it has to be at Downton. Tom wants it to be Catholic, which will definitely anger the Anglican Crawley family. Mary tells Sybil she doesn’t have to go along with Tom — it’s her baby, too. But Sybil insists. “I do believe in God, but all the rest of it — Vicars, feast days, and deadly sins. I don’t care about all of that. I don’t know if a vicar knows anymore about God than I do. And I love Tom, so very, very much.” I guess that answers my question about why she married him.

Before dinner, Cora says she wants to call Dr. Clarkson to the house when they are finished eating. Robert and Sir Philip balk at this suggestion, yet Cora insists. The only reason that this is relevant is that Edith offers to drive down to pick Dr. Clarkson up after dinner, and the Dowager gives her a priceless smirk.

NEXT: It’s time to begin