‘Downton Abbey’ season 3, episode 5 review: Sybil’s [spoiler]; greater sadness

We are not sure there is another show on television that mixes drama and joy in the same exact way that “Downton Abbey” does, and we saw plenty of both on Sunday night’s new episode. Once again, we saw the continuation of what has been a tradition for much of this season; rather than having Matthew and Mary in the forefront, we saw Tom and Sybil dominate much of the airtime.

Ultimately, it does make some sense once you consider the story that we saw play out this week: these two are not proud parents to a baby girl! For most of the episode, though, there were doubts as to whether or not Sybil was going to be able to welcome the child into this earth without the assistance of an operation, as she was going through all sorts of troubles while in labor.

For about the span of a few minutes here, we were genuinely celebrating what was one of the most joyous moments of the entire series’ run. Despite everything that tom and Sybil had gone through, it was looking more and more like they had somehow found a way to get through it. Then, Sybil’s body flared up in a post-birth seizure, and within a matter of minutes her body was cold as ice. This was by far one of the most shocking deaths we have seen this entire year, mostly because there was really no way to prepare for it. The tone never suggested that something like this would happen; it felt as though we were going to see something rise from the ashes, and not fall bad into them.

The other storyline of the week was slightly hopeful, mostly in that Anna may have finally discovered the right clue to break Bates out of his prison. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to be happy for her given that we are still busy wiping the tears from our face. The same goes for Matthew trying to figure out the future of the Abbey, which honestly made Mary offended that this subject was even coming up at this untimely hour.

What did you think about this episode as a whole, and do you find yourself as hooked here as you were for the show’s first two seasons?

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!