‘Downton Abbey’ season 3, episode 4 review (PBS): All about the shocking [spoiler]

Jessica Brown FindlaySince we already crafted a review of Sunday night’s “Downton Abbey” season 3 episode back when it aired in the United Kingdom, we really don’t want to just re-hash everything that we wrote in that article. Instead,, what we want do now is what we have tried to do all season long for the American airings: ask key questions.

The first one here should be obvious: did you see the death of Sybil coming? We were lucky enough to watch this episode without any sort of knowledge as to what was going to happen, and thus this was one of the most-shocking moments of television for us in the past year. Her death literally came out of nowhere; and while death during childbirth certainly happened during Edwardian England, we have grown almost desensitized by the possibility of it over the years thanks to the advancements in modern medicine.

Now, we move forward to the second question: why did this have to happen? The answer here is simpler: The actress behind Sybil in Jessica Brown Findlay was interested in doing some other things, and thus the writers needed to have a way to get the character out of the show in a way in which she would not be ruined to viewers at home. Had Sybil just gone away and left Tom for no reason, she would not be redeemed; plus, there was no reason to punish Allen Leech for what Findlay wanted to do.

Finally, we ask you this: do you feel badly for Robert at all? The decisions that he made in regard to Sybil’s care this week have created a gaping hole between him and Cora that will likely not be filled in anytime soon, and it puts a very tragic spin on what has at times been a comedic flaw in his character: a stubborn inability to trust the concept of change, and the words of anyone other than himself.

As always, we want to hear your answer to these questions below, and you can also see some “Downton Abbey” season 4 scoop (so long as you do not mind spoilers) over at the link here.

Photo: ITV

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