I have put off writing about this for these past twelve hours because I keep hoping I’m going to wake up from this bad dream and realize, no, that is not what happened in last night’s episode.
Did that really happen? Say it isn’t so.
Yes, I understand and appreciate the historical significance of this episode. Changing attitudes about hospitals, the old way of thinking vs. the new. I am grateful for the little lesson in The Ways Things Were. But did it have to cost me so much? Why oh why did it have to go down that way?
Seriously, the whole time that scene was unfolding, the boys and Paul were riveted and I sat there thinking “this is a dream sequence and then Lord Grantham will wake up and realize he better listen to the family doctor, not the celebrity doctor or things will go poorly.” So I was guarding my emotions that entire scene saying things like “there’s no way this is real. Why are the doctors just standing there?!”
I mean, those two men just stood there while the entire rest of the family freaked out and tried in vain to save their dear sister/daughter/wife MOTHER OF THE BRAND NEW BABY. Come on, Mr. Fellowes. Have a heart!
It’s one thing to read about women dying in childbirth and attitudes towards hospitals and how the birthing process has evolved and the lives lost during that era. Etc. ETC. ET CETERA. But to teach us that lesson through the loss of arguably the most likable character on the show was just rotten. I don’t watch this show because I want to be reminded of the cruelties of life. That’s what Little House on the Prairie is for.
I guess I could go on and on and on and it won’t bring Lady Sybil back. But you can’t blame me for trying.
A few other thoughts (before I go cry in my porridge):
•I can’t figure out what O’Brien is going for with the whole Thomas/Jimmy-James thing. Will J.J. put up with unwanted advances in the hopes of a promotion? Is O’Brien hoping J.J. will break Thomas’ jaw and give him what’s coming? All I’m saying is I don’t want to watch the de-evolution of J.J. into someone who will do anything for his career. Gross.
•Mary. Oh Mary. Did you really have to point out, while your sister slumbered in death right there beneath you, that you and Edith will never get along? That was a tad unkind. Who knows? Maybe the two of you will learn to love? I’ve already forgotten about all the sister-drama from Season One. Why can’t you?
•Bates. Anna. Yawn.
•Related, I don’t appreciate how tense I feel whenever they cut to the prison scenes. Now we have the cellmate and the guards to worry about? It’s too much. Equal parts boring and nerve-wracking. Scoop that dough from the corpses’ fingernails and get on with it. I’m ready for Bates to just be back at Downton hobbling his way around.
•Paul’s analysis: “How did they get Sybil’s throat to look so big during the death scene?”
Take away final thoughts: just sad. So sad. Boo to the ever loving hoo.