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‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Robert & Cora Clash Over Sybil’s Death

Sun, February 3, 2013 10:00pm EDT by Andy Swift 2 Comments
Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 6
Courtesy of PBS (2)

Lord Grantham fought with nearly everyone in the abbey — and a few outside the abbey — this week, proving once again how truly awful he is.

I’ve always hated Robert (Hugh Bonneville) for being such a self-righteous d-bag, but never have I wanted to punch him through the TV screen more than during the Feb. 3 episode of Downton Abbey. Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) behavior towards him was colder than Sybil’s body — yikes, too soon? — and I couldn’t have been happier about it.

Robert vs. Cora

Still angry with her idiot husband for letting Sybil die, Cora has been sleeping alone. No matter how many times Robert asked to be let back into bed, she refused him, unable to forgive him for listening to Sir Phillip over Dr. Carson. In fact, it wasn’t until the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) asked Dr. Clarkson to lie and say Sybil would have died either way that Cora began to warm up to Robert again.

So I guess she’ll forgive him, and their marriage will go back to normal — all based on a lie. Real nice.

Robert vs. Tom

When Bobby wasn’t busy bickering with his wife, he was taking issue with every single one of Tom’s (Allen Leech) decisions about the new baby. He didn’t like that Tom wanted to name her Sybil, and he especially didn’t like that Tom planned to raise her Catholic. As always, he made his opinions known, despite every one in the house telling him he was being a jerk.

Robert vs. The Prostitute

Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) wanted to do something nice for the Crawleys in the wake of Sybil’s death — sorry, another bad joke — so she asked her prosti-maid Ethel to whip up a very simple lunch for Cora, Violet and the girls. Everyone was having a lovely time, until Robert came barging in with a special delivery of morals that no one asked for.

“Stop eating that whore food!” he screamed. (I paraphrased him, but that’s basically what he said.) And much to his surprise, not a single Crawley lady got up from her chair. Even Violet just sat there, munching on her whore food, and enjoying every bite.

Robert vs. Matthew

Here’s a shocker: Robert doesn’t like any of Matthew’s (Dan Stevens) new ideas for how to restructure Downton and make it more efficient. You know, despite the fact that he’s clearly displayed a complete lack of awareness and ability to run the abbey. Does anyone else remember when he almost lost the whole thing a few episodes ago after a series of bad investments? Yeah, I’d say it’s time to loosen the reigns.

Downstairs Drama

In a surprising turn of events, Mr. Murray was able to get a new testimony out of Vera’s sister, and now Bates (Brendan Coyle) will be free within a few weeks! I think I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait to see Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates’ creepy father-daughter relationship back in full swing.

Back at the house, Mrs. Patmore summed things up best: “You know the trouble with you lot? You’re all in love with the wrong people! She was, of course, referring to the Jimmy/Ivy/Alfred/Daisy love square that will probably never resolve itself. Although William’s dad did ask Daisy to move to the farm with him, so maybe we’ll finally be rid of her once and for all! [Insert maniacal laugh.]

But no relationship is more complicated than Thomas (Rob James-Collier) and Jimmy’s (Ed Speleers). The deeply closeted valet had his hands all over the golden-haired footman this week, to the point where Jimmy said he’s considering ratting him out to Mr. Carson. And of all his downstairs co-workers, of course Jimmy chose to confide in O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran) and her curly bangs of pure evil.

You know why O’Brien’s bangs are so curly, right? … They’re full of secrets.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you glad Bates is coming back? Do you hate Robert as much as I do? And do you think Jimmy is only pretending not to like Thomas? Drop a comment with your review!

— Andy Swift

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