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Because Sybil died! And OMG, it was sad. Because she was just the kindest of all beings yet spawned. Kind to all living creatures, including hook-nosed spinsters and gay footmen. The way everyone carried on, I fully expected little birds to fly through the window and cover her corpse with flowers and little sad-eyed bunnies to weep at her beloved feet. Let's take a moment to listen to every single blessed member of the cast weigh in on how wonderful she was:

She was sweet.
And kind.
Yes, kind. She was kind.
So kind.
She was kind to me.
And me. Nobody else was kind to me except her.
Nobody else was ever kind to anyone ever ever ever except her.
There will never again be anyone so remotely kind.
Indeed, kindness has now left the world.

Okay, yeah, she was nice, but jeez, can we maintain a little perspective? Maybe I missed the episode where she cured cancer or something. Anyway, now that we don't have to worry about anyone being nice anymore, we can get back to the stupid:

For me, doughboy continues to take the prize. I guess you have to give him credit for not wasting an opportunity just because his sainted sister-in-law is dying. Put it down to his sense of middle-class economy to buttonhole the two visiting professionals who are there for other reasons and pump them for his own needs. I hope they both send in hefty bills later, it would serve him right. But did he really have to have the discussion about his wonky willie right in the middle of the front hall?

Lady Violet is first runner up. In the event that doughboy cannot continue to be a jackass, she will fill the void nicely. Here her precious angel of a granddaughter is in great physical distress to the point of death and she can't resist the opportunity to continue to take pot shots at the social standing of the girl's husband. Well played, Lady Violet.

Head-scratcher line-of-the-episode goes to the lawyer who said something like "Middle classes have their virtues and husbandry is one of them." What exactly did the British middle classes have to husband in 1920? Nothing, that's what! What a dumbass thing to say.

And there was the usual reminder that No Man Will Ever Touch Edith with Matthew's sad insistence that Edith should be allowed to pen her pretty notes to the newspaper because "Edith must do something." The clearly unspoken corollary being "because no man will ever touch her."

I think we are supposed to find Mary delightfully bitchy when Edith, wild with grief (weirdly, hers was the only grief that struck me as real) asks Mary if they might try to be nice to each other and Mary off-handedly says "Let me think about it, no" with as much feeling as she might decline cream in her coffee, with the blue body of their exalted sister stiffening beside them. Yeah, that's entertaining. And speaking from a storytelling standpoint, it's really a waste. I mean, that's actually kind of an interesting moment there, but Fellowes sticks his anti-tension pin into it almost immediately and it goes pop. Wouldn't it have been more dramatically dynamic to have the remaining sisters actually try to be friends and have it blow up in some awful way? But why make an effort to build something like that when you can just end the tension with one quick line?

And the Bates thing....I don't even know what to say at this point except POISONED PASTRY? Really? REALLY?

Burning question:

How long will Cora stay mad at Robert? (Answer: one episode. Question extinguished.)

Will all of the kitchen maids henceforth be required to have botanical names?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 29th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
As soon as there were two doctors on the scene, I said, "She's going to die." My friend, a nurse, agreed.
Jan. 29th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
She was clearly doomed from the moment she became pregnant. Too many anvils with Edith whining about never having a child and hints of Mary's difficulty conceiving. And then the old trope that Sybil was The Nice One. The Nice One always dies so the Bad Ones can feel bad about it later. (Although it doesn't look like these two are going to feel much at all.) So really, Sybil was doomed from day one just because of the stock character she was.
Jan. 30th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Poor Sybil.
Jan. 30th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Great death scene, though. That bulging neck? Awesome!
Jan. 31st, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Needed way more woodland creatures!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )