"Downton Abbey" fans had a big decision to make on 2013 Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. The football game was going on at the 9 p.m. time slot. An unexpected power outage at the Super Bowl delayed the game by almost half an hour, and this caused a real division in many households. PBS replayed "Downton Abbey" at 10 p.m. but many fans still missed it due to the Super Bowl. So, what happened Sunday night on "Downton Abbey" on Season 3 Episode 5?
After last week's episode, there was a pall over "Dowton Abbey" from the death of Lady Sybil in childbirth. Her mother, Cora, blamed her father, Robert, for listening to a well-known obstetrician and ignoring their own physician, Dr. Gentry. In this episode, Robert's mother, Violet Crawley, arranged for Dr. Gentry to bend the facts a little to bridge the divide between the two. He explained that, even with an operation done at the time he recommended it, Sybil may have died anyway.
The fact-bending involved how great or small the odds were that she could have lived, but the meeting helped Cora release her husband from the guilt of their daughter's death. They embraced and sobbed together in grief. The Lord and Lady Grantham began facing the loss of their daughter together.
After the memorial service, Sybil's widow, Tom Branson, continued to grieve his wife and consider the future for he and his daughter, who he has named Sybil, after her mother. Robert Crawley did not like the choice of names, calling it "ghoulish."
He also did not like the fact that Tom plans to have the baby christened Catholic. Mary supported Tom's decision because she had discussed the very issue with Sybil the day she died and promised to support her.
There is a growing tension between the Lord of Grantham and Downton Abbey's new partial owner, Mathew. He has looked over the accounts and workings of the estate and realized there has been some slipshod management. He began to approach Robert about some changes, but was not met with a cooperative attitude on the Earl's part.
Throughout the episode, there was some teenage banter taking place downstairs among the servants. Daisy is in love with Alfred, but Alfred is in love with the new girl in the kitchen who is in love with Jimmy, who may be in love with Daisy!
Jimmy, the new footman, expressed that he was uncomfortable with the attentions being paid to him by Thomas. Mrs. O'Brien underhandedly tried to encourage Thomas to pursue the unwilling Jimmy in order to get him into trouble.
Daisy went to see Mr. Mason who told her he wants her to take over running his estate. She has not given him an answer yet.
Ethel, the maid turned prostitute turned maid, prepared a luncheon for the ladies of Downton at the home of Isabel Crawley. She sought help from Mrs. Patmore and successfully pulled off a nice luncheon.
The luncheon was interrupted by Lord Grantham who, after being told by Carson that a prostitute was serving the meal, he stormed in demanding they leave. He was livid that they were exposed to a "scandal," but quite shocking for the times, the ladies all defied his insistence that they leave immediately.
The Bates prison storyline continued in episode 5. The lady that had testimony that could free Bates later refused to recount her story. After some pressure behind the scenes by Bates, suddenly she agreed to testify. Anna received a letter from the Crawleys' attorney that Bates would be released in a few weeks. She was thrilled and shared her news around Downton. Lord Grantham was thrilled.
If you need a comprehensive list of characters on "Downton Abbey," Wikipedia provides this page.
If you don't mind a bit of a spoiler, here is an article about the upcoming Season 4 on "Downton Abbey."