Series Three: Episode Five
Autumn 1920. Sybil goes into false labour and is confined to bed. While she is there she has a disagreement with Mary over Branson's desire to have their baby christened as a Catholic. Branson talks to Sybil about moving to Liverpool and his getting a job as a mechanic, but she is not keen. Lord Grantham tells Dr Clarkson that he has invited a Harley Street expert, Sir Philip Tapsell, to stop by and have a look at Sybil.
Below stairs, O'Brien is still trying to get Thomas into trouble. Having seen his feelings for the new footman James, she engineers situations in which they are thrown together. When James complains to her that he feels Thomas is making inappropriate advances she advises him that it will do him good to be friendly with Lord Grantham's valet.
In prison, Anne is allowed to see Bates again. He tells her to try and get somebody to interview Mrs Bartlett officially, as she admitted to Anna that she saw Vera making a pastry the night she died (Vera died from a poisoned pastry) after Bates had left her. When Anna returns to Downton she reports this development to Lord Grantham, who realises that Mrs Bartlett would not give this evidence if she thought it would help Bates, so they decide to try and get a statement from her before she realises it will.
Sybil has been offered a job writing a weekly column for the Daily Sketch. The majority of the family are set against this, and try to discourage her by telling her that the editors are only interested in her name and title.
Ethel gives up prostitution now she does not need the money to support her son, and Isobel takes her on as a servant at Crawley House. Mrs Bird is horrified and refuses to work with an ex-prostitute, so Isobel fires her. When news of this reaches Downton, Carson orders that none of the staff are to visit Crawley House.
Sybil goes into full labour. She becomes unwell and Dr Clarkson suspects that she has toxaemia, and asks Sir Philip for her to be taken straight to hospital for a caesarean. Sir Philip disagrees, however, and Lord Grantham sides with him. Branson is confused and asks Dr Clarkson if he can guarantee saving the life of both Sibyl and the baby with a caesarean, which he cannot, and Lord Grantham tells Branson that he should trust Sir Philip. Sybil does give birth to a healthy baby girl, but later goes into seizures and dies. Everyone is devastated, and Cora particularly blames her husband, telling him to sleep in his dressing room.
Mr Murray, the family solicitor, arrives to talk to Anna about Bates, and Matthew takes the opportunity to talk to him about the running of the estate. Mary discovers them talking and is horrified that Matthew could bring the subject up on the day her sister died.