The old order of the Earl and his advisers know best is coming apart on "Downton Abbey." Because the Earl paid deference to the medical opinion of his buddy doctor, Sybil died of toxemia after giving birth to a daughter. Another doctor had warned that Sybil was filling with toxins and should be moved to a hospital. The Earl sided with the old order.
With Sybil's death, Cora and Mary are blaming the Earl. He seems to also blame himself. But that is just one piece of his authority fading. Matthew, whose inheritance is invested in Downton Abbey, has major plans for imposing modern financial controls on the enterprise. He knows that the Earl will balk because the old order sees "businesslike" as "mean." But he plans to go ahead.
Cora won't sleep with the Earl and Mary is going to write a letter of apology to the doctor who was right. Mary is not aligned with Matthew's "turnaround" plans and there could be increasing tension in the marriage.
Another source of friction is Tom's plans to have the daughter he and Sybil conceived baptized as a Roman Catholic. That is shown in the coming attractions. The family is in an uproar. Will they fight Tom for custody of the child?
The old order also took a hit when Edith is invited to be a guest columnist for the newspaper. Her father is against it. However, everyone knows now that she is a spinster she has to do something. This could be that something.
This episode was a very sad one for those of us who have become part of the Crawley family. We have lost innocent Sybil who had followed her heart and the men in the life could not protect her from lousy medical advice.