I cry at Hallmark commercials. I’m not proud of this fact especially because I hate melodrama. But nonetheless I am a sucker for sap.
Sunday night, I anxiously awaited the latest episode of Downton Abbey. I am an unabashed fan, having watched the first two seasons on my iPad so I could catch up and watch the current season on TV.
But Sunday night, oh Sunday night, two-thirds into the episode I was happy I happened to have the house to myself. I couldn’t stop crying. It was so embarrassing.
If you are a fan you know by now that Sybil, the youngest of the sisters, died after delivering a baby. We got a sense something horrible was going to happen because she kept complaining about not feeling well. The family doctor wanted her in the hospital, but some prestigious blowhard physician with Sir in his name, convinced her father, the Earl of Grantham, that she was fine.
Obviously, she wasn’t.
Everyone loved Lady Sybil: her family, the servants, and most of all, her husband, who had been her chauffeur. When World War I broke out, Sybil went against her parents’ wishes and became a nurse. She also secretly helped one of the Abbey’s servants go to school She was kind, never aloof. Really, I could pick a couple of other characters we would have barely missed. But Sybil?
The more I learn to adjust to the news, and following similar thinkers on Twitter has helped, I’ve begun to admire the courage it took to kill off a loveable character. Downton Abbey was in danger of becoming boring what with Bates still in prison, and Thomas still a heel and middle sister Lady Edith still struggling with finding something to do.
But apparently the real reason for deleting Lady Sybil from the cast is neither creative nor complex.
Series creator Julian Fellowes says it wasn’t his wish to kill Sybil. So why did he? Actress Jessica Brown Findlay wanted off. She is scheduled to appear in the movie “Winter’s Tale” with Russell Crowe as well as “Lullaby” with Garrett Hedlund and Amy Adams.
In the end, it was just Hollywood.