14/10/2012 17:31 BST | Updated 14/12/2012 05:12 GMT

TV REVIEW: Downton Abbey - Tragedy In The House, And So Preventable!

As Cora sighed and told the dining table at large, "There's nothing more tiring than waiting for something to happen." She was apparently talking about the baby, but she could have been referring to the script, until... tragedy befell the Abbey once more, and in frustratingly preventable circumstances.

Tragedy befell Downton Abbey, with the arrival of Sybil and Tom's baby

Sybil's baby was on its way, but complications over the birth ignited a clash between old - the traditional administrations of Doctor Clarkson (David Robb) - and the new-fangled ways of purse-lipped surgeon Sir Philip (Tim Piggott-Smith). As the Dowager explained, "the decision must lie with the chauffeur" - but poor old Branson bowed under the weight of Sir Philip's arrogant complacence, disaster struck that even the tartan warrior Dr Clarkson was unable to prevent and the house was plunged into mourning.

On a lighter note, Isobel Crawley's lifeline to fallen woman Ethel wasn't working out so well in the kitchen department, and Daisy was having her own problems keeping Alfred out of the clutches of Poison Ivy - no doubt it was Daisy's glare in their direction that curdled the custard.

And Mr Bates' innocence looked a step closer to being proven, due to the dog-with-a-bone efforts of tireless Anna, and his conclusion, "They said it was in the pastry where I couldn't have put it." Well... the case against him was always a bit flakey (sorry). With only three episodes to go, we can hope to see Mr Bates a free man before too long, the one upside from one of 'Downton's saddest episodes.

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