Episode 6 is the sixth episode of the third season of the UK-US period drama, Downton Abbey.
This episode focuses on the immediate aftermath of the death of Lady Sybil Branson and another slight explosion when an act of kindness by Isobel nearly covers the Crawleys in a miasma of scandal.
After the funeral of Lady Sybil, Tom Branson is standing apart from the family. He is sad about his loss and he also knows now that he will be raising his child as a single parent. Matthew Crawley offers Tom some help and support; and he told his brother in law, that they may sound like parrots but they want to help.
The abbey is still in mourning with Sybil now gone. Both the family and the servants are mourning her as she was well loved by both worlds.
Downstairs, both Thomas Barrow and Anna Smith Bates were mourning her more than the others as they seemed to know her the best (Anna had once been her lady's maid; while Thomas and Sybil had worked together when the abbey was a convalescent home).
Cora still insists that her husband, Robert Crawley, sleep in his dressing room as she still holds him and Sir Philip Tapsell directly responsible for her daughter's death. She berates him for believing Tapsell "because he was knighted, and fashionable, and had a practice in Harley Street" over the family's physician who had known her ever since she was born.
Lady Edith begins to talk about the christening. At that point, Tom decides to name the baby, Sybil, after her mother. The christening comes as a surprise when Tom announces that he wants to baptize Sybil as a Catholic.
Ethel Parks, a former maid at the abbey, now works for Isobel Crawley Grey as a combined cook-housekeeper, and is looking to help Cora and the rest of the family when Isobel asks to have a luncheon. She enlists the help of Mrs. Beryl Patmore to help her make a wonderful luncheon, in spite of the restrictions against it by Charles Carson.
Robert complains to Mary about Tom baptizing the baby as a Catholic and also naming her Sybil. Mary doesn't agree with her father's resentents, and reminds him that Tom is a Branson, and Sybil is his daughter. Violet tries to tell him the same thing. Robert tells his mother that Cora is not happy with him and that she does still hold him responsible. He also says he is mourning her marriage as well.
Violet suggests that she should go to New York to go see "that woman", but Robert does not believe that would work out.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Daisy Mason, the assistant cook, berates the new kitchen maid, Ivy Stuart. She would later go and visit her father in-law, Mr. Mason. He stuns her by offering her the tenancy and the equipment for his farm. It is the first time that he invites her to move in with him.
Daisy is rather stunned, and is still stunned when she reveals to Mrs. Patmore that she was offered the entire estate of Mr. Mason. "You've become a proper heiress," Mrs. Patmore tells her assistant.
During a dinner, Reverend Travis is besieged on all sides by Cora, Isobel, Edith, Mary, Matthew, and Tom about Sybil being baptized Catholic. Mary reveals to her stubborn father that it was Sybil herself who revealed to her that she would want her baby to be christened Catholic. Mary told her father that on the day her sister died, she would want to have her child baptized as a Catholic.
Meanwhile in London, Mr. Murray, the lawyer for the Earl of Grantham, goes to Mrs. Bartlett, and finds out that she had told another story. It is revealed that the evil guard, Mr. Durrant, and Craig, Bates' cell-mate, had manipulated her to lie.
However, later on, Murray tells the Bateses that it was her who would rather see him imprisoned for life. Bates takes matters into his own hands, when he yanks Craig into a covey hole, and threatens him with a longer stint and with his friend Durrand losing his job for bringing drugs into the prison unless he and Durrand quit their lying and stop their manipulation.
Carson berates Mrs. Patmore for helping Ethel with the luncheon. Robert and Matthew have a row about the running of the estate, with an uncomfortable Tom watching. Carson reveals that the ladies are going to Crawley House for a luncheon, which is being served by a prostitute! Robert storms over to Crawley house and demands that Mary, Edith, Violet and Cora return to the abbey, Cora refuses, and so do the others. Robert is stunned that nobody leaves with him and storms out.
Carson is disgusted that the ladies did not come back from the luncheon. He believes that makes the world weaker and less disciplined. He then berates Elsie Hughes for not having any standards. Mrs. Hughes, undaunted, believes that since none of the ladies came back from the luncheon, she felt that she would be willing to go down to Crawley House, which really displeases Carson.
Mary tells her father that he is angry that the world is not going his way. She tells him that he will not win on the Christening. It was at that point that Robert finally realizes that Sybil is truly gone. Later on, Mary and her husband, Matthew Crawley get to hold their new niece for the very first time.
Violet earlier had talked with Dr. Clarkson and convinces him to lie that there was no way that Sybil would have lived, despite the Proof that she could have. She felt that her son's marriage would be saved by telling a harmless lie. At first, Dr. Clarkson was not willing to do so, but Violet manages to get her way in this.
However, Anna gets the news that she has been waiting to hear. The news that Bates will be released in a few weeks. The proof that everyone was waiting for finally came through, the police's case was weakened, Mrs. Bartlett tells the truth, and the conviction was overturned. What happened to Durrant and Craig was undetermined, but it was presumed that Durrant was fired from his job for his drug smuggling, and Craig's sentence was extended for his treachery.
Anna, Mary and Edith are overjoyed about this news and they run to tell Robert, who was in such need of good news. He is pleased that Bates would be released, as he missed his valet (he resented Thomas as a valet, given the troublemaking that he had done in previous seasons).
Robert and Cora are told to go to the Dower house, it was there that Dr. Clarkson tells the little white lie that brings them together to grieve their daughter. The episode ends with Cora weeping for her daughter.