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I Dies from Love

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S1n08

Emily (Evin Crowley) has her heart broken and she kills herself.

I DIES FROM LOVE is the eighth episode of the first series of the 1970s period drama, Upstairs, Downstairs. It was written by Terrance Brady and Charlotte Bingham, and directed by Raymond Menmuir. This episode focused on the death of Emily, the Bellamy kitchen maid, after she had her heart broken by a footman from another household. This episode marks the final appearance of Evin Crowley as the tragic Emily.

Plot

Emily has fallen deeply and hopelessly in love with William (Tom Marshall), a young footman who comes to tea in the servants' hall at 165 Eaton Place while his mistress, Mrs. Van Groeben, an obnoxious, conceited, nouveau riche woman who is new to London from Cape Town, South Africa, is calling on Lady Marjorie in connection with a Charity Committee that the two women are involved with.

Also involved with the committee is Marjorie's best friend, Lady Prudence Fairfax, (who becomes annoyed with the newcomer when she brags about her daughter Wilhelmina becoming great friends with Lady Prudence's daughter, Agatha, whom she had only met the night before) and Lady Templeton (Aimee Delamain), an elderly, acerbic and slightly eccentric lady who "can't stand being cooped up with a herd of women" as she complains to an amused Hudson. Marjorie however sees her as a good person, and mentions that "Richard says she is the sanest person he knows."

Emily's kitchen work (she is responsible for the washing-up of the dishes) is suffering as a result of her ardor for William, (in this episode she is also pulling double duty as under-house parlor maid, which allows her to work with Rose) and she is receiving a great deal more verbal lashings from Mrs. Bridges. An example is when Emily mistakenly put salt into the sugar jar, which ruins one of Mrs. Bridges' puddings.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Van Groeben pulls Lady Marjorie aside and tells her that she thinks that their charity should only be given to a few privileged servants, which angers Lady Marjorie. She sharply tells her guest that the committee's efforts are designed to help everyone who is involved in domestic service, and not just a certain privileged few. The uncaring Mrs. Van Groeben then changes the subject about a party that she attended with a mutual friend of theirs, once again annoying Lady Marjorie.

Emily and William spend their days off together often, often having tea at Mrs. Fellowes (Patricia Hamilton) tea shop and Emily falls deeply in love with him and wants nothing more than to marry him. However, their later moment of privacy in a small park is interrupted by a passing cop (Robin Wentworth), who orders them out of the park and back to their homes.

Much later on, Mrs. Van Groeben, who is very unsympathetic and more than a bit snobbish (her tendency to be condescending to everyone makes her immediately disliked by Lady Marjorie and Lady Prudence, and absolutely loathed by Lady Templeton), forbids the relationship out of envy and firmly orders William to stop seeing her, bribing him with promises of a new uniform and an increased status in her household. The cowardly William obeys, not wanting to jeopardize his promotions, claiming he never saw Emily as anything more than "a bit of fun."

Meanwhile, back at 165 Eaton Place, Lady Marjorie, in a much more kindly manner than Mrs. VanGroeben, tells Emily that William cannot see her anymore, and Emily's heart breaks. Lady Marjorie is more sympathetic towards Emily's situation because she had been through the same thing with her son, James's friend, Charles Hammond.

The other below stairs members, with the exception of Rose, are too preoccupied with their own work to notice Emily's deepening misery. Mrs. Bridges continues her vicious tongue lashings at Emily, taunting her about William's real intentions and mocking her dreams of marriage, until Rose, discovering what is going on and hearing the cook's spiteful taunting, harshly puts a stop to it and comforts a sobbing Emily.

Emily sends William a love letter, penned by Rose, declaring how much she loves him. However, the next morning, while bringing a hamper of food for a servants' outing to Hampstead Heath (the reason for the meetings that Lady Marjorie had with Lady Prudence, Lady Templeton and Mrs. VanGroeben), William cruelly ignores a distraught Emily; while Harris (Charles Lamb), the VanGroeben family's head coachman, returns her letter and kindly explains to a broken-hearted Emily that he has a lot of new duties and couldn't bother to read it. He then encourages her to look forward to the outing and the grand time she would have.

The next day, during the preparations for the servants' outing, Emily, overcome with grief and despondent over William's cruel dismissal of her, commits suicide by hanging herself in her room. A sobbing Rose, who discovered Emily's dead body when she was sent to get her for the outing, tells Hudson what happened, and then he tells Lady Marjorie the sad news and while he goes to explain the situation to the other servants, a shaken Lady Marjorie reveals that her kitchen-maid has "had an accident" to Lady Prudence, Lady Templeton and an uncaring Mrs. Van Groeben (Earlier, Mrs. Van Groeben makes a callous remark about the servants dropping the lemonade down on the pavement which elicits a nasty glare from her enemy Lady Templeton).

Meanwhile below stairs, Mrs. Bridges is sitting in her chair, crying brokenheartedly, and feeling very guilty, the beginning stages of a guilt induced nervous breakdown, the devastated Bellamy staff stay behind from the servants' outing, and Hudson, using his various contacts, has the undertakers, Mr. Waterman (Carl Bernard) and Mr. Lowe (Christopher Wray), take her body out of the house.

When told that she was, more or less, going to be used for medical research (as she was a Catholic who killed herself and could not be buried in consecrated ground, and was considered a mortal sinner), Hudson was rocked to the core, and sharply tells the undertakers that "God will forgive her!" and after praying for the Lord's mercy on her soul, Hudson, who was really fond of Emily, wipes tears from his eyes. Emily's body is then carried from the house.

In the novelization of the scripts by John Hawkesworth, it is told that after Emily kills herself, the other Bellamy servants viciously condemn William, and Lady Marjorie severs all social contact with Mrs. Van Groeben and her family because of the tragedy.

However, in the series' next episode, Why is Her Door Locked?, she makes mention of Mrs. Van Groeben raving about a dinner that Mrs. Bridges had prepared the previous night. After that, it is presumed that she is no longer mentioned, and Lady Marjorie had severed contact with her.

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