We begin this week the morning after last week’s opera party/rape opportunity. All of the servants are sitting down to a glum morning meal, which is just fine by Carson, who “always finds something rather foreign about high spirits at breakfast.” Anna is, and rightfully so, rather fidgety, and Mr. Bates is using his well-developed prison senses to figure out why. When the band of merry-makers and their servants depart, the abominable Mr. Green announces to Carson that he will “remember this visit” for a long time. Mrs. Hughes looks on and seemingly puts two-and-two together, giving Mr. Green a look that says, “Don’t make Mr. Bates teach me how to shiv you!” (Which, incidentally, I’d pay to see)
The upstairs lot says their goodbyes too, which include Lady Edith seeing off her Keebler Elf Mr. Gregson, the Duchess telling Branson not to feel too sorry about being sad that Sybil is dead (even though he’s clearly the only one), and Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham flirting it up a bit before he sets off.
Isobel runs into Dr. Clarkson, who asks her if she’ll help him with some mumble-mumble hospital thing. Isobel agrees. Ok. Just ask her to dinner already, Dr. Clarkson! It’s obvious to anyone that you want her for more than her nursing skills! Otherwise, what are either of you still doing on the show?
Lady Mary announces plans to go up to London to meet with some tax people. The conversation proceeds as follows:
Lady Mary: I’m going to London to meet with the tax man.
Lord Grantham: I hate that idea.
Lady Mary: Precisely why we should do it. Mama, will you take care of the children?
Cora: If you mean shuck them off with the nanny as usual, then absolutely!
Lady Rose: You’re going to London? Excellent! I’ve not caused enough trouble there! Can I come?
Lady Mary: I guess.
Cora: Are you going to see Tony Gillingham while you’re in London?
Lady Mary: Way to go with the subtleties.
Vile Edna Braithwaite then corners Branson as he’s coming down the stairs:
Edna: So, you didn’t come see me after I plied you with alcohol and took advantage of your vulnerability last night. Why?
Branson: I’m sorry that I let you sleep with me, but seriously! Go away.
Edna: Fat chance. You’d better marry me if you happened to impregnate me.
Branson: I am in such major trouble here.
Down in the kitchen, Ivy has been trusted with making a hollandaise. Oooooh. Nothing good can come of this. Jimmy decides to sample it, and says it’s awful. He confides in Ivy that he would like to spend his life being a lethario, while dancing Ivy around the kitchen. Alfred, Daisy, and Mrs. Patmore return and walk in on this. Alfred tells Jimmy to stop being such a whore, and Mrs. Patmore and Alfred compliment Ivy on her hollandaise. Daisy declares, “It’s not like it’s hard!” Mrs. Patmore is unhappy with Daisy’s attitude, reminding her that Ivy is a beginner. Daisy shoots Ivy a look of pure hatred and deadpans, “but Ivy moves so fast for a beginner.” Hope you’ve got some ice to go with that burn, Ivy! But seriously, you probably should keep your hands off Jimmy in the kitchen. Mrs. Patmore isn’t running a brothel.
Anna interrupts an adorable moment between Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson to tell Mrs. Hughes she wants to move back upstairs. Poor Anna and Bates! They just can’t catch a break.
We resume the kitchen shenanigans when Daisy sees Ivy sneak off to the boot room with Jimmy. When Alfred enters to tell Ivy some good news about possibly going to cooking school in London, Daisy sends him straight to the boot room, where Alfred witnesses Ivy and Jimmy mid-kiss. Ouch. Sorry, Alfred. But, at least you’ll have a good reason to apply for cooking school now!
In London, Lady Rose and Lady Mary are set to eat with Aunt Rosamund. When Lady Mary enters the dining room, guess who she sees? If you guessed Lord Gillingham, you must have conversed with Cora before reading this. The conversation proceeds as follows:
Lady Mary: Sorry I’m late.
-SEES LORD G-
Lady Mary: WTF are you doing here?
Lord G: Happy to see me?
Lady Mary: In the sense that one is happy to find a pimple? No.
Aunt Rosamund: Dinner parties are excellent, aren’t they?
Lady Mary: We've just got rid of these people!
Lady Rose: I love company!
Lady Mary: I hope Ms. Lane Fox doesn’t have a problem with your being here.
Lord G: You’re much hotter than she is.
Lady Mary: I do love a good compliment.
Sir John: Let’s all go to the Lotus Club after dinner!
Lady Rose: Yesssssssssssss!
Lady Mary: I don’t know why we’re still taking you out in public.
At the Lotus Club, Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham dance, and Mary admits that she’s not too sorry that Lord Gillingham has given her a vacation from her real life. Lord G asks her to have dinner again, but Mary comes up with another couple of excuses for why they can’t date, the most prominent of which is that the season is only halfway over.
During the dancing, we get several shots of the singer at the nightclub, who is – GASP! – black. Lady Rose dances with Sir John, who has had a few too many glasses of champagne. After awkwardly moving Rose around the floor, the black singer, Jack Ross, pushes him out of the way and dances with Rose, “rescuing her from deep humiliation.” Aunt Rosamund immediately dispatches Branson to remove Rose from his clutches and thus preserve the family honor. Everyone is successfully shuttled from the club, but not before Jack Ross launches into a rendition of “A Rose by any Other Name.” Foreshadowing!
The merry trio of Lady Mary, Lady Rose, and Branson return to Downton, and Lord Gillingham, who apparently has nothing better to do than follow these people around, has turned up unexpectedly and uninvited. This greatly displeases Anna, who wonders if Mr. Green will be with him. He’s not, but Bates’s prison senses are alerted at this revelation.
Branson meanwhile, on the advice of Lady Mary, has decided to come clean to Mrs. Hughes about his “indiscretion” with Braithwaite. Mrs. Hughes, who is probably wondering how she can get on the same pay grade as Dr. Phil after counseling Anna, Carson, and Branson in the same day, agrees to help him out of his predicament.
Lord Gillingham and Mary meet up in the parlor, where this conversation takes place.
Lady Mary: Back again, are we? I hope People features me in their “Body After Baby” section with all of the attention you’ve been throwing my way.
Lord G: Marry me?
Lady Mary: You don’t know me.
Lord G: And?
Lady Mary: We just met.
Lord G: And?
Lady Mary: . . . .
Lord G: Look, your husband’s dead. I’m alive. I’m in love with you.
Lady Mary: Forget it. There are still four episodes left.
Lord G: Kiss me before I go please.
Lady Mary: Why not?
Lord G: Thanks! See you at the Christmas special!
The time has come for Mrs. Hughes to confront Edna.
Mrs. Hughes: Come in.
Edna: I knew you’d try to pay me off. No worries though, this man is going to bring up my child whether he likes it or not!
Mrs. Hughes: Um. You’re not pregnant.
Edna: Says who?
Mrs. Hughes: Says this book you bought about birth control!
Edna: How dare you foil my evil plot by looking through my things?
Mrs. Hughes: Nobody messes with Mrs. Hughes, bizzzzzzzznitch!
Branson: I am so in awe of you right now.
Back in London, we check in with Lady Edith and Wannabe Nazi Michael Gregson.
Gregson: I’ve dismissed all of the servants. We’re all alone. All. Alone.
Edith: We’re not doing dishes, right?
Gregson: As if. Did you miss me?
Edith: Duh. So you’ll be
goose-stepping traveling to
Germany next week? Anything I can do before you go?
Gregson: Besides hand over your “flower?” I mean, um, yeah, sign this thing giving you authority over my affairs
when if something
happens to me.
Edith: Ok. Sounds good. Are we going out tonight?
Gregson: I did not rose-petal my bed for no reason. Hope you borrowed the birth control book from Braithwaite, because it’s on!
Edith: Well, I guess I can’t be a spinster AND a virgin for another season.
Later, Aunt Rosamund, who witnessed Edith’s walk of shame, had this to say on the subject:
Aunt Rosamund: You look better than I thought you would.
Edith: Please. I tamed that “bed”-head. But I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Aunt Rosamund: So, should we just get to the point? Don’t tell me you were “talking” until 6 AM.
Edith: It’s cool. He wants to marry me.
Aunt Rosamund: Need I remind you that you got left at the altar?
Edith: Unnecessary! Are you going to tell Mama?
Aunt Rosamund: Nah. I'm still cool Aunt Rosamund. But seriously, just remember that un-wed mother looks good on no one.
Edith: I’m not sorry, even though this relationship has had more red flags than a Communist convention.
Aunt Rosamund: Not yet anyway.
We end the episode with Lady Mary and Tom off to London, cryptically referring to the wrappings up of their stories for the week.
This episode was (unfortunately) light on the Dowager Countess, so we'll save her quotes for next week. In the meantime, I will be coming up with "ship" names for Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Harson? Chughes?