Synopsis: Unkind gossip has been floating around London about Lady Mary. This worries Lady Cora who knows very well that the rumors are true. She wastes no time to find another suitor for her daughter that she invites Sir Anthony Strallan to dinner. Meanwhile, Miss O’Brien sensing that Daisy knows something about the night Mr. Pamuk died convinces Lady Edith to speak to the kitchen maid. Moreover, she and Thomas come up with a plan to get Mr. Bates fired.
Episode Summary: Daisy attends to the fireplace of Lady Mary’s room and remembers the night she saw Lady Mary carrying a body inside Mr. Pamuk’s room. This puts her on edge, and leads Anna and Gwen to ask her about it, but the young kitchen maid is unwilling to share what she witnessed. Concerned for the young girl, Anna asks again about the incident at Lady Mary’s room. This made the other servants curious of what’s putting Daisy on edge. Pushed to a corner, Daisy reveals that the tragic deaths of the heirs, and Mr. Pamuk have been troubling her. William, however, wonders how Lady Mary’s room could have brought those disquieting thoughts.
Lord Grantham receives a concerning letter from Lady Rosamond, and becomes more troubled to learn that Lady Mary envies the life of her rich, widowed aunt who lives alone at a mansion at Eaton Square. Lord Grantham shares to his wife the contents of her sister’s letter, and his worries. According to Lady Rosamond, there is buzz going about London about Evelyn Napier losing interest on Lady Mary. In fact, the young man has decided to marry one of the Semphill girls instead. Lady Rosamond feels that Mr. Napier’s change of heart presents badly for Lady Mary for it gives an impression that her niece is not good enough for Mr. Napier. Lady Cora asks her husband to speak to their daughter about finding a husband. This makes Lord Grantham scoff for he knows very well that her stubborn daughter never listens to him, and adds that if she did she would marry Matthew. Lady Cora finds a potential suitor in Anthony Strallan, but this does not fare well with Lord Grantham for Mr. Strallan is as least his age and is as dull as paint. Lady Mary would never be interested with Anthony Strallan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Lady Cora believes that Lady Mary should marry soon.
Lady Sybil receives a letter as well, and excitedly tells Gwen about it. She took it upon herself to apply for a secretarial opening for Gwen without the young maid’s knowledge for she did not want to disappoint her if it so happens that the firm ignores her application. Both are pleased to learn that the firm had scheduled an interview for the next morning to meet Gwen. Later, Lady Sybil informs her father that she has borrowed the governess cart for her trip to Malton tomorrow. She claims that she is to visit Mrs. Stuart who lives there. Knowing Malton to be a busy town filled with motorists, he advises her daughter to have Branson drive her instead.
Mrs. Crawley senses that Lady Edith is interested with her son, Matthew. Not wanting to disappoint the young lady, she informs her son of her plan to settle their promised church visit. Moreover, she informs her son that he had caught Edith’s eye. This annoys Matthew who has no shred of interest for Edith. Meanwhile, Mr. Molesley asks for some time off to help with the Downton Village Flower Show that will be held next Saturday. Moreover, he wants to help his father with his stall. Mrs. Crawley curious about the flower show drops by the hall, and asks about Mr. Molesley about the prizes. She recalls a cup that caught her attention the previous year. Mr. Molesley informs her that that was The Grantham Cup, a prize that the late Lord Grantham donated to the show that is awarded to the person with the best bloom in the village. Curious Mrs. Crawley asks who won the prize last year, and learns from Lady Violet that she did. This piques Mrs. Crawley’s curiosity even more and begins to ask who won the prize from the previous years only to learn that Lady Violet did as well.
Miss O’Brien learns of Lord Grantham’s disappointment with Mr. Napier for spreading rumors about Lady Mary, but accuses Thomas that it was he who has been gossiping about their mistress. Knowing that only four people were aware that Mr. Pamuk was in Lady Mary’s room that fateful night, Miss O’Brien is convinced that Thomas was the one who’s been spreading the news. She believes that the only people who knew of Mr. Pamuk’s presence in Lady Mary’s room were she, Lady Mary, Thomas, and possibly Daisy. Seeing that none of the women could have said anything to anybody, he deduces that Thomas must have been the one. Thomas denies having said anything about Mr. Pamuk, but admits to have written to the valet of Lord Savident that Lady Mary was no better than she ought to be. Unlucky for Thomas, he expressed his thoughts to the servant of a man with an open mouth. Thomas has dug a hole for himself with his gossiping and also for having been caught filching a bottle of wine from the cellar. Although Mr. Bates has not said a word to Mr. Carson, he believes that it is only a matter of time before the valet turns on him. Miss O’Brien advises that he must make his move before Mr. Bates causes trouble for him.
Unsure of whether Daisy knows anything about Mr. Pamuk being in Lady Mary’s room, Miss O’Brien tries to draw out some information from her, but Daisy could not be broken just yet.
Matthew finds Lady Mary in the village as she is on her way to send a telegram to Lady Rosamond that her aunt may send her butler to King’s Cross to receive the supplies from Downton Abbey. Mary asks Matthew about his church visiting plans with Edith, and learns that Mrs. Crawley has been setting something up. Mary warns the young man that her sister has big plans for him, but Matthew makes it clear that he has no interest on Edith. This seems to have put a smile on Mary’s face, and her reaction appears to have delighted Matthew as well.
Daisy is running late on her chores, this after taking what should have been a short nap. To catch up on her duties, she decided to skip breakfast. Feeling sorry for the young girl, Anna hands Daisy a jar of Lady Sybil’s biscuits knowing that none of their mistresses eats those. Daisy gladly accepts knowing very well that Lady Sybil would not mind if she has some. Unlucky for her, Mr. Carson walks in the room while she was having a go at the biscuits, and about the same time when Gwen has fallen ill. Mr. Carson learning that the young maid is not feeling well sends her to bed, but wonders why Daisy is holding Lady Sybil’s jar. Daisy makes an excuse of polishing the glass jar before putting it back, but Mr. Carson lets this go.
Later, Mrs. Hughes finds Mrs. Patmore being difficult with Lady Cora. Lady Cora informs the governess that she has invited Sir Anthony Strallan to dinner on Friday, and was trying to persuade Mrs. Patmore to prepare their guest’s favorite Apple Charlotte pudding. Mrs. Patmore, however, is unwilling to change her menu to accommodate her request, because everything’s been ordered and prepared. After looking at the recipe, which appears to be simple enough to do, Mrs. Hughes wonders why Mrs. Patmore is making a huge fuss about Lady Cora’s request. Daisy volunteers to read the recipe for her, but this only adds to Mrs. Patmore’s agitation. Lady Cora not wanting to cause any more trouble concedes to foregoing her request. However, she does ask Mrs. Hughes in confidence to look after Daisy seeing how Mrs. Patmore scolds the young kitchen maid.
Lady Sybil drives the governess cart and meets Gwen who has been hiding behind a tree by the road. Gwen is wearing the dress Lady Sybil gave her for her interview. Knowing that Gwen has feigned sickness to be able to make the interview, Lady Sybil worries that the young maid will be in trouble if someone finds that she’s not in her room. Gwen is not worried for Anna is her roommate, and she is confident that the head housemaid will not betray her.
With Gwen supposedly out sick, Anna is left to change Lady Edith’s beddings. Mr. Bates gives her a hand, and learns that like him, Anna feels sorry for Lady Edith too. His concern stems from learning that the young lady was in love with the late Mr. Patrick, and Anna gives him more reason to feel sorry for her for Lady Edith never stood a chance because Mr. Patrick being the heir of Downton Abbey was set up to marry Lady Mary. Anna mistakes Mr. Bates’ sympathy for Lady Edith for her loving a man who does not love her back, but embarrassingly learns that he was merely sad that the young man died. Seeing that he has embarrassed Anna, he tells her that it’s possible that the young man loved Lady Edith only he could not say it, because it wouldn’t be right.
Mrs. Crawley drops by Lady Violet’s house to speak to her about the flower show. She informs her that the roses in Mr. Molesley’s garden are the most beautiful ones she has ever seen. Moreover, she bravely expresses her belief that Lady Violet’s winning the cup has become the local tradition. This is an accusation the old lady denies believing that she had always won fair and square. Mrs. Crawley finds this hard to believe, since Lady Violet always wins despite Mr. Molesley’s remarkable garden. She asks the Dowager Countess to release the committee from any obligation to let her win, but Lady Violet insists that the committee does choose the best bloom; it just so happens that it belongs to her.
Mr. Bates finds Lord Grantham in his dressing room. His master informs him that one of his snuff boxes had gone missing. Mr. Bates being unfamiliar with his collection, Lord Grantham describes to him the item that is missing. It is a blue snuffbox made for a German prince that has a miniature framed in French paste.
Gwen’s interview lasted only five minutes. She and Lady Sybil make their way home, but their horse has cast a shoe. Gwen worries that people might start looking for Lady Sybil, and she is right for Anna has been asking for her, since it’s almost time to ring the dressing gong. The young ladies walk their cart to the next village where a blacksmith lives, but learns that the man is out for a week working in an estate. Moreover, there’s no other blacksmith in town. To add to their problem, Dragon, the horse, has decided to take a break and wanders off the road to eat. Lady Sybil and Gwen begin to push the cart just when the horse decides to run off, and the two off them fall face first on the muddy grass. Lady Cora hears of her daughter’s absence, and becomes worried. Luckily, after walking for miles, the two finally made it back home. Anna finds Gwen sitting on her bed, and knowing that she was not in their room the last time she checked, she asks the young maid where she was out of concern. Learning that Anna had not betrayed her, Gwen admits to have been out of the house. Knowing very well that Gwen with Lady Sybil must have gone to her interview, Anna asks whether she got the job, but Gwen has yet to hear back from the firm.
Hearing from Lady Cora the growing distrust among her daughters, Miss O’Brien is struck with an idea. She pays Lady Edith a visit first to inform her that Lady Sybil has returned, but really to speak to her about the night Mr. Pamuk died. She informs Lady Edith her belief that Daisy knows something about what happened, but is unwilling to share her thoughts. However, she believes that Lady Mary is somehow involved. Feigning concern for the family, Miss O’Brien thought it best to come to Lady Edith since Daisy is unwilling to speak to the other servants about it. Lady Edith instructs Miss O’Brien to have Daisy meet with her tomorrow after breakfast.
Miss O’Brien brings Daisy to Lady Edith’s room, but the kitchen maid insists that she did not see much. Seeing that Miss O’Brien’s presence is causing Daisy’s unease, Lady Edith asks that she let the two of them talk privately. Lady Edith convinces Daisy who has started to cry that it is not fair to her to be burdened by Lady Mary’s secret, and promises her that telling her what she knows would make her feel a lot better.
Lady Cora, a member of the flower show committee, drops by the hall to view some of the flowers on display. Mrs. Crawley calls her attention to Mr. Molesley’s display adding that the man has worked so hard on his stall. Mrs. Crawley continues her praises for Mr. Molesley’s roses, and Lady Violet sees right through it. Lady Violet informs Lady Cora that Mrs. Crawley believes that she has an unfair advantage, and that she has won the cup not from merit, but because of local tradition. Matthew somehow apologizes for her mother for thinking so, but Mrs. Crawley insists that although it may be hard to top Lady Violet’s roses, it’s not impossible that someone else might better hers.
Mr. Carson informs the servants that Lord Grantham is missing a very valuable snuffbox. He asks any one of them who may know information about the missing item to come see him, and assures them that whatever they say will be heard in strictest confidence. Miss O’Brien and Thomas seem to already have pinned Mr. Bates as the culprit arguing that he is the only one who comes to the room where the item is stored.
Lady Cora pays Lady Mary a visit in her room right before dinner to ask her to look after Sir Anthony Strallan for he would be a suitable husband for him. This annoys Lady Mary who once again finds herself being set up for marriage. She finds it ridiculous that her mother would think that she will be interested with Sir Strallan, a man that’s less appealing than Matthew Crawley whom she refused. Lady Cora delights at hearing that her daughter has begun to think more highly of Matthew, but this is not the point she is trying to make. Lady Cora informs her daughter that a rumor in London has been floating around that presents Lady Mary as not virtuous, and that after the incident with Mr. Pamuk her chances of finding a husband has thinned. Shocked at learning about the rumors about her, Lady Mary worries that her father has found out about Mr. Pamuk, but her mother assures her that Lord Robert only knows it to be gossip for he is still unaware of the truth. However, Lady Mary finds the prospect of not ever finding a husband better than forty years of boredom and duty. Lady Mary tells her mother that she is a lost cause, and that she should let her manage her own affairs. Moreover, she tells her to concentrate on Edith instead for her sister needs all the help she can get. Lady Cora reprimands Mary for being unkind to Edith, but does not deny that the young woman has fewer advantages than Mary. Regrettably, Lady Edith is at the hall by Mary’s room and heard all the unkind things that were said of her.
Mrs. Patmore takes the food from the oven, drops them on the floor, makes a scene and blames everything on Daisy. Good thing, quick thinking and trustworthy Anna was the one who was there. She instructs Daisy and Gwen to pick up the roast chickens from the floor and wipe them. They put them back on the tray, and no one’s the wiser. Meanwhile, dinner has started, and Lady Mary sits beside Sir Anthony Strallan who is boring her to death with talk about farming and mechanization. Luckily, Matthew is seated next to her. Lady Edith sees an opportunity and she impresses the man with her remark about the difficulties of accepting progress without being unfair to workers. Sir Anthony pleased to have found someone interested with his thoughts agrees to show her the new harvesters. By dessert, Lady Cora has picked up a conversation with Sir Anthony much to Lady Mary’s relief. She turns to Matthew and has a pleasant conversation with him about how Mr. Molesley’s roses will turn everyone’s heads, but asks him not to share her remarks to Lady Violet. Matthew would not dare, and adds that he’ll leave that to her mother. Lord Robert is delighted to see Mary and Matthew getting along well. Mrs. Patmore sprinkles a condiment on the desserts before sending it out. Sir Anthony is the first one to take a bite; he cringes in disgust and gags. He explains that he had a mouthful of salt. Lady Cora tastes the dessert, requests everyone not to take a bite, and orders Mr. Carson to take it away and replace it with something else. Matthew and Lady Mary could not contain their laughter at Sir Anthony.
Downstairs, it’s a different story. Mrs. Patmore sobs at hearing the news about her failed dessert, but still manages to blame it on Daisy. Mr. Carson assures poor Daisy that she is not to blame. Mr. Bates asks the other servants to leave Mr. Carson with Mrs. Patmore. Mr. Carson gently takes Mrs. Patmore’s hand and urges her to tell him what’s troubling her. Mrs. Patmore confesses that she is losing her eyesight. She has so far managed without anyone noticing it for she knew where everything’s kept, but again manages to slip in a criticism about Daisy. Mr. Carson kindly tells her that she might owe Daisy an apology, and Mrs. Patmore agrees for her behavior towards the young girl merely stems from the fear of her going blind. Meanwhile, Anna tells Mr. Bates that she believes Thomas hid the snuffbox in Mr. Bates’ room to frame him as the thief. Her advice is for him to go look for it in his room, and when he does find it there he could either put it in Thomas’ room or hand it to her and she’ll put it in Miss O’Brien’s room.
After dinner, Mary makes a funny impression of Sir Anthony when he took a bite of the overly salty dessert. Edith chastises her for having a good laugh with Matthew at the expense of Sir Anthony. Mary fights back shaming her sister with the fact Matthew shared with her; Matthew is not interested with her. In an attempt to prevent Edith from falling to pieces, Lady Cora compliments her for looking after Sir Anthony noting that she saved the day. Her compliment worked, Edith confesses to have enjoyed her conversation with the man. Mary confronts Edith about her making a show, and receives a challenge from her sister.
Lord Grantham shares his delight with Matthew at seeing him and Mary getting along. Knowing that he and Mary got off on the wrong foot, Lord Grantham asks the young man if he and Mary start again for he does not see any reason why they cannot be friends. Unfortunately, having taken up the challenge to catch Sir Anthony’s interest, Mary has decided to put Matthew aside to entertain Sir Anthony. Edith tries to compete with her sister, but Sir Anthony is already engrossed with the book Mary is showing him. Hurt with having been thrown away like a used rag, Matthew excuses himself feigning a headache. Mary sees Matthew leave, but is too late. She has once again managed to hurt Matthew. Lord Grantham sees this, and shares his cryptic thoughts to his wife. He observed that his daughter has acted much like a child, playing with a man’s feelings. However, he failed to see that Edith has been hurt as well.
At the servant’s hall, Mr. Bates suggests to Mr. Carson that they should conduct a search for the snuffbox. This startles both Thomas and O’Brien. Anna recommends that Mr. Carson can search the men’s rooms, while Mrs. Hughes will search the women's rooms. Moreover, since all are already aware that a search will be conducted, they must act quickly to prevent the thief from hiding it. As soon as Mr. Carson agrees and leaves to fetch Mrs. Hughes, both Thomas and O’Brien run to their rooms sure that Mr. Bates must have hidden the snuffbox in either of their rooms. Mrs. Hughes catches Miss O’Brien in her room that is now in complete disarray. Clearly, she has been trying to look for something.
Mrs. Crawley is surprised to see her son back home early. Matthew though seemingly upset informs her that he did enjoy his evening, and was going to tell her something else but changes his mind. The next day, all attend the flower show. Lord Grantham and Lady Cora admire Mr. Molesley’s roses. Lady Cora notices that he has roses like no other, and rightfully so for it is a species that the old man has just discovered. Lady Cora asks the man if he would be kind to tell their gardener about it, and invites Mr. Molesley to their rose garden interested at hearing his ideas. Lord Grantham notes that in a fairer world, Mr. Molesley will surely win the prize. Lady Violet is still convinced that the judges have been fair, and that she has been winning the prize on merit. Meanwhile, Lady Mary approaches Matthew to apologize, and is relieved to know that they still are in speaking terms. However, the young man appears to be avoiding her. Lady Edith sees this and rubs it in on Lady Mary who resorts to criticizing her clothes. Seeing Miss O’Brien she is reminded of the secret she knows.
The servants make their way to the flower show. Anna is a bit disappointed that Mr. Bates has done the noble thing, and returned the snuffbox instead of planting it in Thomas or Miss O’Brien’s room. Mr. Bates explains that he is happy with those two knowing that he is aware of what they have done. Unable to contain it anymore, Anna confronts Mr. Bates about the secret he has been keeping, and is surprised to learn that he truly is keeping one. Anna wishes that Mr. Bates would tell her what it is, but Mr. Bates regrettably informs her that he cannot. He does tell her that he has been married, but there is more to it. Nevertheless, Anna confesses that she is in love with him.
The servants have finally arrived at the flower show. Lady Sybil speaks with Gwen and learns that the firm has turned her down for not having met their qualifications. Gwen has once again given up on her dream, but Lady Sybil assures her that their fight to attain it is far from over. Lady Violet takes up the stage to announce the winners, and finds that the committee once again names her the winner for best bloom. With all the talk of her winning not on merit, Lady Violet announces that the Grantham Cup goes to Mr. William Molesley despite the judges naming her as the winner. All are in disbelief that someone else has won the prize for best bloom including Mr. Molesley who thanks Lady Violet for letting him have the prize, but the Dowager Countess assures him that it was the judges who decided. Moreover, she genuinely congratulates him for his Comptesse Cabarousse rose. Lord Grantham and Lady Cora compliment Lady Violet for her sacrifice.
Later that night, Lady Edith has taken to heart all the hurt she has received from her family especially Lady Mary. She sits at her desk and writes to the Turkish Ambassador. She who laughs last laughs longest indeed.
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