After the grand party and the after-party regrets, we now have an episode of possibilities: new opportunities and new people. “Downton Abbey” is on PBS on Sundays. Check local listings.
Some of those new people are really old people facing new positions. If the last episode focused on the upstairs of Downton Abbey, this episode looks more at the downstairs.
Alfred (Matt Milne) takes the test at The Ritz. With Alfred seemingly likely to leave, Carson (Jim Carter) asks Molesley (Kevin Doyle) if he’s like to be a footman. Remember that Molesley is digging ditches and such to makes ends meet and yet he still feels that having been a valet and a valet to the heir of a great estate, being a mere footman would be a step too far down. Of course, at some point while he’s sweating without the benefit of a blue collar, he changes his mind. Will it be too late?
In the 1920s, a lot of changes were going on in the kitchen and modern kitchens were getting refrigerators to replace ice boxes. Cora insists on adding one to the downstairs and this vexes Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol). Imagine how the local icemen feel, but that’s no concern of ours.
Cora needs a new ladies maid and the replacement isn’t flashy like Edna. Baxter is quiet and Thomas sees possibilities with her. Thomas isn’t blind to the Anna-Mr. Bates tension and hopes to find out more, eventually.
Anna (Joanne Froggatt) finally reveals the reason for her PTSD and Bates (Brendan Coyle) proves that he is a stand-up guy, but not without an old-fashioned streak. That will likely bring problems because we know that Mr. Green (Nigel Harman) will return. Anna continues to state the attacker was a stranger who broke into the downstairs areas, but Mr. Bates has his suspicions. Who will get to the truth first: Mr. Bates or Thomas?
Mrs. Crawley (Penelope Wilton) convinces the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) to hire a new gardener, but the Dowager isn’t totally pleased and even suspects the gardener of being dishonest.
Upstairs, Tom (Allen Leech) considers moving to the United States. He and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) though are getting on better as we saw in the last episode, comforting each other as a widower and widow might–becoming good friends and allies.
Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) feels the full weight of bad karma in London and just where is Mr. Gregson?