Oh a pahty? How very delightful. But what is the occasion? Wait, let me guess. It’s a party to pimp out The Widow Mary to every eligible bachelor who didn’t get kablammoed in the war. In any event, it’s a fancy party with lots of important people who are keeping the maids and butlers on their toes. And there is a new handsome man in the servant’s quarters, a one Mr. Gillingham. He is there to tend to a Very Famous Singer who will be entertaining guests at Downton that evening.
Yeesh. Edna tries to make nice with Tom. They agree to be friends, which is, as we know, unpossible. Is it spring? Because even Mrs. Crawley has a gentleman caller. It’s that doctor again. Can’t blame a man for trying, I suppose. Rose is soaking up her fair share of gentlemen, too. And, of course, Edith has her married soon-to-be German.
Mary’s suitor already has a catch on the side, a very prominent Lady. That opens the door to Mary dumping all over arranged marriages, where two people are flung together for status convenience (even though that was exactly what brought her together with her dearly departed Matthew). *cough* Hypocrite!
The ladies are going on a tour of the gardens before the Very Famous Singer performs for them over crumpets and tea. Lady Cora was kind enough to invite the servants to listen to the songbird, including the lowly kitchen staff. Times, they are a-changing.
Jimmy hurt his wrist showing off for the ladies, so Thomas gets demoted from Under Butler to Footman for the evening. Lucky for Molesly, this opens the door to a temporary Footman position. “I have come down in the world, Mr. Carson, we both know that. I am a beggar, and as the proverb tells us, I cannot be a chooser.” Is that a yes?
Things really have changed at Downton—there’s dancing at a dinner party! Rose dances with a gentlemen caller, Tom dances with a dutchess, and Mary dances with her spoken-for suitor. She pretends like she doesn’t love it, but she does…until she sees the gramophone. It belonged to Matthew, so tears and a dramatic ascension of a stairway. No matter how many decades go by, people are still pissed at other people borrowing their records.
The next day, the Countess sees Mrs. Crawley on the street and asks her to come up to Downton. But Mrs. Crawley refuses to have fun because it means she forgot about her son and that would be wrong. Oh, the misery. It’s like a requirement in this house.
I’m getting the impression Robert lost more in his evening poker game than he wants to let on. It also looks like the near-German lost his shirt, and is looking to win it back in another round.
The Very Important Singer sings her tunes, and it’s dreamy and lovely and the servants are sitting separately but are equally enthralled, and the near-German sneaks away to gamble away the remainder of his non-existent fortune. Applause, applause. Oh what? Mr. Gillingham forces himself on Anna while everyone else is listening to the chanteuse! Rape! Stranger danger! Bad storyline!When Mrs. Hughes gets back to her room, she finds a very distressed and disheveled Anna, desperate to keep it all under wraps.
The near-German wins big in the secret poker game because he figured out that the guy was cheating. He then gives Robert back the I.O.U. he lost at the poker game and earns major brownie points with Robert. “Did you enjoy your evening?” “Yes I did raaahhhther.” Robert even calls the near-German a “decent fellow” and a “gentleman.” Yeah, well, give it a few years.