Alfred is practicing for a cooking test at the Ritz Carlton, and the kitchen staff is going to help him prepare. There’s also a new bit of technology in the servants’ quarters—an electric sewing machine. Its keeper is the new Lady’s Maid, Baxter. She is a relative of Jonathan, so there is the potential for her to turn evil and/or crazy.
One of the Grantham tenants is eight months behind on rent for his farm, so it’s time to foreclose on the property. The dead tenant’s son, Mr. Drew, wants to pay the arrears and take over possession of the land. Robert lends Mr. Drew the fifty pounds needed to pay the arrears in full because Mr. Drew’s family has been farming that land forever, and I guess Robert has a soft spot beneath the gruff exterior.
Alfred is making tarts with egg and cheese filling with Daisy’s assistance. She feels weird about it because she’s essentially helping him leave the house. Oh my, his test is the day after tomorrow! In London! There’s no way he can be ready in time, but how nice, Lady Edith will be accompanying him on the journey because she has to do something involving her near-German’s paperwork. Edith hasn’t heard from her almost-German in a long time. Hmm. Dead? Or ran off with a fräulein?
Oh look! The babies! And Mary is holding one of them! “Where’s Nanny?” Well, that was quick.
With Alfred off in London and possibly never to return, Mr. Carson suggests hiring Mr. Mosely as a replacement Footman. But not so fast, Alfred first has to pass the big test. The Ritz Carlton’s Sous Chef instructs the hopeful cooks in making four dishes. First is potato and leek soup, or vichyssoise (which I pronounce in my head as “fishysois” before giggling like an imbecile). The Sous Chef seems pleasantly curious about Alfred’s background and he didn’t spit out his food, so that’s good, right?
Mr. Bates finally confronts Mrs. Hughes about Anna. He knows that she knows, and that Mrs. Hughes thinks that Mr. Bates has a right to know, so…he says that he will leave Downton. To make him stay, Mrs. Hughes tells Bates the truth. Or, rather, sort of the truth. She bends it a little by saying it was an outsider who raped Anna, and most definitely not Lord Gillingham’s Valet. He takes it reasonably well in the sense that he didn’t immediately kill anyone, but he appears determined to exact revenge. “Nothing is over, nothing is done with.” Bates then tells Anna that he knows. “My shame has nowhere to hide…I’m spoiled for you, and I can never be unspoiled.” Naturally, Bates will hear none of that because he loves her very much. Yay! Happiness!
Tom wants to go to America so that little Sybil can grow up with a clean slate rather than as the daughter of “an uppity chauffer.” Excellent. Just what we need is another nouveau riche prep school kid.
When Mr. Carson speaks with Mr. Mosely about the Footman position, he is fairly horrified at the offer because it is just so beneath him, I mean a Footman? Ha! Jeez, man. A job is a job. But none of that matters once Alfred gets his test results in the mail. He did well and was nearly in the top four…but not quite good enough. Aw. That’s a shame. And awkward, because Mr. Mosely finally decided to lower his standing in the world by accepting the Footman’s position. Mr. Carson seems particularly pleased to tell him that his services will not be needed after all. “As it is, you’ve missed your chance.”
Next week, the near-German has “vanished into thin air,” and Mary has a new suitor.