Guess Who's Coming To Lord Grantham's Birthday Dinner?
When Rose says she's got a surprise, take her at her word.
The Pegg Redemption
Alert Type: Humble Pie Alert.
Issue: As if the Paper Knife Incident last week wasn't horrifying enough, now some other damn thing has gone missing from the Dowager C's drawing room, like what is this place, a sieve? Anyway: Pegg gets fired.
Complicating Factors: When Pegg tells Isobel about his termination (he doesn't know why he was let go), she gets all het up and attacks the Dowager C, who isn't troubled by conscience about it even after the lost Japanese whatever turns up in Betty's wash pail.
Resolution: Isobel contrives to sneak into the Dowager C's drawing room when she's out, and finds the paper knife fallen behind a chair cushion. She hands it off to Spratt and gets super-psyched about rubbing it in the Dowager C's face that she was totally wrong about Pegg after all!
Spoiler: The Dowager C is a bitch, not a monster. When Isobel comes back to yell at The Dowager C about the injustice, the Dowager C has an answer a lllllll ready:
When the Dowager C found the knife, she sent for Pegg, apologized, and gave him his job back.
People Were Still Scared Of The Phone, Sometimes With Good Reason
As if Edith didn't already have enough to worry about what with her Mysterious Doctor Visit, now she's just hung up the phone and has to report to her mother that Michael, supposedly in Munich, has "vanished into thin air." Nobody's heard from him, no one can reach him, he hasn't tweeted in days, he hasn't checked in anywhere on Foursquare, texts are being Delivered but not Read, his emails are bouncing back, insert your own anachronistic communication joke here.
On The Menu
Tastes Like Victory
Turns out that the snooty sous chef at the Ritz actually doesn't dish out encouraging rejections to everyone: one of the accepted trainees has dropped out of the program, and Alfred's been called up!
Scrapple: As soon as Alfred's made his announcement, Ivy lays it on a little thick (under the circumstances) about how much everyone's going to miss him, whereupon Daisy can't take it anymore and reminds her that her rejection of Alfred is what's driven him away. Yikes! But kind of true.
Cocktails With Simple Syrup: Alfred, who is leaving right away, takes the opportunity of his last night serving drinks to the Crawleys to tell them all very feelingly how much it has meant that they were all so kind to him. The toffs are amused at this outpouring of emotion from one of the simple people (except Cora, who thanks him graciously). Alfred's voice breaks as he specially thanks Carson for being "a kind and wonderful teacher," at which The Lord G briskly puts a stop to it all: "Much more and we shall burst into tears."
Olives On A Branch: On his way out, Alfred makes sure to take a private moment with Daisy. At first, she refuses to meet his eye, but he (gently) tells her that they were never going to get together and that he hopes she'll still be happy for him, and she finds enough grace to wish him luck. Aw.
That Thing We Can't Talk AboutI'll arrange something tomorrow. Book somewhere special.If you'd like.I know it can't be the same as it used to be. I don't deceive myself about that. But I want to make some new memories. Good memories. So it's not as if all our happiness was before.I'm happy whenever I look at you.But you're not, are you? Everything is shadowed. Every moment we share is shadowed.You're right. Let's have one evening where we don't think about it. We leave it all behind.Thank you.
Alert Type: Willingness To Return To Downton Alert.
Issue: Molesley was redoing the gravel at the train station when he saw Alfred and found out he's on his way to London, so he thought he'd come back to reiterate to Carson his "willingness to return to Downton."
Complicating Factors: Lord G might have thought Alfred's speech was too goopy, but it apparently affected Carson, who says he doesn't just want people who are "willing": "I don't want to humiliate you. You feel you're meant for better things and I won't contradict you. Unfortunately, we have no higher place to offer in this house....You have your pride, and I respect you for it."
Resolution: Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes conspire to get Molesely back to dish out meals in the servants' hall, to demonstrate his humility.
Spoiler: Carson's a pompous dick, not a monster. He gives Molesley Alfred's old job and allows him to go by his last name, which is not done for footmen!
On The Menu
Table For Two (But Actually Three, If You Include The Ghost Of Mr. Green)
Though both Bateses have the best of intentions, their (extremely rare) nice dinner out turns out not to be that nice.
Jive Turkey: The snooty maitre d' "can't find" their reservation and is basically this guy about it.
Enough Comeuppance To Choke On: Turns out that the place Cora had earlier described to Baxter as "some frightful hotel" where she's dining with the rest of "The Committee" (I assume they're working on a project to raise "Awareness"?) is where the Bateses are having their special night out. Aw. Fortunately for Bates and Anna, Cora has a sixth sense for people being shitty on class ground and comes over to intervene. Hop to it, Maitre D'on't!
Blood Lust Pudding: Anna can't get into the spirit of the evening after all, and Bates is glad she broke the seal so he can tell her, "Every time I remember what you've been through, I want to murder." CHEQUE PLEASE.
Dr. T. Goldman, OB/GYN
Dear Lady Edith Grantham,
It is my very great pleasure to inform you that you and the husband I must assume you have despite not having seen a ring on your finger when you visited my office nor read in any of the papers about what would have been a most lavish wedding befitting your station will soon welcome a child!
Be careful of taking too much exercise; the latest medical research suggests that your usual very leisurely strolls around the ground of your estate can hurt your baby. Do, however, continue eating, drinking, and smoking as you've always done. Now you're living it up in the roaring twenties for two!
Yours Most Truly,
P.S. A baby certainly is a blessed event! I'm sure on this we agree!
These Hands Are Small, I Know
Alert Type: Stealing Third Alert.
Issue: Jimmy thinks that having taken Ivy to two movies entitles him to stick his hand up her skirt.
Complicating Factors: Ivy's not into it and gets pretty mad.
Resolution: Ivy narcs on Jimmy to Mrs. Patmore, noting that Alfred never would have tried to take advantage of her that way; Daisy overhears and tells her maybe she should have thought of that before she drove Alfred away, and Mrs. Patmore's like, "Word."
Spoiler: Ivy's going to be icing out Jimmy's Roman hands and Russian fingers for the foreseeable future.
The Upper-Class Twit Needler Of The Year
Evelyn's partner has arrived at Downton Abbey and immediately started making friends!
Name: Charles Blake. Age: Early 30s. Occupation: Commoner bureaucrat. Goal: To determine who's going to be first up against the wall when the revolution comes, basically. Sample Dialogue: "I'm afraid Evelyn may have given you the wrong impression....We're here to analyze the situation, and ask whether our society is shifting fundamentally. Will it affect food production? And so on."
Situation: The surprise for Lord G's birthday that Rose has been running around organizing with Cora and Carson and Mrs. Hughes is: a jazz band, to play after dinner!
What makes it awkward? The bandleader is Rose's old friend Jack! Who is not white!
Who's feeling awkward about it? Uh...everyone.
How is order restored? The determinedly anti-slavery Carson treats Jack like a person and everyone else gets on board. So maybe now that everyone knows what the Crawley ladies have been whispering about, maybe Thomas can get off Baxter's jock with his paranoia about imminent layoffs.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Bereave It Or Not
Before all the Lord G birthday madness, Isobel comes up to the nursery to hang out with George. (In case you forgot — because I'm pretty sure Lady Mary had until five minutes ago — George is the son of Mary and the late Matthew.) Isobel doesn't seem to be that guilty about the fact that she's pretty sure George has no idea who she even is, but once I've finished making my anachronistic judgments about things like "affection" and "neglect," Mary, Isobel, and Tom have a nice moment talking about something they all have in common: how lovesick they still all are for their dead spouses. You can tell Isobel is fully back to being her old self when she puts a positive spin on being widowed: "Aren't we the lucky ones." Aw.
A Birthday Fit For A G
What's the occasion? It's Lord G's birthday.
What are the refreshments? Cocktails, passed hors d'oeuvres, all the tongues everyone's biting with regard to the non-white singer totally performing in the foyer at Downton Abbey.
Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? The Dowager C, who's so concerned about seeming like a good sport that she dances. To jazz.
That Quote"Do you think any of them know what the others are playing?"- The Dowager Countess -
Charles And Mary Hate Each Other And They Always Will!I'm afraid I don't share your enthusiasm for her.Why not?She's the type who demands all this as a right. But she wants it on a plate. She won't work for it, and she won't fight for it. And that type doesn't deserve to survive.I don't want to make trouble, but she feels much the same about you.