"What's the matter with everyone this merry morn?" It was left to Barrow as usual to cut to the heart of the matter as everyone above stairs and below attempted to gather their wits following the events of last week's house party.
Obviously Anna faced the harshest light of day, struggling to keep her secrets from Bates, shaken out of his fireside grunts by his wife's mysterious pains. The scene between Anna and her only confidante Mrs Hughes was a great example of two fine actors playing two strong women, and a blessed relief from the more lauded Michelle Dockery's woodenness upstairs.
Lady Mary faced a dilemma about her future with an offer from Lord Gillingham
But poor Branson was coming a close second, with Braithwaite's demands, as she fought for the future of their perhaps unborn child, struggling to keep the opportune gleam out of her eye. It all got a bit strange, with her fate resting on a book of womanly wiles, until this was unearthed by the tireless Mrs Hughes. Does the lady never sleep?
Not quite sure why Edna's so keen to marry into the Crawleys, anyway - a bunch of glums at the dinner table by any measure, and apparently having all sorts of unendurable troubles... "living under a curse, doomed to lose our ladies' maids at regular intervals", poor buggers. A trip to London brought some much-needed 'fun', ie the chance for Lady Mary to 'play truant' - i.e. stand stiff as a board, just in different surroundings, bizarrely charm an enamoured suitor, and then.... not marry him, but maybe regret it. Haven't we seen this before?
Jack Ross (Gary Carr) Downton's first black, and only smiling, character
Lady Rose was having a bit more fun, dancing with Downton's first black character, "gallant" bandleader Jack Ross, one of the very few characters in the entire cast with a smile on his face. Cross fingers we see him again.