BWW Recap: Secrets Unfolded and Exposed on DOWNTON ABBEY
As the episode begins, Robert receives word that he must travel to America to see Cora's brother, Uncle Harold, who has made a bad oil investment and will need Robert's assistance at his Senate hearing.
As Robert's valet, Bates should undoubtedly accompany Robert on his trip to America. In a scene between Bates and Mrs. Hughes, we discover that Bates does not wish to leave Anna alone at Downton in the midst of her recent attack, and rightfully so. On the other hand, Bates feels a loyalty to Robert and feels he must perform his job.
With this information, Mrs. Hughes decides to speak with Mary about the subject. She suggests to Mary that Bates remain at Downton during Robert's trip, and have Thomas take his place. Mary tells her that she will only extend her help if Mrs. Hughes will explain why Bates would prefer not to travel; Mary suspects it as something to do with Anna, and she has been concerned about her for quite some time. Mrs. Hughes complies, and informs Mary of what has been going on with Anna and Bates.
After Mary knows the truth, she decides to ask Robert if he will take Thomas to America rather than Robert. Though Robert does not understand the purpose, Mary gets her way. Bates enters the room packed and ready to go, but Robert tells him to disregard the trip, and exits. Now alone with Mary, Bates asks what she knows, figuring she must have had some input in his staying. Mary admits that she now knows about Anna's tragic incident, and feels Bates must remain at Downton to support her.
Meanwhile, the pigs we've been hearing so much about have finally arrived at Downton, and the pig farming can begin. In a conversation between Mr. Blake, Evelyn, Tom, Edith, and Violet in the library, Mr. Blake discusses his opinions on the pig farming venture; he believes the family does not know what they are taking on.
Soon after, Robert says his goodbyes to the family, putting Rose in charge of 'fun'. Thomas has a word with Mrs. Baxter before he leaves as well; he wants her to find out why he is embarking on this trip with Robert rather than Bates. After Robert is gone, Violet begins feeling sick, and asks that a car be called to take her home.
Tom offers to drive Isobel, who had also come to Robert's farewell, back to her home. Isobel accepts, and the two have a lighthearted conversation on the drive. Isobel tells Tom of the upcoming political meeting taking place in London, and invites him to come along with her that evening. Tom accepts, for he has always been very interested in politics.
Back at the house, Edith tells Cora of her plans to go to London the following day to see if she can uncover any information regarding Michael's whereabouts. As far as she knows, he checked into a hotel in Munich, went out in the evening, and never returned. Cora feels sorry for her, but assures her Michael will return soon enough. Once Rose hears about Edith's trip to London, she begs Cora to accompany her. Cora questions her intentions, and Rose explains that she would just like to visit some friends; however, we know she must truly desire to go to London to see African-American jazz singer Jack Ross, whom she has been seeing behind the family's backs.
Downstairs, Carson informs the servants that Alfred has reached out to them, and is doing well in his chef training program at the Ritz. He also plans on visiting Downton soon, which causes a bit of a stir amongst the servants; there is still some bad blood over Alfred between Daisy and Ivy. Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes convince Carson to prevent Alfred's visit to avoid any unnecessary drama in the kitchen; Carson agrees to keep Alfred away from the house.
At breakfast the next day, the servants receive word that Robert will reach America by Monday. They all discuss what America must be like, and despite Mrs. Patmore's doubts, agree that it must be a worthwhile place to see. Anna apologizes to Bates for robbing him of his chance for such an experience, but Bates says he would genuinely rather be with her than anywhere else.
At the Dower home, Isobel arrives to visit Violet late a night, claiming she felt an urge to check in on her friend. Her instincts were correct; Violet has fallen extremely ill. Isobel hurries to call a doctor.
The doctor's verdict is not pleasant; Violet has bronchitis, which could eventually evolve into pneumonia without proper care. He advises that a nurse be hired, for Violet's needs will be quite demanding. Despite this knowledge, Isobel insists that she act as Violet's nurse until she is well again.