BWW Recap: The Surprises Keep Coming on DOWNTON ABBEY
As the episode begins, we see the servants sitting down to breakfast. Daisy serves Alfred first, causing Carson to question her as to why she did not serve him first. Daisy apologizes, but she clearly is too grateful that Alfred is staying at Downton to worry about Carson's dismay.
Mary receives a letter from Evelyn and his boss, Charles Blake; the two are conducting a study on failing estates in the area, and will be staying at Downton indefinitely. After sharing this information with Anna, Mary comments on Anna's mood shift; Anna appears to be in higher spirits lately, and has moved back into the cottage with Bates.
Robert has received a letter as well; Cora's brother from America, Uncle Harold, has gotten himself into trouble by making a bad investment involving oil leases. Robert is concerned, but wants to see how the situation plays out before becoming involved.
Rose approaches Cora about the matter of Robert's birthday. Rose has a surprise in the works, but tells Cora she would prefer not to tell her exact details so that Cora may be surprised as well. Mrs. Baxter, Cora's lady's maid, overhears a portion of this conversation.
In the ower home, Violet notices a Japanese netsuke has gone missing. It is quite clear that she suspects the gardner Mr. Pegg of stealing it, and fires him over the matter. Mr. Pegg then goes to Isobel to inform her of the event. Pegg fails to understand why he was fired, for he believes he was a solid worker. Isobel is incredibly enraged with Violet.
Meanwhile, Baxter tells Thomas that she overheard Rose and Cora's conversation upstairs, and that Rose has a secret she refuses to tell. Thomas later reveals he believes it could be plans to lay off a member of the staff, and encourages Baxter to pass on more information whens she finds it.
Rose tells Mrs. Hughes of her surprise for Robert's birthday; she is planning on bringing in a band from London to play at the party. Mrs. Hughes, after some initial reluctance, agrees to keep Rose's secret and help her in any way she can.
Thomas sees Mrs. Hughes speaking with Rose, and questions her about the topic of their conversation. Mrs. Hughes refuses to provide him with any details, which worries him further.
Isobel visits the Dower home to speak with Violet about the Mr. Pegg matter. Violet stands her ground, stating she believes Pegg could be the only culprit. At that moment, Violet's butler appears with the once-missing netsuke, explaining that the statue had rolled into the maid's bucket while she was cleaning. Violet tries to conceal her embarrassment.
Back at Downton, the servants sit down to dinner. A letter arrives for Alfred from the Ritz. Apparently, someone has dropped out of the chef's program, and Alfred is next in line to take their place. Everyone congratulates him, and he prepares to leave Downton.
Also at the servant's dinner table, Anna suggests to Bates that they go on a date. She cannot remember the last time they did something for themselves, and insists they will be back in time to put the family to bed. Bates wholeheartedly agrees. Across the table, Mrs. Hughes asks Carson to call Mr. Molesley and offer him the footman job once more now that Alfred is departing. Carson, still angry over their last encounter in which Molesley believed he was "too experienced" to accept a job as a lowly footman, refuses to do so. He doesn't Believe Molesley deserves another job offer after his impolite reluctance the last time.
Soon after, The Kitchen staffs says their goodbyes to Alfred. On his way out, Alfred pauses to say a special goodbye to Daisy. Alfred apologies for hurting her in the past, and says he believes she will make someone very happy one day, just not him. Daisy wishes him luck, but it is clear she is still sad to see him go.
Meanwhile, Isobel visits Violet's home once more. The butler answers the door and informs her that Violet has left for the day and will not be back for some time. As Isobel turns to leave, she pretends to feel ill so the butler will invite her inside. The butler invites Isobel to have a seat in Violet's library until she feels better; Isobel uses this time to snoop around the room until she comes across the paperknife Violet had been searching for for weeks stuck between the cushions of a chair. Violet had previously blaming its disappearance on Pegg's accused sticky fingers. Isobel rings for the butler and gives him the paperknife before she leaves, asking him to please pass it along to Violet.
Back at Downton, Molesley arrives to speak with Carson. Molesley tells Carson he ran into Alfred on his way to London, and knows there is now an open footman position in Downton once more. Molesley asks Carson if his previous job offer still stands, but Carson is still sore from Molesley's initial reluctance; he sarcastically informs Molesley that he would not want to keep him from better opportunities by giving him the job.