A bitter sweet farewell, a broken heart, a plan to protect the truth, painful cracks in a solid marriage, a very flirtatious art expert, an admirer who returns to confront some certainties, conversations about sex in the library, the anger of a jealous Earl, old friends on opposite sides, loyalties put to the test, a wireless full of wires, an escape to Liverpool, a mysterious visit from the police.
While tidying Lady Edith’s bedroom in the morning after the fire, Anna finds in her bed a picture of a child and hands it to Mrs. Hughes. Neither of them makes any comment, maintaining their usual discretion, but the worried look on the smart housekeeper’s face indicates that she suspects something.
After being caught in a compromising position by Lord Grantham himself, the footman, Jimmy Kent, is fired and forced to leave Downton, but not before declaring his friendship to Thomas Barrow. The heartbroken under-buttler just watches while the one who may have been his only true friend in all his time working in Downton departs, not knowing if one day he will see him again. Unhappy and frustrated, Thomas focuses his anger again on Baxter and reveals her secret to Mr. Molesley as a revenge. However, Molesley knows that there is more behind that story than Thomas had told him and when he and Baxter meet, he asks her for the whole truth, because he can’t believe that she had done what she did without any other pressure motive. But Baxter is too ashamed of her painful past, and although grateful for his confidence, she just can’t reveal the rest of her secret and she only insists that she is a different person now.
Meanwhile, Lord Grantham and Mr. Carson try to reach an agreement about where the monument to the men who died in the war should be built. While Mr. Carson and the other members of the committee think that it should be built next to the cricket pitch, in a kind of garden of peace, Robert Crawley defends the idea that it should be built in the village, in a place where everyone can see it and visit it whenever they want . Mrs. Hughes also believes that the village is the best place for the monument and Mr. Carson doesn’t hide his discomfort because they were at odds.
During the breakfast, Lady Grantham announces that Charles Blake is coming to Downton bringing with him an art expert named Simon Bricker who is interested in see the work of Piero de la Francesca. Lady Mary disguises her surprise with the unexpected visit, but shares with her family her travel plans with a female friend, her perfect alibi to hide her escapade to Liverpool with Tony Gillingham for a week. Her plans will put Anna in a very delicate situation, when she asks the ladies maid to go to the local chemist to buy her contraceptives.
Lady Edith visits the Drewes again, and Mr. Drewe puts his plan in place to appease his wife suspicions, implying that Edith should be a kind of godmother to the little Marigold and thereby she can influence the future of the little girl. Despite bringing a little hope Edith’s heart, the plan doesn’t change Mrs. Drewe resistance, who is increasingly reticent with the constant presence of Edith.
Violet continues with her plan to approach Isobel Crawley from Dr. Clarkson, avoiding that she can one day become Lady Merton, and invites the good doctor and Isobel for afternoon tea in her home. But her plans may be compromised by Lord Merton who continues to demonstrate his interest in Isobel and he also invites the two ladies to tea at his house.
Miss Bunting starts teaching Daisy, and for Robert’s relief, refuses Tom’s invitation to stay for dinner. But while the young widow accompanies her to the car that will take her back to the village, she makes him wonder about his place in Downton and he argues again with Robert during dinner
Blake confronts Mary in her apparent final choice by Tony Gillingham saying he is not the a match for her wits and that she is making a big mistake. He provokes her affirming that she is only interested in his looks.
After dinner a furious Robert argues with his wife about the dangerous influence of Miss Bunting on Tom and orders Cora to warn her ‘new friend’, Simon Bricker, to stop ‘flirting with Isis’.
After Robert being convinced by Rose to rent a wireless, which is installed in the great hall, all the family, except Mary who had traveled to Liverpool, and all the servants gather to hear the King’s speech. And when Robert surprises Rose agreeing that the device remains in the house for a few more days, we get the feeling that perhaps not even Downton is unattainable by the changes the future will bring.
Mr. Carson is finally convinced that the monument should be placed at the village after him and Lord Grantham meet some villagers next the local cemetery. Happy for being in agreement once again with Mrs. Hughes, they have a lovely chat interrupted by the arrival of a police officer who brings alarming news especially to the ears of Mrs. Hughes. After a complaint, the police had decided to reopen the investigation about the death of Mr. Green and will come to Downton to interrogate some of the people who had contact with the infamous valet.