A lot of stories were set in motion in the season’s second episode, so let’s try to break them down!
Bye Bye Jimmy
After last week’s indiscretion, Jimmy is let go, but at least with a good reference, He bids adieu to Anna and Mrs. Hughes, then gets a proper send off by Thomas, who is choked up to see his only real friend leave Downton. Reminding us that in 1924, no one knew what to do with a guy like Thomas, Jimmy remarks how surprised he is to be friends with a “man like you”. He wishes Thomas happiness. It’s just really sad when you think how unlikely that was in this era. Daisy and Mrs. Patmore are bummed that he’s gone, and snicker that they’ll have to settle for Mr. Molesley as far as eye candy. That might be even sadder. For his part, Molesley gets a promotion by default from a dismissive Mr. Carson.
Obviously smarting from his pal’s departure, Thomas is right back in shit-stirring mode with Molesley, who is devastated when it turns out his story about Baxter is 100% accurate. She coolly recounts it to her biggest supporter and says she’s simply not that person now. Later, Thomas quietly admits to Anna he wishes he could fit in sometimes. One wonders if he’ll ever really try.
There’s Something about Mary
Mary calls Edith an idiot regarding the fire; it’s like old times! She tells everyone that she’s going away with someone named Annabelle on a sketching trip, but we know it’s code for sexytimes with Tony. Mary confides in Anna, who is helping her with her ruse, including shopping for condoms, because Mary figures it would be too much of a risk for her to shop for them herself, and she wants to be sure there are no “consequences” from her getaway. Poor Anna is so embarrassed, but the scene in the shop makes for good comedy. For his part, Bates wonders why Anna isn’t going with Mary on the trip. Anna thinks it’s dangerous for Mary to go, but Mary says life will be different in the future and she has to know if Tony is the one before she commits to another marriage. Divorce is also not an option.
Charles Blake makes a visit just before she’s slated to leave for her dalliance, and when he gets Mary to admit that she thinks Tony may be the winner, he can’t keep his mouth shut. He thinks Mary is “more clever” than Tony, and it definitely comes across as sour grapes. It does send Mary off to Liverpool with something to think about, however. One assumes she stopped thinking about it as soon as she and Tony, meeting in the doorway of their adjoining rooms, discussed dinner and their plans to make love as long as they have any stamina left, which immediately led to some serious making out.
Rose and The Wireless
Rose wants a wireless for Downton, and uses the fact that there’s one at the hospital now to bring it up. Robert says no before she can even ask. Later, Clara asks him why he’s so adamantly against it, and he says it’s a waste of time and a fad that won’t last. Then, he and Carson commiserate over actually needing to rent one to listen to the King do a broadcast, but they think they’ll just have it in the house for a day. Of course, after gathering everyone and getting various bemused reactions to the technology, Robert opts to keep it.
Edith visits the Drewes. Tim makes a big thing of asking her to look after Marigold if something happens to them, despite his wife’s mild protests that her sister is the Godmother. Mrs. Drewe is nonplussed that her husband is ignoring her. Edith asks her parents advice/permission on the plan. Robert gives his blessing, begrudingly, telling her she can’t just give the child up when she gets bored, which was also Mrs. Drewe’s concern. Of course, we know that is unlikely to be the issue here.
Teaching Miss Daisy
Mrs. Patmore decides to pay for Sara to tutor Daisy in her math coursework. With an actual teacher to guide her, she finally starts to get it. Sarah reassures her it’s OK to want to have choices and not be resigned to spend her entire life as a cook.
Finding out she’s in the house, Rose wants to have Sarah stay for dinner, but she begs off dinner with the Crawleys, having Tom walks her outside to her car. They talk about Sybil (sniff) and how she was unique in her freedom from prejudice and Tom should remember that he was the one who helped her see the light. Later, Tom speaks up at the table when talk turns to the Russian refugees, and this angers Robert tremendously. At the same meal, Mr. Bricker, Charles’ friend who has come to see a famous painting the Crawleys own, flirts like mad with Cora, who eats it up with a spoon.
As they prepare for bed, Robert is angry that Tom might eventually leave Downton, and worse, might take Sybi. He also tells Cora to make sure that Mr. Bricker stops flirting with…his dog. He’s either completely oblivious or just passive-aggressive. He might also be preoccupied with his minor disagreement with Carson on the placement of the war memorial because that would be soooo Lord Grantham.
“Do people think we’re some sort of hotel that never presents a bill?”–Robert, getting the news that yet another group of guests is coming for an overnight stay
“Why is it called a wireless when there are so many wires?”–Daisy, asking the million dollar question
“Thank you Mr. Barrow, your scaremongering has not succeeded.”–Carson, after Thomas brings a policeman to see his boss. Too bad the cop brings news of a witness in Mr. Greene’s murder, causing Mrs. Hughes to nearly lose it right there. Will the mystery of Mr. Bates’ whereabouts that day be solved? We might finally find out!