In London, Mary turns up to the stage door of The Lotus Club and asks for Ross; cut to the man in question warming up his voice when Mary steps inside. Ross isn't surprised that an emissary from Downton has been sent given that Rose told him she blabbed about setting the date. He offers her tea, and after she sits, he guesses that Lord Flintshire wouldn't exactly welcome "a black son-in-law," and that her father would agree. Mary: "To be fair to Papa, he'd find your being a band singer even harder to swallow than your color." Truth. Ross is amused, but Mary asks him if he's sure about what he's doing, as "marriage is a challenge even when everyone wants it." He notes that she means that everyone will be trying to pull him and Rose apart, and she confirms that before asking if he thinks Rose loves Ross. He inquires as to whether Mary believes in them, but Mary -- not surprisingly, to be honest -- says she believes in him, but she's not sure about Rose. "She may love you a bit, but mostly I'd say she wants to shock her mother, whom incidentally, she hates." Ross admits that his own mother speculated that Rose is trying to prove a point. Mary asks if he's sure he can survive what "they" will do to them, "because I don't believe Rose could." Ross surprises her, though, by admitting he's not going to marry Rose. He's enjoyed her, and he thinks "she's more than you allow," but he doesn't want to be responsible for spoiling her life. "I love her. I want her to be happy." Mary -- with perhaps a tiny bit of wistfulness creeping into her voice -- asks if he'll end it then, and he says he'll write. With her mission accomplished, Mary rises to go, but Ross tells her that he still doesn't think it's right. "I wouldn't give in if we lived in even a slightly better world." Mary: "It may surprise you, Mr. Ross, but if we lived in a better world, I wouldn't want you to." With as much trouble as the show went to introducing this storyline, I kind of wish they'd seen it through. If nothing else it would have taken some social pressure off poor Edith.
Back at Rosamund's, Mary's reading by the fire when Anna comes in and tells her dinner's being prepared. After asking how she is, Mary tentatively tells Anna she's decided to see Lord Gillingham and ask him to dismiss his valet so Anna won't have to see him again, although she won't give the reason why. Anna's terrified of the potential ramifications, but Mary takes her hand and says that as long as Bates won't challenge Lord Gillingham directly about his replacement of Green, they have nothing to fear. A servant then knocks and enters to inform Mary that her dinner is on the table, and she takes a bit of his head off thanks to the unwelcome interruption, but heads out and leaves Anna to well up again. Well, I guess the good news is that all this is going to be irrelevant, but I doubt Anna's fears would be at all assuaged if she could see her husband resolutely marching away from Downton at this very moment.