The next day, Carson -- after ascertaining that Alfred has finished with Matthew -- tells him he won't need to attend to him again, as Molesley will be coming up to do it instead. Alfred asks if Matthew complained, but Carson says he didn't have to, although he is reasonable enough in taking the blame for hurrying him along too quickly. That hardly mollifies the lad though, and his aunt stands and says she'll make Thomas sorry. With the dossier she has on him, I wonder where she's even going to start. She takes off, but instead of the scene ending, we watch Alfred walk down the hall and then lean against the wall with his patented hangdog expression, whereupon Reed emerges from an adjacent doorway and, without much ado at all, kisses him. It only lasts for a moment before Reed trots off with a smile, but it does the trick of cheering him up and as a bonus, it confuses the witnessing Daisy something hilarious.
Lord Grantham comes into the breakfast room and finds Matthew and Edith already eating; he asks about Mary, but Matthew wryly tells him that she claims the privilege as a married woman to have breakfast in her room. Since he mentions it, I've heard many far worse reasons to get hitched. Lord Grantham apologizes for Matthew's coat, but Matthew tells him not to worry and that it'll be sent to London that morning. Lord Grantham then tells Matthew that Molesley will be coming up for him and Matthew starts to say that he'd be perfectly happy to... something (whether it's to stick with Alfred or to do without a valet are both possible choices), but Lord Grantham cutting him off means we'll never know. Carson tells Lord Grantham that he needs to discuss other staff, but Lord Grantham's like, I thought I explained what a hiring freeze is and besides, I have to get yelled at by my daughter now. You see, Edith's just opened a letter from Sir Anthony, and when she's read the contents, she tearily and bitterly asks Lord Grantham how he could do this to her before exiting the room. When she's gone, Matthew asks if he knows what that was and Lord Grantham sighs that he thinks he does indeed. He sounds like he feels bad about it, but not enough to talk to Edith before he's eaten.
While sewing, Lady Cora tells Mary that she's sorry, but enough Levinson money has been poured into Downton already and why should Harold lose half his inheritance for their sakes? She's not wrong, but I'd have more sympathy for Harold without all the yacht talk; still, Lady Cora's point that they'd simply move to a smaller house instead of "going down the mine" is taken. Mary, however, tells Lady Cora that she's still an American and as such can't really understand, but Mary will be Countess of Grantham one day, "and in my book, the Countess of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey!" Lady Cora merely smiles at her, probably wondering what her old/dead ass will care at that point anyway.