Matthew is putting on his tailcoat when he notices a hole in it. I don't blame you for falling prey to Thomas here, Alfred, but you're not a kid who broke a vase -- you've got to own up to the problem. He starts to stutter out about the mark, but Matthew's like, I know there was a mark, but maybe clean it by means other than acid or fire? He says he'll just have to go down in his dinner jacket and then, seeing Alfred looking like a scolded puppy, Matthew tells him it's fine -- he can just send the tailcoat to London in the morning for mending. With all the society at Downton, there's no closer tailor?
Carson comes rushing up to Mrs. Hughes in a tizzy about the pudding wine glasses not having been laid out; he then lectures her about everyone pulling their weight until they can get the staff levels back up to snuff. It's hard to believe that no one below stairs has heard about the financial ruin, given that the hiring freeze should especially have opened their ears for any such talk.
Upstairs, Martha is saying that while Newport is civilized, it's also a bit less formal, prompting the Dowager Countess to say that Matthew must be wearing his "play clothes" to make Martha feel at home. Matthew explains about Alfred burning a hole in his tails, and his light humor about the incident is somewhat marred by the fact that Alfred is in the room having to hear it. Carson practically turns a tray of food into Lord Grantham's face, so aghast is he at another member of his staff committing an atrocity against the institution of service. But Sir Anthony -- sporting a fashionable black sling around his neck for his injured hand -- once again proves what a mensch he is by saying that he likes dinner jackets, and that sometimes it's nice to be informal. This turns into a referendum on the value of change, with Mary and the Dowager Countess of course taking the position that institutions like Downton are important precisely because they preserve tradition. I love these verbal dances, I really do, but for God's sake just ask her to pony up the dough already. It's not like she's not going to figure out exactly what all this talk is about once you do. Martha's like, sure, sounds great and who's coming to this big dinner next week? Lady Cora tells her it's "some locals," and she makes it sound like it's the milkmaid down the lane and her barkeep brother. Regardless, Mary tells Martha that she's happy they can show her "the real point of Downton." Martha gives a look that's as befuddled as Matthew at his most confused, so maybe it's not just him.