...while in tamer sport, Matthew and Gregson are up to their knees in the river as Gregson says he knows it's a lot to ask, but what else can he do in his situation? Matthew, however, says that Lord Grantham may grant the difficulty of his circumstances in the abstract, but that's a far cry from willingly involving his daughter in them. "Not when all you have to offer is a job as your mistress." Damn, Matthew, that is sugar-free enough to be worthy of your wife. Gregson emotionally says he loves Edith, but Matthew continues his tough acquaintanceship by supposing Gregson's been misled by their idyllic surroundings. "We're not in a novel by Walter Scott." You know that's a good line when the editor has no answer...
...so let's go back to the tug-of-war, which is heating up. If you're interested, the order they've gone with is Jimmy James, Branson, Thomas, Alfred and Tufton as anchor. The master seethes at one of his guys to pull the damn rope, but the Downton team is making headway, and then, just like that, it's over -- much to the crowd's delight. Less delighted is the master, but he pays Jimmy James, which is more than I might have expected, to be honest.
Gregson and Matthew are abandoning the fishing (although they certainly did better with it than with the hunting), but Gregson still won't give the other thing a rest and Matthew wearily tells him his situation is tragic, "but you can't imagine I would let Edith slide into a life of scandal without lifting a finger to stop her?" Gregson wonders, then, if he should just take off before the ball, but Matthew suggests he use it to say a proper goodbye. But won't it be awkward to say those heartfelt words while reeling?
Back at the fair, everyone's on rides and seriously, the show has to be having fun with this now, because Edna takes Branson's hand on the merry-go-round and then we cut to Mrs. Hughes watching them like she's in hot pursuit from a few horses back. She's only missing a trench coat and sunglasses to make this a Cold-War-era spy adventure. Elsewhere, Jimmy James is using his cash to get pissed with ten new best friends, while Daisy and Ivy finally get around to checking out the games. Ivy wants to do a ring toss at which you could win a gold sovereign, but Daisy thinks it's far too expensive given that it's surely rigged anyway. Jimmy James, however, stumbles up and fronts the money for both of them to play and then wanders off without paying any mind to Daisy's warning that he shouldn't be flashing his cash about. Ivy takes her turns without success, but Daisy's first throw surrounds the block of wood on top of which the sovereign sits, so the proprietor plucks it off the thing and hands it over to her with a smile. Ivy says she told her they were honest, but as they walk away, the proprietor grits through his smile to a lad next to him that he told him "to make the blocks too wide for the bally rings." Heh.