On the platform, the servants who are going -- that would be Bates, Anna, O'Brien, and Molesley, who I guess must be serving as Matthew's valet -- chat about how much work there's going to be, and O'Brien is certainly friendly enough with Bates and Anna to suggest that not everyone's holding a grudge over the events of last year. Bates then asks Anna if she's really never been to Scotland, adding that his maternal grandmother was Scottish. At this point no one is going to argue with the idea that the character needs some livening up, so in that vein, I'd love to see him put on a Scottish accent for the trip. Elsewhere -- this is almost as chaotic as everyone getting on the Hogwarts Express here -- Lord Grantham leaves Isis in Branson's care and gives him some instructions, while down the platform, the Dowager Countess wonders if it's wise to leave Branson there on his own. "I don't want freedom to go to his head." Heh. Isobel promises to keep an eye on him and resolves to have him over for dinner that evening and the Dowager Countess smiles that that's one day taken care of. "Only nine to go." Everyone boards and the train pulls out, with Isobel waving happily to her son. That one's gonna hurt.
The remaining staff is eating dinner when Alfred asks if they'll have a bit of a break -- possibly for an outing -- while the upstairs crowd is away, but Carson looks at him like he just requested to take over Lord Grantham's bedroom. After remarking that they're still being paid, he details the cleaning of all the silverware the footmen will have to do, but when the maids giggle at the boys' plight, Mrs. Hughes leans forward and informs them that every room will be getting a thorough cleaning. Having shut them up, though, she whispers to Carson that maybe they could have a bit of a break and Carson tells her that if they get sufficient work done, he'll think about it. He sounds pretty resolved, but there are only so many scenes the show can get out of bed-making and dusting.
Upstairs, the new maid picks up a photo of Sybil and regards it intently until Mrs. Hughes comes in and reproaches her with a sharp "Edna." Edna puts down the photo and gets to work, but wonders aloud why Branson wasn't asked to go with the others before conspiratorially adding she wonders what Lady Flintshire made of Sybil eloping with a chauffeur. I couldn't say for sure, but having watched the episode, I wouldn't guess the benefit of the doubt is something she gives freely. Mrs. Hughes, far more mildly than I would have expected, tells her it's not her place to wonder before sadly picking up the photograph as Edna asks what Sybil was like. Mrs. Hughes' eyes fill a little as she says she was sweet and kind, "and a real beauty, inside and out." It's nice to be reminded of how well Mrs. Hughes knew Sybil; it gives more heft to the later scene with Branson. Edna wonders why Sybil didn't do better for herself, but does smile that Branson is nice-looking. Mrs. Hughes stiffens at the evaluation, but it's hard to blame her for it. Plus, Mrs. Hughes, you might want to ration your Edna-related outrage.