...because Thomas finally can stand it no longer, as he slips out of his room and into Jimmy James', sits on the bed and plants one on him; it's obviously done with a lot more hesitation than I described, but that's the bottom line. Fortunately or not, depending on who you are, Alfred bursts in just at this moment to discuss Ivy and Jimmy James -- who was already waking up from the kiss -- comes the rest of the way to in a hurry and he flails at Thomas to get off before telling Alfred it isn't what he thinks. Kind of hilariously given that he's standing right there, Thomas tells Jimmy James that Alfred doesn't matter and Alfred has the good sense to peace out as Jimmy James, looking ready to explode, demands to know what the hell Thomas is doing in there. Thomas -- sticking with his play despite how obviously it's failed -- tells Jimmy James that it's because of all the things he said before and what's between them, but Jimmy James -- his accent going farther north by the second -- rushes him out of there. Thomas has but a moment to collect himself before Carson appears and, in a tone so loudly indignant that Lord Grantham could take notes, demands to know what's going on. Thomas, rather smoothly under the circumstances, merely says Jimmy James had a nightmare (I'll say), so Carson slams his way back to his room. When he's gone, though, Thomas looks distraught and things get worse for him when he sees Alfred peering out of his room at him with a curious yet cold expression.
The next morning certain people are sitting more stiffly than usual and Thomas MOST inadvisedly (really, it's so obvious as to be pathetic) tries to offer Jimmy James a pastry, which only draws attention to the twin stares Jimmy James and Alfred give him in return. Anna warily asks what's happening and Mrs. Hughes tries to get some answers, but Jimmy James says nothing's wrong, while Alfred tells her to ask Thomas. Thomas also tries to say it's nothing, but Molesley thinks it seems otherwise and if the tension is pinging his radar it must be pretty intense indeed. Ivy then enters and Jimmy James overenthusiastically tells her how "tasty" she looks; he's obviously overcompensating/showing off to make Thomas feel even lower, but you'd think he'd realize he should possibly be focused on not giving Alfred a reason here. Carson is aghast, and when Jimmy James asks if a red-blooded man can't compliment an attractive woman, Carson's answer is among my favorite-ever lines of his: "Not at breakfast, for Heaven's sake!" There were rules for everything in British society of the time. Alfred gets up to chase after Ivy and when O'Brien asks what's happened, he puts her off, so Carson pipes up that if anyone does have anything to say, he hopes he'll hear about it by the end of the day. Alfred nods and several stares both quizzical and meaningful take us right out of the scene.