Across the room, Lord Grantham is aghast that Branson won't participate in the game, but Branson tells him he's literally never played in his life and Cora admonishes her husband to stop bullying him. Meanwhile, downstairs, O'Brien steps it up a notch, telling Jimmy James she hears Carson's letting Thomas off, so he should threaten to go to the police unless Carson gives Thomas a bad reference. Oh, O'Brien. You achieved your goal of getting rid of Thomas; there's no need to render him unemployable. Not only that, but a couple people take notice of this conversation -- Mrs. Patmore, who confines her reaction to telling Jimmy James to get the food he's carrying upstairs, and Bates, who looks a little more thoughtful.
Upstairs, Isobel remarks that she'd be afraid she wouldn't understand a word an eighteen-year-old said, but the Dowager Countess says her husband was a great traveler and, as such, there were many times she didn't understand a word he was saying either. "The thing is to keep smiling and never look as if you disapprove." That'd be ripe for a "that's what she said" if she hadn't already said it.
Farther upstairs -- and I'm not quite sure why he had to see them at the same time -- but both Thomas and Bates are in with Lord Grantham, who's dressed for bed. He tells Bates he'll see him the next day before saying that he hopes Thomas knows he wishes him all the best. Thomas thanks him, but after Lord Grantham withdraws, we see that he's taken the civility in the room with him, as when Bates asks what Thomas will do, Thomas asks what it is to him and Bates coldly says he's right. "It's nothing to me." No fist-bump, then?
Matthew's excitedly babbling about his plans, so obviously having his boyfriend working with him has lightened his mood tremendously and he goes on about the cricket match being indicative that they can still keep the old traditions or whatever nonsense, and then he tries for some celebratory sex but gets shut down, as Mary claims that London tired her out. Matthew looks disappointed, but not everyone gets aroused by Downton's financial solvency to the degree he does.
Jimmy James comes in to see Carson and tells him he wants to be sure Carson will give Thomas a bad reference, glibly adding that he can't "let a man like that go to work in innocent people's houses." Carson, taken aback, says he intends to write Thomas the recommendation he thinks he deserves, but Jimmy James brings up the idea of reporting Thomas to the police, despite his contention that people's thinking is more liberal these days. It's hard to say whether Carson is more offended at the thought of being called a liberal or the potential for yet another scandal to rock Downton, but he tries to prevail on Jimmy James to let Thomas go quietly. Jimmy James, however, tells Carson he won't turn a blind eye to sin and O'Brien certainly picked the agent of Thomas' destruction well, did she not? When he's gone, Carson looks not only stunned but, very atypically, helpless.