Edith thanks her as Isobel asks the Dowager Countess if she's changed her pills, but the Dowager Countess goes on that Edith's not getting any younger, so maybe she's just not cut out for domestic life. So the answer to Isobel's question is "no," then. Matthew is the first to recover from this bit of awkwardness as he asks Branson how his plans are going, and Branson replies that he was telling Cora that his brother has a garage in Liverpool and he's asked Branson to go into business with him. It's interesting and perhaps a tad convenient that the brother lives in England given Branson's staunch devotion to Ireland, but as we'll see, depth of character is just one of the things of which Branson got the lion's share. Mary asks if that's the same brother who's coming to stay with them and Branson pauses just long enough to make it seem like he doesn't think this is the ideal time or place to discuss it, but he does acknowledge that "Kiernan" is the same guy. Lord Grantham asks why he's coming, as of course one Branson is more than enough for him already, so Mary tells him it's for the christening, and in response, Lord Grantham just about rolls his eyes before downing his entire glass of white wine in one gulp. Lucky thing it's the fish course -- that's harder to do with red.
Downstairs, O'Brien is suspiciously asking just how Jimmy James arranged the spoons, but Jimmy James tells everyone he was only trying to help. Carson suggests that they can do without his aid, thanks, and also next time maybe he could wait to be asked before taking charge? In case you thought this would mean Alfred is safe, though, Carson's next pronouncement is that he wonders if Alfred wouldn't rather stay home from the pictures and "ponder his mistakes." He probably just means those of the evening, otherwise poor Alfred probably wouldn't have time to sleep for a week. Mrs. Hughes, however, pipes up that of course they're going, and Carson reluctantly gives them leave. "But you might contemplate what it is to waste a chance when it is given." Alfred, no great lesson-learner as we've seen, runs out of there with a smile on his face, whereupon Mrs. Hughes asks Carson if he never wasted a chance. Carson replies that if he did, he learned from it, which is all he's asking from Alfred. Mrs. Hughes: "That, and some ritual humiliation." Well, in Carson's defense, Alfred's behavior with Ivy suggests he doesn't mind that so much.