Downstairs, O'Brien catches Jimmy James and tells him that she hears Carson made a decision regarding Thomas, so if he wants to go on record against him now is the time. Jimmy James isn't sure and professes to be disgusted by the whole affair, but O'Brien says that if he doesn't speak out, people may think he feels the opposite. And as much as I may disapprove of the particulars in this case, I still can't help but be impressed with the way she plays the entire downstairs like it's her personal string section.
Matthew appears dressed for dinner and is surprised to find Anna waiting outside Mary's room. Anna explains that Cora is in with Mary, so they may be late. Matthew decides to enter and see what's going on, which seems like an intrusion to me, but this is Matthew we're talking about. We catch Cora telling Mary that she'll be in good hands with a "Dr. Ryder," but that's it before Matthew announces his presence, which sends Cora off to get ready for dinner. As Anna enters, Matthew asks what that was about, but Mary plays it off as "women's stuff" -- not that she's lying -- before telling Matthew his ears must have been burning before, as they were discussing the cricket match. Matthew recalls that the village thrashed the house a year earlier, so he guesses he'll have to play and Mary confirms that. Matthew gets a jump on his Cloddish Statements Episode Quota by supposing that Bates is happy to be able to avoid cricket and Anna is like, pretty sure he'd rather walk without a limp, "Even if playing cricket was the price he had to pay." Matthew removes the dress shoe from his mouth, but both Mary and Anna are smirking, so obviously no offense was taken. I mean, they'd have to be pretty thin-skinned to think a man who spent significant time in a wheelchair meant anything by the comment, not to mention the fact that they have met Matthew before.
Downstairs, Molesley is talking poor Mrs. Patmore's ear off about cricket, saying it's in his blood and he goes on and on about doing right by the house and whatever to the point where the entire kitchen staff is kind of making fun of him to his face and he doesn't even know it. And can I just point out again that this is CRICKET we're talking about? (I lived in the UK for two years, so I'm allowed to find cricket soporific without creating an international incident.)
Mary and Matthew find Edith with paper in her hand and she explains that she's got to have this week's column off to the editor by the next day, and that it's about World War I soldiers who have been reduced to begging on the street. Neither Mary nor Matthew takes her entirely seriously, which I take to illustrate the difficulties a woman faces when writing about a subject that's perceived to be the domain of men, but before that discussion can break out, Cora, Isobel and the Dowager Countess enter, and we learn that the Dowager Countess will soon be hosting the 18-year-old "Rose," whose mother is the Dowager Countess's niece. Apparently, the mother asked the favor of the Dowager Countess, as Rose has said she hates London and they won't be able to get on to Scotland until July. "Poor Shrimpy. His work keeps him nailed to his desk." As you know, I try to limit my references to future events, but if Rose should, say, act out a bit, the fact that her father's name is apparently "Shrimpy" would go a long way to explaining it. Isobel is like, let me get this straight: she's coming to a great-aunt in Yorkshire for a good time? The Dowager Countess sees nothing odd in that, so Isobel can only add, "How original." Heh.