At the paper's offices, after awkwardly telling Edith how nice she looks, Gregson says he read her piece and notes that it's not exactly an expected topic for a woman's column. Edith starts to explain her strong feelings on the subject, but he tells her that's not necessary -- he likes the idea of her taking a position on a so-called "man's subject," and encourages her to be serious when it feels right. I know you just met her, Gregson, but I doubt that's going to be a problem. He's excited about the development of "the mature female voice in debate," but Edith understandably gets him to amend "mature" to "balanced." Heh. He inquires if she'll be in town that evening and she has to tell him she's otherwise engaged, so he asks her to let him know when she's in London again and she smiles. I guess you could say that their matching levels of awkwardness bode well for their compatibility.
Bates and Anna are painting the cottage, which certainly looks less like something out of Oliver Twist in the daylight. Apparently Bates has been expressing misgivings about the Thomas situation and Anna wonders why he's even bothering. "Good riddance." And when Saint Anna -- who even recently bonded with Thomas over Sybil -- is willing to cut him loose, it says a lot about what a nasty piece of work he's been in the past. Bates still can't get their last conversation out of his head, though, and resolves to ask Mrs. Hughes what's going on before absently spattering paint on himself, which doesn't seem incredibly surprising.
Oh, here's Rose, looking like... well, what I'd imagine Gypsy Rose Lee dressed like, in a wraparound shawl that could be lost at a moment's notice and a tiara across her forehead instead of her hair. She's definitely embodying the Roaring Twenties as she hails a cab and looks around to make sure she wasn't spotted...
...while back at Downton, it's dusk, and Bates has just heard the whole story from Mrs. Hughes. Given all the gossip that gets passed around below stairs, I wonder how accurate the story is when it's third-hand like this, but even trying to imagine the ways it could be corrupted is paralyzing. Bates wonders how anyone such as Carson could be shocked about Thomas, but Mrs. Hughes sighs that the point that the knowledge is now official and as such Carson can't avoid the subject. Referring to their dilemma with Jimmy James, Bates says he wouldn't wish prison on any man and chuckles at how fate has decreed he have sympathy for Thomas. I know how he feels!