Ah, here are Isobel and Ethel turning up to the Dowager Countess' house, but when they're shown in, they see she's not alone -- Mrs. Bryant is there with her. The Dowager Countess explains that she wanted to hear from the horse's mouth what the Bryants' reaction to Ethel working in their vicinity would be, and Mrs. Bryant -- who's much more assertive without her awful husband there to undermine her -- says that as it happens, the prospect of keeping a mother from her son has made her very uncomfortable and while she wouldn't want to reveal Ethel's identity to Charlie until he's much older, if at all... but Ethel excitedly chimes in that she already figured they could tell Charlie she was his old nanny in the Bryants' employ. Isobel wonders about Mr. Bryant, but Mrs. Bryant assures her she can handle him before telling Ethel she should write to Mrs. Watson that very day and get it settled. Ethel obviously feels untempered joy at the idea of reuniting with her son and although Isobel looks a bit worried and cautions her that it won't be easy, Ethel can't stop smiling. And I really can't believe how affecting they made this storyline!
Carson is having a little confab with Mrs. Hughes, Bates and Anna, and wonders what role Thomas would fill were he to stay on. "My valet?" Mrs. Hughes suggests he be called under-butler, which would allow him to apply for a full butler position when he does leave, but Bates is understandably not thrilled that that would technically make Thomas his superior. Carson isn't too worried about competing titles, though, and Mrs. Hughes points out the bigger problem of getting Jimmy James to allow Thomas to stay, but Carson decrees that since Lord Grantham is the one who wants it, Lord Grantham can arrange it. And despite his lofty words to Cora earlier, apparently even Carson only cares so much about cricket.
Speaking of which, Matthew is thanking Branson for his help with Lord Grantham by giving him cricket lessons and Branson isn't the only one who thinks that's a poor reward. Branson at least doesn't get frustrated by how shitty his swings are, but does tell Matthew that he can teach him to ride and to shoot, "but I'll still be an Irish mick in my heart." Matthew: "So I should hope." Okay, I've been mostly kidding about the bromance, but COME ON. Branson finally connects bat with ball...
...while Edith is delivering more of a metaphorical smack, as she's just apparently told Gregson that she's quitting. You see, she's learned that he's married and since he's obviously been flirting with her, the situation is untenable. He asks for leave to explain, though, and tells her that his wife has been in asylum for years. Apparently, she's permanently insane, at least by this era's medical diagnosis, but the law doesn't allow for divorce in this particular situation, since she can be deemed neither the guilty nor the innocent party. You'd think a country that cast out Catholicism wouldn't be so preoccupied with guilt, but I'll take any example of how ridiculous marriage can be. Gregson goes on that he's now tied to a madwoman who doesn't even know him for life, and admits that it cheers him to read Edith's column and to see her. He expresses his hope that she'll consider staying on and we don't see her reply, but the righteous anger seems to have left the room, at least.