The next morning certain people are sitting more stiffly than usual and Thomas MOST inadvisedly (really, it's so obvious as to be pathetic) tries to offer Jimmy James a pastry, which only draws attention to the twin stares Jimmy James and Alfred give him in return. Anna warily asks what's happening and Mrs. Hughes tries to get some answers, but Jimmy James says nothing's wrong, while Alfred tells her to ask Thomas. Thomas also tries to say it's nothing, but Molesley thinks it seems otherwise and if the tension is pinging his radar it must be pretty intense indeed. Ivy then enters and Jimmy James overenthusiastically tells her how "tasty" she looks; he's obviously overcompensating/showing off to make Thomas feel even lower, but you'd think he'd realize he should possibly be focused on not giving Alfred a reason here. Carson is aghast, and when Jimmy James asks if a red-blooded man can't compliment an attractive woman, Carson's answer is among my favorite-ever lines of his: "Not at breakfast, for Heaven's sake!" There were rules for everything in British society of the time. Alfred gets up to chase after Ivy and when O'Brien asks what's happened, he puts her off, so Carson pipes up that if anyone does have anything to say, he hopes he'll hear about it by the end of the day. Alfred nods and several stares both quizzical and meaningful take us right out of the scene.
After an establishing shot of Edith getting out of a cab in London, she's telling the editor, "Michael Gregson," who's both a bit better-looking and significantly younger than Sir Anthony (the actor, Charles Edwards, is 43) how interesting their chat has been. She promises to think about taking the position and Gregson supposes that Lord Grantham disapproves. Instead of inviting him to pull up a chair and tell her about it, Edith diplomatically says it's the business of parents to worry, but Gregson tells her all sorts of people of her station ("toffs," he calls them) are writing for magazines these days. Edith is still noncommittal, even saying she can't promise Lord Grantham's wishes won't factor into her decision and Gregson drops his pitch in favor of asking if she's heading straight back. She tells him no, as the favor she promised to do for the Dowager Countess involves looking in at the offices of The Lady and I can't imagine what that might all be about, but Gregson suggests they have lunch the next day so she can give him her decision and Edith smiles in assent.