Even though she's gotten the small comfort that she's not pregnant, Anna is still trying to deal with both the physical and emotional scars of being raped, and she's borderline nasty to Bates, who is still after her for an explanation. At her wit's end, Mrs. Hughes begs Anna to tell Bates something, but Anna's worried that he'll detect any half-truth she tries to put forward -- which is sound enough thinking given that he detects their conversation from around a corner. Mary, too, gets on Anna to tell her what's up and gets nowhere further than anyone else, but since she won't give an inch, Bates finally goes to Mrs. Hughes and begs her to tell him what it's about, saying he'll leave Downton if his presence continues to torture Anna. Between a rock and a hard place, Mrs. Hughes tells Bates that Anna was assaulted, but makes up a story about it being a stranger who hid in the house. Bates, however, is 99.9 percent sure that it was Green, even after he makes Mrs. Hughes swear that it wasn't; he then goes to Anna and confirms her suspicions by telling her that if it was Green, he's a dead man. She denies it was, but worries she's spoiled for him. He assures her it's not the case, and he's earnest enough that she breaks down and cries in his arms.
A "Miss Baxter," Thomas' forty-ish crony, has indeed been hired as Cora's new lady's maid and she's an immediate hit, even though she brings in an electric sewing machine for which Mrs. Patmore predictably has no use -- until her apron rips right before Cora's supposed to see her and Baxter comes to her rescue, so even she gets on Team Baxter. Thomas is happy that Baxter is adored both upstairs and down, as it's part of his plan; he wants Baxter to give him any information from on high about any changes planned for Downton. For her part, it sounds like Baxter owes Thomas something and while we don't yet know what it is you can make your own joke about deals with the devil, I'm sure.
Mrs. Patmore wants to help prepare Alfred for his test and makes a formal request to Carson for same; Carson is surprisingly tractable about it and soon Daisy is working with Alfred, happy of the opportunity to spend time with him even while feeling torn about helping him to leave. A letter then comes informing Alfred he'll be tested at the Ritz in only two days, and soon he's off to London for the first time. While he's gone, Carson suggests to Mrs. Hughes that Molesley take Alfred's place should he get the job, but the test proves very intimidating; also, Molesley doesn't exactly jump at the offer. When the letter comes, it says Alfred was close but didn't get it and then Molesley of course comes looking for the job and is told it's no longer on offer, which is totally predictable as even he knows.
Dr. Clarkson is trying to help an aged female patient by finding work for her son "John Pegg," who's a gardener, and of course he enlists Isobel to help; knowing, as she hilariously makes plain, the attention the Dowager Countess likes to give her garden, she goes to her on the boy's behalf. The Dowager Countess reluctantly agrees, but soon a valuable letter opener goes missing and the Dowager Countess is sure Pegg took it, although there's no proof, nor will there be… at least until the next episode.
One of the Downton tenants has died, and while Lord Grantham sighs that his ancestors were on the land dating back to George III, Mary is quick to point out that the rent hasn't been paid for ages, and as such it's time to foreclose and farm the land themselves. At the funeral, the dead man's out-of-town son "Mr. Drewe" declares his wish to take over the lease, but Lord Grantham has to play bad guy and tell him the foreclosure is a fait accompli. Drewe begs him to reconsider, so Lord Grantham consents to have him come to the house and present his case, and even though Drewe can't settle all the arrears, Lord Grantham takes his case to Mary and Branson -- after telling Drewe he's going to lend him the amount he can't pay from his personal pocketbook should they agree. Mary opposes her father, but Branson's socialist tendencies cause him to side with Lord Grantham, and Lord Grantham, well, lords his victory over his daughter by sending her to deliver the news. When she and Branson do, Drewe, not knowing it was a secret, lets on about the loan and Mary thinks it speaks very well of her father, which is of course absolutely true.
Edith hasn't heard from Gregson in a while, so she goes to visit his office in London -- or so she says. What she actually visits is a doctor and I SAID SHE WAS PREGNANT DIDN'T I. Also, Branson tells the family he doesn't belong there, and since he has people in America, he'd like to go and take Sybil with him. I will be the first to say that that will not do.
Hey, remember Mr. Evelyn Napier from all the way back in the first season, the one who brought the doomed Mr. Pamuk to Downton? He's got some business in Yorkshire and stops by the Abbey, whereupon he tells them that his errand is on behalf of the government is to survey the landed estates to see what kind of financial health they're in. It's a bit vague, but since he and his boss are going to be staying at Downton I suppose we'll find out the whole deal soon enough.
In the end, Anna tells Mrs. Hughes she's moving back into the house, and they're both happy -- but soon after, Bates darkly tells Mrs. Hughes he won't rest until he finds out what truly happened. Poor Mrs. Hughes; she should go back to hanging with Mrs. Patmore and let the world solve its own problems.
Bates dramatically emerges from his house, alone, and then we cut to a very haunted Anna, who stares off into the space of her new room before attempting to cover what look like marks below her eyes from crying. Cut to her coming down the stairs and telling Bates he doesn't need to wait for her -- as apparently he's been doing every morning since she moved out -- but he tells her he wants to be the first to greet her. In tones of formal bickering, she replies that there's no need, but he demurs that there certainly is and will be until she tells him what's gone wrong between them. The argument is obviously going nowhere, so it's just as well when a forty-ish woman appears and Bates wishes "Mrs. Baxter" a good morning. After it's established that Baxter has a sewing machine, Bates asks Anna what she makes of her, and when Anna replies (dropping the edge in her tone) that she thinks she's nice, Bates agrees -- which makes him wonder what she sees in Thomas. Anna quotes the line that lent itself to a great UK show and a terrible American adaptation -- "there's naught so queer as folk" -- before her pained voice returns and she points out they'll miss breakfast if they don't hurry. Well, Bates doesn't seem to have much of an appetite, Anna, but I daresay you've used flimsier excuses to get away from him recently.
At breakfast, Mrs. Patmore softly asks Mrs. Hughes if she's all right with the kitchen staff training Alfred for his exam, but Mrs. Hughes obviously is like, it's Carson who needs to rubber-stamp it. You'd think this might be covered with a bit more private of a discussion, but Carson has always had a soft spot for Alfred, and he compliments him for his general work ethic before signing off on the idea. The bell then rings, and everyone gets to their feet, after which we cut to Baxter serving Cora her breakfast on her customary tray. From the way she says she thinks she's remembered everything, it seems like either this is Baxter's first day (or at least her first full day) on the job or it's the first time she's serving without Anna helping out, and Cora raises an eyebrow at the one unusual element in front of her. Baxter, however, explains that she's heard Americans often drink orange juice with their breakfast, so she took the liberty of serving some, and Cora appreciatively notes how considerate she is. Baxter smiles and heads out, passing Lord Grantham on the way, who tells Cora that Branson and Mary "have summoned me to the library" with an idea, and when Cora hopes they're not going to fight about it, Lord Grantham takes exception to his wife's warning tone: "How can I answer that when I don't know what it is?" Hard to argue, Lord Grantham, and yet you have to admit her comment isn't exactly unwarranted.