Series One: Episode Four
The action moves to May 1913. William, a footman, plans to ask Daisy to go to the local fair with him (encouraged by Bates), but Thomas asks her first out of spite for William. Mrs. Patmore, the cook, tries to explain to Daisy that she should avoid Thomas. Thomas begins to bully William even more unmercifully than before, which leads to a row with Bates.
In the family, Sybil has become politicized by talking to the new chauffeur, an Irishman named Branson, and continues to develop her feminism. The Earl initially sees Branson’s politics as harmless and amusing but later begins to question his choice. Sybil continues in her quest to get Gwen a secretary’s job, and encourages her when she fails at her first interview.
Violet is still determined that the entail will be broken so that Mary can inherit. She takes the extraordinary step of visiting Matthew in his professional capacity as a solicitor and asking him if he can find a way to break the entail (which would involve disinheriting himself). Matthew visits the Earl to tell him about this request; at the same time, we see that he is falling for Mary, although she does not reciprocate (she is still in shock over the death of Pamuk, and also she resents Matthew’s closeness with the Earl, which she realizes makes it more likely that the Earl will make no effort to end the entail and make her the heir to Downton). The Earl has become fond of Matthew and tells his mother that he will not try to break the entail. Cora supports him as Mary’s behavior with Pamuk has made her, in Cora’s eyes, unfit to inherit. Matthew tells the Earl that he now sees his future as the next Earl.
Violet gets revenge for Isobel’s earlier triumph in medical matters by correctly diagnosing Matthew’s valet Molesely as having an allergy when Isobel had diagnosed a disease.
There is gossip in the servant’s hall when Mrs. Hughes takes an evening off to meet a former boyfriend. She returns feeling regretful, and William comforts her, saying that she made the right decision in choosing her career over marriage. Elsewhere Bates looks after Anna when she is ill, and the two obviously have feelings for each other. Carson has a problem when he discovers a shortfall in his wine book: there are two dozen bottles of the best wine missing.