The reason behind Gwen's secret correspondence is revealed, and Cora Crawley's matchmaking attempts fail when Mary Crawley takes a liking to another man. Meanwhile, John Bates is desperate to cure his limp. Sybil Crawley discovers more about politics, learning from socialist chauffeur Branson. Set in early December 1912.
Like so many in this house, Gwen has her own secret and Anna discovers it. It seems Gwen is taking a correspondence course. She wants to work as a secretary. O’Brien discovers the typewriter and alerts Carson. Why does she think she is better than they are? Gwen is upset and explodes at the rest of the staff, especially O'Brien, to the shock of Carson and Mrs Hughes.
Mary learns that Evelyn Napier is riding out with the local hunt and the meet will be at Downton. Cora presses him to stay, but he explains that he will be accompanied by a friend, Kemal Pamuk, an attaché at the Turkish Embassy, who is in London to discuss the independence of Albania. Cora is unfazed.If the price of Napier is the presence of this Mr Pamuk, then she will invite them both. To get some mileage out of Napier’s brief stay, Mary will join the hunt.
To her surprise, Mary is instantly attracted to Pamuk, and the feeling is reciprocated. When Thomas makes an ill-judged pass at Pamuk, the Turk forces him to take him to Mary’s room later that night.
Bates has purchased what looks like an instrument of torture in an effort to cure his limp. The pain it causes makes him cry out but he dismisses any concerns, until Mrs Hughes threatens to take the matter to Carson if Bates is not honest with her. Reluctantly, he shows her the straightening boot. In a solemn ceremony, they throw it into the lake and together watch it sink.
Edith has decided that if Mary is not interested in Matthew, she would like to try for him, herself. Learning about his interest in local churches Edith volunteers to act as his guide. While there he ignores her attempts at flirting, simply answering her questions with ones about the churches. In fact if he seems interested in anybody, it appears to be Mary.
The family discuss Gwen and her ambitions. Violet, particularly, is shocked at this sign of rebellion. The only ones to defend her are Sybil and Matthew. Mary is more interested in flirting with Pamuk.
Anna is asleep and a hand comes down over her mouth. It is Mary. Pamuk has had a heart attack, in Mary’s bed. He’s dead. Anna is stunned. If Mary is not to be completely ruined they must get Pamuk back to his own bed. The only person they can call on for help is Cora. They do not know that Daisy witnesses Mary carrying Pamuk along the corridor.
Napier, in complete ignorance, undertakes all the arrangements following Pamuk’s death. But not before Mary’s tear-streaked eyes have told him that she is not in the least attracted to him. He graciously bows out of the running for her affections.
Thomas informs O’Brien that he took Mr Pamuk to Mary’s bedroom on the night he died, and that he saw him go through the door. O’Brien saves this vital information in her squirrel store of mischief.
- Kemal Pamuk is said to be in England "for the Albanian talks...to create an independent Albania" and that Evelyn Napier is "keeping him happy until the conference begins", in reference to the session of the London Conference of 1912–1913 that began 16 December 1912, following the Albanian Declaration of Independence on 28 November 1912.