The house prepares for the annual flower show. Mary Crawley is still interested in Mathew Crawley despite the discovery of another suitor. O'Brien tries to turn Edith Crawley against Mary Crawley. The episode starts on July 31, 1913.
Sybil informs Gwen that she has applied for a position on Gwen’s behalf. Gwen is thrilled to discover she has an interview and she fakes a headache in order to sneak out of the house. Sybil takes the governess cart and together with Gwen speeds off towards the town. Although the interview goes well the pair run into problems on their return journey and with the family worrying about Sybil’s whereabouts, they arrive at Downton late, wet and miserable.
Daisy is unable to get over what she witnessed on the night of Pamuk’s death and O‘Brien and Thomas suspect that the girl knows something. O’Brien deliberately hints to Edith that Daisy is hiding what she knows and that it may be harmful to Mary. Bearing out Cora’s worries about the rivalry between her daughters, Edith at once summons Daisy to her. This is too frightening for Daisy to withstand and she tells Edith everything.
In the village hall, they are preparing for the summer flower show. Isobel learns that Violet always wins the Grantham Cup for Best Bloom, despite Molesley’s father, Bill, growing the best roses. Violet denies that any outside influence is ever brought to bear but Isobel isn’t convinced.
Cora informs Robert of a rumour going round London questioning Mary’s virtue. Cora wants Mary married so she suggests a local landowner, Sir Anthony Strallan. Robert is unconvinced. Strallan is too old and stuffy. Mary rejects the plan. She tells Cora to concentrate on Edith’s marital prospects, as she needs all the help she can get. Edith is listening.
Mrs Patmore seems fretful. Nothing is right, and Mrs Hughes notes to Carson that Daisy is bearing the brunt. Cora has the recipe for a pudding that she’d like to give to Sir Anthony. Mrs. Patmore will have none of it and shouts at Daisy when she suggests she could read the new recipe to her. However, later, as pudding is served, Sir Anthony splutters in disgust. The whole thing is covered with salt instead of sugar. Mrs Patmore is quick to blame Daisy but when she is alone with Carson, she confesses she thinks she’s going blind. Carson reveals this to Mrs. Hughes and although she sympathises, she makes it known that this behaviour cannot continue.
Thomas is almost caught stealing wine by Bates and when Thomas’s bullying of William continues, the boy has an ally in Bates who foolishly hints to Thomas that he might reveal the latter’s stealing of the wine to Mr. Carson. He never would, but Thomas looks to O’Brien for help and they embroil a naive Daisy into their plan.
One of Robert’s snuff boxes has gone missing and Carson rounds up the servants. Anna realises that Thomas and O’Brien are involved. She warns Bates and sure enough he finds the missing box has been planted in his room. But, although he enjoys watching O’Brien and Thomas fret when Carson demands a room search, in the end he replaces it without giving them away. Anna tells Bates how she feels about him, but he cannot allow himself to respond. Something in his past is preventing him.
Matthew makes it clear to Isobel that he has no interest in Edith, and responds to Mary’s attention. But a misjudged act of sisterly rivalry, designed to make a fool of Edith in front of Sir Anthony, sees Matthew make an early exit. Mary’s anxiety at his departure demonstrates her growing attraction to the heir. Which does not go unnoticed by Robert. At the flower show, Violet notices Isobel and Bill Molesley as she prepares to announce the winner of The Grantham Cup. After seeing her own name listed as the winner, she pauses then announces Bill Molesley as the winner. The village is too surprised to clap. A weeping Bill Molesley is pushed onto the stage to receive the cup. Violet pretends to act surprised but then later assures Robert and Cora that she is pleased with the results. Mary attempts to apologize to Matthew (who is still hurt by the previous nights events), but her attempts are rebuffed, much to Edith's enjoyment, which leads to an argument between the two. That night, in her bedroom, Edith has written a letter. She addresses the envelope. “His Excellency the Turkish Ambassador, 43 Belgrave Square, London, SW.” She licks the flap and seals it with relish.
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