Mary and Matthew return from their honeymoon but he is still reluctant to take the Swire inheritance so the family plans to impress Martha with a lavish dinner party, entertaining locals, in the hope that she will bankroll them. When the oven breaks down, Martha saves the day with her indoor picnic but is unable to provide the financial help the family wants. A jealous Thomas sets out to sabotage Alfred and replace him with Molesley but O'Brien gets revenge by humiliating Thomas whilst Isobel, working at a charity in York to help single mothers, spots Ethel, who runs off after being recognized. Mrs Patmore accompanies a nervous Mrs Hughes to the doctor after the housekeeper finds a lump on her chest. He takes tests but the analysis will take two months and the women agree to keep it secret from other staff. Despite her father's early disapproval that he is too old for her, Edith finally gets engaged to Sir Anthony.
Matthew and Mary are back from their honeymoon and obviously very happy in spite of Matthew's refusal to accept Mr. Swire's legacy and save Downton. Edith continues her pursuit of Sir Anthony despite objections from some in the family. Cora and Violet concoct a plan to impress Cora's mother with Downton's importance in the community. The lavish dinner they've planned faces ruin when the oven malfunctions and there is no dinner for the guests. Martha Levinson saves the day. Below stairs, O'Brien and Thomas find themselves at odds over the new footman. Mrs. Hughes finds a lump in her breast and, accompanied by an emotional Mrs. Patmore, visits the local doctor.
A conflict between two members of the house staff escalates. Meanwhile, the family tries to impress Martha by planning a lavish dinner party.
- "Downton Abbey" - Episode 3.2 - Jan. 6, 2013
Matthew and Mary return from their honeymoon refreshed and happy and with a fancy new car.
At dinner the Dowager Countess grumbles that Martha is still in the house.
Edith says she's still seeing Sir Anthony much against Robert's wishes. She goes to him. He tries to argue that he's old and infirm and not good for her but she won't hear it. Robert actually asks Sir Anthony to stop seeing Edith, basically because he's old and infirm. Sir Anthony breaks it off by letter and Edith gets angry at Robert pleading her case with Martha's help, pointing out that he's a gentleman with a title and money and she loves him. Robert relents and Edith basically railroads him into asking her to marry him and he claims she has given him back his life.
Matthew and Robert talk about his financial woes and he confesses about the Swire money and they argue about Matthew taking the money if he gets it. Robert eventually understands.
Isobel announces she's been helping prostitutes find their way back to the straight and narrow. Ethel Parks, the maid who had the child out of wedlock with a soldier at Downton and left in disgrace has apparently become a prostitute and she comes to Isobel, but she flees before accepting her help.
Matthew and Mary are enjoying married life and he's off to look at houses, much to her chagrin knowing these are their final days at Downton. He gets a letter from Reg's lawyers confirming that he is in fact the heir.
The DC conscripts Mary to ask Martha for the money to save Downton. They try buttering her up at tea. At dinner there is a conversatoin about tradition vs. modernity. Cora points out to Mary that it is not her mother or brother's fault that Robert made bad investments. Mary gets angry and says that just proves how different they are and that, essentially, she deserves Downton and Cora's mother and brother should save it. They then show "Downton on parade"-- a big dinner party with "the locals" to show what the house is "for." It all falls apart due to problem with the oven but they improvise and it ends up being a success thanks to Martha's ingenius idea to have an "indoor picnic," allowing the guest to eat whatever, wherever they want and having someone play a piano as she lleads a singalong. Robert scoffs at it all saying it's not much of a tradition. Martha, however, is a wily American. And although she has fun, she turns them down when they finally ask outright for cash without compunction. She offers to add to Cora's dress allowance and entertain them in the U.S. but says the world has changed and that these houses are from another age and Mary should be happy to not have the bother. Mary and the Dowager Countess don't feel that way.
Martha announces it's time to go home and counsels Robert to start getting with the times. He's worried that his life is going extinct. She counsels him to adapt instead. They share a nice toast.
Downstairs Mrs. Hughes has found a lump on her breast. She and Mrs. Patmore go to Dr. Clarkson to get her an exam. The results come back inconclusive and he has to do more tests, stressing out both Hughes, and even more Mrs. Patmore who is the only one who knows. The doctor says the results could take a couple of months and in the meantime to take things more easily. Carson, not knowing, leans on Hughes since the house is short staffed. He asks after her but she still doesn't reveal her potential secret. He confides that even though the picnic was a success he bemoans the lack of style. Like Robert, he is clinging to tradition.
Anna goes to see Bates and tells him about France and that she bought a garter. Ooh la la. She's also following up on leads and hopes to track down a Mrs. Bartlett whose letter came back address unknown. Bates says she was Vera's closest friend and probably won't help her. Anna is determined to go see her anyway. She also tells him about Lord Grantham's financial woes, which makes him sad. Bates continues to fight with his horrible cellmate, this time physically, warning him not to threaten him.
Thomas continues to try and undermine Alfred when he finds out that he will be taking care of Matthew. He even goes so far as gving him a bad tip that ruins Matthew's coat to get Alfred in trouble. He eventually gets replaced by Moseley on Thomas's advice. O'Brien then steals Robert's shirts from his wardrobe to get back at Thomas. Martha's maid Miss Reid notes this.
Even though he winks at her, Alfred is surprised to learn Miss Reid fancies him and corners him and lays one on him. She says she's an American and it's 1920 and it's time to live a little. She also clues him in on where the shirts are and he saves the day. Daisy asks Alfred why she likes the American girl. He says she made him feel good about himself the first time since he came there. He returns the shirts.