The Crawleys host a weekend party, their first since the War, and unexpected situations and crises arise.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


The Crawleys throw a weekend house party with guests including Terence Sampson and Anthony, Lord Gillingham. Tom is out of his depth making small talk but Edith is happy to welcome Michael into the group. Mary confides in Gillingham - although he is engaged to another woman - but John is irritated by Gillingham's valet Green's flirtatious attentions to Anna. Isobel, still mourning her son, is persuaded by Violet to join the party for a recital by opera singer Nellie Melba, while Molesley, now working as a delivery driver, stands in for the injured Jimmy as footman and Alfred saves the culinary day when stressed-out Mrs Patmore has an anxiety attack. During the recital Michael impresses Robert whilst Green forces himself on Anna, who asks Mrs Hughes not to tell John. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

party | footman | poker | valet | servant | See All (71) »


Drama | Romance

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 January 2014 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


The Rossetti whose poetry is quoted is British poet Christina Georgina Rosetti (1830-1894). See more »


During preparation for dinner, Lord Grantham is walking around the table and stops to pick up a card at one of the place settings. He holds it in front of him with both hands but in the next shot, he is holding it only with his left hand with his right hand down by his side. See more »


Terence Sampson: You think you're so holy, don't you?
Michael Gregson: I have won against a card sharp. There is pleasure in that.
[as he leaves the room, he pats Sampson on the back and laughs]
See more »


References Poldark: Episode #1.6 (1975) See more »


O mio babbino caro
From "Gianni Schicchi"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano
Performed by Kiri Te Kanawa
See more »

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User Reviews

Uncharacteristically Lazy Writing
22 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every writer can have an off day, even an off week or month. But in the midst of such general excellence, I was painfully disappointed to see such contrivance on Downton Abbey. The hallmark of lazy writing is when characters suffer a change in personality for the sake of a plot twist. We see them behave in ways quite different, or in the case of Anna, opposite to what they have been up until that point. When you see what was being setup you cannot help but think; Oh, what a stretch. When you add to that the other hallmark of writer laziness, characters being introduced for the sheer purpose supporting a plot twist, Deus ex machina of a sort, then you know ... something went terribly wrong in the writing room that week.

Perhaps they were still reeling from the loss of other central characters, or there was a dip in the ratings. Maybe it only seem overly convenient and contrived due to other changes in cast. But whatever the reason, this one was an insult to the intelligence of the Downton Abbey audience. I would go as far as to call it a breech of contract between entertainer and entertainee. An obvious contrivance beneath the stature of the series lowering it into lazy and unnecessary melodrama.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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