The day after the house party, Anna is still trying to avoid Bates. He quizzes Mrs. Hughes over her behavior, but Mrs. Hughes protects her friend's secret. Mary tells Robert that she and Branson traveling to London to discuss their debt with the tax man. Gillingham asks if he can see Mary in London and Lady Rose, eager for excitement, invites herself along on the trip.
Edna catches up with Branson and accuses him of having cast her aside after their night together. He apologizes for his actions, but Edna wants his word that he'll marry her if she is pregnant. In the village, Isobel bumps into Dr. Clarkson who explains that he’s setting up a local outpatient clinic and wonders if she could be convinced to help.
Mary asks Anna if she will accompany them in London and notes with concern that Anna seems very quiet. When Anna tells Bates that she’ll be away for a night, she deflects his attempts to comfort her, insisting that he’s done nothing wrong. She then asks Mrs. Hughes if she can move back in to her old lodgings in the main house. She feels guilty about the rape and considers herself ruined. Mrs. Hughes urges her to be honest with Bates.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Alfred is excited by an advertisement for training placements at the Ritz with the French chef Escoffier, and considers applying. Ivy has cooked her first proper dish of pastries and admits that she wants be a good cook. Jimmy talks of his loftier ambitions and tries to kiss Ivy, but is interrupted by Alfred. Undeterred, he engineers a rendezvous with Ivy in the boot room. Daisy seizes her chance to disabuse Alfred of his infatuation with Ivy and sends him to the boot room where he catches Jimmy and Ivy locked in a kiss. But Daisy’s plan misfires, because Alfred now wants nothing more than to escape from Downton. The training school would be his ticket out.
Isobel, having accepted Dr. Clarkson’s offer, visits his clinic and finds herself enjoying being needed again. Meanwhile, Mary is surprised to find that Sir John Bullock and Gillingham have been invited to the dinner at Rosamund’s London home (courtesy of Cora). Mary knows she’s been set up, but is pleased to see Gillingham again. To Rose’s delight, Sir John Bullock has plans to take them all to the glamorous Lotus Club later.
Carson shares with Mrs. Hughes his history with Charlie Grigg: he admits to having loved a woman named Alice, whom he planned to marry but was thrown over for Grigg instead. But Carson has some consolation in the newly acquired knowledge that Alice regretted the choice she made.
At the Lotus Club, Sir John Bullock, drunken and disorderly, attracts attention. When he suddenly abandons Rose on the dance floor to be ill, the African American band member Jack Ross steps in to dance with her, gallantly saving her dignity. Back at Rosamund’s, Mary asks the troubled Branson why he’s so glum, but he says he can’t tell her or she would despise him. She urges him to find someone in whom he can confide.
With Anna back at Downton, Bates tells her he’s happy to see her, but he knows something’s wrong and is determined to find out what. Taking Mary’s advice, Branson confides in Mrs. Hughes about his trouble with Edna. Mrs. Hughes summons Edna and calls her bluff about her alleged pregnancy, certain that the lady's maid had planned the whole thing in order to trap Branson. She sends Edna packing.
Tenacious in his pursuit of Mary, Gillingham turns up at the house and asks her to marry him. Convinced that they could be very happy together, he is prepared to wait if he knows she’ll marry him in the end. Meanwhile, Gregson dines with Edith on their last night together and discusses his plans for Germany. He asks her to sign some papers that will safeguard her work at The Sketch while he’s away. She succumbs to her desire and falls into his arms. The following morning, Rosamund pointedly remarks on her dawn arrival back at the house. Though she agrees not to tell Cora, Rosamund warns Edith about trusting Gregson with her name and reputation.
Before he leaves, Gillingham is keen to know Mary’s answer, but she tells him she is just not ready to marry again. Her refusal means he is honour-bound to marry Miss Lane Fox, but Mary allows him a parting kiss. When Branson later confides to Mary that, having shared his problem, a weight has been lifted, Mary in turn confides that she has done something that she eventually regret…