Bates and Anna remained isolated in their suffering and he begs her for an explanation for her distance. When Cora's new lady's maid, Baxter, interrupts them, Anna gets a reprieve, but Bates will not let it go. The tension between them does not go unnoticed, and Mrs. Hughes urges Anna to tell him the truth, but Anna hold firm that telling him would be a direct ticket to the gallows. Baxter, with her electric sewing machine and her gentle, reticent ways, is already earning the goodwill of Cora and the staff, although Bates and Anna wonder at such a kind, likeable person's connection to Thomas. Meanwhile, Carson gives Alfred his cautious blessing to pursue his a posting at the Ritz. Worried that without Alfred they’ll be short a footman, he proposes that Molesley take Alfred's place, but the prideful valet hedges, saying he must seriously consider such a low move. Carson is filled with disdain.
Upstairs, Robert learns that Mr. Drewe, one of his oldest tenants, has died, and plans to go to the funeral. Because of outstanding debt on Drewe's lease, Robert, Branson and Mary agree to take the land back. Mary feels no regret about that decision, but sheds a tear when, learning of Gillingham’s engagement in the paper, she writes to congratulate him. Isobel and Dr. Clarkson interview John Pegg, the son of the widow she'd been caring for, and Isobel vows to try her hardest to find him a gardening job. She is determined to place him with the Crawleys but feels keenly aware, in spite of Dr. Clarkson's protestations, that she is not one of them.
At his father's funeral, Tim Drewe asks Robert if he can take over the tenancy of the cottage. Impressed with Drewe's plan to pay back the arrears and work in partnership with the family, Robert promises to lend him the money and Drewe swears he won’t regret it. Meanwhile, Daisy helps Alfred with his cooking and Edith, increasingly worried by Gregson's silence, checks the post for word of him.
Robert has a birthday coming up and Mary suggests a party to lift their spirits, sparking Rose's interest. Isobel tries to persuade Violet to take John Pegg on as gardener, and Violet grudgingly concedes, but not without launching a zinger aimed at Isobel's do-gooding, first.
Alfred finally hears from the Ritz in a letter, delayed in the mail, inviting him to the selection test the following day. His food is a success with the Crawleys and the next day, he and Edith both depart for London, she to (supposedly) visit Gregson's office.
As Baxter mends a tear in Mrs. Patmore's apron, earning her gratitude, Thomas sidles up to the new lady's maid and congratulates her on winning the favor of all around her. He then tasks her to be his eyes and ears.
Sensing Anna’s sadness, Mary asks why she has moved back into the main house, but Anna denies any problems. Bates corners Anna and demands to know why she no longer loves him but unable to reveal the truth, she excuses herself, claiming that she needs to go into Ripon. Over dinner Robert reveals, to Isobel and Branson's delight, that Tim Drewe will be staying on as a tenant.
In London, Edith visits a doctor in Harley Street while Alfred rises to the occasion in a gruelling test administered by Ritz chef Monsieur Avignon. Back at the Abbey, Jimmy mocks Alfred's ambitions but Ivy stands up for him, saying at least he has ambitions.
Mary is pleased when her old friend Evelyn Napier visits Downton. He is traveling the area, researching the effect of the war years on the viability of the country's great estates. Mary invites him to stay and share his knowledge, and expresses that his boss Charles Blake, is welcome as well.
At his wits end, Bates forces the truth – or most of it – from Mrs. Hughes. Bates is convinced that Green was the rapist, but Mrs. Hughes swears that it was an intruder. Bates then confronts Anna, who tearfully confirms her assault, insisting that the rapist was an intruder. She weeps, revealing her deep sense that she is "spoiled," but Bates, attuned to her profound suffering, insists that he has never loved her more.
Mary and Branson agree that Mr. Drewe can stay on the estate and Branson, admitting his feeling of not belonging, reveals plans to go to America with Sybbie. The following day, Mary learns that Robert lent Drewe the money to repay the debt, and commends her father’s decency. Alfred is crushed when he receives a rejection letter from the Ritz and Carson consoles the youth and urges him to keep trying. Molesley condescends to take the footman position and Carson relishes telling him that it's now too late. Anna tells Mrs. Hughes that she’s moving back to the cottage; she and Bates will try to put the matter behind them. But Bates warns Mrs. Hughes that the matter of Anna's attacker is far from over.