The pigs are coming! Branson alerts Robert, who anticipates this new direction of farming with characteristic hesitation. He (of all people!) is quick to condemn the business acumen of Cora's brother, Harold, who is embroiled in a business scandal in the US. With his birthday soon approaching, Rose and Cora agree that Mrs. Hughes should safeguard his birthday secret. Baxter overhears and reports to Thomas, and he pressures her to ferret out the secret.
Rose tells Mrs. Hughes that the surprise is a live jazz band, and that the musicians will need to be kept out of sight until the performance. As Rose leaves, Thomas probes Mrs. Hughes for answers and she toys with him about possible staff changes to come.
Meanwhile, Daisy is beside herself with happiness now that Alfred, whose dreams are crushed, is staying at Downton Abbey. But not even her reward of the first piece of toast or her offer to show him how to make a sauce can buoy the despondent footman's spirits, after he hears that Jimmy and Ivy are going to the movies together.
Violet again suspects her young gardener, Pegg, of theft when a valuable netsuke carving has disappeared. Isobel is outraged and then downright apoplectic when she learns that Violet has dismissed Pegg. She storms over and just as she accuses Violet of being too hasty in her dismissal, Spratt enters with the missing netsuke, found in a cleaning bucket, where it must have fallen. Nevertheless, Violet still holds Pegg accountable for the missing paper knife.
Visiting the piggery, Branson and Mary discuss his idea of going to America with Sybbie. Later, they and Isobel share a moment in the nursery, reminiscing about having been happy with the person they loved and concluding that they are the lucky ones. Edith, meanwhile, is distressed that no one has heard from Michael. To make matters worse, a letter arrives for Edith confirming that her pregnancy test is positive. Cora and Robert are both concerned about her but she assures them that beyond her worries about Gregson, nothing is wrong. Later, Cora and Mary discuss their concern about Anna and Bates, warning Baxter that this should stay between them. Baxter dutifully reports back to Thomas, cowed by the under-butler and resigned to being his eyes and ears.
Alfred receives word that someone has dropped out of the Ritz and he has a place. Now it's Daisy who's crushed, and when Ivy attempts to console her, Daisy lashes out, accusing her of driving Alfred away. When it comes time for Alfred to leave, he seeks out Daisy, thanking her for all her help and eager that they might part as friends. She wishes him luck. Carson holds firm in his insistence that Molesley missed his chance to replace Alfred. Molesley appeals to Mrs. Hughes for help and demonstrates his new-found humility by serving the servants tea. Carson relents, and Molesley is allowed to take Alfred's place as footman.
Isobel channels her inner Miss Marple and launches a stealth mission against Violet, feigning dizziness to be let into her home when she sees that Violet has departed. She quickly searches the Dowager's room and finds the missing knife, placing it on the table before she leaves. Returning later to confront Violet about the injustice with righteous indignation, she loses the moral high ground when she learns that Violet had already apologized to Pegg and restored his job.
Meanwhile, Anna has arranged a meal out at a restaurant with Bates to leave their worries behind, but they soon realize it is harder than they thought. Another date goes wrong when Jimmy wants more from Ivy than a kiss and Ivy is left disillusioned about him, thinking that Alfred would never have behaved so badly.
Evelyn Napier and Charles Blake arrive on the day of Robert’s party. It's immediately clear that Blake is not on the side of the aristocracy and the most Mary can hope is that he might summon some degree of wit for the party. The band arrives downstairs and when the servants catch first sight of Jack Ross they are equally surprised by his race and thrilled by his good looks and personality. Carson discusses Africa and slavery with Ross, and is impressed with the bandleader. Ross enthusiastically compliments Rose.
Over dinner, Blake and Mary cleverly cross swords with disdainful verbal jabs until Rose ushers everyone into the grand hall to reveal the band. Dancing begins, Edith disapproves, and her continued distress about Gregson piques Thomas’s interest.
At the end of the night, Mary walks in on Rose kissing Jack Ross.