The Crawleys threw a big party, with over a dozen guests upstairs, and all their servants mixed with the household staff downstairs.
Mr. Green, a valet to Lord Gillingham, started a flirtation with Anna (Joanne Froggatt), much to Mr. Bates’ (Brendan Coyle) chagrin.
Lord Gillingham was a childhood friend of Mary’s (Michelle Dockery), and let it be known he was very into her, despite being all but engaged to an heiress named Mabel. Mary admitted she was very flattered, but told him she was not over her late husband.
Edith (Laura Carmichael) invited Mr. Gregson (Charles Edwards) in an effort to get her family to accept their engagement. He eventually won over Robert (Hugh Bonneville) when he exposed a card shark as a cheat (after he’d taken Robert and many guests for lots of money). Gregson made sure everyone had their money returned, and gained Robert’s respect.
After Jimmy (Ed Speelers) injured his wrist, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) asked Molesley (Kevin Doyle) to step in as second footman. Mr. Molesley was grossly offended, since he used to be a valet. Ultimately, he accepted, since beggars can’t be choosers. Carson was not impressed.
The Crawleys arranged for a famous opera singer (the real-life Dame Nellie Melba) to perform for the guests, and let the staff attend. Somehow, Mr. Green and Anna ended up alone together downstairs. After she rejected his advances, he beat and raped her.
A hysterical Anna snuck into Mrs. Hughes’ (Phyllis Logan) office, so the woman could get her a new dress to help cover up what had happened. Mrs. Hughes urged Anna to go to the police, but she made Mrs. Hughes promise to remain silent. Anna feared if her husband discovered what happened, Mr. Bates would kill the man, and end up in jail again.
Anna made up a story about falling to explain her visible wounds to Bates. Bates soon became suspicious of Anna’s standoffish behavior.
Meanwhile, Branson (Allen Leech) struggled all weekend to fit in with the Crawley’s society friends. Of course, the evil maid Edna (MyAnna Buring) took advantage of the situation. She kept supplying him with drinks, and later snuck into his room, after he’d gone to bed.
Whether Edna took advantage of a drunk Branson, or if she’s just going to make Branson think they had relations, this whole subplot reeks of Edna running a pregnancy scam to force Branson to marry her. Plus, if she got Branson drunk to sleep with him, it means Branson was raped as well, because he couldn't consent to the act. A second rape in one episode after seeing Anna’s brutal attack on camera was too much.
Also, the last time the Crawleys hosted a big gathering like this, the Turkish diplomat took advantage of Mary. Obviously, the Crawleys should just stop hosting parties. It’s not safe!
Photo Credit: PBS