|The Earl interrupts lunch, and is not welcome|
Ethel is admittedly not a whiz in the kitchen, so Mrs. Crawley asked her to keep things simple. But Ethel wanted to do something nice for her former and current employers and enlisted the help of Downton cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) to make some decent food. This of course caused a scandal in he eyes of head butler Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), who had forbidden everyone at Downton from having any contact with Crawley House and its fallen woman. He ran and told Lord Grantham, Robert, about the scandalous luncheon and Robert hightailed it to Crawley House to "rescue" his ladies. He was promptly ignored, especially when Ethel brought out a delicious dessert. Cora still being angry at her husband certainly helped, as she brought up more than once in the episode how Lord Grantham's old-fashioned views were holding everyone back (Edith taking a job writing for the paper, last week's choice of a Harley Street doctor and subsequent inaction which may have led to Sybil's death) — sometimes with disastrous consequences.
|Ethel, that dessert does look delicious|
Hugh Bonneville is doing a masterful job portraying his befuddlement at how the balance of power has somehow shifted inexorably away from him when he wasn't looking. It will be interesting to see if he continues to stubbornly refuse to go with the flow and becomes a fossil, or if he, like his middle daughter Edith, will find "something to do." As Mr. Mason (Paul Copley) pointed out to assistant cook Daisy (Sophie McShera) — does she really think she'll be in service the rest of her life? Or that old houses like Downton will still be operating in the same fashion in the next forty years? Downton's world is changing, and rapidly.