Bates: He's finally out of prison. I think that's all we need to know/care about right? (All right, a little more detail. Mr. Murray visited Mrs. Bartlett, who took her original statement back, at the urging of the corrupt guard Durrant and Bates' ex-cellmate Craig. Then Bates threatens Craig, who somehow gets Mrs. Bartlett to tell the truth again. Bates will be freed. Although, we've yet to see his return to Downton.)
Daisy: William's father wants her to come live with him and learn to run the farm, so she can inherit the living when he dies. Will Daisy actually give up life as a cook?
The Daisy/Ivy/Alfred/Jimmy love story: Mrs. Patmore put it best when scolding her underlings. "You know the trouble with you lot, you're all in love with the wrong people." Alfred keeps hitting on Ivy, who only has eyes for Jimmy, who flirts with Ivy to annoy Alfred, and Daisy just snaps a lot because no one wants her. Does this storyline remind anyone of season 1 when Thomas used to flirt with Daisy, just because he could, which made William mad?
Mrs. Patmore and Ethel: Since Isobel wanted to hold the aforementioned lunch party, Ethel begged Mrs. Patmore for help in the cooking department. Downton's cook obliges, and Ethel pulls off the meal, much to Isobel's surprise. It looks like Ethel is good for more than just lying on her back.
Thomas: He's becoming more and more flirtatious with Jimmy, who's becoming more and more annoyed with it. Someone needs to lend Thomas a copy of He's Just Not That Into You.
Matthew and Mary: They finally have another scene in bed together. More like this, please! Plus, they hold their niece and it's adorable. When are they going to have a baby?
And here are the Dowager Countess' best quotes:
Grief makes one so terribly tired.
I do not speak much of the heart, since it's seldom helpful to do so. But I know well enough the pain when it is broken.
I doubt Mr. Travis has much of an eye for fashion.
The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk is a dear friend. And she's more Catholic than the Pope.
'Lie' is so unmusical a word.
I suppose she has an appropriate costume for every activity.
It seems a pity to miss such a good pudding.
Are you glad Robert and Cora worked things out? Or do you think she's way too good for him? (I do.)