-- Nearly as fun as Mary’s mud-slinging is Violet’s bout with the flu, which is an excuse for more great Dowager zingers, which are somehow even sharper through the haze of her fever, e.g. “This one talks too much, like a drunken vicar.”

-- What is there to say about Rose’s behavior except she is reckless and this is not going to end well? When Grantham left her in charge of fun, I do not think this is what he meant.

-- I really, really hope we get to see some of Grantham and Thomas’ trip to America next week. Think of all the handsome stewards we’re missing!

-- Another standout scene: Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes pretending to have the flu when Alfred shows up at Downton.

-- Mrs. Patmore gets poetic in her explanation for keeping Alfred the heartbreaker away from the house: “The tears and heartbreak that will flavor our puddings for weeks to come.”

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Twitter: @MeredithBlake