It is the summer of 1913. Daisy still feels spooked about what happened to Mr. Pamuk. Lady Mary gets a stern talking to from her father about her outspoken manner as he receives a letter from his sister who lives in London. Meanwhile, Sybil has applied for another secretarial position on Gwen's behalf and is delighted to receive a letter inviting Gwen to a job interview.
At Crawley House, Isobel tries her hand at a little matchmaking when she suggests to Matthew that they take the time to arrange the promised visit to new churches with Edith but Matthew makes it clear that he has no romantic inclinations towards Edith whatsoever. Molesley asks for some time off that afternoon to go and assist his elderly father in preparing his stall for the annual Downton Summer Flower Show and Isobel is only too pleased to let him.
Back at Downton Abbey, Mr. Bates catches Thomas in the act of stealing a bottle of wine from the cellar. Thomas tries to make excuses but Bates knows what is going on. Meanwhile, out in the gardens, His Lordship tells Countess Cora that his sister's letter informs him that Evelyn Napier has given up all thought of marrying Mary and that he is engaged to another girl instead. He tells Cora that Rosamund speaks as though Mr. Napier's decision seems to have something to do with some kind of stain on Mary's character. Cora insists that Mary must marry soon and suggests Sir Anthony Strallan, who is as old as her father and, according to Lord Robert, "as dull as paint".
The servants learn that Daisy 'took a turn' in Lady Mary's room earlier that day and Thomas and Miss O' Brien soon wonder what it is that could have spooked her. They look quite determined to find out.
Later, in the village hall, the preparations for the flower show are continuing. Mrs. Crawley speaks to Molesley and learns that The Grantham Cup for the best bloom in the village has been won for several years in succession by the Dowager Countess herself and considers that amazing. Violet, who happens to be there at the time, points out that they live in a superb area for growing roses.
O'Brien and Thomas discuss the fact that Lady Mary's character is being blackened around London and O' Brien knows it is Thomas rather than Mr. Napier who is causing all the scandal. When Thomas tells O' Brien that Bates saw him steal wine, she tells him that he must turn the tables on the valet as quickly as possible before Bates has a chance to tell Mr. Carson, which would mean that Thomas would lose his job for stealing. They are also still very curious about what Daisy did or didn't see on the night that Mr. Pamuk died and refuse to stop asking her about it.
Mary meets up with Matthew as they are both walking in the village. She asks him whether Edith has arranged any more church visits but Matthew tells her that while his mother might like to make something of it romantically, he is not interested. Mary warns him that Edith has a crush on him but he tells her that Edith is wasting her time as nothing will come of it.
Whilst helping Anna make the beds, Gwen pretends to be ill so that she can disappear with Lady Sybil in order to attend her job interview. The two of them are to travel in the Governor's cart and Gwen hopes that the staff will not miss her if anyone happens to be seeking her out. Meanwhile, there is trouble in the kitchens when Mrs. Patmore flatly refuses to cook the Apple Charlotte for the dinner the Crawleys are giving for Sir Anthony on Friday. She stubbornly insists to Her Ladyship that the two of them had agreed on the menu and that she was making the Raspberry Meringue upon which they had already decided. Cora is clearly not pleased but agrees, however, housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes knows that there is something more to Mrs. Patmore's refusal to make the Apple Charlotte for dessert. When Cora has gone, she realises that Mrs. Patmore won't cook the new menu item because she isn't familiar with it - as she can't see properly to read the recipe.
Gwen and Lady Sybil go off for Gwen's job interview in the horse and cart and Gwen is very excited but at the home of the Dowager Countess, Violet is being put in her place by Cousin Isobel when she tells her about old Mr. Molesley's beautiful garden, most particularly his roses. She tells Violet in no uncertain terms that she believes she wins the Grantham Cup for 'Best Bloom' every year because the committee feels they have no choice but to award it to her. Violet is extremely affronted and the two elderly ladies argue the point quite energetically.
When Sybil and Gwen are very late back due to their horse having thrown a shoe, the family and Anna are worried about where they are. After Cora spills her worries to O' Brien, O'Brien makes the calculated but fatal mistake of going to tell Lady Edith that she is 'concerned' about Daisy, given her fears about death and her constant worries about Mr. Pamuk having died in the house. Edith instructs O' Brien to bring Daisy to her but the kitchen maid is clearly frightened and overwhelmed so Edith pretends to understands and gets Daisy to unburden herself with regard to what she saw on the night Mr. Pamuk died.
The day before the flower show, Mary and Matthew meet in the village hall and seem to be getting on well but there is more concern at the abbey when Mr. Carson announces that a valuable snuff box is missing from His Lordship's room. The inference is clear to Bates that Thomas and O' Brien are up to something, but he isn't quite sure what.
Later, Mary is furious when her mother tells her to 'look after' Sir Anthony at dinner, announcing that she is sick of being told to marry every man she sits next to at dinner. Cora admits that there is gossip in London about Mary's lack of virtue and so, her mother feels she must marry soon before it gets any worse. Poor Mary feels like a 'lost cause' but she has not lost her spirit.
In the kitchen, Mrs. Patmore is driving Daisy and the others insane as her eyesight gets worse. Naturally, she blames Daisy rather than admit her own difficulties. At dinner, Mary is bored to death by Sir Anthony but Edith does her best to have him interested in her, and it seems to be working as they chat quite a bit during the meal. Things take a huge turn for the worse, however, when Mrs. Patmore mistakenly adds salt instead of sugar to the top of the meringue and Sir Anthony makes quite a fuss. Finally, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson realise that it's time to have a serious talk with the cook. Mr. Carson takes it upon himself and she tells him that she is terrified because her eyesight has been getting steadily worse and she thinks she will go completely blind.
While this is happening, Anna and Mr. Bates discuss the missing snuff box and Anna is convinced that it will be found hidden in Mr. Bates' room as Thomas and O'Brien would certainly like to get rid of him.
Mary and Edith bicker about Sir Anthony and Mary tells Edith she could have the older man any time she likes. The two sisters are clearly jealous of each other and when Cousin Matthew leaves early, Edith feels more than a little rejected.
With regard to the missing snuff box, Anna suggests an immediate search, which puts both O' Brien and Thomas into a tailspin. Mrs. Hughes is somewhat surprised to see O' Brien's room in such a mess. The snuff box isn't found but at least O' Brien and Thomas know they have been found out and that in itself will keep them quiet for a while.
Bates tells Anna that he is a married man, but she knows his secrets run deeper than that. She tells him that she loves him as they both make their way to the flower show. At the show, Gwen tells Sybil that she did not get the job, but Sybil says they will continue until they find something for Gwen. The good news is that the missing snuff box has suddenly 'turned up' - it was on the wrong shelf, apparently.
Everyone is stunned and delighted when the Dowager Countess "allows" Mr. Molesley to win the Grantham Cup for his beautiful roses but later that night, at the house, much plotting is taking place as, using the information she gleaned from Daisy, Lady Edith pens a letter to the Turkish Ambassador, telling him that Mr. Pamuk's death was in some way connected to an illicit liaison with her sister, Mary.