It's enough to make you wonder if Carson had added something to the water: the season five opener of Downton Abbey had more sauce than one of Mrs Patmore's dinners. Viewers saw Lady Mary Crawley being invited away for a week of unmarried passion by her suitor Lord Gillingham.
Lady Mary's beau began pressing his suit on a hunting expedition
Sensing that Mary was unsure of whether to accept his marriage proposal, he slipped into her bedroom clandestinely to propose a trial run.
He urder her "to come away just for a week on our own. And we'll spend the days talking. We'll spend those [nights] together too.
"I want us to be lovers Mary. I want us to know everything there is to know about each other."
She pretended to be shocked, telling him: "If Papa were here he would hit you on the nose".
Later that evening Lord Gillingham would slip into her bedroom
However, earlier Mary had been musing out loud to her maid Anna about just that topic, saying she wondered how to decide on marriage without knowing "if that side of things" would work.
Meanwhile, it was made clear that Anna's marriage is back on track after last season's shocking events. When she told her husband that there was nothing they could do about having a family except leave it in god's hands, Bates responded cheekily: "Well there is one thing we could do".
Lady Anstruther is fraternising with the servants in a most unseemly fashion
Elsewhere, an unexpected guest at Downton was once again trying to cement upstairs-downstairs relations with her pursuit of a a much younger footman.
Lady Anstruther, played vampishly by Anna Chancellor, invited herself to stay at the manor house, pretending her car had broken down so she could get reacquainted with one of her handsome former employees. Unfortunately, a dramatic outbreak of fire meant they were caught by Lord Grantham.
Among the older generation, Mrs Isobel Crawley found herself caught between two suitors as Lord Merton and the village doctor fight for her affections.