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I just signed up to videogum only to say something that I guess everyone else missed:
Mrs Bates found out about the Kemal Pamuk story when she was getting a job with Lady Flintshire, it had nothing to do with Ethel! It does make more sense because we already know that the story is all the rage at the Flintshires (Carson found out through their valet). So it’s a bit less loosely tied and does make some sense.
The only thing that’s weird to me is how Mr Bates’ wife came all the way to Downton to take him to London, THE DAY AFTER HE CAME BACK FROM LONDON. If she knew his mother had died wouldn’t she be looking for him over at his mother’s place, where he actually was? So what, I guess she didn’t catch him when he was there?