For me, the Dowager Countess used to be the head honcho of peeved glances and cracking one-liners - but not any more. Carson's face last night, when band singer Mr Ross said "I'm no more African that you" was an absolute corker. Jim Carter, who plays him, expertly manages the balance between Carson's gruff exterior and soft centre. Take last night, when Molesley was reduced to serving tea to the servants - eventually Carson cracked and gave him a more suitable role. Quite often he is more of a snob than his beloved Crawleys - yet, over this series, we've seen he has real heart.
Heart also, it appears, might exist within Mrs Baxter. She's growing on me as a character and I'm keen to know exactly what hold Thomas has over her. Whereas the tough exterior of Charles Blake, with his imminent report on local stately homes due, hasn't yet cracked. I wonder if we are to see a romance between him and Mary - a tempestuous love-hate relationship!
The real shocker last night was Edith's pregnancy and for the first time in four seasons, I felt a grain of sympathy for her - my least favourite character. Where is Michael Gregson? Will he return? How will he face the prospect of being a father?
Shocking for Mary, was the sight of Rose kissing singer Mr Ross down in the kitchen. Since her bereavement the oldest Crawley sister appears more weighed down by the world than ever and has taken her role in the running of the estate seriously - perhaps this will transfer to taking responsibility for carefree Rose as well.
I also empathized with poor Daisy when Alfred left. Unrequited love squeezes your insides and she showed a new maturity on managing to wish him good luck. I can clearly see her as the next Mrs Patmore.
As usual, Fellowes has left us with lots of questions unanswered, especially given the sneak-peek of next week's episode. Are we to see the arrival of Cora's brother, Harold? Will Mr Bates twig that Green attacked his wife, when the vile valet arrives next week? And as for the poorly Dowager Countess... Please don't say Maggie Smith is leaving the series?
Roll on next Sunday which - sadly - brings us the penultimate programme of this season.