After record ratings for its season premiere, Downton Abbey season 4, episode 2 airs tonight and will be anchored by a party upstairs.

UPDATE: Our recap of tonight’s shocking episode is now online!

The synopsis for Downton Abbey season 4, episode 2 – which may receive the award for longest-synopsis-ever, reads, “An extravagant house party at the Abbey gives the Crawleys a chance to reconnect with old friends and culminates in a performance by opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Among the guests are the eligible Sir John Bullock, who soon attracts the attention of Lady Rose; Gregson, who is keen to win Robert’s approval if he is to make a future with Edith; and Mr Sampson, a slightly mysterious acquaintance from Robert’s gentleman’s club. Some guests prove more welcome than others and along with the celebrations come skulduggery and heartache.”

It continues, “Below stairs, with preparations in full swing tensions run high, and Mrs Patmore begins to feel the strain. Jimmy’s attempts to impress Ivy in front of love-rival Alfred don’t go to plan, and hapless Molesley is made an offer of employment he finds hard to refuse. Meanwhile, in the elevated circles above Branson finds himself a fish out of water, but the consolation he is offered may come at a high price. Rose’s attempts to liven up events inadvertently raise painful memories for Mary, and Gregson uses surprising hidden talents to save Robert from a fix and win his respect.”

Several photos from the episode depict a joyous party, and we get a glimpse into Lord Gillingham’s interactions with Lady Mary. Could the two hold a future together?

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Finally, check out the trailer for tonight’s episode:

Downton Abbey season 4, episode 2 airs Sunday, January 12 at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific on PBS. Unlike last week’s two hour premiere, tonight’s episode is one hour long.

Be sure to visit Hypable after the premiere to check out our detailed recap of episode 2.

Last week we saw Mary begin her road to recovering from the loss of her beloved Matthew. While she appears to have made a big step forward, there will still be lingering issues that haunt Mary and Isobel.

Watch ‘Downton Abbey’ online

You can watch new episodes of Downton Abbey season 4 online by visiting PBS’ website the day after each show airs. Episodes are available for free streaming. For example, you can watch last week’s episode now using the embedded video below:

Edited by Donya Abramo