Check out this sneak peek preview of Sunday, Oct. 6’s episode of “Downton Abbey,” which features a lavish part at the estate. Mary isn’t quite ready to be moving on, of course, but that doesn’t mean she can’t engage in conversation with the dashing Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen).

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Below is the episode description of episode 3:

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.

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.

We’re quite intrigued to find out what happens with Branson, straddling the two worlds, and we can’t wait to watch Mr. Gregson try to impress Robert. We’re also glad to hear Molesley will find some employment.

“Downton Abbey” airs Sundays in the U.K. and returns to the U.S. on Jan. 5, 2013.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."