Since Bates (and also the audience) can't handle more scenes of Anna shuddering at his very sight, he takes it upon himsef to get to the bottom of the matter.
And he almost hears the whole truth.
Mirroring the beginning of last week's episode, when a deeply depressed Anna walks alone to the house, we now first see Bates by himself, walking from the Cottage of Despair to Downton.
Anna is seen still applying make-up to cover her injuries, and after a few scenes of her refusing to tell Mary what's up and turning a deaf ear to Mrs. Hughes urging her to tell the truth, you get the sense this is all going to come to a head soon.
(BTW: This season, Mrs. Hughes should have been paid extra for all the problem-solving she has had to undertake).
Bates goes to Hughes after he happens to overhear her telling Anna she'll still keep her secret. He threatens to resign from Downton if Hughes doesn't tell him what's going on. That, of course, works.
We don't hear the whole confession on-screen, but we learn that Hughes tells Bates that Anna was raped, but not by Mr. Green. She makes up a story that an intruder broke in and waited for Anna downstairs. A countryside intruder at Downton? Sure.
Bates doesn't buy it. He knows deep down it was Green, Gillingham's valet.
The most heartbreaking scene? Bates, after learning the news, goes to a dark corner and immediately starts to cry. Alone. This was awful to watch, sort of like a seal crying when its mother is eaten by a killer whale or something.
I predict this will become a description of extreme sadness: "I felt iike I was watching Bates cry in the corner alone."
Later, Bates goes to Anna, who has sequestered herself in a shoeshine room (what, you don't have one) for most of the episode so she can avoid her husband.
He says two words: "I know." Anna's lip quivers.
Still, Bates tells her that "if it was the valet, he's a dead man." Which is exactly what Anna assumed he'd say if he found out.
"My shame has nowhere to hide," Anna tells her husband, later adding, 'I'm spoiled for you. And I can never be unspoiled."
Bates, being Bates, will not hear any of this. Seriously, did you have any doubt that he wouldn't be anything but comforting?
"I have never loved you more than I love you at this moment," he says in the very Batesian way he expect.
OH, but it's not over. Though Anna is moving back to the cottage (and already exchanging cutesey glances with her husband), Bates tells Hughes that he's not letting this go.
"Be aware -- nothing is over," he tells Hughes. "Nothing is done with."
So much for getting back to normal.
Mary deals with land (and yet another dude)