If I shouted blue murder every time someone tried to kiss me at Eton, I'd have gone hoarse in a month.
That was pretty funny..
It was a cool reply. Probably a bit anachronistic, though (not the kissing in Eton, but the Lord's tolerance in 1921)
Downton Abbey plots are incredibly anachronistic in a lot of their acceptance/reaction to things, including Thomas' sexuality.
They are terrified of having the characters act in a way that seems unlikable to modern audiences. Which is fair, most people are dumb and couldn't handle it.
I have to agree with r3.
I could see the staff turning a blind eye to it. I could see them trying to cover something up for the sake of the house but once the police got involved ... it's a reach they would be that tolerant.
And also , why is it they're so terrified of modern audiences when it comes to a homosexual villain but oh so on period when it comes to the treatment of a pregnant maid who was forced into prostitution?
Ethel the prostitute sure had a struggle acquiring any favors from Downton.
Nah! It's ok : it's not about logic or historical accuracy. It's all about characters evolution.
Thomas'arc is to eat some humble pie for what he has done to everybody through the years and finally experiment some kindness and support, which makes us go aaawww!! because the actor is talented and charismatic.
Even if it doesn't make sense that Lord Grantham, a man who is opposed to his daughter writing in a newspaper, sacrificed another daughter to snobism because he wouldn't have the knighted doctor contradicted and dislikes Catholics because they are different from him, would suddenly root for the gay, unlikable valet.
You are right, it's not realistic, but this is what Downton Abbey is all about.
I find it fun and I buy it.
Please they sat and ate a meal cooked by a known prostitute, the Ethel thing was another instance of the characters being unrealistically accepting.