I would like to applaud everyone who has stuck around with Mr Selfridge for so long now as I feel the past couple of episodes have been very lacklustre indeed. It appears to me like all of the characters have been in a sort of holding pattern since Harry recovered from his car crash injuries and after tonight’s episode I’m still not sure if I’m really looking forward to next week’s series finale.
One of the minor plots over the past couple of weeks have been the attempts of Mr Grove and Doris to help out former head of fashion Miss Bunting who fell on hard times following her dismissal from the store. As we saw in the last episode Harry refused outright to provide Miss Bunting with a reference as he was still incensed that she stole from him so instead Mr Grove donated all of his late wife’s clothes to Miss Bunting. The opening of tonight’s instalment sees Miss Bunting in her best clothing with a note to Harry in her hand which we presume is a request for a reference however that is not the case. Word soon reaches the store that Miss Bunting has taken her own life, after stepping out in front of a train, with the death really having an impact on a number of characters.
Miss Bunting’s death really affects Harry especially after he discovers the note that was on Miss Bunting’s person which is both her apology and her reasoning behind stealing from the store in the first place. Harry then begins to regret sacking Miss Bunting before listening to why she stole from him and to make up for his actions agrees to pay for her funeral while at the same time informing his staff that if they have any problems than they should report to him directly. Meanwhile the death also gets to Doris, who had developed a friendship with Miss Bunting, while her grieving process isn’t helped by Kitty who is still lauding the fact that she is now senior assistant in the department asking her to call her Miss Hargreaves from now on. Doris again seeks comfort from Mr Grove with the pair agreeing to have tea together to celebrate Miss Bunting’s life which in turn means that Doris turns down Kitty’s offer of an apology meal. Finally Miss Mardle is also upset about her former friend’s death and wonders if her life will turn out the same following Mr Grove ending their relationship last week. Miss Mardle finds an unusual ally in Miss Ravillous who agrees that unmarried women like them need something else in their lives and invites her along to a suffregette rally an invitation that she gladly accepts.
Harry’s anger over Miss Bunting’s death isn’t helped when he discovers that Roddy Temple has been hanging around his daughter in an attempt to get his wife’s attention. When Harry finally confronts Roddy it appears as if the arrogant painter once again has the upper hand when he reveals that Rose may well have been in love with him. Roddy also chastises Harry for being a horrible husband to Rose citing his relationship with Ellen Love as a case in point and I have to say that Roddy puts up one hell of an argument. Talking of Ellen it appears as if she has new ally in Frank who has now been sacked from the paper and turned away by Harry after he asked for a job from his friend. Ellen asks Frank to look over Tony Travers’ script for the new playing in which she is starring and in the process becomes a sort of script editor for this horrible pair. I have to say I’m still not buying the relationship between Ellen and Tony as there’s been very little time devoted to it and it just seems like Andrew Davies is trying to find a way of putting all of Harry’s enemies together. Things come to a head with Harry when he asks Rose outright if she is in love with Roddy and when she doesn’t answer he goes off to the club where we see a woman lay her hand on his shoulder. I do feel as if we are to believe that this signals the reigniting of the relationship between Harry and Ellen however there could be a twist to the tale.
Also this week Ernest Shackleton becomes the latest familiar face to pop up at Selfridges in yet another big event for the store however his presence at the store isn’t as big a deal as it should be mainly because Harry’s attention is elsewhere. In addition we had more development in a couple of relationships namely that of Agnes and Leclair with the two getting down and dirty once again as they work together to develop an Arctic-related window display for Shackelton’s arrival to the store. When Miss Ravillous discovers their relationship she warns Agnes of the store policy about relationships between colleagues, which now is a little bit ridiculous seeing as most of the staff have had it off with one another, although she says she won’t judge if Agnes is actually in love with the Frenchman. When she reveals that she’s only having fun with him I was a little shocked and this might lead to him leaving the store to be with his former French love who wants him to come to New York with her. The Victor and Lady Mae saga continued to play out in this week’s episode as he finally wised up that she wasn’t interested in investing in him and so ended their relationship. As Lady Mae is someone who always likes to get her own way she eventually found Victor his own premises for a restaurant but when he realised she was just doing this so she could be the one with all the power he turned her down.
Overall I felt this was another Mr Selfridge episode that had too much going on for me to focus too much on one particular story however once again there were some things that I enjoyed. I loved Pippa Haywood’s final performance as Miss Bunting prepared to leave her house one last time while some of the other actors were great in their reactions to the death. I also thought the development of the Agnes character, who cares more about her career than her relationship, was a nice little touch as it will save her turning out like Miss Mardle whose life was mainly based on her pining for Mr Grove. On the other hand I still care very little for the relationships between Harry and Ellen, Roddy and Rose and Victor and Lady Mae so therefore I’m not really looking forward to the final episode which presumably will be based around these three stories. Ultimately this instalment of Mr Selfridge was another entry into the lacklustre collection of episodes we’ve already had and I honestly can’t believe a second series has already been commissioned seeing as Andrew Davies and his writing team appear to have already run out of ideas.
What did you think to this week’s Mr Selfridge? Are you looking forward to next week’s final episode? Leave Your Comments Below.