Mr Selfridge: Harry welcomes Mr Woolworth & Mrs Selfridge suffers the return of Roddy Temple

by Matt D

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I do enjoy every now and then how Mr Selfridge decides to give us a potted history of the early 20th century whether it be through the suffragette movement or through the appearances of Arthur Conan Doyle and Anna Pavlova. This week is no different as Harry’s old friend FW Woolworth comes to London intent on opening one of his bargain shops on Oxford Street and therefore in direct competition with Selfridges. Woolworth feels that the pair will not be competition as Selfridges caters for the upper classes however Harry thinks otherwise and it is only when he questions his staff that he discovers that the prices in store are astronomically high.

To counteract this Selfridge plans a sale on certain items to appeal to people like Mrs Crabb, whose husband describes as a very thrifty women, so he sets about instructing every department about which items to include in the sale. When he suggests that Miss Mardle simply bring down the price of umbrellas she goes one further and tells him that they should stage a mid-season sale something he enthusiastically agrees with by flapping his arms over the place. He enlists Leclair’s help with the project by designing a window that appeals to the common person on the street so it is lucky that he is currently having relations with one of these commoners. Of course last week we saw Agnes make the first move in her relationship with the French window-dresser and this week they consummate their relationship presumably while Agnes’ brother was out of their flat. Once again Agnes is able to inspire Leclair by taking her around the local market which gives him the feel for the common person. Meanwhile Victor has realised Lady Mae is only after him for his body and isn’t at all interested in his ideas so once again he is back sniffing around Agnes. Agnes then give Victor the confidence to go to Harry and suggest that during his sale they serve food for the common man such as ice cream and hamburgers. The feud between Harry and FW continues at Lady Mae’s soiree where she tells him that the pair will soon be competing as London isn’t ready for two American kings of commerce. Happily Harry’s sale is a success, especially with Mrs Crabb who seemingly spends all of her husband’s wages, while FW returns to America warning Harry that his family should come before his shop.

This is a timely warning for Harry as his wife’s would-be suitor Roddy Temple is back from Paris intent on winning the woman of his dreams. Roddy’s return coincides with Lady Mae and Rose deciding that Rosalie should find herself a suitable man and arrange for several suitors to turn up to her soiree. It is there that Rosalie first encounters Roddy, though it’s unclear why he was invited in the first place, who flirts with her quite a bit in order to get her mother’s attention. The next day the family leave Rosalie at home as they believe she is nursing a hangover but little do they know that Roddy has come round to give the eldest Selfridge girl an ‘art lesson’. Roddy continues interfering in Rose’s life and realises that threats to inform Harry about his return are empty and he concludes that she has more to lose than he does. Meanwhile Harry’s former mistress Ellen is also back in the Selfridges restaurant and is set on her dream of becoming a serious actress with Lady Mae’s former lover Tony Travers financing her play. To be honest I have very little interest in Ellen Love anymore and I feel she’s used up her usefulness as a character and should have probably left the series a couple of episodes ago.


The final story this week is based around the relationship between Mr Grove and Miss Mardle and how this impacts on the choice of a new senior assistant in the accessories department. As Miss Mardle helps Mr Grove sort through his late wife’s clothes the two get a bit hot and heavy in his marital bed which causes him to have doubts about their twelve year relationship. Miss Mardle realises for the first time that Mr Grove actually did love his wife and that he came to her mainly because he couldn’t be with Hettie. Now with Hettie gone it appears as if Mr Grove wants to end this long-running affair and once again incurs the wrath of his colleague. To get back at him Miss Mardle disagrees with him when he suggests Doris get the senior assistant job as she believes Kitty has a lot more drive while Doris lacks ambition. It is eventually decided that Kitty be given the job however it appears as if a new relationship is on the horizon as Mr Grove helps Doris in her assistance of Miss Bunting who was refused a reference from Harry early on in the programme. Mr Grove even goes as far as to donate some of Hettie’s clothes to Miss Bunting and I feel that a romance between Doris and Mr Grove could be on the horizon.

All in all I felt this was a better episode than last week as a few storylines were advanced heading into the final two weeks. We know now that Roddy Temple is the new threat to the Selfridge marriage after Ellen Love has seemingly moved on with the horrid Tony Travers. Roddy’s pursuit of Rosalie in order to get to Rose will obviously somehow play into the series finale where I predict a showdown of sorts between Harry and Roddy. Elsewhere the relationships between Leclair and Agnes and Miss Mardle and Mr Grove moved on in different ways with Agnes presumably caught up in some sort of love triangle now Victor has finished with Lady Mae. Personally though I’m feeling a little bit bored by Mr Selfridge and feel that not much has happened since the car accident a few weeks back and I’m hoping that the programme picks up a bit in its final two weeks especially seeing as its been renewed for a second run.

What did you think of this week’s Mr Selfridge? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Leave Your Comments Below.