Mr Selfridge review: The series hits its midway mark with firings, a re-hiring and one hell of a cliffhanger
A little known fact is that Mr Selfridge was initially going to be shown in two blocks of five episodes however after it had been delayed till the New Year the decision was made to show all ten instalments back to back. So in theory tonight’s episode would’ve originally been the series climax and there’s definitely some signs of this as the plot builds to an open-ended conclusion that leaves two of the central characters in a large amount of peril.
As always Harry Selfridge starts the episode on a high as he hopes to capitalise on the growing number of car drivers in London by having Leclair deconstruct and then reconstruct a car in the shop window. The customers in the store also appear to be turning up in their droves to buy driving related outfits whether it be coats from fashions or gloves from Miss Mardle’s accessories department. Talking of accessories it is under-staffed this week after Agnes left the store in disgrace as her father Reg disrupted the presentation being given by Anna Pavlova. The only person who sees Agnes’ resignation as a good thing is Victor who has been wanting to get his end away with her for ages and now they’re no longer co-workers asks her out to which she accepts.
Harry meanwhile is furious that Agnes has quit because of her father with the incident bringing up some deep-seated memories from his own past relating to issues with his own dad. As we learn via flashback Selfridge senior was a selfish man who left Harry’s mother and shacked up with a new woman as he was fed up with being a family man. Harry pays Reg to leave the country and not contact his children ever again something he agrees to for now however one suspects that he will return. Meanwhile Agnes’ return to the store ruffles a few feathers namely with Kitty, who was being lined up as Agnes’ replacement, as well as Mr Grove who as chief-of-staff believe he should have full control when it comes to hiring and firing. Still trying to help his new love Victor tells Harry of the stealing going on in the warehouse then makes sure that George isn’t around when the rest of the workmen are sacked. Victor’s grand gesture may have been in vain though as Agnes now wants to spend all her time helping Leclair with the window display and when she sees how possessive he gets she sends him away. Luckily Victor has had another offer and turns up at Lady Mae’s pad armed with a couple of quail and a selection of vegetables surely the Marks and Spencer Dinner for Two of its day.
While Harry is busy running around sorting out Agnes’ family he may want to play closer attention to his own as his wife Rose is still being pursued by Roddy the painter who tells her that he is inspired by her. Roddy steals a kiss from Rose which is witnessed by one of her many children however she lies to cover it up and later chastise herself for being a bad mother. Rose may which to change her mind about her relationship with Roddy though after Ellen turn up at the Selfridge abode to reveal that she has been having an affair with Harry something that Rose was already aware of. After hearing of the kiss between his wife and Roddy, Harry confronts only to be informed about Ellen’s visit with Rose wondering why it has to be one rule for him and another for everyone else. Ellen meanwhile is still completely besotted with Harry however he repeatedly rejects her advances and when Frank goes round to check on her he discovers something horrific. Harry is also having a tough time and in a particularly arty sequence he himself as an accident which could have major consequences for the rest of the series.
My general feelings on Mr Selfridge have been mixed however at least this week Andrew Davies gave us an opportunity to sympathise with Harry due to the relationship he had with his father. It appears that he is trying to put things right both in the relationship with his own son and sorting things out with Agnes’ family however at the same time he has cheated on his wife on a number of occasions so in a way he’s no better than the father that he despises. The extra-marital activities that both of the Selfridges have been carrying out came to a head this week as Harry ended things with Ellen for good while Rose may well jump back into Roddy’s arms after the confrontation with her husband. While the story about the Selfridges’ marriage has had a chance to grow the relationships between Victor and Lady Mae and Agnes and Leclair seem to have happened overnight and I have very little interest in either. Indeed Victor may have inadvertently got Agnes fired once again after he gave her a driving scarf which he intended to pay for the next day a story which I’m sure Mr Grove will find hard to believe. I also found that this episode of Mr Selfridge had a lot of fruity language in it especially in the flashback sequences involving Harry’s father and I have to say I didn’t expect much foul language in a prime time ITV drama.
Overall there was a lot of story in this instalment of Mr Selfridge and some plots appear to have been finished even though I feel they were just getting started namely that of George’s part in the robberies at the loading bay and Reg’s exit. Thankfully this episode’s saving grace were the last ten minutes which set out what we have to look forward to in the next few weeks and in particular I enjoyed the finishing sequence involving all of Harry’s bad memories. Up to now Mr Selfridge has primarily survived on its luxurious production design however there are hints that the second part of the series could have a bit more substance and I for one hope that’s the case.
What did you think to this week’s episode of Mr Selfridge? Are you looking forward to the second half of the series? Leave Your Comments Below.
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