Mr Selfridge, Season 4 Episode 5: Review

(Beware, spoilers below!)

As always, there’s a lengthy recap to start with, so scroll to the end for Mr Selfridge wakes up from a lovely night with Nancy, and goes into the store looking for a new department heads givenย Agnes and Henri’s departure. Gordon tells his father that he’s not ready to step up for the job of Store Deputy. Kitty’s sister Connie puts it in Miss Mardle’s head that she should apply and after a brief conversation with Mr Grove she decides that she should go for it. Back on the shop floor a journalist approaches her asking for a soundbite about her sister, telling her that it will help her sister’s image

Doris and Mr Grove entertain Mr Crabb and his family, and as the men speculate over who will get the job, Doris goes into the corner to the cry. Come nighttime Violette is off dancing with Victor once more. In the morning the newspaper hits the stands with an article on Kitty, which is less than flattering about her sister. Madam Selfridge manages to obtain a large file on the Princess and finds out more about the woman’s outstanding debts. She visits the Princess at her hotel suite and informs her that she knows about her debts, and the woman finally tells her their story.

Harry meets the architect of his housing project with Nancy whilst later in the evening Lord Loxley hosts a reception where he apologises for his actions during the war. He announces a charitable foundation for former servicemen to help to honour the men who fought that have comeback to an upturned world where women demand jobs and the right to work. Kitty’s received an unpleasant letter from someone outside but Mr Selfridge ensures that she’ll be looked after. However when Kitty’s gone Mr Grove shows that there are many more letter that have been sent in about the matter. George goes to apologise to Grace for his previous outburst and ends up kissing her whilst Miss Mardle goes to apologise to Doris. There she finds out that the son of their baby might not be Mr Grove.

The Princess goes to visit the Selfridge household to apologise and she instead gets told that she should move in. Her son’s having plenty of trouble because he’s being put in a corner my Loxley’s selling of traditional values. He goes to visit Nancy and tells her that it’s urgent that they hold a press conference over the homeless housing so that people are clear about where he stands. The next day they reveal the Selfridge Estate for former servicemen and there’s some good new for Mr Edwards too since he’s not being charged. Gordon tells his father that he’s going for the job of Deputy after all and his father fives it to him. Kitty and Connie also make up but the publishers cancels his book because they’re afraid of negative publicity. The whole Selfridge family come together as the Princess moves back in.

Violette and Victor are about to sleep together in his club, but just then the police show up being led by Dillane in order to round up the club for serving alcoholย after hours. In Nancy’s apartment the architect shows up and it’s revealed that they’re after Harry’s estate money…

Even though Agnes and Henri are nowhere to be seen the other stories in the show manage to shine with the chance of extra screentime. The story with Violette and Victor is finally going places with her arrest whilst Miss Mardle too is given more space to help both her friend Doris but also be an independent lady. By contrast, Kitty’s independence has damaged both her marriage and her place in the store – a harsh echo of how even todayย women are found fault for the the attacks that happen to them. Almost a century later, perhaps we haven’t progressed as much as we think. Nancy’s purpose is also extended beyond her being a representation of Harry’s loneliness though it seems that next week will see that storyline developed more. Any criticism of the episode should be levelled at the whole palava surrounding Grove vs Mardle for the Deputy job, as Gordon got it in a hurry and the other two didn’t have much to do other than comment on what a deputy should be like. One hopes that their competitive banter might be made further use of later. Loxley’s vengeance also got lost amidst the plots, as him setting up a charitable fund seemed to cause a bit of ruckus to begin with, but now that Harry’s revealed his housing plans what more can he do but sneer? At the very least, we have the prospect of Madame Lanvin’s attractive French assistant to take the place of our recently departed Henri whilst we just wonder if both Selfridge sisters will come out of this Season emotionally unscathed.

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