Previously on Mr Selfridge: Gordon was promoted to deputy head of the store, Kitty got attacked and then smeared in the press, Loxsley continued his crusade to ruin Harry, and Nancy turned out to be a con artist.
Victor and Violette, in their separate homes, are lost in thought. Harry is called away from the breakfast table for a phone call from Purkiss. Violette goes out into the hall just as her dad is hanging up the phone, ready for her punishment. Harry slams down the phone and informs her the police aren’t pursuing a prosecution. This time. He forbids her from leaving the house or speaking on the phone and tells her he’s glad her mother’s not there to see her shame. Ouch, Harry.
The musicians pack up and leave Victor’s place. Elsa asks if they’re reopening and Victor says he just needs some time.
At the store, prior to opening, Gordon dorkily practices introducing himself as deputy manager.
At home, Grove rants about Gordon getting the job, which, as I feared, he assumes Harry did purely out of favouritism. Doris tries to reassure him, even as she eyes her lover, who’s lurking about outside the house. Grove says he’s not about to take Gordon in hand, kisses her goodbye, and heads out for the day. For a second, it looks like her lover might approach him, but he doesn’t. Grove passes by the man without giving him a second look.
Kitty notices some tortoiseshell cases are missing from the beauty counter. She eyes Grace, for some reason, who tells her to look elsewhere, because a hat’s missing from her section. Kitty concludes they have a thief.
Grove and Gordon get on the lift and head to the ground floor. Grove’s still steaming and Gordon says he knows Grove thought he would be the natural choice for the job. ‘You’re a Selfridge. There’s no more natural a choice,’ Grove spits back. Gordon thanks him for being so magnanimous. The lift doors open and Kitty and Grace bring their bickering to him. Mardle appears and says fashion’s been the victim of crime. He realizes that everything that’s missing is brown and says he’s pretty sure he knows what happened.
He shoves off to the head of display’s office, where the newly appointed Monsieur Longchamps has arrived early and apparently helped himself to some of the wares from the store. Gordon welcomes him but says to ask first. Longchamps says people will always complain, but then they’ll see his displays and all will be forgotten. He shows Gordon what he’s working on and the boy seems stunned.
Harry goes to see Victor and greets him politely and warmly enough before asking Victor if he happened to see whom Violette was with while she was at the club. Victor completely screws up and accidentally admits that she was with him and that, furthermore, they were in a rather compromising position. All of this is news to Harry, who takes a beat, then says his children are still recovering from Rose’s death. He firmly asks Victor to leave his daughter alone.
Gordon gathers the ladies and introduces Longchamps, who shows them the new display: a mechanical tree surrounded by autumnally brown items. Everyone oohs and aaahhs. Crabb comments that it looks like Gordon’s first appointment has worked out. Is this not his first day as deputy manager? When did he have time to appoint Longchamps?
Nancy arrives at the store and runs right into Crabb and Grove, who ask how plans for the estate are going. She reports they’re coming along nicely. She shows Harry the plans and asks where the money is. Instead of explaining, he asks her to join him at dinner that night.
Nancy: Woah, meeting the family? Slow down there!
Harry admits his daughter is making him crazy, so he wants some distraction. Well, that’s flattering. Nonetheless, Nancy agrees.
She goes home and tells her partner there’s been a delay, but she’s getting a family dinner out of it. She pours herself a drink and talks about how much she’s looking forward to moving to America and being able to walk down the street without looking over her shoulder.
Everyone’s gathered for dinner, listening to Rosalie and Violette scream at each other in another room. Marie comments about Nancy being Harry’s employee and lover, which seems pretty neat and convenient. The ladies finally show up and Violette immediately starts trying to be a bitch, but Harry thankfully cuts her off. Nancy comments that she thought she was going to be bored, since other people’s families are usually so dull. But not the Selfridges!
Victor meets with Purkiss and agrees to keep paying him off. But the price has gone up to triple the original cost. Victor admits he can’t pay that much.
The Selfridge dinner is winding down, so Sergei excuses himself to go pack for a trip to Paris he’s taking the next day. Without telling his wife. He sucks. He won’t even say when he’s going to be back. Violette leaves with her chip on her shoulder and Harry sighs to Nancy that Violette must be punishing him, because why else would she be dating a club owner? Harry, not everything is about you. Nancy says that girls tend to date men who are like their fathers. She suggests he stop treating Violette like a child. Why? She acts like one.
Lois goes to Marie and tells her to have a word with Sergei. Marie tries to wriggle out but Lois insists, so off Marie goes. She finds Sergei in his office and tells him Rosalie is not happy. She reminds him that they live with these people and need them. ‘You need them, to pay your bills,’ Sergei pouts back. Uh, Sergei, who pays your bills? Ass. She tells him marriages need tending and urges him to talk to Rosalie. ‘About what?’ he wonders. Man. How did you ever agree to get this girl to marry you? He confesses he doesn’t know how to be the husband Rosalie wants. How about you just treat her halfway decently? Marie suggests he treat Rosalie like an attractive girl he doesn’t know yet, since he seems to do well with them.
Doris meets with Mardle and tells her that her lover’s been lurking around the house and she doesn’t know what to do. Mardle suggests she give the man, Billy, what he wants and offers to sort everything out.
Grace admires a little display Longchamps has made and accidentally knocks it over. He sees this and yells at her. Gordon, passing by, sticks up for her and Longchamps gets all oily and complimentary. Grace wanders off and Longchamps tells Gordon he wants to bring the lovely garments all French women wear to England, which has none of them. He wonders where some of them are, and while Gordon doesn’t know what French words Longchamps is reeling off, they’re basically underwear. He wants to bring les dessous affriolants to Selfridge’s and celebrate them with a lovely display. Gordon promises to see what he can do. As Longchamps leaves, Grace thanks Gordon for sticking up for her and he says of course, because she’s his girlfriend. She’s rather excited by the thought that they’ve got labels now.
Gordon goes up to the office and tells Crabb and Grove he hates that Englishwomen are being denied les dessous affriolants. Grove chokes on his tea, so apparently he’s taken French lessons. Crabb, on the other hand, doesn’t know any more than Gordon does, so he goes to make the order.
In the Palm Court, Violette eyes some young ladies chatting and laughing together while she waits for her father. When Harry arrives, she accuses him of wanting that life for her: shopping, gossip, and marriage. Ugh, WHEN HAS HE EVER SAID THAT TO YOU? She keeps accusing him of this, but he’s never made any indication that that’s actually the life he wants for her. Harry does say he’d like to see her married someday (probably mostly to get her off his hands) but that gentlemen don’t marry disgraced ladies. She snits that she might not want to marry a gentleman. Harry switches tactics and suggests she come work with him on the estate. In the snottiest voice, she asks him why on earth that would be of interest to her. Because you were just begging him for a job a couple of weeks ago? You didn’t specify what job, you just wanted anything. Well, here it is. He tells her it’s a cause her mother would have loved. They’re joined by Nancy, who learns about the plan to have Violette come work with them. Nancy freezes but manages to somewhat convincingly say that would be lovely. She fills Violette in on what’s been done so far and says she needs someone to raise funds for furniture. That, of course, is too good for precious little Violette, who I seriously want to punch in the face so hard at this point. Nancy tells her the homes aren’t much good without things to put in them, so Violette offers to throw a party. My GOD THIS CHILD. So, you complain that everyone wants you to lead a frivolous life, but as soon as you’re given responsibility for something important, your response is…to suggest something frivolous. Well done. Nancy likes the idea. Violette confesses she’s a huge fan of Nancy’s, since she’s all independent and successful and everything. Hey, Violette, remember when you were wondering why you should want to work for the estate? Is working with your hero not reason enough? Are different writers working on this character in each scene, because she’s starting to not make any sense whatsoever.
Kitty heads home at the end of the day. As she’s walking down the street, whom should she literally run into but Charlie, her attempted rapist. The hell is he doing out of jail? She looks horrified, then turns and runs in a blind panic, crashing right into George.
Violette starts planning her party, only to have Marie barge in and start taking over the planning. She craps on Violette’s terrible guest list and produces one of her own. Violette notes that the people on it are single men. Marie says Violette needs to get married. Violette invites her to address extra invitations herself and then goes to use the telephone. She rings Victor’s and asks to speak with him, but he refuses to take her call.
Just as Elsa hangs up the phone, a man walks into the club and introduces himself as Michael Regan. He’s well known around those parts. He looks around the club and offers to help out with the Purkiss situation if he can set up a bit of gambling in the club.
Frank gets off the phone and reports to Kitty and George that Loxsley put up the attackers’ bail. Hold on, a judge granted bail to two men with no fixed address accused of assault and attempted rape on a public street? No. Apparently the bail was provided through this new foundation Loxsley’s set up and is all part of his prolonged war with Harry. Also no. Loxsley’s not that dumb. He’s trying to get in good with high society again, and while high society would be quite happy to have someone help out some down-at-heel vets, they’re not going to look too kindly on your defending violent criminals who assault women, even women who work. Chivalry was still a thing back then.
George says that there were rumours that Charlie did time before the war, and Silas is just dumb. Kitty prepares to go see Loxsley and tell him what kind of men he’s in bed with, but Frank stops her and offers to go himself. George excuses himself but offers to help Kitty in any way he can. She thanks him for helping her that day.
Crabb gets an invoice and immediately panics and rushes to Harry’s office. He’s not in. He tells the secretary he needs to see Harry ASAP.
Sergei finally pulls it together and invites Rosalie to Paris with him. Wait, at dinner didn’t he say he was leaving the next day? That was at least a full day ago. Did he postpone? She asks why the change of heart and he gets sexy and playful with her instead of answering.
They head downstairs and tell Lois and Marie that they’re going to Paris. The two ladies hope they’re still smiling when they return.
Crabb meets with Harry, having received word that Harry wants to sell some of his stake in the store to raise money for the estate. He warns Harry that this means he’ll no longer be the majority shareholder. Harry knows, but it was the only way. Crabb feels responsible, since he spoke out against the project. Harry says he did what he thought was right, and Harry respects him for that. ‘Trust me, I know what I’m doing,’ he says. Famous last words. He signs the documents.
Frank goes to see Loxsley and tells him to leave his wife out of this feud with Harry. Loxsley basically shrugs and tells Frank to suck it. Frank produces records that show Charlie served time for assaulting a woman before the war. Loxsley nonsensically says that a big public trial like this will help restore his character, though I really don’t see how. ‘Meanwhile my wife gets put through the wringer by every newspaper in the country,’ says Frank. Uh, Edwards, aren’t you a journalist? Can’t you do something here? You have proof that Charlie was violent before he attacked Kitty, can’t you spin a story from that? Even if you can’t write it, surely you still have contacts and journalist friends you can tap? It’s absurd for everyone to keep acting like Kitty just has to sit there and take this.
Back home, Frank tells Kitty she might want to consider dropping the charges, because he doesn’t want her to be hurt any more than she already has. She absolutely won’t hear of it, and good for her, I say. How rare on television for a woman to pursue justice for an attack, despite the difficulties she faces. And how sad it is that women today are still facing these kinds of struggles and setbacks.
Kitty goes to Victor’s and finds George, to ask for his help. She shows him the info she has on Charlie.
Violette’s party gets underway, and man, does it look boring as hell. But it’s successful. Marie grabs her to introduce some ancient bachelor. Violette slips away to tell Nancy and Harry that they’re going to exceed their target. Nancy tells her she’s done a great job and Violette hugs her and says she can see why Harry likes her. Harry asks for a dance and Violette agrees. As they dance, he tells her he’s very proud of her. Off on the sidelines, Nancy looks uncomfortable.
Kitty and George go to…a soup kitchen, I guess? George promises to look out for Kitty while they’re there. In they go, to confront Silas, the idiot accomplice. Kitty shows him the info on Charlie and asks Silas to turn informant on him, now he knows who his friend really is. She warns him that Charlie will keep attacking women, and what if he went after Silas’s sister? Charlie comes in and asks if they’re intimidating his friend. George waves the paper and tells everyone that this is who he really is: a man who did time for bashing a girl’s face in, and now he’s in court for trying to do worse to Kitty. He calls Charlie a disgrace to the uniform. Charlie tries to laugh it off and tells George to give him the paper. George tells him to come on over and take it. Charlie steps forward, but all the other men get to their feet threateningly. Charlie backs down. George gives the paper to Silas and tells him to do the right thing, then collects Kitty and leaves.
At the party, Harry pours champagne for himself and Nancy and tells her he’s got the money, so how much does she need? She asks for £7000 to get started and he promises it’ll be with her shortly. Meanwhile, Violette slips out. Way to commit there, Violette.
She goes right to Victor’s, of course, because girl can’t take a hint. He lets her in, grabs her, and kisses her, because he can’t take a threat.
George arrives at the club later or the next day or something and meets Regan. Victor tells him they’re putting in some roulette in the back. George confirms it’s just gambling they’re doing. Just gambling for now. But the club can reopen, and that’s all any of them care about.
Grove finds Gordon on the shop floor and asks if he wants to sign for les dessous. Gordon does. Grace overhears the conversation and then goes to Blenkinsopp at the information bureau and asks what dessous affriolants are. Blenkinsopp looks it up, blanches, and hands the dictionary over to Grace. Grace rushes off to find Gordon and tells him Longchamps is putting knickers in the window.
He already has, and it’s attracted quite a crowd. Gordon and Grace go out to see, along with Mardle. And then of course, Harry, Crabb, and Grove join them. Harry is aghast. Grove smirks and Crabb realizes he knew what was happening all along.
Kitty’s attention is drawn away from the window only by the arrival of Frank, who tells her Silas has withdrawn his statement and Charlie will go to prison after all. Yay! She is immensely relieved and he happily notes that it’s good to see her smile again. He admits he hadn’t realized the toll this had taken on her and apologises. She tells him it’s all right and invites him to take her to lunch so they can celebrate.
Nancy’s ready to clear the account out now and take off for New York, but her partner urges her to wait until the account has more money in it. He accuses her of having gone soft. She swears she hasn’t, so he tells her to prove it. She reluctantly agrees to wait.
Grove reads some of the newspaper commentary on the new window aloud to Harry, Crabb, and Gordon. The newspapers are not complimentary. But it doesn’t matter, because fashion is now crammed with women demanding the underwear. Harry congratulates Gordon on a job well done but warns him not to do anything like this again. Gordon readily agrees. Grove sulks off, having been denied his douchebag points for the day.
Billy plays with the baby in the park and says little Ernest has his eyes. Doris offers him a photo of the baby. Mardle looks on from a distance. Billy mentions a girl at work who’s asked him out, but he’s not sure he really likes her, because she’s not Doris. Doris sweetly urges him to go out with his girl and he agrees. A little later, while Mardle watches over little Ernest in his pram, Doris bids Billy farewell. She realizes he’s forgotten the photo and rushes after him, and gets hit by a car. Oh. Wow. A little later, a policeman knocks on the door of the Grove home, where Mr Grove is tending the other Grove tots. He opens the door to find Mardle on his doorstep, holding little Ernest, having clearly been crying quite a bit. He asks her what the hell happened and she steps forward, trying to comfort the crying baby.