Mr Selfridge: Go Big or Go Home

Amy Beth Hayes as Kitty Hawkins in Mr SelfridgePreviously on Mr Selfridge: Harry got so deeply in debt he had to sell off a bunch of the regional stores to cover it; Frank cheated on Kitty and got caught, so she threw him out of the house and decided to go to New York after all; Grove married Mardle; Harry pulled his advertisements from Wynnstay’s papers as retribution for a gossip piece; and a jealous Jimmy accidentally killed Victor.

Accompanied by Harry, Mae leaves flowers at Victor’s grave. She allows herself to tear up for a little while, then suggests they get back to work.

Jimmy has fled to his mummy, who shows him a piece in the newspaper that suggests Victor was killed by some underworld connection. Jimmy’s still worried about having killed a guy, even if it was an accident. His mother urges him to get himself back to London and move on.

Harry and Gordon talk about their latest promotion, which is all about the summertime. Wow, a summer promotion during the summertime? Brilliant idea! They head downstairs and take in the store, which has been all done up in bright, summery colours. At last, Lyons gets a seal of approval. Kitty shows Harry her display and he sighs that she’ll be missed. Harry goes outside to check the windows, which all feature Mae’s designs. He’s very pleased by what he sees. Mae tries to look happy, but she’s clearly pretty low.

Back inside, Kitty asks Connie how George is doing. I had no idea what they were talking about for the longest time, and then Kitty mentions that George and Victor were best friends. They were? I honestly don’t remember that at all, but then, I tend to allot very little of my memory to this show, so I guess we’ll go with it.

Connie asks Kitty if she’s still lying about Frank joining her in New York and asks if she’s worried about leaving him behind. Kitty thinks that a separation is just the thing they need right now. Yes, a distance of several thousand miles is usually the balm a troubled marriage needs. Particularly a marriage suffering from infidelity.

Harry shows Mae the article about Victor, which she’s seen and thinks is rubbish. Talk turns to Lyons, for some reason, and Mae calls him rather peculiar. In what way? He’s no more peculiar than most of the people who’ve worked here. He may get a little annoyed from time to time, but I think that’s mostly because people keep expecting him to just be able to magically read their minds. Harry moves on to gently urge her to do some interviews with the press. She reluctantly agrees, but mentions that they need to hire more girls for the machine room.

Gordon is sent to assess the situation and after being shown around by Sarah, he agrees to looking into hiring more hands. He leaves and Sarah is a bit bitchy to Matilda, because of course she is.

Keen comes to meet with Harry, Crabb, and Gordon and says that the organisation he represents is concerned about what’s been going on lately. They want to be a little more hands-on and ask for an office at the store for a couple of days a week. Harry agrees and also invites him to the monthly directors’ meeting. Keen is fine with that.

The meeting is ended when Gordon’s kids come in, followed by Grace. Harry invited them, so he could spend more time with the boys. He takes them all downstairs to get ice cream and invites Grace and Gordon to dinner that night.

Gordon pulls Harry aside and tells him Wynnstay is suing them for breach of contract for pulling their ads. He offers to speak to the lawyers.

Jimmy’s all ready to go back to London. His mum gives him a pep talk and reminds him the police are looking elsewhere and he needs to make sure that’s how it continues to be. She urges him to put this behind him and focus on succeeding. She’s kind of a Tiger Mom, isn’t she?

Connie meets with a rather low-looking George at the teashop and hands over a delivery from some lawyers, apparently. It’s information about a trust Victor set up for their baby. Awww. It’s a fairly generous one, too: £500 a year for 10 years. That was a fair chunk of change back in the 1920s. George beats himself up for not having been a great friend to Victor for the past few years but she tells him not to think that way, because obviously Victor didn’t.

It’s Kitty’s leaving party, which, from the fact it’s barely sunset outside when everyone’s leaving and there are people milling about in daytime clothes, appears to be taking place sometime during the working day, which is odd. Anyway, Kitty gives a nice little speech, and it’s worth noting it’s a pretty fancy send-off, which is nice to see. Frank is there, looking like absolute hell, unshaven, a bit greasy. Harry congratulates her personally and she thanks him for everything he’s done for her. He hugs her and kisses her on the cheek. That was sweet.

Kitty moves around the room, saying goodbye to people, finishing with George and Connie, who are both really sad to see her go. Kitty glances at Frank and George asks if they’ve made their goodbyes. Kitty shrugs that there’s nothing left to say. She adds that she should really go, because her train leaves at 11 and she has a cab waiting.

Harry sidles up to Frank and tells him putting an ocean between them won’t heal their marriage and he really needs to make at least one more play for Kitty.

Kitty makes one last turn through the cosmetics department (the store is obviously closed, so clearly it’s after hours, which makes the outdoor shots make no sense at all). Frank catches up with her and begs her to take him back, whatever he has to do. She tries to leave, so he desperately offers to come with her to New York, right away. They can start all over again! Apparently that’s all Kitty needed to hear, because she immediately agrees and embraces him. They rush outside and hop into their cab to go to the station, literally driving off into the sunset.

The following day, Mae and her attitude meet Harry and show him a story about the sell-off of the provincial stores. Harry tells her not to stress about it, that they’re not going to comment. Gordon worries about stories like this running in Wynnstay’s papers for months, until their trial begins. He offers to go talk to Wynnstay on Harry’s behalf and to reinstate the advertising.

Mardle and Grove take a walk on the beach and collect pretty shells. He tells her that he’s not afraid of what will come anymore, now he has her. Until the end comes, he wants to try and live his life as normal. She supports him in that.

At the store, Meryl accidentally knocks over a hatstand on one of Lyons’s displays. He completely freaks out and yells at her, telling her it’ll take forever to fix this, even though it’s just a hat stand and a box, it’ll take five seconds to put them both back. Meryl squints at him and asks why he’s such a dick, then stomps off. He looks a bit sad puppy and mutters that he’s sorry.

She goes down to the workroom and finds Matilda working, all alone. The others have gone out with the new machinists, but she’s stuck with a huge mountain of extra work because of the time she spent working on Mardle’s dress. Meryl’s outraged by this but Matilda tells her to just let it go.

Gordon meets with Wynnstay at his club and offers to reinstate the advertising. Wynnstay doesn’t bite, so Gordon offers a settlement. Wynnstay wants to refuse, but Gordon threatens to tell his board about him turning down a generous settlement over a petty grudge. Wynnstay observes that Gordon has teeth after all and shakes his hand in grudging agreement.

Jimmy shows up at Harry’s office and lies that he was with his mother because she wasn’t well. He suggests they team up on something, but Harry says now isn’t a great time for him.

A reporter interviews Mae, running through her history, which Mae is amazed the woman knows. Jesus, Mae, it’s not like any of it was a secret. You were a very well-known person in Society and she’s a reporter doing a piece on you. Why are you surprised that she knows these things? Mae spots Jimmy coming off the lift and excuses herself to go speak with him. He repeats the sick mother lie and says he was sorry to hear about Victor. She thanks him and admits it was a terrible shock.

Mae goes down to the workroom to pretend to work but mostly to brood. Crabb comes down to bug her about something, and then Sarah comes over to bug her about something, and then Harry comes in to bug her about the press, in a moment so ridiculous it almost feels like a dream sequence. But it’s not. Mae loses it and shouts for all of them to leave her alone.

He and Harry repair to his office and she apologises for having lost her temper. He offers her a drink and tells her it’s fine. She confesses that Victor’s death has hit her harder than she thought. Harry says Victor lived a pretty full life and they toast him. She worries about dying alone someday. Harry invites her to dinner that night, refusing to take no for an answer.

Mardle shows the kids their shells and tells them how great the trip was. Meryl comes in after work and Mardle suggests the two of them have tea that week. Meryl asks her dad for a word and tells him about how Matilda’s being treated. He doesn’t want to get involved in a petty squabble, but she tells him that this started because Matilda worked on Mardle’s wedding dress. That’s not actually true—it started long before that, but it gets the job done. Grove rolls his eyes and agrees to see what he can do.

Over dinner, Harry announces he’s creating a new position for Gordon: Managing Director at the Oxford Street store. Gordon is bowled over. Everyone congratulates him.

Jimmy meets with a buddy of his and asks for some business deals, because he wants a project. The guy suggests oil, but Jimmy wants bricks-and-mortar. The guy thinks he has something, but Jimmy will need some help with it.

Grove returns to work and settles back in, taking in the stacks of papers on his desk, which I guess are the 1928 equivalent of the hundreds of emails one always comes back to after a holiday.

Down in the workroom, one of the women reports to Sarah that some of the new girls came from Corleys, where Matilda used to work.

Lyons finds Meryl in the stockroom and apologises for having been snappish the other day. She does not graciously accept, so now we know they’re going to fall terribly in luuuuurve. Lyons tries to leave gracefully, only to be confronted by a locked door that is, in fact, a cupboard.

Grove summons Sarah to his office and asks what’s up with all of Matilda’s extra work. Sarah claims Matilda is slower than the other girls and, in fact, one of her former co-workers was surprised she was able to get the job at Selfridge’s in the first place, since she didn’t have correct references. Grove dismisses her.

Gordon goes to Harry’s office and is congratulated by his dad for having handled the Wynnstay situation. Jimmy bursts in and tells Harry he’s got a project he really can’t turn down.

Meryl and Mardle get together for tea and Mardle notes that the girl seems a bit down. She asks what’s up and Meryl tells her about Lyons apologising to her twice. Mardle’s like, ‘Oh, honey, let me tell you a little something about boys…’

Jimmy is proposing they buy Whiteley’s, which the Whiteley brothers are running into the ground. I thought they’d already lost the place? Guess not. Jimmy reminds them that this is a landmark. Harry points out it’s in Bayswater, which is not the greatest area for high-end retail. Jimmy sells it hard, asking to be a 50-50 partner in the endeavour. He’s sure that Harry and Gordon can turn the place around. We all know how Harry loves a challenge and a gamble, so of course he wants to do it, but he asks Gordon how he feels first. Gordon’s willing to take the risk. Guess Harry’s rubbing off on him.

Matilda is next to be called to Grove’s office. He gently tells her that he looked into her time at Corleys and spoke to the foreman there. Matilda swiftly urges him not to believe a word the man says. Grove continues that she left under a cloud of suspicion and asks her to explain it. She refuses to say anything, saying that Grove won’t believe her. He reluctantly fires her, giving her a reference and two weeks’ pay. Man, I’ll bet Meryl really never saw this coming. That’s probably the last time she tries to help out a friend.

The Whiteley brothers arrive for a meeting with Harry, Jimmy, and Gordon. It seems they’ve already agreed to the deal, but they try to play hardball and say there’s another offer on the table. Harry makes an offer, but they want more. Harry asks for a moment with his partners and they pull together some extra money by using the leftover money from the sale of the provincial stores. Harry points out that’s the last of their liquidity, which leaves them with absolutely no margin for error, but I guess you go big or go home here.

Mardle brings her husband a treat from the teashop. He thanks her for the cakes and then admits he’s not sure he can really give the job what he used to. He wants to retire. She smiles and takes his hand.

Harry goes to the workroom and tells Mae that he just bought Whiteleys. She gapes and tells him that’s wonderful. She’s even more pleased when he tells her that they’re going to fill it with her clothes. They have an almost romantic moment, then Gordon comes in and Mae congratulates him on the new acquisition.

The new owners go to visit Whiteleys, which is a lovely store, though the window displays could really use the Lyons touch. The three men are practically bursting, they’re so excited.

One of Wynnstay’s reporters tells Wynnstay that Victor was friends with Jimmy, D’Ancona and Harry. He offers to dig into the matter further and Wynnstay agrees. Wait, why is this a big deal now? Harry was constantly being photographed going in and out of Victor’s club, and he made no secret of his friendship with the man. Same with Jimmy. And obviously the reporters already knew that Victor dealt with some unsavoury types (that’s sort of the business, right? At least back then), so why are these two getting so excited, like they’ve just discovered something? They already knew these people were linked with Victor! And, to some extent, with each other–it wasn’t some big mystery. After all, Harry kept meeting with D’Ancona in his club, in front of loads of other people. This is stupid.



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