Mr Selfridge: Breaking Point

ITV STUDIOS PRESENTS MR SELFRIDGE EPISODE 5 Pictured: JEREMY OIVEN as Harry Selfridge. This image is the copyright of ITV.

Previously on Mr Selfridge: Harry ignored a debt to some scary guy so he could buy the Dollys a movie, Mardle returned to insert herself into Grove’s death, and Frank cheated on Kitty.

We get to see some of the Dollys’ crappy movie, some of which was clearly filmed at Selfridge’s and includes a little cameo by Meryl.

And now we watch some of the actual filming. Harry gets to call ‘Cut!’, thus fulfilling a long-held dream. The waiting press (what’s the press doing there?) applauds and takes pictures of, basically, a bunch of filming equipment. The Dollys immediately hit Harry up for some free stuff.

D’Ancona arrives at the store while Harry poses for some pictures with the male lead and Meryl. Everyone talks about what a great future she has ahead of her. Harry sees D’Ancona and takes him upstairs while Grove and his daughter have a private word. It gets less private when Mardle suddenly and creepily pops up out of nowhere like some sort of cartoon character. Meryl is not pleased to see her.

Harry takes D’Ancona up to his office and apologises for having given the guy the brush-off. Harry is summoned downstairs and tries to put D’Ancona off with a first instalment payment. D’Ancona wants the whole amount, immediately, but Harry wants to do things his way. D’Ancona’s not interested in playing that game.

Out in the hall, Frank begs Harry to reconsider pulling all the ads from Wynnstay’s papers. He apologises for having screwed up (Harry, outrageously, tells Frank that cheating on his wife was reprehensible. Talk about the pot and kettle, there.) and promises to see about getting a retraction. Harry wants that retraction on page one.

Downstairs, Jenny is whining about having to be the ‘bad girl’ in the picture. Oh, lord. The director’s worried about soaring costs and the unstable behaviour of the Dollys.

Grove and Mardle repair to the restaurant and she learns the other Grove children know what’s going on. He asks her how long she’s staying in London and she answers that she’s not sure. He tells her its nice of her to want to help, but they broke up, and frankly, none of this was either hers or Crabb’s business. He’s not interested in rehashing their past right then and there, so she suggests a private meeting at a later date. He just gets up and leaves.

Frank meets with Wynnstay and tells him about the retraction demand. Wynnstay says he’s sorry Rosalie was hurt and agrees. Frank adds that the Selfridge family is off limits for the newspaper in the future. Wynnstay will not agree to that, even when threatened with losing the ads. The very suggestion outrages Wynnstay, who tells Frank that Selfridge will have to face him personally, not send a man in his stead.

A bill arrives for Harry: it’s a gambling bill for the Dolly sisters, amounting to £10,000. Yikes!

Frank goes home and pours himself a drink. Kitty asks if he’s ok, noting he’s been out of sorts since France. He lies that everything’s fine. She brings up his sudden decision to have kids and he says he meant it, that he wonders if they’re being a bit selfish, not having any. She reminds him that having a kid would mean a much bigger sacrifice for her than for him. She’d have to leave the job she loves, while he’d get to just carry on with things as before. She mentions the Elizabeth Arden offer and he starts to get annoyed and suggests they’re drifting apart. She looks crushed and he apologises, but she gets up and leaves without another word.

Harry goes to collect Rosie, who’s clearly drunk (as always), and brings up the bill. He has no capacity to refuse her anything and backs down almost immediately, reminding her that the film is being delayed because of her and her sister, which is costing him money. She promises they’re not taking him for granted, and then distracts him with sex.

The retraction is published, which pleases Harry. He’s less pleased to hear the no more stories condition has not been fulfilled. Rosalie comes in and Frank excuses himself so Harry can show his daughter the retraction. He promises this will never happen again.

Elizabeth sends Kitty a telegram, urging her to take the job. She stares at it while sitting at the tearoom near the store. She’s joined by George, who notices something’s bothering her and asks what’s up.

Filming continues at the store. This must really be impacting business, having to constantly shut down chunks of the sales floor. Mae looks down at all the activity and is joined by Harry, who asks after Jimmy. He’s doing something up north, and she’s fine with that. She hesitantly asks about D’Ancona, noting that things seemed a little tense between him and Harry. He tells her not to worry about it. The director looks up at Harry, who wonders where the Dollys are. Screwing around in the fashion department, apparently. Time to fire them, folks.

George thinks that the job offer is amazing but asks how Frank feels. She says he’s uninterested in New York and is suddenly talking about wanting kids. She asks George why a guy would make such a 180. He tells her that finding out he was going to be a dad was the best day of his life and Frank wanting a kid with her just means he loves her. She sighs that she’s probably been selfish, putting work first. He urges her to talk to her husband.

Harry arrives for a meeting with several staffers about the movie and the after-party. Lyons delightedly reports that Victor is bringing his club to Selfridge’s for the night so they can have ‘a night with the stars’. Harry says the cost will go on his chairman’s account, which gets a side-eye from Crabb. Harry dismisses the others and has a heart-to-heart with Frank, telling him to make things right with Kitty and get Wynnstay there so he can thrash it out with him face-to-face.

Connie joins Kitty downstairs and Kitty notices her sister’s starting to show. They have a really sweet moment, and Kitty asks her sister if she’s going to miss the store when she leaves. Connie will not, because she’s always wanted to be a mother. Kitty smiles sadly and looks at her telegram again.

Mardle and Grove have a chat in the park. He admits he used to think she gave up on them too easily. She admits that she did run away, because she was overwhelmed by a large family, having been single her whole life. Also, Meryl was horrible to deal with. Grove admits he didn’t help things, rushing a marriage along before anyone was really ready for it. She says she left them, and that wasn’t a nice thing to do. She asks him to forgive her. He asks if that’s not why she’s there? She says no. He sits on a bench and tearfully admits he’s terrified. She holds him.

They return home and he thanks her for listening. Meryl looks on from the sitting room as they tenderly part. When Mardle sees her there, Meryl asks if her dad’s ok. Mardle says he’s tired, after their talk. Meryl offers her some tea and Mardle says how sorry she is Meryl found out the way she did. Meryl’s managed to move past it. They have a nice talk and hash some things out, Meryl admitting she was kind of a hellchild and Mardle apologising for not having been there for any of them. Meryl practically begs Mardle to stay, no matter what her dad says, and Mardle promises to do so.

At breakfast the next morning, Meryl tells her dad about her tea with Mardle and says she invited Mardle for dinner that night. She adds that Mardle isn’t leaving London anytime soon. Grove tries not to look too pleased by that.

Harry goes to see Wynnstay and makes the ‘family off limits’ demand. Wynnstay refuses to be Harry’s puppet. They stare each other down for a bit, then Harry invites Wynnstay to the party that night. Once Harry’s gone, Wynnstay calls for Felicity.

Filming continues and the Dollys finally manage not to screw up the act of getting off the lift.

Grove sidles up to Crabb and apologises for not having been super excited that Crabb took it upon himself to summon Mardle. Crabb accepts the apology and tells Grove that Mardle’s devoted to him.

Frank wanders over to Kitty and asks her on a date to the party that night. She’s a little frosty, so he tries winning her over with humour. It works. Pretty much.

Felicity arrives at Wynnstay’s office. How does she still have a job after having ignored his explicit instruction? Whatever. He invites her to the party that night.

Crabb meets with the new board member, Keen, at a club. Keen says there’s some concern about Harry’s wild spending and his habit of blending personal and professional expenses. Crabb lies that he’s put a hold on the chairman’s account. Keen notes that the man’s quite loyal.

Mardle arrives at the Grove household and finds the kids have put together a really cute evening for all of them, dressing up the table and making it seem like they’re all at a nice restaurant.

Harry goes to collect the Dollys to take them to the party, but it’s obvious that Rosie’s got someone else in her room. Indeed, she does. The male star, I think. Harry realises what’s up, tells her to get her ass to the party and act professional, if she can manage that. On his way out, he catches sight of himself in the mirror and looks disgusted.

Harry goes to the store and pours out his sorrows to Mae, who asks him what the hell he expected. She tells him to just go to the party, keep the Dollys on a short leash, and have fun.

Grove shows around the photos he took of Meryl and says he wants to take lots more and make a family album. At a nudging look from his daughter, he invites Mardle for a walk around the garden. Outside, he thanks her for coming. She thanks him for a lovely evening and he says it was all down to the kids. He says he intends to make the most of the time he has left and is glad things have been settled between them. Well, nearly. He kneels and proposes, asking her not to agree because she pities him. Also, she should remember that she’ll have to take on all the kids. She readily agrees. He gives her a ring and she giggles and the kids watch from a window because when there are five children in a family privacy is not something you can expect, ever. She says yes and he slides the ring onto her finger. The kids applaud.

Kitty and Frank arrive for the party and he says he knows he threw her for a loop, he just wants them to think about having a kid. She asks if he’d still love her, if she gave up work to be a mum. He swears he would, so they agree to try and have a kid. This whole storyline is making me sad. There is nothing wrong with choosing to be childless, but apparently on this show it is. Also, having a kid isn’t some sort of balm for a troubled marriage. Are we supposed to be happy that Kitty is agreeing to this?

Upstairs, the champagne is flowing and the flappers are flapping. Wynnstay arrives and is given a drink by Felicity. Gordon is there with Grace, and despite the fact she’s married to an extremely wealthy man, Grace appears to be wearing the same fairly boring dress she’s been in nearly every time we’ve seen her this series. Grace, make an effort!

Victor introduces Harry and everyone applauds. Before he can speak, the band kicks up and the Dollys come out to perform a pretty risqué dance. Mae is completely grossed out. Pretty much everyone is. When one of them starts feeling the other one up while the one being felt up starts grabbing her crotch, Harry finally gets it together and tells someone to get these two women the hell out of his store. George takes care of it and Victor gets everyone dancing again.

Later, felicity sidles up to Kitty and says she didn’t expect her to be so beautiful. Ouch, bitch! She very meaningfully tells Kitty that they all had a lot of fun in France, if you know what I mean. Kitty glances at her husband, who looks like he’s about to throw up. Kitty clearly gets an idea of what’s happened here and leaves the party to go regroup. Frank follows her and asks if Felicity said something to her. Kitty asks him why he suddenly wanted a family when he got back from France. She’s all steely eyes and barely controlled rage. He admits he thought a kid might ‘repair things’ and starts apologising. She tears up and asks if he slept with Felicity. He’s silent, but his face gives it away. He, too, starts to cry and begs her to come home so they can talk, but she wipes away her tears and tells him he can have the spare room until she decides what she wants to do. And for the rest of the night, they are going to paint on some happy faces and go back to the party and pretend that everything’s just fine. Frank, looking utterly devastated, obeys. Kitty takes a few more minutes to sob quietly.

Harry locates Jimmy and brings him over to say hi to Mae. Everyone makes themselves scarce so Mae and Jimmy can talk. He says he missed her while she was away and she shrugs and says she has a job now, so he just has to deal with that. Victor comes over and asks Mae to do a song for them. She’s only too delighted to do so, having not sung in ages. Victor escorts her to the piano with one hand at the small of her back, which does not escape Jimmy’s notice. Mae and Victor do a duet while Jimmy glares and drinks.

D’Ancona arrives with a bunch of thugs armed with hammers and bats, which they use to shatter the Selfridge’s windows. Alarms go off inside and Harry goes downstairs to find out what’s happened, followed by all the guests. D’Ancona and his guys are gone, having smashed all the windows in record time. Mae takes Harry’s hand as he looks kind of sad.



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