Mr Selfridge: The Circus

Jeremy Piven plays the title role in Mr Selfridge

Previously on Mr Selfridge: Harry and Mae hooked up in the wake of Grove’s death and Mae started to suspect Jimmy was mixed up with Victor’s murder.

Keen checks in with his superior, appraising him of their various interests, including the stake in Selfridge’s. The man’s a little wary of the lack of information on the Whiteley’s acquisition and tells Keen to keep an eye on it.

Harry has Jimmy out to his country place for some skeet shooting and reports that Selfridge’s is celebrating its 20th anniversary. He is, of course, planning a massive public spectacle. Whiteley’s is going ok now, so he’s going to put Jimmy in charge of it so he can focus on the anniversary.

Mae goes to visit Wynnstay who is, it seems, a friend. She complains about the reporter sniffing around Jimmy and tells him to call the dog off, because Jimmy was out of town the day Victor died. Wynnstay doesn’t like being told what to do, so she makes a veiled threat regarding a slander suit.

Mardle’s stepping up into the mum role, getting the kids off to school with healthy lunches, despite the fact that she herself is clearly struggling a bit (she still looks terrible, poor woman.)

Jimmy meets with some business manager who tells him they’ve somehow managed not to properly balance sales with the flow of stock at Whiteley’s, so now they’re running out of stock and have no way of replenishing it anytime soon. They have three days to restock, or they’ll have to close. Jimmy tells him they’ll be keeping this quiet. He doesn’t even seem to want to tell Harry.

Connie’s replacement is late for her first day of work, which means he’s automatically fired. Connie’s all stressed, because she’s about to start her maternity leave and now has no replacement. She vents to Meryl, then stomps off as Lyons passes with a massive bouquet and smiles and waves at Meryl, who returns the greeting.

Harry has a meeting in his office and announces the council has said yes to their big anniversary parade down Oxford Street. Everyone starts kicking in their plans, which include massive promotions, gift rosettes, and acrobats. Keen and Jimmy are both there as observers. As everyone files out at the end of the meeting, Harry asks about the new head of fashion having let them down and says they’ll have to come up with a new plan. Mae starts talking about potential applicants, but Harry closes the door and accuses her of avoiding him ever since they slept together. He tells her it meant a lot to him and he hopes she feels the same. She evades his questions and rushes out.

Harry goes to his next meeting, with the chairman of one of their suppliers. He’s a big one—if he lifts his embargo, others will probably follow. Harry asks him to lift the embargo and Gordon reassures him they’ll pay off the debts in time. The chairman’s a little worried about Jimmy’s involvement, since he knows nothing about retail, but everyone jumps in to swear that they’ve got a great team in place here and the guy thinks about it and offers to mull this over and get back to them within the week. Jimmy asks him to put a little speed on this and Harry sends him a quick eye-dagger before reassuring the man a week will be fine. As he shows him out, Gordon murmurs that they can’t rush these people

Wynnstay summons the reporter and tells him this sounds like a dead end, so unless he has something solid to go on, shut this line of inquiry down.

Jimmy starts getting some lessons in how this ‘restocking’ thing happens. George shows him around the loading bay and explains the organisational system. He just so happens to mention that they’ve already got the anniversary stock in, but stored at the back because it isn’t needed yet. I think we all see where this is going.

Crabb sadly packs up Grove’s office. Harry wanders in and asks how Crabb’s holding up. Crabb admits he misses his friend and is sad he won’t be there for the celebrations. Harry agrees they’ve lost some good people and it’s tough to replace them.

Crabb returns to his own office and is surprised to find Jimmy waiting for him there. Jimmy bluntly tells him about the stock flow problem at Whiteley’s and tells him he needs that anniversary stock. Crabb tells him that’s out of the question, because this’ll just be seen as an attempt to get around the embargo. Jimmy knows, which is why he’s keeping Harry out of the loop. That way, Harry can genuinely claim innocence. Crabb’s not happy with this at all and tells Jimmy that, while he’s sympathetic to his predicament here, he can’t help. Jimmy warns him that the failure will hit the newspapers just as the anniversary celebrations get underway, but Crabb holds firm. Jimmy gets up to go to Harry and Crabb caves. Oh, Crabb.

Meryl’s at the teashop, getting some work done, and spots Lyons coming in. He doesn’t see her, and happily greets another young woman there, with whom he’s clearly quite close, though their affectionate greeting isn’t that terribly romantic. She’s clearly a sister or something. Still, Meryl’s face falls and she hastens out of there.

Later, she helps some of the kids with their homework while Crabb swings by with Grove’s things and asks how they’re all doing. She admits it’s hard and asks him to distract her by telling her about the store. He tells her about the anniversary preparations and how he had to make a very difficult decision recently. He then mentions Connie’s replacement never showing up and suggests Mardle come back to work. She insists the kids need her and rushes off to make some tea. Meryl replaces her and says she thinks going back to work would do Mardle a lot of good.

Rosalie joins her father in the sitting room and straight up asks what’s going on with him and Mae, because she loves Mae and doesn’t want her dad screwing that up. Harry says that Mae’s the one holding him at a distance and Rosalie’s not surprised, considering how poor Mae’s track record with men has been in the past. She urges her father to prove to Mae that he’s a different sort of guy.

The next morning, Ernest asks Mardle if he can keep a pen of his father’s. She tells him he can, of course. Meryl pipes up that none of them want to upset her, but they all really need to talk about their dad. They all start talking about how much crying they do in private so Mardle suggests they have a cry-in and start doing more things together, as a family. They all seem happy with that.

Lyons catches up with Meryl at the store and invites her to a lecture on the Byzantine empire. How romantic. She mentions the woman at the tearoom and he insists that’s just an old friend who might be able to help him secure some great entertainment for the parade. But he’s rather pleased to realise Meryl was jealous. She counters by telling him to take her and her whole family to the sold-out circus show at the Olympia the next night.

Crabb brings George in on this plan to use the anniversary stock to replenish Whiteley’s. George is about as happy about this as Crabb is, but he agrees to make the necessary arrangements.

That night, Keen gets ready to leave his office at Selfridge’s, while down in the loading bay, unmarked vans are loaded with the goods. Keen notices what’s happening as he’s passing and asks George what’s up. George lies that it’s being moved to another warehouse to get it out of the way. George is a hell of a liar, he’s got an answer for every question Keen comes up with. Keen seems satisfied and bids him goodnight.

George returns home and finds Connie asleep on the sofa. He gently wakes her and urges her to go to bed. She asks what kept him so late and he says it’s nothing for her to worry about before offering to make her breakfast in bed the next morning. Aww, George is still a sweetie.

Harry spends the evening at his club and declines an invitation to a card game. He sips his drink, then goes to visit Mae and tells her she can have all the time and space she needs to reconcile herself to a relationship. He goes on to say that she means the world to him and they have a hell of a lot of history so, really, this all makes sense. She agrees they’ve both come a long way and remained friends throughout, and she’s afraid of jeopardising their friendship if the romance doesn’t work out. He promises that’ll never happen, then bids her goodnight and leaves.

Lyons regretfully tells Meryl that the circus is all done with its performances, so it’s completely impossible to get tickets. She’s stupidly already told her whole family they’re going, and now gets pouty and says they’ll be disappointed. Lyons thinks fast and says he has an idea, but he’ll need her help with it.

Keen goes through some papers in the office he shares with Crabb and seems a little disturbed by something he finds. He asks Crabb if they got rid of the Shoreditch warehouse (where George said those goods were going) and Crabb confirms they did.

Crabb meets up with George and asks if everything went well the previous night. George says it was fine, though Keen asked a few questions. But it’s ok, because George fobbed him off by saying it was all going to Shoreditch. Crabb blanches and says they need to go to Harry immediately.

They rush to Harry’s office and burst in, only to find Gordon and Keen already there. Harry demands to know what’s going on.

Jimmy is brought in to explain everything, which he does, pretty much taking all the blame himself. Crabb and George are sent away so Keen can start scolding them all for letting staff get out of control and just requisition stock like that. Harry promises to take care of this and tells Gordon to order more stock. Keen continues that he’ll have to report this to his higher-ups, and adds that Harry has misplaced his trust in Jimmy. Jimmy offers to try and fix this, but Harry snaps at him to just leave.

The reporter goes to Wynnstay with the breaking news that Jimmy was, at some point, seen stomping out of Victor’s club. Seriously? I’m sure lots of people stomped out of that place. It did offer gambling, right? The reporter insists that this might have been a spat over Mae and that Jimmy wasn’t with his mother that night, as he reported. She was at a church meeting. So, he could have met up with her afterwards, right? Just because he wasn’t at the church meeting doesn’t prove he wasn’t just back at his mother’s house or something.

Gordon tells Keen that none of this craziness was his father’s doing. Keen says that it was still his business partner’s doing, which is a problem. He goes on to say that he’s been protecting Harry and Gordon more than either of them realise.

Connie starts going into labour and the music gets really dramatic.

Gordon goes to Crabb’s office and tells him and George they’re not being held responsible for any of this. Really? They kind of should be. I mean, their hearts were in the right place, but this was a fairly poor decision. Plunkett hurries in and tells George that Connie’s labour has started and he needs to get home right away. He races out.

Mardle and the kids arrive at the store and Mardle tells them there’s no performance that night. Mardle reassures her that’s fine, they can just go to the tearoom after Meryl’s done work. Meryl apologises for messing this up and suggests they go to the toy department. Mardle heads that way, stopping to admire Mae’s latest designs on the way. Meryl observes that her stepmother clearly loves being there and asks her to come back to work. Mardle worries about the kids feeling abandoned, so Meryl suggests she just ask them how they feel.

Wynnstay shows the reporter’s story to Harry before it goes to print because…I don’t know, he thinks it’ll be courteous to give Harry the head’s up, or something? Harry tells him this is all nonsense but Wynnstay insists it’s solid and there’s enough evidence to reopen the police inquiry.

Connie has clearly had the fastest labour in history, because by the time George gets home, she’s already birthed a son and is sitting up on the sofa, all cleaned up and cuddling the baby. Congrats, you two! Enjoy snuggling what is clearly a really fake baby there (standards of newborns are way lower on this show than on Call the Midwife).

Harry goes to see Jimmy and tells him about the story, which basically accuses Jimmy of killing Victor. He’s ready to issue a press statement claiming this is all part of Wynnstay’s vendetta against Harry (which would be a stronger argument if Wynnstay hadn’t forewarned Harry of the story). Jimmy cuts him off and tells him he is, in fact, guilty of manslaughter. Harry can’t believe it. Jimmy says it was an accident, after the two men argued about Mae. He admits he was jealous but never meant for this to happen. Harry’s aghast, stammering that he was starting to look on Jimmy as a son. Jimmy apologises and repeats that he never meant for Victor to fall. Harry melodramatically (and absurdly) says that everything about Jimmy is a lie. No, Harry, just this bit. Jimmy offers to go to the police but Harry cuts him off right then and there. He leaves Jimmy in tears.

Mardle, Meryl and the kids head home and they all reassure her she’s doing a splendid job at single parenting. Meryl asks them if they’d mind if Mardle went back to work and they’re all like, nope, not really.

They arrive home and find the house has been transformed into a circus tent. Lyons appears and ushers them out to the very decorated garden, where performers twirl with sparklers and do acrobatic tricks. The kids are enchanted, and Meryl’s so happy she takes Lyons’s hand. He grins.

Harry goes to Mae and tells her Jimmy killed Victor. She’s horrified, of course.

Jimmy looks at himself in the mirror, straightens his tie, smooths his hair.

Mae tells Harry Jimmy was getting too possessive, which was driving her away. She further explains about her own suspicions and Harry’s all hurt that she didn’t tell him anything about it. She says she had no proof, and Jimmy denied it, so she didn’t think there was much point in bringing it up, particularly since he and Harry had just gone into business together. Seemed like poor timing. Harry gets upset, saying this could destroy him and his family, and briskly wishes her a good night. Oh, for god’s sake, Harry, don’t be a jerk. What was she supposed to do, go to your office and say that she thought, maybe, as bizarre and unlikely as it seemed, that your new business partner might secretly be a murderer? You would have laughed that off and told her Jimmy was fine!

Jimmy tries to work up the courage to throw himself off a bridge. He finally manages it. No surprises there.



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