Mr Selfridge: Straight Shootin’

mr-selfridge-ep-5-2Previously on Mr Selfridge: Harry wanted to do more for the war effort, most of the men from the store marched off to join the army, Agnes moved into Mardle’s new place, and Henri was paying what looked like quite a lot of money to some sketchy man.

Over breakfast, Agnes gets a letter from George that seems pretty perky, though she’s confused as to why some of it’s blacked out. Agnes worries, and Mardle sweetly reassures her before going to answer the doorbell, where their first Belgian refugee awaits. Instead of the woman they assumed said refugee would be, it’s a rather cute man named Florian.

Over breakfast at the Selfridge Manse, talk is about the fact that there will no longer be any lights in the windows at the store for the duration. You guys should be eternally grateful that’s the worst thing you have to worry about. When Henri goes to answer a telephone call, Gordon asks if he’ll go fight for France. Harry says Henri’s promised to stay with the store for six months, and they’ll just see what happens. Gordon wishes he could go fight but his mother firmly tells him that’s not possible. Seriously, isn’t he only, like, 15? He seems disappointed and goes out to wait in the car for his dad. Harry tells Rose he’s going to be moving Gordon to a different department to get his mind off of things and reminds her that it’s just hard for the kid, being left behind. To cheer Rose up (is she really the one who needs it now?) Harry proposes a dinner date the following evening. She happily agrees.

Over the phone, Henri bitches at someone, telling them they’ve gotten his money, so now it’s time for them to do their job and get a result.

Mardle shows Florian into the dining room, mouthing ‘it’s a man!’ to Agnes, though surely even Agnes could have figured that much out. Agnes makes small talk about Paris, where Florian apparently was when war broke out, working as a violinist. He’s lost his instrument along the way, and apparently his village in Belgium was wiped out. Mardle gently asks about his family and he hollowly says there’s no word. And then he apologises for not having a hostess gift for her. Damn, he’s the politest refugee on earth.

Agnes runs into Victor outside the store and tells him about the letter from George. He encourages her to stay strong and exposits that Gabriella’s gone back to Italy.

Kitty and her minion talk about Frank Edwards and the minion suggests Frank’s not been by in a while because he’s got another girl on the line. Kitty’s eyes briefly shoot daggers at the idiot, but then she tells her that men are simple creatures who just need reminding of what they’re missing.

Mardle and Agnes discuss the Florian situation. Mardle feels terrible, but she doesn’t think he can stay in the house because it’s just not seemly. Agnes offers to help explain things but Mardle will handle it, as soon as she’s thought of some way to soften the blow.

Harry brings Gordon over to Mardle’s desk and informs her that Gordon will be working in the tea emporium now. Gordon gets pissy about working with tea when his friends are off shooting rifles and such but Harry continues on, asking Mardle if he can borrow one of her girls, who started in the tea department. She readily gives her consent, though the girl sulks about having to go back to tea.

Harry, Grove, and Crabb are down in the loading dock, checking out the new employees: all women. They discuss the teething problems, which include highly impractical uniforms. Crabb gets uncharacteristically irritable and leaves. Harry asks Grove to speak with some of the ladies to see how they’re settling in and then asks what Crabb’s problem is. Grove explains that Crabb has a significant birthday coming up and thinks he’s going to be given the heave-ho, plus, he’s chafing a bit about not being able to do much of anything for the war. Harry takes that to Crabb’s office and asks Crabb to arrange some sort of training scheme for the staffers that’ll make them feel more worthwhile. Crabb suggests rifle training and gets all excited. Aww, that was pretty sweet of Harry.

Thackeray and Henri are fighting about fashion. Seems like Thackeray wants to pretend things are just as they ever were, while Henri thinks the displays should reflect the nation’s changing mood. Thackeray hits below the belt, asking Henri why he isn’t off fighting in France if he feels so strongly about the war, and Henri gets right in his face and threatens to hand him his ass if he doesn’t shut the hell up.

Delphine shows up to meet with Harry and tells him she may have a way he can help out with the war. She’s heard that someone’s retiring from the military procurement committee and proposes hosting a card game to give Harry a chance to have a word with Lord Edgerton (presumably the man in charge of the committee) to get his name put forward. Of course she wants to have the game the following evening and dismisses his plans with Rose completely. Hmmm.

Grove has one of the new ladies in his office to ask what the issue is with the uniforms. She basically tells him the skirts are too tight, as are the corsets. He clearly has no idea how to deal with this.

Rose runs into Delphine outside the store and asks her to join her and Harry for lunch. Delphine swiftly excuses herself and climbs into a taxi. Odd. Up in Harry’s office, Rose mentions having seen Delphine and Harry tells her about the card game, asking if she minds postponing their plans. She says she doesn’t but thinks it’s odd that Delphine didn’t mention it to her. When, in the 10 seconds she saw you outside?

As Harry’s seeing Rose out, Grove comes and delicately tells him the ladies are complaining about the clothes. Rose offers to lend a hand and goes right down to the loading bay, where she quickly wins the girls over by guessing the corsets are problem #1. They are. She jacks up one girl’s skirt, suggests ditching corsets altogether, and proposes some overalls that they can more easily move in. She asks the girls if there’s anything else she can help with and one of them asks for some mirrors in the bathroom. Rose readily agrees.

At the Loxsley house, Mae’s maid comes into the dining room and says the butcher’s demanding to be paid. Loxsley impatiently tells her to pay him, then goes to a desk, pulls out some cash, and hands it over. Mae asks where that came from and he tells her to mind her own business. He adds that he’s going to be a bit more active in commerce and he wants her to get more involved in some charities and raise their profiles in the city. He also tells her to get a new wardrobe, and I think we can rest assured he won’t have to ask her twice.

Sure enough, she sweeps right into Selfridge’s and tells Thackeray she wants to be dazzled.

Kitty takes a little trip to Frank’s office, where he’s hard at work. She reminds him he hasn’t been around for a while and he explains that he’s been quite busy. She asks if he’s had any good scoops lately and he says he hasn’t, because the press is being pretty seriously muzzled by the government. He asks why she’s suddenly so interested in his work and she totally lies that she’s always been interested in what he writes. He asks her out on a date that night and she agrees, telling him she’s missed him, laying a kiss on him, and leaving. And that’s how this girl closes.

Not closing: Thackeray. Mae is bored as hell with the fashion show he’s put together for her. He urges her to imagine herself on her husband’s arm in one of the gowns, which is so not the way to get to her heart, not that he could be expected to know that. Mae says he’s not listening to her and that she’s seen all this frippery before. She leaves, breezing past Henri on her way out.

Henri returns to the office he’s now sharing with Agnes, in a serious mood. She asks him what’s bugging him and he snippily says he just wants people to do their jobs properly. She half jokingly says she hopes he’s not including her in that and he practically bites her head off. Jesus, what’s eating him?

Victor catches up with Agnes a little bit later and tells her his uncle left him the restaurant. Not terribly surprising, that. He wants to talk to her a little more about it, so she invites him over to Mardle’s the following evening for a chat.

Crabb’s circulating with a signup list for the rifle training. Gordon quickly puts his name down, then turns to the blonde who was so reluctant to help him earlier and eagerly says that this way at least he’ll get to hold a gun. She laughs, and then spots Franco (doesn’t he have work to do in the Palm Court? Ever?) and Kitty’s minion making fun of them, because if there’s anything this store excels at, it’s unprofessional behavior.

Crabb gets down to the loading dock with the signup sheet and Rose immediately volunteers herself and asks the ladies if they want to join. They all do.

Grove gets onto the lift with Mardle and notes that she’s clutching a violin in a case. She explains that it’s a gift and he notes that’s rather generous. She looks uncomfortable.

Harry meets up with Mae on the shop floor, tells her about the card game, and asks her to invite Loxsley on her behalf, in the evident hope that Loxsley can help him with the other government types. She promises to see what she can do. Harry asks if she’s had a good day and she admits that Fashion let her down, because Thackeray thinks women are just baubles to dangle off men’s arms. Harry seems disturbed.

At the Mardle Home for Earnest Refugees, Miss M asks Florian for a word. He zeroes in on the violin and she hands it over, insisting that he accept. He looks rather adorably touched. Go ahead and hook these two up, show, Mardle deserves a little action. Florian tells her he’s not sure he could play the instrument, because it might remind him too much of home. She tells him it may do him some good to think of home, and he calls her the kindest person he’s ever met. She turns to leave and tells Agnes she couldn’t bring herself to kick the guy out. Agnes says she’s glad. As they sit on the stairs and chat, Florian begins to play and they sit there, listening.

The lights go out in Selfridge’s windows as the Selfridge family watches. Rose tells Harry he can do a magnificent display when the war’s over.

Loxsley’s dressing Mae up, rather like a doll, telling her that he has business contacts in town he needs her to impress. She brings up the card game and he agrees to go, so he can give ‘that Yank’ the trouncing of his life. Hubris, thy name is Loxsley. Also, if this man’s trying so hard to impress someone, why is he dressed in a dinner jacket and black tie instead of the customary tails for the evening? Mae’s in an evening gown, so clearly they’re going somewhere formal. Bad form, Loxsley.

The next day, one of the loading bay girls models the new uniform for Rose and Harry and tells Rose it’s absolutely perfect.

Thackary’s been summoned to the woodshed: Harry’s office. Harry gives him what-for because he hears Thackeray’s not listening to Henri and also heard that Mae wasn’t happy. Thackeray says the clothes didn’t suit her mood and Harry snaps that the customer is always right and it’s Thackeray’s job is to suit her mood, not make her mood suit the display. He orders him to sit down with Henri and go over the new samples, then dismisses him. Outside the office, Thackeray runs into the man Henri passed all that cash along to last week. The man asks for Henri and Thackeray directs him to the proper office.

Henri is not happy to have a visit from this guy, who hands over some kind of map and tells Henri that the rest is up to him. Henri grabs his hat and coat and leaves. Thackeray overhears the whole thing, and then follows Henri as he leaves the store, somehow grabbing his own hat, coat, scarf, and walking stick along the way. He sees Henri stop at a house, speak with someone on the doorstep, and then leave. Once he’s gone, Thackeray goes to the house, knocks on the door, and when a woman answers he pays her off and asks what Henri wanted. She reveals that he was asking about a woman, but she left a couple of days ago. He asks where the woman is now and the woman says she probably went back to Germany, which is where Henri saw her last. Intrigue!

Back at the store, Thackeray dashes onto the lift, which is already occupied by Agnes. He tells her he thinks Henri’s up to something fishy. Since when does he confide in Agnes? Whom he knows is good friends with Henri? Idiot. Agnes scoffs, but Thackeray says this Henri isn’t the same one who left the place years ago.

Rifle training, which is taking place on the grounds of a lovely estate. Gordon sucks. Rose gives him some pointers, then picks up a rifle and shoots a perfect bullseye. Apparently she used to shoot a lot when she was younger. Gordon’s impressed. The ladies seem to be loving it. Rose compliments Crabb on the great idea, which has proven so popular they had to introduce a rota.

Back at the store, Harry asks how the rifle training’s coming along. Crabb happily reports it’s going brilliantly. Harry brings up Crabb’s birthday and Crabb quickly tries to stop Harry from forcing him to retire. That wasn’t Harry’s intention at all: he presents Crabb with a diamond-tipped pen as a thanks for his years of service. In real life, Harry Selfridge actually had a pen like that, and anytime a celebrity visited the store he asked them to sign their name on a window in his office with it. That window must be kind of awesome now. Anyway, Crabb hardly knows what to say and promises he’s very committed to Selfridge’s. Harry tells him they wouldn’t know how to get along without him at the store. Awww.

Henri catches Thackeray on his way out that evening and orders him to attend an early morning meeting the following day. ‘Whatever you say,’ says Thackeray.

Victor’s checking out Mardle’s digs with Agnes, and talk turns briefly to George, who is clearly weighing very heavily on Agnes’s mind, which makes sense. Victor cheers her up a bit and asks for a tour.

The card game is about to get started, and Harry wastes no time putting himself forward for the vacant seat on the procurement committee, saying Loxsley will probably vouch for him. Edgerton asks Loxsley if that’s true, and like a dick, Loxsley says the place is already spoken for and will go to someone they already know. Selfridge is surprised that suddenly he’s such a stranger, considering Loxsley seemed quite friendly when he was asking for info on those boot manufacturers. Loxsley, for some reason, lies that he never asked for any such thing, Harry just offered it. Just randomly like that, Loxsley? That doesn’t sound credible, you know. And to be fair, it looks like Edgerton realizes this is complete BS. The game gets underway, and just as the cards are being dealt, a late arrival named Bill Summertime arrives. Apparently this is a no-limit game. Harry’s favourite kind.

At Mardle’s, Florian’s entertaining everyone with some violin playing. Well, he’s mostly entertaining Mardle while Victor and Agnes discuss the restaurant. Victor wants to make a go of it with the place, despite the fact that there’s a lot of debt attached to it. She encourages him to do so. With that out of the way, Victor asks straight up if there’s anything between Agnes and Henri. She says there was, years ago, but not anymore. He seems rather pleased to hear that.

The game goes on. Loxsley bets fairly big, and everyone but Harry drops out of the hand. He calls and raises. Loxlsey goes all in. Harry contemplatively puffs his cigar and lays some more cash on the table. Loxsley has a straight flush to a queen. Harry has a full house. Predictable, but since I don’t like Loxsley, heh. He gets up in a snit and bids everyone goodnight. Harry prompts him to thank Delphine, and he does. The other gentlemen seem impressed by Harry’s mastery of basic manners.

Agnes sees Victor out at the end of the evening and she asks him why he asked about Henri. In an ‘isn’t it obvious?’ tone, he says it’s because he wants to ask her out. But instead of doing that, he just goes ahead and kisses her. She smiles girlishly and bids him goodnight.

Inside, Florian packs away his violin and tells Mardle she keeps a happy house. Taking her hand, he thanks her for having made him forget his troubles, however briefly. Unsure how to react to that, she pats his hand and goes to bed.

Harry returns home as Rose is heading upstairs. She playfully asks how the game went, wondering if they’ll have to sell the house. Harry happily tells her he won. She waits for him and at her bedroom door he kisses her goodnight. Apparently shooting guns and redesigning uniforms gets her all hot and bothered, because she takes his hand and draws him inside.

Before turning in, Summertime gets on the phone to someone and tells them he met Harry Selfridge that evening and thinks he could be their man.



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