Previously on Mr Selfridge: Doris’s affair and subsequent death led to a serious rift between Mardle and Grove; Nancy decided to make a go of this building homes for soldiers and marrying Harry Selfridge thing, despite her brother’s misgivings; Loxsley began manipulating the board; and Violette decided she really needed to fight for Victor.
Crabb crunches some numbers while Harry nervously awaits the arrival of the board for their postponed meeting. Downstairs, Loxsley and his two minions arrive, sneering at the window display as if they smell something nasty. When they come into the store, Grove sends Kitty to stall them while he races upstairs and warns Harry that they’ve arrived. Crabb brings in the latest numbers and announces that profits are up, but not as high as they’d hoped. The board enters and everyone takes their seats.
Harry invites everyone to take a look at the figures and Crabb indicates the rising profits. They’re not rising as fast as Harry had promised, but he’s optimistic, as October tends to be a good month for them, when the new fall lines arrive. Some sales forecasts are brought out and distributed. Loxsley dismisses them as imaginary and calls for a vote of no confidence in Harry.
Nancy’s out at the building site with Gus and one of the builders, telling the man they want building to start ASAP. He’s fine with that, but he has some questions for Gus, since he still thinks Gus is the architect. Of course, Gus has absolutely no idea where they should put the pump to drain the waterlogged ground so the houses’ foundations will actually be steady, so Nancy steps in. Geez, this is not the sort of thing you can guess at, you two! I don’t care if Nancy’s been cramming at night, you need an actual professional here! If Nancy’s actually determined to build these houses, then why hasn’t she gotten a real architect and just told Harry that Gus couldn’t do it after all? Sick relative or something. Not hard to lie your way out of that one. Off to the side, Gus tells her this is absurd and they’re going to end up going to prison. She’s confident, though.
The board meeting continues. Harry shows them all a financial statement showing them how much they’ve profited by investing in the company. Loxsley dismisses that as being the past, and what about the future? Uh, he just showed you the future and you said it was nonsense. What the hell do you want, Loxsley? Harry accuses him of making this personal and draws Loxsley out by mentioning Lady Mae. That seems to do the trick. Loxsley rants about how Mae was his and now Harry’s going to learn what it’s like to lose what’s his. The other board members look disturbed.
Work is starting on Serge’s airplane, but Marie’s too distracted to really care. He asks her what’s up and she says there’s something not right about the architect for the Selfridge Estate. Serge warns her not to go meddling, because they’re just now starting to get along with the Selfridges.
The board votes, and it’s only two in favour of ousting Harry: Loxsley and one of his minions. Even the other minion abandoned him. Thwarted, Loxsley pouts his way out of the room, warning them that their shares will fall in value. Harry invites anyone else unhappy with his work to leave the table and the one minion goes. Harry thanks the other two for sticking by him.
Elsa plunks down next to Victor and tells him Prince Carol of Romania has blown into town and is losing money hand over fist. She suggests they do a private evening at the club and offers to get word to him through some mutual friends. Victor loves the idea.
Harry returns home and is greeted by Rosalie with champagne. Word has reached them of how Harry sent Loxsley packing and they all want to celebrate. Harry also wants to celebrate the start of the Selfridge Estate, which breaks ground in two days. He also takes the opportunity to announce his engagement to Nancy, and everyone’s rather surprisingly happy about it. Except for Marie, who looks slightly nervous. Lois notes this and asks what’s up. Marie says she’s not sure, so Lois tells her that, if something’s bothering her, she needs to go with her instincts.
Now that his dad’s in a good mood, Gordon goes to him with the news that he’s been seeing someone. Harry immediately assumes it’s some socialite and before Gordon can explain himself, Harry’s called away to a meeting with Nancy and Edwards. Harry tells his son they’ll talk later.
They’re meeting about PR for the groundbreaking. Nancy’s starting to act pretty tense, especially when Frank says they’ll need bios for her and the architect. The bank calls and Harry gets on the phone to get the news that they got their full £15,000 budget. Nancy happily embraces him.
After the meeting, Frank asks if there’s something going on between Harry and Nancy. Harry tells him they’re engaged and Frank congratulates him.
Marie goes to the Royal Institute of Architects to ask about Gerard, the architect Gus is pretending to be.
Mardle visits Grove’s office and briskly hands in her notice, telling him she finds it impossible to work with him. Amen. She goes on to say that he treats her as if she were some sort of pariah, when she’s not, and she’s not going to put up with it anymore. He pleads with her to reconsider but she coolly asks him to tell Harry.
Frank immediately goes downstairs and tells Kitty about the engagement. After he peels off, George comes along and warns the ladies that there are some shoplifters operating in the area, so they need to keep an eye out. Nancy gets off the lift and Kitty immediately goes to congratulate her, warning her that news like this will travel very quickly.
Marie arrives at Harry’s office, quite agitated, only to find that he’s left already. Plunkett asks if she’s heard about the engagement and says it reminds one that love can blossom, even late in life. Marie doesn’t have time for this and asks for Nancy’s address, which Plunkett refuses to give her.
Harry’s in bed with Nancy, telling her how he always felt like there was a connection between them, from the first moment he saw her, and he hadn’t thought he’d ever feel that way again. She freaks out for a moment, saying she’s not what he thinks she is, but then she pulls herself together and tells him she’s lived on her own for too long and will probably be a pain in the ass. He doesn’t care, as long as she feels the same way about him as he does about her. She insists she does and sincerely tells him she loves him.
Harry arrives at the store the next morning and is greeted by applauding employees and rose petals being sprinkled down from fashion, above. Harry thanks them before heading upstairs and everyone disperses.
Marie is waiting for Harry in his office and immediately hands over a list of projects Thomas Gerard has worked on. The man’s been an architect for more than 20 years, so the man they know as Gerard couldn’t possibly be him, because he’s too young. Harry asks if she’s spoken to Nancy and Marie admits she hasn’t. Harry assumes that Nancy’s the one being conned here and excuses it, saying she has a lot to keep track of and just must not have checked this Gerard’s references as well as she should have. Marie’s like, ‘yeah, of course she didn’t,’ before leaving this information with Harry.
Two women pretend to shop in fashion while subtly pocketing some of the wares. Victor and Elsa are there, getting Elsa some new things, and while Connie’s helping them, she spots the thieves and calls security (two women disguised as customers). The security ladies give chase, and George tries to intercept the women on the stairs, only to get punched in the face.
Grove shows Crabb Mardle’s resignation letter and Crabb immediately deduces this is all Grove’s fault. Grove says he tried to persuade her, but she just won’t listen. Crabb loses his temper and shouts that Grove has behaved appallingly towards Mardle recently (longer than that, Crabb) and tells Grove he’s taking his anger out on the wrong person and is in danger of losing his oldest friend, something he’ll regret for the rest of his life.
George, Elsa, Victor, and Connie chat about the robbers and Elsa jokes that this place is much more exciting than the club. Victor invites him to drop into the club whenever, and bring Connie if he likes, have a night out on Victor. They shake hands congenially and Victor and Elsa take off. George asks Connie if she’s interested in going to the club and she says no, because it’s not her type of place. She’s more interested in dancing, so George invites her out to her favourite place that night. Aww.
Harry whirls into his office, where Gordon is waiting for him, firing off all sorts of orders for the upcoming groundbreaking. Gordon manages to stop him for a minute and tells his dad that he’s dating Grace. Harry gets serious quickly and tells him flat out that he can’t have a relationship with an employee. Uh, Harry, Nancy was your employee. Double standard? Harry reminds his son that he’s deputy manager and this isn’t appropriate. He’ll have to break up with Grace if he wants to keep his position.
Back home, Violette whines about how unfair it is for her dad to marry ‘any old person’ when she can’t. Did anyone explicitly forbid you from marrying Victor? Did he even ask? Shut up, Violette. Rosalie says that it seemed like Violette’s relationship was more about rebellion than love. Violette admits that it started out that way, but she actually did come to love Victor. Rosalie says that she’s learned that you have to fight for the person you love. Violette nods as if that’s a new thought to her, even though she was saying that exact same thing just last week.
Grove goes to Mardle’s house to talk to her and asks why she’s selling up. She informs him she’s leaving London altogether. He admits he behaved really badly and that Doris’s misbehaviour was not her fault. Mardle shortly says that she was just a convenient target, which is all she’s ever been for him. Ouch. True, but ouch. He admits he may have inadvertently done that, and he’s sorry. She informs him he’s a petty, selfish man who knows nothing of friendship or love. She tells him she’s done with him and he can just go. Looking sad and lost, he asks if they can at least part as friends. She won’t even give him that. Wow. That was pretty great, and a long time coming. On his way out, Grove stops and puts his foot down, saying he won’t leave until they part as friends. He plunks down on a chair and she tells him it’s going to be a very long night.
Harry has sent for Nancy and Gus and starts quizzing Gus on previous projects. Of course, Gus fails spectacularly, failing to remember a project the real Gerard completed just a year before. He shouts at Gus for having put people’s lives at risk, as two policemen come to drag Gus away. Nancy panics but holds it together long enough to lie to Harry that she had no idea, he seemed so honest! Harry holds her, growling that he hates a cheat. Who doesn’t?
George reports to Harry and Marie later that Gus has been implicated in a number of frauds throughout the country. Funny thing is, he usually works with his sister, who’s the brains of the operation. He asks if Gus introduced Harry to a young woman at any point and Harry says no.
Nancy goes to the bank and convinces the manager to let her withdraw the whole amount in the account.
Harry has finally put two and two together rand goes to Nancy’s apartment, which is almost completely empty of her things. She’s left behind the perfume he bought her, though, almost like a final F-you.
He next goes to the building site, which has been marked off for the homes, but no building has begun yet.
Grove’s still cooling his heels at Mardle’s. Who’s watching his kids? She tells him she’s going to bed and he promises to still be there in the morning. She warns him he won’t be able to wear her down. He takes her hand and says that he knows he’s a fool but he wont’ give up on their friendship. If she forgives him, he’ll try to be to her what she’s always been to him: the most important person in his life. He begs her not to let this be the end of things between them. She calls him obstinate and ridiculous, but also a glory of a man, as she just melts right down. He calls her his heart’s love, admits he doesn’t deserve her, and embraces her. She agrees that he doesn’t but seems so happy I can almost forgive her for taking him back after all the horrible things he’s done to her. Almost.
Violette goes to the club and asks to talk to Victor. He gives her a few minutes of sit-down time and she says she misses him. She leans forward and kisses him, and then he tells her they’re too different. She asks to try to belong in his world, but he takes her hands and notes that she’s never done a day’s work. She admits that she’s spoiled and has been given a lot, but she can change and become a better person, for him. She begs him to give her this chance, but he’s done. She asks if that’s his last word on it, but he’s already gone. She starts to cry and gets up to leave, childishly saying she hates what she is. He tells her not to say that, because she’s great and someone’s going to be really lucky to have her. No, they’re not. And no, she isn’t. She stomps her way right out of there.
Gordon waits for Grace to come home and tells her that his father didn’t take the news well. She assumes this is a breakup then, but Gordon informs her he’s leaving the store, because he’s fed up with living in his father’s shadow and wants to make his own choices, starting with her. Aww.
Harry returns to the closed store, where he finds Nancy waiting around in accessories. Lucky her he decided to come by, otherwise that would have been a really long wait for her. He asks her to tell him that none of what he suspects is true. She can’t, but she can give back the money that she’s decided not to steal after all. She says she panicked when Gus was arrested, but she couldn’t leave Harry. He asks if any of what happened between them was real and she insists that it was, that he changed her and she can’t go back to being a con artist. He asks who the real her is and she tells him she and Gus ran away from home when she was 13 and had nothing, so they had to live on their wits and became grifters. She always hated it, so when they heard about the government housing they thought this was their chance. The mark was never supposed to be Harry, it was supposed to be that lord who was originally meant to buy the land. She tells him they can still build the estate and be together, but he’s finished. He tells her he doesn’t care about her anymore, because she’s not at all who he thought she was. She bursts into tears. He says he won’t call the police, but he doesn’t want to see her again. ‘Crawl back under your stone,’ he growls. She sobs that she loves him and he says she doesn’t know what the word means, before ordering her to leave his store. Before she goes, she warns him that he’s vulnerable to women, and that’s always going to be a problem for him.
Loxsley and his minion meet with the representative of someone who wants to buy their shares. Looks like they make a deal.
Harry drinks in his office, where he’s found by Violette, who comments that they can’t get anyone to love them. She tells him that she’s still in love with Victor and probably always will be. Oh, honey, you say that now because it’s still raw. You’ll get over it, believe me. Harry urges her to go to him, but she pouts that she tried and he doesn’t want her. You didn’t really fight that hard, Violette. But Jacques seems to want her, having taken her on one whole date and all, so she’s going to Paris to sit around and wait for him to propose.
WHAT? That…I… WHAT? Did the writers create this scene by just pulling random lines out of a hat or something? That makes NO SENSE. I mean, I know people do dumb things on the rebound, but this is pretty extreme. And it doesn’t fit with her character at all—she’s spent all season complaining about how everyone just wants her to get married and be useless (even though nobody said anything of the kind to her) and now she’s just…going to sit around and wait for someone to marry her? Who acts like this?
Harry points out that she barely knows the guy and suggests that, instead, he and she go on a trip together to mend their broken hearts. See, that’s a good idea! But no, she insists it’s too late for that. My God, she met with Victor, what, a couple of hours ago? How is this too late for anything? She hasn’t accepted a proposal. She hasn’t even been proposed to yet. She makes things even more ridiculous by saying that Jacques is a nice guy and she could grow to like him. Why are you marrying someone you only think you could grow to like? Are you pregnant? What’s the rush?
Harry begs her not to do this, but apparently she’s no good at reconsidering incredibly stupid ideas. She says goodbye, grabs her suitcase, and leaves.
Harry, for some reason, goes to ease his pain at Victor’s—the place owned by the very man who just sent his daughter spinning off into a very ill-considered marriage in Paris. Prince Carol is playing there, and the house is cleaning up. Michael is pleased. Prince Carol is accompanied by the Dolley Sisters, a pair of cabaret singers. Harry sits at the table and introduces himself. The Dolleys practically get cartoon dollar signs in their eyes as they exchange a meaningful glance. ‘Are you ready to take us on?’ one of them asks. Harry hands over his chequebook and gets ready to lose heavily.
And thus endeth the season. I don’t know how they manage it, but it feels like each year this show gets fluffier and more ridiculous. There were a couple of good storylines—Kitty’s attack stands out, though I felt like that was cleaned up too quickly and the damage done to the Edwards’s marriage just kind of disappeared—and Marie was a fun addition to the cast, mostly because she was played with such relish by Zoe Wanamaker, but the nonsense that was Violette, the whole conning storyline, and Loxsley’s manipulation of the board were just awful. I can only hope Violette remains in Paris next season (I hear Lady Mae’s coming back—yay!). We’re drawing closer to the end of Harry’s life, so next season may very well be the last. Hopefully it’ll redeem the show a bit, but then, I don’t really expect much from this particular show. It’s always been a bit silly. Pretty to look at, yes, but frothy and silly. I tend to go into it with my eyes a bit pre-rolled, and it hasn’t let me down yet.