The Paradise: Tick Tock

Previously on The Paradise: Suzie briefly lost her mind, and her job, but of course Denise managed to get it back for her. Moray allied himself with Fenton in order to get the store back, and as part of the scheme started making the moves on Catherine, which is not making Tom happy at all.

The food hall has finally opened, and Myrtle’s just standing in the street staring at the window display, apparently having nothing better to do. Inside, Dudley fusses with his watch and Sam urges him to get a new one. Dudley suggests they use Sam’s mad sales skillz on a pocketwatch promotion and Sam’s cool with that. Especially if there’s a bonus involved.

Back outside, Tom joins Myrtle and asks what she thinks of the new food hall. She doesn’t really know how to respond to someone so many rungs higher than her on the social ladder, but Tom doesn’t need an answer, because he just wants to marvel at how great his food hall idea is and how it’ll be the first step in him owning the whole street and raising The Paradise to new heights. Well, he seems to have taken to this whole ‘being a shopkeeper’ thing rather well.

During a ladieswear staff meeting, Denise suggests they start pooling and sharing commissions. Clara argues that that unfairly punishes the harder workers and rewards the weaker salespeople, but Denise counters that it provides a safety net for one of them if she’s sick or has a run of bad luck. Clara thinks the competition is what spurs them on but Denise doesn’t think they need to compete, because they all love their work that much. Oh, Denise. Nobody loves the job as much as you do. She calls for a vote, and surprisingly, Clara votes to share the commission. So do the others.

Downstairs, Dudley and Moray are presenting the idea of the pocketwatch promotion to Tom, who sniffs that it’s just a big jewelry display. Uh, no, it isn’t, Tom, it’s a pocketwatch and clock display. Do people really consider watches jewelry? I highly doubt men in the 1870s did. He thinks Moray’s just trying to get his jewelry thing right when Tom’s opening his food hall. Sam joins them and suggests they get a really extravagant centrepiece to draw customers over so Sam can weave his spell.

In the stockroom, Denise asks Clara why she ended up voting to share the commission. Maybe because you’re her boss, Denise? Clara says she’d never win going up against Denise and end up getting into trouble, but Denise thinks Clara did it because she didn’t want to see Denise left stranded. Clara just says she appreciated the fact that Denise actually gave them the opportunity to vote, and Denise is happy to hear that, because voting’s now going to be a thing in ladieswear. She wants all the girls to come up with suggestions, and then they’ll vote on them, and she wants Clara to go first.

Sam’s starting to sell his watches, mostly relying on platitudes for the time being.

Clara’s big suggestion is a weekly girls’ day out, which naturally gets unanimous approval. Tom comes into the department just in time to see the voting.

In Moray’s office, Jonas warns him that, if the customer volume continues to increase, Tom will want to keep expanding. Moray sighs that he’s aware. Fenton pipes up that they shouldn’t just sit around waiting until the place gets too big to be manageable by them and urges Moray to put more pressure on the Westons. Jonas brings up the idea of Moray hitting on Catherine again and Fenton seconds it. Jonas goes on to say that Catherine has everything and didn’t even hesitate to strip it all from Moray and kick him out of the city. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I thought it was her father who did all that. Didn’t he buy The Paradise and all the other leaseholds on the street, without her being involved? And hasn’t it been previously stated that he’s the one who told Moray to get lost to the Continent for a while? Whoever’s fault it all was, Fenton reminds Moray that they have a small window here, and he needs to focus and find something to really cut into Tom. Moray looks down at the desk for a moment and Jonas guesses he has an idea. Moray says he does, though he doesn’t want to say what it is.

Moray goes to Catherine and asks to borrow her father’s watch, which she’s reluctant to hand over because it has both monetary and emotional value to her. Moray apologises for upsetting her and comments that he was doing her a courtesy, coming to her instead of Tom, whom he assumes now has the watch. And why does he think that? Because Glendenning once said he’d give the watch to whomever Catherine married. Ooooh, burn, Tom! Because Catherine’s kept possession of the thing this whole time. Moray apologises again and leaves.

Tom has summoned Denise to the office to compliment her on her savvy introduction of democracy. He asks her to make a presentation on this new-fangled voting notion to the other heads of department and she agrees.

Back up to ladieswear she goes, to tell the other girls about the proposal. Clara asks why Moray would want her to do that and Denise says Tom was the one who asked her. Clara’s face says, ‘Oh, I see,’ but she offers no opinions until Denise calls on her. Clara asks Denise what Moray thinks about this and Denise admits he doesn’t know anything yet. ‘Cat, pigeon,’ Clara says warningly.

Back at Mount Glendenning, Catherine pulls the watch, in a case, out of a hiding place in her wardrobe. Later, at dinner, she urges Flora to savour her childhood, and Tom takes that as an opportunity to talk up Denise’s youthful enthusiasm and mention that he plans to make the most of it. Even Flora’s giving him a look that says, ‘dick move, dad,’ as Catherine stiffens and asks how he plans to do that. He’s going to let her serve as an example to others on how to do their jobs.

Denise has told Moray and Dudley about the proposed presentation, and Moray pretends to be happy for her and then wet blankets that he hopes the other heads won’t be resentful of her. Dudley sticks up for her, saying he’s sure they all realize that what’s good for the store is good for all of them, and that Denise just wants to help The Paradise be the best shopping destination it can be. Moray gets briefly pissy when he finds out Denise has already accepted Tom’s suggestion of a presentation, because apparently she was supposed to ask his permission or something, I guess. Man, Moray’s being a dick here. He curtly says he’s sure she’ll make the most of this, then goes off to greet Catherine, who’s come in to hand over the watch after all. Dudley watches their interaction from a distance.

Moray takes Catherine to Sam, who can’t believe the beauty of the watch. Catherine remembers learning to tell time with it as a child and Sam says he’s bewitched by it. She laughs that she felt the same way, and that her father used to hypnotise her with it. Sam promises to treasure it and gently takes the case. Moray and Catherine move off and Catherine quietly asks Moray to remain mum on her father’s previous plan to pass the watch on to her husband.

Sam marvels at the watch, which has a back studded with rubies and would probably keep him and Dudley in wages for the rest of their lives. Dudley checks it out briefly, then sees Moray having a word with Jonas. Moray moves off, and Dudley tells Jonas he’d better not be meddling with Moray’s business. Jonas says he’s doing nothing that Moray hasn’t approved of. Dudley, always being left in the dark, asks what the deal is with Moray and Catherine, but Jonas says nothing. Dudley accuses Jonas of leading Moray down some kind of dangerous path and Jonas basically tells him they’re doing what they have to do to get the place away from Tom.

The watch has been placed in a glass case at the centre of the display, where gentlemen gawk at it like they’ve never seen a timepiece before. Sam sells away.

Denise and the other girls give their presentation and talk about how great it is to get to vote on things. Moray is steaming, but everyone else seems pleased and applauds the ladies when they’re done. Tom steps forward and tells everyone Denise and her staff are illustrating the fact that they can’t rest on their laurels. He calls Denise formidable and asks Moray to agree with him, but Moray dickishly can’t even give her that much and just says they all were.

Later, when they’re alone, Denise glows over how kind everyone was and how they asked her questions and congratulated her. She asks him what he thought and he says he loves seeing her light up the place, but they need to remember that they’re not supposed to be working for Tom and Catherine, they should be working for themselves. I don’t see why doing her job well is getting in your way here, Moray. Can’t you just give her a little credit without making this about you for a few minutes?

Sam and Edmund meet up at the pub and Sam goes on and on about how great he is at selling watches. He attributes it to his lucky charm—Glendenning’s watch, which he’s currently carrying around in his pocket. Oh, Sam, you’re an idiot. Edmund agrees with me, wondering what’ll happen if Sam drops or loses it. Sam says it’s fine, he just wants to hold and have something wonderful for a bit. Edmund warns him against giving in to temptation and Sam meanly says that Edmund’s just old and has lost his edge, but now it’s Sam’s time. Wow, is Moray’s asshole behavior catching or something?

In his office, Moray whines to Jonas that Tom is toying with him by sidling up to Denise. Hey, Moray, fair’s fair—you’re cozying up to the man’s wife, after all. Jonas offers to become a confidante to Tom by making it seem like he has some festering resentment against Moray, which’ll give them more information.

Morning at Mount Glendenning; Catherine’s rifling through dresses, trying to decide what to wear to the shop. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but her wardrobe this season is miles better than the atrocities she wore last season.

Tom shows up at the loading dock just in time to see Jonas throwing a little tantrum. He asks Jonas what’s up and Jonas apologises and says he really shouldn’t let his grievances against Moray show like this. Tom asks what Moray’s done and Jonas complains that, after so many years of service, he deserves to be trusted more. Tom tells him he should ask himself if Moray’s worthy of Jonas’s confidence.

Over staff breakfast, Sam talks about the watch’s hypnotic powers, which amuses Clara, but Suzie, of course, swallows every word. Because she’s utterly brainless, a fact that’s made plain by not even being able to remember the word hypnosis. She begs Sam to hypnotise her and Sam bites, because he’s kind of an idiot too.

Myrtle bustles into the kitchen, where she’s startled to find Tom waiting for her. He compliments her on all the cakes and pies in the food hall, all of which are selling extremely well. He wants her to make something special next, to really make the food hall stand out. She has no idea what to make and nervously tells him she’ll give it a think.

Catherine arrives and Moray greets her out on the street and tells her the watch has been a huge success. They begin to stroll down the street together and she admits that her father had wanted him to have the watch, not just any guy she married. Moray’s surprised, because it’s not like Glendenning was terribly fond of him. She says it’s true, and that she wanted her father to give it to Moray at their wedding. She gets a little upset and Moray starts to apologise for what he did, but she cuts him off and just asks him again not to tell Tom about the watch bequest. She suddenly notices they were walking and talking the way they used to and softly says that some things are never lost. Moray leaves her, and Catherine sees her husband watching them from a distance, looking annoyed. He stomps inside through the back way, pauses to watch Denise talking with some of the other employees, and continues on his way.

Clara makes her way up to ladieswear and is surprised to see Catherine there waiting for her. Catherine asks her for a word and starts to talk about how her lending of the watch might be misconstrued by certain people, considering the type of man Moray is. That is, one ruled by his passions. She doesn’t want anyone (read: Denise) to think that Catherine is encouraging him. Clara wonders why she cares and Catherine says she just doesn’t want to see Denise burned the way both she and Clara were.

Downstairs, Sam starts his hypnosis demonstration, and of course Suzie goes under right away. Sam convinces her that a pencil is stuck to her hands, and then tells her that, when she wakes up, she’ll think he’s the most handsome man in the world and she’ll be desperate to buy him a beer at the pub that night. When she comes around, she breathily asks if they’re going to the pub that night, because she really wants to buy Sam a beer. Sam clearly thinks he’s hit on a winning scheme here.

At Mount Glendenning, Catherine spots Jonas arriving for a meeting with Tom.

Back at the store, everyone’s just hanging around, and Suzie tells Myrtle and Clara she’s never noticed how handsome Sam is before, and that she thinks she’s quite fallen for him. The two of them exchange an amused look.

Tom notes that Jonas is a man who only wants to be of service, but Moray is undeserving of his loyalty. Tom admits he thinks Moray is plotting to take the store away from him. Jonas claims not to know anything about that, and says he thinks the place needs someone like Tom, a soldier of distinction, to bring honour to The Paradise. Tom asks Jonas how he knows about Tom’s time in the army and Jonas says military history is a passion of his. He lays it on thick, saying it’s a great honour to serve someone like Tom. Tom tells him to keep a close watch on Moray and find out what he’s up to.

Suzie starts stalking Sam, who’s totally uninterested. He tells her that hypnosis doesn’t exist, but she doesn’t listen, instead just going on that she could fall for a man like him. He tells her again that she only thinks that because, well, she’s stupid, and that she needs to get it through her head that no watch made her fall in love with Sam. She’s still not listening.

Sam escapes to the kitchen, where Myrtle’s stressing out about this special something she needs to make for the food hall. Myrtle asks him to mesmerize her with the watch so she can come up with something and he practically yells that the whole thing was just a joke. Suzie comes in, breathing ‘hello, Sam,’ and he flees.

Tom makes his way to ladieswear with Moray and Dudley and asks Denise to spend a day in each department to make them as awesome as she is. Moray interjects that this is something they should discuss before moving ahead. And doesn’t Denise have her own department to run? She’s not a general manager here, she’s got duties in one very particular part of the store that need seeing to. Tom asks how Denise feels and she says she’s willing to do this, but they’d need the consent of the other departments, otherwise she’d just be seen as an interloper. Tom tells her to start in the kitchens, because he’s pretty sure Myrtle won’t mind.

On the stairs, Moray whines to Dudley about all this praise being heaped on Denise by Tom and Dudley warns him to chill out already, because Tom’s just being a bully. He urges Moray not to scheme against the man and asks what he’s planning. Moray tells Dudley to just trust him, but Dudley’s sick of this crap and informs Moray that loyalty is not one way, and if he wants Dudley to be on his side, he needs to keep him at least somewhat informed. Fair enough. Moray’s going to find himself entirely alone if he keeps going the way he is.

Myrtle, it turns out, does not welcome Denise with open arms, but Denise presents it as a chance for them to have fun together for a day. And because Denise is better at everyone’s job than everyone else on earth, she’s even got an idea for the new display in the food hall: Myrtle cake. Apparently Myrtle has some recipe that only has a massive amount of eggs as its distinguishing feature. So Denise thinks they should use live chickens in the window display, which sounds rather unsanitary in a food hall. Also gross, unless someone’s going to be cleaning up after them constantly. Chickens do smell a bit, you know. Myrtle loves the idea. Clara appears in the doorway just in time to hear the tail end of the proposal, then comes in for a glass of water and warns Denise to be careful not to miss out on what matters in life, while she’s so busy being great at everything she tries.

Catherine joins Sam and they chat about the watch. He asks if it’s true it can hypnotise people and she says that was just a joke and that her father teased her with it. Though he did tell her that once she spoke Greek under its influence, and another time she ate a whole plate of a hated vegetable. She mentions there was a great mystery about the watchmaker himself, who had six fingers on his left hand. Did he also kill Inigo Montoya’s father? Honestly, I think Catherine’s just messing with him at this point, and I applaud her for that, since Sam’s been both an idiot and an ass this episode.

Catherine moves on to Moray for a little pedeconference and to sort of apologise if she said too much the other day. He tells her not to worry about it, because they’ve been good friends. She agrees and asks if they can get together for coffee and a chat from time to time, like friends do. But she advises him not to tell Tom, because he tends to get jealous, you know. Moray agrees to respect her wishes.

Later, Tom catches Moray and invites him to Mount Glendenning for dinner. Moray’s surprised but agrees. Tom says they have good news for Denise, who’s invited as well. Moray’s face falls.

That night, Sam covers the watch with a cloth and walks away, only to find the thing in his pocket. And then there’s Suzie being creepy and stalker-y. Sam literally runs in the other direction.

Moray’s in Denise’s parlour, wondering why the Westons want to have them over for dinner. Denise isn’t worried and thinks they can use this as an opportunity to show Tom and Catherine just how devoted Denise and Moray are to each other. Moray can barely even smile.

Similarly annoyed is Catherine, but Tom tells her Denise is bubbling with ambition and he wants to foster that. He expects her to outshine Moray someday, and he wants to make sure that someday comes as quickly as possible.

Jonas shows Moray a press clipping about Tom’s service and battle wounds. Moray guesses Tom resents him because Moray was peddling expensive fashions while he was under fire in India. Showing he’s not a complete jerk, Moray wonders if it’s wrong to keep inflicting turmoil on this man, but Jonas warns him not to start pitying him. He urges Moray to let Tom know about the watch and offers to tell him himself. Moray can’t bring himself to give him the go-ahead.

Sam’s at Lovett’s, wondering what the deal is with this watch, which now seems to have hypnotized him. He starts talking crazy, thinking he somehow wished an illness on some other guy and wondering what to do. Jesus, Sam, pull yourself together!

Dinner at Mount Glendenning is…awkward. Very, very awkward. Tom breaks the silence by commenting that it’s remarkable that a girl should come from some place like Peebles and prove herself, something neither he nor Catherine know much about. Moray comments that Tom certainly proved himself in the army, but Tom dismisses that and says it’s much more remarkable in a woman. He asks Denise if Moray knows how lucky he is and she says he does. Tom asks Moray if he really knows what a woman he has on his hands and Moray claims he’s aware. Catherine looks like her head’s going to explode. Tom goes on to say that they’re sending her to Paris to spend a week at Le Bon Marche and learn all she can there. Denise, of course, is delighted. The others at the table, less so.

On the way home, Moray rather hatefully tells Denise that Tom’s just appeasing her, so she’ll be happy and accept things the way they are. Yes, God forbid she be happy. Denise says she could learn a lot in Paris but offers to turn the trip down. Moray claims she’ll be doing this for them, so they can be together, not that that stopped him from going to Paris. And what a completely selfish prick he’s being, pressuring her to give up this great opportunity for really no reason at all. The Paradise could only benefit from her learning more, no matter who owns the place!

The following day, Denise joins Myrtle in front of the food hall, where they both admire the Myrtle cake, which looks…like a poundcake, honestly. Not sure what makes it Myrtle cake at all. Myrtle comments that it seems more fitting for her baking to be out front, not her, and thanks Denise for making this happen. I really want to see someone else in this place have an idea or be good at their jobs, because the way it is with Denise is just ridiculous.

Sam catches Dudley inside and asks for permission to be taken off the watch counter. Dudley asks why the heck he wants to be moved when he’s doing so well and tells him to stay put, because he doesn’t want it to look like they’re just constantly moving people around on the floor. Sam begs and Dudley asks for a sound reason, which Sam can’t give, so he’s stuck.

Moray summons Jonas and tells him to tell Tom about Glendenning’s bequest of the watch. Ass. Jonas nods and departs.

Lovett finds Sam in the watch section and Sam freaks out a tiny bit, saying he just wants to be rid of the cursed thing. Lovett tells him to calm down, because it’ll go back where it came from soon enough.

Tom tracks down Jonas and invites him to join him in a drink. Jonas acts a bit squirrely, so Tom asks what’s wrong. Jonas pretend-reluctantly tells him about the watch and Tom is not happy. He’s even less happy to hear that this was a secret between his wife and Moray.

Denise picks a pretty bad time to tell Tom she can’t accept his offer of a trip to Paris. He doesn’t even seem to hear her, just stomps out of the store.

The watch is missing. Sam’s panicking and Dudley and Moray are wondering what the hell to do. Jonas joins them and calms everyone down by informing them Tom has the watch. Sam practically dances a jig.

But he still has to deal with Suzie, who won’t leave him alone. Clara tells him to just hypnotize the idiot again, and then offers to do it herself, because Sam’s good and spooked now.

She mesmerizes Suzie with a wooden spoon and tells her she thinks Sam’s just some ordinary guy, nothing special or interesting. Sure enough, Suzie wakes up completely cured of the Sam love-bug.

At Mount Glendenning, Tom talks about how great the food hall is doing and offers Flora a trip to see it. He ostentatiously pulls the watch out of his waistcoat to check the time and Catherine notices it but says nothing.

Meanwhile, at the store, Denise is immersed in a pamphlet about Paris. Methinks she’s reconsidering her decision to turn down that trip. And I think the clock is ticking on her relationship with Moray, the way things are going.