Previously on Mr Selfridge: Harry drunk drove himself into a coma and was haunted by his douchbag, deadbeat dad. Grove lost his wife and let his misogynist flag fly while he was briefly in charge of the store, giving Crabb, of all people, a chance to step up and be kind of awesome. Henri revealed an inexplicable crush on Agnes.
Previously on Mr Selfridge: Agnes got her job back and hopefully saw the back of her dad for the last time. Lady Mae got her claws into Victor, Ellen attempted suicide, and Harry’s life started to crumble, sending him off into a drunk-driving accident.
On her way to work, Agnes sees newspapers with the news of Harry’s accident splashed all over the front page. Slow news day? There’s a suffragette outside the store handing out leaflets and Agnes distractedly takes one.
Previously on Mr Selfridge: Ellen got fired after gatecrashing an event with Anna Pavlova and making an ass of herself; Drunken Dad also took the opportunity to make an ass of himself, costing Agnes her job. Things between Rose and Turner the artist went perhaps a touch further than is strictly proper.
Wow, no teaser scene this week. Right to the credits.
Selfridge and Crabb head into a warehouse, where sits a beautiful Rolls Royce that Harry’s going to put in the window, just as Henri promised. Crabb’s a bit worried about the cost (of course), and he warns Harry that the car is not insured to be driven, not even by Harry. Henri shows up and declares the car magnificent. Harry wants the window to be all about motoring for the modern age. Henri says he needs Agnes and Harry’s like, fine, go ahead and grab her. Henri looks at him like he’s an idiot and reminds him that Agnes doesn’t work there anymore, after that business with her dad.
Previously on Mr Selfridge: Ellen started getting all coked up and a bit unhinged, Agnes’s alcoholic father started getting abusive, and Rose had her artist friend, Roddy Temple, start painting her portrait.
Harry, trailed by Grove, Crabb, and Henri, steps off the elevator, and he does not look happy. He calls for Miss Bunting, head of…fabrics, I guess? Which makes her name kind of funny, to join them. She looks scared. Grove asks for Mardle to help them out and to check the hem of Bunting’s skirt. Mardle looks alarmed, but she does so and pulls out a length of silk the woman had stuffed in there, while the other workers stare. Bunting weeps and says she’s sorry, but Harry (rather regretfully, it must be said) fires her. Well, this all came out of absolutely nowhere. Poor writing, writers. Really poor. It’s so random it almost seems like she was set up (she wasn’t, but it seems like that should be the case). I also can’t help but wonder why Henri’s being involved in this. Isn’t he just the window dresser? What’s his involvement with staff disciplinary issues?
Previously on Mr Selfridge: Agnes’s violent, alcoholic father showed back up, Harry took things with Ellen to the next level, and Rose met a highly stereotypical Sensitive Artist who tried to hit on her.
Ellen is dancing around in her underwear, singing The Honeysuckle and the Bee while Harry practically salivates. He does us all a favour by chasing her down, which stops her singing. I didn’t really notice in earlier episodes, but damn, Zoe Tapper really can’t sing. It’s making it rather hard to take her seriously in the part of a leading showgirl.
Well, here it is, in all its controversy-laden glory. See, apparently ITV had this puppy all sewn up, filmed, promoted, and scheduled to premiere in the fall. But then the BBC, those sneaky devils, jumped in and premiered The Paradise right before Selfridge was supposed to go up (despite the fact they weren’t even filming all The Paradise’s episodes), and ITV pouted and sulked and pulled their show to avoid having it compete against yet another programme about a department store. Which was probably smart, because damn if these two aren’t basically the exact same show, just set about 35 years apart. Wide-eyed female employee favoured by the boss who seems destined to be amazing? Check. Slightly creepy rich lady the male lead depends on for his store’s success? Check. Problematic family member? Check. Money-nervous right-hand man? Check. Even the head of the accessories department acts all fluttery, just like Miss Audrey. Yikes! I know The Paradise was based on a book and this is based on a true story, so all this might be coincidental, but what are the odds, really? The one leg-up I figured this had on The Paradise is Jeremy Piven in the lead role. I loved him in Entourage (let’s face it, he was the only reason anyone watched Entourage, right?) and since it seems like he’s basically just playing Ari Gold again here, I figured it would be ok, right?