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January 27, 2014

Mr. Selfridge 2 - Episode 2

Episode TWO - review below


Talk of Britain being on the brink of war causes unrest within the Selfridges staff, with fears that they will all lose their jobs if Mr Selfridge escapes back to America to avoid the European conflict. This, and demonstrations by Trade Union representatives, leads Harry to create an ‘Empire Exhibition’ to explain to both the customers and the staff that the store is staying put. This is topped off with a staff party held at Delphine’s to boost morale, but with it comes all sorts of conflict and drama.
War is the common theme to all the elements of the episode: the marital rivalry of the embittered Loxley’s and the slowly repairing Selfridges, the Trade Unionists versus the Selfridges staff, Agnes and Mr Thackeray’s departmental one-upmanship, Mr Grove’s internal battle between the life he has and the one he wants. What’s great about this common thread is that it allows necessary development of key characters without detracting from the drama of it all, and in fact allows certain players, somewhat overlooked so far, to come to the fore.
Cal Macaninch’s Thackeray, armed with a very dry wit, is proving to be a great foil for Agnes, who is showing signs of strain under her new position. Tim Goodman-Hill’s portrayal of Mr Grove is expanded nicely, demonstrating the skill of the actor, and this will no doubt be a recurring theme, given the re-introduction of his family in this episode. Even Kitty (Amy-Beth Hayes) is given a nice line in character development as she gets one up on Frank Edwards not once but twice, thanks to a Yardley face cream and a very daring tango.
It’s a wonderfully paced episode, written by Kate O’Riordan (The Bad Mother’s Handbook) which winds up its tension for a very dramatic series of outbursts in the episodes final scenes: the fighting Selfridges, the unsure loyalties of Harry’s son Gordon and, of course, the angry assault of Lord Loxley against Lady Mae. Really wonderful stuff.
The reappearance of Henri Leclair clearly is set up for development in later episodes too, but Delphine Day’s casual declaration of his presence, which causes unnecessary strain in the Selfridges marriage, points that she may have her own agenda in befriending Rose. Time will tell.
At the heart of it all this week was the lovely chemistry between Jeremy Piven’s Harry and Frances O’Connor’s Rose. Despite their mutual mistakes in this episode and signs of both the good and bad times ahead, there’s is a chemistry that makes you root for them as a couple, but not without yet more hurdles along the way.
Having laid all the major plot points down so successfully in last week’s Series 2 opener it was always going to be interesting which ones would take priority over others in the following episodes. Luckily, the balance is struck again successfully with all the major plot points expanded upon to a noticeable degree as well as some entertaining and welcome character development.

4 comments:

  1. I hope Henri and Agnes will start where they left off next episode of Mr Selfridge. He's one handsome man!

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  2. I was sitting in church today all excited to watch the second episode and it's not here. I'm going to go downstairs and think of something to do and hopefully sometime soon it will be back. I am sure you get little reminders like this all the time and I am sure you are like ladies I am only one woman and there are only so many times a day I can reload videos leave me alone already. I just want you to know I will survive and I will get over it. I also want you to know that I am so thankful for all you do. I hope you have a fabulous Sunday.

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  3. Are you willing to load a new file of this episode? This and episode 3 seem to be missing. Thank you for providing these shows.

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  4. can you repost this episode because it says the url doesn't exist

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