March 30, 2014

The Musketeers - Episode 10

The Musketeers rounds off its first series with a satisfying finale...

This review contains spoilers.
Musketeers Don't Die Easily
So here we are, the end of The Musketeers' first season. It’s fair to say that it hasn’t been the most even of rides, the quality dipped noticeably during the mid-season, but overall the series has given us enough thrills and excitement that getting to the end has been an enjoyable and at times fun journey rather than a chore. In fact, Sunday evenings will feel decidedly more grey without the colourful adventures of the Musketeers and the early renewal for a second season now feels like a good move by the Beeb rather than the risk it so easily could have been.
The real question is – did it stick the landing? In many ways Musketeers Don’t Die Easily is representative of this first season; at times it was great, at times it lost its way but it was generally good value throughout.
Musketeers Don’t Die Easily picks up the threads left by last week’s foiled assassination of the Queen, albeit after a period of some months. The Cardinal needs to cover his tracks and by so doing sets Milady the titular task of killing the Musketeers. Putting aside the fact that in seventeenth century France you probably could quite easily kill four Musketeers, the story combines betrayal, conspiracy and subterfuge to defeat Milady, expose the Cardinal and be home in time for tea and medals.
The façade of D’Artagnan turning against the Musketeers worked well, and despite the obvious nature of the ploy, it was a little disappointing to see it being dropped so early in the episode. However, the overall pace and sense of consequence gave the episode some of the weight that's been sorely missing at other times in the series. This did feel like a season’s final episode and the stakes were appropriately upped.
This was Milady’s episode and Maimie McCoy is finally brought out of the shadows to takes a central and direct role in the proceedings. The series has carefully developed her relationship with the Cardinal and we much better appreciate the threat that he represents to her life. Filling in a little of her background worked well, we understand the lengths she has to go in order to protect what she has but it also gives her an injection of sympathy without which Athos’ final judgement would seem completely inappropriate.
Musketeers Don’t Die Easily therefore represents a good, but not wholly satisfying conclusion on her season’s involvement (I don’t quite buy that we’ve seen the last of her). McCoy has consistently done well to mix seduction, innocence and violence into what could be so easily a pantomime villain. In many ways she is the Cardinal's most direct weapon, and if anyone could kill the Musketeers you would believe she could.
That’s where the story lets her down, because instead of doing it herself – and we certainly know that she’s both capable of the planning and the action – she goes to someone who is everything she is not, brutish and direct, i.e. the exact kind of person who would find it difficult to kill the Musketeers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to see Sean Pertwee pop up but he was playing the role that Vinnie Jones played a couple of episode back, that of the generic bad guy with the penchant for violence. Having taken this route, it never really felt like the Musketeers were in any danger and so the episode was a little light on tension, especially towards the end. I also feel that we sold short on her final scenes, I get that letting her go was an ideal and somewhat easy way to leave the door open for her possible return, but even with the little sympathy we might have felt, it robbed us of any satisfaction that she was going to be held to account for her actions,.
I was also surprised that with everything else going on in the episode they went as far as they did with exposing the Cardinal’s plot to the Queen. Despite the quality of the four Musketeer leads, Capaldi continues to steal most scenes and his realisation that he’d be duped by D’Artagnan was easily one of the most satisfying of the series. However, in some ways it – like Milady’s last scene, felt a little short and almost trivial. Here was the man who had plotted and killed for his own advancement and yet when finally exposed the Queen is content to have him know she’s watching. For a man like the Cardinal I’m not sure that’s a threat that he should be all that worried about, indeed, the seeds sown at the episode’s close would make it appear likely that the Cardinal will soon be very much back on top. There were times throughout the season that the Cardinal was made to be more of a bystander than a key antagonist, and that’s okay if you have others equally as nuanced and threatening but looking back, that wasn’t the case. So for the Cardinal not to have had a larger presence seems wasteful, especially with such a talent as Capaldi. That aside, he has been great in the role and his absence in the next series will be very sorely felt.
The Musketeers, as characters, have acquitted themselves well throughout the series, and although Musketeers Don’t Die Easily may have not had them quite at their wittiest or most thrilling, it was still a fine showcase for an ensemble that have developed impressive charm and camaraderie. D’Artagnan comes off the best and the on and off again relationship with Constance was handled well. It was a nice surprise to see that the show-runners had decided to end the relationship on such an unhappy note rather than go for the more clichéd and predicable option. Again, there’s certainly more to come in the next season and as long as they follow the same careful development it should make for interesting viewing rather than descend into a bad soap pastiche.    
Musketeers Don’t Die Easily aptly fulfils its role as a season finale, it tied up some outstanding plots whilst creating a few more for the season to come. Whilst not the best (my vote goes to A Rebellious Woman) it certainly wasn’t the worst (step forward The Homecoming) it ends what has been generally good season, maybe not in the most emphatic way, but certainly in a satisfying one.

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March 24, 2014

Mr. Selfridge 2 - Episode 10

Mr Selfridge series 2 episode 10: FINALE!

cleared names, happy reunions and hankies all round!

Mr Selfridge episode 10: happy reunions and hankies all round
It was all happy families in Mr Selfridge’s final episode – for now, at least (Picture: ITV)

This article contains spoilers for those who have yet to watch the final episode of Mr Selfridge.
After weeks of war trauma, marital strife and dodgy dealings, counterbalanced with generous doses of retail therapy, the second series of Mr Selfridge has finally come to an end.
And with a third series, in which producers promise Harry’s life will ‘unravel’, already on the cards, it was almost inevitable that this final instalment would ramp up the drama in preparation for future events.
Chief among these was the ongoing ‘chest congestion’ which left Rose looking a bit pale in episode nine, which once again reared its head this week – and to the surprise of absolutely no-one turned out to be more than just a bit of a cold.
Yes, it became apparent that Mrs Selfridge was not long for this world, something which threatened to thoroughly ruin the family’s Thanksgiving celebrations until she insisted both she and Harry put on a brave face and tuck in to the turkey as planned.
Luckily – and if you weren’t already dabbing your eyes with the nearest available Kleenex at this point – she made it to the end of the episode alive, but with series three reportedly bringing the action forward to 1919, it’s probably safe to say that we’ve seen the last of Rose (which of course also means bidding farewell to Frances O’Connor from the cast).

Mr Selfridge
Somehow we don’t think Frances O’Connor will be coming back (Picture: ITV)

Reasons to be thankful
But while the spectre of death may have cast a pall over the Selfridge home, there was much to celebrate in the episode too, as Lady Mae finally took a spectacular revenge on Lord Loxley which saw him get his comeuppance for his dodgy war dealings – and Harry ultimately vindicated.
There was also good news for Henri Leclair as he found himself a free man and promptly declared his intention to join the French army – but not before declaring his love for a newly single Agnes, set free from her engagement to Victor.
And there was also romance in the air for Miss Mardle, who attempted to cut Florian out of her life in spite of her obvious feelings for him – only to receive help from an unexpected source and a happy ending – or at least a happy end to the series – for the pair.
Ultimately though it’ll be the Selfridges who will be most on viewers’ minds as we rumble on towards series three – and while the episode may have ended on a happy note as the family gathered for a lively Thanksgiving dinner, there was a bittersweet air as Rose came in to shot for what must surely have been the final time.
Still, at least for that moment the mood was upbeat – but we’re going to have to wait a while to find out what the future holds for the Selfridges mob. Same time next year then everybody?


The Musketeers - Episode 9

The Musketeers - BBC One's period action romp - offers up one of its strongest, most confident episodes yet!

'Knight Takes Queen' has all the essential ingredients for a stirring family drama - romance, humor and action - while also tantalizingly laying the groundwork for next week's series climax. 

A fast-paced first third establishes this week's peril, with Alexandra Dowling's Queen Anne targeted by a formidable gunman - all part of a wicked plot by Peter Capaldi's Cardinal to get his grubby mitts on a wealthy German banker's riches.

Our heroes are forced to take refuge in a convent, and while you might expect a nunnery to be the one place in 17th century Paris where the Musketeers would be spared girl troubles, Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) is briefly reunited with an old flame - the women who once broke his heart - before losing her all over again. 

Said loss helps to deepen the hitherto rather frothy flirtation between Aramis and the Queen. Their unrequited romance has been paid only passing attention in the past eight weeks, so while their passionate clinch here doesn't quite feel earned, Cabrera and Dowling do at least get to share some exchanges with a little more depth than usual, as their characters each reflect on their own grief and loss. 

It's not all broken hearts and teary tributes though; 'Knight Takes Queen' also keeps the adrenaline pumping with what is easily one of this show's most epic action sequences to date - the first siege on the convent. If the sight of bad-ass nuns tossing home-made bombs doesn't make you break out in a big grin, then you're probably watching the wrong series.

Amidst all this, The Musketeers also teases next Sunday's series closer. Whether or not the show's writers knew at this point that Peter Capaldi would not be returning for a second series is uncertain, but regardless there's a heavy sense of foreboding hanging over the Cardinal this week. 

Launching his riskiest, most audacious scheme yet, Richelieu bites off more than he can chew and ends up dangerously exposed. Maimie McCoy's Milady is now not only his darkest secret - literally lurking in shadowy corners for the entirety of this episode - but could also prove to be his most dangerous opponent.

The Musketeers might know too much, but Milady knows everything and I suspect her tempestuous relationship with the Cardinal will come to a dark and violent climax before series end. 

'Knight Takes Queen' offers up adventure drama on a grand scale, with a strong helping of humor to lighten the mood and dazzling location work, plus some much-appreciated additional screen-time for the underused Alexandra Dowling. 

The Musketeers proved this week, it more than justified that second series commission.

March 19, 2014

Favorite Quotes of the Week!

Good call.This maybe one of the best thing from Disney in a long time!! So many can take something away from these words!
Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. -Archbishop Desmond TutuOut Of Suffering- | Kahlil Gibran Quote | Inspirational Quotes | Vintage Lion Art Illustration | Brown | -Erica Massaro, EDMPrintedEphemera on Etsy. GET FREE PRIORITY U.S. SHIPPING WHEN YOU MIX AND MATCH ANY FOUR PRINTS OF THE SAME PRICE! true..


March 17, 2014

Where is your Home?

I found home last week, when I was sitting in a hospital room with my sister.  

She had just come out of the operating room where the doctors fixed her heart problems.  She was lying in the bed, my brother was sitting next to me and my other sister was on speaker phone.  A reunion of sorts with my favorite people.  There we all were - just the four of us. Laughing, hugs, talking and them more laughing. There is something quite wonderful about the bond we share. 

I have wondered over the last year or so, what it will feel like when our grandparents pass - taking with them, in a sense, the only real home we have ever known.  They took all four of us into their home and accepted the role of parent when our real parents were unable and unwilling to do so themselves.  And as sad as that sounds, it was the greatest thing our mother did for us.  She unknowingly gave us a real home and I have always felt like, when my grandparents are no longer on this earth, that sense of home will go with them.  

Family and home quote via Carol's Country Sunshine on Facebook
It has been a sad thought for me but that all changed in a dimly lit hospital room.  Right then, right there, I was home.  

A place you feel safe to be yourself, surrounded by memories, support and unconditional love.  Over flowing with the love that comes from shared experiences and  a bond that was forged from surviving dysfunction together.  The room was full of people I had completely and irrevocably given my heart to. 

 and home is where the heart is - even if that heart needs a few repairs.  

#rivièramaison #quote #home

The Musketeers Episode 8

Luke Pasqualino's d'Artagnan was the star of The Musketeersfirst episode but hasn't really taken focus since, so it's refreshing to see the plucky young hero return very much to the forefront for 'The Challenge' - the adventure serial's latest outing.

The Musketeers episode 8 'The Challenge'

Romance might finally be blossoming with Tamla Kari's comely Constance, but elsewhere d'Artagnan's fortunes are less favourable. He's yet to become a true Musketeer and a new nemesis also lurks on the horizon, the fearsome brute Labarge - with guest star Vinnie Jones taking on the sort of period villain role he's not attempted since the music video for Westlife's 'Bop Bop Baby'.

Jones might be a one-trick pony, but it's a trick he's undeniably good at performing and it's enormous fun seeing his cockney hardman routine relocated to 17th Century Paris.

Labarge - a man with "no more humanity than a jackal" - is swiftly recruited by the cunning Cardinal (Peter Capaldi) and serves as his representative in a contest against the Musketeers, with d'Artagnan desperate to face the not-so-gentle giant to repay a personal slight and prove his worth to his friends, the King and the woman he loves.

The Musketeers episode 8 'The Challenge'

With plenty of action, intrigue and Vinnie Jones doing what he does best, 'The Challenge' is a fast-paced, colourful romp that also manages to advance the series arc, with d'Artagnan's victory finally securing his position as a bona fide Musketeer. With his promotion coming soon after his first clinch with Constance, it's clear that Adrian Hodges and his writing team aren't afraid of taking big steps forward.

Further fun is offered up this week by Maimie McCoy's magnificent Milady de Winter, who saucily saunters about, toying with all the men around her and delivering lines like "You underestimate my powers of seduction!" with aplomb.

The love square between d'Artagnan, Constance, Milady and Athos (Tom Burke) can only end in disaster - was Athos' staunch support of d'Artagnan this week, not to mention their training scenes, a foreshadowing of a conflict between the two men once Athos learns of his young friend's connection to his former love?

The Musketeers episode 8 'The Challenge'

'The Challenge' features one final plot thread, but it's perhaps the one element that Susie Conklin's script could've done without. Not only is Porthos' pursuit of Zoe Tapper's wealthy widow Alice Clerbeaux rather predictable - with his plan to romance and fleece her complicated when her kindly nature warms his heart - but it's not allocated enough screen-time to really register with the viewer.

Porthos being tempted to leave the Musketeers for love could've been its own episode - in fact, 'The Homecoming' did cover similar ground - but here it's swamped by the contest and Milady's manoeuvrings and, as a result, feels undernourished.

'The Challenge' might've been better off if it had excised this element completely and spared more time for further interactions between Milady and Athos or a backstory for the fun but rather one-dimensional LeBarge.

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Mr. Selfridge 2 - Episode 9

Mr Selfridge Series 2 episode 9: Lady Mae breaks free, old faces return and what’s the matter with Rose?

So we’re at the penultimate episode of Mr Selfridge, and after a few weeks worth of quietly simmering storylines, the latest instalment went full steam ahead towards ‘inevitable dramatic finale’ mode.
Last week’s episode left us wondering whether or not Harry would turn his friendship with Delphine into something more intimate – something which certainly appeared to be troubling Rose – while Agnes was fretting over George’s disappearance on the battlefield and Lady Mae’s marriage appeared to be a thing of the past.
Mr Selfridge series 2 episode 9: touching reunions all round
The good news is that many of those loose ends were tied up this week. Lady Mae, having finally broken free from evil Lord Loxley, sought refuge in the Selfridge home, an arrangement which came under threat when Loxley came looking for her and insisted she return home.
She refused – leading to a potential showdown between him and Harry, who had finally learned about his unpleasant wife-slapping ways, but alas stopped just short of the pair of them physically brawling, as  Loxley threatened to ruin his mutinous wife.
Will he carry out his threats? We suspect he will certainly try but whether he succeeds is another matter entirely.
Meanwhile Rose seemingly had no reason to worry, after Delphine’s last-ditch bid to grow closer to her husband – fell flat when Lady Mae guessed exactly what she was up to and promptly warned Harry she was not to be trusted.
All of which meant that Harry – still devoted to Rose in spite of his womanising ways – sent Delphine packing, potentially setting her up to flounce off for good at the series end (or perhaps come back next year and stir up more trouble).
Family reunions and mystery illnesses
While Rose may have won the battle for her husband, all was not well in her camp as she was diagnosed with ‘chest congestion’ by her doctor and announced her intention to head to the coast to recuperate.
Mr SelfridgeCue several scenes of her looking a bit pale as various characters asked after her well-being – but although the doctors didn’t go into much more detail, we can’t help thinking – especially given the fact that the trailer for next week’s episode featured another trip to his surgery – that this isn’t going to end well.
Away from such idle speculation though, it wasn’t all doom and gloom in the Mr Selfridge camp. For starters George surprised Agnes by returning home, complete with war wounds and arm in a sling – but nonetheless in one piece, much to her delight.
His return brought with it the spectre of a possible final episode wedding, as Victor suggested that he and Agnes tie the knot as soon as possible, in order for her brother to be there before returning to the front line – but will she or won’t she say ‘I do?’
There was also good news for Grove as his wife gave birth to their fourth child – and first son – while Miss Mardle’s instincts about Florian led her all the way to his bed, something which landed her in trouble after their blossoming romance became a bit too public.
Still, the biggest celebration was saved for the very end, as Harry’s daughters arrived, leading to the inevitably feelgood family reunion and smiles all round – not to mention the fact that Delphine might, just might, be out of the picture for good.
Of course with the last episode of the series looming, it’s only a matter of time before something comes along to thoroughly spoil the party.

March 13, 2014

Miranda 3 - Episode 6

Penny announces that she and Charles are renewing their vows, while Tilly introduces everyone to her new boyfriend – "Dreamboat" Charlie. Miranda tries to get over Gary and decides to go toMorocco. She initially stays at a local hotel and then gets stopped at airport security for having a cat in her case. Miranda puts her flat up for sale and decides to go to Wick indefinitely. Gary goes to the station to stop Miranda from leaving and declares his feelings for her. Mike returns and both he and Gary propose to Miranda, leaving her to chose between them, ending the series on a cliffhanger.


Miranda 3 - Episode 5

Having purchased the restaurant, Gary prepares for its re-opening. Penny tries to get Raymond Blanc to come to her tennis club dinner. When Miranda realises that she is in love with Gary, Stevie tells her that she should break up with Mike. Miranda has trouble when it comes to telling Gary how she feels, while Mike reveals that he has been offered a job overseas and breaks up with Miranda. During an argument with Gary, Miranda tells him how she feels. Gary Barlow comes to the restaurant re-opening and Miranda kisses him to spite Stevie.


Miranda 3 - Episode 4

Miranda spends five days trapped in her flat caring for her sick mother. When she finds her first grey hair, Miranda worries that she has done nothing with her life and decides to live free from regrets. She comes up with a bucket list, but before she can start doing any of the activities on it, she falls ill with the flu. Miranda initially receives little sympathy from Penny and her friends. But when she starts to recover, she pretends to still be ill to take advantage of their generosity. Penny, Tilly, Stevie and Gary catch Miranda out, but then fall ill themselves.


Miranda 3 - Episode 3

Miranda attempts to prove that she can be an adult and offers to look after a young child. When her back gives out in a tunnel at a play center, Miranda goes to a chiropractor, but embarrasses herself by breaking wind. Mike reveals that he wants Miranda to meet his father and she offers to host a dinner party. Mike's father turns out to be Miranda's chiropractor and he does not get on well with Penny. Gary later breaks up with Rose, while Mike confesses his love for Miranda.


Miranda 3 - Episode 2

Miranda decides to find a boyfriend when Gary starts dating Rose (Naomi Bentley). She meets Mike, the local news reader, at a nightclub and he asks her out on a date, which does not go well. When Penny runs for a position on the local council, Tilly helps her with her campaign. When Miranda is arrested for impersonating a police officer, Penny helps her out, so she can go on a second date with Mike. He later calls himself her boyfriend and Miranda reveals to Gary that she is happy.


Miranda 3 - Episode 1

Miranda has agreed to be just friends with Gary, but it proves difficult for them both. Meanwhile, the joke shop has gone out of business, so after being inspired by Stevie and Tilly, Miranda gets a job in an office. Penny tries to help Miranda get her life under control and she makes her daughter join a weight loss class, after she is featured in a news report about obesity. Miranda later learns from the reporter, Mike (Bo Poraj), that the camera was just panning. She and Stevie then agree to be business partners and reopen the shop.


March 09, 2014

Call the Midwife 3 - Episode 8 (season finale)

As this episode began, it was not at all surprising to see a terrifyingly pale woman who had just given birth. This isn't a programme for the squeamish (a group among whom I count myself), each week presenting a different birth-related mishap, which luckily turned out all right more often than not. 
This episode was more concerned with some of life's other big moments. Chummy's Mummy, Lady Brown was not doing well, but didn't want to end her days in hospital, and the Turners pursued adoption. Unfortunately, however, Call the Midwife is also a programme where a double-booked Church hall counts as an event, but perhaps this provided necessary light relief in an episode full of drama and strong emotion. 
There were very tender and moving moments as Chummy and Lady Brown's very much imperfect mother-daughter relationship reversed the programme's usual uncomfortable births to an uncomfortable death. Particularly affecting was the subtlety of the scene where Chummy reluctantly manicured her mother's hands, just before she passed away. 
Since her return, Jenny hadn't seemed as enamoured with midwifery. This episode, being widely publicised as the actress Jessica Raine (Jenny)'s last, saw her realise that a change in careers to palliative care was what she wanted. As if the irony of a midwife wanting to work with dying patients was lost on us, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) kindly spelled it out for us. By the end of the episode, it was clear that Jenny had fallen out of love with midwifery, and set off on her new path. 
In a way that seemed to mirror real life, Jenny cycles off on the new bike bought by the others at Nonnatus House, and the good luck cards which adorn the table seemed to wave actress Raine off on her endeavours in Hollywood, too. I'm sure all fans of Jenny Lee the midwife will be watching her next acting moves. 

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The Musketeers 1 - Episode 7

The Musketeers episode 7 review: A Rebellious Woman

A Rebellious Woman is a triumphant return to form for The Musketeers. Here's Rob's review...

This review contains spoilers.
1.7 A Rebellious Woman
The Musketeers has been suffering from what could be considered a mid-season slump. In of themselves, the past few episodes haven’t been disastrous, but they are guilty of not living up to the relatively high bar set in the opening episodes. They had the feel of filler, the narrative calm before the ramp up to the end of the season. In many ways A Rebellious Womanconfirms this, as it sees a triumphant return of form for the show.  
This week it’s all about Ninon De Larroque (played with admirable defiance and passion by Annabelle Wallis), an independently wealthy woman who cherishes independence, freedom of thought, the right of education and above all else the ability for women to enjoy all three. Of course, in seventeenth century France this is anathema to the strict religious teachings and direction from Rome, which sees any such act of independence as heresy. It just so happens that Rome has sent an envoy to the Cardinal in an attempt to persuade France to drop their treaty with Sweden.  It is as this point that the two stories collide with the Cardinal having to scheme against De Larrouque to take her fortune, whilst satisfying Rome that his faith remains to the church in order to secure popularity for his own advancement. Cue Salem-like witch trials, poison, Milady and that Freudian slip.
This is truly The Musketeers back on form. It felt like there was a renewed energy amongst the cast as the banter quotient was high, the lines hit well and for the first time in a while, everyone looked truly comfortable in their roles. A reoccurring problem with The Musketeers has been the shoe-horning of heavy drama in-between the humour and action making it feel out of place and awkward. A Rebellious Woman has the issue of women’s rights front and centre, and consistently throughout the episode. As the other plot lines were intrinsically interwoven with De Larroque and her plight it strengthened the issue rather than detracted from it, which meant the episode felt much more cohesive and less contrived.
There were also some great scenes. I criticised the way in which the King was portrayed in the previous episode as he appeared a caricature of himself – playing it extremely childish and unlikeable. Here, the King, although at times immature seems much more in control of himself as seen in his response to Sestini’s introduction as he still grasps the importance of the situation and knows how to take advantage of it to great and humorous effect. The trial itself was really well done, especially the appearance of Miladay and Athos’ subsequent reaction. This was in many ways an important moment that the series had been building up to and it was good to see it wasn’t fumbled.
Whilst talking about the trial, I have to mention the excellent work by Murray Gold. Gold’s music has been generally great – the theme alone is a good example of how he so well captures the spirit of a show. However, there are a couple of examples, the trial, the building of the pyre and the final Constance/D’Artagnan scene in which they all benefit from his interpretation of the mood and character and are in turn much better for it.
Perhaps the element I most enjoyed was that, after fearing Capaldi had been wasted as a Cardinal who was too often passive and under developed, we finally had an episode that seemed worthy of his talent. Here we saw what the Cardinal was about: cunning, maliciousness and selfishness. The plot was tailored to explore what he would be willing to do for his own gain and advancement, and we were left with no uncertainty over how far he would go. His stating that he wasn’t a cruel man, just a practical one wasn’t just a good line, but was an excellent window into his psyche. Of course - he is a cruel man – but that fact he doesn’t see this as cruelty but rather a measure of practicality is not just bordering on the psychotic but is exactly what you want in such a great and interesting character. He last speech declaring that nothing will stop him rung with a significant ambiguity – stop him from what? The finding out, I’m sure, will be good.
Although the Cardinal’s morality-debating, witch-burning and poisoning was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the episode, it didn't make the most impact. That, of course, was left to the final scene in which D’Artagnan and Constance finally got it on. I’ve wondered how the show runners were going to get around the fact that despite their obvious attraction and Constance’s less-than amorous affection for her husband – they were still going to commit adultery. They handled it in the best possible way – with an episode focused on the liberation of women, their rights and freedoms, along with an innocent Freudian slip followed by a very guilty pause. The lack of signposting (D’Artagnan was kept largely in the background throughout the episode) gave it additional depth and wallop. Just how their relationship continues will no doubt be explored in the next few episodes, hopefully it continues in the same thoughtful and patient way it has developed.
I’m pleased that A Rebellious Women worked so well, especially after the recent episodes lacklustre approach. Finger crossed it continues, but of course it must as next week we welcome Vinnie Jones… 

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Mr. Selfridge 2 - Episode 8

Mr Selfridge episode 8: Harry's back, but business isn't booming

The seventh installment of Mr Selfridge had a distinct lack of Mr Selfridge in it, with Harry leaving everybody baffled by his sudden departure for Germany.

Fortunately this week’s episode found itself back on an even keel as Harry returned from his secret mission, only to discover it was no longer such a secret – particularly not to the press who seemed to be awaiting his return at the store.
So had it all backfired then? Well Rose was certainly pleased to have her husband back, but the publicity over his trip and involvement in the procurement scandal certainly didn’t do him much good, with customers deserting the store as a result.
Fortunately, Delphine came to Harry’s rescue by bringing some American visitors – Keystone film studios owner Mack Sennett (Joseph Beattie) and actress Mabel Normand (Andrea Deck) – to the store for a big shopping spree.
All of which later spiralled into Harry and Gordon going to a party for the Hollywood duo, Gordon being enticed by Mabel into downing Tom Collins cocktails, and Harry becoming ever closer to Delphine – something which Rose clearly wasn’t happy about as the episode reached its end.

Mr Selfridge
Harry found himself with some explaining to do as he returned from Germany (Picture: ITV)

It’s not all fun and games
Elsewhere though the ever-present doom and gloom prevailed. There was more misery for Lady Mae, whose errant husband still hasn’t had his comeuppance, and who was forced to sell her jewellery to survive after being financially struck off by her husband. She finally decided she had had enough and told him she wanted a divorce – but we can’t see him agreeing to that one without a fight.
Meanwhile poor Agnes was left distraught by the news that George has been reported missing in action, and spent much of the episode clinging on to the fact that he might still be alive, while Mr Selfridge began the uneasy task of sending sympathies to the families of those staff members who had died on the battlefields.
But not everybody was having it quite so rough this week. There were signs, for example, that Miss Mardle might finally be giving in to her Belgian refugee’s charms after admitting she was afraid of being unlucky in love once again.
And Henri Leclair’s future began to look a little brighter after his ex-love Valerie showed up at the American Embassy, ultimately saving him from being sent back to the US – and back to his Selfridges job, although she may well have regretted her actions after he admitted they had no future together.
Still, if it’s romantic entanglements you want, then we sense you may just get some between Harry and Delphine in the coming episodes as the arrival of the film stars – and the subsequent party, followed by Mr Selfridge turning down a career in movie production – led to their friendship blossoming. This could of course all be idle speculation, and certainly Harry and Rose appeared closer than ever as they cuddled up in bed together at the end of the episode.
The worried look on her face, however, as he spoke of how glad he was that she had introduced him to the charismatic club owner, told a different story entirely.