“Mr Selfridge” recap (2.3): Changing the Locks

 
 

Harry Selfridge, meanwhile, continues to play his newly dutiful husband card, attempting to patch things up between them, even bringing her breakfast in bed one morning and expressing his worry about her staying in Britain if war comes to their shores. She’s still resisting his wooing ways for the most part, but appears to be giving in a little. She tells Gordon that she still loves Harry, during a weird breakfast conversation wherein Gordon essentially tells her that she and Dad need to start having sex again. Gordon, you are stupid. Anyway, Rose does look soft and warm and lovely when Harry brings her breakfast in bed, and I like her bare arms. I just want Delphine to be accompanying her in those silky sheets and plump pillows instead.

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It should be noted, however, that Rose refuses Harry’s pressures to return to the US. She doesn’t want to appear like a weakling to the public, running away from danger. But she also implies that that isn’t the only reason. Harry takes this as a hopeful sign, that these “other reasons” are her wanting to repair their marriage, too. But she never actually SAYS that, does she? Maybe the real reasons she’s so reluctant to leave London have more to do with something that rhymes with Schmelphine Schmay. But who’s to say?

At the store, Henri has helped Agnes get a handle on all of the displays for Empire Week, and Mr. Selfridge is pleased as punch at the colonial grandeur. And oh, I don’t know, Henri and Agnes just MAY also be a smidge pleased with each other.

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Skeezeball Loxley has also arranged for Winston Churchill to come to the store for the opening of Empire Week, no big deal. Of course, he’s only arranged this in a bit of sweet talking of Selfridge, in exchange for information about the best leather suppliers in London, presumably so that Loxley can make money off of the making of soldiers’ boots. Selfridge does have a Skeezeball Meter inside his head, though, so he reserves suspicions until he talks to Lady Mae. Lady Mae assures him of Loxley’s trustworthiness. Which seems strange, as Mae certainly hasn’t hidden her disdain of her husband in front of Selfridge in the past.

But soon, Lady Mae’s plan is clear. When Loxley arrives home that night, she’s changed the locks to her bedroom, and tells Loxley loud and clear through the door: she’ll talk up his business and good character throughout the town. But in exchange, he will never touch her or come near her again. If he threatens non-compliance in any way, she’ll shout out news of his bankruptcy over the rooftops. And for once, Lord Loxley has no reply. She sighs on the other side of the door as he walks away. It’s a small, painful type of victory. Like all smart women, Lady Mae is doing what she can to preserve herself.

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When everyone at the store waits anxiously for the arrival of Winston Churchill, reporters included, we begin to wonder if Lord Loxley was full of shit and hasn’t arranged for Churchill’s appearance at all. Mr. Selfridge soon receives a call, though, and it turns out Churchill’s missing presence has nothing to do with Loxley. It instead has to do with the small thing of Germany declaring war on France. And invading Belgium. The Great War has begun.

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With this heavy news in mind, Harry invites Henri to get a drink at Delphine’s club, where he also tries to convince Henri to stay on at Selfridge’s again for good. Henri continues to refuse, although he’s cagey about why–some “other business” he has to take care of in London. This is also the only time we get to see Delphine this whole episode, and the only person it appears she’s getting chummier with is Harry. They vow to start their friendship again, after their first attempt went sour last week. Harry also seems pleased when Delphine shares that she’s refused Rose’s money.

You see, Rose has continually told Delphine that she wants to help invest in her club. Delphine warned her last week that friendship and business don’t mix. Yet when she tells Harry of her refusal to take Rose’s money here, there’s something else hiding behind her eyes when she says it, something that implies there are more complicated reasons than just friendship. Friendship and business can sometimes work. But love and business, that’s another matter entirely.

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The episode ends with Delphine grandly announcing the official news from Buckingham Palace to her patrons: Great Britain is going to war. She and the others in the club–with the exception of Harry and Henri, who accept this news more somberly–do a rather joyous little dance and song, “Rule Brittania” to be exact, in the painfully naively and hopeful way that comes along with nationalistic fervor.

What does the war hold for the future of Selfridge’s and its employees? What are your thoughts on where the Delphine and Rose storyline is headed?

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