Mr Selfridge – Series 2

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Episode 1 –  In the years since the opening of his store, Harry Selfridge and wife Rose have become increasingly estranged, so he’s thrilled when she travels from America to celebrate Selfridges’ fifth anniversary. However, it’s clear there’s still a rift between them and she’s more interested in an exciting new friendship with a novelist. Meanwhile, Lady Mae is thrown by her husband’s unexpected arrival in London, and after hearing him blackmail his way onto a government military committee, she knows he’s up to something – especially with all the rumours of an impending war.

Episode 2 –  Trade unionists arrive at Selfridges to demand more rights for workers, and the protest stirs up emotions among the staff, with some asking whether Harry will return to America if war breaks out, and what this will mean for their jobs. Wanting to reassure everyone he isn’t going anywhere, the store owner organises a tango party to thank his employees for all their efforts. Meanwhile, Lord Loxley thwarts Lady Mae’s plans to escape to the country without him, and Rose tracks down Henri, finding him living in squalor.

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Episode 3 – Agnes works through the night to get the empire exhibition ready, but by morning it becomes clear to Harry she is struggling to cope with the project. Loxley pays Mr Selfridge a visit to tell him he can get Winston Churchill himself to open the event, while Lady Mae discovers the dire state of her husband’s finances during a trip to the bank. Mr Grove is handed his final warning when he turns up to work late again, Henri receives a job offer and Rose finds Gordon’s collection of racy photos.

Episode 4 – With news of the first horrors of war in Belgium, the men of Selfridges clamour to sign up, while Rose, Delphine and Lady Mae organise a special chocolate sale to aid refugees – which goes down a treat in the store and proves inspirational for Miss Mardle. Thackeray suspects Henri is up to no good, Victor faces a family crisis and Loxley gets his shady money-making plans off the ground.

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Episode 5 – With so many of the men signing up for duty, the women are now working in the loading bay and struggling to adjust, while Harry yearns to do more for the war effort, so Delphine introduces him to several senior government figures who could help. Crabb organises rifle training for the staff, Thackeray’s anxieties about Henri reach a new level and Miss Mardle entertains a surprising house guest. Lord Loxley suddenly seems to be in the money, much to Lady Mae’s concern.

Episode 6 – With German goods being taken off the store’s shelves, Harry organises a patriotic concert to raise money for British troops, and Lady Mae arranges for an old friend (played by tenor Alfie Boe) to headline the event. However, Mr Selfridge has also offered to help the government, and just as the gig is about to begin, he’s ordered to leave London on a secret mission to Berlin. Elsewhere, Agnes and Victor find themselves going over old territory and an increasingly paranoid Thackeray takes action against Henri.

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Episode 7 – Following Henri’s arrest and Harry’s disappearance, everyone is in a state of confusion and the police arrive at the Selfridges’ home in search of clues. However, when Rose discovers her husband is away on secret government business, she’s more worried for his safety than ever before. Meanwhile, Agnes receives an ominous telegram, Lady Mae has to make a tough decision, and will Loxley get his comeuppance?

Episode 8 – Harry deals with a raft of problems on his return from his secret government assignment – not least the news of Henri’s arrest. Coming to his employee’s aid, Mr Selfridge pulls a few strings and calls in a favour to get him out of custody. Meanwhile, the beleaguered staff receive a much-needed morale boost when Delphine arrives at the store accompanied by Hollywood producers and actresses, and Lady Mae decides it’s high time she cut her ties with Loxley.

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Episode 9 – Having endured a scandal in the press and dealt with Henri’s arrest, Harry is determined to get the store back on track and asks Delphine to organise a special event, but takes a risk by inviting notorious American journalist Winifred Bonfils Black. Meanwhile, as Miss Mardle experiences true happiness, Agnes doubts she has made the right choice, and Lady Mae and Frank unite to help Mr Selfridge, but could there be more trouble on the horizon?

Episode 10 – Harry is desperate to clear his name in time for Thanksgiving, but things get worse instead of better for the retail magnate when Rose brings him bad news. Meanwhile, an `amicably rowdy’ dinner takes place at the Selfridge house with all the family and new houseguest Lady Mae, and there is a promise of exciting new horizons for Victor, Agnes and Henri.

Drama starring Jeremy Piven, Frances O’Connor, Katherine Kelly, Aisling Loftus, Gregory Fitoussi, Trystan Gravelle, Amanda Abbington, Polly Walker, Aidan McArdle, Cal MacAninch, Ron Cook, Tom Goodman-Hill, Amy Beth Hayes, Samuel West, Greg Austin, Calum Callaghan, Sadie Shimmin and Oliver Farnworth.

As I said when I reviewed ealier the second series of The Paradise I love this period drama. Jeremy Piven and all the cast are excellent. Agnes and Henri are my favourite couple and I’m looking forward to watching what will happen to them in the next series hoping they will escape from the tragedy of  WWI …

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