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Sunday, March 29, 2015
Mr. Selfridge Episode Summary: Harry Gordon Selfridge fusses over the dinner he is hosting for Frank Woolworth and his wife, Jennie. The eldest of the Selfridge children, Rosalie, attends the dinner. She relays the excitement she felt at her first soiree prompting Frank to brag about his daughter’s good fortune. Edna Woolworth is to marry one of the most influential stockbrokers in New York City. His wife, is not too pleased about his bragging, causing her to reproach him. Rose Selfridge learns from Jennie Woolworth of Frank’s plan to open Woolworths stores across England. Jennie conveys her husband’s plan with consternation and intimates the sadness that comes with success for Frank is relentless. Harry has heard of Frank’s plan to open a store on Oxford Street. He imparts the concern of Woolworths undercutting Selfridges, but Frank argues that having diametric clientele makes it a non-issue. Harry contends that Selfridges is for anyone and everyone, but Frank insists that Selfridges caters only to the wealthy given its stiff prices.
Mr. Selfridge asks his staff to tell him what a thru penny bit can buy in his store, and disappointingly learns that it can only buy a bag of Bull’s Eyes in confectionery. In fact, the thrifty wife of Mr. Crabb rarely shops at the store. She buys items such as household goods elsewhere even though they are available at Selfridges. Furthermore, Mrs. Crabb has expressed her plan to shop at Woolworths, which will be opening across Selfridges. Unwilling to accept defeat, Mr. Selfridge informs the heads of departments of his plan to discount certain items in his store such as selling umbrellas at half the price during heavy rain in order to lure people to the store. Miss Mardle recommends making the slashing of prices a big store event should the experiment succeed.
Mr. Grove informs Kitty Hawkins and Doris Miller that he will be interviewing them over the next two days for the senior assistant position. He then speaks to Mr. Selfridge about writing a reference for Miss Bunting given her unfortunate situation, but Mr. Selfridge refused to do so. He is disinclined to write references for dishonest people. He interviews Kitty first, and the shop girl finds that she interviewed well. Kitty felt the need to brag to Doris of the auspicious interview she just had and adds of getting the sense of Mr. Grove’s inclination to give her the promotion. Doris who will be interviewed next becomes intimidated, but she answers Mr. Grove’s questions with honesty. She expressed her uncertainty in desiring to become a head of a department given Miss Bunting’s misfortune. The terminated former head of Fashion did not marry and therefore has no family to look after her. Moreover, Doris confessed of wanting a family of her own, which seemed to please Mr. Grove. Mr. Grove found it right to reciprocate earnestness with honesty and regretfully relays Mr. Selfridge’s refusal to provide Miss Bunting a reference so as not to give the young woman false hope.
Miss Ellen Love arrives at the Palm Court with Tony Travers and insists on sitting at Mr. Selfridge’s table much to Victor Colleano’s dismay. Regrettably, Mr. Selfridge arrives at the Palm Court to speak to Mr. Perez about updating the restaurant’s menu for the duration of the sale to accommodate less affluent clientele, and he runs into Miss Love and Travers resulting in an awkward meeting. He learns that Miss Love is now with Travers, who is working on a play where she is to star. Later, Mr. Selfridge instructs Mr. Perez to inform him beforehand of the unwanted diners to avoid bumping into them. Meanwhile, Mr. Colleano recommends a new set menu, but Mr. Perez reproaches him for meddling. He, instead, shares his culinary ideas to Lady Loxley beginning with the serving of ice cream in her soiree in the hope that it will help acquire investors for their new restaurant. Lady Loxley is appalled with the talk about the restaurant for she has no genuine intention of helping Victor realize his dream. She does provide some consolation with her consent to serve the ice cream.
Lady Mae drops by the Selfridge residence to discuss with Rose suitable young men for Rosalie, but learns from Rose that the fortunate young woman will marry for love and not for money or a title. Lady Mae takes it that Rose has come to disapprove of her interest in Rosalie, but Rose denies this. In fact, she allows Lady Mae to introduce her daughter to eligible young men. Moreover, she has agreed to bring Rosalie to Lady Mae’s soiree the next evening. The Selfridges arrive at Lady Loxley’s mansion for the soiree bringing with them Rosalie whose confidence is lacking. Seeing the Brackenbury brothers compete for her attention helped boost her self-esteem. Rose later finds her enjoying a conversation with the painter, Roderick Temple. Left alone with Roderick, Rose learns that the man still desires her, but she rejects him causing the young man to threaten to woo Rosalie instead. Also at the soiree is the crass Frank Woolworth. Lady Loxley insinuates the trouble of having two American entrepreneurs vying for Londoners’ wallets. It becomes difficult to believe that the two Americans are friends given the way they converse with each other. Frank derides Harry for conducting a sale at Selfridges the day before Woolworths opens its doors in an attempt to undercut the competitor. Frank is doubtful that Harry will manage to attain the success of Woolworths given the differences in their business models. Woolworth buys in bulk passing the savings from suppliers to the customers. Doing so, however, results in a small profit margin, which leaves no room for fancy service. Furthermore, the store must have an outrageously high turnover to make a considerable profit, which can prove challenging to an unseasoned entrepreneur. Harry promotes Selfridges as a place of quality service, which Frank believes will be Harry’s failure for it will prevent him from considerably slashing prices.
Josie Mardle drops by the house of Roger Grove and helps him sort the clothes of his late wife, Hettie. Roger cries at the remembrance of his late wife, but then could not resist the allure of his former mistress, Josie. They passionately kiss and make love amidst the clothes of Roger’s dead wife. Roger selfishly dismisses Josie using his conscience as an excuse, but he only did so after his carnal desires have been satisfied. He confesses his ambivalence in continuing a relationship with her when he had been unfaithful to his wife with her. Roger demands Josie’s patience when she had already been patiently waiting for him for twelve years. Josie agrees to his demand and hides her sadness from him. She, however, becomes ornery at work. Moreover, she disputes Mr. Grove’s decision to give Doris Miller the senior assistant position, and insists the promotion of Kitty Hawkins instead. She finds Miss Miller lacking drive or ambition, while she believes that the sharper and harder Miss Hawkins will not be taken advantage of. Although Miss Mardle did make a good argument, her nascent hatred of Mr. Grove may have influenced her selection. Mr. Grove has not yet come to a decision regarding their relationship obliging him to allow the offended Miss Mardle to make the choice regarding the promotion. Mr. Grove announces his decision to promote Miss Hawkins to senior assistant much to Miss Miller’s great dismay. Doris later brings the clothes of Mr. Grove’s late wife to Miss Bunting along with the unfortunate news of Mr. Selfridge’s refusal to give her a reference.
Agnes Towler dines with Henri Leclair in his apartment. They continue their date listening to Puccini’s La Boheme and conversing about Miss Towler’s dream of becoming a creative director. Mr. Leclair speaks of Miss Towler’s ulterior motive for liking him in jest; she is using him to get his job. The young shop girl coyly confirms his suspicion. They kiss passionately. Mr. Leclair, mindful of the young woman’s innocence, asks Miss Towler if she truly wants to be with him. Miss Towler affirms, and they spend the night together. She awakes in the bed of Mr. Leclair delighted. They spend the morning together with Miss Towler showing Mr. Leclair to Spitalfields, an East End open market the poor frequents. A place, she believes, that will bring him inspiration for the windows of the Selfridges big sale event. Miss Towler, having spent several delightful hours with Mr. Leclair, returns home to find Victor waiting for her. She invites him in her apartment for a cup of coffee, and learns that Victor’s supposed investor was only using him. Victor has come to terms about the investor’s deceit and has decided to establish his restaurant some other way.
Mr. Colleano asks for a few minutes to speak to Mr. Selfridge about his idea for the sale. He agrees with Mr. Perez’ estimation that the Palm Court will be brimming with customers during the sale leaving them no room to add more diners. With this in mind, he figured to bring the food to the shoppers by selling them on trays similar to the World Fairs. The food, all confectionary, will be sold for a penny. Mr. Selfridge approves of Mr. Colleano’s suggestion and instructs him to inform Mr. Perez of the project he is to lead. Mr. Selfridge then doubles their advertising space to promote Selfridges’ first mid-season sale whose goals are to earn a profit and for people from all classes to feel welcome at the store. In fact, the Selfridges windows inspired by the apple cart at Spitalfields are already gaining much attention. Customers clamor for the goods from Selfridges including the penny confectionaries sold around the store. The success of the md-season sale can be inferred from the large amount of goods the thrifty Mrs. Crabb bought. In fact, Mr. Crabb confirms their profits with the doubling of output from every department. They earned more despite the lower prices for they sold at huge quantity. Mr. Selfridge then decides to run the sale for two weeks and to offer surprise discounts on certain items. Frank Woolworth drops by Selfridges to inform Harry Selfridge that he is foregoing the opening of his store on Oxford Street for he and his unhappy wife are returning to America. He warns Harry that success in business is nothing without one’s family.
Roderick Temple fulfills his threat as Rose finds him in the drawing room with her daughter, Rosalie, who feigned sickness to be with the young painter instead of attending Sunday church services. Rose angrily dismisses Mr. Temple and confronts him with her perception of his motives. She forbids him from seeing Rosalie again. Mr. Temple, however, defies her. Rose finds him once again at her house entertaining her children. She pulls him aside to speak to him privately, but her anger is palpable. She threatens to tell Mr. Selfridge of his defiance, an intimidation Mr. Temple believes to be an empty threat. He instead proposes leaving Rose’s family alone if she comes to his studio.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015
Episode Summary: Anne Boleyn awakes from a terrible nightmare where she is caged and burned to death by a fire lit by Lady Mary Tudor. She unburdens to Sir George Boleyn his frightful nightmare and her belief that her safety lies in the death of Mary and Catherine of Aragon. Anne jokes about ordering their deaths the next time her husband the King goes abroad and she is left Regent. His sister’s thoughts and behavior disturb George. He firmly tells her to act like the Queen of England just as Catherine of Aragon never failed to lose her composure. Much to her dismay, George advises her to act more like Catherine.
Anne asks Henry to persuade King Francis to relent to his wish for Elizabeth to marry his son. Henry, however, finds the refusal an insult. He believes that an alliance with the Emperor might be suitable. It annoys Anne to have Catherine’s nephew, as their ally for such an alliance will favor the deposed Queen. Henry insists that the goal of the alliance is to further the interests of England. Later, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, along with Thomas Cromwell and Lord Rochford presents the Valor of Ecclesiasticus to King Henry VIII. It contains the results of the Commissioner’s investigations into the wealth and practices of all religious houses in England. It accounts the treasures, the wealth, and the vast private lands of the monasteries and other religious establishments. Moreover, it also reports the wrongdoings of the religious institutions. Lord Rochford intimates usurping the possessions of the religious establishments to supply the depleting treasury of the English Crown.
Thomas Cranmer and his wife receive Thomas Cromwell in their house as their guest. They speak of the suppression of religious houses and the abolition of the holy days that fall during the law terms and the harvest. The latter is a move to improve the economy and to help impoverished workers who do not earn wages due to the holy days. Thomas Cranmer adds that the priests will be required to preach the Supremacy, while parents and employers will be required to teach their children and servants prayers in English instead of Latin. All clerics are also ordered to attack the superstitious cult surrounding images and relics, and will be instructed to spend the money on the less fortunate instead. His wife Katharina, however, believes that their efforts are lacking the intensity staunch reformers expect. This criticism causes both Cranmer and Cromwell to ridicule her legal status, after all Cranmer only smuggled her in a wooden box from Germany, a box he uses to transport her up to this day. Katharina takes offense at their derision and demands equal respect for her ideas notwithstanding her gender. She adds her opinion that the Catholic Church’ ways and teachings are evil, which must be eradicated without pity. Cromwell agrees to this and adds that the Catholic Church is irredeemable.
Father Abbot receives suppression orders from Mr. Cromwell sanctioned by King Henry VIII. John Leland, the King’s librarian, soon arrives at the priory unannounced. King Henry had instructed him to visit the libraries of the religious houses that are to be suppressed in order to seize their works and move them in the Royal libraries. Mr. Leland is also to find texts that emphasize the Royal Supremacy and the new monarchy, but in Father Abbot’s anger, he asserts that nothing of the sort can be found in his priory. Soon, a crew of Huguenots arrives at the priory and ransacks it, stripping it of the religious images and plundering it of food. News of the suppression of the religious houses and the seizure of their wealth reaches Anne Boleyn. She summons Thomas Cromwell and questions the policy that subjugated all religious houses including those that received good reviews from the Church Commissioners. She questions the unlawful seizure of wealth in order to replenish the King’s treasury unaware that it was her father’s recommendation to do so. Anne accuses Cromwell of acting on his own and threatens him with death.
Lord Rochfort, afraid of King Henry’s growing disapproval of Anne Boleyn, orders his son to speak to Anne. Lord George Boleyn finds that she has taken his advice and has masked her sorrow with superficial merrymaking. King Henry arrives causing everyone to fall silent, but he orders Mark Smeaton to play the Volta. He and Anne dance zealously rekindling the passion they once had for each other. King Henry and Anne Boleyn have rough sexual intercourse once again after a long period of absence satisfying the King to the fullest. Anne tells Henry her desire to conceive a son, a yearning that will not materialize as long as Catherine and Mary Tudor are alive. She learns the next day that she remains in the King’s disfavor for he had left to go hunting with the Duke of Suffolk without a word to her. She drowns her sorrows with Mark’s music, but she remains unhappy with the thought of finding happiness only in bearing a son. One of the ladies in waiting finds them together and witnesses her kissing the fiddler on the cheek. Meanwhile, King Henry successfully finishes his kill, but he refuses to return home. The Duke of Suffolk suggests they spend the night at Wulfhall, the house of Sir John Seymour and his family. Sir John and Lord Suffolk joyfully recall the memories of their great battles, but King Henry remains somber. The appearance of Sir John’s daughter, Lady Jane Seymour ends his morose disposition for she captivated the King.
Queen Catherine of Aragon has fallen very ill. Fortunately, Lady Elizabeth Darrell’s loyalty to the Queen is exceeding that she stays with her and attends to her needs despite having to do work of lowly servants. However, Queen Catherine’s greater sorrow lies in the forbiddance to see her daughter, Lady Mary Tudor. She has not seen her for more than four years. Queen Catherine takes comfort in the Curia’s Judgment declaring her marriage to King Henry VIII lawful and legitimate, which she believes the eternal truth that no man can ever deny. In reality, the King of England’s Great Matter, remains in deliberation at Vatican next only to the discussion of commissioning Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Pope Paul III, however, continues to believe that King Henry VIII will realize the errors in his ways and will once again seek the help of the Church. Meanwhile, Queen Catherine lies in agony on her bed, but finds strength and happiness at the sight of her daughter. She is unaware that her presence is nothing but a delusion. A priest blesses Queen Catherine on her deathbed as mournful servants surround her bearing witness to her wishes. She writes a letter to her husband, King Henry VIII, and sends her undying love and loyalty to him despite his cruelty towards her. Queen Catherine of Aragon forgives him for all the wrongs he has done to her and asks God to forgive him as well. Moreover, she asks that he become a good father to their daughter, Lady Mary Tudor. Lastly, she declares that she desires him above all things. She, with the help of Lady Elizabeth Darrell, signs her letter. Queen Catherine of Aragon finally succumbs to death. Lady Mary Tudor receives the things her late mother left her including the Curia’s Judgment; she mourns the death of her mother. King Henry VIII receives her letter and grieves the death of the loving wife he cast away. Conversely, Anne Boleyn receives the news of Catherine’s death with immense delight. She is now, without question, the Queen of England. Sir Thomas Wyatt, who has fallen in love with Lady Elizabeth Darrell, pays a visit to The More and finds it dark and seemingly abandoned. He also finds there the corpse of Lady Elizabeth hanging from the ceiling. The poor, loyal servant to the late Queen has taken her life.
The King and Queen of England hold festivities at court. All are happy but Jane Parker, Lady Rochford, whom Sir George Boleyn abandons for Mark Smeaton. Mark suggests a tryst with Sir George that evening, but Sir George refuses. The fiddler learns that Sir George has not informed his wife of their relationship arousing anger in him for he believes Sir George has enough authority to do as he pleases such that his homosexuality will never be an issue. Meanwhile, King Henry asks Sir John Seymour to have Lady Jane Seymour become one of Anne’s ladies in waiting. Sir John Seymour graciously accepts the offer. The quarrel between Anne and Cromwell reaches Lord Rochford, who reproaches her daughter for arguing with a man close to the King, but Anne argues that she is closest to the King for she is his wife. Lord Rochford reminds her of her rise to the throne insinuating her debt of gratitude to him, but Anne is fully aware that considerable credit for her success is due to her own efforts. Anne Boleyn then bursts out laughing troubling her father, but Anne assures her that there is nothing to worry about for Catherine is dead and she is again with child. The news indeed delights Lord Rochford.
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Sunday, March 15, 2015
Episode Summary: Pope Paul III addresses the crowd in Vatican City sending a message to the English people condemning the murder of Sir Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher. However, the persecution of the faithful of the Holy Roman Catholic Church continues in England. Thomas Cromwell reports that the Commissioners’ survey of religious houses found the monks depraved, licentious, and corrupt beyond reformation. He recommends the production of plays that promote King Henry VIII’s new monarchy and defame the Bishop of Rome. King Henry VIII leaves the production of the plays to Mr. Cromwell.
Thomas Cromwell along with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer inform known reformation supporter Sir George Boleyn of the appointment of Dr. Simon Heyes as the new Dean at Canterbury Cathedral. Dr. Heyes detests the cult and religious images. He has ordered the removal of the religious images and the introduction of the new learning. Mr. Cromwell seeks Sir George Boleyn’s help in putting reformers in vital positions of responsibility in the Church. He believes that the martyrdoms of Cardinal Fisher and Sir Thomas More have gained support from the opposition. To counter opposition, Mr. Cromwell has sent word that the people of England are bound by duty to report anyone criticizing the King, his marriage, or the reforms. Moreover, he has found a tool they can use to promote their ideas. Mr. Cromwell shows them a printing press that publishes the tracts praising King Henry VIII, his new monarchy, and the reformation. The pamphlets also explain the necessity of the reformation and its benefits to all. Later, the first of the plays are performed publicly with the King and the Queen in the audience. It made a satire of Pope Paul III and Cardinal Campeggio delighting Lord Rochford. He praises Mr. Cromwell for his ingenuity, but is quick to remind him of his debt of gratitude toward the Boleyns for they facilitated his rise to power.
Anne Boleyn brings up to her husband the lingering contention of their daughter’s legitimacy. She proposes betrothing Elizabeth to the youngest son of King Francis, Charles the Duke of Angouleme, in order to suppress questions about her legitimacy. Henry’s agreement to her proposal delights Anne, but his refusal to sleep with her gives her sadness. The guilt of having beheaded Sir Thomas More consumes Henry’s thoughts. He, nevertheless, remembers to follow through with his promise to Anne and speaks to the French ambassador to relay his request to King Francis. The King of France agrees to the betrothal and sends the Admiral of France to arrange the marriage. King Henry orders Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, to receive and entertain the Admiral of France. The assignment upsets Anne Boleyn, who distrusts the Duke of Suffolk. She would have preferred the task to fall upon her father, Lord Rochford. There is basis for her distrust for the Duke of Suffolk remains loyal to Queen Catherine. He learns from Ambassador Chapuys that Queen Catherine of Aragon has become unwell and that he fears for the life of Lady Mary Tudor. The Lady Mary, however, despite her dethronement shows kindness to her stepsister, Elizabeth, whom she found left alone and in tears.
Sir Thomas Boleyn demands a dowry of three hundred pounds from Lord Morley before allowing his son, Sir George Boleyn to marry Jane Parker. Lord Morley, unable to fulfill the demand, reaches out to his distant cousin King Henry VIII, who in his generosity agreed to make up for the difference. Jane Parker arrives at her wedding, but reconsiders and refuses to push through with the marriage. Lord Morley, however, is determined to marry her into a great family leaving Jane Parker no choice but to concede. Sir George Boleyn is not keen on the marriage as well and makes a farce of the ceremony much to his father’s chagrin. They, nonetheless, proceed with the marriage. At the reception, Sir George Boleyn spends more time with Mark Smeaton than his bride and shows no respect towards her. His disrespect continues when he arrives at her bedchamber to consummate the marriage. He shows her no tenderness and forces himself on her. Later, he visits Anne Boleyn. She confides to him her husband’s infidelity and her belief that Henry is keeping a harem. Moreover, she speaks of the prophecy of the burning of a Queen of England. She has come to believe that the prophecy speaks of her fate. Sir George affectionately comforts her distressed sister, which Lady Margaret Sheldon maliciously witnesses.
William Brereton is convinced that Anne Boleyn is a witch who has seduced the King. He claims to have proof of it from the testimony of Anne’s bedchamber maid who reports her deformities. He shares his belief and his determination to kill Anne to Ambassador Chapuys. He later imagines the murder of Anne Boleyn by his hand where he successfully attacks her with a knife leaving her bleeding on the floor, but Anne resurrects from the dead. Meanwhile, King Henry VIII speaks with Ambassador Chapuys to inform him of the knowledge of his disapproval after Cromwell intercepted some of his letters. King Henry claims that he remains a humanist just like Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas More. Moreover, he promises to Ambassador Chapuys his determination to subject his kingdom in a great reformation.
Philippe Chabot de Brion, Admiral of France, arrives at the residence of the Duke of Suffolk bringing with him his secretary Monsieur Alfonse Gontier and his niece Mademoiselle Germaine. The Duchess of Suffolk, Catherine Willoughby, immediately senses danger from Mademoiselle Germaine. Mademoiselle Germaine need only show her attraction to the Duke of Suffolk for him to fall for her. Charles Brandon becomes unfaithful to Catherine Willoughby for the first time, and his wife soon learns of his infidelity. Charles admits to his transgression and apologizes to his wife with a contrite heart promising not to become disloyal again afraid of losing her love. The French envoy along with his entourage has been staying at the home of the Duke of Suffolk for two weeks, but he has not yet sent Anne a message of goodwill. He has also refused to attend the banquet and tennis match Queen Anne prepared in his honor. Moreover, he has befriended the staunch supporter of Queen Catherine, Ambassador Chapuys. Anne Boleyn becomes upset at the Admiral’s disrespect towards her and confides her ire to the carefree fiddler, Mark Smeaton. Both the Admiral and Anne show their mutual dislike of each other at the dinner King Henry prepared in his honor. The message he brings will further Anne’s aversion towards him. The French Admiral informs King Henry VIII of King Francis’ refusal to betroth his son to a bride whose legitimacy is not recognized by the Pope, the Holy Catholic Church, or the Emperor. King Francis, however, proposes the betrothal of the Duke of Angouleme to his legitimate daughter, Lady Mary Tudor. If King Henry rejects the match, King Francis will marry his son to the Emperor’s daughter, leaving England without an ally. King Henry VIII is contemplating the message of the French Admiral when Anne Boleyn arrives to nag him about his mistresses. She continues to badger him until Henry has no more and declares their daughter a bastard and her not his wife. He later confides his troubles to his friend, Charles Brandon, whom he envies for having a happy marriage. Henry regrets the death of Sir Thomas More and blames his demise to Anne Boleyn. He claims that Anne dissuaded him from saving Sir Thomas More.
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