Sunday, September 28, 2014

Episode 4 Season 1 – Mr. Selfridge Episode Summary 1.4

Anna Pavlova dances at Selfridges
Synopsis: Miss Bunting is found guilty of theft and is replaced with a progressive Head of Fashions, Miss Ravillious.  Mr. Selfridge invites the famous ballerina, Anna Pavlova, to Selfridges allowing everyone the opportunity to meet her.  Rose Selfridge spends time with the young painter, Roddy Temple, and his friends losing track of time causing her to miss the afternoon tea her husband arranged for her and Pavlova.

Episode Summary: Miss Bunting is castigated and dismissed in front of all employees after she was found guilty of pilfering Selfridges’ best lace and silk inside the hem of her skirt.  Her betrayal disappoints and upsets Mr. Selfridge, who hoped for her innocence.  It also led Mr. Selfridge to instruct Mr. Grove to increase the random checks on all different departments.  Miss Bunting pleads for mercy to Mr. Grove explaining her situation, but it is too late.  Ironically, her pride to keep secret the hardship of taking care of an invalid mother brought her shame.Continue reading...

Harry Gordon Selfridge takes his wife and daughter to see the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, perform for a private audience.  His wife, Rose Selfridge, was so taken by her performance, but unlike Lady Loxley, she longs for every woman to get a chance to experience a moment of perfect beauty such as the one she witnessed in Pavlova’s performance.  Her statement struck Mr. Selfridge with an idea.  He invites Pavlova to Selfridges, allowing everyone to see her in person.  This delights his family most especially his youngest daughter, Beatrice.  Rose is delighted as well at hearing that her husband managed to arrange an afternoon tea with the ballerina.

The new Head of Fashion, a woman who came to work on a bicycle and has her skirt above her ankles, scandalizes Kitty Hawkins at the sight of her skirt and for requesting for inset collars of the finest gauze with a pearl motif without speaking to the Head of Accessories, Miss Josie Mardle.  Kitty refuses to accede to the woman’s demand, but yields when the woman does not show any signs of dissuasion.  Doris Miller speaks to Miss Mardle about the incident that had just transpired.  Later, Mr. Selfridge introduces to the various heads of departments, Miss Irene Ravillious, as the new Head of Fashion.  He speaks of her with great respect due to her training at the House of Lucile in London and her experience at the Liberty department store.  More importantly, he finds that she will breathe new life into the Fashion Department with her progressive ideas.  In fact, Miss Ravillious predicts that women will be able to purchase readymade for purpose clothing in the near future.  Mr. Selfridge agrees with her belief that fashion will shine and will even surpass accessories.  He plans to stock all shapes and sizes so a woman can purchase clothes without requiring a fitting or a seamstress, clothes a woman can take home the day of the purchase.

Miss Mardle later asks Miss Ravillious about her shortened skirt believing that it is the new trend in fashion only to learn that the woman had it shortened that she may ride her bicycle with ease.  Moreover, Miss Ravillious declares herself as a champion of the Rational Dress Movement, a group that believes that clothes can serve a purpose other than mere drapery.  In addition, she does not wear a whalebone corset believing that a vigorous exercise will keep her figure intact.  Miss Mardle then segues to the incident early that morning cautioning her against taking stock away from one department to another.  Miss Ravillious, however, argues that she is allowed to use her initiative as the staff manual decrees.

Mr. Selfridge announces that the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, will be making an appearance at Selfridges allowing anyone from any class to meet her.  Taking from his wife’s philosophy, he wants everyone to have a Pavlova moment.  More importantly, he wants the store to benefit from the event.  He requests all departments to work together and provide him with suggestions on how to use the event to increase sales.  This request, however, turns into a competition between Miss Mardle and Miss Ravillious with the former forbidding her staff from acceding to Miss Ravillious’ demands.  Moreover, Miss Mardle asks her staff to come up with an idea before Miss Ravillious does.  Unlucky for her, Miss Ravillious is already presenting her idea to Mr. Selfridge complete with an end product.  Miss Ravillious plans to sell a cape with braiding much like the ones Pavlova wears.  Moreover, she has laid out a plan to have her seamstresses produce as much as they can that day so they can test the viability of the capes in terms of sales.  If the capes proved to be sales worthy, the seamstresses will then be requested to work shifts through the night so the capes will be ready for tomorrow’s event.

Miss Mardle finds herself missing the company of Mr. Roger Grove; the man has been avoiding her.  She finds a reason for them to spend time together after receiving tickets for Drury lane, an evening they had planned to spend together awhile back.  Regrettably, Mr. Grove could not accompany her to the theater claiming that his wife’s nurse will be taking the night off.  She confronts Mr. Grove about his avoidance, revealing her fear that he had tired of her.  Mr. Grove denies having done so and maintains that his invalid wife’s care is the only reason for his unavailability.

Victor Colleano sees George Towler loading goods in a blue van absent of the Selfridges livery.  He learns from George that the young man is the only one who loads goods into the van as per the instructions of his superiors, Alf and Sam.  Victor gathers that George is unaware of the meaning of the unmarked motor van.  Although he has been avoiding Agnes, he manages to inform the young woman of warning George about the vans he loads.  Mr. Henri Leclair interrupts their conversation causing Victor to leave summarily.  Mr. Leclair asks Miss Mardle’s permission to have Miss Towler work at the Fashion Department for that day.  The request annoys Kitty and Doris who find it unfair that Mr. Leclair always requests the help of Miss Towler.  Meanwhile, Lady Loxley flirts with Victor at the Palm Court.  She becomes impressed when Victor turns a bland chicken dish into a flavorsome plate.

Rose poses for Roderick Temple as he paints a portrait of her for a show at the Chelsea Arts Club, which disappoints her for she had hoped to purchase it as a gift for her husband.  Roddy, however, manages to persuade her to join him at the Chelsea Arts Club.  Rose finds herself enjoying the company of the artists and the artists become intrigued of the American who calls herself Mrs. Buckingham.  Rose, who is to have afternoon tea with Pavlova, tries to take her leave, but to no avail.  Anna Pavlova arrives at Selfridges with the fanfare reserved for celebrities.  She is treated like royalty as Mr. Selfridge presents her with the finest items sold at his store including luggage she can use to transport all the gifts from the entrepreneur.  His generosity does not come without a price and this Pavlova learns when he presents her to the press among a crowd anxiously waiting for her at the shop floor.  Soon, Pavlova wears the cape sold at Selfridges and flaunts it to the expectant crowd with the grace of a ballerina.  Mr. Selfridge watches with delight as spectators become customers.

The Selfridges wonder about Rose’s absence unaware that she was tied up at the Chelsea Arts Club.  The artists, at last, leave the club giving Rose the opportunity to go to the engagement for which she is already late.  They, however, urge her to go with them and Roddy puts her in a bind when he tells his friends to force the supposed Mrs. Buckingham to come.  Rose is flabbergasted at learning that the artists are making their way to Selfridges in order to see Pavlova.  She speaks privately with Roddy in order to confess her real identity unaware that her conversation with Roddy is within earshot of the playwright, Tony Travers.  Rose explains that she had assumed a different identity due to her desire to have a life of her own, one that is not tied to the famous Selfridge name.  Roddy becomes upset at having been made a fool and assumes that the woman has been using him to take revenge on her philandering husband.  He confesses to have fallen in love with her.  Rose, however, confesses to remaining in love with her husband despite his transgressions.  She did confess that she was tempted to betray her husband.

Mr. Selfridge has begun to avoid Ellen Love leading the woman to confide in Frank Edwards.  Miss Love has mistaken Mr. Selfridge’s largesse as his way of settling.  She has made herself believe that Mr. Selfridge is preparing to leave his wife for her. Ellen becomes furiously jealous upon learning that Mr. Selfridge will be too busy to speak to that day causing Frank to divulge the news that Anna Pavlova will be visiting Selfridges.  This concerns Ellen, who gathers that Mr. Selfridge has found a new star for his store.  She finds that it is her duty as the Spirit of Selfridges to be at the event to welcome the famous ballerina.  Ellen Love arrives at Selfridges much to everyone’s surprise, some pleasant and some not.  Mr. Selfridge watches in horror as the tawdry performer steals the attention from Pavlova.  Moreover, causes further embarrassment when she refuses to leave and insists on having her photograph taken with the famous ballerina.  Meanwhile, Agnes Towler becomes perturbed at the sight of her drunkard father at the store.  Reg Towler has come to cause a disturbance at her daughter’s place of business after being refused entry to her apartment.  Miss Towler tries to urge her father to leave the store, but ends up causing a scene when her father falls on a glass display breaking it with a loud crash.  Moreover, the drunkard being escorted out of Selfridges identifies himself as Miss Towler’s father embarrassing the young woman so.  Upon Mr. Selfridge’s instruction, Victor escorts the drunkard out through the loading bay followed by his humiliated daughter.  Reg relishes at having cost her daughter her job, but has the gall to demand respect from her.  Agnes declares her hatred of him causing the man to attack her.  Luckily, Victor was there to protect Agnes.  Victor was relieved to learn that Agnes’ evasiveness was due to her father.  Agnes believes that the incident that transpired will result in her termination and the same incident will recur anywhere she goes as it always had.  Victor offers to look after her for which Agnes is grateful, but refuses to accept knowing that he also has a family to support.

With the commotion placated, the event at Selfridges continues as Mr. Selfridge announces the creation of a window dedicated to Anna Pavlova, a window Ellen Love covets.  This announcement caused another scene from Ellen Love, who has been asking Mr. Selfridge for a window ever since she signed up to become the Spirit of Selfridges, but has yet to have one.  Moreover, Mr. Selfridge ends her contract and their affair that moment.  The Selfridges arrive home and finds Rose there with an excuse of having taken ill.  Meanwhile, Mr. Mardle lies on her bed feeling alone when Mr. Grove arrives with a box of violet creams from the shop she loves on Marylebone Street.  Moreover, he is to spend the night with her.  At Selfridges, people including the famous ballerina herself admire the newly unveiled window dedicated to Anna Pavlova.  Ellen Love too passes by to see, but looks at the window not with awe, but with envy and despair.


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