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Sunday, March 29, 2015
Episode 8 Season 1 – Mr. Selfridge Episode Summary 1.8
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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