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Mr. Selfridge Backspin: S1E7 – High (and Low) Spirits

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7Following nearly a full episode that saw Harry out of commission, it wasn’t long before the most talked-about entrepreneur in London was back on his feet and at the helm of his business. Although things seemed to be back to normal, we found out that our irrepressible protagonist had been experiencing strange dreams and hallucinations in the night.

Although Harry seemed happy to ignore those unusual visions, his latest guest at the store was one far less dismissive of the unexplained. The latest figure in Selfridge’s long list of high profile supporters was none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who drew an admiring crowd to the store’s floor. In return, he brought along with him a renowned American medium, eager to perform a séance in the building – one which said radiated the right energy for such an event. Despite Harry’s skepticism, Sir Arthur was able to convince him to hold the ceremony as what he described as a ‘spiritual validation of the venue’.

However, not everyone was as willing to accommodate the author’s wishes. Some of the staff worried about the possibility of exposing the store to unknown forces. Miss Mardle was especially wary, given the recent death of Mr. Grove’s wife, Hettie. Miss Mardle changed her tune, though, when the medium delivered a message from beyond the grave – one that sounded eerily directed at Mr. Grove, and gave him leave to pursue a second marriage. Unfortunately for Josie, the would-be recipient of the message wasn’t as willing to accept it, and it seems that she and Roger are no closer to resolving the recent uncertainty surrounding their relationship. With Miss Mardle losing patience, it will be interesting to see how long the standstill will last.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Mr. Perez (TIMOTHY WATSON), Kitty Hawkins (AMY BETH HAYES), Miss Mardle (AMANDA ABBINGTON), Miss Ravilious (ANNA MADELEY)

Selfridge’s employees gather in the Palm Court Restaurant for a seance, at the behest of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Lois Selfridge (KIKA MARKHAM), Rose Selfridge (FRANCIS O'CONNOR)

Both the Selfridge women attended the seance, but though Rose was unmoved, the experience didn’t sit well with Lois.

Back on the sales floor, Kitty was chuffed to have caught the attention of Frank Edwards before his interview with Sir Arthur, and when she received a mysterious box of chocolates and a note, she immediately suspected him. Already dreaming of life as Mrs. Edwards, Kitty went to meet her secret admirer only to find out that the note had actually been sent by a smitten George Towler. Although riled at first, Kitty came around quickly and was a good sport about the mix-up – not something we’ve come to expect from the occasionally haughty sales assistant.

And we saw some more of Kitty and Doris this week when they ran into a down-on-her-luck Miss Bunting, who they found to be struggling since her dismissal from Selfridge’s. Usually relegated to the role of Kitty’s shadow, Doris’s kind nature came to the fore this week, as she attempted to comfort her distraught former co-worker. In an attempt to help Miss Bunting, she made an appeal to Mr. Grove, hoping to secure a reference for the floundering woman, and managed to at least get his assurance that he’d discuss it with Mr. Selfridge himself. Hopefully her efforts aren’t too little, too late, but either way, Doris’s heart is in the right place.

For his part, Harry was newly inspired following his brush with death, and was grateful to Miss Ravilious for her deft handling of the suffragettes the week before. On her request, Agnes was transferred to the fashion department, leaving her senior position open for either Kitty or Doris. More than happy to moving on to fashion, Miss Towler made for a good fit in her new role. With her confidence bolstered,  and Victor otherwise occupied with his own ambitions, she finally made a move to suggest her interest in relationship with Henri beyond their successful working partnership.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Miss Mardle (AMANDA ABBINGTON)

Although Mr. Grove was keen to ignore the events at the seance, Miss Mardle took its message as a sign.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Kitty Hawkins (AMY BETH HAYES)

Kitty was pleasantly surprised by love letters and gifts from a mysterious gentleman, but was wrong about his identity.

Meanwhile, Harry was eager to take his company public, while securing funds to expand into the neighbouring buildings. However, with the banks dragging their heels, he found himself venting his frustrations and growing impatient with the rate at which the wheels of British finance turn. Proving himself to be invaluable once again, Mr. Crabb managed to get representatives from the bank to meet with Harry on his own terms. Once he had their ears, Harry merged his typically straightforward manner with an argument that appealed to their respect for legacy. And, with Lady Mae conveniently on hand to weigh in, with a characteristically charming and convincingly eloquent vote of support, Harry’s plan ultimately paid off. Still, despite her efforts to help his cause, Lady Mae also warned Harry that the transition to operating a publicly traded company could have an impact on his family as well.

That message was especially poignant given that it coincided with Rosalie’s entrance into society, but it’s likely that Rose could be the one to feel the increased attention most acutely. Following so many of Harry’s misadventures, we were reminded this week of Rose’s own actions when Lois informed her that Roderick’s exhibition in Paris had been a great success. While Lois seemed pleased that the portrait had gained value, the brief moment was a reminder that Roddy has yet to deliver on the promise (or was it a threat?) that Rose would see him again. With any luck, we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

– Kate Shepherd

WATCH A PREVIEW OF THE NEXT EPISODE:

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Mr. Perez (TIMOTHY WATSON), Kitty Hawkins (AMY BETH HAYES), Miss Mardle (AMANDA ABBINGTON), Miss Ravilious (ANNA MADELEY) Selfridge’s employees gather in the Palm Court Restaurant for a seance, at the behest of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.[/caption]

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Lois Selfridge (KIKA MARKHAM), Rose Selfridge (FRANCIS O'CONNOR)

Both the Selfridge women attended the seance, but though Rose was unmoved, the experience didn’t sit well with Lois.

Back on the sales floor, Kitty was chuffed to have caught the attention of Frank Edwards before his interview with Sir Arthur, and when she received a mysterious box of chocolates and a note, she immediately suspected him. Already dreaming of life as Mrs. Edwards, Kitty went to meet her secret admirer only to find out that the note had actually been sent by a smitten George Towler. Although riled at first, Kitty came around quickly and was a good sport about the mix-up – not something we’ve come to expect from the occasionally haughty sales assistant.

And we saw some more of Kitty and Doris this week when they ran into a down-on-her-luck Miss Bunting, who they found to be struggling since her dismissal from Selfridge’s. Usually relegated to the role of Kitty’s shadow, Doris’s kind nature came to the fore this week, as she attempted to comfort her distraught former co-worker. In an attempt to help Miss Bunting, she made an appeal to Mr. Grove, hoping to secure a reference for the floundering woman, and managed to at least get his assurance that he’d discuss it with Mr. Selfridge himself. Hopefully her efforts aren’t too little, too late, but either way, Doris’s heart is in the right place.

For his part, Harry was newly inspired following his brush with death, and was grateful to Miss Ravilious for her deft handling of the suffragettes the week before. On her request, Agnes was transferred to the fashion department, leaving her senior position open for either Kitty or Doris. More than happy to moving on to fashion, Miss Towler made for a good fit in her new role. With her confidence bolstered,  and Victor otherwise occupied with his own ambitions, she finally made a move to suggest her interest in relationship with Henri beyond their successful working partnership.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Miss Mardle (AMANDA ABBINGTON)

Although Mr. Grove was keen to ignore the events at the seance, Miss Mardle took its message as a sign.

Mr. Selfridge Backspin S1E7: Kitty Hawkins (AMY BETH HAYES)

Kitty was pleasantly surprised by love letters and gifts from a mysterious gentleman, but was wrong about his identity.

Meanwhile, Harry was eager to take his company public, while securing funds to expand into the neighbouring buildings. However, with the banks dragging their heels, he found himself venting his frustrations and growing impatient with the rate at which the wheels of British finance turn. Proving himself to be invaluable once again, Mr. Crabb managed to get representatives from the bank to meet with Harry on his own terms. Once he had their ears, Harry merged his typically straightforward manner with an argument that appealed to their respect for legacy. And, with Lady Mae conveniently on hand to weigh in, with a characteristically charming and convincingly eloquent vote of support, Harry’s plan ultimately paid off. Still, despite her efforts to help his cause, Lady Mae also warned Harry that the transition to operating a publicly traded company could have an impact on his family as well.

That message was especially poignant given that it coincided with Rosalie’s entrance into society, but it’s likely that Rose could be the one to feel the increased attention most acutely. Following so many of Harry’s misadventures, we were reminded this week of Rose’s own actions when Lois informed her that Roderick’s exhibition in Paris had been a great success. While Lois seemed pleased that the portrait had gained value, the brief moment was a reminder that Roddy has yet to deliver on the promise (or was it a threat?) that Rose would see him again. With any luck, we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

– Kate Shepherd

WATCH A PREVIEW OF THE NEXT EPISODE:

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