*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. Do NOT continue reading if you haven't seen the final episode of Mr Selfridge series two*
Phew! What a series finale for Mr Selfridge. It had it all – love, war, sacrifice, scandal, imminent death... Since when was shopping so dramatic?
Now, first thing's first. Fans of the show can rest assured, there IS going to be a third series (hurrah!) but while tonight's events left off in the midst of the First World War, the return of Mr Selfridge will see events jump forward to 1919, and it doesn't look good for poor Harry...
According to the series' executive producer Kate Lewis, the story will resume at "the point at which his life really begins to unravel". And there were we thinking (OK, hoping) he'd moved past his gambling, drunken, Ellen Love days. So, where will we be come 1919, a time when cash was flowing and the store was prospering? We thought it was high time we made some spurious predictions – and found out what YOU want to happen – when the department store drama strolls back onto our screens next year...
First up, Harry. We have a sinking feeling the toothy grin will be on the wane after the sad (but hardly unexpected) news that an off-colour Rose is nearing death's door (cough + doctors + many worried expressions = you do the maths). Fast-forward to the end of the decade and we reckon it's safe to assume Harry is a widower and not coping with it too well. With the love of his life now six feet under, will he decline any ill-advised affairs with socially ambitious showgirls? Will he be able to stay off the bottle? Will his friends coax him away from that unfortunate gambling habit of his. Our best bet is NO.
From now on we reckon there will be less of this...
... and more of this:
But while Harry and Rose's story has a sad ending, Henri and Agnes did – FINALLY – admit their feelings for one another. (Did it really need poor Victor to spell out Agnes' own feelings to her?) But as they clutched one another, doe-eyed Agnes making Henri promise he will return from fighting in France, we got that sinking feeling in our stomachs. Could the Great War claim another victim? George has been spared (for now), but will Agnes lose her man to the trenches? Did they really put us through all that build up only to pull the pair apart for good?
And speaking of the war, with years of fighting stretching out before them, who else will meet their maker before the third series? Those jobbing male actors must be quivering in their boots. With conscription on the horizon, Victor, Franco, Mr Groves, Mr Thackeray, Frank Edwards, even young Gordon Selfridge will all no doubt make their way to the front – but who will return?
Assuming he makes it home, we'd like to see Frank finally do the decent thing and walk Kitty down the aisle. By 1919 they could have plenty of mini Edwards speaking in ridiculously high-pitched voices, running around with notepads and charming their friends in the playground with devilish smiles.
One person with plenty more kiddies will no doubt be Mr Grove whose poor wife Doris seems to have no function beyond popping them out every year. Meanwhile, weasley Grove's former lover Miss Mardle (below) had better still be making puppy eyes at that lovely Florian when Selfridges returns. Dodgy Belgian accent aside, he's a dreamboat and it's high time the head of accessories hung onto a fella.
Over in fashion, Mr Thackeray will still be flouncing around his dresses with sour grapes, although we have faith his best customer will still be no-longer-Lady Mae after the Selfridges or Frank introduce her to her second, very wealthy husband (hopefully minus Loxley's evil tendencies).
Meanwhile upstairs, it looks like the Palm Court will be in need of a new manager with Victor eyeing up his own restaurant after Uncle Tony kicked the bucket. Does this mean farewell to the Italian Stallion? Yes, probably – although we rather like the idea of Victor snagging that nice Italian girl who kept making eyes at him before Agnes swooped in. And what about Franco? We can't quite see him stepping into his cousin's shoes, so will he follow him out the door? Not if the ladies of Selfridges get a say in it.
Another fresh face we've grown rather accustomed to is young Gordon. Heir to his father's retail empire, he's been cutting his teeth in the tea department (conveniently created for series two) alongside eager shopgirl Grace. Plenty of adorable flirting has not gone unnoticed and we're secretly hoping the two will have stepped it up a notch when we return to the store in a few years time.
So, there you have it. Our predictions. Now it's time for yours. 1919 is still far in the distant future (in Mr Selfridge land, at least) and a lot could happen. Will you miss Rose? What will become of grieving Harry? Will Agnes and Henri make it beyond the war? And should Frank and Kitty make it to "I do"? We want to know what YOU think so share your thoughts, hopes and speculations in the comments box below...
Mr Selfridge will return for series three next year