The series finale of Mr Selfridge certainly did not make for cheery viewing as Harry’s wife, Rose, packed her bags and departed for Chicago with their family, leaving her forlorn husband burning the midnight oil in the deserted aisles of Selfridges.
Now, we all know the secrets the retail mastermind hides behind his beaming smile and widespread arms – a penchant for alcohol, a weakness for showgirls and a worrying fondness of gambling, not to mention that fraught childhood of his that keeps rearing its ugly head.
In light of his destructive after-hours antics, it’s looking likely that Harry’s inner demons are going to become increasingly public when he returns to our screens for series two… After all, this is the man who put himself in a coma after drunkenly careering around London in a stolen automobile. But will Rose and the family return? That’s the question on everyone’s lips and, while history tells us they were together until her death, marital bliss doesn’t exactly make for great television, does it?
So, will Rose come trotting back to her beloved, tail between her legs, or will viewers be treated to her spirited reincarnation – the woman who embarked on that ill-fated flirtation with Roddy Temple? We’re holding out our hopes for the latter – after all, Harry could do with a taste of his own medicine, even if that does mean enduring dreary footage of him sleazing his way around London in her absence.
And when Rose does (hopefully) make her grand return, Harry had better keep that wandering eye of his firmly in check. We have a feeling the Mrs Selfridge of series two won’t take another Ellen Love affair lying down.
Speaking of Ellen, she ended series one looking rather sheepish after publically humiliating Harry onstage in front of a royal audience, no less. So what can we expect from the resourceful Ms Love in series two? Now she’s graduated from showgirl to serious actress, will Hollywood beckon? She does, after all, have a weakness for outgoing Americans with megawatt grins…
If she does choose to remain in London – and on our screens – then can her relationship with odious Tony really stand the test of time? Lady Mae’s sneering former toyboy had a spring in his step at the end of last series after getting one over on Harry, but even in light of his very public humiliation, you don’t want to make an enemy of Mr Selfridge. So what will be the consequences for thespian plotters Ellen, Tony and Harry’s former friend, Frank? A lifetime ban from Selfridges, or something a little more serious…?
Meanwhile, inside Selfridges itself hearts were simultaneously won over and broken in the series finale. Spare a thought for poor Miss Mardle whose tear-jerking rejection by long-term love Mr Grove was enough to melt the hardest of hearts. The death of the chief of staff’s wife could have led to wedded bliss with his lover but instead he popped the question to bewildered shopgirl Doris, leaving poor Miss Mardle crying into her pillow. Thank goodness she had the good sense to reject his compensatory offer of picking up their seedy affair where they left off. Oh Mr Grove, you seemed like such a nice man – what a shame you turned out to be such a weasel.
Now, the pragmatic head of accessories is going to need something to take her mind off her recent woes, and what better way than concentrating on her budding friendship with her co-worker and former rival, Miss Ravillous. The pair ended series one by agreeing to attend a suffragette meeting together, and what better way to get over Mr Grove than channel her aggression into championing the rights of women? We hear active campaigner Lady Mae has a spot of time on her hands after young Victor rejected her offer of business, so the trio could get rather chummy in the next series.
And now we’re on the subject of Lady Mae, we reckon it’s high time we set our eyes on that ever-distant husband of hers, Lord Loxley. The man of the country has so far avoided his wife’s society gatherings, choosing instead to reside at their rural abode, but with his absence a subject of derision in Ellen Love’s play, it’s about time he made his long-overdue appearance on-screen, if only to save face.
But back to the ever evolving relationship web that is Selfridges department store and the woman so often at the centre of it – Agnes Towler. The doe-eyed young shop assistant has had men falling at her feet since the very first episode and plucky Victor has certainly put in the groundwork with their recurrent late-night rendezvous in the Palm Court restaurant.
But Ms Towler has been distracted of late by dashing creative director, Henri Leclair – and who can blame the girl for falling for that heady mix of irresistible charm, sultry French accent and perfectly coiffed barnet. But when she admitted to her ladieswear boss, Miss Ravillious, that the pair were not in love, we knew their relationship was toast and all of a sudden he had announced his plans to depart for New York to be with his glamorous former lover, Valerie – a decision that sent Agnes back into the arms of an enamoured Victor.
The last time we saw them, romance was in the air as they left the store arm in arm accompanied by some obligatory violin strings. So will Victor make a wife of Agnes? She seems pretty smitten by him but it’ll take a lot for ambitious Ms Towler to sacrifice her blossoming career and she certainly doesn’t enjoy being bossed about. Victor had better be on his best behaviour to match up to the dizzy heights of Henri’s chivalrous courtship.
So after taking a moment to grieve Mr Leclair’s departure, let’s move on to another budding romance – the unlikely coupling of Kitty and George Towler. In the final episode of the series, George finally plucked up the courage to ask Kitty out on a date – and she accepted. But with Agnes’ brother’s timid temperament and Kitty’s very vocal opinions on just about anything, we know who’ll be wearing the trousers if this relationship ever gets off the ground…
ITV have also informed us that series two will explore the repercussions that World War I has on the country (so far, so Downton) so be warned that your favourite young male characters will soon be departing for the trenches. Whether or not we’ll see any actual fighting remains to be seen, but we’re already fearing for poor George and Victor who will surely be packed off to Europe. And what will the war mean for Selfridges itself? Harry certainly didn’t bank on the threat of invasion when he shipped his family to England’s bustling capital. And what on earth will happen to the store’s ice cream counter in light of ration constrictions?
But while we’ve been entertained week-on-week by the goings-on inside the store, we’ve also enjoyed fleeting visits from one or two famous faces throughout history. First off French aviator Louis Bleriot jetted into the store, before visits from Anna Pavlova, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ernest Shackleton – and even King Edward VII himself. So who do we want to see browsing the aisles in series two?
Since we’ve had Sir Arthur – creator of the one and only Sherlock Holmes – how about J.M. Barrie, the man behind Peter Pan, or Beatrix Potter, the mastermind of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck? And now royalty have descended on Selfridges, surely it’s only a matter of time before politicians clamour at the doors – how about a shopping spree from Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith? If it could coincide with a visit from prominent suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, that really would make for some good telly…
So there you have it – you’ve made it to the bottom of our spurious predictions for series two, now it’s time to make your own: do you think Rose will return to a delinquent Harry or will his self-destruction ruin him beyond repair? Will Mr Grove live to regret his decision to marry Doris? Will dashing Henri ever return to our screens? And which famous figures do you want to see perusing the counters of Selfridges during the next series?
Share your thoughts in the comments box below…