The Men of Selfridges
Season two of Masterpiece Classic’s Mr. Selfridge is under way! As a companion piece to The Women of Selfridges, we thought we’d take a look at where Harry Selfridge and the other men of the series are now—and where they might be going. Amie Simon writes:
(Note: Contains season 1 spoilers, and minor spoilers from the season 2 premiere.)
The Master Showman, himself! Harry’s business life is always in order; it’s his personal life that he has trouble keeping together. His wandering eye got him into a lot of trouble in season one, particularly after he hooked up with actress Ellen Love. Ellen’s jealously and retaliation resulted in a car accident which endangered Harry’s life, and eventually, his marriage, with wife Rose leaving him alone London. And it looks like Harry hasn’t learned anything; in season two, he’s already been spotted with a pretty blonde, and who does he think he’s kidding? Closing “all their accounts” isn’t going keep him faithful to Rose. And if we may say so, Harry also needs to do some soul-searching and find a way to make amends with former BFF Henri this season.
Young Gordon dreamed of running Selfridges in season one, and not much has changed in season two: now 15, he was so keen to follow in dad’s footsteps that he quit school to take a job at the store. He probably didn’t expect Harry would start him in the loading dock—although he’s making the best of it by keeping his eye on some Union organizers and learning the ropes from George Towler.
Oh, Mr. Grove. Season one brought Chief of Staff Roger a lot of heartache. He watched his wife wither away from a long illness, and kept his romance with Miss Mardle a secret. Such a secret, in fact, that he moved right on to marrying Doris Millar after his wife passed, leaving Mardle wondering what the HECK happened. In season two, Grove seems to be having second thoughts about his choice, although it’s much too late for that! With three little ones and another one the way, Grove has become overwhelmed by family life, and it’s definitely affecting his ability to do his job.
In season one, Chief Accountant Mr. Crabb made sure everything stayed in order on the sidelines—even with Harry’s tendency to open up lines of credit for lots of pretty ladies. Season two sees Crabb doing pretty much the same thing, and also becoming a shoulder for Grove to cry on. In the premiere, Crabb offered Grove some stunningly sage advice: We must all learn to adapt! I hope we get to see more of Crabb this season, doling out all kinds of wisdom to Selfridges’ staff.
A new addition in season two, Mr. Thackeray has recently moved from Harrods to Selfridges to become the Head of Fashion, and his superior attitude and snooty mannerisms don’t make him very likeable. He’s immediately opposed to Harry’s decision to put Agnes Towler in charge of ALL department displays, and proceeds to first mock her, then throw her under the bus by burying her in extra work in the course of only one episode! Sure, Victor stood up for her, but if this continues, we’re not sure Agnes will be able to hold her own against this guy.
Handsome waiter Victor Colleano was under Lady Mae’s thumb in season one, and struggling with which desire was greater: for him to get money from a rich “benefactor” in order to open his own restaurant, or his feelings for Agnes. Things didn’t really work out as planned, but in season two, Victor now runs the Palm Court—along with a pretty young lady named Gabriella! It’s clear he still has strong feelings for Aggie, though. Season two is probably going to be a rocky one for this Victor.
Devastatingly gorgeous Frenchman Henri Leclair was Harry’s best friend and was responsible for Selfridge’s amazing window displays in season one, but departed for a new job opportunity in New York at the end of the season. Henri has mysteriously reappeared in season two, in dire straights, and very, very, VERY beardy. When approached by Rose, who offered help, a prideful Henri denied he needed any—but Harry should be able to talk some sense into him right? Besides, Agnes really needs some help with those displays … and against Thackeray’s jabs.
Journalist Frank Edwards was kind of a hot shot in season one, until he lost his job and Harry denied him employment at Selfridges, which resulted in Frank writing a scathing satiric play about Harry and his family. After taking off to unsuccessfully pen a novel in America, Frank is back in London in season two working as a newspaper writer and (mostly) groveling to Harry to forgive him. He’s also got a renewed interest in Kitty Hawkins, and boy is she making him work for it (as she should)! Frank better learn to behave this season.
Now that Lady Mae’s husband has returned from the country in season two, we can see why she was avoiding him. Smarmy Lord Loxley is running out of money, and has turned his frustrations about it to his wife, whom he treats horribly—first cutting off her line of credit at Selfridges, then verbally berating her, threatening her, and finally, hitting her. Augh! This guy needs to be ejected from London, ASAP. Fortunately, Lady Mae has Harry on her side. Anyone want to take bets on how long it is before Harry pays Loxley off to leave his wife alone for good?
And let’s not forget the other men of Selfridges! Agnes’s brother, George Towler, is poised to become a more important figure at Selfridges in season two by helping defend Harry against Union organizers, keeping Gordon from getting into too much trouble, and supporting his sister’s new career. Victor’s cousin, Franco Colleano, has taken Victor’s old job as a waiter at the Palm, and has already piqued the interest of the two new cosmetics girls, Grace and Jesse! And will we see a reappearance of Rose’s Bohemian artist friend, Roddy? Anything could happen at Selfridges!