This week’s episode of The Paradise is majorly angsty for Moray, Clara, Katherine and Miss Audrey, and there is minor angst for pretty much everyone else.
First, we have Miss Audrey (Sarah Lancashire), who collapses in Ladieswear with a sudden and mysterious illness. Despite her protestations, Moray (Emun Elliott) orders her to stay in bed for a week and appoints Denise (Joanna Vanderham) as deputy. Clara (Sonya Cassidy) is peeved, and it looks as if her and Denise’s new-found friendship may be in jeopardy. Clara resents the fact that Denise, the ‘new girl’, is in charge and clearly has Moray’s favour. Moray publically calls Denise his ‘little champion’, which irritates both Clara and Miss Audrey. Clara tells Denise bitterly that although she may be Moray’s favourite, she can ‘never have him’ as she’s ‘just a shop girl’. We shall see, Clara, we shall see… Clara tries to improve her standing with Moray by practically throwing herself at him in his office. She tells him that although he could never love her as he did his wife, she could give him ‘a little comfort for one night’. The two start to kiss, but are interrupted by a knock on the door, which brings Moray to his senses and he tells Clara to leave. I’m sure that this rejection will do nothing to improve Clara’s generally foul temper. One thing I find interesting is that Clara tells Moray that they ‘share a bond’ seeing as they’ve both lost someone they love – Clara had to give up her child and Moray’s wife died. So, Moray clearly already knew about Grace, but does he know who the father is? Why was Clara not dismissed when she got pregnant?
The general consensus among the staff is that Moray’s brooding mood this week is down to a) grief (again) over his wife’s death and b) the fact that Katherine Glendenning (Elaine Cassidy) is being courted by Peter Adler (Mark Bonnar). Who knows what Moray is really thinking? He seems less than happy when he bumps into Katherine at the beginning of the episode but is he really jealous of her new relationship with Peter? He never appeared to be that keen on Katherine before, so I can’t understand why he seems so upset that she has apparently moved on. Perhaps he feels some guilt over his wife’s death? Perhaps he was involved somehow in her demise? In the first episode of The Paradise, Clara hinted that there is more to the story of Mrs Moray’s death than meets the eye. Maybe there’ll be a dramatic revelation later in the series – my bet is on the penultimate or last episode.
As for Katherine, she is not as enamoured with Peter Adler as she would have Moray believe. Peter recognises that Katherine is ‘trying very hard’ to like him, but is really just going through the motions of courtship. Still, he believes that, with time, Katherine will come to love him. Lord Glendenning (Patrick Malahide) is not so sure – he (correctly) believes that Katherine is still in love with Moray, and at the end of the episode, Katherine confesses it to be true. She breaks off her understanding with a heartbroken Peter, and hopes that she and Moray will soon be reunited. I am sorry that Katherine broke up with Peter – I think her infatuation with Moray is foolish, and Peter is a good man. Oh well.
And now to Denise. She is initially apprehensive at taking charge of Ladieswear, but takes the challenge in her strides. She manages to impress an eminent customer, despite Clara’s attempts at making trouble. Of course there are a number of scenes with Denise and Moray together. They have one of their usual nighttime chats by the shop stairs, which is a perfect opportunity for Moray to whisper to Denise. Yet again.
In the end, it is Denise’s uncle, Edmund Lovett who figures out the cause of Miss Audrey’s malady: she is distressed at the thought of getting older, and of losing favour with Moray to Denise. This leads to three sweet scenes:
1) Edmund Lovett visits Miss Audrey at her sickbed, and brings her a box of Turkish Delights, which apparently he used to do when they were young.
2) Moray also visits Miss Audrey and tells her that she is a valuable asset to the shop and the Ladieswear department would fall apart without her authority. That cheers Miss A. up considerably and she is out of bed to reclaim her place like a shot.
3) Denise tells Moray that it is Miss Audrey’s birthday soon, and so the staff organise a surprise party for her on the shop floor. Miss Audrey is delighted at the attention, and even more so when Moray asks her to dance with her. (He may have spent the dance gazing longingly at Denise, oh FMOHB (see last week’s review for definition), but I suppose it’s the though that counts, and I don’t think Miss Audrey noticed.
Filled with renewed vigour, Miss Audrey confronts Denise and once again tells her that she is not to tell Moray any more of her Big Ideas. Nor is she to seek his attention in any way. From now on, all of Denise’s inevitable Big Ideas will reach Moray’s ears by Miss Audrey. We’ll see how long that lasts… …
Another enjoyable episode. Romantic entanglements have got a lot stickier and I look forward to seeing how they develop over the course of the next 4 weeks. Until next time. Au revoir.
(All photos ©BBC 2012.)