BBC ‘The Paradise’ episode 8

Okey dokey folkies, I apologise for the delay in getting this review up – I just didn’t have time to write it last night.

I decided to have a quick flick through Tumblr to see what people thought of The Paradise’s final episode. This is the main reaction I found: “OMG! My feels! asdfghjkljhgfdsa I. Can’t. Even.” So what exactly happened to create such a response? Well…

(Elaine Cassidy as Katherine and Joanna Vanderham as Denise.)

So, this week sees the Big Showdown between Denise and Katherine. Who does Moray choose?! Dun dun DUN! Katherine and Lord Glendenning ensure that the choice isn’t easy. When Moray and Denise are planning their Happily Ever After only 20 minutes into the episode, you know it’s not going to be plain sailing. Lord G. puts a spanner in the works when he tells Moray that he now owns the whole street, including The Paradise itself. Moray is greatly dismayed at this revelation, but Lord G. says that it hardly matters whose name the paperwork is in seeing as Moray will “soon be family”. The implication is that if Moray doesn’t marry Katherine, then Lord G. will destroy The Paradise. Ah… Katherine has finally realised where Moray’s affection lies and decides to confront Denise. Katherine says that if Denise marries Moray, then she, as the daughter of the man who now legally owns The Paradise, will ensure that Moray is ruined and that Mr Lovett is swiftly evicted from his property. Ouch. This leaves both Moray and Denise with an agonising decision to make. Will they risk everything for love? The writers keep us guessing until the last few minutes. We see young Arthur standing proudly outside The Paradise in his groomsman outfit, we see Katherine dressed in a bridal gown, walking downstairs, bouquet in hand, on the arm of her father… THEN, we see Moray suddenly run desperately through the shop, only stopping when he spies Denise in the courtyard. He walks up to her and kisses her. Just like that. They both smile. The end. 🙂

(Joanna Vanderham as Denise and Emun Elliott as Moray.)

Obviously, this ending leaves a rather large cliffhanger. Has Katherine just been abandoned at the altar? How will she and her father get revenge? Will Moray lose The Paradise? Of course, now we’ll have to wait until the next series for the answers. I was pleasantly surprised that Moray chose Denise over his beloved shop. I thought for an awful moment that he would marry Katherine in order to save The Paradise and then have to spend the majority of series 2 grovelling to Denise for her forgiveness. That he was able to put his love for a woman before his love for his business shows how much his character has grown and matured throughout the series. The Moray of episode 1 would never have done that.

Elsewhere in the episode, we have the Bradley Burroughs mystery coming to a head when his body is found in a river. This leads to Jonas being dismissed by Dudley. Did anyone else think that Jonas was going to throw himself off that bridge near the end? I’m glad he didn’t. I can’t help feeling sorry for him.

Also, Edmund Lovett and Miss Audrey are finally reunited! In a very sweet scene, Miss Audrey confesses that she is afraid of love. I think, judging by her kiss with Edmund, she may be able to overcome this fear at long last!

(Sarah Lancashire as Miss Audrey.)

So, what do I think will happen in the next series?

– Denise and Moray will have to face the world & the Glendennings and try to save The Paradise. I predict angsty struggles ahead.

– Crazy Katherine will plot her revenge. Mwahahahaha!

– Pauline will dither over whether she wants Sam or not and make more hapless attempts to win his attention.

Can’t wait!

Overall, I have really enjoyed watching The Paradise. Yes, it is very fluffy. Yes, Emun Elliott needs to learn that a seductive tone of voice doesn’t necessarily mean whispering. But, for light, uncomplicated viewing, with pretty costumes to drool over, it does the trick. I look forward to series 2.

I have just started to read the book on which The Paradise is (very loosely) based: Au Bonheur des Dames or The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola. I plan to review it when I’ve finished it. I’m interested to see how far the book and TV series are comparable. So far (roughly 100 pages in), they are rather different already…

(All photos ©BBC 2012.)