Well, Denise didn’t invent anything. In fact, Denise didn’t really get up to much at all, since the return of The Paradise seemed to be a lot more about everyone else than about our super-heroine shop assistant.
Katherine, now married and oddly anxious to restore The Paradise’s fortunes, allowed Moray back from exile (it’s not entirely clear to me how Lord Glendenning managed to exile him anyway, but never mind) and announced that she was over all the unpleasantness, since it was of course “a ridiculous notion to think (she) could marry a shopkeeper, be at war with a showgirl.”
Katherine’s evil new husband Ben Daniels was less than convinced about just how over it she was, however, and battled jealousy, PTSD, war wounds and a moustache that clashed dreadfully with his hat, as he tried to press on with the sale of the store.
Miss Audrey reminded us she had no intention of giving up her career for a man then, I think, changed her mind after a mean girl remark from Myrtle the ridiculously annoying and in no way amusing – disabuse yourselves of that notion, Paradise writers – new canteen assistant who seemed to have more screen time than everyone else combined.
And Clara was quietly great.
Which is not to say Denise had nothing at all to do. On the shipping front, she listened to a lot of declarations of love from Moray, all of which sounded incredibly weird and creepy because the chemistry there was between them in season 1 seems to have been snuffed out entirely. On the Katherine front, she made friends with the stepdaughter. And on the restoration of The Paradise front, she was – of course – the only one smart enough to rumble the saboteur and save the day. (Okay, that last one was very season 1 Denise.)
All in all, this seemed to be much more of an ensemble affair than last year’s; more Lark Rise to Candleford than anything else, which might work for Mr Selfridge because it has a compelling ensemble (far more compelling than the titular character) but doesn’t really work for The Paradise because it, um, doesn’t. Miss Audrey’s going, Clara doesn’t have enough to do, and everybody else who has been promoted to having their own sub-plots is not that interesting. Watching this episode was like putting a doily on the mantelpiece: it’s inoffensive but somewhat unnecessary. I may watch again, I may not. Either way, I don’t see me being inspired to write weekly reviews, but comments on the rest of the season are welcome on this thread.