I’m getting whiplash from the revolving Kings. This week, Edward (Max Irons) takes the crown back, Warwick (James Frain) and Henry Stafford (Michael Maloney) die, and the Brothers York make a dubious moral decision.
Let’s bitch it out…
We open up with King Henry back on the throne, but of course that does not last long. Edward and his brothers–both of them now that fair weather George (David Oakes) is back with the Yorks–lead their men into battle against Warwick. Meanwhile Margaret of Anjou (Veerle Baetens), with new daughter-in-law Anne (Faye Marsay) in tow, sails to England to reunite with her men. With all of these moving pieces, how do our women fare this go round? Let’s see:
• Queen Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson): She starts out hiding in the dungeon, which looks eerily like a recycled set from The Phantom of the Opera. As Edward goes back to war and no one (well, me) is quite sure of who’s in charge of England, Lizzie hides in the tower with her children. After a Lancastrian attack, she’s had enough and orders her brother to ambush them before they can regain strength. Welcome back to the “I am woman, hear me roar” party! When Warwick dies in battle, Elizabeth’s blood-written vengeance list goes from two names to one. Unfortunately, George is still lurking around and she’s having quite the time trying to get rid of him.
• Anne Neville: In an odd turn of events, Anne gets mentored by Margaret of Anjou after being married off to her son. Ironically, it is the strength Anne gained from being with Margaret that allows her to go against her in the end. When the Yorks massacre Margaret’s army, she tries to convince Richard (Aneurin Barnard) to turn against his brother, offering him the crown and Anne (which let’s be honest, Anne TOTALLY wants). But instead, she tells the Bad Queen that she has no right to give Anne away. It looks like from the googily eyes that Richard and Anne give each other, he will also make sure she’s brought back into the York fold instead of labeled a traitor. A big bonus for Anne: she lost a vile husband this week. A big bonus for us: there’s one less guy named Edward to worry about!
• Isabel Neville (Eleanor Tomlinson): Isabel continues to have the worst luck ever. When her father decides to switch alliances and marries Anne off to the opposition, Izzy watches the war wondering who to root for. If her father wins, that means she and her husband are traitors. If George wins, she will still be on opposing sides from Anne. At least Izzy is now 100% jaded, should make her a more interesting character moving forward.
• Margaret de Beaufort (Amanda Hale): Be careful what you wish for. After trying to manipulate her husband into taking his men into battle, he finally does…for the opposition. Henry’s put his lot in with the Yorks. As he says, “the King’s half mad, his wife’s a tyrant and she hates this country, and their son is vile.” Stop being so rational Henry! Unfortunately, Henry gets injured and on his death bed reveals Margaret of Anjou’s location to his wife and then begs her not to do anything! I’m sorry, have you never met your wife?!? We will miss you Henry, you deserved SO much better…
• At the end Edward and his brothers smother King Henry. I don’t know if it is going to be addressed, but in a show dictated by advancing the plot, there is a good opportunity for an ethical quandary here. Killing Henry could potentially save thousands more if it ends the Lancastrian right to the throne.
• I said last week the show must not have had the budget for battle scenes. Dear Lord, I wish that was true this week. Warwick’s death at the battle was ATROCIOUS. It looked like a high school kid pulled it together.
“I’ve seen heads on spikes looking healthier than you”-Margaret of Anjou
What did you think of this week’s battle?! Are you ready to pick a King and stick with him? If you’re counting, we’re down to two Henrys and one Edward.
The White Queen airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on STARZ