There’s a bit more Death than Love this week, as the episode’s title would suggest. So who’s on the receiving end of each descriptor?
Let’s bitch it out…
With this episode, Edward (Max Irons) demonstrates that being one half of the show’s main love story does not preclude him from whoring around. Stellar. Now that Edward is now King once more, all our women are trying to figure out what this means for their own futures, working to put themselves in the best position possible. Let’s see how they fare:
Queen Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson): This is not a good week for Lizzie. She is angry that Edward pardons Anne Neville (Faye Marsay) and allows the reunification of the two Neville sisters in Court. This is a step backwards in her Warwick family revenge plot. Honestly, it’s odd to me that she is so determined to have the women in Warwick’s life suffer, even after he is dead. She of all people should understand what it’s like to have your life laid out for you and circumstances being determined by decisions of the men around you
In other news, Elizabeth finds out she’s pregnant for the 329th time, and when she goes to tell her husband, she finds him in bed with another woman. Strangely, Elizabeth is convinced that Edward looks at this one “differently than all the others.” Which…okay. 1) Apparently this is an ongoing thing and 2) How can she possibly determine that? He was on her back in flagrante, not facing her. I guess a woman just knows?
However none of that compares to the most heartbreaking event of the week. SPOILER Elizabeth loses both Jacquetta (Janet McTeer) and her stillborn child at the same time. As her mother lays dying, Elizabeth brings the baby over and lays him on Jacquetta’s chest so they can go into the afterlife together. END SPOILERS
Anne Neville: Initially grateful that the King pardons her, Anne quickly discovers that her pardon is a plot to secure her fortune. Horrible George (David Oakes) is appointed her legal guardian and locks her inside the castle so he can control the entire Warwick fortune once Anne’s mother dies. Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) sucks as a sister and takes her husband’s side in a combination of selfishness, spite, and – I think – a little bit of naiveté.
After six months of isolation, Anne runs into Richard (Aneurin Barnard) and they begin a sweet pattern of clandestine rendezvous as he tries to help her. He eventually declares her love for her and they marry in secret. Anne expresses concern that he will also get her entire fortune, which I sincerely hope didn’t affect into his decision. We shall see…
Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale): In nicely contrasting parallel storylines, Margaret’s mother also dies this week. However in their final scene, Margaret’s mother talks about all the ways she’s intervened in Margaret’s life, which led to Margaret’s unhappy existence without her son or the man she loves. Now that her husband and mother are gone, Margaret redoubles her efforts to secure Henry’s place on the throne. She decides to marry into the York family, having her servant make inquiries to Richard as to whether he’d be interested. This leads to the funniest line of the night, when Anne finds out about the proposition, “Margaret Beaufort? But she’s ancient!”
While Richard declines, fortunately for us Lord Stanley (Rupert Graves), an “In Crowd” York supporter, accepts. He is fully aware and supportive of Margaret’s “long game” to get a Lancastrian King back on the throne. However, he has his own requirements for how it must be done, including living at Court and Margaret must serve as a lady for Queen Elizabeth in order to gain her trust. This is the first time since, well forever, that I’ve actually cared about a Margaret story line. With Margaret in the castle and a man that has the brains and strength to battle with her, this could get interesting
- I love that George had the audacity to tell Anne that she needs a guardian even though she is old enough to be a widow because she is “the widow of a traitor.” I’m sorry, didn’t you try to kill your brother two episodes ago? Are we just going to have no self-awareness then?
- Edward (to Elizabeth, the line would have been much better if it wasn’t post-adultery): What remains is my love for you. You are what sustains me in battle. You are my home.
- Richard (on how to sway George): Flattery always works, he responds to nothing more sophisticated than flattery.
- Jacquetta (to Elizabeth): Through you and your children I will have founded a line of Kings…and Queens too I think.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you as heartbroken as I am that the strongest woman on this show just left us? Are you looking forward to see Elizabeth and Margaret in the same place?
The White Queen airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on STARZ