Death and witchcraft take center stage in this week’s The White Queen as we lose two main characters.
Let’s bitch it out…
We open with a scene that I wish I could unsee: King Edward (Max Irons) is hanging out with his harem of women, with Richard (Aneurin Barnard), Lord Stanley (Rupert Graves) and George (David Oakes) watching. The latter of whom is staring and stroking his dog like a creep (this is not a euphemism, there’s a real dog sitting on his lap). Oh, and Edward decides this is the appropriate time to make a toast to Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) who is upstairs in labor…again. Oh, and Edward got fat! In an effort to give a physical projection of the recent complacency of the Kingdom, Max Irons gets outfitted in a seriously ridiculous pregnancy belly that is so distracting it’s hard to follow the scene.
George proposes that it’s time for the York brothers to get back to their war-mongering roots and invade France. This way England can win back its disputed lands, and George even conveniently offers himself to serve as Regent of France. While originally Edward goes along with this plan, he ultimately goes behind his brothers’ backs and brokers a deal that will bring peace and allow Edward’s daughter to become Princess of France. Both George and Richard are livid, which introduces a fresh new dynamic since Richard has always been a staunch supporter of Edward.
Meanwhile, the Queen tells Anne (Faye Marsay) and Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) that she hopes they have “the same issue as our mothers.” Since their mother had two girls, Anne and Isabel are convinced the Queen put a curse on them against bearing any male heirs. When Isabel dies after childbirth (am I the only one who didn’t see that coming?!), George is convinced it is because of the curse. He’s by Isabel’s side as she dies and seems genuinely heartbroken when she passes. When Anne comes, George tells her “I think I grew to love her, I really think I did.” He says he’s sure the King will try to marry him off to keep him quiet about his belief that the queen murdered Izzy, but he promises Anne that he won’t remarry too soon (out of respect).
I am feeling all types of conflicted as to why I’m starting to warm up to George. It’s quite a big personality shift, but I mean, that’s not completely unheard of with this show. Let’s be honest: Izzy’s changed pretty dramatically nearly every episode, from meek and loyal to backstabbing and strong. Nonetheless, about five seconds later I’m off the couch screaming at the TV when George actually goes to Edward and asks him for a new wife! What a dick!
George goes off the deep end and once again goes way past the “treason” line. The King and Queen fear for their lives, so Edward obviously decides this is a great time to have an underground aqueduct-like masquerade ball with trees blocking everyone’s view (seriously, what a weird party, I don’t really get the vibe they’re going for here). When George arrives, the security guards just watch him as he rants away until finally someone yells to secure him. First thing Edward needs to do now is get a new protection detail. These guys are hacks.
George is officially tried for treason and sentenced to death. He selects to go by way of drowning in Malmsey wine – a final shot at Elizabeth in an effort to ruin her favorite drink. I have to say, this is all good to me because it was time for George to go. It was a bit like watching Groundhog’s Day, with his new attempt at taking over the Kingdom every episode…
Elsewhere, to protect Anne’s inheritance, Richard brings Lady Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) out of hiding to become a hostage in their home, so George can’t get his hands on her first. Although Anne has no love lost for the mom who abandoned her with the Lancasters, Lady Warwick strikes at her insecurities that Richard is only after the Warwick fortune himself and that he does not love her. In the end, Anne asks Richard if he in fact loves her and he hugs her in response, failing to answer the question. Hmmm…
There is one person that gets good news this week. Over in the castle, Lady Margaret (Amanda Hale) becomes the queen’s confidante, spy, and nursemaid after Elizabeth believes Margaret saved her child. When George dies, the King restores the title Earl of Richmond to Lady Margaret’s son. The episode closes with Margaret counting the number of coffins standing between Henry and the throne (five for those of you playing at home) .
- The scene where Cecily (Caroline Goodall) begs Edward to spare George’s life was surprisingly affecting. She’s obviously the worst mother in the world to Richard and Edward, saying, “Not George, of all of you.” However, she is clearly in genuine pain as she grabs Edward’s leg before being dragged across the floor begging. It’s so out of character
- Now that all our main characters are paired off, it’s interesting to see throughout the episode the different marital dynamics. I would love to watch these couples battle it out on The Amazing Race. Even those marriages that began from a place of convenience have developed into something approaching teamwork as the pairs share goals (George and Izzy) or perhaps mutual respect for the other’s abilities (Lady Margaret and Lord Stanley)
- I liked the unanswered questions surrounding Izzy’s death. Was is a natural death? Or was it really because of the curse? Did George kill her to get proof of Elizabeth’s witchcraft and a new wife?
What do you think? Did you laugh out loud the first time you saw Edward’s belly? Are you glad to be rid of George and Isabel? Who do you want to see go next? Sound off below!
The White Queen airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on STARZ