TV Review: The Royals (3×01) “Together with Remembrance of Ourselves”

THE SITUATION:

The monarchy searches for stability after publicly exposing Ted Pryce, head of security and Ophelia’s father, as King Simon’s killer and resulting in his death.

Cyrus is a Regular Bubble Boy

In an attempt to right a wrong, Helena is having King Simon’s bones exhumed so that they can prove Liam and Eleanor are Simon’s children, which would put the monarchy back in Liam’s hands. Instead of bones, Helena discovers a note that says, “GONE FISHIN.’” Turns out Cyrus had Simon cremated in order to prevent a DNA test from being done. Cyrus himself has locked himself in his rooms so they can’t use his DNA in its stead.

When he eventually comes out of his rooms, he’s moving around the castle in a bubble. He gets the news that Jeffrey Stewart is threatening to release footage of the Duchess admitting that she arranged for King Simon’s former girlfriend’s death. Instead of working against him, he wants to work with him. They meet in the tunnels, where Cyrus poses a deal: Stewart will release the video to show who the Queen and the Duchess really are (editing Cyrus out, of course), and Cyrus will give him a pile of money. In actuality, Cyrus has poisoned Stewart’s drink and proceeds to dump his body.

Destressing the Queen

The Queen is stressed and in need of some male attention. Rachel, who happens to be a dominatrix in her spare time, offers to arrange a service call for her. A man arrives at her door and she immediately launches into a speech about what she wants in a lover. Being as the young gentleman didn’t give us his name before they both stripped down, I’m assuming he’s actually the new Lord Chamberlain, not her hired escort. And so he is. The new Lord Chamberlain and Helena’s accidental lover is a young man named Spencer Hollingsbroke. The two agree to look past this first meeting so they can work together in a professional capacity.

Helena offers Ted’s former position, the head of security, to Mr. Hill. She’s aware of how protective he was of Eleanor. Before he even really accepts, she tasks him with finding out who started the #KingLiam movement. After having Wilhemina, friend to Liam and beginning of the #KingLiam movement, cornered by her security team, Helena meets with her in the subway. Impressed with her clever #KingLiam campaign, Helena invites her to talk about Liam at the palace the next day.

Liam and His Fight Club

At a late night talk show appearance, we discover that a #KingLiam movement is taking England by storm. The host brings the conversation to Ted’s death-by-mob and Liam gets quiet. When the host asks, “Why not let the courts decide the man’s fate?” Eleanor responds, “In that moment the people decided and justice was served.” She assures Liam that he wasn’t responsible for what happened to Ted, but Liam looks unconvinced.

Liam seems to be working out his issues by dressing like The O.C.’s Ryan Atwood. More on that later, apparently. The next morning he meets with Wilhemina over sugar cereals, providing us with a bunch of exposition about Ophelia’s role in the story. He attempted to get in touch with her, but she changed her phone number, closed her social media accounts, and moved without a forwarding address. I’m truly disappointed by how Ophelia faded out from this story; her relationships with Liam and Eleanor were well maintained, and it felt like there was more to come even after seeing her so briefly last season.

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the reason Liam has been dressing like season one Ryan Atwood is that he’s been partaking in a fight club to work out his emotions! After a rough match, he goes to a bar for a beer. A blonde girl that he seems to know pours one for him as he discusses the impact of taking someone else’s life. “I thought about you a lot, I should have done more for you,” he says, leaving us to wonder until next week who she is.

Eleanor and Jasper: Season Three Edition

Helena sets up a series of meetings for Eleanor with different brands to give her the opportunity to endorse British products. They need to change the messaging of the monarchy after they “engineered a public execution.” After breakfast, Eleanor notices Liam’s shady behavior, including a hint of a black eye. She says she’s holding Jasper responsible for the shadiness, which causes Jasper to beg Liam to stop what he’s doing. “I’m barely in her good graces as it is,” he says, regarding his current stance with the princess.

After every one of Eleanor’s meetings falls flat, Mr. Hill introduces her last meeting with Jasper 2.0. Jasper promises that he won’t take her for granted again and explains that her endorsements are important because she and her confidence inspire young girls and women. Eleanor decides to forgive him for everything and instructs him to ask her out that night.

Mr. Hill comes to talk to Eleanor about the new position and how he’d have to give up being her personal detail. She insists that he’s never let her down and gives her blessing. Mr. Hill then shows her the adorable video of Jasper celebrating in the tunnels after Eleanor forgave him. “Best keep him with Liam. He has a serious conflict of interest,” Eleanor says.

gif credit: thatonekimgirl.tumblr.com

Eleanor is dressed up and waiting in her room for Jasper when he arrives to ask her out. She agrees, but not tonight–she’s supposed to paint her room. He’s visibly frustrated, but game to play along with her. As he takes off his jacket and leaves for the paint, Eleanor implores him not to give up on her. While they’re painting, Jasper explains that he met with the makeup company Eleanor likes, and now they want to meet with her about endorsements. “People like you and so do I,” Jasper says, reiterating their earlier conversation.

The Good Prince Seems to be Alive

On a deserted island somewhere, Prince Robert seems to be re-enacting Cast Away. A helicopter sounds over his head. He reaches for a flare, but changes his mind–instead, he puts out his fire and hides as low as possible. Looks like the Crown Prince doesn’t want to be found.

This episode had everything we know and love in The Royals: a good amount of Eleanor-Jasper tension, hilarity and foul language with Helena, and a healthy dose of a shirtless Prince Liam. Exempting the info-dump about Ophelia, it served to remind us of what happened in the season finale–specifically with Ted–without rehashing everything too much. I’m curious to see where the relationship between Jasper and Eleanor goes, whether or not Liam will stop being in his fight club, and if we’ll ever be rid of Cyrus for good.

Episode Rating: 8/10.

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at bri@theyoungfolks.com. Twitter: @bri_lockhart