TV Review: The Royals (3×04) “Our (Late) Dear Brother’s Death”

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Crown Prince Robert has officially returned. Now what?

Prince Robert Returns

Both Helena and Eleanor faint upon seeing Robert in the hallway. When they come around, all three of them hug on the couch, just in time to see a drug-addled Cyrus come through the door. “Daddy’s dead! Discuss,” Cyrus says, once they explain to him that he’s not a Robert lookalike. Hill welcomes him back with the files for his and his father’s murders. Over at Kathryn’s, Jasper interrupts Liam and Kathryn cuddling to send him back to the Palace. In sum: everyone is shocked and glad to see Robert.

At their family meeting, Helena instructs them all to carry out business as usual. The next day’s press conference will now be used to announce the results of the DNA test and Robert’s return. Robert jokingly chastises Liam for texting during his return, which, I find weird. He seems to be way too adjusted and jokey, considering he was just on a deserted island for a year.

In Robert’s room, Helena apologizes for having his things put in storage. A few questions leads Helena to explain her distance from Lucius, Alistair, and Simon before his death. When she leaves, he pulls out the security footage of Simon’s murder along with the #KingLiam sizzle reel. I don’t love the look on his face while he’s scrolling through all the #KingLiam comments.

Robert and the Bodyguard

Jasper bursts into Eleanor’s room while she and Robert are talking. Jasper and Eleanor awkwardly pretend that he’s looking for Liam and he exits. Eleanor discusses the incident with Liam. “Jaspenor isn’t the standard we-met-in-a-bar story,” she says, sharing her fears about Robert’s opinion of her relationship. Liam advises her to be natural and honest.

Hill, frustrated with Eleanor for using the security cameras to try to get Jasper’s attention, sends Jasper to talk to her. Eleanor apologizes for pretending that nothing was going on between them and asserts that she has nothing to hide with him. Jasper responds adorably and the two attempt to work out how they’ll introduce who he actually is to Robert. Unfortunately, when Robert walks in, he lands on saying, “‘Ello there guv’ner.” Eleanor awkwardly introduces him as the person who figured out Simon’s killer and her boyfriend.

Later, Jasper is upset about Robert’s comment about having high standards for his sister. Eleanor assures that everything went super well–after all, if it didn’t, he wouldn’t be there anymore. The two snuggle up on her bed in front of the TV, just like a normal couple. Later, Robert assures Eleanor that he’s happy that she’s happy with Jasper. However, the semantics of his statement won’t go unnoticed.

Robert and His Former Flame

At night, Robert takes Liam on one last adventure before the rest of the country finds out that he’s alive. Turns out that he’s bringing Liam to the pub to see Kathryn, which is weird. Why would he bring his little brother to inform his former secret girlfriend that he’s back from the dead? Unless he knows that they’re hooking up. Kathryn is understandably shocked. Robert assures Kathryn that he has no expectations, he just wanted to see her. When she gives Liam a polite hug, he assures that he’ll come back to talk to her later. When he returns, the two agree that they can’t see each other anymore and proceed to make out.

The Only Storyline That Doesn’t Directly Involve Robert: Meet Veruca

Enter Veruca Popplewell, Duchess of Essex and Cyrus’s ex-wife. She and Helena are excited to see each other as Veruca explains that she’s there to see Cyrus suffering from cancer. When Veruca finds Cyrus, she says that she’s there to make sure their girls will be taken care of in his will. Cyrus explains that Penelope won’t be queen since the DNA tests have confirmed Eleanor and Liam as Simon’s heirs–also, Robert has returned anyway. She’s disappointed that someone as underhanded as Cyrus would let himself be defeated by a prodigal son’s return and scientific proof. Her pep talk puts the spring back in Cyrus’s step. Unfortunately.

Robert and the Press

Helena takes a meeting with Crenshaw, who asks her about the twins’ paternity and a rumor that Robert is alive. He says that he’s giving her the opportunity to add a quote before he goes public with his story. Enter Robert, who offers Crenshaw an exclusive interview–if he holds off on publishing it until the press conference.

At the press conference, Helena announces Eleanor’s and Liam’s confirmed paternity. Enter Robert, who describes the accident and his life on the island to the press. Liam and Eleanor discuss how great it is to have him back. When someone asks Helena about how Cyrus feels about the line of succession, she’s unconcerned. “Cyrus knows his time has come and gone,” she says. Cyrus, who’s watching in his room, has a few words for Helena: “I’m back, bitch.”

This week’s episode of The Royals had a lot more going for it than last week’s. Robert’s return meant the setup for a ton of incoming drama. Everyone did a great job of reacting to Robert’s return–except Robert, I’d say, who has managed to convince me that there’s something completely sinister going on with him. I’m excited to see what the rest of this season has in store, especially because the preview for next week involves Eleanor’s former flame Beck returning and some fist fights. Woo!

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 Twitter: @bri_lockhart