THE SITUATION: THE KING HAS BEEN STABBED
After an injured Simon is discovered, the family is put in protective custody until the palace is cleared. A reigning monarch must be sworn in while Simon’s fate hangs in the balance.
It Could Be You
Security brings the royal family through the secret passage to some sort of underground bunker, where Ted relays information about Simon’s attack and condition. He explains the agreement between Simon and himself, in which Ted let Simon go on walks alone, sparking some harsh criticism from Helena and Cyrus. The family descends into chaos and throws accusations at each other.
Throughout the chaos, Helena keeps her calm demeanor: “Want a purpose for the monarchy? I’ll give you one. To stand before a worried, confused, grieving people, and in the face of great tragedy, inspire them.” Uninspired by her mother’s speech, Eleanor demands to be let out. Jasper follows her, but Eleanor calls him out: “Someone here is lying, and you have quite a track record.”
Back at the Palace…
Helena does a live broadcast to inform England of Simon’s attack, calling on the support of the British people while putting the referendum on the back burner. Jasper breaks Eleanor out through the tunnels to go see Simon. “I’ll protect her with my life, you can fire me later,” Jasper radios to Ted once they’re discovered.
Cyrus As Red Herring, Probably
Cyrus cashes in on his James Holloway blackmail—in order to make sure his family and the rest of England stay in the dark about his affair with Cyrus and his drug problem, James has to provide Cyrus with an alibi. As much as I feel like Cyrus is too obvious a choice for Simon’s assailant, demanding an alibi and then vehemently promising you didn’t do it seems like a pretty guilty thing to do. To further this, he threatens Ophelia for informing the rest of the family about his nighttime stroll.
Eleanor Wins the Episode
After the hospital visit, Jasper exhibits tenderness towards Eleanor, lightly caressing her arm and saying he missed her. “You realize I have trust issues, right?” Jasper says that she has to trust someone sometime. “Sometime” isn’t now and “someone” isn’t going to be him—she hits her panic button and tosses his cufflink at him, accusing him of trying to kill her father because he’s in love with Helena. Regardless of the truth, she can’t afford unnecessary risks. BAM, ELEANOR, SUPER BITCH! I say, to paraphrase Scream.
Nothing Is As It Seems
Eleanor tells Helena that Jasper is in jail for sleeping with the queen. Helena attempts to spin it, claiming that she was doing Eleanor a favor, since there was obviously something going on between them. Liam enters the picture, bitching Eleanor out for her behavior and spinning her already tilting world the opposite way.
Don’t fret, Eleanor—Liam is playing Helena. He’s acting as the perfect prince regent so he can be sworn in and finish his father’s work in abolishing the monarchy. As he’s about to be sworn in, Cyrus busts in the room, claiming Liam and Eleanor’s illegitimacy. Helena slaps him, but doesn’t refute the claim. Liam isn’t the only one with a plan, however—Helena and Cyrus were working together in order to put Cyrus on the throne. Ugh, if there was ever a moment to abolish the monarchy, this would be it.
ON THE PLUS SIDE
The Royals did a fabulous job exploring the aftermath of an attack on the royal family—the family members’ reactions were varied and on point. Bonus points to Helena for her unwavering calm and Eleanor for her badass checkmate move against Jasper. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything shakes out during the rest of the season.
Episode Rating: 9/10
*gifs courtesy of tumblr