TV Review: The Royals (2×03) “Is Not Something More Than Fantasy?”

RoyalsS2TopTHE SITUATION: Face-Off Central

This week: Eleanor vs. Beck, Liam vs. Ophelia, Helena vs. the Deputy Prime Minister, and Cyrus vs. British public opinion. Let’s see who comes out on top, shall we?

Way to Harsh Len’s Buzz, Beck

When an unhappy Beck notices Eleanor waking and baking after their tender night, he decides to take her on a trip. He brings her to a gorgeous country estate, which she’s not overly thrilled with–she wants the noise, not the quiet. Still, she enjoys Beck’s picnic–that is, until she makes a joke about an underground liquor cabinet and Beck gets serious about how much she’s drinking. She gets mad at the perceived intervention, but seems to get over it quickly.

Later, Eleanor sneaks out on a sleeping Beck to hit up a club. A blonde model named Mandy takes out a D’Throned paparazzi’s phone aimed at Eleanor, providing the basis for fast friendship. Eleanor discusses her situation with Beck and asks Mandy’s opinion. Mandy points out something important–if you’re sneaking out during the brand new all-about-the-sex-phase, there’s probably something wrong.

Eleanor returns to the country in the morning, where she and Beck recognize that they’re in opposite places in their lives. “What if this is who I am? You’re always telling me who I can be. What if this is me–this version? This loud, messy, shitshow princess?” Eleanor asks, explaining that he’s making her feel like she’s constantly disappointing him. They break up, ending their episode and a half stint. She leaves the estate, breaking down in front of the paparazzi outside.

EleanorBeckBreakLiam + Ophelia = ?

Now that I’ve resorted to paraphrasing Babysitters Club novel titles…Liam goes to find Ophelia in search of his lost happiness. He explains that he was trying to do the honorable thing last season, but notes that he shouldn’t have taken the choice away from her when he delivered her to her audition. Ophelia storms off when he says he misses her, claiming he’s not being fair.

Ophelia reveals that the other dancers avoided her when she arrived because her placement was due to a favor called in by the palace. She couldn’t stay there knowing that it wasn’t due to her talent, and she is offended that Liam didn’t think she could do it on her own. She requests that he leave again; she doesn’t want her life touched by any part of his world anymore.

Liam isn’t about to give up that easily. He turns around and goes to Ophelia’s apartment, where he gives an impassioned speech about how they can rebuild their relationship. Only they can’t, and when good guy Nick walks in, Liam understands why. Liam sincerely wishes them the best and takes his leave.

When Liam returns to London he decides to walk back on his own, which of course means he gets jumped and kidnapped. The good news is, his kidnappers are Ashok and his buds, so they’re just bringing Liam to a club. He’s reintroduced to Wilhemina, the waitress from the polo match who knew he was stalking Holloway. However, he goes home with another brunette and walk of shames it past the paparazzi in the morning.

Bad Bitch Face-Off

Round One: After the Deputy Prime Minister refuses her meeting, Helena busts into her office. She argues her point about Cyrus’s daughters not being fit to rule, which makes Deputy Prime Minister Raina (hereafter referred to as DPM Raina) claim that none of them are. She’s not here to make friends, she’s here to win. “The monarchy is simply a national exhibit, like going to the zoo or visiting an antiquated part of our history,” she says, making Helena threaten her Prime Ministership. DPM Raina is unshaken.

Helena appeals to Cyrus in the hope that he won’t approve the DPM Raina as PM. He scoffs–with how high her approval rating is with the public, he’d be crazy to go against her. Helena advises him not to worry about the public and only concern himself with the people who can actually stand to be around him.

Round Two: “You do understand we’re the same, you and I? We both employ the same tactics. The icey glare, so you never have to raise your voice. A little cleavage. A bat of the eyes, all to hide the fact that you’re the smartest person in the room and you’re about to get exactly what you want. The difference is, I’m in a more relevant position of power.” Raina explains. Helena argues that regardless, her name is forever, while the prime minister’s is always temporary. They’re at an impasse. Afterwards, Rachel agrees to help Helena blackmail members of parliament in order to get her way.

Bad News for Cyrus

Cyrus’s doctor gives him some bad news–the treatments aren’t working, so they’re going to have to remove a testicle. Noting Cyrus’s devastation, the doctor offers some testicular implant options. Cyrus chooses bull dog testicles for this prosthesis.

Cyrus attempts to gain public favor by visiting a soup kitchen, wearing expensive clothes and showing obvious disdain. He pledges that the monarchy will match any funds pledged by Parliament to better the United Kingdom. However, his efforts appear insincere to the general populace.

Cyrus insists on walking himself after his surgery, despite doctor’s orders. A maid named Violet assists him and talks about his recent discovery that he’s still unpopular with the people. Violet assures that she likes him and says who cares–even if they don’t like him, they still have to obey him.


  • Liam Understands He Took Ophelia’s Choice Away
    While I appreciated Liam’s sacrifice to make sure Ophelia didn’t give up her dreams for him, he did take her choice away. I’m glad that he cleared that up when he addressed their parting.
  • Reasons Helena Is Queen That Have Nothing to Do with Actual Royalty
    “Some low-rent deputy prime minister with a stick up her bum. She’s lucky she has the stick. Less room for my foot up there.” Bow. Down.


  • We Still Haven’t Seen Gemma
    As the person responsible for calling in the favor to Ophelia’s dance company, I’m surprised that Gemma hasn’t cropped up once yet. I hope she shows up again soon so that Liam and Ophelia find out what happened.
  • Is Marcus Gone for Good?
    Another country not heard from–did Marcus walk away from the monarchy for good?

Changing relationships, ahoy! While I agree with where Eleanor and Beck were left, I think it happened too fast considering they had just gotten together again. The developments between Liam and Ophelia were well executed and made sense. I’m curious about how they’ll eventually bring her back into the fold. I would watch Helena and Raina snark at each other forever, though I’d love it even more if they would align together on a badass lady team. All and all, a great episode that showed us some major shifts in relationships. I’m curious to see where this goes next week.

Episode Rating: 9/10.

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