TV Review: The Royals (2×04) “What, Has This Thing Appear’d Again Tonight?”

RoyalsS2TopTHE SITUATION: Makin’ Changes

Our royal friends are making some changes in their lives this week. Helena reconnects to her remaining children, Eleanor gets closer (as in, a lot closer) to Mandy, and Liam starts acting like the king everyone knows he can be. Oh, and Cyrus goes off the rails.

A King Unhinged

Touched by Violet’s kindness, he invites her to stay with him–but only if she wants. Cyrus is almost becoming a human! That is, until he sees Helena’s broadcast announcing the dedication of King Simon’s memorial and he destroys his brother’s portrait. He later demands that all currency sporting Simon’s face be destroyed and replaced, so we’ve officially entered the crazy place. Cyrus is offended that Violet picked up the currency, though she did stack it facing down so that he didn’t have to see his face.

Thanks to an idea inspired by Nigel Moorefield, Cyrus cancels the unveiling of Simon’s monument as a way to be “fair” to anti-royalists. Helena is livid; she declares Cyrus a dead man walking and says he better not stand in the way. Liam has a different reaction upon seeing Cyrus’s broadcast. He goes to the memorial and announces that he agrees with Cyrus’s spirit, but found him insincere. He requests that everyone remember Simon’s belief in their country and unveils the monument himself, drawing Cyrus’s ire.  

Cyrus has one last bastardly moment in the episode after drinking a river of whiskey, he drives through Simon’s memorial, shattering the whole thing. A few people try to stop him from walking away from the scene of his crime, so he drunkenly yells at them: “You don’t like me? I don’t have to like you either,” he shouts, echoing Violet’s argument about people needing to follow him regardless.

Eleanor’s New Friend Gets Friendlier

“Most of the time, if you’re aware of the problem, you can fix the problem,” James says, delivering some wisdom to Eleanor after she declares herself a hot mess at breakfast. He suggests reconnecting with friends, so she contacts her new friend Mandy for a day of running away from her new bodyguard.

tumblr_nz2b56vcxB1uqzvfpo2_500Eleanor has declared #guyiatus (ironicaly) to Mandy, choosing to enjoy drugs and booze over boys. Mandy sympathizes with Eleanor’s feelings of constantly disappointing someone. At the end of the day, Eleanor realizes just how much fun she had kicking around touristy sites with Mandy. Mandy kisses her and Eleanor pulls, but doesn’t make it weird. She has a feeling that Mandy will be really important to her.

A Family Portrait

Eleanor discovers Liam and Helena looking for her stash, which she hands over so Helena can smoke up. Helena explains that she thought she knew what life would be like for them, but didn’t predict how isolating their lives would be. She says that both of them have Simon’s strength and tenacity, and that they all need to follow Simon’s advice and get through this with love and help each other. She’s proud of Liam for his actions at the memorial.

Eleanor returns to her room to find Mandy in her bed. She has a change of heart and the two hook up. Mandy leaves Eleanor asleep in her bed to explore the castle. Jasper confronts Mandy: “What are you doing here, Samantha?” Because OBVIOUSLY she’s not who she said she is. Mandy/Samantha explains that she’s there to finish what they started, and the two make out. Can’t wait for that explanation!

Helena asks Lucius to deliver a letter to Alistair Lacey; since she told her kids to listen to love, she needs to as well. She asks him if she can trust him, which puts him into quite a situation because he gave the kill order for Lacey at the end of last season. That is going to be awkward.

Sister Lookalikes No More

The plastic surgeons’ efforts have turned Princess Maribel into a leggy blonde model. Anti-royalist Nigel Moorefield approaches Helena about quitting his games with Cyrus’s kids, as one of them is too dumb and who knows what the other will look like? How scummy of him. He changes his tune when he sees Maribel’s new look.

The Team Expands

With Liam’s assent, Jasper brings the symbol necklace to Ted, who brings out the card with the matching symbol to compare. When he flips the card over and shines a black light on top of it, he reveals an address that is familiar to him and the specter of his dead wife. Yup, she’s back!

Ted’s dead wife leads him into a memory. Turns out someone shot at Simon that museum address years ago. Ted protected Simon, leaving his wife to get shot. When he shakes himself out of the memory, he sees the symbol projected onto the floor of the museum with “YOU ARE NOT ALONE,” written below it.

Ted meets up with a man involved in the organization. He warns him away from the situation–after all, one of his family members is already dead because of it. The guy delivers a quasi-surprising line: “I didn’t kill the King of England. We both know you did.”


  • Jasper’s Soccer Skills
    Jasper joins Liam and his buds while they play soccer. The scene is fairly useless (besides some comic relief in Liam’s friend being very attracted to the bodyguard), but it showed us more of the burgeoning Liam/Jasper bromance.  
  • Prudence Appears Again
    Before Cyrus smashes Simon’s memorial in a fantastic display of drunk driving, Cyrus goes to visit Prudence and confirm that she’s having a boy. I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing, but I did like her sass.
  • James Proves Worthy
    Eleanor jokingly apologizes to James for giving him the slip–after all, it’s just like an initiation for her bodyguards. James doesn’t take it to heart and then gives her a rundown of the places she went to, proving he is way more on top of things than literally any royal security we’ve seen yet. James is the best bodyguard.


  • Violet Makes a Move
    After Cyrus demands to know why Violet is wasting her time with him, she strips down, claiming to find him attractive and leaves him staring after her openmouthed. I was truly hoping that they wouldn’t turn their relationship into something sexual.
  • Ted is Still Seeing His Dead Wife
    That can’t be healthy.

There were some interesting developments in this week’s episode of The Royals. The Mandy/Eleanor storyline was predictable on all sides–hook up and her lying about her identity included. Queen Helena’s come-to-Jesus moment with her children was long overdue. I hope that the three of them join forces to take down their slightly psychotic uncle soon.

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