TV Review: The Royals (2×05) “The Spirit That I Have Seen”


Helena finds out the truth about Alistair, but then lies to her kids about their father’s murderer and is lied to by Cyrus. Mandy/Samantha continues lying to Eleanor. Things are quickly snowballing.

Cyrus and the Ghost of Brothers Past

Cyrus’s favor is kind to Violet; he gifts her with a new title (Lady of the Privy Chamber) and a new wardrobe for her new role at the palace. His happiness with Violet helps offset him seeing the specter of his dead brother all over the place. Cyrus complains about having spent his entire life in Simon’s shadow, but Simon isn’t feeling too bad. Instead of commanding respect, Cyrus lied and manipulated his way around the monarchy.

Cyrus has political cartoonist Levi Drew invited to the reception honoring artist Oscar Cabrow. Levi is surprised, considering his latest work was less than flattering towards the new king. Cyrus’s speech honoring Oscar takes quite the detour: “It’s time someone put the balls back on this throne, back on this country…if you want free speech, go to America.” He has Levi arrested and points out that fear is just as memorable as love to Simon’s ghost.

Helena, Betrayed

Lucius, fresh from delivering a letter to a dead man, tells Helena that Alistair’s house has been abandoned for months. He claims that Alistair was furious with her for using Henry’s name in the paternity scandal, something he didn’t tell her because of Simon’s death. Helena can tell Lucius is lying and tasks Ted with finding Alistair.

Ted found evidence that a gun was fired at Alistair’s, leading Helena to the grave conclusion that Alistair is dead. She traps Lucius into admitting that he gave the kill order for Alistair to protect her and the monarchy. Ted arrests him.

Ted explains that while Lucius can never get Helena back, there is something he can do to give closure to Helena, the kids, and the country. Lucius confesses to killing King Simon. Helena tells her children what conspired, but tells Cyrus the truth, which is annoying because he was the one who told Lucius to kill Alistair in the first place.

LenMandyWasn’t This a Dallas Storyline?

For anyone who cares: it was. Jasper demands to meet Mandy/Samantha in the secret tunnels. Turns out Mandy/Samantha got tired of hearing nothing from Jasper while he made no progress on their plan, so she decided to make some moves on her own. Jasper demands that she leaves because he just started earning their trust back.

Mandy/Samantha continues charming Eleanor. She gets our favorite princess to explain that she was involved in a messed up relationship with a bodyguard (that’s you, J!) and that he slept with her mother. Eleanor denies having any sorts of feelings for him. That’s okay, Len, we’ve all taken a dip in DENIAL before. Get it? Sorry, dad joke.

At Cyrus’s event, Eleanor shows up sporting a tie-dye dress with Mandy/Samantha on her arm. She makes sure to pose for the paparazzi, rubbing her new relationship in Helena’s face, but later regrets it and apologizes to Mandy for using her to annoy Helena. Mandy/Samantha is unconcerned; she just wants to know if she’s better than the bodyguard. Jasper is furious about Mandy/Samantha’s relationship with Eleanor; in addition to the jealousy, he now has to work overtime to hide Mandy/Samantha’s online profile. Mandy/Samantha calls Jasper out for being in love with Eleanor and avoiding their goal. That goal, by the way, is to steal the Koh-I-Noor diamond.

MandySamanthaDPM Raina Strikes Out Twice

Ted informs Helena that Cyrus is the one responsible for destroying Simon’s memorial, but that Royal Security didn’t make the situation go away. Turns out DPM Raina is responsible for the discretion, trying to put Cyrus in her debt so she can ensure the prime ministership. Cyrus doesn’t bite. DPM Raina claims that there will be a constitutional crisis if he doesn’t confirm her.

Take two: Raina tries her luck with Prince Liam, trying to connect with him over a mutual distaste for Cyrus. Liam is a lot smarter these days; he saw Raina arguing with his mother and chooses to remove himself from the situation rather than become a pawn again. Wilhemina dumps her drink on him, rescuing Liam from the conversation and leaving DPM Raina out of luck.


  • “You Can’t Tell Me You Haven’t Tasted the Rainbow,”
    Says the Duchess. She was an unexpected source of levity when Helena expresses her distaste for Eleanor’s new relationship being in the papers. She also provided some great advice for Len–if she really cares about Mandy/Samantha, she shouldn’t use her to get a rise out of Helena.
  • Introducing Wilhemina
    Well, sort of. Wilhemina’s return brought us some actual backstory: her mother was a viscount’s daughter who decided to choose love with a polo player over family obligation. Liam bonds with her over his mother doing the exact opposite as they stroll around, drinking champagne from the bottle. Though Liam expresses ennui over the monarchy situation, Wilhemina points out that Liam has the opportunity to inspire people and change the monarchy from the inside. Girl has a good head on her shoulders.


  • Jasper’s Getting Nervous
    Mandy/Samantha’s presence is putting the bodyguard ill at ease–especially since Ted mandated that everything Eleanor related is only James’s responsibilty, not his.
  • Why Is It Always a Ghost?
    Mark Schwann really loves this storyline, doesn’t he? Evil Cyrus seeing the ghost of his beloved brother hardcore echoes the One Tree Hill storyline where Evil Dan sees the ghost of his beloved brother, Keith.

This week’s episode brought some truths to light above the lies. The Royals has fairly good pacing, and I’m glad that stayed true in Helena’s discovery about Alistair. I hope that they deal with the Mandy/Samantha storyline just as quickly. However: why is there always a ghost?

Episode Rating: 6/10.

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