We are three episodes into The White Queen now, how is everyone holding up? I know it seems episode after episode is ending in heartbreak for someone, but those are “the fortunes of war” as the Countess of Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) would put it. So, let’s break down episode 3: The Storm (sounds eerie right?)
So, episode three then. We open up to creepy Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) being all snoopy on crazy old King Henry, who remember is being kept prisoner in the tower. She fears fort what they are doing to Edward (Max Irons) who was last seen cuffed and being toted to Warwick castle to be his own cousins prisoner. I know I would fear for my husband if he was being kept captive by the people who were supposed to love him. Power is a funny thing that way, it makes you forget who you’re suppose to be loyal to. Clearly Lord Warwick (James Frain) and George, Duke of Clarence (David Oakes) don’t have much respect for family loyalty. Don’t fear too much for our handsome King Edward IV though, he’s a smart one and he knows how to get himself home safely… we hope.
Warwick’s demands to let Edward go are to simply dismiss the Rivers’ family and return to being the loyal (to Warwick) King that he once was, or let George take the throne. Not too big of demands huh? Well, Edward won’t stand for it. Ladies you might want to grab a hold of something to fan yourself with because an angry King is a HOT King. Makes me think we should tick off Max Irons more often if this is what we get in return.
Sorry, off topic. Back to the scheming Warwick, who despite Edwards contentment in his castle drinking his ale and eating his food while he rules his kingdom, now has a plan to put George on the throne which would make Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) Queen. But does she really want to be Queen? Now that she knows her marriage to the York brother was just a power play and nothing more it seems as though, a now pregnant, Daddy’s little girl is changing her tune. Applause to Lord Warwick for his quick thinking logic; first question out of his mouth after Isabel’s pregnancy announcement “Is it a boy?” – Dude… how is this poor young girl supposed to know. Sheesh! Father of the year award right here ladies and gentlemen.
Let’s trot on over to see what Lady Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale is up to shall we? Last we saw her she was filling her small sons head with her vision from God himself that he will be King Henry Tudor. Now she’s back home with her hubby Lord Henry Stafford (Michael Maloney) and slander the King with her wild accusations and stating they should “cut off his head” and be done with him. My question for Margy is simply this: Girl, have you seen this man? Who would want to cut off that beautiful head? But, we must also remember that Margaret is a bit heartless unless it directly concerns herself, and we see more on that later on in the episode.
For now she just rants and rants to dear old Stafford while he attempts to calm her, but it’s no use. She’s crazy, and I think he knows it. He also hints that he knows about her little, or rather quite large, crush on her once brother-in-law Jasper Tudor (Tom McKay) – not so sneaky Miss B.
Back to castle Warwick where the Neville girls are playing dress up with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robes. Anne (Faye Marsay) has ditched her fondness for Elizabeth and taken over the role of Daddy’s little girl, becoming more and more like her father as each day passes. She claims to hate the Queen for what she has done, but I’m not even sure at this point even Anne knows what she is talking about. It had to have been hard for such a young girl to watch all this go on around her without fully understanding the aspects of politics and war. Or at least that’s my opinion. In any case, the girls have seemed to swap roles. Isabel, who was once the one slandering Elizabeth and claiming she would be “a Queen of stone”, now doesn’t want anything to do with being Queen, but looks like Anne is lusting for it.
It’s time for Warwick and George to hit up parliament to get support to put George on the throne… but as you could guess that was never going to happen. Everyone has too much love for the young King Edward, and especially with the third York brother, Richard (Aneurin Barnard), who is loyal at the moment. So they get sent home packing and empty handed, but pissed off to boot. Once back and in the same room with the now smug Edward he explains that the only choice they have now is to kill him or release him. Please Warwick! Don’t kill the dreamy King!!
Nah, he goes free. Edward rides back to Elizabeth as fast as his beast of a horse will take him. Once back he explains that to save face Warwick “let him out for exercise” and Edward escaped. Although we know that he let him go because he really had no choice.
The chat when Edward gets back does not go as well as Elizabeth had hoped. She wants revenge for her brother John and her Father, but Edward will not punish his cousin and brother. Oh…? I know that Edward just wants to please everyone around him to keep the peace and all, but man he is way to gracious. Although I really don’t know the politics of that time and all that good stuff, so maybe he was making the right decision. Either way, Elizabeth is not pleased and the conversation ends in shouts and storm outs.
Merry Christmas everyone! It’s holiday time in court and George shuffles on back home accompanied by his wife Isabel and the rest of the Neville clan. This should make for a joyous holiday don’t ya think? Edward seems to think so. He must be quick to forgive or is just acting like it because he has nothing but love and warmth for his family who has schemed against and betrayed him. Elizabeth isn’t as warm to the Countess and her daughters, who are now going to be her new ladies in waiting. She talks, Countess retorts, Elizabeth yells, candles blow out… it’s all very scary, but thankfully for the young Neville girls it doesn’t last long. Elizabeth and her mother storm out of the room and head down to the festivities.
It might just be me, but judging by all of Jacquetta’s (Janet McTeer) facial expressions in this episode she is becoming more aware of her daughter’s gifts and I’m not sure if she thinks it’s a good thing or not. Elizabeth is getting a little scary. Hopefully she doesn’t let this witchy business of hers go too far…
So, the holidays in the York court are a lot like your typical dysfunctional families x-mas. There is sibling weirdness, which by the way I’m convinced that Elizabeth refuses to dance with Anthony (Ben Lamb) because in episode one he refused to play chess with her – payback Anthony… remember that.
There’s cousin rivalry and awkwardness between the mother-in-law. All the ingredients for a good old fashioned Christmas party. We see Elizabeth and Warwick interact for the first time since the whole kidnapping incident. It doesn’t go well needless to say. She makes it clear to him that she will never forgive him, or trust him for that matter. He doesn’t seem to phased by it, but why would the stone hearted king maker be intimidated by this commoner Queen?
So, as King how do we reward our betrayers? Why give them land of course! Something that Warwick says about George and Isabel being blessed with pregnancy and that they are hoping for a boy has given Elizabeth the need to have a boy. While this has always been a requirement to assure their safety on the throne, now more than ever she needs an heir for Edward and she’s resorted to asking for her mother’s witchy help. So it’s back to the river with the fishing lines. This time there is no need to wait to reel it in little by little, she reels the entire line in right away and tied to the other end is a spoon. A baby soon to be exact with a crown and a name etched into it. The name reads: “Edward” – naturally when you’re a witch and you pull a =n engraved baby spoon out of the river it means you will have a baby boy. I really want to know what is on the other end of the strings that she cuts and just lets float on into the river, never to be seen again…
So Elizabeth’s new baby spoon gets her all in the mood and she finds Edward to take to bed. Now, I know Elizabeth is all frisky to make a prince, but is there any reason for her putting little Anne in that awkward situation? She makes the poor girl undress her for crying out loud! Edward clearly has no problem with this either, unless it’s for the reason that Anne is moving too slow for his taste. I don’t blame Anne for running straight to daddy afterwards. She already has this disgust for these people, and then they don’t do anything to make it better. The sad thing about it is that the only reason Elizabeth is acting nasty towards the girls is for what their father did. It’s hardly their fault.
Well, now it wouldn’t be normal if there wasn’t some type of uprising going on, and now it’s time for another. This time it’s from some “nameless” man in favor of crazy King Henry. A pregnant Elizabeth pleads with Edward to stay with her, that she doesn’t trust this, but like he’s going to listen to Elizabeth… that would be the day! Instead he trudges off to battle yet again.
Jasper rides to Margaret to tell her of the war and tries to get Lord Stafford to help raise an army in favor of Margaret d’Anjou -former Queen of England. He declines, politely, until Margaret gets mouthy and then he raises his voice stating that “Edward is the better King”. What a prefect way to push his wife’s buttons. Once Margaret and Jasper are alone he reveals that it isn’t Margaret d’Anjou that has raised a rebellion against King Edward IV, it’s in fact Lord Warwick and George… again. They are pretending to be on Edward’s side, but they will turn on him and once and for all put George on the throne. Jasper seems to think that George’s rein will never last and next in line will be Henry, Margaret’s son and Jasper’s nephew. So of course Margaret wants to everything she can to assure that her son gets the throne. She tells Jasper that she will go to her brother and ask him to raise an army and fight alongside Jasper, since her husband will not.
She falsely warms up to her husband in order to get her way. She claims that she has wronged him and her mother and if he would just take her to Welles then she could mend things. He believes her intentions to be true and follows through. Poor Stafford. She barely even settles in before convincing her half brother Richard Welles that it is in his own best interest to fight against King Edward IV, and he accepts the challenge. Poor boy. Margaret just can’t leave any of these poor men be to live happy and healthy lives.. because she is a wicked schemer remember!
So now it’s time to fight. While the men are preparing for a battle, and Richard Welles is learning the true nature of this battle, the women and having a prayer party. All separate of course, but we get a nice montage of folded hands and bowed heads as they each pray for their loved ones to come home. Like I said, Richard is learning the true nature of all this, that he is not fighting for Lancaster, but he’s fighting essentially to put George on the throne. He decides on a whim that he can’t let this happen and he rushes off to the King to confess the treachery. Now we have our first moment where we had to gasp a utter the words “No! Edward no!!” – Richard was doing the right thing by warning the king, and instead of showing mercy Edward drives his sword right through the poor boy’s body. “*Sadface*
Everyone starts to get news of the Welles boy’s death, but it seems only some have compassion. All Elizabeth can think about is that she was right and Edward should’ve listened to her about Warwick and George, and all Margaret can think about as her mother is nearly drowning in her own tears is how Richard failed and Edward is still alive. However, when news comes of her own son being in possible danger because Jasper has to hide, she’s all gun-ho to get to him without thinking about how dangerous that may be. Being the amazingly compassionate and nice guy that he is, Henry tells his wife that they will ride to get her boy. He’s such a sweetie and doesn’t deserve what he has to put up with from Margaret.
So now that Edward knows what’s up with Warwick and George he has fled back to safety, and Anthony has fled to stop Warwick from going any further. Warwick decides they need to sail to Calais and raise another army there. Before they set sail, Elizabeth, her mother, and even little Princess Lizzie perform a bit of whistling magic to brew up a storm; hence the name of the episode. Maybe the addition of the whistling child is what did them in because this storm was quite the killer. I’m hoping Elizabeth’s intentions were just to slow them down to give Anthony and Edward some more time to fix things or whatever it is they were doing, but I wouldn’t put it past her if her intentions were to kill everyone on board. I’m convinced that if there is a bad time to go into labor, than the girls in The White Queen are going to find it. Isabel pops as the ship tosses and turns in the giant waves cause by the storm the Woodville’s have cooked up and what a better place to have a baby than on a cruise to Calais?
Margaret and Stafford finally reach little Henry Tudor, but the kid is stubborn and is determined to wait for his Uncle, whom may or may not be coming back. Again, Margaret’s wise husband is there for her when she begins to crumble. Her boys rejection of her hits hard, but he assures her that she can make him hers again. Only then to walk in on her just a little while later in the arms of Jasper Tudor after a steamy make out session that he clearly came back for before fleeing to France. They try to act like nothing is wrong, and poor sweet Stafford goes along with it.
Meanwhile on the ship being thrown around by Elizabeth’s rage, Anne has to assist her Mother in helping to turn the stuck baby inside of her sister because they will not make it to Calais after all. Seems they’ve stayed loyal to their King and instead shoot cannons at the now enemy ship. Things aren’t looking well for Isabel at this point with no midwife in sight and a stubborn baby who can’t seem to wiggle free.
Sadly we come to find that the baby has in fact died. Let me rephrase that: the baby boy has in fact died. But of course at this point I’m sure it did not matter to the now grieving Mother what the child was, he’s dead, and that is the only thing that he will ever be at this point.
While Edward is returning, Jasper is fleeing, and Isabel is grieving, there is a nice cold George that just knows how to lighten the mood. His opening line to his wife doesn’t install confidence in his abilities as a comforting husband: “I’m sorry for your loss” – I mean, hate to break it to ya buddy, but he’s your loss too. He was your son! Show some respect and sympathy for poor Isabel and the baby that may have survived if they hadn’t been pig headed and sailed off to Calais in the middle of a storm. But no. He simply leaves her with “We must have a son before she does” – in reference to Elizabeth now being pregnant again.
Episode two and three have now ended in tears, and I’m sure there are a lot more tears to come. Make sure to let us know what you thought of The White Queen episode three in the comments, and don’t forget to check back weekly for more recaps. Tune into The White Queen on Starz every Saturday at 9PM PT/ET.