Long Live The King … Again!

This episode was a lot better than any I’ve seen since the pilot. the drama and action were balanced properly with actual fighting in this one. Yes, you read correctly, we actually see fighting. None of this marching off to war, a few shouts, a quick ruffle of the hair, then march back in three minutes later announcing victory. Nope, we had swordplay and lots of very fake blood.

What is looking interesting is Warwicks daughters. They were acting like silly little girls not so long ago, now they appear to actually threaten our White Queen, and she clearly doesn’t like it. I can just see the spells being cast next episode to cause some nastiness to Anne or Isabel. I know we’ve heard of Anne’s new husband, Prince of Wales, being spoken of as vile and disgusting, but I didn’t actually hear why. No one liked him but it wasn’t only because of Margaret of Anjou being his mother. She called herself “twice damned” by the Yorkists. Once for ruling while her husband could not, and twice for being French.

We saw at the end of last episode (4), the Dowager and Jacquetta Woodville (Janet McTeer) talk of getting George back on their side by promising him safe passage, and forgiveness if he returned to aide his brother King Edward (Max Irons). He does just that but Isabel is upset because now her loyalties are divided yet again, thanks to The Kingmaker jumping from one cause, to the next. She tells Warwick she wont be a spy for him any longer. Margaret is up to her usual nonsense, with her always going against her poor faithful husband, Henry Stafford, but he finally makes a stand by telling her he is off to fight for the Yorks, against the Lancastrians. Lady Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) is very unhappy at this news, so vows not to pray for him as he goes off to war.

Lord Warwick (James Frain) is waiting at the battlefield with his men, he jumps off his horse and swears an oath to them, stating that he will stand and fight to the last man. King Edward and his men, including George, Henry Stafford and Richard Duke of Gloucester (Aneurin Barnard, who actually gets to perform in several good scenes), sneak up while it’s very foggy, and take the enemy by surprise. A battle ensues, and Warwick is finally slain after fighting very bravely. The King is visibly upset at his cousin’s demise, as is Richard, for they all grew up together. Now Warwicks youngest daughter Anne Neville (Faye Marsay) is stuck with Margaret of Anjou’s (Veerle Baetens) and her new husband, at an unpassable stream, swollen because of the rain. Margarette orders her son to make ready, to fight the oncoming King Edward.

A messenger arrives at Henry Stafford’s home with bad news for Margarette. He is seriously wounded and is unfit for travel. She insists on going to him at the battlefield, and on arrival she is horrified at all the carnage. She arranges a cart to take Henry home but she first sends off a secret message to Jasper. Queen Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) is now safe again but she is seen giving a smirking George the evil eye, as she is not prepared to forgive him after his deception. There is a surprise ending which was a nice touch. I used to love that about Game of thrones, as they usually left you with a shocker, and finally The White Queen has it’s very own, and it’s none too shabby. Something that bothers me is the fact that they have a young Max Irons playing a King who is battling his way from one crises to the next, having kids, being imprisoned, but not once has he aged even a fraction. Such an oversight is not usually what we expect from the BBC or Starz, but along with Max Irons’ hair gel, it’s just another strange fact we have to get used to. As long as the iPhones stay hidden it should be OK.
I have added an AP Special instead of a trailer, of Rebecca Ferguson talking about the show. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

Grade: A

Review by E. Blackadder, special to Influx Magazine

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