On this week’s episode of The Royals, everyone has updates to their love lives–some good, some not so good–and everyone has feelings about them.
Naked Tiger Run
Newcomer Rosie is nervous about her first day as Eleanor’s bodyguard, and it doesn’t look like Eleanor’s going to make it any easier for her. Rosie’s first task is keeping Eleanor safe at the Naked Tiger Run, where Eleanor is clad in a bikini and body paint and Rosie dons a onesie. They meet up with Sebastian and reaffirm that this meeting isn’t a date, despite the heavy flirting going on. To confirm this, Sebastian asks Eleanor how the breakup is going. She explains that she’s been thinking about how sudden it was, and how maybe with all the problems she and Jasper had, had they’re better off living separate lives.
Sebastian and Eleanor ditch Rosie and go to a restaurant that tries to turn them away. Sebastian then buys the restaurant and kicks out the rest of the clientele so the two can enjoy lunch. Since the media found out about the change of ownership, Sebastian has racks of clothes brought in so that he and Eleanor can leave the place dressed normally. He also suggests that she could be a fashion designer full time, as well as being a princess.
When Eleanor and Sebastian return, they find Rosie crying in Mr. Hill’s office over losing the princess on her first day. Hill explains that losing Eleanor is basically a right of passage for any new bodyguard, and that the two of them should hereafter operate as a team. Eleanor hugs Rosie and insists that tomorrow is another day.
A New Love Triangle
Spencer opens the door to Helena’s suite in the morning, only to find that the Queen is MIA. Turns out she’s taking in views of Paris from Parker’s yacht. Later, she’s greeted by Spencer and Robert, who are clearly curious about her morning activities. She tells them it’s none of their business. Spencer is cranky about Helena bailing on her duties for the day, but she tells him she’s not going to apologize for having a good day somewhere else. “Selfishly, I had thought that you maybe had one of those good days with me,” he says. She reiterates that she’s not going to apologize and that she won’t walk on eggshells with him.
Helena goes on another date with Parker, during which he brings her to a developing building that overlooks the London skyline. Afterwards, Spencer attempts to resign his post as Lord Chamberlain. Helena refuses to acknowledge it, reminding him that he said he would take any version of her. The version of herself that she’s offering is friend, and she needs her friend. Spencer accuses Helena of twisting everything and pushing people away, but agrees not to quit.
Things Are Not Looking Up for Liam
Upon finding Liam’s shirt at Kathryn’s apartment, her sister Angie teases her about having two princes. Angie dons the shirt and starts taking selfies when the doorbell rings. Willow drops by to see Kathryn and is visibly thrown when she sees Liam’s monogram on the shirt. She mentions that she’s there about the Royal social media presence and takes her leave.
Liam apologizes to Robert for how he acted at the fight and explains where his head has been. With Robert gone, his life had developed a direction and meaning that it didn’t have previously, and it was hard giving that up. Robert apologizes for how he’s acted and promises that he’s going to help Liam when he returns from seeing Kathryn.
In a cafe, Kathryn is recognized by two royal fans as the girl who won Prince Robert’s time at the People’s Gala. As they’re taking a picture with her, Robert surprises them and they all selfie together. I think this moment is supposed to be charming, but it just reaffirms how smarmy Robert is. He discusses the possibility of giving up the throne to either Cyrus or Liam, which he thinks he could do depending on who he’s growing old with.
Robert apologizes to Liam for not realizing what he had to give up. Since this entire thing should be about who the best monarch would be, Robert suggests they go to Helena and have her decide whether or not it’s Liam’s time to be King. Helena says no, that they have to be unified in their support of Robert. “I love you very much, but this is Robert’s time,” she insists. What a weird thing to have to settle for your children. When Liam leaves, Helena upbraids Robert for putting her in that position and making her the villain. Robert insists he needed to so that he wasn’t the bad guy in Liam’s eyes. Helena agrees, but doesn’t respect his manipulation.
Jasper finds Liam moping at a bar and joins him for some shots. He tells him that maybe the photo of Kathryn, Robert, and the fans is just the push he needs to get over Kathryn, which prompts Liam to divulge that Eleanor went on a date with Sebastian. More shots are ordered.
“Nice pic you posted of Robert and his date,” Liam grouchily says to Willow who, by the way, never asked for this job. Willow calls him out on being a bad friend and not telling her that it was Kathryn he was dating. She said she wouldn’t be the girl who waits, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Liam insists that he never asked her to do that. Okay, there is SO MUCH MORE emotion between these two than there has been between Kathryn and either of her suitors. “Fine,” Willow says quietly. “Have a good night, Your Highness.” Seriously, William Moseley and Genevieve Gaunt need to have more scenes together, because they play off one another’s emotions so well.
Cyrus is meeting with a Shaman about cleansing his soul and healing his body. This Shaman is clearly a charlatan obsessed with getting paid, but Cyrus doesn’t care about price gouging as long as the Shaman can heal him. He brings Dame Cinnamon/Baroness Saffron back, along with a fox so he can drain its blood for Shaman purposes. Is this really a storyline we’re wasting airspace on? The fox bites him and runs away. A terrified Cyrus demands that Mr. Hill find the fox and kill it. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t happen, and Eleanor turns over to find the fox quietly sharing her bed.
Hill investigated the Shaman and found that he actually sells orthopedic shoes for a living, meaning he’s a straight up con man. Cyrus explains to Cinnamon/Saffron that he was so willing to believe in him because he doesn’t want to die. He swears that if the privy council votes against him, he’s going to shoot himself because the crown is all he has to live for.
Thankfully, this week brings us the return of Jasper. He’s broken into Harper’s apartment and is sitting next to her while she sleeps. She freaks out when she wakes up, but Jasper remains calm, threatening to tell her kid she used to run drugs for a sheikh. Tom Austen does an excellent job balancing this blackmail with an oddly non-threatening vibe. Jasper strikes a deal with Harper: if he can deliver an even bigger story, she’ll bury the Jaspenor tale. Considering how often he’s wished for a do-over in his past, he wants to give her a second chance.
Jasper goes to see Brandon Boone, the man who was tasked with killing Prince Robert. The two men greet each other with guns drawn. Jasper brings Brandon down to meet Harper. Brandon checks to see if she’s wearing a wire with a pat down, then whispers to her that he knew she wasn’t. This is VILE. Thankfully, Jasper throws him back down in his seat and puts the gun to his head. “The man who killed the last King of England hired me to kill the next King of England,” Brandon explains by way of introduction.
After the interview, Harper insists that the story means nothing without proof. This is a great point, but also, did she have proof of the relationship between Jasper and Eleanor? Regardless, he says he’ll have proof for her shortly. Brandon asks what Jasper is going to get out of this, and he says silence for him and Eleanor. At the mention of the princess’s name, Brandon’s attitude softens. He says to tell her hello, and that Jasper’s motivations seem to be out of love rather than vengeance. He also says that there’s something more Jasper needs to know about the situation.
Jasper delivers the flash drive to Harper. She promises that the Jaspenor file will be destroyed if the proof exists on that drive. Jasper has one last request before they go–he asks that she look into Sebastian’s history.
This week’s episode of The Royals was definitely an improvement over last week’s, despite everyone still having rather separate storylines. There were several important relationship developments, though not all happy, including Eleanor and Sebastian’s, Helena and Spencer’s, and the Henstridge brothers. I don’t think it hurts that this week’s episode had less to do with Robert’s return; I feel like that focus has been dragging the plot down a little bit. As we get closer to the end of the season, The Royals is taking a turn for the better–and you know Mark Schwahn won’t pull any punches for the finale.
Episode Rating: 8/10