This week on The Royals, they hold a royal charity auction–and each member of the royal family is up on the auction block. Let’s see what happens.
Helena Might Have a New Beau
Helena and Spencer (the Lord Chamberlain) have been sleeping together every night for the past week. They’re stealthy about it too; he gets dressed just in time to arrive in her room and brief her for the day with the rest of her staff. She’s not happy about being part of the charity auction; after all, she’s going to end up stuck with some peasant for an hour. That’s not what she said, but that’s pretty much what it sounded like.
Wealthy American investor Parker wins high tea with the Queen. He’s fascinated by the monarchy, specifically by Helena and her killer instincts. What started out as a tiresome chore becomes a surprisingly pleasant afternoon for Helena. Later that evening, they retire to her room for drinks. Spencer goes to meet her and is surprised–and maybe a little upset–to find her entertaining a male friend. Looks like this hookup meant more to him than it did to her…
Eleanor Makes a Friend…Or Two
After Eleanor dismisses her fifth bodyguard in two weeks, Mr. Hill asks her if this is about Jasper. She balks, but blows up her own spot as soon as she asks if he knows where Jasper is. Next in her schedule is a meeting with none other than Harper, the journalist who blackmailed Jasper in the first place. When she keeps harping on her personal life, Eleanor dismisses her. “I was nice the first two times,” she says, telling her that the interview is over and she can print whatever. I have a feeling we’ll see the ramifications of this meeting next week. Randomly, one of the bodyguards Eleanor had fired comes after her, but she’s saved by a girl who tackles the bodyguard to the ground.
Enter Prince Sebastian, a fellow royal who wins Eleanor’s game of croquet that afternoon. They realize that neither knows how to play croquet, so they kind of just walk around and get to know one another. Eleanor explains her trust issues, and that all of the work for the charity event has been a good distraction from her recent breakup. Sebastian promises her that it’ll get better. He explains that as seventh in line to his home throne, he wants to build a life beyond being royal and do something for the world–something that Eleanor can agreen on. Before they separate, Sebastian offers his number as a friend, confidant, or distraction. The two of them make for an interesting pair of friends, and I hope to see him more in the future.
Eleanor runs into Rosie, the girl who protected her earlier in the evening. She’s gracious and admits that she feels the most misplaced out of anyone there. Eleanor goes to Mr. Hill and requests that he hire Rosie as a bodyguard. After all, she’s done more to protect Eleanor than any of the recent hires did. She then asks if everything will be okay. As sad as it is to see Eleanor struggle with this breakup, it’s such great character development; rather than drugs and booze, she’s throwing herself into work and actually talking through her problems.
Cyrus’s Old Tricks
An older gentleman and a younger blonde named Cindy win Cyrus’s bourbon tasting, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in spending time with them. He takes one sip of bourbon and steps out of the room, giving Cindy the opportunity to come on to this man with a vial of cocaine. Turns out that older man is actually the lead Parliament member on the privy council in charge of determining who should be King of England. Cyrus plans on using the tape of him requesting to be spanked like a baby to blackmail him into choosing Cyrus. Turns out that Cindy is actually Dame Cinnamon, the prostitute Cyrus had knighted earlier in the season. For her efforts, she has demanded a title bump to Baroness Saffron. This blackmail scene isn’t new, and frankly, it’s getting old.
The Lead-Up to Brother vs. Brother
Helena chastises her firstborn son for not flirting with the women in attendance. They strike a deal: Helena will participate in the charity auction if Robert gives real consideration to her list of potential love interests for him. He agrees, though he’s more concerned with rigging the raffle drawing so that Kathryn wins the hour with him.
Willow greets Liam at the event and the two bond over their lackluster love lives. In an attempt to alter their current situations, Willow places her card in Liam’s raffle box. Willow will get a distraction in the form of her job, as Helena has decided to task her with the online reputations of the entire royal family. Her first task? Creating the list of potential love interests for Robert to review. Willow meets Robert and proceeds to ask him a series of questions that may sound like online dating profile questions, but are really just from the Hogwarts sorting hat quiz. She declares him Gryffindor. He says at least he’s not a Hufflepuff (dude), while Willow explains that she’s fiercely Ravenclaw. Not that I’d want these two anywhere near each other, but Willow and Robert’s scene had more wit and chemistry than literally any scene he’s had with Kathryn.
Willow doesn’t win Liam’s art gallery viewing; instead, it goes to a group of middle aged women, including Cyrus’s ex-wife. They all sexually harass Liam and grill him for details about what happened with Gemma. They all go wild when Liam admits that he wants to kick Robert’s ass in the fight, and I’m reminded about how well William Moseley plays the charming, flirtatious prince. His talents have been truly wasted by all of the moping they’ve had him do this season.
Meanwhile, Robert and Kathryn take a boring tour through the family’s wine cellars. Apparently, Robert set up Kathryn’s win so that they can have a Cinderella-esque origin story that the press can focus on rather than trying to dig into their past. Robert explains that Kathryn brings him peace, etc. Once again, I have a difficult time paying attention when the two of them are on screen talking about the relationship we never saw.
Brother vs. Brother
Cyrus is hosting the Prince vs. Prince boxing match. He announces that he’s put his money on the underdog (i.e. Liam) and will double his donations if Liam wins. The boys box. For most of the fight, Robert is in the lead, but the thought of Kathryn pushes Liam to knockout Robert and make him bleed.
After the fight, Kathryn assures Liam that she knows he was the one who started the charity for veterans and that it means a lot coming from him. Liam goes to see Robert, who claims that he let Liam win and it was all for show. Liam is angry and challenges this claim. Robert ends up punching his little brother twice, leaving him on the ground with some shitty remarks about how he’s better. When Robert leaves with Kathryn, Cyrus catches Liam staring after them. Cyrus actually attempts to relate to his nephew about being number two, but Liam rejects what he’s saying and punches a mirror instead. Yikes.
This episode of The Royals was quite underwhelming. The charity event served to progress Helena’s, Liam’s, and Robert’s storylines forward, but separating the royal family meant everything felt stilted and lackluster. Not to mention losing time with Jasper, who was MIA this week. The Liam/Robert/Kathryn love triangle continues to be the weakest part of this show; I’m getting a little concerned with Liam’s state of mind, but also annoyed that all of this is because of his feelings for Kathryn. I’m hoping that this gets wrapped up by the end of this season, because I’ve been over it since the premiere.
Episode Rating: 5/10