THE SITUATION: A Murderer Among Us
Time to find out who was behind the murder of Dominique Stewart! And possibly Violet? Yikes, they’re getting a little fast and loose with the whole murder thing, aren’t they?
The Rage of a King
The episode opens on Cyrus holding the Great Sword of State to Helena’s throat while she’s laying in her bed. This rude awakening is brought to us by Cyrus’s belief that she is responsible for Violet’s disappearance. Their altercation is broken up by the Duchess, who smashes a vase over Cyrus’s head. After he wakes, he remembers Helena coming to see him in his drug-induced haze, suggesting that maybe Violet ran away because she couldn’t take the pressure, though he is still convinced Helena is responsible, since she knew about the engagement ring and Violet’s threat to the line of succession.
Ted explains that they found Violet’s vehicle and evidence of foul play. They can’t locate her anywhere, but he’s fairly certain she’s dead. They found an “I Love You to the Moon and Back” locket at the scene, which Ted hands over to Cyrus.
Lenny and Liam, Royal Sleuths
Liam is ready to confront Eleanor about her possibly murderous past, but Eleanor’s day with Helena gives her pause. She gives Helena a chance to tell her about Dominique, but Helena lies about knowing her. Eleanor returns to Liam with a simple proclamation: “You were right — the bitch did it.” Hardly damning evidence, but not too many people are thinking clearly at the palace tonight.
When Liam and Eleanor return to talk to her, Helena explains that the woman in the picture is Simon’s first love Dominique. The twins immediately start slinging murder accusations her way, only stopping when the Duchess admits to the murder. “[Monarchies] need someone to make it happen. And I made this,” she says, divulging her motive. Eleanor laments a life spent hating her mother and loving her grandmother, while Liam thinks about fulfilling Simon’s wish to dissolve the monarchy.
Next Steps, Or What to Do After You Find Out Your Grandmother is a Murderer
Helena decides to take away her mother’s title, lands and royal stipend. The Duchess calls her bluff — if she hasn’t done it after 30 years, why would she make the move now? Cyrus proclaims that he’ll do it, since he knows that she poisoned Violet at tea the afternoon she disappeared. He opens the door to reveal Prudence, sporting that engagement ring on her left hand. “You killed the wrong maid, bitch,” he spits out, introducing Prudence as the mother of his heir.
Liam brings Blonde Dom in through the secret tunnels to give her a tour of the palace and extoll the virtues of his late father. Blonde Dom asks Liam to show the good side of the monarchy to her father, if not the whole world. She films a video of him explaining that he loves England and that he wants the monarchy to once again be a source of inspiration to the British people. Eleanor watches the video online as a “#KingLiam” comment appears, a smile spreading over her face.
ON THE PLUS SIDE…
- Len and James, BFFs
Eleanor finally guesses correctly about James’s intentions in working for the royal family: “Maybe you quit the force for a wayward girl who needed your help.” James confirms, explaining that his niece/adopted daughter told him to help the royal family because they look so sad on TV. Steadfast James is just the person Eleanor needs in her chaotic, troubled life.
- A Mother-Daughter Alliance
After discovering how sociopathic her grandmother is, Eleanor acknowledges that Helena has sacrificed the most and gets the least sympathy for it. Seeing Eleanor and Helena get along is a welcome change from the messy fighting we’ve seen in the series thus far.
- M-F Ghosts
Can we please be done with using sassy ghosts as a plot device? This week, Ted’s wife just sat there bleeding and accused him of killing Simon. I’ve heard enough out of that specter.
- Helena Isn’t a Murderer…
So why does Liam treat her like one after they find out about the Duchess killing Dominique? Blame where the blame is due, please.
This week’s episode of The Royals didn’t feature a ton of action; besides Cyrus attacking Helena, the entire family spent their time walking from room to room and having various conversations. At first I felt like nothing happened, but all of the conversations centered the family together and made an impact on nearly every plotline in the story. However, a request: please, please ditch the ghosts.
Episode Rating: 7/10.