Episode Title: Hanging Swords
Original Air Date: March 31, 2017
Episode Number: 4×07
When Darnley gets a surprise visitor, his marriage to Mary hangs in the balance. Elizabeth learns her attempt to stop Mary backfired. Meanwhile, Catherine and Narcisse find King Charles and must convince him to return to the castle.
This season has been EXCELLENT and this episode was pretty damn great. Since it’s the last season, I think the writers have finally ramped up the storylines and are moving the plots at a brisk pace. Gone are the romantic nonsense and the ones we do see actually do matter now and gone are the supernatural nonsense that I thought bogged down the show last season.
Let’s start in France. Catherine has successfully convinced Leeza not to tell King Phillip about Charles being a Protestant, but at the cost of a possible civil war. All Catherine has to do is put Charles’ little brother, Henry, on the throne and have France be ruled by a Catholic king. I certainly don’t envy Catherine, but if there’s anyone who can figure this out, it will be her (with the help of Narcisse).
For the history enthusiasts, does this storyline align with history? Did Charles really become a Protestant? I’m just curious. That Nicole person is one wily woman. Working her way to court and then becoming a fast learner and worming her way on to Narcisse’s bed and blackmail him for gold and for a chance to keep using her as a bug in Charles’ ear, so to speak.
Meanwhile in England, Elizabeth and Gideon are spending Agatha’s last few days and making them as memorable as possible. I really enjoyed this storyline and I’m sad that Agatha passed away. Seeing Elizabeth like this has made her infinitely likable (she already is, but even more so now) and very sympathetic. I have also enjoyed seeing her friendship with Gideon continue to blossom and deepen and it is my wish that the writers would not have them be involved in a romantic relationship. I said this in my review of the last episode too. Heterosexual male and female friends can be friends without it turning into a romantic relationship. Let this be another example.
I’m glad that Elizabeth called off the attack on Scotland and that she didn’t want to draw the first blood just because of that little skirmish the ambassador told her about. Agatha taught her a lesson, too, in that, just because the little girl that she was was afraid of something, doesn’t mean she should still be afraid of it now as an adult.
And in Scotland, we have Mary and Darnley possibly not going through with the wedding thanks to the information provided by the Loyal Watchman (it’s driving me nuts and I can’t wait to find out who s/he is) that Darnley is having an affair. And we are introduced to Lord Bothwell, someone who history tells us becomes Mary’s third husband. Let’s see how that relationship comes to fruition. I did like their first scene and both actors seem to have good chemistry already.
I love James for being overprotective and always watching out for Mary and putting her well-being first. He has come a long way from the earlier episodes when he was plotting to keep Mary off the throne. He really only wants the best for Mary and he thinks that Darnley would never make Mary happy and he was warning her to trust him because he’s only out for himself.
Keep up the fantastic season, show!