Now that they’re not royals, do they need to change the show’s title?
Liam’s in the safe room. He wakes up from his night of drunkenness and Ophelia is by his side. We learn that the mysterious dark SUV that pulled up at the end of last week’s episode was Ophelia. Liam remembers something that his father once told him, “Life’s lived, not destined,” and asks Ophelia to run away with him.
Ophelia: “I always wanted you, it was your world, I didn’t want.”
Liam: So let’s make our own world — me and you— starting today.”
Oooh! The royal doctor who declared Liam and Eleanor as illegitimate never tested their royal blood, so they may be Simon’s after all! As a thank you, Cyrus is banishing the good doctor to a far-away and disease-ridden corner of Gibraltar to do humanitarian aid.
Eleanor picks Jasper up from jail and has dropped that charges against him. Again, Eleanor is dressed as if she could head off to a club at any moment. Would anyone else love to see her in a pair of yoga pants and a messy bun? She needs Jasper to protect her when she meets with murderous hoodie man under the shady bridge.
Queen Helena is writing an official letter to someone. It almost sounds like an apology, and at first I thought it was to her children, but now I wonder if it was to Alistair.
One of the queen’s pieces of correspondence is a mysterious black card with a strange red design. Ominous.
Ophelia lies to her father and says that she’s heading to New York to audition for Mr. Ballantine’s dance company, but I’m pretty sure he knows it’s a ruse.
It’s a good thing that Eleanor is wearing black leather, because Jasper has her acting like a sexy spy by retrieving his secret stash of guns from her room along with a mysterious satchel. Although Jasper told her not to talk to anyone, Liam comes to her room and tells her that he’s leaving with Ophelia. He invites her to go along, but she needs to settle her unfinished business before leaving palace life behind.
We finally get a chance to meet Simon and Cyrus’ mother. She looks adorable, how did she give birth to such wildly different men? She tells him that he has always been a good boy and that he will make a good king. Cyrus is overjoyed to hear such praise from his mother. She warns him to be leery of his brother, but when she calls him “Simon,” we realize that his mother must be suffering from some kind of dementia. Cyrus’s face turns from one of joy to one of confusion and sadness.
“You have to watch your brother,” she says; “he’s not like you, he never was and he never will be.”
After saying goodbye to Marcus, Liam and Ophelia pull away from the palace to begin their new lives together in Rio. Really, Rio?!? If you’re gonna go somewhere, and you’re rich, go to Ibiza, or Mykonos. Rio’s about to get hella congested with the 2016 Olympics only a year away. As the stoic bodyguard watches his friend and former assignment leave, Gemma strides up and reveals that Marcus has feelings for Ophelia. She reminds him that by Ophelia leaving with Liam, she’s giving up the audition in New York and her dream of being a dancer.
On the private plane, Ophelia asks Liam why he changed his necklace. That’s funny, I was just wondering, “When did Liam start wearing a necklace?” He acts like “Duh,” this is my St. Christopher medal,” as if he’s been wearing it all along, but I can tell you, I’ve watched each of his shirtless scenes several times, and there was no man-necklace until now. But he realizes that his medal is gone, and in its place is a pendant with the same mysterious lines as the ones on the Queen’s black card.
It’s an unsettling thought that someone with potentially ominous intent was that close to our sexy former prince. And, if you wanna get even more freaky-deaky, Ophelia didn’t find Liam in the Alley as we’ve been lead to believe, she found him in the park. Also, Liam finds the doctor’s cell phone in the plane, and learns that his father’s doctor is in Gibraltar.
And… the plane is landing in New York, not Rio. Surprise Ophelia! I hope you packed more than your thong bathing suit! When she says that they can make it work in NYC, but Liam’s trip to the Bug Apple will be a short one. He’s heading back to Britain to avenge his father’s attack. “He’s leaving his love If it’s out duty, it’s our someday. You will always be the someday that I want.”
The queen is giving an exclusive television interview. In it, she reveals that she was once a simple girl who fell for the prince. She decided to remain quiet about the “Truth” she was in love with a boy who worked for her father. She thought he was her future. When she met Simon, she thought they’d all moved on. She names another man, who died in battle. Instead of Alistair.
Lucius enters Alastair’s house where the Queen’s lover has been watching the interview. Alastair seems disappointed that the Queen didn’t name him as the father of Liam and Eleanor. Lucius gives him the letter that the queen wrote before, which he has already read. He tells Alastair the contents of the letter, which apologizes for tarnishing Henry’s memory and asks him to not communicate with her for a year, before tossing the Queen’s letter into the fire. But Alastair knows he’ll never see the queen again, because a few moments later, two of Lucius’ henchmen enter and two gunshots ring out.
Eleanor and Jasper are waiting under the bridge, regretting the danger they’re in. Jasper tells Eleanor that he slept with the Queen because she’d figured out who he was, and threatened to expose him. Sex was the only way to save himself.
Here comes the man who served with Robert and admitted to Eleanor that he killed her brother. He was a man with a murderous past who didn’t know who Robert was when he killed him. He usually operates unmanned aerial vehicles (Drones). He was asked to take control of a manned aircraft and was offered a sum of money to do it. He took control and scuttled the aircraft and Robert was the pilot. When asked why he’s telling them what he’d done, he said it was because whomer paid him to down the plane, planted a suicide note on Robert and made the death look like a suicide. “What kind of psychopath does that?” he wonders. Um, who downs an airplane knowing there is a person aboard? I ask.
Lucius tells the Queen that he delivered her letter to Alastair, and that it was received, and once the queen leaves, Lucius tells Cyrus that his message to Alastair was also received. Cyrus is the worst!!
We get to see Ophelia audition for the dance company and while she’s doing what some people may call “dancing,” (If it was done by a toddler) Mr. Ballantine texts Gemma who tells him to hire Ophelia and keep her there. That tricky gal, she’s hiring away the competition. Gemma told Marcus that her parents are great patrons of the arts, but I think in this case, hiring Ophelia into a professional dance company is more an act of charitable giving.
Liam gets the low-down from Eleanor and Jasper (who is looking hot without a tie, BTW.) The call to down Robert’s plane came from within the palace, so Liam’s first thought is of course, Cyrus. He confronts his smarmy uncle and beats his royal fanny. Bravo! I’ve wanted to see Cyrus get pounded (in the non-sexual way) since early in the season. While the beating continues…
Cut to the king’s room where she’s still in a coma. Devious Lucius stands over him telling his comatose body that “Abolition is such a cowardly choice.” But before he can go through with a deadly plan, Ophelia’s father walks in. It’s about time he protects the King!
Back to the beating. Liam gives Cyrus an impressive toss across the room, and demands the Cyrus confesses to the killing of the prince and the attempted murder of the king. Cyrus admits to killing the king every single day, “but only in my heart.” Of courses he’s too cowardly to every actually do anything. Right? While Liam lashes out with every ounce of anger against his uncle…
… Over in his room, King Simon dies.
Marcus comes in and removes the prince from Cyrus who is now, King of Great Britain.
Liam runs to his father’s body and weeps over it saying “Godspeed my king. And know that I’ll avenge you.” It’s a stoic promise that I hope he can carry through. It isn’t until he whispers, in a child-like voice, “I’ll miss you dad,” that my own tears fall.
Poor Queen Helena. He learns the news of her husband’s death by a cellphone call that wakes her from sleep. Her reply to the news is, “I see.” And again, as we’ve seen in times of turmoil, she puts on her war paint — her makeup.
Cyrus enters the king’s chamber. His face looks like hamburger. He pulls the royal ring off of the finger of his dead brother and leaves without saying a word to Liam.
Liam walks past the stunned Palace staff and Eleanor falls into his arms. “It’s okay,” he tells her, “I’m here now.” But will anything ever be okay for Eleanor? Her father seemed to be her lone source of approval.
Queen Helena walks to the palace gates, dressed in black, with a mourning veil pulled over her face (She still looks flawless though) and she shakes hands with the gathered mourners. It’s the same gesture of solidarity that King Simon shared with his subjects after the death of Robert. As she walks back to the palace, a banner raises beyond the gates; the strange lines that were on the card she received and that Liam found around his neck. But this time, a single word there is a single word too— DOMINO.
A woman watches TV. She stands and we see that she’s pregnant and we realize that it’s Prudence, the former palace servant. “Don’t worry, baby boy.” She tells her belly. “Daddy just became king.” How long was Simon in a coma? She looks pretty far along.
In the Palace throne room, Cyrus sits on the King’s throne, slips on the royal ring and smiles with great satisfaction to the haunting words of Lorde’s redo of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
Cut to black.
Holy cow, what a breathless way to end the season! What did you think of Season 1 of The Royals? It’s undoubtedly one of TV’s guiltiest pleasures. Who doesn’t love royal drama that seems more like something that would have happened to the Tudors? I can’t wait until season 2 premieres this fall. I’m hoping to see new episodes in November.
Until then, I hope that several of the series actors receive acting accolades, most specifically, Jake Maskall as Prince (now King Cyrus), and Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor. I think Elizabeth Hurley should also receive an Emmy nom in the lead actress category and Dame Joan Collins is a shoo-in for her guest starring appearance as The Grand Duchess of Oxford. The costume department should be easy to nominate for costume design (and hair and makeup are equally worthy) and Mark Schwahn’s brilliant dialogue should be recognized, although I’d be hard pressed to choose which episode had the best writing (perhaps the episode with Joan Collins?)
What do you hope will happen in Season 2? When I interviewed Elizabeth Hurley in January, she had just. Moments before, been told that E! had picked the show up for Season 2. When I asked her what she hoped to happen, she told me, “All I’ve asked for is for a catfight.” I sincerely hope she gets her wish!
Want More of The Royals?
Interview With Elizabeth Hurley
The Royals Recap: Episode 9
The Royals Recap: Episode 8
The Royals Recap: Episode 7
The Royals Recap: Episode 6
The Royals Recap: Episode 5
The Royals Recap: Episode 4
The Royals Recap: Episode 3
The Royals Recap: Episode 2
The Royals Recap: Episode 1