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Episode Review - The White Queen 1.3 "The Storm"

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The White Queen 1.3 "The Storm"

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The White Queen airs Saturday nights at 10pm on Starz.

Look to the sidebar for a sneak peek of the episode discussed here.

If previous episodes were tense, this episode was raging.

Warwick's attempt to get Parliament to ratify the new king--his king, George, Edward's disloyal brother--fails, which leaves him only with the option of killing Edward or letting him go; if he kills him, though, he has to go on the run and he wants to keep what he can, so he lets him go.

Edward returns to his wife and frees her from the Tower of London where she's been held captive with her mother and the Mad King Henry. She wants him to take vengeance on Warwick for what he did to her brother and father, but Edward wants to make peace, not more war; he decides to pardon Warwick and George, and give gifts of titles to Warwick's child nephew--and the hand of his daughter Elizabeth, which binds the traitor to the royal family and makes it harder for him to rebel again. Except that it really doesn't. Only a little time goes by--long enough for Isabelle to get pregnant, then Elizabeth to cast a spell to get a boy and get pregnant again, too, and Issy to get very close to her time--before Warwick and George are at it again. They

They kick up a new rebellion, claiming that it's caused by the Mag King's Queen in hiding. They promise Margaret that if she supports them, if she and Jasper Tudor raise an army and make it look real, Young Henry will get his titles back. So she convinces her brother to ride out, telling him that it's God's will and that he'll be guaranteed fame and fortune and maybe the crown. Jasper, however, tells him the truth. The brother is not a fighter, and he panics; he runs across to the King's camp and confesses everything, but Edward kills him for being a traitor--to his King, first, and to his own family and army after.

Thus warned, Edward is fine, and everyone else has to go on the run. Jasper gives Henry back into the care of his mother Margaret, and the boy has no idea who she is. He's much older, so quite a bit of time has passed again. While they're alone, Margaret and Jasper make out desperately on the steps, and Stafford--her husband, who she had previously promised to be a good and loyal wife to--catches them. He looks like he really wanted to believe that she had decided to be a good wife, but he doesn't look all that surprised that she isn't. And he definitely isn't pleased.

Warwick has to get his whole family up and out, which includes Isabelle, who is already "in her confinement". She's already been having pains, and the stress and shock--and a terrible storm called up by Elizabeth's vengeance, her mother's support and her baby daughter's playing along--send her into labor on the channel-crossing into Calais. Unfortunately, in the middle of the storm, they find that the harbor is still chained off and Calais won't let them in, which means that Issy can't get the medical attention she needs. The baby is stuck, and Anne can't get it to move because she has less than no training. In the morning, it's born, it's a boy, but it's stillborn, and they still haven't found a friendly harbor.

George comes to visit his wife, and says "I'm sorry for your loss" like it wasn't even his kid, like he had nothing to do with it. He tells her, still in bed and still grieving, that "this isn't over" and "there will be more", but since he also tells her that Elizabeth is pregnant again and they need to have a boy before she does, it sounds more like a threat than anything else.

This episode is just packed with women who have no way to fight back except for manipulation and magic. Lady Warwick seems to have finally realized that her husband is kind of nuts, Issy only wants to have her baby in peace and has never wanted the throne less, Ann is fascinated by the glitter and jewels but wary of whatever her father has planned for her, Margaret is so full of her own agenda that she thinks it's God's will and can't understand when things go wrong, and Elizabeth is getting wild with the threat to her family and her rule. It's crazy, how these women are just peddled around, and wind up catching all the fallout.

This episode also sees a shift in tone from what was basically a straight historical with something that might be magic but might also just be delusion, into something much more fantastical, where the magic is much closer to being real and actual. The tenseness has snapped a bit, and more and more it's flaring up into violence, weird associations, manipulation, and the realization across the board that everything is going wrong. The only one who seems to want it to balance out and end is Edward, and the way things are going, that's going to get him killed. Hopefully not before he gets a proper heir, though.

All in all, another strong episode is a quickly-growing-more-addictive series.

What did you think of The White Queen "The Storm"?

PS: If you're wondering how the succession actually goes in British History, you can look at the List of English Monarchs here. If you'd like to look further, to modern times, you can continue with the List of British Monarchs.

Samantha Tweets, Tumbles, Blogs and wouldn't want to be Queen either, if this is what it's like.

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