Victoria Series 2: Episode 3 &4: “Warp And Weft” and “The Sins Of The Father”

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It’s time for our second round of recapping for Victoria. We’ve entered full on soap opera-ville, leaving history in our shiny shiny wake for at least one plotline, but we’ll get there!

Victoria And Albert-Land

Luckily the mathematician and Lord Melbourne induced jealousy is over, and our royal couple are pretty stable. Now their conflicts are smaller and a bit sadder. Victoria receives a request from a silk weaver, explaining that inferior foreign goods are hurting his trade.

Victoria is eager to help the tradespeople of Britian and proposes to Peel and Albert that they levy a tariff on foreign silk. The men dismiss it. OF COURSE. Lord Alfred, however, comes up with the idea of Victoria making it socially mandated to use English silk rather than imports. Victoria throws a lavish costume ball to launch this social plan. It uh, isn’t well received, but it’s still a nice symbol I guess. She gets Albert to come around to the idea by having him dress as Edward III, getting his own crown for once.

Also, when she has the second baby, the baby who will be King Edward VIII, known now as Bertie (HEY! That’s also what they called his son. I watch too many period dramas…) she gets some serious post partum, which isn’t helped by Albert going back to Coburg when his father dies. This is the first times they’ve spent a night apart since they were married! (Awww)

While in Coburg, Albert regrets not lending his father money and he and Ernest get drunk, and it’s wonderful. Before that though, Uncle Leopold goes full on Gothic villain, lurking in shadows and claiming to have had an affair with Albert’s mother right before he was born.

Now, look, I can roll with some ridiculous a-historic shit. But suggesting that Leopold, King Of The Belgians was actually Prince Albert’s biological father, THUS DELEGITIMIZING THE ENTIRE ROYAL FAMILY, is asking  a lot from me Daisy Goodwin. It’s almost enough to make me put down The Fortune Hunter, your novel, that I am currently reading. (I won’t because I’m enjoying it. And I’m a compulsive person who needs to finish things.) This causes Albert to spiral out a little, I am interested in how this Jon Snow-in-reverse style revelation effects the show. But wow, seriously?

Also, Dash dies. And I am devastated. So does Lord Melbourne and that is also sad. But mostly, the image of Victoria cradling Dash’s lifeless body is absolutely horrible. She does get a new puppy though! Hooray!

Other Fancy People Who Are Not Victoria And Albert

Lord Alfred and Robert Peal’s secretary are in love and OMG GAY VICTORIANS! We met Ada Lovelace, if we’re doing gay Victorians are we going to meet Oscar Wilde? Or at least mention the man? Anyway, Secretary is getting married, so Lord Alfred decides to move on to poor sad Wilhelmina Coke.

Wilhelmina is sad because Ernest went home to Coburg and she can no longer stare at him and sigh while he plays the piano, but hey! Now a gay favorite of the queen is hitting on her! YAY! (Not so yay for her, but we’re going to get some fun stuff out of this I bet.)

Just a quick note and reminder, Leopold is claiming to be Albert’s father and this is ridiculous.

Poor People Have Lives Too, You Guys

Nancy’s in big trouble! She told the real Eliza Skerrett about the ghost, and she sold the story to a newspaper and now Albert is all, “FIND THE LEAK OR I’LL FIRE EVERYONE!” Even worse, Baroness Laizen thinks that Mr. Francatelli is the one who did it because he all of a sudden has a bunch of money and fancy things. (This better come back and be explained.) So, Nancy comes clean to Victoria about her ruse, and shocked, Victoria fires her. Albert talks her out of it. (Phew!) Because now that he’s learned he’s actually the son the of Leopold, he is sensitive to keeping secrets. (Seriously…this is his new logic. Guys this new detail really sucks.) Whatever, Nancy stays!

Also Albert gives all of the servants a raise, because of reasons. But they’re all pretty psyched about it.

Politics And Stuff

Victoria’s ball doesn’t go over at all well, but she also points out that silk weavers, unlike farmers, don’t have landlords in the house of lords to lobby for them, which is why her idea to tariff cheap silk, like they do foreign corn won’t work. She’s doing her best.

Hey, I wonder how the fact that Albert might be Leopold’s bastard would go over politically? Probably not great. These were light politics episodes, what with the dying dogs and post partum depression and soap opera paternity reveals and all.

See you next week!

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Victoria Series 2: Episodes 1 & 2: “A Soldier’s Daughter”

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Yesterday morning as I got my act together to get back into the swing of normal life after a wonderful three day weekend in Colorado with Mary and Joe (more on that to come!), I decided to find a recap of the season 2 premier of Victoria, which I had watched a day late after getting home.

Last year during season 1, both The AV Club and Vulture covered the show.

This season? Not so lucky. (Also if anyone DOES know of somewhere recapping Victoria I’d love it if you sent me a link) Anyway, I decided to do what I started this blog to do in the first place. When I see a gap in coverage of things that I like…fill said gap.

I loved series 1 (I’m switching to the British now) of Victoria so much that my 30th birthday masquerade costume was switched from a long held concept (Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina) to Queen Victoria.

Me and Mom

I was very proud of it. Mom is Grace Kelly in To Catch A Theif

(For more on that party, check out Juli’s blog post about what she and Dom wore!) And after The Crown, which though I loved it, is very heavy, I was looking forward to Victoria’s lighter touch. Also, after The Crown I had rewatched series 1, so everything from that season is plenty fresh. (Also, frankly, if this sticks, I’ll go back and watch it again and recap.)

So, 2 episodes are airing a week. I’m going to recap both episodes in one post, usually on Monday, though this week on Saturday. Cool? Cool?

Victoria And Albert-land

So, if there’s one thing that both Victoria and The Crown have taught me, it’s that being married to/while being a queen is difficult. Victoria has just give birth to Princess Victoria, and while she’s struggling with confinement and some feelings of disconnection, Albert is managing the royal duties, including the war in Afghanistan, very well.

But it’s not just the baby blues and the continued meddling of their Uncle Leopold, and her mother sighing at them all the time, that may cause problems for Vicky and Al. Victoria isn’t sure she wants more children. (HA! 8 more coming!) Not because she doesn’t actually want them, but because she worries about losing her authority as queen as people think of her as mother. Oof.

Albert meanwhile, tries to find the correct balance between protecting Victoria and allowing her time and space to recover, without usurping her power or overstepping his bounds. He doesn’t always succeed at this and it makes her mad.

In this swirl of marital difficulty also comes, the charming, pretty and brilliant badass that is Lady Ava Lovelace. I actively squeed when she was addressed by name, because OMG! Ada Lovelace! An OG Nerd Girl! (We mostly trace our beginnings to Lady Lovelace and Mary Shelley) But of course her charm and brilliance totally freaks Victoria out, because Victoria’s education was you know, not great, and Albert is super academic.

So, who does Victoria turn to in this moment of marital insecurity? Lord Melbourne!

Lord M is not Prime Minister anymore (now it’s boring but nice Robert Peal. Albert and Sir Robert get along very well.) but Victoria misses him and his speeches about how she’s the best (I AGREE!), so she invites him to a dinner, and runs off to Brocket Hall a few times. Including when she finds out she’s pregnant again and Albert is off at the University talking math with Ada Lovelace and can’t be there for her.

However, Albert is still wonderful and they make up, and are getting ready for the new baby. (WHO’S READY FOR KING EDWARD VII?? It’s amazing to me that Victoria lived so long that William and Harry are only 4 generations removed from her.) (Also, this show makes me wonder how she’d feel about her Great-Great-Great-Great Grandsons’ choices of wives.) (I think she’d like Kate) (Maybe not so crazy about Megan)

Other Fancy People Who Aren’t Victoria And Albert

Ernest is back in England, THANK GOD! Because what is a British Period Drama without a brooding sarcastic sibling milling around? (I’m looking at you Lady Mary Crawley & Princess Margaret.) Due to the Duchess of Sutherland, who he was flirting with going home to her husband he’s allowed to stay! YAY! They do see each other at Princess Victoria’s christening and it’s so melancholy and beautiful. Mostly though he sits around playing the piano sadly while new character Wilhelmina Coke (who is totally adorable) watches him and sighs. I think this is a storyline I’m going to like a lot.

Speaking of Adorable Wilhelmina, her aunt, is Victoria’s new Mistress Of The Robes, and is played by Dame Diana Riggs, and mostly sits around talking about how nothing is as good as it used to be. You guys, The Queen of Thorns is back on ma TV, and I am very happy about it. She doesn’t do much, but it’s still way fun.

Victoria’s mother, Uncle Leopold and Albert’s father are still whispering about how great the Coburgs are (I mean, they are pretty rad, as Dynastic Families go. I’m still partial to the Romanovs, because you never love anyone as you love your first) and Leopold already has plans fro Princess Vicky, which as Victoria points out, is 100% out of line. SHE IS A BABY, and for the moment the heir to the throne of England. Get it together Leopold.

Poor People Totally Have Lives Too, You Guys

The servants aren’t exempt from drama! Victoria’s head dresser has gone home to Wales. (I mean, Victoria is nearly 40 years from founding Torchwood, so I don’t know why, she went. Also, I have a fun head cannon where she is Gwen and Clara is posing as Victoria and they’re protecting Buckingham Palace from aliens.) (I don’t know what Jack and The Doctor are doing.) (No you get a life!)

Anyway, she left and Mr. Penge is deeply put out about it, but much more put out that the knew chef is a kind of a dick and is serving weird food that the queen doesn’t like. Nancy/Skerrett is promoted to head dresser (YAY!) and Mr. Francatelli left because she rejected him. Victoria begs her to talk him into coming back and she tries but he says no. Eventually Lord Albert manipulates the situation to get him back. He’s not thrilled but, “There are worse things than being the queen’s favorite, I guess.” (Not worse than working alongside your ex, who’s true identity you are also hiding.)

They hire a new assistant dresser who is a Catholic (SCANDAL) and there’s a little orphan boy running around stealing the queen’s underwear! (THE HORROR) I’m curious about the new dresser and perhaps her connection to this little ghost, and how it’s going to turn out. If it turns out.

Politics And Stuff

The British army disastrously pulls out of Kabul, and Albert doesn’t tell Victoria about it. (Adding to their marital woes.) In the end everyone dies except on person, but Victoria is sure Britain is going to bounce back. (SPOILER, it will)

Also, everyone is convinced that Victoria’s continued friendship with Lord M is unconstitutional. Since they’re mostly talking about her personal life I don’t think it is, (neither does she) but I get the worry. I frankly, don’t pay as much attention to the politics.