Becoming Elizabeth – Season 1 Episode 2 “You Cannot Keep The Birds” Recap & Review

You Cannot Keep The Birds

Episode 2 of Becoming Elizabeth begins with Thomas rushing through the house, pretending to be the new trumpeter in Chelsea Manor. He rushes into Elizabeth’s room and throws the covers off her, continuing on to the rest of the house.

However, as they head outside, Thomas takes Elizabeth aside and admits that she’s taken up residency in his house… and in his head.

For now, it falls to court where Thomas challenges the King to find out what sort of man he is. “Death to the pope.” Edward says during a performance making fun of Catholicism. Mary has enough and walks away.

As we know, she’s highly Catholic and sees this as a blasphemous act against her God. Edward follows her out, where she admits as much. “It cleaves me in two.” She says, but then goes on to admit she was feeling under the weather, which is why she’s left.

When Elizabeth catches up with her sister, she’s concerned about what this performance means for the future of England – and her faith. Mary pleads with Elizabeth, warning her about Catherine and urging her to leave the Manor.

Meanwhile. there are tensions between Edward Seymour and Catherine. The former is not happy that she’s going to be reduced to “Thomas Seymour’s wife” and brings up the subject of the royal jewels. This sows the seeds of doubt in these two, as Catherine and Thomas end up fighting in their room. The walls are thin though and Elizabeth hears some of their fierce argument.

When the pair do finally lower their voices, Thomas decides to give up the royal jewels so Edward Seymour believes he’s won, instead focusing on their real jewel – Elizabeth.

While Elizabeth contemplates whether to leave and stay with Mary, at court the group discuss the coming war. They men and money to continue, and with the French looming on the horizon, it doesn’t look like a quick fix.

Pedro, the knight in attendance, makes jest at Henry when he questions why this Spaniard is with them, but eventually he’s told to leave.

At church, Pedro ends up talking to Princess Mary, who discusses his past. Pedro doesn’t actually know who she is but when he finds out, he shows off his cross and tells her he’ll pray for her.

Mary is brought before the King again, where Edward tells her to convert to “the true faith” and give up Catholicism. She believes this is the word of the Lord Protector and not her brother and demands to see Seymour. When Edward refuses to allow that, Mary decides to leave court and go back to the country. When Elizabeth finds out, she’s shocked.

Inevitably, she speaks to Thomas about this but things soon grow heated in private. She begins kissing Elizabeth, which soon turns into so much more. “Do I have your permission?” He asks.

Elizabeth wants him to continue but this time Thomas stops himself, telling her she’s a powerful tonic and he needs to ration.

Meanwhile, Mary heads back to stay in the country, up at Framlingham Castle. Interestingly, Pedro happens to be there and he’s decided to offer his services to her following the debacle in court.

England is a powder keg, something that rests precariously on a knife-edge and could explode at any moment. And it’s clear that Elizabeth is going to be in the middle of this, as we cut back to England and see her praying with Edward. She tells her brother that she’s been writing to Mary, urging her to change faith.

The Episode Review

So the second episode of Becoming Elizabeth slows down as the series instead focuses on the growing divide between the Protestant and Catholic faith. With Mary heading back home again I’m not quite sure how accurate this whole Spanish subplot is with Pedro but we’ll have to wait and see where this goes.

In the meantime, there isn’t a whole lot of drama this chapter, instead focusing on Thomas getting closer to Elizabeth and the latter finding herself caught in the middle of this sibling rivalry brewing between Mary and Edward.

The show has been a decent watch so far, although this second chapter is noticeably slower compared to the first. Still, the series has some decent acting and the plot is interesting. Despite there not being too much movement with the story, there plenty of time for things to pick up.

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3 thoughts on “Becoming Elizabeth – Season 1 Episode 2 “You Cannot Keep The Birds” Recap & Review”

  1. Excellent show but a bit loose with history. Last episode was disappointing. I didn’t need a complete recap of the history, however viewers who are unfamiliar will be left hanging.

  2. I rather enjoy period series and personally, this new series exploring Elizabeth’s teen years is superb in it gothic style. The best part is the actress who portrays her is relatively unknown. I think the acting is excellent and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

  3. The relationship between Catherine Parr, the widow of Henry VIII and Thomas Seymour is pivotal to the plotline of the Tudor dynasty. The Seymour family ingratiated themselves when they offered up their own sister to the king. They had to keep a foot in the political door, so marrying into the family yet again was a way to keep their control. Tom married the current queen. He played with Elizabeth and he will eventually pay the price.

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