Becoming Elizabeth – Season 1 Episode 3 “Either Learn or Be Silent” Recap & Review

Either Learn or Be Silent

Episode 3 of Becoming Elizabeth starts with Catherine Parr learning she’s pregnant. Thanks to a rather unconventional method of testing her pregnancy, the doctor confirms the news to her. Catherine is worried but tries to put on a brave face.

Meanwhile, Thomas continues to flirt with Elizabeth, telling her that she’s his and no one else is to play with her. With his sword drawn, he begins slicing the strings on her gown and teasing her with the blade.

Eventually though she is stripped down, which prompts Thomas to chase after her through the house. He shrugs off Catherine’s big news before she can confirm what it is, and continues his game. Catherine smiles and laughs softly, but it’s clear she’s concerned.

Meanwhile, Pedro quizzes Mary over the letter she’s received. She’s heartbroken over Elizabeth choosing war by siding with Catherine. It’s a precarious situation, leading to Edward Seymour (Somerset) arriving at the Tower of London to visit the Bishop. He’s concerned about what the future of England could mean, given Elizabeth’s letter has been construed as a unification against Edward.

As a result, they decide to free the Catholic Bishop and bring him to Mary, as a way of quelling her anger. As for Elizabeth, everyone turns on her as they believe she’s acted naively and could have caused war with her letter.

The Bishop shows up to meet Mary, having been let go earlier on, and points out that she’s not alone and has the backing of every Catholic in the country. Interestingly, back at the manor Catherine doesn’t see the bishop as a threat.

Elizabeth speaks to Thomas about the letter. She claims to have been foolish but not a fool, as the pair trade poetic dialogue to one another. This does eventually lead to Thomas kissing her, which is all part of his plan.

Not only that but Catherine decides they should bring the King to their house and continue spinning this idea of him with Jane. That way, he would be easier to control. They organize a party at their estate, under the guise of Elizabeth’s birthday celebrations.

In the midst of this, Elizabeth encourages Lady Jane to stand up and sing for the King, claiming she’s been practicing for a while. Unfortunately, she’s not very good and Edward scoffs at this, calling her sh*t as she walks away.

Robert confronts Elizabeth about throwing Jane in the line of fire and points out that she needs to be careful wielding her power. As Robert himself says, using her power to sh*t on a timid child isn’t exactly a great use of her power.

Even worse though, Jane is whipped by her father for the humiliation, something that Elizabeth actually sees herself and challenges Jane’s father about.

Now, Mary was noticeably absent from the party, something she shares with Pedro at the church.

In the morning, the Manor is a complete state off the back of this party. Catherine awakens Thomas, who’s sprawled out on the floor, and brings him to the King’s council, which happens to be held at their manor. Catherine is there too and addresses the issue of Edward Seymour. She’s concerned that he’s growing too bold, which the King decides should be taken care of.

The Lord Protector is clever, and brings up Edward’s naivety, including his affection for Lady Jane as an example of his weakness. As a result, Edward shouts at the King, telling him he’s not on this council to rule but to “learn from those that do”. Well, that ends those negotiations.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth speaks to Catherine Parr about what transpired the night before. Now, we saw Thomas confront Elizabeth about her affection, and specifically how she admits to loving him. He came onto her, undressing her robe and starting to kiss her – something Catherine walked in on.

When Catherine confronts Elizabeth about this transgression, she sticks up for Thomas, claiming that nothing happened between them.

Catherine is incredulous and walks away, speaking to Thomas instead about his confliction. Thomas is having doubts and unsure whether to stay with Catherine or go with Elizabeth. A 15 year old Elizabeth I may add. So as a result of this, Catherine decides to kick Elizabeth out the house. Just as he does, she also drops the kamikaze bombshell that she’s pregnant.

The Episode Review

The political scheming continues to divide the siblings, with Mary slipping further away from Elizabeth and Edward. The former’s letter has caused quite the rift through England and as a result, may well have set the scene for what will happen in England following this.

The costuming and dialogue in this show is excellent and the slow pace, woven around the political power plays, works well in the context of this series. Whether Becoming Elizabeth will actually go as far as to show Thomas Seymour abusing her is up for debate, but we’ve already seen unnerving glimpses of this with that scene involving the robe and his sword.

The ending certainly leaves things wide open for where the second half of this series may go, but if you’re a fan of historical dramas, Becoming Elizabeth is shaping up to be quite the intriguing watch.

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