Becoming Elizabeth – Season 1 Episode 4 “Lighten Our Darkness” Recap & Review

Lighten Our Darkness

Episode 4 of Becoming Elizabeth starts at Cheshunt Manor. Elizabeth is still reeling from the events at Chelsea, as she tries to keep strong in the wake of her new company. Cheshunt Manor belongs to Kat’s brother-in-law Antony Denny.

The mood is frosty, especially as Elizabeth reveals that she’s late and hasn’t had her period yet. She confides this news in Kat, who implores her not to say anything to anyone – especially her sister, Mary, or Lady Catherine. They could lose their heads for this and Kat is quick to remind her of this.

Meanwhile, a whole bunch of Protestants raid a Catholic church, taking off with various trinkets and jewellery. This is Edward VI’s doing, as he promises the true faith will spread through the country.

Things at court are certainly tense though, as Catherine and Thomas aren’t seeing eye to eye, given what happened with Elizabeth. Catherine points out that the only people remotely taken to him is an 11 year old boy (Edward VI) and herself. Oh, and Lady Jane too, who’s still knocking about, and who Thomas is getting uncomfortably close to.

Meanwhile, Mary heads off to visit Elizabeth, accompanied by Pedro who encourages her not to be afraid. With Elizabeth being tested for her pregnancy in private, she eventually greets her sister and the pair take a walk together around the grounds.

Elizabeth apologizes for the letter sent and looks close to telling Mary the truth – but the woman urges Elizabeth not to. She thinks Elizabeth should confide in God and God alone.

Mary heads off to visit Edward VI next, imploring the King not to fight and try to stick up a united front. While the pair watch a cockfight, a way of confiding together, Pedro speaks to Edward Seymour and questions the churches being pillaged. The Lord Protector tells him they’re using the Gold from these churches to fund the war against the Scottish.

Thomas and Catherine continue to put on a united front for the public, showing up at court and all the public events. In private, the pair are at loggerheads. Mary notices something awry and speaks to Catherine in confidence, asking her what’s going on. She tells Catherine she pities her, given the woman’s continued ties with Thomas, and eventually leaves.

When she does, Mary visits the pillaged church. She’s not happy but Pedro tells her she’s the only one playing this game by the rules. In an indirect way to tell her to play dirty.

Outside, Robert shows up to visit Elizabeth. The pair catch up, where Robert tells her she’s not the topic of conversation in court but certainly isn’t forgotten amongst those in attendance. However, there’s more drama to come.

Catherine gives birth to her baby but dies in childbirth. Thomas is distraught, given the state of their relationship before she passed, but that also means that everything is to pass across to Elizabeth. She’s to take up Chelsea manor and take over where Catherine left off. “I’m sure you’re quite capable of making your own decisions.” Denny tells Elizabeth that day. He knows she’s ambitious but Elizabeth is modest and doesn’t say anything.

Interestingly, a message across to Edward VI shakes things up; an invitation to a wedding between Mary Queen of Scots and the Dauphin of France. He’s not happy but his anger is subsided slightly by Edward Seymour rushing in with big news. Catherine Parr is dead.

In the middle of this, Pedro reveals his truth to Mary. It turns out he’s actually been hired by the Lord Protector to spy on her and feed back what she’s been up to. Edward Seymour wants power over her as well as Edward, but since meeting Mary, he’s been swayed by his emotions and can’t bear to lie to her now.

As the episode closes out, we cut between two separate scenes. The first, sees Mary in church surrounded by her people. As for Elizabeth, she returns to Edward VI and apologizes for her absence, mending their ties and aligning themselves together. Just before the episode closes, Thomas sneaks up behind Elizabeth and whispers in her ear “Marry me.”

The Episode Review

With Catherine Parr dead and drama across court, the halfway point of this show sees a turning point in Elizbeth’s journey. She’s now much stronger than she was at the start of the season and it would appear she’s going to try and navigate the dangerous knives of the court from here on out.

Interestingly, Pedro opens up and admits his truth to Mary too, who’s now divided from Edward VI, leaving plenty of question marks over where that may go next.

While the show can be a little laborious and slow at times, the drama is certainly intriguing and keeps things watchable even during these segments. The acting has been excellent too and with Catherine Parr now dead, this looks set to make a seismic change for all our characters.

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