Becoming Elizabeth – Season 1 Episode 5 “Necessity Compels You” Recap & Review

Necessity Compels You To Plague Me

Episode 5 of Becoming Elizabeth begins with Elizabeth unable to sleep and heading out in the middle of the night. She shrugs off Kat’s warnings and brings Thomas Seymour inside. As we soon learn, he has been waiting outside for the past three nights looking up at her window.

Elizabeth confronts Thomas, who tries to explain his actions by claiming Elizabeth has “spoke love in word and deed and flesh.” Elizabeth though bites back, claiming she’s very young and not the lovesick girl he believes her to be. Despite this though, they remain together.

Over in London, at the Duke of Somerset’s house, the French Ambassador is brought in to see Edward Seymour. Now, this significant meeting is done behind the King’s back, meaning there could be huge ramifications for Seymour’s actions.

Anyway, in order to turn the tide of war back in his favour, Edward suggests they help the French take Boulogne back. In doing so, they would have to withdraw from Scotland. The Ambassador signs the treaty, but calls Edward arrogant before he goes. When word reaches Mary of what’s happened, she’s shocked.

At the same time, unrest in England trickles across to Norfolk, where whispers of rebellion build to roars as a man rallies a crowd to “Kill al Gentlemen” following what’s happened to their pillaged churches.

Thomas eventually makes his pledge once more to Elizabeth. He wants to be wed and although Elizabeth agrees, she tries to encourage him to seek the council’s consent first. Thomas is hesitant though, pointing out there’s no way they’d consent to this.

So as an alternate, Thomas suggests that they go to the council already married and in doing so, put on a unified front. Thomas is confident that would stop Edward in his tracks and make him think twice about rejecting them. Elizabeth is still unsure.

Thomas eventually heads down and confronts his brother. Edward Seymour defiantly refuses to back his brother’s outlandish ideas, pointing out that the odds are poor and this is not best advised. However, Elizabeth has another suitor in her gOod friend Robert, who shows up while she’s en-route to see the Duke of Somerset, pointing out that they’ve seldom spoken recently.

Alone, Edward Seymour points out that there’s no way Elizabeth can remain unmarried in these times. His brother is off limits, naturally, but Edward brings up a number of different suitors she could be matched with. Elizabeth sees straight through his façade and realizes this is a strategic play from the Duke to continue ruling the court and playing puppet master.

When Edward VI learns about what Edward Seymour has done, striking that secret deal with the French, he’s livid. Edward has put them in a difficult position. With the treaty already signed, if they’re to break it now it could lead down a very difficult path. The alternate would see them go to war with Scotland.

With everything coming apart at the seams, Thomas speaks to Henry Grey in confidence. He points out there are rebellions across Norfolk and suggests that they organize a coup, taking Edward VI into their possession and thwart Edward Seymour. Henry refuses, pointing out that they’re plotting treason right in the heart of court and that’s not going to have a good outcome.

When Thomas heads back to see Elizabeth, he forces himself upon her. Although she whispers “I love you”, he tellingly doesn’t reply. After this rather nasty encounter, Thomas skips out in the middle of the night, leaving Elizabeth alone to her thoughts.

“I’ve made the wrong choice haven’t I?” Elizabeth says when she speaks to Kat before the fire. Kat urges Elizabeth to do what’s right. So in order to quell her dark thoughts, Elizabeth decides to organize a big party with dancing and singing; a celebration of life before she’s married.

As for Thomas Seymour, he rides out and ends up beating Robert to a pulp. When Edward Seymour finds out in the morning, he listens as the council discuss Thomas’ actions and how he looked set to kidnap the King. As a result of Thomas’ actions, guards show up with an arrest warrant to take Elizabeth away.

The Episode Review

Thomas Seymour’s planned coup goes completely awry as Elizabeth’s own life now hangs precariously in the balance.

There’s a really nice ebb and flow to this series now and seeing how closely it’s sticking to history is certainly welcome. The writing in Becoming Elizabeth is really good and the dialogue equally so.

It’s becoming increasingly clear now that Edward Seymour is overstepping his mark and that could well cause his reign to come to an end sooner rather than later. Only, it would appear that Thomas Seymour isn’t much better and his foolhardy attempt to kidnap the King is likely to have dire consequences going forward.

Everything here is left wide open as next week’s episode promises to be quite the dramatic affair.

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