My Lady Jane – Episode 1 “Who’ll be the Next in Line?” Recap & Review

Who’ll be the Next in Line?

Episode 1 of My Lady Jane titled “Who’ll be the Next in Line?” starts with Lady Jane Grey telling her maids, Esther and Susannah how she does not ever wish to be married. She tells them that she would rather write a book about different herbs and how they cure ailments. Jane states that she will write a Remediorum that she would publish and sell.

Jane is informed that his great uncle  – Duke of Leicester is here to see her family, and she rushes to welcome him. At the dinner table, the Duke mocks Jane for reading books while being a woman which makes Jane upset. Jane’s mother – Lady Frances Grey asks the Duke if he has any confirmation about Jane’s marriage proposal with Lord Guildford Dudley.

The Duke tells Jane that the proposal was accepted which makes her furious. Lady Frances takes Jane to her room and scolds her. She tells Jane will have to marry Guildford in three days because the Dudley family is very rich. Jane is heartbroken to learn that her mother burned the book she was writing about the medicinal herbs.

That night, Jane decides to run away and steals one of her mother’s expensive rings. She asks Susannah to run away with her but Lady Frances stops them before the two can flee. She asks the guards to arrest Susannah for stealing her ring.

Jane tries to defend her maid and friend but just then, Susannah turns into a hawk and flies away. Jane realises that Susannah is an Ethian – a human that can shapeshift into an animal. 

Jane feels betrayed by her friend but reads up about Ethians and learns that these creatures were exiled from the world by King Henry which forced them to beg, hunt and steal instead of being able to live a normal life. With preparations for her marriage still ongoing, Lady Frances takes Jane to Lord Dudley’s house.

There, Jane sees Stanley (Stan) Dudley and mistakes him for his brother – Guildford. She is embarrassed by Stan’s behaviour towards a child and mocks him. Jane realises that her cousin – King Edward is the only one who can stop her marriage.

She visits him and learns that Edward is not keeping well. Jane is shattered when Edward tells her that she has to go through with the marriage as he had gone through with the act of becoming a king against his will.

Edward’s sisters – Mary and Elisabeth (Bess) show up to see him. Mary asks Edward’s counsellor – Lord Seymour to bring some pie that she had made for the King. Edward consumes the pie and starts choking. The King’s guards rush to call Dr Butts but Jane asks Bess to find a lilac flower. Jane asks Edward to bite the flower and he feels better instantly.

Edward thanks Jane for saving his life but Lord Seymour sends her back home stating that the King needs to rest. Given Edward’s declining health, Lord Dudley, the King’s other counsellor shows up at the royal court.

Seymour and Dudley try to manipulate Edward into writing his will to make either Mary or Jane his successor respectively. Edward writes his will and seals it. He asks for the will to be unsealed only after his death.

That night, Seymour tries to get Edward to eat more of the pie made by Mary but Edward’s dog – Petunia bites him and drops the pie. Seymour asks the guards to kill the dog but Edward commands him to stop, dismissing Seymour.

Meanwhile, the chariot breaks down on the way back home and Jane takes a solo horse ride back. She realises that she will never be able to find a moment by herself and takes a detour into a tavern.

Jane is surprised to see men and women having fun and getting drunk. There, Jane’s eyes land on a man and she is instantly drawn to him. She chats with him and the conversation turns into a playful banter. The royal guards show up at the tavern to arrest Archer a thief on the run. However, Archer is an Ethian who transforms into a bear and causes chaos in the tavern.

The man helps Jane hide from the chaos and asks her to leave with him but Jane sees Susannah there and goes to talk to her friend instead. Jane tries to talk to Susannah when the royal guard  Joe catches them. Jane pushes Susannah out of the tavern and lets Joe arrest her instead. Jane is about to be dunked inside the well when Frances shows up and takes her home.

At the King’s palace, Petunia transforms into a woman and stops King Edward from eating the poisoned food. She tells him that Edward’s grandmother had sent her to the royal palace to save his life. Edward is confused because he believes his grandmother is dead. Petunia shows Edward a locket to prove that she is telling the truth. She adds that someone has been trying to kill him by poisoning his food.

At the same time, Mary and Seymour are having sex when she asks him if their plan to poison and kill Edward is going according to plan. Seymour, worried about Mary’s reaction, hides the fact that Edward’s will may have Jane listed as his successor. Meanwhile, Jane begs her mother to stop her marriage with Guildford.

Lady Frances states that if Jane refuses to marry, her younger sister Katherine will be forced to marry their great-uncle – Duke of Leicester. Unwillingly, Jane gets dressed for her wedding and she is still thinking about the guy from the tavern. She gets ready for her wedding and decides to fake having an affliction by using some beetle juice.

However, as King Edward walks Jane down the aisle, she is dumbfounded to see that Lord Guildford is none other than the man she met at the tavern. The episode ends with Jane bleeding from her mouth in the middle of the ceremony as she is rushed to the doctor.

The Episode Review

This was such a fun episode and I am sure fans of historical romance who have read the My Lady Jane novel series will surely enjoy this show.

The episode opened with a disclaimer that Lady Jane was labelled to be a damsel in distress in history and the show is attempting to rewrite history. This makes me hopeful that the show will not feature Jane as a woman that needs saving and we will see a lot of Jane trying to defy the rules to live her life according to her own will.

I hate Lady Frances’ character who is willing to have her daughter marry her elderly uncle. However, it is a relief that Jane has to end up marrying Guildford and not Stanley.

The sexual tension between Jane and Guildford from the tavern scene is palpable and I am sure this couple’s romance is going to be all the rage over Twitter and Instagram in a few days. I can’t wait to see how the story of Lady Jane unfolds as the episodes progress.


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review once the season ends!

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