Whispers In The Dark
Be warned, the recap below continues big spoilers about the plot, do bear this in mind if you haven’t watched this episode!
The Spanish Princess returns with its fourth episode, beginning with men in a tavern speculating about the King and commenting on how absent he has been. They hear that someone is gathering an army in France to get the Yorks back on the throne however before they can continue, they’re stopped by soldiers.
We return to the castle to find the King still mourning deeply, a month after his wife’s death. His mother tells him that he needs to snap out of it as the people think he’s abandoned them. He tells her that Harry wants to marry Catherine and for that to happen, he needs to write to the pope to ask for dispensation. She refuses, believing that the marriage wasn’t consummated.
Still grieving for his Mother, Catherine tries to comfort Harry while the King’s mother is told that the parliament grows restless with talk of a York claim to the throne. While the king is mourning, she appoints herself as regent and decides to deal with anyone talking about the York claim as well as the princess herself. She then orders Catherine and her people to leave the castle but defiantly, she refuses to give up and stands her ground.
The King’s mother then tells Harry that she doesn’t approve of their union but Harry insists, telling her it’s the right thing to do for the country. Maggie and Richard Pole then arrive to see the King. They offer their condolences but the King sends them away just as Harry arrives, announcing that he is soon to be married to Catherine which shocks Maggie.
The king’s mother asks if the king has written to the pope yet to which he tells her that he keeps thinking of his wife’s last words which were not to let Harry marry Catherine.
They finally have a name for the traitor too – none other than Maggie’s Cousin; Edmond de la Pole. Fearing a York invasion, the crown are desperate to build an army but unfortunately, there’s no money. In a bid to pay for the army, they plan to increase taxes.
The next day, Harry takes Catherine out to hunt. When she comes back to the new house, a letter from her Mum is waiting for her. She tells her that she knows she hasn’t got the Pope’s permission to marry Harry so she needs to come back to Spain. Catherine, determined to be Queen of England, refuses.
The king’s mother then meets with Maggie and mentions her traitor cousin. They also discuss Catherine and Maggie explains she can’t forget what was done to bring her here. She then quizzes Maggie on whether she thinks Arthur and Catherine ever consummated but Maggie replies that she isn’t sure. The king’s mother thinks she may be lying so throws her out of the castle and bans her from any royal residences.
Later in the evening, lady Pole is taken by men in masks and locked in a room. One of the men happens to be her cousin Edmond. He wants to take the Tudor crown for himself and tells her that their family used to rule and it’s their birthright. After refusing to help him, the King’s mother speaks to Oviedo and tells him he now serves the English army and also tries to get him to be her spy.
As the episode ends, the King decides to celebrate and have a feast to which Catherine is also invited. He announces there will be a royal wedding – he’ll marry Catherine himself which he thinks will be good for England.
The twist at the end of this episode is a really nice touch and although the romance between Lina and Oviedo oftentimes falls into melodramatic waters, everything else does well to keep tensions simmering throughout the episode. The political intrigue and mood here is perfect, backed up by a pretty decent musical score, picking up at the right dramatic peaks. The second half of this mini-series certainly sets things up nicely for the romance between Harry and Catherine too but for now, the fourth episode continues to deliver a dramatic and politically charged narrative.