The Spanish Princess – Season 1 Finale “Destiny” Recap & Review


 

The Curtain Call

The Spanish Princess has had quite the ride since it begun all those weeks ago. With a dramatic, politically charged storyline and a host of colourful characters, Starz’s latest period drama has been an entertaining series from start to finish. While it does take liberties with the real storyline and some of the subplots haven’t always hit their mark, for the most part, The Spanish Princess has been a really enjoyable show.

The season finale begins with Lady Margaret and the King talking in his chamber. Margaret is rejoicing as all the traitors have been caught and announces to her son that she has found him a new Wife. Unfortunately, the King takes a turn for the worse and dies suddenly in his bath. Lady Margaret decides not to tell anyone yet as it could create a rebellion in the kingdom. However, Oviedo quickly realises that the King is dead when he finds a bucket full of blood, prompting him to reveal this bad news to Catherine and Lina.

Catherine finally finds Harry and gives him the bad news. She mentions that she’s aware that he has been promised to Princess Eleanor but tells her that he has decided against it; he wants to marry Catherine and all they need is a letter from the Pope.

We then cut back to Margaret whose holding a council meeting where they discuss the people being over-taxed; she blames Edmond Dudley and accuses him of having collected lands and properties in lieu of taxes against the law. This later results in him beheaded for treason.

Margaret finally decides to make the news of the King’s death public and Harry, now calling himself Henry, announces that he is to marry Catherine. This doesn’t please his Grandmother as she wants him to marry Princess Eleanor, reminding him that he would need the Pope’s dispensation to do so. Henry rebukes her, angrily telling her that he is not pleased with how she has been acting as of late. In defiance, he also decides to pardon Maggie and free her.

Lady Margaret, becoming more and more erratic, accuses Oviedo of having stolen her bible.  As the guards search his bag and find the item, she declares that he will have to be hung for his crime. Lina then goes after Lady Margaret proclaiming Oviedo’s innocence. This leads Margaret to blackmail Lina into admitting that Catherine and Arthur have consummated their marriage. Fearing for her lover’s life, Lina admits that Catherine is not a virgin anymore. However, Lady Margaret still goes ahead with Oviedo’s execution.

Thankfully, just as Oviedo is about to be hung, Catherine and Henry arrive to save him. Afterwards, Oviedo announces to them that the Pope has sent a letter giving them dispensation weeks ago but Lady Margaret had him intercepting all the letters. This does then eventually lead Catherine and Henry to marry. Unfortunately, this proves too much for Lady Margaret as she descends further into madness. After having a final conversation with Maggie, Margaret dies in her bed alone, with no one by her side.

On the day of her wedding, Catherine receives a letter from her dad explaining that he actually stopped the union between Henry and Eleanor when her sister told him that she slept with Henry. The Princess then goes to confront her future husband about it but he denies it. He explains that he did everything he could to get them where they are now, even standing up to his Father, the King. The episode ends on an intriguing note as Henry tells his bride with a knowing smile that he hasn’t slept with her sister just as she didn’t sleep with Arthur. She then leaves, looking very emotional, realizing that they are both lying to each other.

Based on two of Phillippa Gregory’s novels, the Spanish Princess has been an entertaining and gripping historical drama. Having being preceded by two other successful series, The White Princess and The White Queen, it’ll be interesting to see if Starz will adapt more of Phillippa’s novels going forward. Some of the minor events were not always completely accurate and some of the melodrama a little over the top but as we were warned about this at the end of every episode, it’s hard to really have too many complaints about this.

The Spanish Princess has enough political intrigue, drama and romance to make it an enjoyable and easy to watch series. It’s certainly one that’s got me interested in the Tudors again and the final episode does a good job wrapping everyone’s story arcs up whilst ending on an intriguing note if there is to be a second season. This could potentially set the scene for the next season if it happens, focusing on how their marriage unfolds. For now though, The Spanish Princess ends with a suitably dramatic episode and a season finale that should please fans that have stuck by this one over the weeks.

 

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