The White Queen: Episode 2; The Price of Power.

This episode wasn’t as good as the first one. It was a little bit of a letdown. The best thing about it was the fast pace. It was never boring. I just would have liked to see more character development.

Queen at last. Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville.
Queen at last. Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville.

There was an emphasis again on women orchestrating things in the background. But the limitations of this were also shown. Anthony, Elizabeth’s brother, tells her “You must do the thinking for [Edward].” Elizabeth initially succeeds in bending Edward to her will using her sexuality, but also simply appealing to his ego. This backfires though as all Elizabeth does is piss off Warwick even more, thus causing him to rebel against Edward. Poor Elizabeth has it pretty rough this episode. You would think now that she’s queen things would be smooth sailing. But that isn’t the case in Medieval England when you have three daughters, but no male heirs. To Warwick, she’s even more of a failure because of this and he uses it to his advantage.
Jacquetta doesn’t have too much to do this episode which is a shame. She strengthens her family’s position through beneficial marriages. What else are you going to do when you have so many daughters? The funniest part of the episode was the betrothal ceremony of young Catherine to the future Duke of Buckingham. The little girl is thrilled while the boy sulks his way through the ceremony.
Margaret Beaufort was shown more in this episode. She’s a strange character. Mostly I find her annoying, what with her constant praying. She comes off as nearly delusional. But the audience does sympathize with her. She has had her son taken away and she was unable to marry the man she loves. Margaret’s mother tells her, “You are a girl. You live the life your mother chooses for you. Or your husband does.” It’s a bitchy thing to say, but an unfortunate reality for women at the time. Elizabeth’s situation is the exception, not the rule. I admire Margaret’s determination to see her son succeed (and eventually steal the throne). But she really is annoying with her constant preaching. The girl needs to loosen up.
The best part of the episode came in at about the last ten minutes. Rebecca Ferguson shines in the scene where Elizabeth and Jacquetta discuss the deaths of Elizabeth’s father and brother. Elizabeth finally breaks down from all the stress she has had to endure. She cries, she screams, and she captivates the screen. She wants revenge. The sheer power of her will is so vehement that the audience really believes she can curse George and Warwick. I really love the witchcraft on the show, it’s made to be very believable. I’ll just have to wait till next episode to see if the curse actually works.
Tidbits:
• Margaret’s mother tells her, “I do not care if you are happy.” What a bitch!
• Anne Warwick annoys me. Her sister, Isabel, is much more interesting and a better actress. I wish their roles were reversed.
• I liked that the narrative skipped ahead three years. It keeps the show fast paced.
• Apparently George hates his brother so much that he would side with Warwick and try to disinherit him? That just came out of nowhere, George’s motivations should have been explored more.
• RIP Elizabeth’s father and brother whose name I can’t remember and no one cared about until now.
• Death to George! Death to Warwick!

• Not enough sex. Isabel and George don’t do it for me.

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