The White Queen: Episode 4; The Bad Queen

This episode was kind of bland for me. I still like the show, but it feels like the characters are playing musical chairs with the throne of England. It would help matters if there was a character that really elicited the audience’s sympathy. Someone to cheer for. But alas there is no one. Even Elizabeth is no longer interesting or likeable.

The bitch is back. Veerle Baetens as Margaret of Anjou.
The bitch is back. Veerle Baetens as Margaret of Anjou.

The best part of this episode is that the Bad Queen has finally arrived! She makes a melodramatic entrance worthy of a soap opera. The music suddenly gets louder and more dramatic. It’s like the arrival of Maleficent or something. And I love it. Margaret of Anjou is a total bitch and she’s pretty justified in it. She and her husband were kicked off their thrones by Edward after all. Margaret of Anjou is finally the one to call out Warwick on his BS (that’s what made me really like her). Warwick gets away with his scheming with everyone else, saying he is just doing right by God. But Margaret knows that he’s really just trying to promote himself. Margaret is now running the show, not Warwick.

Michael Maloney as Henry Stafford and Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort.
Michael Maloney as Henry Stafford and Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort.

The MVP of this episode is by far Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale). Of all the characters on The White Queen, Margaret is the only one to be fully realized. Everyone else is flat and fairly stereotypical. But Margaret is special. She’s a conniving bitch who has no conscience. She does everything in the name of God and for her son’s sake, she believes he will one day be king. But she also has her moments of weakness and doubt. And her relationship with her son, Henry, is fragile and quite sad for her. I don’t like Margaret, but I find her quite interesting and Amanda Hale does some amazing acting. Margaret stands out from the pack, as she really has since day one. But her best scenes are in this episode. When she confides in her husband, fearing that she is being punished for her father’s sins. And the scene in which Henry comes to love and he truly believes he will be king. You can see the joy radiate from within Margaret. Finally her son loves and trusts her. It is a very touching moment.
Tidbits:
• WTF does Elizabeth see in her vision? It just looks like some cloth floating in the water to me.
• Poor Anne. I almost feel sorry for her. She’s married off to a real d-bag (Star Lord’s words). Too bad like Margaret of Anjou I also find Anne to be plain in terms of both looks and personality. She’s a mouse. Although I think she has some backbone that has yet to be revealed.
• Anne’s pining for Richard is becoming seriously laughable. Get over it! Has she ever even had a conversation with him? All I remember her doing was staring at him and sighing.
• George finally does something! He attacks Warwick! And then he just stops and proceeds to let Warwick tell him what to do. George is as big a pawn as any of the women on the show.
• “When I was a girl, I thought I was destined for greatness…sainthood.” Margaret really should have been a nun, she’s so dedicated to God.

Jacquetta (Janet McTeer) on trial for witchcraft.
Jacquetta (Janet McTeer) on trial for witchcraft.

• How dare Warwick arrest Jacquetta?! Bastard.
• “Fortune’s wheel will never stop turning.” Yes, Margaret of Anjou. Once someone gets the throne they are thrown off it the next episode. And then on it again. I can’t keep track.
• Anne’s rape was pretty brutal. It can be easy to forget how much rape went on during this time as the period is kind of romanticized today.
• Why does Anne’s eye go droopy just before her husband rapes her? It was so bizarre, I laughed (I probably would laugh at a funeral).
• Poor Henry Stafford. He’s a pretty good husband to Margaret, yet he’s still the odd one out.
• Mad King Henry is back on the throne, but probably has no idea what is going on.
• I wish there was more Isabel. I realize she’s a minor character, but still. I like her.
• Elizabeth finally gives birth to a boy. But isn’t it kinda too late for that? That would have been awesome an episode or two ago.
• Ewwww, did we really have to see the baby’s head crowning?

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