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.
• 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?

The White Queen: Episode 3; The Storm.

For about the first half of this episode it was a little boring. Just a sequence of events, but not a lot of character development. Which annoyed me because the characters are my favorite part. But once “the storm” of the title occurs, wow, suddenly everything was very exciting and it ended up quite well (well not for Isabel…).

The beautiful, but tragic Isabel Neville played wonderfully by Eleanor Tomlinson.
The beautiful, but tragic Isabel Neville played wonderfully by Eleanor Tomlinson.

The highlight for me this episode was Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabel Neville. Wow, she blew me away I was so very, very impressed. She’s my new favorite on the show, my MVP (sorry Elizabeth/Rebecca Ferguson). And she’s so beautiful with those big, wonderful eyes. Isabel is the only truly sympathetic character on the show. She seems like a normal young girl caught up in schemes that she wants no part of. She says repeatedly that she does not want to be queen, but her father, Warwick, does not care what Isabel wants. She realizes that she and her sister, Anne, are just “their pieces on a board,” pawns to be used by their father and George. Isabel doesn’t trust her father, she feels he could easily betray her as he did Edward. This admission shows that she isn’t totally stupid, but it’s also quite sad. Isabel is alone in the world, unable to trust her own family. It’s also sad when Isabel tells Anne, “we will never have what [Elizabeth] has.” In other words, they will never marry for love (well I’m not so sure about Anne…). Everything to do with Isabel is just so sad! The pain over her baby needlessly dying… it made me cry a little. That would be such a frightening experience. This time the episode ends with her wanting revenge. Elizabeth and her Evil Eye better watch out!

Sorry Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) you're not my favorite anymore.
Sorry Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) you’re not my favorite anymore.

Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) started to become very unlikeable to me this episode. She’s starting to come off as the annoying, nagging wife. I understand she’s upset about her father and brother’s deaths. But when Edward tells her to drop it, she should just listen! Instead she keeps moping about it for the whole hour. Except for when she suddenly gets horny and jumps Edward’s bones. She’s all happy because her fortune said they would have a boy. But ick, her sudden change of mood was just…weird…dirty even. Maybe it’s because Anne had to unlace Elizabeth while she was making out with Edward. It was all so cringe worthy. And Elizabeth gets naked while Anne is still in the room?! That seems like something a whore would do, not a queen. I guess she wanted to show off, but still…yuck! Rebecca’s acting is excellent during the scene in which she confronts the Neville girls for the first time since the murders. She is commanding, mad, sad, basically everything all at once. And with Jacquetta looming over her shoulder, it was an awesome scene.
The storm sequence of the episode was very exciting and I can’t wait to see what the fallout will be. I hope Isabel somehow gets revenge on Elizabeth (since her voodoo created the storm).
• When Warwick asks his pregnant daughter, Isabel, “Is it a boy?” Umm far as I know sonograms didn’t exist back then. Was he really expecting an answer? Is he dumb or were people that ignorant in the Middle Ages?
• Margaret (Amanda Hale doing some very good acting) says she would cut off Edward’s head if she could. I seriously believe it, she scares me a little.
• Anne Neville is very much like her father, Warwick. She doesn’t fear his schemes, as Isabel does. Maybe that’s why I don’t like Anne.
• Isabel is worried about Elizabeth’s “evil eye.” Hahaha, I thought I was the only one who said that kind of thing.
• Warwick is so monotone while talking to Elizabeth, but is all perky and happy once Cecily walks over. Hahaha, he’s a sneaky snake.
• Margaret is the best manipulator of anyone on the show. Anyone who underestimates her is making a serious mistake!

Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) praying/scheming.
Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) praying/scheming.

• Stafford puts up with a lot of shit from his wife, Margaret. If she was my wife I would never let her out of my sight!
• Margaret finally gets to live with her son, but he does not give one fuck. Both humorous and sad. I think she is so determined to make him king because she wants to make up for the years she could not be there for him. Or, you know, she just wants power.
• “God’s work” really just means “Margaret’s work.” 😛
• Men fight battles and women…pray. A silly, but true montage.
• Edward just suddenly kills the guy who basically saves his life. What the fuck kind of sense was that?! I thought Edward was a lover, not a fighter.
• Margaret gives no fucks about her brother’s death or that she is the one most responsible for it. Can she be anymore unlikeable?