PART ONE – WARP AND WEFT
GREAT EXPECTATIONS CAN LEAD TO GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT
Victoria wants to host a ball to help draw attention to the English silk-weavers, because we all know that tone-deaf monarchy is the #BestThingEver when people are rioting in the streets because of starvation and death. Sir Robert thinks it’s a terrible idea, and he’s not wrong. Victoria invites Harriett and Lord M to the ball – she misses her friends.
Albert wants the palace to run more smoothly, and when he finds out that the servants are getting “perks,” and very little pay. He decides to raise their pay as long as Penge and Lehzen get the cost of ordering so many supplies down. They agree and the servants are much happier – at least for now.
Lord Melbourne and Victoria have a dance at the ball, but he starts to become ill and lose his step and train of thought. Victoria gets distracted by Lady Emma to keep her from seeing her beloved friend in that state. We are all feeling the sadness watching him get sick.
While all the fun is going down in the ballroom, the crowds on the mall are rioting. Just as cousin Eliza told Mrs. Skerrett – they don’t need a ball, they need bread.
Lord Paget and Mr. Drummond meet in the hall…and is it just me or are they interested in each other? (It’s not just me.) Also – the servants are watching the riots and starting to get worried. The Queen sees them too, and she is upset.
THE MORNING AFTER
Victoria stands in the ballroom the morning after and wonders how she could have gotten it so wrong. She has a hard time listening to others, but in a first step to showing goodwill to the people, she decides to distribute all the leftovers to the poor.
Ernest decides to back to Coburg; he can’t stay in London and pine for Harriett, since she has already told him there is no point. Albert sees Lord Melbourne in the old Parliament building and asks him if he is well, and he says “No. I can’t say that I am sir.” But he doesn’t want Victoria to know – he can’t bear it if he were to cause her distress.
I’M NOT CRYING. YOU’RE CRYING!
Victoria asks Albert how Lord M was, and when she finds out he is gravely ill, she wants to know why he didn’t tell her himself. Albert tells her that he didn’t want to distress her. She decides to visit Melbourne at his London home and she brings him a gift of a mechanical songbird that plays Mozart when it is wound up. She is visibly upset, and he tells her she will manage just fine without him, but promises to write her. He also tells her he learned a lot from her – more than she can imagine. She tells him “Goodbye Lord M.” and we all know it is for the last time.
When she returns to the palace, she finds Dash dead on the floor. She sobs to Albert that she will miss him so much, and we all know she isn’t just talking about Dash. Albert tells her “Everything changes Victoria. Except us.” We then see Melbourne sitting in an armchair with the mechanical bird winding down and a blank stare on his face (is he dead??), and then Victoria is burying Dash on the palace grounds.
PART TWO – SINS OF THE FATHER
DIDN’T WE TELL YOU BABIES DON’T MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY?
We open part two with an announcement that a baby Prince has been born – his name is Albert. Victoria has acute post-partum depression. I think it’s a good thing to see – people need to talk about things like this so they aren’t perceived as abnormal. Oddly enough, she gets support from an unlikely source later on.
HEY, WHAT’S GOING ON?
Albert’s dad really likes the ladies, and he dies in Coburg while taking his pleasure. I guess if there was a way to go, this would be his favorite.
The story about “the boy Jones” (the palace thief) has hit the papers, and no one is pleased that the public now knows that the palace security can be breached. Albert wants Lehzen to find out who the rat is that told the papers about the palace thief, or else all the staff will be fired.
Victoria wants to go to Coburg, but Albert says that he doesn’t want her to “make such a melancholy journey.” He probably thinks her post-partum will get worse.
He could be right. He’s not right, but she doesn’t go.
The Queen is still struggling. Sir Robert really wants her to attend any kind of public appearance to appease the people – but she isn’t into it. When an explosion occurs in the armory of the Tower, he convinces her to attend the hospital to give the survivors her support. While there, she speaks to a man who has named his daughter after her, and she is moved to tears.
MEANWHILE, IN COBURG
Albert tells Ernest how badly he felt after the last words he said to their father. Ernest tells him that at least he died with Liesel, the love of his life. As Albert is talking to Leopold, he finds out that his uncle and his mother “comforted” each other after the birth of Ernest because she was a young, beautiful and unhappy woman. Record scratch…LEOPOLD is Albert’s biological father? Albert is not ready to call him Uncle Daddy.
Leopold is trying to marry Ernest off to a very unpleasant noblewoman from somewhere. He isn’t impressed, and Albert is still processing the unwelcome news from earlier, so in the age-old tradition of unhappy people everywhere, they decide to drink it off. When they return to the castle, Albert confronts Leopold; he doesn’t appreciate being a bastard and the implications it brings to Victoria and the children. Leopold says he told him because he wanted to bring him some comfort. #fail
As Albert leaves Coburg, he appears to be falling into depression.
DUCHESS FOR THE WIN
The Duchess tells Victoria that the display of emotion at the hospital was entirely appropriate. Victoria gives her side-eye and tells her that she cried for the men, but also for herself. The Duchess tells her that she is not the only one who has felt this way after having a child. She felt the same after her daughter was born, and tells her that every day will be easier.
She and her niece later bring Victoria an adorable puppy from a foreign dignitary. She loves it and puts it on her bed, where it promptly pees. She laughs. Her depression seems to be slowly abating.
STITCHES FIRED…AND FEELINGS FOR EVERYONE
Skerrett finds out that Francatelli is being accused of selling the story, but she knows that it was her cousin Eliza. She doesn’t want him to get into trouble, so she confesses and is let go from her position in the palace.
Drummond and Paget meet outside a club, and it turns out Drummond was meeting his future father-in-law. Paget is thrown for a loop and storms away angrily, because we all know they had some chemistry between them. Someone send me a link to that fanfic, please!
Back at the palace, Paget has given up and he and Wilhelmina are channeling Gracie Hart as Miss New Jersey and playing the wine glasses. She says she is leaving, and Paget stays firmly in the closet by telling her “We can’t always be with the ones we love.” Then he gets frisky by holding her hand.
Albert returns and Victoria is very ready to see him. She shows off the new puppy, named Isla, and tells him of the news with Skerrett, and that she wants him to go to the opening of the world’s first underwater tunnel with her. He says he can’t, and while she is at the opening of the tunnel, he recalls Skerrett to the palace. Turns out she’s rehired…Albert sees a parallel between her story and himself.
WARP AND WEFT
We end the episode with Victoria trying to comfort Albert by singing while he plays the piano. He wants to know how “Bertie” behaved while he was away. Did he learn to smile? She tells him she wouldn’t know, since she didn’t spend much time with him- she felt like she had nothing to offer the baby, and sometimes feels like an imposter – both as a mother and a Queen.
The thing that stood out to me the most in this episode was the relationship between Victoria and Albert; they are definitely in love, and although she struggles with being a Queen and a wife, he offers her the balance that she needs. Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes have some amazing chemistry. Also – the title of part one of the episode – Warp and Weft – was spot on.
Do you have thoughts on Episode 2 of this season of Victoria?