The White Queen plucks towards its thorny finish and it’s not looking rosy for Queen Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson). King Edward (Max Irons) is safe on the throne and all the kids are growing into fine duplicitous youth. Too bad the King’s got a fever and can’t enjoy it. Henry Tudor (Michael Marcus) is in exile in Brittany fighting his way to manhood. His mother, Margaret (Amanda Hale), hasn’t seen him since he was a completely different actor and from the look of her slumping shoulders, it’s making her slowly implode.
King Edward’s fever breaks bad. The family gathers around and he gives his last orders. His brother Richard (Aneurin Barnard) is to protect his son Edward (Sonny Ashbourne Serkis), the new King, until he grows up and can hire people to look after him himself. This would make sense except for the fact that the person the young king needs protection from the most is Richard. Elizabeth sees this of course and tries to tell the king, but he wasn’t the brightest bulb at full wattage. Richard’s not really rowing with both oars either, because he doesn’t quite grasp that he’s a royal cunt hair away from the throne until Anne Neville (Juliet Aubrey) reminds him. Over and over again.
“The King is Dead” and everyone who has something to lose is all broken up. Everyone else ready themselves with the usual games of plotting and scheming. The first order of business is to banish the king’s whore Jane Shore (Emily Berrington) from the court into the bed of Elizabeth’s brother, Anthony (Ben Lamb). Then Richard orders his men to go out and protect his brother’s son the best way he knows, by locking him up in a tower. Sure, no one can get him there. Richard’s men slaughter Edward’s guards while taking him into protective custody. Young Edward wants to console his mother, but in royal logic, is told he can’t. He has to wait until she’s done suffering.
Margaret bluffs her way into the royal pot by setting tongues wagging. She’s a scary one, Margaret, poisoning any chances of Richard and Elizabeth reconciling what they both want, Edward’s protection and coronation. Richard just wants to protect the boy, doesn’t he? I don’t think even he knows. Henry Stafford (Arthur Darvill), the Duke of Buckingham, name checks his royal bona fides but craps out at the roulette wheel. Still, he does better than Anthony, who’s the first on what will certainly be a long off-with-heads week.
I’m not saying that the royal family isn’t close, but Elizabeth is able to slip a peasant kid past her entire family to pass as Edward’s brother and get locked up in the tower. After a lot of nagging from the royal ball and chain, Richard calls Edward a bastard and takes away his crown. Elizabeth’s daughter discovers she’s also got the witches’ sight. I hope she gets better magickal training than her mother did. Her spells work fine, individually, but she sets new records in Instant Karma. Luckily, young Elizabeth caught the attention of Margaret, who is wedding planning for horny Henry.
The White Queen is defeated. “The King is Dead.” Long live the White Stripes.
“The King is Dead” was directed by Colin Teague and written by Malcolm Campbell.
Den of Geek Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars