Normally, it’s a bad sign when a show’s main romance is the least interesting. Thankfully, Victoria always has at least two other romances brewing in the background to compensate for the relatively routine marriage between the Queen and the Prince. This week, those romances crept to the forefront during a visit to Scotland.
Before we talk about the culmination of a nice slow burn, let’s pause to sigh at poor Wilhemina Coke. First, she had her eye on Ernest, whose eyes were always elsewhere. Now, she’s eyeing Lord Alfred (not that anyone can blame her), whose eyes are always on Drummond. The two men have been flirting subtly enough that no one else seems to sense what is developing… except every single viewer that is. While in Scotland, Alfred and Drummond skip out on the fancy royal party and attend the servants’ fun, dance-filled party instead. Walking back afterward, with a bit of help from some whiskey, the two finally kissed. It was sweet, it was beautiful, and it was most definitely witnessed by Wilhemina. Uh oh.
The other couple who stepped forward this week was, of course, Harriet and Ernest. Looking dour in her mourning black, Harriet has no interest in Ernest’s condolences or his company. She later tells him she feels responsible for her husband’s death because of her feelings for Ernest. The angry confession seems to free Harriet, in a way, so that at the end of the episode, she reaches for Ernest’s hand during a private moment. But can a romance between them truly develop? He’s King of Coburg and also carrying a venereal disease. It’s a toss-up which is more problematic.
Then there’s Victoria and Albert. For once, they made it through an episode without fighting! In fact, everything this week seemed set on giving the royal couple some romance. The setting was the beautiful highlands of Scotland. There was a lot of firelight. Victoria with her hair cascading down over her shoulders and talk of running away from their responsibilities. It was the kind of romance that’s been missing from this season. And it all began because of yet another assassination attempt.
While riding in their carriage, Albert spots a man raising a gun but he later cannot be found. The couple goes out again, this time with a chainmail lined umbrella designed by Albert, and the man is apprehended. To get away from, well, people who want to kill her, Victoria decides to visit Scotland. But it’s not until they break away from their entourage and go hiding through the highlands on their own that Victoria and Albert start to have a good time. The only problem? They’re lost. They told no one where they were going so their entourage is in a panic thinking that they’ve lost the monarch.
The pair finally come upon a nice, old couple who invite them into their little cottage. Having no idea who they are, the woman shows Victoria how to wash dishes and darn a sock while the men cook fish over the fire. It’s simplicity and a kind of freedom the royals have never known. They sleep peacefully and talk about never letting themselves be found. Of course, they are. Once they return to England, Victoria does her best to recreate their Scottish holiday by the palace fire, which is kind of cute. A small reprieve for her and her husband.
How dare Victoria do a Scottish episode and not find somewhere for Peter Capaldi to pop up.
Other than Drummond and Alfred kissing and recognizing that, yes, Jenna Coleman does look incredible in Scotland, was there a specific point to this episode?
I think this is the first time the show has ever gotten right the sweeping romance of Victoria and Albert that we all believe in and have heard about. Was this episode historically accurate? No, but it sure was pretty to look at.
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