Though E! advertised its first scripted series as a frothy, over-the-top portrayal of a fictional royal family, the show—which featured glitzy getaways, sleeping with servants, slurping shots at polo matches, and smuggling drugs on the royal jet—felt restrained at times, and in others, unintentionally comical in its repetition of well-worn television tropes. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say again: The Royals was the British version of Gossip Girl, complete with designer drugs and flawless designer fashion.) But I’m happy to say that The Royals ended the season on an exceptionally strong note, with a focus on peeling back the glamorous mask of the show’s more mischievous characters. And in “Our Wills and Fates Do So Contrary Run,” we learned a just little bit more about the monarchy in a way that may have left us all craving more royal intrigue.
“By the time you read these words, it will be done,” we hear in a voice-over, as Helena pens a letter at her desk. “I only hope you can understand and accept why I did it and that someday you’ll forgive me.”
Who is she addressing? It’s not entirely clear, and the scene shifts quickly to Eleanor standing next to a car and then to Liam, who’s seen waking up at the sound of a phone buzzing. (Don’t you just hate that?) He’s still sporting a few bruises from his bar fight and looks hungover, defeated, and totally disoriented. Was he kidnapped? Ophelia walks over, which means he wasn’t kidnapped. This girl is full of surprises, and says she rescued him from the tunnels. “Sorry for going dark,” Liam says as way of an apology for going MIA. “It wasn’t about you.” In any case, he’s had enough of London—how about a trip? “Somewhere else in the world. Me and you. Today.” Without much hesitation, Ophelia pipes up that she’s always dreamt of Rio. Brazil it is!
As Liam blissfully daydreams of avoiding his daddy issues with a tropical vacation, Dr. Cohen—the doctor who revealed the secret of the twin’s paternity in that infamous press conference—is being shipped out on a three-year stint to Gibraltar by Cyrus’ command. “I did what you asked me to do,” says Dr. Cohen, who’s in shock that he’s been ordered to leave town. “I don’t even know the results. We didn’t test the blood.” What???
Meanwhile, the king—whom we’ve learned will no longer receive 24/7 care—is breathing with the help of a ventilator as Liam quietly approaches his bedside. But before Liam can say a word, Lucius strolls in. “I’m afraid I must ask you to leave, by order of the Prince Regent. Family only.” Liam shows a bit of backbone and kicks him out. Score +10 points for the prince!
Meanwhile, off on what one must presume is a seedier part of town, Eleanor—in head-to-toe black—is waiting for Jasper as he gets out of prison. No, she doesn’t miss the sex, but she has rescinded the charges against him. “Ironically, I now turn to you, the one person I could never trust, who suddenly may be the only person who can keep me from waking up dead.” She “needs” him by her side to protect her as she heads to meeting Robert’s assailant. Seriously, there was no one else for her to call?
Now no episode would be complete without a scene featuring Cyrus and Helena scheming and sure enough, the former strolls in to see Helena, who is poring over a piece of mysterious correspondence. He’s there to reconcile and to put their little tiff behind them. “We both have a monarchy to gain.” Then, he moves on to the subject of Alistair. “I’m taking care of it,” responds Helena quickly. Maybe a bit too quickly—what the heck is she hiding?
Elsewhere in the palace, Ophelia lies to her dad about where she’s headed, telling him that she’s proceeding with her plans to audition for that prestigious dance company. (Think ballet leotards instead of Brazilian bikinis.) They share a sweet hug goodbye, and it’s worth noting that Ophelia looks a tiny bit ashamed. I mean, as she should—she’s lying!
Meanwhile, Eleanor has returned to her room—which still bears evidence of her sorrow-fueled spray paint art—and under Jasper’s instructions, grabs a gun from under the vanity. The fact that Jasper kept firearms in her room is a complete surprise, and when she finds a second one tucked above her armoire, it goes without saying that she’s slightly shocked. “You are so American,” she tells Jasper via cell phone. She’s looking like a cat burglar with a hefty black bag to boot when Liam walks in. She’s noticeably relieved to see him but is less so when she finds out he’s skipping town with Ophelia and wants her to join. “I want you to come with us,” Liam says. “And when dad is well, we’ll come back home.”
Throughout the season, we’ve learned that Eleanor and Liam are close, though their relationship is hardly the stuff we’ve grown accustomed of seeing of twins on TV. I mean, they are twins—aren’t they supposed to finish each other’s sentences and stuff? But here, as Liam is pleading with Eleanor to leave with him and Ophelia, we see that though they lack both a father and mother at the moment, these two will always have each other. “You know I’d never thought you’d get out,” Eleanor says. “But it makes me so happy you will.” And with that, she’s gone.
NEXT: The real reason for Cyrus’ resentment…