Welp, here we are — at the next-to-last episode of the season! As one might expect so close to the finale, The Royals made sure to drop plenty of major hints and a few new reveals about the biggest story lines in the show, both revealing the identity of King Simon’s killer and placing Liam at a crossroads that’s sure to cement the course of his future career. And oh, Lenny definitely held her own this episode, making for a night that has me a bit sad that season is coming to a close. (Waaa!)
“And Then It Started Like a Guilty Thing” kicked off with Pryce scanning video of the Duchess confessing to killing off poor Domino. While Pryce is kickin’ it in his lair and watching security tapes, he checks out Jasper’s video files and comes to the realization that his underling has taken upon himself to do some unauthorized sleuthing. This is not the kind of extra-credit assignment that gets you a gold star, so Pryce confronts him about it, knowing that Jasper’s this close to learning that Lucius isn’t responsible for killing the king.
“There’s nothing you should know beyond this: The king’s murderer is in prison,” he tells Lucius. “I went out on a limb for you, Mr. Frost. I gave you a second chance, and a first and a third, as well. Let it go.”
Aside from bringing to mind approximately a million Frozen references, this little tete-a-tete serves another purpose by making Jasper all the more keen to learn the truth about what happened the night the king was murdered. Meanwhile, Pryce takes the video footage of the Duchess confessing to Domino’s brother, who, rather than feeling comforted that he’s know the truth about her death at long last, is absolutely hell-bent on getting revenge. “I’ve been chasing this moment for so many years… This is only the beginning, Mr. Pryce,” he says. “We have work to do. So much work to do.” Say what? Methinks whatever he schemes up will definitely be part of a bigger plan to take down the monarchy.
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Speaking of the monarchy, Liam — whose selfie-style video has made him a bona fide social media sensation — has inspired plenty of people to take action, including Helena. Her play? “Redemption,” she tells her assistant, Rachel, before taking off to warn Cyrus’ bride-to-be of the perils of wearing the crown. These include: no privacy, no real friends, and really annoying responsibilities. “Royalty is irreversible,” warns Helena. “If you expose your son to this life, to this world, there’s no going back.” But the maid-slash-baby momma doesn’t take kindly to Helena’s advice and, furthermore, wants to make Helena “irrevelant.” Adding salt to the wound? She plans on naming the new baby Simon. Oy.
NEXT: The Prime Minister makes her play
Rani, the acting prime minister, has also taken note of the #KingLiam movement — and she’s not a fan. If the monarchy is suddenly made young, hip, and cool, that will put an end to her influence and popularity. That being the case, she approaches Liam with a proposal: Would he be interested in taking a position in her cabinet as a youth ambassador? The job would be based in New York, which makes no logistical sense — but that’s the point, it would isolate Liam abroad and leave her to resume her political takeover as planned.
Liam takes his time mulling the proposal and, in doing so, spends some time with Willow, whom he hasn’t seen since failing to meet up with her in his bedroom on his birthday. Note that Willow is okay with it. “When they evacuated the palace, I got an extra slice of cake,” she tells him. “No drama.” That’s a good thing, since she’s one of the few sensible peeps that Liam knows. Anyway, Willow wants to show Liam something, namely a wall with #KingLiam graffitied on it. “See any members of parliament on there?” she asks him. “Maybe you should remind the deputy prime minister that no one comes to London to see her.” True, true. And with that, Liam’s mind is made up — and he decides not to take the job, even though his twin supports the cross-Atlantic move.
And speaking of Eleanor, wasn’t she something this episode? She was fierce, gutsy, honest, and caring when it came to taking Imogen under her wing as a protector and friend. Here’s how it went down: When Imogen called her about being abused by one of her boyfriend’s Russian mobster friends, Eleanor stepped up by heading straight to her hotel room to rescue her. “You’re nobody’s property… I know this guy is powerful; he’s a bad guy,” she tells Imogen. “But the world is a big place, and the rest of your life is a really long time.”
Her resolve doesn’t weaken when, later, the said goons break into the hotel room. Len is fearless and brave — even when she locks herself and Imogen in the hotel bathroom, you get the sense that she’s standing up for herself, too, and finally ending her cycle of unhealthy relationships. Not even Jasper — who shows up with Pryce to save her and Imogen — can change her mind, even in a subsequent scene he gives back the earrings that Mandy had in her possession.
“She felt unworthy and unloved. Unworthy of being loved,” says Len to Jasper, as the two stand on a balcony outside the room where Imogen is recovering. This is a reference to herself as much as it is Imogen, which becomes clearer as the scene goes on. “It occurs to me that there’s always been a girl in that room who’s felt that way and made their choices. But only one of those girls was strong enough to get out. And that’s not me.”
NEXT: The cray-cray moment you’ve been waiting for
With that, Lenny retreats back into her bedroom, leaving Jasper to choke on his tears and regret. As for those earrings, Lenny did something that reveals how generous she is: She tucked the bling inside Imogen’s suitcase, bounty that should help the poor girl support herself in her new life.
Without Eleanor as a distraction, Jasper heads to the gritty London streets (note: even the so-called “hood” isn’t that bad looking, in keeping with The Royals’ polished, pretty vibe), where he finds a couple of young kids fooling around with a GoPro. After some convincing on his part — namely proving his street cred with a flash of a picture of him standing side-by-side with the super-cool Princess Eleanor, the kids fork over their footage. Back at the palace, a scan of the footage reveals what lots of fans have suspected: Pryce was the one that stabbed the king. O-M-G!
Excited about his big discovery, he rushes out into the hallway, where he finds Liam. But before he can say a word, he gets a serious smackdown from Liam, who’s just learned about the Jasper’s lies and thieving ways straight from Eleanor. However, at the risk of getting his pretty nose broke, Jasper drops a bomb: “Stop, Liam! I know who killed your father!” Drama, much?
Also of note this episode? Pryce’s ghost of a wife kept showing up. She’s a total hater, which makes me question the nature of their relationship before she passed away. Any thoughts or theories about this? Plus, Cyrus revealed a new side to his twisted personality — the nice one — as he spent much of the episode trying to assemble a crib for his son. Aww. It’s nice to see his excitement over the baby, though it’s worth noting he hasn’t interacted with his daughters for several episodes. Oh, and said daughters realized they were both dating the same guy. Not cool — and being that neither of them is exactly a genius, how long will it take for them to find out that Helena was the one who convinced anti-monarchist Nigel Moorefield to court them? Plus, Lucius — who manages to look pretty good in prison garb — tells Helena that Cyrus gave him orders to kill Alistair. If that isn’t fodder for revenge, I don’t know what is!
Liz’s best lines: Nada, you guys. Serious Helena = the absence of seriously juicy dialogue.
Real-life royal reference score: 2 (Liam’s shock at seeing a wall of graffiti is almost laughable, but it’s kind of understandable for a kid who’s lived his entire life behind palace walls. Also, Eleanor wore a sequined black dress emblazoned with the words “Little Black Dress.” Because only a royal could wear something that fug without someone telling her so …)