'The Royals' recap: 'The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune'
Eleanor reconnects with an old flame in Monaco, while Liam and Ophelia get serious.
Doesn’t it feel good to be on top? Ophelia felt that oh-so-sweet rush during “The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune,” when she finally bested Gemma and earned her happily ever after during a weekend straight out of a fairy tale.
With the entire group in Monaco for the weekend—Ophelia, Liam, Gemma, Eleanor, Ashok, and even bodyguard Marcus—things were off to a promising start between our two lovebirds. Though in all honesty, it wasn’t that hard: during the final moments of last week’s episode, Liam had pretty much made his mind that Ophelia was Miss Right [Now]. Even the fact that Gemma was hanging after them looking super depressed and sad eyed couldn’t detract from the fact that Liam was ready to be struck by Cupid’s arrow.
Actually, make that Ophelia’s arrow. (Sorta.) Right after settling into their cushy digs, the group took to the poker tables. Gemma is a high roller—though that tacky egg-sized cubic zirconia on her finger suggests otherwise—and once she runs out of cash during a game against some dude named Omar, she bet Ashok’s McLaren coup against her hand. She loses, but Liam—who’s nothing but a good BFF to Ashok—steps in after Gemma’s plan to get back the car fails. “How about a game that requires actual skill?” Liam proposes. “What’s your game, your highness?” asks Omar.
Darts, obviously. Liam wins easily—which is a total flashback to how he earned Ophelia’s attention in the first episode—but Omar doesn’t give up the coupe that easily. There’s a physical confrontation—Omar and his boys against Ashok and Liam—when Ophelia steps in, Hunger Games-style. Seriously.
“I was raised in America where they decided guns were bad but a bow and arrow are honorable,” Ophelia says, completely straight-faced. Where the heck did she find this thing??? For the record, she’s not a great shot—in fact, she accidentally fires an arrow straight into Ashok’s leg—but she does hit her target. Liam is officially in L-O-V-E. Maybe it’s his mother & Eleanor’s influence, but it’s clear he loves a woman who’s unafraid to take charge. From here on out, it’s strictly snuggles between these two, much to Gemma’s obvious envy. But, as Eleanor puts it, “Nobody’s going to cry for a diamond heiress and a princess.”
NEXT: We meet someone from Eleanor’s past
Eleanor was in a peculiar place during the weekend; at the intersection of Contrite and Confused. Having left Jasper behind in England, she was feeling slightly smug and victorious. That being the case, she’s totally ready to party—especially given the contents of a bag she had packed with cocaine, pot, and other drugs. Everything is going to plan—that is until she finds a certain old flame named Beck at the villa in Monaco. (Liam invited him.) Beck, we learn, was Robert’s best friend, and more importantly, Eleanor’s all-important first love. In fact, she still loves him, which means she’s really not that mad when he hides her bag of drugs and forces her to go cold turkey.
Beck: “You have your drugs, your guys, and your darkness. But you still can’t diminish that light.”
Eleanor: “I don’t have a light.”
Beck: “Well you have a light, princess. So brilliant it’s hard to look at you sometimes.”
Eleanor: “So you only came because Liam asked you to.
Beck: “I came because I wanted to see you. Because I always want to see you. I’d see you every day if I could.”
What is that supposed to mean? Why can’t they see each other every day? Despite their sweet smooch later in the episode, it’s obvious that there’s something keeping these two from truly reconnecting. It’s not until the flight back to England that we learn why: sexy Beck is seriously committed to someone else. As in, till-death-do-us-part committed. It turns out that while he does love Eleanor, he’s not leaving his wife for her. “She wants to give it another try,” he says of his wifey. “I at least owe her that.” I don’t know about you, but I definitely felt sad for Eleanor on hearing the big reveal about Beck. Though she’s a princess, Eleanor’s life hasn’t been a fairy tale—she lost the older brother she adored, she never really had a mother, and, it turns out, she never had a real chance at true love. And it’s almost like she never will, or at least as made her mind up to that fact, since she’s back to playing up her party-hard ways to the paps as soon as the jet lands in London.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, Jasper has been reassigned to the Queen’s detail. Queen Helena isn’t about to just let some rando join her security team, so she has MI5 and MI6 look into his past. (Though it’s worth noting that Pryce already knows the 411 on his past. What a softy.)
Queen Helena: “You didn’t leave Las Vegas. You were banished by Cy Cook, the king of the strip. Apparently someone got a little too close to the king’s daughter. You have a type, Jasper from Shoreditch.”
Jasper: “It wasn’t his daughter I wanted. It was his wife.”
Ooo, nice play, Jasper. “You’ve caught me on a good day, bodyguard,” Helena responds seductively. “I’m melancholy. I’m stressed, and I’m severely horny. Think you have what it takes to earn my silence?”
With that, Jasper and the queen get better acquainted. It’s funny—the tables have turned and now Jasper is the one who’s being sexually blackmailed. He’s at the complete mercy of the Queen, who has very specific needs that aren’t being met, and certainly not by the King. He isn’t being particularly attentive these days. Maybe the stress regarding his decision about the monarchy is getting to him?
NEXT: Prudence plays a risky game
In fact, the only person who seems to have any time with the King is Prudence, the maid. Cyrus is particularly delighted about this, since he had blackmailed Prudence into keeping tabs on the King. But Prudence isn’t a great spy—serving tea is really more her thing—and the King discovers her following him as he’s people watching in central London after dark. (Are we really supposed to believe that not a single person recognized him?). But he’s not mad. “Join me,” he says. They chitchat, and the King asks “When did the wicked among us drive us away from each other?” Prudence thinks people are mostly good. (Of course she does.) “Whatever your struggle. Whatever circumstances confine you. I can help you. And I’d like to try.” Suuuure.
Though this little tête-à-tête doesn’t lead to suspicious territory, Prudence’s next move is certainly surprising: She decides to stand up to Cyrus and tells him she’s decided to no longer spy on the King. “I won’t do it,” she says, with a defiance we’ve never seen from her. “The King deserve better.” Cyrus retorts by emphasizing he’ll report her to the authorities, but then Prudence pulls out her trump card. “You need the monarchy to be looked at in a favorable light,” she tells Cyrus. “So I don’t think you’ll be telling anyone anything. Besides, there isn’t anything you can do to me you haven’t already done.” Bravo, Prudence!
While Prudence is giving Cyrus a piece of her mind, the King has decided to make amends for being less than attentive to Queen Helena. Flowers in hand, he approaches their room—just in time to see Jasper leave. Dejected, he walks in the other direction. Though he doesn’t say a word and we don’t see where he goes next, the scene seems set for him to make up his mind about the monarchy. Here, if anything, is proof that the crown has worn heavily on his own family.
But while his love for the Queen is being tested, another relationship—between Ophelia and Liam—seems off to a promising start. “No matter what, I will always be there for you,” Liam tells her as the pair prepare to disembark from the jet back in London. “You’re my girl, and I want the world to know it. Now let’s go show you off.”
Liz’s best lines:
“Are you familiar with the expression, ‘At Her Majesty’s pleasure’?”
Real-life royal reference score: 2 (Taking a jet for a weekend jaunt is such a royally extravagant thing to do, as is avoiding international security when a duffel bag of drugs is on board.)
Royals fans, are you as happy as I am that Eleanor and Prudence’s rape-y story lines have ended? What do you think is next for the King? Will Helena’s actions help make his mind up about abdicating the throne? Or will he run straight to Prudence? And do you really believe that Ophelia and Liam are ready to play house?