The Royals recap: Doubt Truth to Be a Liar
The twins celebrate their birthday, and Helena has some humble pie
If last week’s big reveal about Jasper’s secret scheme was any indication of the drama to come, well, I hope you have a glass of water handy because the drama up in here is about to get scorching hot. Like, you might have to get into a dunk tub hot – which incidentally, is something that actually happened during “Doubt Truth to Be a Liar.” (Yes, really.)
The big event this episode was the twin’s birthday, which they celebrate every year during a super-stuffy bash that the queen hosts for the posh set. This year’s celebration is set to be the same type of affair, laments Eleanor in a post-snuggle session with Mandy. In fact, the only non-boring birthday she’s ever had was when King Simon threw her and Liam a carnival-style 9th birthday party complete with “dodgems.” (British speak for bumper cars.)
This provides the perfect way for Mandy to lay the groundwork for her plan to steal Britain’s biggest diamond, which goes as follows: 1) Convince Eleanor to wear the diamond as a necklace around her neck 2) Make a fake duplicate of said necklace 3) Get Eleanor drunk during the party 4) Swap out the priceless jewel for the fake one and 5) Make a run for it! Easy, right? Steps 1-3 go as planned, particularly since Mandy — in a stroke of real genius — turns the stuffy gala into a fun soiree with the help of a bumper cars setup, a dunk tank, and a huge cardboard cake for the twins to jump out of. Sure, there may have been plenty of old farts there – all kinds of ambassadors and dukes, and even Cyrus and his girlfriend, appropriately decked out in a gown and updo that might have been cute in 2005 – but the props helped transform the party into something less “senior citizen” and something a little more fun for a group of twentysomethings.
It goes without saying that Eleanor was super-touched by Mandy’s “sweet” gesture, and Liam loved it too, especially since his Argentinean boo Wilhelmina was invited. The pair definitely seemed closer than ever this episode, with plenty of flirty dialogue, cuddles, and even a dare from Wilhelmina for Liam to try and dunk her in the dunk tank. Of course, Liam did and she got soaked, which brought up chatter about her having to take a shower and change in his rooms. And by shower and change, I mean, these two were dropping major hints about doing the dirty.
And they might have, if Mandy’s plan had gone completely as planned. See, she went as far as getting Eleanor super drunk (well, let’s be honest, that was easy) and was even successful in swapping out necklaces in a scene where Eleanor, in an effort to thank her for the party, lets her try on the pricey piece. The only problem arose when Mandy — with the necklace nestled under her clothes — tried to escape from the palace using one of the underground tunnels, only to find that Jasper had closed off the gates. Before these two can really get into it — they’re supposed to be working together! Jasper’s supposed to be a con man, why flake now? — Eleanor shows up, having followed her lady love. Jasper, sandwiched between the princess he adores and the girl who used to be his accomplice, confesses. “We came here to rob you,” Jasper tells Eleanor, producing the diamond. This of course, makes poor Lenny feel all the feels.
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“If this was just about taking things from me,” she says, taking off her diamond earrings one by one, handing them over to Mandy. “Here, take these.” Mandy pockets those puppies and makes a run for it, though Jasper chases after her and makes a plea so as to cause a little less emotional distress to poor Eleanor.
“You can come back to the palace with me, you can tell her you changed your mind,” says Jasper. “You can tell her literally, nothing else matters because you will give up everything for a second with her.” However, that would be lying, and Mandy prefers stealing over telling unnecessary lies. That being the case, she tells Jasper to stop being such a wuss. “You are so sweet,” she says. “That was always your weakness.” With a kiss, she’s off — leaving Jasper to follow Eleanor back to the party. It’s worth noting that Eleanor has to go through pretty drastic measures to be alone, setting off the sprinklers in order to force party guests out of the palace. But it’s during this unexpected shower that Liam – on his way to his tête–à–tête with Wilhelmina – locks eyes with a mysterious blond across the ballroom.
Could it be? Is it her? Liam has a flashback of the blonde stranger standing over him in the rain during his kidnapping, and speedily makes his way over. “Who are you? Why are you here? What does that symbol on my necklace mean? What do you want from me? I know it was you that night. Please tell me,” he asks, gripping her by the shoulders. “Not now, we’re being watched,” she responds, and runs out into the evening. Could this girl be the missing piece in the puzzle that is that night? Why was she at the party? Does she have some royal connection, or is she part of the monarchists movement?
While Liam is left to ponder this blonde mysterious stranger, Jasper has nothing else to do but stare at Eleanor — barefoot, drunk, and miserably unhappy — as she sits in a bumper car in a deserted ballroom. This has to count as one of the worst birthdays of all time, right?
As the twins navigate the crazy events that is the night of their birthday party, Helena is dealing with some unforeseen drama of her own and didn’t even show up to the twins’ birthday party. Though she received the good news that her succession bill has passed — effectively leaving nothing but the simple act of offing Cyrus, who stands between her and the crown — girlfriend is in the dumps, reeling from the news that Lacey may have been murdered by one of her own men. So what’s a queen to do as part of the grieving process? Head over to her former lover’s house to sniff his old shirts, of course. And once there, she gets an insane surprise ….
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…He’s alive! Come on, this is a soap — did you really think he’d die that easily? By my count, he’s good for at least two more assassination attempts. Helena freaks the eff out, and dies a little inside when Lacey rips her a new one.
“I’m alive. But not to you. To you, I’m dead forever.” He’s super P-I-S-S-E-D about her recent scheming and plotting, and there’s more. He demands to know if the twins are his, and absolutely nothing Helena can do will ever make it up to him. As far as he’s concerned, they’re all Helena has going for her. Without them, he says, she’d be “completely alone.” Not even a pseudo marriage proposal from Helena can even begin to chip away at the damage she’s caused. Yup, it’s bad.
That being said, Helena eats her slice of humble pie and heads back to the palace, where she arranges for a paternity test. (In an over-the-top scene, Lacey cuts open his hand and sops up the blood on a handkerchief for Helena to use as DNA). And there, at the palace, she sees her young daughter. Sad-looking Lenny is entirely alone; alone, that is, except for Jasper. Helen stands, observing the scene. Will she approach Eleanor? Will she prove to herself that she’s not as cold as Lacey accused her of being? Or is too late to take a step forward as a parent, and prove that she’s a mom who can care for and love her children no matter what?
For all the gloom, tears and doom this episode, there was a small ray of sunshine: Cyrus decides he really, really loves his maid-turned-main squeeze, and picks out an engagement ring for her. Could a royal wedding be in the works this season?
Liz’s best line:
“Anything you want from me, name it. I’ll leave the palace, I’ll marry you. Anything.”
Real-life royal reference score: 2 ( Liam and Wilhelmina play a round of Pimms pong, a riff on beer pong using the quintessentially posh cocktail Pimms Cup, and another point for the insane rings that Helena rocked this episode. It makes sense that this queen wouldn’t leave the palace wearing anything less than a double-digit number of carats.)