He's back — and we're not just talking about Robert.

By Breanne L. Heldman
January 01, 2017 at 11:00 PM EST
S3 E4
B+
type
  • TV Show
Network
  • E!
Genre

Robert is finally back on The Royals and just about everyone is thrilled about it. Well, not everyone. After all, Robert’s return means Liam will have to say goodbye to his current flame — and Robert’s former one — and Cyrus will have to fight even harder to keep his throne.

Once the shock of Robert’s arrival dissipates slightly, the four living Henstridges meet to devise a strategy. Helena’s plan is simple enough: Use the press conference already planned to announce the twins’ paternity to also announce Robert’s safe return. Of course, they encounter a few bumps in the road first, but ultimately, the announcement goes down without a hitch and we get a final act full of touching speeches.

In between, we see Robert and Liam face Kathryn, Liam end his relationship (for now), Eleanor awkwardly introduce Robert to her boyfriend, Jasper, and Cyrus get his groove back.

Most Least Surprising Twist
Remember #KingLiam? That campaign is looking like it’s about to be shelved, now that Robert — the eldest son of King Simon — is back. Liam isn’t even thinking about this; he’s too concerned about how to handle his relationship with Kathryn. That is, until Cyrus reminds him, “Tomorrow, you’ll be invisible.”

That becomes even clearer in the episode’s final moments when Robert concludes his speech with “We’ve only just begun” while Liam is hidden in shadow. However, Robert might not be letting go of #KingLiam right away. He seems none too pleased by the campaign as he watches videos to catch up on the last eight months and sees the hashtag in the comments sections.

Biggest HUH?!
Robert keeps talking about how happy he is to be back in his own bed, but he’s not sleeping in it. Sure, spending eight months alone on an island would take its toll, but Robert’s got to be up to something. And he clearly has secrets, which he teased to Liam when he mentioned the last thing their dad told him before his disappearance but wouldn’t say what it was. He’s shifty. I don’t trust him. And not just because I don’t love the way he treats “Sparrow.”

Cyrus’ (Ex’s) Most Conniving Moment
When Cyrus’ ex-wife, Veruca, turns up for a visit, she’s just hoping to get some information on dying Cyrus’ will and to begin planning on becoming the new Queen Mother. (Finally! A mention of Cyrus’ dim-witted daughters!) When Cyrus informs her of the latest events and that he’ll be losing the crown any day now, she smacks him. And smacks him. And smacks him. Unfortunately for Helena, Robert, Liam, et al., it works.

“You’re going to lie down while they put a legally dead person on your throne? Where’s the man I used to love to hate? That man used to preach religiously that there was always another way,” Veruca says. “That man wouldn’t let doctors’ results, or Helena, or cancer get in the way of what he wanted. [Smack!] That man used to take whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it, and piss in the mouth of anyone who dared speak against him. [Smack!] That man weaseled his way onto the throne of history’s greatest empire. [Smack!] Where the bloody hell is that man? [Smack!]”

Veruca’s strong words don’t stop there. “You’ve never loved anyone but yourself,” she reminds Cyrus, “so find a way to love yourself again.” He takes her advice rather literally, inviting his vapid lookalike, Chad, into his bed.

Shirtless Moment of the Week
With all the family drama going on, there wasn’t a whole lot of time dedicated to shirtless romps. Still, we managed to get this little glimpse at Liam and Kathryn before Jasper’s early-morning coitus interruptus at the beginning of the episode.

E!

NEXT: No, Robert doesn’t walk on water

Jasper’s Dreamiest Moment
It’s cute enough that Jasper was anxious to hear how Eleanor’s pre-interview with Vanity Fair went, but that he was nervous to be introduced to Robert as her boyfriend was freakin’ adorable — especially when Eleanor told him to just be himself and he responded, “Which self? Let’s start with: What accent should I use?” LOL. Too bad Robert’s still not very impressed when they’re finally introduced.

Most Royally Awkward Moment of the Week
When Liam realizes his walk with Robert has led them to the doorstep of Kathryn’s pub, he tries to talk his brother out of surprising her. No dice. She’s rightfully shocked, shouting, “Jesus!” “Well, no, not quite,” Robert responds. “I didn’t technically die and then come back from the dead. I just didn’t die like they thought I did.” And then Liam’s sadly sitting at the counter in her apartment while she and Robert talk at the table, another scene depicting him as Robert’s shadow.

Best Performance by a Razor
R.I.P. Grizzly Robert.

E!

Thank-You Note
This episode was delightfully devoid of Sarah Alice Hill, and for that I’m grateful.

Best Musical Cues of the Week

  • “Homegrown” by Haux, as Liam’s running back to the palace to see Robert
  • “Enough” by John Parry, as Robert’s watching the video of King Simon’s murder
  • “Suffocate” by Jordan Riddle, as Liam and Kathryn say their goodbyes
  • “Oh Brother” by Saint Raymond, as Eleanor says how happy she is

Outfit of the Week
Cyrus and Chad’s robes are everything.

E!

Crown Jewel Quips of the Episode

  • “You always did make everything about you.” —Robert, upon waking Eleanor after she fainted
  • “To be clear, daddy’s dead! Discuss.” —Cyrus, when first seeing Robert alive
  • “Maybe you should go back to just being incredibly handsome.” —Cyrus to Chad while dismissing him
  • “I’ve been on the Paleo diet.” —Robert to Helena after she mentions how skinny he is (he was on a desert island, after all)
  • “Generous with the sizing, weren’t we?” —Veruca’s reaction to Cyrus’ fake ball
  • “Put on your big-girl panties — or a pair of mine as you always liked to — and show them what a real king looks like.” —Veruca, after her slapfest with Cyrus
  • “Man, I just hope Robby being back will mean an end to all the drama that this family’s been through this year.” —Eleanor, proving she has a sense of humor
  • “It’s not every day a zombie leans in to kiss you.” —Robert to Kathryn after she rebuffs his advance

Robert’s Speech
Yep, we transcribed it. Here ya go:

“Hi. What stands before you is a story of impossibility and who stands before you is a humble man trying to make sense of that story himself. But for all of you sat here, and for the more than a few of you I presume watching around the world, I will do my best to make sense of that story. On the afternoon of a routine training exercise, my Hawk 128T2 was remotely taken over under the direction of who we now know to be Ted Pryce, my father’s murderer. Without control of my plane, I was forced to eject at the last minute. I careened into the water and fell unconscious. I awoke on the shore of a desert island. Armed only with a knife that belonged to my father, a small compass, and a single flare, I began survival measures. With my watch’s homing beacon damaged, I knew that I couldn’t waste that flare on anything but an absolute certainty. But I leapt at the first opportunity I had to be rescued. And when I saw that blessed fishing boat turn around, I could almost taste that cold pint of London pride on my lips…

“I can say that when I came to, I was completely stripped of hope. But the body does an amazing thing when pressed against a wall with nowhere to go: It doesn’t take no for an answer. And every breath that I took from that moment built a new degree of hope until I was completely sure that I would be back home, back in the country that I love, and back with my family, and back with you lot asking questions like this. So, no, I never lost hope. Patience, however, that’s a different story. Let’s just say that I painfully mastered the patience…

“Now let’s all take this impossibility as a renewed sense of purpose. Let’s commit to a new era for our kingdom. And let’s all hope to look back upon this event’s implications as being more epic than we can ever imagine. Dare I say, we’ve only just begun.”

Episode Recaps

2015 TV Series
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
Genre
Premiere
  • 03/15/15
Status
  • In Season
Performers
Network
  • E!
Complete Coverage
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