It's Christmas in the palace, but nothing is merry or bright.
Credit: E!
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It’s Christmastime on The Royals and all through the palace … Not much was stirring, because Liam gave the entire staff the day off. Of course, the rest of his family was thoroughly unimpressed by this thoughtful move — as we know, they can’t do anything for themselves. Further, Liam simply can do no right these days. Don’t worry, though, we’re still strongly #KingLiam.

Unfortunately, trying to figure out the turkey and its “pop-up thing” wasn’t the only difficulty during this week’s episode. So-happy-there’s-no-way-it-can-last Eleanor finally got the disappointing 180 we’ve been anticipating for weeks; Helena got randy around some particularly violent figgy pudding; and Cyrus just got really, really drunk as he debated Robert over which royal should give the midnight address. A shattered, newly single Eleanor ultimately pulled herself together for the big public statement and, perhaps, made a few people wonder if there shouldn’t be a fourth member of the Henstridge family under consideration for the crown.

Most Surprising Twist
I’ve made no mystery of my irritation with little Sarah Alice Hill, but she was actually pretty darn cute this week, helping Jasper put together a storybook for Eleanor: “The story’s about Alice in the palace and her caterpillar friend, Frosty. It’s a wonderful caterpillar but he wants to change into a butterfly so the princess will notice him … He finds out along the way [there’s nothing wrong with being a caterpillar] and the princess loves him anyway.”

Biggest HUH?!
“Of course there’s a Santa Claus. He already left you some presents,” declares sassy Sarah Alice. Apparently, King Simon got touching last gifts for his family members (minus Robert, who was presumed dead at the time) and had them wrapped and hidden somewhere a child would find (but, you know, no one else) before his passing. Which was how long ago, do you think? Three months, perhaps? Maybe more? Are we seriously supposed to buy all that? HUH?!

Runner-Up: That random song-and-dance number to kick off the episode. It was ridiculous, but I also kinda loved it. And did everyone catch the moment where Liam and Robert were fighting over a crown and then placed it atop Eleanor’s head?

Credit: E!

That Time Robert Was the WORST
Ugh. When do we vote Robert back to that island? Jasper thinks his parents sold him out to the inquiring journalist who somehow knows about his history and relationship with Eleanor, but I have no doubt the culprit was Robert. We haven’t officially found out yet, but c’mon. How much do his parents really know about Jaspenor? Robert’s been disapproving of them from the moment he waltzed back into the palace — and it sure seemed like Jasper’s use of the family gym was enough to make him cook up a way to tear them apart. Well, mission accomplished. Jerk.

Oh, and hey, how about that time Robert kept calling Liam “Sparrow” whilst repeatedly trying to make it sound like he saved the day and cleaned up everyone’s messes? Grrr. I hope Liam seriously messes him up when they duke it out next week.

Outfit(s) of the Week
Ho, ho, ho, it’s Santa Cyrus!

Credit: E!

Little Elf Sarah Alice was too cute not to include here as well:

Credit: E!

Cyrus’ Most Conniving Moment
So, Cyrus sent fancy engraved bottles of wine to the candidates for the privy council and Robert found out about it. Absolutely nothing shocking there. I’d be disappointed if Cyrus didn’t try something like that. “Be careful, Uncle. I’d be wary about alienating the new guard with old tricks. It could work against you,” Robert threatens. Thankfully, Cyrus has the perfect response at the ready: “I like you, Robert. I always have. But you’d be unwise to play a game of chess with me.”

Shirtless Moment of the Week
Spencer Hoenigsberg looked damn good in that gray sweater, but he looked even better out of it.

Shirtless Moment on The Royals
Credit: E!

Musical Cues of the Week

  • Eleanor singing “Winter Wonderland,” duh.
  • “Last Man Standing” by The Slow Show, as Jasper breaks up with Eleanor
  • “Anchor” by Novo Amor, as the family is opening gifts from King Simon
  • “Roses on a Breeze,” as Jasper gives Sarah Alice a heartbreaking hug

Crown Jewel Quips of the Episode

  • “It’s a goddamned zombie apocalypse.” —Helena, realizing the palace staff was M.I.A. (and moments later, Cyrus)
  • “I’m the Queen of England. What makes you think I can’t whip up a magnificent figgy pudding?” —Helena, not realizing a figgy pudding is whipped up a year in advance
  • “That’s a lot of stuff. Maybe there’s a picture of our table online.” —Liam, trying to set the Christmas dinner table
  • “I played chess with my father. Remember that.” —Robert to Cyrus
  • “Perhaps a refresher course for Liam in mattering. Hashtag yesterday’s news!” —Drunk Cyrus
  • “I was attacked by a figgy pudding whilst having spontaneous sexual intercourse.” —Helena, explaining her black eye to her three children
  • “I wasn’t on an island, and I’m also not sure it’s incumbent upon anyone to remind us of anything in the absence of our father. Regardless, here’s to a happy Christmas and to ushering in a new year where hopefully everyone’s a little less full of sh-t than they are this year.” —Liam, making a toast
  • “I know you have a history with Robert, but you have a future with me. I want you, and I will fight for you. Unless you tell me to stop.” —Liam to Kathryn, before she tells him to stop (but clearly doesn’t mean it)
  • “You will never know the depth of what I just lost.” —Jasper, leaving a message for his father after giving up Eleanor
  • “I won’t apologize … for being the person that I’ve become since you left.” —Liam to Robert

Eleanor’s Speech
“It’s midnight, it’s Christmas, and here in the palace, all is calm and all is bright. But that doesn’t me that we don’t have our share of difficulties and struggles. Christmas is hard sometimes. Families are hard. But being alone sometimes is the hardest of all. We’ve all been bruised a bit and we’ve had our hearts broken, but we are a nation of fighters so that’s what we do. We get up, we move on, we fight. We face the things that are bigger than us with dignity and with courage and we ask for help when we need it. The time for you to be great is now because you are. I’m proud of you. Merry Christmas.”

Episode Recaps

The Royals
2015 TV Series
  • TV Show
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