Who should be waiting at the cathedral door for Catherine, but Prince Harry! We knew episode three would see Harry and Catherine spending some time together (we all know the direction of history from this point, right?). He's sweet and thoughtful in this moment, indicating that he feels guilty for the way he'd treated Arthur during his life. So there's the soft side of Harry!
I'm going to skim over a bit of the episode in this review, because to be quite honest, not a whole heck of a lot happened. To summarize, Catherine realizes that she's in a serious pickle - her golden ticket to English queendom has vanished, just as she was starting to warm to it in Ludlow. She's now aware that she is most definitely not pregnant, but she refuses to tell anyone the news because she knows what it means - a boat ride right back to Spain. But God has told Catherine that she's supposed to forge the alliance between Spain and England! She's meant to be Queen of England! How can she possibly stay the course??
I'm actually feeling bad for Harry right now - which is saying something, considering I know exactly what he's going to become in 20-30 years. But right now, the guy is infatuated with Catherine. He makes puppy eyes whenever he sees her, and you just know he's dying for a chance to get close enough to kiss her. But Catherine, on the other hand, is scheming. STARZ, you got me! I thought this was going to be a passionate love affair story between Catherine and Harry! I thought we were going to see sparks flying (mutually) between the two of them. Instead, Catherine's just doing whatever she can to get another royal English ring on her finger... even if it means LYING about her sex life with Arthur! (This is, of course, the big controversy of Catherine's life down the road - did she or didn't she with her first husband?) Well, this is not at all how Philippa Gregory wrote this story in the book this show is based on ("The Constant Princess")... and I'm a little baffled by it! Catherine is literally lying to everyone right now - including Harry - by saying that Arthur was never her true husband. He couldn't perform his duty! All to get Harry to say, "Hey, you know what this means? You can marry me!"... and that's exactly the plan Catherine's angling for.
Catherine, of course, is busy being incandescently happy about the fact that Harry wants to marry her, and she WILL be Queen of England, after all. (It's still a little unclear to me whether the majority of her excitement is from her own sheer ambition, or her sense of duty to Spain... Thoughts?).
In general, the big takeaway from this episode is that Catherine has turned out to be a giant schemer, and I don't like it. Nor am I convinced by it. I just don't think this is AT ALL the way history played out, or how Catherine's true character was. Of course, we can't know - and part of the fun of historical dramas is that creative license can be taken... but I still feel the need to point out that this feels really, really wrong to me. As we all know how Catherine's story will end, I just feel like she deserves a better love story than this - at least in fiction.
Final note: We're back to weird filmography. This episode was just shot in a bizarre way, and what's with the random awkward scenes? We had two in this episode that were reminiscent of Elizabeth's strange mouth-kiss on Catherine in episode one - here we had Margaret Beaufort groping Catherine's breasts in the palace corridor, and then Harry suggestively dipping two fingers into Catherine's bath water, then sucking his fingertips....what?
I'm left feeling a little bummed after this episode. I thought we were on an uphill march last week, but we've fallen down again, I'm afraid. I'm just not connecting with these characters or this storyline nearly as much as I'd have hoped. Can't wait for Sunday's episode, though, and of course I'm hoping my mind will change yet again.