Meanwhile, Catherine catches wind of the king's death, thanks to the intuition of Oviedo - Lina's love-turned-Margaret's spy-turned-back-again. With sudden hope, Catherine decides that she must meet Prince Harry on the road as he travels from Hatfield to Westminster, if she has any hope of finally securing her marriage to him. Oviedo and Lina accompany her on this mission.
The bad news is, Margaret quickly discovers that Oviedo is to blame for Catherine learning of the king's death, and therefore getting to Harry before she could. This means bad news for Oviedo, who is now suddenly accused of stealing Lady Margaret's Catholic prayer book (remember this was a gift to him last week?) - and sentenced to hang. Forced into a corner, poor Lina is pressured to admit that Catherine and Prince Arthur had consummated their short marriage (Margaret will NOT let this go) - expecting that Oviedo will be spared. But Margaret is rarely true to her word, is she? The order for Lina's lover to hang is given regardless, and the two marry hastily in an awkward, guard-encircled Muslim ceremony, right before he's led to a barn to die.
THANKFULLY, Harry and Catherine make it there in time, having been informed of Lady Margaret's under-handed, ruthless actions. Oviedo lives, and Harry is furious with his Lady Grandmother - accusing her of acting as Regent without the right. Luckily, Lina's forced betrayal appears to hold no weight with Harry, who recognizes the position she was in when she made it. He announces that his marriage to Catherine will go on, and he will also release Maggie Pole and her children from their imprisonment in the Tower - by request of Catherine. Margaret Beaufort can feel the power slipping through her fingers bit by bit.
Margaret steadily - and quickly - declines at this point. She's not invited to her grandson's wedding, and she's lost every ounce of power she ever held at court. She is mistrusted, disliked, and virtually abandoned in her old age - left to her bed to fight the demons that now haunt her (remember the princes in the Tower? She sees their ghosts encircling her in a few scenes). Her final moments are spent with Maggie Pole, who is at the palace for the wedding. Margaret weakly declares that Queen Elizabeth had warned of a premonition: if Harry marriage Catherine, they will bear no sons, and the Tudor dynasty will fall. With these last cheerful words, Margaret dies.
What we're left with is a very interesting final scene. Catherine has received a letter from her father, King Ferdinand of Spain, indicating that it wasn't actually Harry who had pulled out of the engagement with Eleanor - but rather Ferdinand who'd broken it. This is, unfortunately, due to the admission by Catherine's sister, Joanna, that she had slept with Harry (remember that horribly random scene a few episodes back?).
So she decides to believe him. Seemingly mollified, she begins to walk away, when Harry stops her by ominously asking, "Catherine, you didn't sleep with Arthur, did you?" - Ooooh, this marriage is already getting off to a good, trusting start. Both parties have now had carnal relations with the other's sibling, and both are lying about it. As expected, Catherine maintains her innocence in a tone that indicates baffled surprise that he would even consider dishonesty from her. YIKES... this is not looking like the passionate, incredibly romantic couple that I had high hopes for at the beginning of the series. This relationship - which is only now becoming a real relationship - is built on nothing but dishonesty and ambition. (I'm still not sure if we're supposed to believe there's any true love between them). On this note, the credits roll and part one of "The Spanish Princess" comes to an uncertain close.
A final detail to notice is that we saw some nice foreshadowing regarding Harry's character in this episode. He's not king for five minutes before he pompously declares, "I'm no longer Harry, I'm Henry!". He barks at his privy council, steps all over his grandmother (rightly deserved), and puts Catherine in her place a few times. This young, unexpected king will NOT be messing around, and as he confessed to Catherine, he somehow always knew he should be king. How long will it take before the power goes fully to his head? Methinks it's already there. This should make for a very interesting "part two" of the series!
Speaking of which... according to news sources, part two of "The Spanish Princess" was ordered at the beginning of this month, which probably means that filming hasn't yet begun, and we can't realistically hope to see the series air until sometime next year. It will (as reported) be written and produced by the same people, with the same current cast listing - though with the promise that part two will allow Catherine's story to be told in its entirety, we can expect several NEW characters to come on the scene. No word yet on those cast members - for roles such as Mary Tudor and Anne Boleyn. I, for one, am very excited!
And as always, thank you for reading my reviews each week and helping to foster a community where we could all enjoy this show together. It's been a fun eight weeks!