If the main theme of the episode is Catherine and Arthur's relationship, the sub-theme is for sure the "did they or didn't they" controversy that will haunt Catherine twenty years down the road - Did she and Arthur consummate their marriage or not?
Well, the two sure did get off to a rocky start on the wedding night. Arthur seems - for lack of a better word - scared. Catherine seems all too eager to perform her wifely duties (and I should clarify, it's probably not because she's particularly drawn to Arthur sexually, but because she knows she has ONE job as his new wife - conceive a royal baby as quickly as she can). Catherine entices Arthur to bed, then suggestively slides a hand up his leg. We're led to understand that Arthur is not - umm - aroused, and he gruffly insists that they go to sleep instead. Some wedding night!
The wedding certificate ink is barely dry by the time Arthur and Catherine are off on their first married trip together - to their new home at Ludlow Castle in the Welsh Marches. The young couple is still rather distant with each other, and Arthur's confiding some of his innermost feelings to his cousin, Maggie (who still really doesn't like Catherine)... but it doesn't take too long before things start to take a turn. Thanks to Catherine's persistence (this girl is REALLY trying), they finally end up in bed together. Cue a little pillow talk, some dreaming about their future "Camelot" kingdom, and a few adorably (dorky, on Arthur's end) flirtatious conversations... they start to build some feelings for one another! Finally, we're thinking they might have a shot at some real happiness! But you'd only be thinking that if you don't know the true course of history.
We end the episode with a distraught King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth arriving at Ludlow to see their deceased heir, and when asked "What will happen to Catherine now?", Queen Elizabeth coldly remarks, "I don't care what happens to her." Cut to the credits.
(There was a much more minor subplot that took place during this hour, as well - poor Princess Margaret (sister to Arthur and Harry) became begrudgingly betrothed to the King of Scotland - in order to form yet another alliance for England. Please excuse me for skipping that element of the episode in this review... it just didn't seem as important or interesting as the Arthur/Catherine bits!)
What's ahead for Catherine next week? My guess: a lot of Prince Harry. Who knows how fast they'll show that courtship (I don't know how many episodes will make up the series), but I'm thinking Harry will play a big part in the next episode... and Queen Elizabeth will keep on being her cruel, cold-hearted self (which is one element of this show that I just don't understand or agree with). All I know is that after this episode - where I really felt like I connected with Catherine and became absorbed in the story - I can't wait for next Sunday!