While not quite living up to the fun and drama of the previous episode, this one certainly had its high points, and I enjoyed it very much. I have to say, the more I see of Richard III, the more I love him - no, just so you know, that does not make me dislike the Tudors - I can, in fact, like both! Aneurin Barnard's portrayal of Richard is fantastic, and now that he is king, we're really seeing the depths of his personality come out. I'm also really loving the way Philippa Gregory wove the story of the princes' deaths - for once we are not pointing fingers at Richard and making him out to be the devil incarnate!
-Royal life is not fun. Who on earth would want to be king or queen (or even associate with them) during this period of English history? Anne Neville is learning, now that she is queen, just how hard it is to feel safe, and how to keep the people's support.
-Those poor princes in the Tower - one truly a prince, the other a stand-in - have people wishing for their death left and right! Margaret Beaufort, Lord Stanley, and Queen Anne all speak rather boldly about how much easier life would be if the two boys were simply taken out of the equation! (Ironically enough, Richard never makes mention of it!)
-Lord Stanley is an ambitious, somewhat cruel, man! He's as slippery a scoundrel as Lord Warwick was, but somewhat more clever in the way that he shifts alliances and pisses people off without leaving footsteps behind him. Once again, Lady Maggie is disappointed by her husband - who switches teams and turns on her by the end of the episode.
-Elizabeth is still doing virtually nothing while in sanctuary. She's fighting with her daughter (also Elizabeth), who seems to be the spitfire of the family - the only one brave enough to call her mother out on her ambition and blood-thirsty vengeful streak. Really, the woman should listen to her wise daughter - she has a point.
-Have I already mentioned how much I love the sympathetic view of Richard in this series? When the deaths of the princes are pegged on him (wrongly), he is sent into such an outrage and panic that he even goes to Elizabeth, begging to know if she has the boys safe and sound somewhere. Of course, she doesn't - but we are left with the very bittersweet feeling that Richard is not the bad guy so many believe him to be. Take that, Shakespeare!
-Clever clever clever of Philippa to write in the bit about the Elizabeths cursing the line of whoever killed the princes in the Tower. We're left wondering - was it the Richard/Anne team, or the Tudor/Beaufort team? As history tells us, both teams lose their first-born son, as the curse says will happen. And so the mystery remains. Touché, Philippa Gregory. Touché.
-Richard! I won't even hide it - I can't deny it - I'm pretty much in love with his character. Thank you, Philippa, for making him an utterly real, believable character who we don't love to HATE! His emotions are raw, his personality is exactly opposite of what most Tudor lovers assume, and he actually has quite a charming streak. Yes. Team Richard all the way!
-This episode, while interesting in the story line and general involvement of the characters in the princes' deaths, was sort of dull compared to the last one. We also still have quite a lot of ground to cover in the last episode, so I'm concerned that it will feel rushed and that the finale won't quite live up to my expectations after the rest of this great mini series.
-Bring on the finale! As sad as I am to see this epic series come to an end, I can't wait for the Battle of Bosworth! Just PLEASE give Richard an honorable, graceful end. Unfortunately - spoiler alert - I know what happens, and it's not good for Richard! Should be a pretty intense conclusion!