Yesterday morning as I got my act together to get back into the swing of normal life after a wonderful three day weekend in Colorado with Mary and Joe (more on that to come!), I decided to find a recap of the season 2 premier of Victoria, which I had watched a day late after getting home.
Last year during season 1, both The AV Club and Vulture covered the show.
This season? Not so lucky. (Also if anyone DOES know of somewhere recapping Victoria I’d love it if you sent me a link) Anyway, I decided to do what I started this blog to do in the first place. When I see a gap in coverage of things that I like…fill said gap.
I loved series 1 (I’m switching to the British now) of Victoria so much that my 30th birthday masquerade costume was switched from a long held concept (Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina) to Queen Victoria.
(For more on that party, check out Juli’s blog post about what she and Dom wore!) And after The Crown, which though I loved it, is very heavy, I was looking forward to Victoria’s lighter touch. Also, after The Crown I had rewatched series 1, so everything from that season is plenty fresh. (Also, frankly, if this sticks, I’ll go back and watch it again and recap.)
So, 2 episodes are airing a week. I’m going to recap both episodes in one post, usually on Monday, though this week on Saturday. Cool? Cool?
Victoria And Albert-land
So, if there’s one thing that both Victoria and The Crown have taught me, it’s that being married to/while being a queen is difficult. Victoria has just give birth to Princess Victoria, and while she’s struggling with confinement and some feelings of disconnection, Albert is managing the royal duties, including the war in Afghanistan, very well.
But it’s not just the baby blues and the continued meddling of their Uncle Leopold, and her mother sighing at them all the time, that may cause problems for Vicky and Al. Victoria isn’t sure she wants more children. (HA! 8 more coming!) Not because she doesn’t actually want them, but because she worries about losing her authority as queen as people think of her as mother. Oof.
Albert meanwhile, tries to find the correct balance between protecting Victoria and allowing her time and space to recover, without usurping her power or overstepping his bounds. He doesn’t always succeed at this and it makes her mad.
In this swirl of marital difficulty also comes, the charming, pretty and brilliant badass that is Lady Ava Lovelace. I actively squeed when she was addressed by name, because OMG! Ada Lovelace! An OG Nerd Girl! (We mostly trace our beginnings to Lady Lovelace and Mary Shelley) But of course her charm and brilliance totally freaks Victoria out, because Victoria’s education was you know, not great, and Albert is super academic.
So, who does Victoria turn to in this moment of marital insecurity? Lord Melbourne!
Lord M is not Prime Minister anymore (now it’s boring but nice Robert Peal. Albert and Sir Robert get along very well.) but Victoria misses him and his speeches about how she’s the best (I AGREE!), so she invites him to a dinner, and runs off to Brocket Hall a few times. Including when she finds out she’s pregnant again and Albert is off at the University talking math with Ada Lovelace and can’t be there for her.
However, Albert is still wonderful and they make up, and are getting ready for the new baby. (WHO’S READY FOR KING EDWARD VII?? It’s amazing to me that Victoria lived so long that William and Harry are only 4 generations removed from her.) (Also, this show makes me wonder how she’d feel about her Great-Great-Great-Great Grandsons’ choices of wives.) (I think she’d like Kate) (Maybe not so crazy about Megan)
Other Fancy People Who Aren’t Victoria And Albert
Ernest is back in England, THANK GOD! Because what is a British Period Drama without a brooding sarcastic sibling milling around? (I’m looking at you Lady Mary Crawley & Princess Margaret.) Due to the Duchess of Sutherland, who he was flirting with going home to her husband he’s allowed to stay! YAY! They do see each other at Princess Victoria’s christening and it’s so melancholy and beautiful. Mostly though he sits around playing the piano sadly while new character Wilhelmina Coke (who is totally adorable) watches him and sighs. I think this is a storyline I’m going to like a lot.
Speaking of Adorable Wilhelmina, her aunt, is Victoria’s new Mistress Of The Robes, and is played by Dame Diana Riggs, and mostly sits around talking about how nothing is as good as it used to be. You guys, The Queen of Thorns is back on ma TV, and I am very happy about it. She doesn’t do much, but it’s still way fun.
Victoria’s mother, Uncle Leopold and Albert’s father are still whispering about how great the Coburgs are (I mean, they are pretty rad, as Dynastic Families go. I’m still partial to the Romanovs, because you never love anyone as you love your first) and Leopold already has plans fro Princess Vicky, which as Victoria points out, is 100% out of line. SHE IS A BABY, and for the moment the heir to the throne of England. Get it together Leopold.
Poor People Totally Have Lives Too, You Guys
The servants aren’t exempt from drama! Victoria’s head dresser has gone home to Wales. (I mean, Victoria is nearly 40 years from founding Torchwood, so I don’t know why, she went. Also, I have a fun head cannon where she is Gwen and Clara is posing as Victoria and they’re protecting Buckingham Palace from aliens.) (I don’t know what Jack and The Doctor are doing.) (No you get a life!)
Anyway, she left and Mr. Penge is deeply put out about it, but much more put out that the knew chef is a kind of a dick and is serving weird food that the queen doesn’t like. Nancy/Skerrett is promoted to head dresser (YAY!) and Mr. Francatelli left because she rejected him. Victoria begs her to talk him into coming back and she tries but he says no. Eventually Lord Albert manipulates the situation to get him back. He’s not thrilled but, “There are worse things than being the queen’s favorite, I guess.” (Not worse than working alongside your ex, who’s true identity you are also hiding.)
They hire a new assistant dresser who is a Catholic (SCANDAL) and there’s a little orphan boy running around stealing the queen’s underwear! (THE HORROR) I’m curious about the new dresser and perhaps her connection to this little ghost, and how it’s going to turn out. If it turns out.
Politics And Stuff
The British army disastrously pulls out of Kabul, and Albert doesn’t tell Victoria about it. (Adding to their marital woes.) In the end everyone dies except on person, but Victoria is sure Britain is going to bounce back. (SPOILER, it will)
Also, everyone is convinced that Victoria’s continued friendship with Lord M is unconstitutional. Since they’re mostly talking about her personal life I don’t think it is, (neither does she) but I get the worry. I frankly, don’t pay as much attention to the politics.