Whitehall (Season 1 Episode 11): “A King and No King”
The title of this episode speaks volumes in so few words. As has been the case since her arrival, the dismal English weather does not agree with Queen Catherine, who not only struggles with her health but the health of her unborn child. As the Queen ails, Barbara has given birth to another son for King Charles. He revels in the family that he can enjoy within her bedchamber but knows and makes her well aware that none of her children will ascend the throne. A fool, a hero, and a King are present at Whitehall. Jamie, the fool, for telling anyone who would listen that he is the true heir which has not been affirmed by the King. Jenny is a hero because she not only stands by her sick Queen – doing all in her power to get her well – but she also manages to get the King to the Queen’s bedside where trust and conversations are shared. Though a babe is lost to illness for the queen leaving her again without an heir for the King, a King is taking surely taking his throne as his own no matter the gossip.
Once again we see King Charles show qualities that make for a good king in Episode Eleven. The difference this time is while he is finding and asserting his power while seeing his faults and questioning what he must to do to make things right for England. Although just a servant, Jenny has emerged as the heroine of this story, standing by Queen Catherine no matter what punishments, lies, and threats she is faced with. We can only hope that her reward is not only in her job but in her potential future with Thom. Jamie, Barbara, and Rochester hang in the background causing little trouble this week, but surely after the revelations we might need to get ready for some sparks to fly. As the end of this season nears, what will Episode Twelve have in store for us? Stay tuned!
Liz Duffy Adams, Delia Sherman, Barbara Samuel, Madeleine E. Robins, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Sarah Smith
Serial Box Publishing