The Boy: Heir to the throne of England or mere pretender?
The answer to that question still wasn't entirely clear by the end of The White Princess Season 1 Episode 7. Lizzie is certainly still conflicted as to his identity.
But she's at least entertaining the possibility that The Boy is her brother, thanks to Maggie's...urging. The girl finally found her spine.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Maggie finally come into her own. Was it her aunt's "trembling flower" taunt that pushed her past her fragility? The realization that Teddy would never be released? Or just the horrifyingly complicated situation that she found herself in?
The fact is, I don't really care which straw broke the camel's back...or rather helped Maggie find her spine. It's funny that she thought her submission would force others to compassion. Still, she managed to maintain her grace and sweetness while shaming Lizzie.
We are none of us fearless, ma fleur tremblante. But we are women, and we do what we must do.Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy [to Maggie]
Rebecca Benson really did put up a good fight in her attempt to steal the show from Jodie Comer this time. It helped of course that she had great material to work with and that Maggie was basically involved in all the plots.
From her meeting with the Duchess (which was good, but I was more focused on Margaret of Burgundy's hair being half undone again) to her attempt at an explanation to Arthur and Harry to comforting Cathy Gordon, she was everywhere.
Other than her pissing off her cousin, I liked the scenes with her husband best. She's most herself when she's with him, and even though he's her "lord and master," his lower rank has always allowed her to stand tall.
Maggie [before The Boy is parading through London]: I'll not go.
Lord Pole: You must.
Maggie: No, I must not. I have never joined you for the hunt or any other blood sport, and I will not start with this.
While the Pole marriage is one of trust and affection despite its onerous start, the Tudors are not doing so well. Honestly, I thought we were supposed to like Henry?
I mean, I guess I don't hate him. He's far from the most repugnant feudal husband on television. But his ill-advised flirtation with Cathy Gordon piled on top of his never-freaking-ending distrust of Lizzie was really irksome.
Henry: Do you love him?
Henry: The Boy. Do you love him?
Lizzie: Of course I don't. He is my... He is my burden.
I get that he's in a tough position and that the writers are trying to highlight how threats to his throne ripple through his life creating paranoia, but enough already. Even worse than the characters constant need for reassurance, petty bullying of The Boy, and effort to seduce Cathy is his lack of empathy for Lizzie.
You know, his wife. Who might be having some feelings other than paranoia about somebody claiming to be her long-dead beloved little brother? Maybe don't ask her for details about him in an obvious attempt to gain some advantage over a man you already have in custody.
At least he's deferring to her opinion over his mother's these days. That's something, I guess.
Lady Margaret [about The Boy]: He is a counterfeit!
Lizzie: Of course he is a counterfeit! You think we do not know that?
Henry: He says himself that I must kill him as a threat, so I will not. I will not be commanded by him. I will parade him. [to Lizzie] Do you agree?
Lizzie's reaction to The Boy, Cathy Gordon, and the rest of intrigues going on at court was perfectly nuanced. I absolutely adored the scene where she closed the door to her rooms with her ladies on the other side. Not a word of dialogue, but Jodie Comer still managed to convey So. Damn. Much.
Not all of Lizzie's responses to what was happening around her were endearing though. She's always been this magnificent, kind queen, but her treatment of Cathy Gordon was all kinds of nasty.
Hitting the poor woman on the head was a pure Regina George moment.
Not that the women of Henry's court are usually kind to each other, per se, but that was especially cruel. That and letting Lady Margaret take her baby away. At least Lizzie didn't follow her mother-in-law's path and smother the poor babe.
Despite all the cattiness, there was quite a bit of good advice being handed out from the older generation about operating as a woman in the turbulent late medieval era.
Not that it's always good advice. I mean, Lady Margaret is pro-infanticide, and the Duchess of Burgundy is willing to send children into battle.
But they have their moments.
With all the emphasis on the difficulties of navigating court life for women, I was surprised that Cecily wasn't around. Sure, she was kind of bitchy, but The Boy is possibly her brother as well. With her earlier toadying to Lady M and Henry, I can't help but wonder what her reaction would have been.
Henry [about The Boy]: He thinks it was a Tudor who killed the boys in the Tower.
Lady Margaret: Then he only shows his ignorance.
Henry: Who could it be if it were not King Richard?
Maybe she'll get to show up one last time on The White Princess Season 1 Episode 8.
I'd love to see the York sisters come together on the conclusion. There's only so many surprises that historical dramas can throw at an audience, and I'd love to have more insight into the (possible) York family reactions be one of them.
I'm not ready for this story to be over yet, but I trust Emma Frost to see us through to a satisfying conclusion. The facts may be set in stone, but it's all in how the story's told after all.
Remember, you can always watch The White Princess online, and we want to hear your thoughts in our comments section!
What's your opinion of The Boy? Would you have fled to the country, or maintained your claim to the throne? Should Maggie have done more to help, or kept her mouth shut?
Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.