The episode opens with Rahimina and Catherine walking in the woods. Catherine reveals to her that the letter contains proof of a conspiracy between Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England against Catherine. Catherine asks Rahima to search Mary’s room for more evidence.
We return to the newly crowned Catherine, who is frustrated with Diane’s disrespect. Henry comes into her room to tell her she was right about the Holy Roman Emperor wanting to test him. He decides to make her regent as he goes off to fight him. Mary, Queen of Scots, a Queen in her own right, strangely curtseys to her father-in-law as he rides off. Diane rides up at the last moment to join Henry.
Catherine’s first privy council goes awry when the others fail to show up for it. She sees the test ahead and plays the game. Meanwhile, on the battlefield, Diane convinces Henry not to ride into battle. Catherine stands before parliament (I wasn’t aware 1500-something France had a parliament?) to passionately plea for more money for Henry’s campaign. Catherine wins the protestants’ support. Henry returns home in one piece and victorious.
The following morning, Henry and Catherine go for a ride as Diane is denied entry to the King’s room. Diane uses more and more of the gold solution provided by Catherine’s servant. Finally, she goes over the daily limit and downs the entire bottle. Henry takes her to Château de Chenonceau, which is now his. They have a heart-to-heart where he asks her if it is too late for them. He also grants her Chenonceau.
One member of the protestant faction rages against the King during an audience as Château de Chenonceau had once been his home. He insults the King and Diane, and Diane slashes his throat when he tries to leave, much to the horror of onlookers. Henry forgives her as the man dies on the floor. Catherine just stares at him.
As Catherine tries to find some peace at Château de Chenonceau, she finds that Diane has taken possession of it. Catherine angrily turns and wonders who will rid her of Diane.
Back in the present, Rahima agrees to search Mary’s chambers. Catherine goes off to walk with Mary to give Rahima time for her search. Catherine sends one of Mary’s ladies to Mary’s room to fetch her a shawl, and she ultimately catches Rahima in the act. Was it a trap all along?
Episode five sees Catherine inching closer to absolute power, but to me, it felt rather slow and also rather dark. So, with just three more episodes to go, will The Serpent Queen reach her goal?
The Serpent Queen is available now on STARZ and Amazon Prime. You can sign up here for Amazon Prime.
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