We return to France with the third episode of The Serpent Queen.
Rahima’s main target has survived the gunpowder explosion but has lost her eye. However, with Catherine’s protection, she is saved from receiving lashes and is even rewarded with new clothes. We return to the past as Rahima and Catherine walk in the garden.
Henry is on campaign still, and we have jumped a year in time. But, then, Henry brings home a surprise – his mistress and illegitimate daughter – leaving both Diane and Catherine thunderstruck. Henry has undoubtedly grown in his father’s estimation.
Meanwhile, a devastated Catherine begins to burn Henry’s battlefield letters as Diane comes by to make a game plan. Diana advises her to get pregnant as quickly as possible so they will both maintain their position at court. Catherine finally but tearfully accepts Diane’s help. The new mistress is quickly dealt with and is later seen fleeing the court.
Henry’s older brother shows the first signs of illness as they discuss their (future) wives. Diane asks a favour of Henry, and both undergo a humiliating examination in front of the King. The doctor advises that they try a different position. Diane later urges him to go to his wife, and he finally does. In another room, Catherine’s death is being plotted.
Catherine finds herself late and suspects she may be pregnant. During a later audience, Henry’s older brother insults her, and she leaves in tears. Her father-in-law tears into him and beats him as the court watches on. Catherine’s period starts, shattering any hopes of a pregnancy. Catherine is attacked in the woods, but as she flees, she runs straight into Henry’s arms. They end up sleeping together in the woods.
Catherine returns to Ruggieri, telling him she needs to get pregnant – no matter the price. He throws her a book of potions. Catherine later leaves the book of potions in the rooms of her dressmaker. Henry’s older brother then dies suddenly during a tennis match as Catherine watches on and after drinking water handed to him by the painter. Catherine breaks the fourth wall by shrugging at the camera. The King is convinced that his son was poisoned and immediately blames the Emperor. Attention later shifts to Catherine herself and then to her dressmaker when the book is discovered. Catherine lets them take the dressmaker to prevent war and protect herself. The dressmaker is brutally executed. Catherine throws up as she runs back to her room.
The price has been paid – Catherine is pregnant and now also the new Dauphine of France.
In the present, we finally meet Mary, Queen of Scots, with her four maids, also all named Mary, who is Catherine’s daughter-in-law. The court is now mourning the death of Catherine’s son. Mary claims that the throne is now rightfully hers.
The third episode of The Serpent Queen contains A LOT. Not only is there a jump in time, but also a death, an execution and the introduction of a major new player. I’m interested to see what role Mary, Queen of Scots, will play as she literally has no claim to the throne whatsoever. However, I did like that they portrayed her as the white Queen in mourning.
The Serpent Queen is available now on STARZ and Amazon Prime. You can sign up here for Amazon Prime.