Episode four begins with Rahima enjoying her cosy surroundings, but she is soon summoned to Catherine’s side. She is intercepted by the servant who was injured in the blast and claims she’ll pay when Mary is back on the throne. Mary, Queen of Scots, was the wife of King Francis II, Catherine’s eldest son, who has recently died. Mary, of course, has no claim to the throne, so I hope this storyline isn’t going where I think it’s going.
Rahima questions Mary’s claim, but Catherine tells Rahima her second son Charles will be King. In reality, he already is King (The King is dead, long live the King). When Rahima asks about the death of Francis, Catherine goes back to storytelling, but we’ve now made a 15-year jump from where we last saw Catherine as Dauphine.
In that time, she had nine children and had taken on the raising of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was betrothed to Francis. Catherine is once more giving birth, and it’s a particularly difficult birth. The child is stillborn, and Catherine is heartbroken. Strangely, King Francis I, who has trouble… getting it up, is still alive. His mistress Anne fears the future. The timeline seems to be a little off from reality. In reality, Catherine was pregnant with her third child when Henry succeeded his father. In The Serpent Queen, we seem to have already reached the end of her childbearing years while her father-in-law is still alive.
Where shall we end up next? Catherine is still mourning her child as she watches her other children playing in the garden. She finally allows herself to be washed and dressed and goes down into the garden. Henry is awkwardly distant but promises to visit her later that night. He never did. Catherine is advised not to have any more children, and this happened in real life as well, but after the traumatic birth of twin girls. Catherine and Diane fight after Diane claims to only tolerate Catherine’s night with Henry when they were useful for having children. Henry backs Diane to Catherine’s fury.
The King then collapses during the hunt and dies shortly thereafter, making Henry and Catherine King and Queen at last. Before he dies, he tells Catherine that she will be the real winner in the end. As she had expected, the King’s mistress Anne is forced to leave the court. Even Queen Eleanor leaves, and this is consistent with reality. Upon the late King’s request, Catherine is admitted to the privy council.
Later in the garden, young Francis sits out the game on “account of his breathing.” Catherine and Henry discuss Diane, but Henry rebuffs her. Catherine sets a plan in motion to remove Diane from the court while Diane turns to one of Catherine’s servants to stay in control. She gives Diane a gold solution to preserve her youth. The Holy Roman Emperor has a messenger deliver a severed head.
Back in the present time, a message of treachery is delivered.
Despite the confusing timeline, the fourth episode has found its pace again. Catherine seems to be biding her time and planning ahead for the ultimate revenge. The next few episodes should be good.
The Serpent Queen is available now on STARZ and Amazon Prime. You can sign up here for Amazon Prime.