The episode starts with a fatally injured Henry being carried away and Diane de Poitiers being pushed from the palace windows. It turns out to be a dream or nightmare, if you will.
Catherine visits Rahima, who is being held after she was caught snooping through the rooms of Mary, Queen of Scots. Rahima immediately blames Catherine, but Catherine tells her that everyone has a role to play. We return to the past, where Diane undergoes treatment with liquid gold. Ruggeri has been located by Catherine as she seeks to be rid of Diane once and for all. He reminds her that there will always be a price to pay. She tells him of her dream, and he tells her that she already knows the price of Diane’s removal – Henry’s death.
Mary, Queen of Scots, wants to marry as soon as possible and needs Diane to help Henry set a date. Strangely, Diane does not bother even to stand up as Mary comes in. Surely, Mary would have considered this an insult. They offer money for every bell that chimes for the wedding, but Diane claims to hate the bells. Back with Henry and Catherine in the privy council, Catherine waltzes in and conveniently brings up the wedding of Mary and the Dauphin. Someone calls Mary a “deranged convent girl” in her presence, and she does absolutely nothing… weird. Henry becomes angry with Diane and refuses to set a wedding date.
Outside, Henry questions if Diane ever loved him and sees Mary’s influence over their son as the same thing he went through. The wedding preparations are halted by Catherine after she introduces new measures for the national budget. Catherine speaks to Mary, and they discuss Francis’s stutter, and she tells her that she fears that Francis cannot have children. Mary is shocked and leaves in tears. Meanwhile, Diane finds out there is no money for the wedding and raises hell. Once back in her room, she finds a crying Mary who no longer wants to get married if they cannot have children. Diane races over to Catherine’s room to speak her mind.
Catherine plays the fool and blames Henry, which Diane does not believe. Diana treats Catherine with complete disrespect, and it only serves to help Catherine make up her mind to get rid of Diane, even if it means that Henry has to die. Henry and Diane discuss matters as the episode drags on, and it’s clear that Henry is also sick of Diane. Nevertheless, she manages to convince him. The following day, Diane announces that the wedding is set to go ahead. Catherine is visibly disappointed.
The Holy Roman Emperor and his sister Eleanor, the Dowager Queen of France, come to France for the wedding. Mary, Queen of Scots, strangely curtseys deeply for her fellow monarch and is thoroughly impressed by the Emperor. Henry has a heart-to-heart with his son just before his wedding, telling him not to be ruled by any woman. Francis practically laughs at him. As Mary is pulled and tugged into her wedding corset, Diane bathes in liquid gold. Catherine asks Henry to join the after-wedding joust, and he agrees as she hands him the sash she saw in her dream.
We immediately skip the wedding, only to meet “Their Royal Highnesses, the happy couple.” Uh, what? Mary hasn’t been a Royal Highness since she was six days old, and Francis became King consort upon marriage. The joust goes ahead as planned, and nothing happens at first. Henry orders his opponent to play to win, and during the second run, Catherine tries to stop the joust as she has second thoughts. He refuses to stop and does a third run. He is then hit in the face and falls to the ground.
We return to the present as Rahima accuses her of murdering Henry. Catherine orders her rations to be cut in half and leaves the cell. Back in her room, Ruggeri asks her if she is sure that she has picked the right girl.
This episode was a bit boring to me and the main events – the wedding and the joust – were barely in the episode. Let’s hope the next episode will be better.
The Serpent Queen is available now on STARZ and Amazon Prime. You can sign up here for Amazon Prime.