Victoria Season 2, Episode 2 Recap

Deborah Gilbert | January 21, 2018

Tom Hughes as Albert

Episode Two – “Warp and Weft” and “The Sins of the Father” Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 9pm. Tom Hughes as Albert, husband of Victoria. ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE

Spoiler alert: have lots of Kleenex at the ready for episode 2 of Victoria. If you do not cry at least twice while watching, you are made of soap stone. So much loss. It’s no wonder Her Majesty was depressed. She could have really used the words of comfort offered by another queen, her great, great granddaughter Elizabeth. At a different time of great loss, the current Queen of England said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Uncle Leo, that is how you offer comfort. Take note. Now let’s all rally our troops.

The 19 essentials of Victoria, Season 2, Episode 2

19. Headscratcher

Episode 1 ended with the Duchess of Buccleuch confronting the young intruder in the palace. We must surmise that seconds later the Duchess wrestled him to the ground, because this week we open with Prime Minister Peel employing a phrenologist to study the shape of the boy’s head, to determine his criminality. But he’s a cheeky little bugger who does not fold under interrogation. He won’t tell how he got in to the Palace because he might want to go back. We find out later he was sent to Australia.

True History: In the 80 years that Australia was a penal colony (1788-1868), more than 162,000 prisoners were sent there, most convicted of petty crimes – and most stayed there after their release. It is because so many of the criminals sent there were the poor, from London’s East End, that the Australian accent is so similar to the Cockney accent. But Boy Jones wasn’t sent there (exactly). See how he ended up, below.

18. House Keeper

While Victoria is nonchalant about the boy intruder, Albert is very upset and convinced they’ll all be murdered while they sleep. He is also upset about the state of the palace, and the way it is being kept – or not. Victoria says, “OK, Bud, if you don’t like it, quit yer complaining and do something about it.” She grants him carte blanche to do what he must. He is now on a mission, having Lehzen accompany him on tour with Penge, who also does not crack under interrogation. Lehzen, who cannot decide whom she dislikes more, Albert or Penge, is amused by Penge’s way of frustrating Albert.

When Brody serves Albert, the Prince asks him about working there and gets the lowdown on staff perks. Brody explains that the things the family throws away the servants can sell for extra money – which they need because they are paid so poorly for the honor of serving the Royals. Albert asks him what his perk is and Brody says the paper they throw away. He doesn’t sell it, but writes on it to develop his prose. Instead of cracking down, Albert decides that to encourage a more honest staff, they should be paid better. They’re all getting raises. Of course, when Penge relays the news he spins a tall tale, taking credit for their raises and becoming hero of the day. What an ingenious way to garner the kind of loyalty that will inspire the staff cover for your loafing. Plus Brody gets a gift from the Prince; a journal for his writing. No more trash picking for him. And Lehzen has new orders: she is to shred all waste paper with her teeth.

True History: Albert did crack down on perks. As I wrote last season, perks began with William Fortnum, cofounder of Fortnum & Mason, who started out as a footman for Queen Anne in the early 1700’s. Because the Royals wanted fresh candles every night, the enterprising Mr. Fortnum began reselling the half-used wax, openly advertising them as candle ends from Buckingham Palace. Not only was a retail institution born, so was a perk for Royal employees. But apparently Prince Albert put an end to all that when he began running the Royal households and instituted a strict (some might say cheap) economy that even required servants to provide their own scrub brushes. Guests at the palaces were limited to just two candles a night for their rooms, and one Equerry wrote later that he was surprised to find the lavatories at Windsor Castle stocked with newspaper!

17. I Dreamed a Dream

Nancy’s cousin Fauntine, the “real” Mrs. Skerrett, is getting increasingly bitter and resentful that Nancy is swanning around the palace and bringing silk doll dresses to her little daughter Cosette, made from Her Majesty’s scraps, while she’s stuck living in squalor. She’s happy to take her money though. What’s worse, it looks like she’s spending the money Nancy gives her on booze.

16. Silk Purses and Sows’ Ears

A painting of Victoria and Albert in the costumes they wore to their 1842 ball to help the Spitalfield silk weavers.

Detail from Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting of Victoria and Albert in the costumes they wore to their 1842 ball to help the Spitalfield silk weavers.

The Duchess of Buccleuch is going through the “begging letters” and one is from the Spitalfield Silk Weaver who made the fabric for Victoria’s wedding gown. He is one of those requesting an audience. Victoria grants his request and he comes to implore her to help save his local industry from cheap imports. She hears him and takes it to heart, and to the Prime Minister, but Peel says they cannot apply tariffs to protect every British business. Victoria rightly points to the Corn Laws that protect British farmers from foreign competition, so Peel tries (but fails) to mansplain to her that it’s more complicated than she thinks, causing her to retort, well yeah, the silk weavers don’t have seats in the House of Lords, like the farmers do! (Oh snap!) Mr. Drummond tries to calm the situation with another idea – as a woman of fashion, Victoria could lead the way by wearing silk. Alfred agrees and ups the ante: A Ball!

15. Having a Ball

Victoria agrees, the solution is a ball, but then Victoria thinks the solution for everything is a ball. Peel objects to the idea, saying there is unrest among “the lower orders” and it would not be a good idea to tempt fate in an ostentatious way. He reminds them of Marie Antionette’s offer of cake to the masses, which left her with nowhere to place her hat. Victoria has a snappy comeback to that too, saying that if she were a lower order she’d be more upset about a Prime Minister who supports the corn laws that keep prices high. So there. She does mean well – and it might work.

Plans for the ball begin in earnest. It will have a medieval theme, and everyone attending will be required to wear costumes made from silk from the local weavers. Victoria even orders Albert a toy crown from Garrard’s just for the occassion. He’ll be King for a night (yeah, try to pry that crown off his head at the end of the party!) Peel tells Albert it is bad PR and asks him to try and put a stop to it, but Albert says whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

On the night of the bal costumé, while inside the Palace the swells guzzle champagne, outside, a dinner theater production of Les Misérables has broken out. All of this is unbeknownst to Victoria, but when she goes to find Albert and hears the rabble outside, she approaches the window and stands wide-eyed watching the angry crowds below. She can hear the people sing.

True History: The House of Garrard, who made Albert’s crown, holds a Royal Warrant. Their earliest Royal transaction was in 1735. They were appointed Crown Jewelers by Queen Victoria and have served every Monarch since. Princess Diana’s iconic engagement ring (now belonging to Duchess Kate), made by House of Garrard, was inspired by the brooch Prince Albert gave Victoria for their wedding – and the design is still in their engagement collection (in case you want to drop any hints before Valentine’s Day).

14. Doggie Bag

The morning after, Victoria surveys the mounds of leftover food and asks Mrs. Skerrett to see that they be distributed to the poor. Mrs. Skerrett thinks it is a capital idea. From the newspapers to hecklers in the House of Lords, the criticism of the ball’s extravagance continues. They all say it was a waste and helped no one. Victoria decides that her next ball will have a beauty pageant theme where she will wear a winner’s sash that reads, “Miss Understood.” Albert tell Peel he was right. Peel tells him he can make a difference in another way, by leading the project to build the new Parliament building whose construction is bogged down in political bickering. The battling Whigs and Tories could use an objective leader to take the reins. Albert accepts.

True History: Dress Excess. The £64K costume Victoria wore to the ball would be worth the 2018 equivalent of £5,990,400 (or $8,323,220 in dollars). That’s a lot of bread.

13. So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Goodnight

David Oakes as Ernest, brother to Albert.

Victoria, Season 2. David Oakes as Ernest, brother to Albert. ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE

Miss Coke suggests to Prince Ernie that he go to the ball dressed as Robin Hood, the romantic outlaw of yore. He likes the suggestion. She then turns up looking suspiciously like Maid Marian. Not so fast. Unfortunately for Miss Coke, the only thing this Robin Hood wants to take from the rich is the wife of the Duke of Sutherland. But he bides his time, dancing with the unsuspecting Miss Coke – until Harriet enters the ballroom and stands there like Cinderella at the top of the stairs. Ernie cannot take his eyes off her – something that is not lost on a crestfallen Miss Coke.

Ernie approaches Harriet and asks for a dance, but she demures, saying that she cannot remember how. Lame excuse. Ernie agrees with me on that. Harriet turns to Wing Woman Emma for support, but her own husband has told her she’s too old to dance, so Emma says she wishes she had danced more when she was younger, before she was saddled with the miserable old schmuck who thinks she’s too old to dance. Harriet relents, and onto the floor she glide with Ernie. Intense dance conversation ensues; their feet may say innocent Gavotte, but their eyes scream Tango! And again, like last week, with the way Harriet’s husband watches them, he knows, and so (it seems) does Miss Coke who also sits watching them in puddles of tears. Harriet tells him she cannot forget him, but one more time she tells him it cannot work.

13.1. I Hate to Go and Leave This Pretty Sight

Melancholic Ernie sits in his room, playing with the lock of hair he took from Harriet (last season), while Harriet stands at her window, gazing out at the pouring rain, playing with the hair strands he’d cut. It was all very Bridges of Madison County. As for Miss Coke, Ernie walks into the music room where she is playing it cool, now dueting on the piano with Lord Alfred (does everyone in this place play the piano?), and announces that he is returning to Coburg. He wants to leave her with a lovely parting gift: a portfolio of the sheet music they played together. Very sweet. And from what we know of Prince Ernie, that’s much better (and less itchy) than another kind of lovely parting gift he could have left her with. Just sayin’.

12. Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Victoria goes to see the silk weavers accompanied by Mrs. Skerrett, alone, no security. A pretty bold move for someone who’s already survived being shot at. This is possibly the first time she has ventured into a neighborhood like this one (a notorious, crime-ridden East End slum that the PBS reality series Victorian Slum House emulated). She stepped out of her carriage looking a little bit like Dorothy Gale when her house landed and she opened the door. And she almost gets a chamber pot dumped over her head for her trouble. At the workshop she learns that the ball has, in fact, made a big difference to this silk weaver at least. He’s got more orders than he can handle; His son will now have a profession and it is all down to her and her kindness. #KindnessMatters

True History: Silk weaving was a cottage industry in the Spitalfield and Bethnel Green sections of East London, employing as many as 50,000 workers at its height. Queen Victoria really did hold a medieval-theme ball to help the Spitalfield silk weavers. Over 2,000 people attended, and Albert commissioned painter Sir Edwin Landseer to immortalize he and Victoria in their costumes. The painting is part of the Royal Collection and resides at Kensington Palace (ironic, given how Victoria felt about the place!) Here’s more info about the costume ball.

11. Odd Couple

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with: Alfred and Mr. Drummond settle in for a cozy night in front of the fire when Miss Coke walks in, blithely unaware that she’s the third wheel. She ponders how Prince Ernest is doing and supposes that now he’ll be expected to get married, causing a look of dread to wash across both Alfred and Drummond’s faces. They know that fate is coming for them too.

11.1. Beards and Hats

It turns out Mr. Drummond has had a visit from the matchmaker. He is marrying the daughter of a Marquess and doesn’t he look thrilled about it as he exits a meeting with his future father-in-law, runs into Lord Alfred and breaks the news? Drummond’s glad tiding seems to inspire Alfred to set his sights on young Miss Coke, who is handy and on the rebound from her unrequited love for Prince Ernie. He even goes so far as to comfort her by putting his arm around her when she cries over Ernie’s abrupt departure. Isn’t that smooth move rather forward? Have we seen anyone else touch like this? Never mind though, as a Lord, Alfred must know, he is expected to do his duty: marry and produce an heir to continue the line, and he wasn’t going to get that from Mr. Drummond anyway.

10. Dash, We Hardly Knew Ye

For a while Victoria has been concerned that Dash has seemed rather out of sorts, like Lord M. Then, on the day of her East End outing, she returns to find Dash dead on the floor and collapses beside him. She is inconsolable. Dash was likely the only breathing creature in her life whose affection was completely honest; he had no gile about her position or what he could gain from her. He was just an unconditional little love bug. And now he’s gone.

True History: Dash is buried at Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Castle Estate with a marble statue that reads, “His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, READER, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of DASH.” I hope someone thinks to put something that nice on my headstone. Queen Elizabeth also had a dog named Dash. If you watched the documentary Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life, on PBS, you saw a scene where she introduced a small child to her new Corgi and explained why “Dash” was such a great name for a dog.

9. That’s Why They Call It The Blues

Victoria gives birth to her second child. Prince Albert announces to the throng, waiting for news from the Royal Who-ha, that it’s a Prince of Wales, inspiring a standing ovation worthy of Hello Dolly! But Victoria falls into a deep funk and tells Albert she thinks all babies look like frogs, which is wrong because, as we all know, all babies look like Winston Churchill. She cannot function at all. After the birth of Princess Victoria she could not wait to get back in the saddle, and this time around she doesn’t want to go out, doesn’t want to be seen at all. Albert cannot rally her, Harriet and Emma are gone and the last lady standing, Duchess of Buccleuch, never made the cheerleading squad.

9.1. S.O.S.

Bebe Cave and Diana Riggs in Victoria Season 2, Episode 2 on PBS

Episode Two – “Warp and Weft” & “The Sins of the Father”. Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 9pm. With Bebe Cave as Wilhemina Coke (left) and Dame Diana Riggs (right) as the Duchess Of Buccleuch.
©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE

Sometimes, when you least expect it, help comes from the most surprising of places and you turn a corner. The normally negative Duchess of B has words of encouragement for her Queen, and gives her the gift of a new puppy. When Albert returns from Coburg he is the one who’s down and cannot face the public. Victoria finally shares her own fears with him, about the babies and her inadequacies. After a period of avoiding her public duties Victoria presides at the opening of the Brunel Tunnel while Albert stays home to contemplate pruning a certain branch from his family tree.

True History: The Brunel Tunnel (AKA The Thames Tunnel), which took 18 years (and numerous lives) to build, was the first ever tunnel under a river anywhere. It was referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened. It was originally intended to be used by horse-drawn vehicles carrying cargo, but that never materialized because they ran out of money and couldn’t build the vehicle ramps. So it became a pedestrian tourist attraction. Millions of people paid a penny to walk through it the way Victoria did. But alas, it is now a railway tunnel.

8. Out with a Bang, Not a Whimper

Somewhere in a brothel in Coburg, Albert’s dad, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, died as he lived: with an open fly. One hopes that poor hooker got a bonus for her trouble. After the black-edged announcement letter arrived at the palace, Albert sets off home to Coburg, alone, to attend the funeral. Victoria wants to come – they’ve never spent a night apart (forgetting that night last week when she locked him out) – but he insists she stay with the children; she hasn’t been herself and shouldn’t travel. When Albert arrives in Coburg he tells Ernie he feels guilty because of the last conversation he had with their dad. Ernie tries to assuage his guilt by giving him the missing details of how he died. That did the trick (no pun intended).

Equally charitable Coburg brother Uncle Leo uses this funeral trip to trot out his choice of advantageous marriage for Ernie: Princess Ada of Aldenberg, who appears to be a Victorian era Tracy Flick and the polar opposite of Ernie. This ain’t happening, Leo. Nyet!

7. From Here to Paternity

Within days of his brother’s death, Uncle Leo decides to give Albert the full Povich and leaves a turd on the doormat. He weaves a tale for Albert about how once upon a time Albert’s difficult father left his young vulnerable, love-starved mother all alone and Leo comforted her, and then viola, Albert was born. Read between the lines, son. Albert does not react well. The thing is, was this even true? Or, given what we know about how manipulative Uncle Leo can be, and how he has repeatedly tried to wrest the reins of power away from Victoria and rule England on the throne he thought would rightfully be his had his “Dear Charlotte” not bit the dust in childbirth – did he take this opportunity to make this up, thinking it might get him that much closer to his end game? (ie; the British throne, because who really cares about Belgian one he seems to spend so much time away from?) Or is the story true? I don’t know if it’s true or not. All I know is Victoria’s uncles (and cousins) have so many illegitimate children, their family crest should be a tote board.

7.1. Who’s Your Daddy?

What did Uncle Leo think Albert’s reaction would be? Did he think they’d run into each other’s arms in slow motion? When Albert asks him why he told him, now, Uncle Leo claims he wanted to comfort him. Um, yeah sure, you mean like the way he “comforted” mum? Because it does actually seem like you screwed the mother and now you’re (proverbially) screwing the son. The news gives Albert a full blown existential crisis. If he is a bastard, then his children are as well, and that means they cannot legally be heirs to the throne. Uncle Leo says no one must ever find out, not even Victoria, because there’s no way to prove it anyway. Gee, thanks Uncle Dad, then why did you tell me? Unfortunately for Albert, toothpaste in a tube was not invented until 1892, so maybe that’s why Uncle Leo did not understand that once it’s out there’s no putting it back.

Ernie gets Albert drunk, seemingly for the first time. Albert thinks he sees pixies and elves – they were drinking Absinthe. Albert tries to bring up the subject of Uncle Dad with Ernie, but Ernie dodges him in a way that seems to say he knew, but did not want to acknowledge the possibility that his beloved Albert was not his full blood brother. It looks that way by the glare Ernie gives Uncle Leo after Albert vamooses the next day (without saying goodbye).

True History: There were numerous rumors swirling around about Albert’s paternity for years, for a number of reasons. Prince Ernie looked like their dad but Prince Albert did not. Another reason was simply to discredit him. His mother’s only confirmed affair was with Baron von Hanstein, whom she later (secretly) married after her divorce. Because of this, an anti-Semitic newsletter tried to claim Albert was half-Jewish. As always, blame the Jews is always the standard fallback position. Other people claim that while, yes, she did have relationships, they were not until after Albert was born. And then there is the story that Uncle Leo, still grieving his “Dear Charlotte,” visited Coburg nine months before Albert was born. You can read more here.

6. What’s the Story, Morning Glory

The story of Boy Jones breaking into the palace has made the morning Chronicle, creating a big palava. Sitting around the servants table, Penge says it was a breach of trust for someone to “sell the story.” Weird how Penge instantly assumed the story was sold by a servant rather than just reported (given that the kid was known to Peel’s office, the police and the phrenologist examining him). Albert tasks Lehzen with finding the informer while he is away (he made the same assumption). When she scoffs, he says he means business. If she doesn’t find the culprit by the time he gets back from Coburg, everyone will get canned – including her. That made her stand up straight! Detective Lehzen is now on the case, looking for leads, eyeing everyone suspiciously. Mrs. Skerrett goes to see her resentful cousin who doesn’t deny it was her, and doesn’t care if Nancy loses her job, because misery loves company.

That suspicious eye lands on Francatelli, who is looking flush lately (for some mysterious reason). He’s got a fancy new pocket watch and we know it’s real gold because when Mrs. Skerrett comments on it and says he doesn’t look like the type to go for fakes, he responds, “You’re right, Nancy.” Ouch. But Lehzen sees the watch, too, and asks Penge to search Francatelli’s room (again, Penge). He finds 10 pounds, which they know he should have because all the servants get paid in Green Stamps. The word is out – and so is Francatelli.

True History: Edward Jones. Nicknamed the Boy Jones by the tabloids, he became notorious for breaking into Buckingham Palace numerous times over the three year period 1838 – 1841. His first arrest came at the age of 14 when he entered disguised as a chimney sweep. When he was caught later, he had the Queen’s underwear stuffed down his pants. He’d also stolen linens and a regimental sword, but was acquitted by a jury. On subsequent attempts he scaled the walls, one time being caught by Lehzen under the couch in Victoria’s dressing room. Those subsequent break-ins brought him convictions with increasing penalties, but he kept at it anyway. One time, after being sent to join the Navy, he walked from Portsmouth to London, but was caught before he got to the palace. A fictionalized account of his exploits were made into a children’s book, a 1950 movie The Mudlarks, and a more serious 2010 book Queen Victoria’s Stalker: The Strange Case of the Boy Jones. Later in life he became a burglar and alcoholic. He moved to Australia and was killed at the age of 70 when falling off a bridge he had scaled while drunk.

5. The Old Switcheroo

Hearing that Mr. Francatelli is accused of being the rat that dished to the tabs, Mrs. Skerrett (Nancy) throws herself on her sword, confessing to the Queen who she really is; how her Eliza Skerrett was the one who was supposed to have the job, but then she “fell pregnant” so they traded identities so she could take the job and support her cousin and her child, and that she suspects her cousin was the one to blabbed about the Boy Jones. In reality though, she doesn’t know it was her cousin. Others in the palace could have told friends outside who went to the tabloids (I still think it was Penge). But whatever. Victoria asks about the child, but is freaked out by the thought that an imposter has been so close to her all this time. She says that while she may forgive her, she is sure Albert will not, so she is dismissed. Lehzen looks like she’s loving it.

For some reason though, Mrs. Skerrett was not escorted out of the palace on the spot, so she was still there when Albert got home from Coburg, and fresh off his news that he just may be an imposter himself, he is willing to forgive (not to mention she was always Victoria’s favorite dresser). When he sees Mrs. Skerrett, he tells her she is getting a bigger room, more fitting for her position. She says the Queen had already dismissed her, but he said nope. Do-over! And so Mrs. Skerrett lives to fight, and be insulted by Francatelli, another day (though on this day he left her a sweet treat as a goodbye gift, and finding out she’s not going after all, looks like maybe there’s a thaw there).

4. Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

Even though we saw the writing on Lord M’s wall in Episode 1 (the leeches), one suspects that Episode 2 garnered the same kind of reaction across the land as when Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley went splat. Millions of Victorians yelling “Nooooooooooo!” at their TV screens. Sigh.

Lord M goes looking for a second opinion, because his old doctor had run out of treatments for whatever he has, and this doctor doesn’t sugar coat a thing. He tells Lord M to put affairs in order, his hourglass is almost empty. Back in London, Victoria cannot understand why Lord M doesn’t write her back. Emma says same here. Victoria dispatches her to Brockett Hall to see what’s up. When she gets there, Lord M is coy, claiming that he is not ill, just lazy, and all he needs is a good mustard plaster and a kick in the backside and he’ll be right as rain. But Emma knows all.

3. Last Dance

Naturally, Lord M is invited to the ball of the season, and he rallies to show up, but he is not his usual self. Victoria is please to see him and makes him a dance card offer he can’t refuse. But as they dance, he starts to slur his words and has an attack. Emma quickly steps in to distract Victoria. She doesn’t want to leave him but Emma is insistent that Albert is insistent and she is dragged away, as much as a Queen can be dragged away. Lord M turns and holds onto a pillar for support. Emma tells him he should “allow someone to take care of you.” And by someone, she means her. When he tells her that she knows him, she replied, “I’ve been watching you all my life, William.” Hmmm… Did Emma have an unrequited love for Lord M? I’m betting she did.

Emma asks Victoria for a leave of absence, claiming she needs to care for her sister, and Victoria says, oh, doesn’t your sister live right next door to Lord M? You can visit him whenever you like.

2. Regrets, I Have a Few

Albert goes to Parliament to check out his new project and finds Lord M sitting there quietly contemplating the majesty of the ceiling. He says he regrets now that he did not create a thing of beauty to leave behind, something he’d be remembered for centuries from now. (Take heart, Lord M, years from now you’ll be revived by a novelist and PBS series to become a sex symbol!) There is something sad about him and maybe that is what allows him and Albert to have a kind of conversation they’ve not had before, free of the jealous resentment. Albert asks, “are you quite well?” For the first time we hear Lord M admit he’s not – but he does not want the Queen to know. He does not want to distress her. So, of course, Albert has to tell her, but says that she must not let him know that she knows. He did the right thing. He knew how upset Victoria would have been if Lord M passed without her getting the chance to speak to him one last time.

1. You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings

Victoria turns up at Brockett Hall, for a surprise visit, bearing a gift. Inspired by the silk weaver’s chirping budgies, she brings Lord M a music box of a chirping bird in a cage. Lots of symbolism there (I’m thinking she would have gotten a chirping Rook if she could have, but knew she didn’t have time to wait for a special order). He wants to know why he deserved this gift, thinking it was a pity gift, but Victoria leaves him his secrets and his dignity and pretends it is only to remind him of all the fun they’ll have the next time he’s in London. The scene between Victoria and Lord M is full of longing and heartbreak, all about what is not being said (Rufus Sewell gives an insanely nuanced performance). They both think they are seeing each other for the last time but neither wants to say it out loud. Plus, they seriously want to kiss or embrace, with every molecule of their beings. You could just see it. But they don’t. It was probably more poignant because they didn’t. Do you agree, Victorians?

We last see Lord M sometime later, slumped in his chair, watching the music box bird tweet, then slow down and stop. It seemed as if the bird’s last tweet was the end of Lord M (and given the way things are going in the world, right now, Lord M might not be the last person killed by a tweet). But afterwards we saw no funeral, or no mention of his death, so maybe he’s not dead. Maybe he’s just resting. Maybe next week he’ll rally. #KeepHopeAlive

True History: When Daisy Goodwin was in New York for the preview screening and Q&A, she responded to one question (I don’t remember which one) with, “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Tonight she may have killed darling Lord M. Those of us who are Lord M fans would naturally find it fun for there to be an alternative Victoria universe where she marries him, instead of Albert, and they live happily ever after, or maybe they don’t get married and just remain lifelong friends and kindle something after Albert passes – and maybe there is fan fiction out there where that happens. But the reality is the real Lord M did die, and there is only so much dramatic license a novelist can take with historical figures.

True History: Lord Melbourne was permanently weakened by a stroke 14 months after resigning his position of Prime Minister, and died from the after effects in1848. For the first four years of Victoria’s reign, Lord M had spent four to five hours a day with her or writing to her as he tutored her. He even had a private apartment at Windsor Castle. They continued to correspond after he left office but it was seen as inappropriate so eventually it had to stop.

Bonus Essential: Once again Victoria used the line, “You have our permission to withdraw,” which is so much classier than, “don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass.” I really need to find a way to use this line on someone. Maybe on some pest at the office. Will any of you dare to try it out as well? If so, report back on the results. Disclaimer: We will not provide bail money if it all goes pear shaped.

What do you think about it all, Victorians? Join the conversation in the comments below or tweet using the hashtag #VictoriaPBS.

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