‘Becoming Elizabeth’ Season 1, Episode 5 Recap

Become Elizabeth

Necessity compels me to torment you

Season 1

Episode 5

Editor’s note

4 stars

Photo: Nick Briggs/Starz

Did you think we were freed from Thomas Seymour by a lucky twist of fate? Good, think again because he is everywhere in this episode. And we’re taking some extra historical liberties this time around, which, *hammer blow*, I’ll allow, but I’m mistrustful. Also: not enough Marie this week.

Listen, I’ll say it: I like Mary on this show more than Elizabeth. It’s super weird and I didn’t expect it, but it’s true. Elizabeth is an unfinished Elizabeth at this time in history, while Mary is portrayed as a well-meaning, energetic, intelligent, and devout woman who fights for her country and her religious freedom. We have never seen Mary this way! I can’t stress enough how consistently she is pitied or scorned by history and period dramas! But now, whenever Romola Garai pops up on my screen, I know it’s going to be something great.

Okay, I don’t want to do this, but let’s talk about Thomas and his terrible plans. Plan #1 is to stand outside in the rain as if he were John Cusack, waiting for Elizabeth to invite him to her old home. He does this for three days, and she finally brings him (boooo!), where he says the compass of her soul always comes back to him (BOOOOO). Elizabeth mentions that maybe since this is the house he shared with Catherine, that’s why it makes him spin there. Bam!

Thomas is trying hard here, as Elizabeth is his last “entry” into power (other than kidnapping the king, but we’re only in the foreground). When he tells her that she is in love with him, she refers to her previous actions as someone “very young and very stupid” did. Which one is great until she does a full 180 on it. Shit, Elizabeth. But also, she’s 15, and Thomas has been nursing her since she was 13, and he sexually abused her. His judgment will therefore not be perfect.

Even though Elizabeth says no and she’s finished, Thomas locks her in a private space at court and proposes. Still. AND SHE SAYS YES. Okay, so this whole section, from now on, is where I’m very “???” because historically there is no evidence that they were even involved after she was banished from Catherine Parr. As for the motive, I understand why they do it (it prompts Thomas to do the very stupid thing he will do later), but I don’t to like this. Mainly because it means you have to get even more screen time from a man in his 40s to tell a 15-year-old how much she means to him.

Thomas wants to get married in secret and then ask for forgiveness, and Elizabeth says, “Oh, like what you did with my stepmother”, and Thomas tells her that they’ll never talk about Catherine again. What!! This request is bananas. And he does it several times. Elizabeth does not wants to get married in secret because she just fought her way out of potential disgrace. She basically asks Thomas to figure it out, and he says, “Okay.”

So Thomas’ plan #2 is to marry a royal princess by approaching his brother while Somerset is practicing archery and thinking, “So how about we marry the princess Elizabeth?” THOMAS. You are bad at this. Somerset is obviously laughing because Thomas first married the king’s widow, and now he’s trying to marry one of his daughters. Somerset asks, “What’s wrong with you?” Something quite underrated about this series is that Somerset is extremely funny, but he’s also so serious that it’s not easily noticed. I’ll miss him.

Because he’s still the victim, Thomas asks why Somerset can’t back him up, just once, and his brother says the odds are poor. Hahah, true, but hurtful. Thomas almost shoots an arrow at him about it.

Somerset has a real bee in his cap because he has to end the war in Scotland since the English people are mad. “Kill all the gentlemen”, crazy. According This site, the reliability of which only you can judge, John Dudley and not Somerset proposed the Treaty of Boulogne, but whatever. Here, Somerset secretly sells the hard-fought Boulogne to the French and grabs a pile of shit for it.

Because Pedro is still Somerset’s spy, he’s in the room where it happened (right? Too exaggerated?) and delivers a wry speech to Somerset. I LOVE THIS SPEECH. If I transcribed it correctly, it looks like this:

“I thought the world was ruled by giants; men who knew what they were doing, with bigger plans than I could ever fathom, wheel to wheel. But every time I come to court it seems smaller and I wonder if there are wheels. And I don’t know if the change comes from the environment, from you or from me.


Pedro immediately tells Mary all about the sale of Boulogne, and Mary is indignant at the way Somerset is crossing out the running of the country. She writes to Edward, and now wheels (different wheels) have been set in motion, leading to a real change of fortune for the Seymour boys. Also, I want you to know that my notes for the scene where Pedro comes to see Mary are, “Okay, wait, her hair is down and she looks then pretty and I hope they kiss. They don’t, but one can always hope for another prolonged contact with the hand.

If you’re interested in the origins of the “kill all the gentlemen” rebellion, first of all, okay, nerd, but second, it’s Kett’s rebellion, and they really tried to recreate the image here, including the “Oak of the Reform”. Kett’s Rebellion occurred when landowners began fencing off common lands, also known as “robbery”. You can read everything about the speaker here via Wikipedia or via Marx writes about it. Has Kett’s rebellion won, resulting in the return of the common land to the people? Of course not ! Thousands of people were killed and a columnist of the day wrote, “The wound of secession is so great that it is for the wealth of a commune. » Alright, man.

There’s no good time for me to mention that Robert Dudley’s dad, John, is puzzled by Robin trying out a fancy sword move and calls it “Twirly.” Then, when they talk about court survival, Robin asks if men ever speak their minds, and John says, “Smart men? No, they don’t.” I would love to. This show. The humor is unexpected.

Somerset is stressed because of the war and the secret deal with France, and now his brother is trying to marry a princess, and the king is a baby who is also trying to force everyone to be Protestant. It’s a lot. So he said to Elizabeth, guess what, you’re going to marry a Protestant nobleman. She is not on board and informs Thomas, who receives very angry and forms plan #3. He tries to get Henry Gray to participate in the last plan, but even Henry says, “That idea is bad.”

But first, Thomas goes to see Elizabeth, and they have sex. I can’t stand this! Show, I love you, but you already indicated that they did this. We don’t need to see a grown man having sex with a fifteen year old. Also, Elizabeth once had a pregnancy scare, and I know she thinks Thomas is Most likely going to figure out how to marry him, but I absolutely don’t believe she would have sex with him again before marriage. I really hated this scene.

Thomas leaves and says he will be back tomorrow morning. He leaves to make plan n° 3, which consists in break into Edward’s room and kidnap him. Historically, we’re not even sure it was a kidnapping. But probably? Only of course it goes terribly wrong, Edward’s dog barks at Thomas, and Thomas shoot the dog. Yes, that actually happened. It’s horrible. Thomas is stopped from fleeing by Robin (yay!), who previously told the king he was testing his safety, and he was found want to. So now Thomas is arrested.

We end with Sir Anthony (Kat’s brother-in-law!) running to see Elizabeth, telling her to figure out what she will tell the authorities about her relationship with Thomas, who tried to kidnap the king, and then Anthony is interrupted by John Dudley arrives. He has an arrest warrant for Elizabeth and Kat Ashley! The Tudor era is so dramatic!