Keri Lumm reviews the final episode of The Spanish Princess for Paste, which you can watch in the video above or read the transcript of below:
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that loneliness and loss can happen even when you did nothing to deserve it.
And The Spanish Princess is no different.
The finale of Starz’s Tudor-set series reveals an increasingly hostile King Henry who just wants to have an heir. Unfortunately, there are no fertility clinics or accurate biology classes, so he just blames his wife Catherine for it.
Meanwhile, his Aunt Maggie Pole loses everything, so she decides to tell the king the truth as she knows it: That Catherine did consummate her relationship with his brother before his death and their marriage, and that is why King Henry thinks she can’t conceive—as punishment from God.
Up north, Henry’s sister Meg is also asserting her wishes and sets herself up to be in charge of Scotland, since her son is the rightful King James. She is ruthless in getting rid of an ex and creating the life of power she believes she deserves.
Lacking a rightful male heir of his own, King Henry decides to put his hopes into his bastard son Henry Fitzroy, bringing him to the palace. The boy has not been educated as his royal daughter Mary has, but he will not be deterred.
Oviedo and Lina have their own problems. Their children are being harassed while living in England, and Oveido wants to leave. This is aided when Rosa arrives, and they realize they could sail away with her to someplace safe. The problem is that Lina feels duty bound to her friend, the Queen. She does not want to leave her while she is in distress. (Which feels odd in a way. Her kids are getting hurt and she doesn’t want to leave The Queen?)
King Henry takes Queen Catherine out into the woods and tells her that she has cursed them because she slept with his brother. He thinks that it is all a punishment for a bad marriage. He gets her to admit the truth. She begs him to love her back, but he hates her now.
(This is why you don’t have sex with brothers. It’s not a good idea. You have to pick one brother!)
But Henry doesn’t just pick one sister either. We are introduced to Mary Boleyn, and we know Anne will be next on his list of interests.
The one person who has a happy-ish ending in this finale is Meg. She blows up her enemies and takes control. Anger management class might be a good choice for her!
In general though, the series has a sad ending, with Lina leaving the court for the safety of her family. Catherine and Mary also leave court on their own; the Queen tells King Henry she will always be his wife, but the show gives the impression that she left because of her own pride.
It’s too bad that history doesn’t always have a happy ending. That would have been some fiction I might have appreciated from The Spanish Princess, which—despite this final sadness—was a very, very good show.
Keri is a professional chatterbox who loves watching TV & movies, reading about pop culture, and gawking at any craziness on the internet. You can follow Keri on Twitter.
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