It’s back! Our weekly emotional rollercoaster, history lesson and fashion show all in one. Cue the music … Gloriana … Hallelujah!
If you’re looking to catch up on the last season before delving into this one, recap the entire first season in a three-minute video. You can also explore our previous Victorious recaps on our blog.
But we’re here to talk about Season 2! In the premiere (streaming online now), we reunite with new mother Victoria – who’s impatient to return to ruling. Meanwhile, Albert attempts to protect her from news about British soldiers in Afghanistan, and some familiar faces and brand-new characters grace the screen. If you’re not ready to read about all of that quite yet, here’s your spoiler alert! Read on for a recap of the season premiere …
As the season opens, it’s clear that conflict is brewing.
First, Victoria is still adjusting to motherhood, and her break from her Queenly duties only seems to have worsened her postpartum depression. (“Did you … like them? Straightaway?” she asks.)
Second, Albert has stepped in to help in Victoria’s absence, including handling the situation in Afghanistan. But Victoria wouldn’t necessarily call it helpful – and the fact that he tries to hide things from her is only making matters worse. Victoria begins lashing out by saying things like “Lord M. wouldn’t have done that …” So, things are a bit tense.
And last, besides the baby, there’s a new face in town: Dame Diana Rigg as the Duchess of Buccleuch (pronounced buck-loo, because Scotland said so), the Queen’s controversial pick as the new Mistress of the Robes. And in classic Rigg fashion, this Duchess has OPINIONS.
“I assume you remember the palace from before, Duchess?” Asked Victoria, upon the Duchess’ arrival. “In my day, it was only a house,” replied the Duchess. “But at least it was clean.” OK then.
This episode is basically drama Whac-a-Mole.
And one more thing. While I wouldn’t put this on the “Top three drama bombs” list: This new cook is no good, and everyone knows it. Victoria was served soup with prunes in it. “This is not a soup, but a medicine,” yelps Albert. “That would explain the taste.”
M Is for … Lord M and Making Up
Speaking of soup: Some other things boil over as the episode proceeds. Victoria’s letter to Lord M. sends Albert into a rage. But we know that this is just a hint of things to come. We’re going to see Lord M. again, right? RIGHT.
Meanwhile, “Little Vicky,” aka miss “I am not a woman. I am a Queen,” is doing her country proud. Her people know their Queen is there for them when it counts – so naturally, they go wild after she gives her speech.
Despite tensions over Afghanistan, power struggles, Victoria’s ongoing difficulty adjusting to motherhood and a brush-throwing incident, Victoria and Albert cease arguing at the end of the first part of this episode. Because, at the end of the day, they’re united in their love for each other and their desire to see their daughter grow up to be independent – and free to marry as she chooses.
Also, Victoria apologizes for disparaging Albert’s practical helmets.
Oh those helmets… It’s a fact! Prince Albert redesigned a more practical British Army helmet. “That’s completely true!” – @daisygoodwin
*Note: The general public wasn’t as enthusiastic as Albert, and due to its unpopularity, the helmet was entirely replaced by 1878. pic.twitter.com/etcPpGxHI0
— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) January 15, 2018
Jealousy Also Loves Company
Cut to part two, “The Green-Eyed Monster.”
We all know how Victoria is feeling about motherhood currently, but meanwhile, Albert’s making it clear that he wants to add to the nursery. Uncle Leopold’s doing the same. Basically, everyone might as well be chanting “MALE HEIR, MALE HEIR!” at Victoria 24/7. But they won’t because they’re polite. Kind of.
Regardless, we find out that another baby is indeed on the way …
That was fast.
But back to the jealousy. And mathematics. Lady Lovelace (Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace) enters the scene, and Victoria decides to host a cultural soiree.
Victoria sends a letter to Lord M., requesting his presence at the soiree. And then HE SHOWS UP! He’s back! He’s at the party!
Let the whispering commence: “Is that the famous Lord Melbourne that you were so concerned over? You must be of the same age … but he has kept his looks.”
The soiree, rather than being a total rager, is more of a blab fest. Victoria whispers with Lord M. while Albert chats it up with Lovelace. Lovelace is building an engine (not THAT kind). She’s also Lord Byron’s daughter. No big deal, though. Nothing to be jealous over or anything.
To make matters worse, Lovelace makes some pie/Pi jokes at Victoria’s expense. So at this point, The Green-Eyed Monster is alive and well. It doesn’t help that Albert apparently has a “weakness for numbers.”
But just as Albert might have started getting jealous over Victoria’s whisper session, Lord M. leaves during the party. He says he must get back to Brocket Hall because it’s orchid season. (You know, everyone’s favorite excuse to get out of a social obligation. Write this one down, folks.)
The party ends, but Albert’s fascination continues. So Albert leaves the palace to talk numbers with Lovelace. While he’s away, Victoria sends an errand boy to request Albert’s presence back at the palace. Albert declines. And then this poor kid is forced to run back and forth a few times.
“The Prince asked if that was an order, ma’am,” the boy relays to Victoria during the last leg of his unplanned one-man relay race. Welp, on that note, Albert’s in the doghouse, which he has to himself since Dash is sharing the bed with the Queen.
And the next day, Victoria’s off to Brocket Hall.
— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) January 15, 2018
Victoria seeks Queenly advice and marriage advice. Lord M. eases her worry by telling her that she has an instinct for ruling that can’t be replicated, but that Albert wouldn’t be the first man to underestimate a woman.
After Victoria’s visit, Lord M. mails a heartfelt yet firm letter containing more advice that bolsters Victoria’s confidence in both her rule and her marriage.
So basically, Lord M. gives Victoria every ounce of his being and then watches her ride off into the sunset. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles in this show.
We see a flash of what looks like an ill Lord M. undergoing leeching – which is an interesting visual after he poured out his soul to Victoria. But do we have to think about the possibility that Lord M. isn’t immortal? Probably. But I don’t want to.
As the episode ends, Victoria places an order for new corsets and Albert discovers why Victoria was so eager for him to return home the previous evening. He’s terribly sorry, and even Victoria would admit that that counts for a lot.
And that jealousy thing that we were so worried about? Well, Victoria and Lovelace actually end up bonding: They’re both just two driven, intelligent women who are trying to figure out how to balance motherhood, their passions and society’s expectations.
What did you think of the downstairs plots and Peele’s assistant’s possible new romance? Were you excited to see Dash again? What did I miss? Let me know what you thought in the comments below, and tune in next week for a recap of the second episode!