What does it mean to be the Queen in the 19th century, to be a young mother, and to have the weight of the world on her shoulders? These are some of the extraordinary circumstances at the center of Victoria season 2 episode 1. Mixed along with that, though, is a very different sort of struggle: Trying to also find trust within your marriage.
Victoria knows that her life is more burdened than most, but does that entitle Albert to keep from her secrets related to matters abroad? Does he really need to take on so much of the duties meant to her? There were times within this premiere where it felt more like he was trying to be the king just as much as her the queen. In one of the most intense confrontations of the episode, Victoria accused him of treating her like a child, trying to keep certain parts of what was going on from her as to not cause distress.
For the Queen, one of the things that she has to realize is to better recognize help and allow those close to her to assist her. For Albert, meanwhile, he needs to understand more that communication is key. They were stronger by the end of the episode, but they went through bumps in the road along the way.
Beyond just the Victoria/Albert struggles, this episode also featured Victoria talking about her young child, her future lineage, and her desire to allow her child to have some sovereignty in her future rather than paving her way when she was 12 weeks old. Her child was also christened near the end of the episode, and that was a nice moment of joy and peace for her. It’s too bad that in the aftermath of that she learned about the ambush and the violence in Afghanistan. (For the record, the cutaways to Afghanistan were stunning throughout the episode.) The way that she handled the incident was a reflection of the grace and compassion that she can show … though it is not something that you see every time.
The incident in Afghanistan was one that tore through the entire British government, with questions aplenty regarding why they were there in the first place. While she didn’t control every decision made by her government, she could control one thing: Finding a way to keep the country hopeful. This is why she boarded the ship in the closing minutes of the episode for a rousing speech. She honored the victims, but also paved the way for victory down the road.
How was Diana Rigg?
The Game of Thrones actress made her appearance tonight as the new Mistress of the Robes, and was all sorts of fantastic. She brought such an eccentric charm to this part; there was some of the intelligence that was there with her role of Lady Olenna Tyrell, but there was also so much more going on within this role.
Your enjoyment of Victoria likely depends heavily on how much you enjoy historical drama. This isn’t a show that is out to shock you every week, just as it is also not a show that will deliver great relationship drama every time — though there was some here. It tries to put you into Victoria’s shoes, and while she’s not likable every second of the day, the story humanizes her. This is the intention, and it is something that the series very much succeed at.
As for Victoria, her actions showed that she was worthy of being a Queen in the premiere. It was not solely about her words. Grade: B+.
What is coming on season 2 episode 2?
Rest assured, we’ve got more information and answers on that! All you have to do now is head over to the link here without further delay. (Photo: ITV.)