There are times when art imitates life in very eerie ways. One prime example of this took shape over Victoria season 2 episode 6, an installment that featured the Great Famine of Ireland its primary backdrop.
Early in this episode, Victoria had a chance to learn the true horror of what was happening in her neighbors to the west — famine was causing thousands to lose their lives, and she was very much interested in doing her best to help.
Unfortunately, what we saw soon after this was a significant amount of pushback from her Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. He was caught in his own crossroads between his heart and the obligations of his party. If he agreed with her to help, he’d create the impression that he would allow Ireland to be dependent on their allies for help through difficult times. However, not making the move could be perceived as heartless or cruel; he would be opening the door and effectively licensing off suffering for other people. It may be a horrible thing to think about, but this is very much something that political leaders at the time considered.
Victoria pleaded with Sir Robert to do the right thing and lend a hand, especially to one particular parish in great need. Dr. Traill was the representative of this position and was key to the progression of events tonight. Eventually there was some support, but was it more than a drop in the ocean? The problem with the famine is that it’s bigger than any one person.
Dr. Traill’s death at the end of the episode was utterly devastating, especially since he gave so much for his people while receiving almost utterly nothing in return. It is another reminder that sometimes within this world, you don’t get anywhere near what you deserve — for those who believe in the afterlife, he has that.
So where does art imitate life?
At the moment we are seeing similar struggles in America, where President Trump is coming under fire for his treatment of Puerto Rico, a United States territory, and whether or not he is doing enough in order to help some of these people. Victoria’s stance, or at least her intentions, were far kinder than his own … she does at least have this going for her as a leader. Charity does begin at home, but Victoria understood that she is a representative of the world. In times of great need, those disadvantaged look towards leaders of powerful countries as a means of support and understanding. Not everyone asks for themselves to be in such a difficult place of hurt and suffering, after all.
Our CarterMatt Verdict
Season 2 episode 6 of Victoria was an episode that did occasionally show the merits of some of the characters; yet, it also did showcase some of the frustrations and the pain that can come with the political process. This episode was solemn, cold, and probably harder to swallow than most others — even if quite a bit of it was real.
What lies ahead on Victoria season 2 episode 7?
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