VICTORIA Review: “Young England”


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As VICTORIA wraps up, the queen is tired of being pregnant and shows no signs of letting up her complaints. She alternates between being annoyed at being unable to do her favorite activities like dancing and riding and being annoyed at Albert’s treatment of her and the seeming obsession with the upcoming arrival rather than with her. It’s understandable, considering how delicately she is treated and she has a fair point that everyone is concerned with the baby, rather than her. Also, given her own obsession with the deceased royal that made her queen and the constant comparisons between that queen dying in childbirth and her own situation makes it even more understandable that not only is she bored, she’s also afraid. And it seems that there is plenty to be afraid of as a royal. But I did love the use of the famously royal expression, “We are not amused,” it was pretty delightful considering how seriously the show takes things.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s German and English uncles are apparently rooting for different outcomes from the birth as the German is hoping the queen and her baby live and thrive while the English guy with the evil scar is still hoping to be King. It’s a nice throwback to the opening of the series when the English guy had similar hopes for overthrowing Victoria due to her youth. And it also brings up some witty remarks from the often boring German guy as well as a touching moment between him and Victoria later in the show.

It seems like Victoria is a well-liked enough Queen, inoffensive as these things go. Yet she apparently still has her fair share of enemies and fans. Like the man that writes to her on a daily basis because he wants to save her from the “German tyrant,” presumably Albert. Her former governess is in charge of all such letters and believes it be a crank so she no longer bothers Her Majesty with such things but this decision bites her in the ass when the delusional man makes advances towards the Queen, throwing bouquets at her and being a nuisance when the Queen’s carriage gets stuck in traffic. It’s a harrowing moment but ultimately no big deal. What is a big deal is a threat that no one sees coming from a young kid with a gun.

The way the program is shot, when new storylines are added can be a little sudden and the plot of a young kid with a grudge is no different. We keep seeing this young man in the crowd and shots of a gun and eventually, he shoots the queen while she’s out for her daily drive. That’s the other thing that is new, the queen’s daily drives. This episode introduces a lot of new information all at once and is also ending so there’s a lot to cram in but it’s not really that important. Once the kid has been arrested, it’s assumed or presented that the evil English uncle is behind it all but apparently the kid’s just a loon. There’s a big deal over him being tried for treason and drawn and quartered but then it turns out that he gets a trial and the justice system ultimately lets him go. And Victoria goes along with it. So even though it’s an assassination attempt without bullets, the storyline kind of fades.

Albert’s brother is back and kind of restarts his old romance but really just ends it and it’s all very confusing. It’s a hot subplot but it’s been so long and nobody cares about the prince’s brother except that he’s really good looking so it’s kind of a question mark for me as to why it needed resolving. Kind of like the below stairs subplot surrounding the cook and the maid. The cook is going out on his own to start a restaurant and asks the maid to come with him but she decides not to. And then cries over her decision. Hopefully, she’ll come to her senses and hunt him down in the next season. As a historical figure, Francitelli is quite interesting in the culinary world. As a character on Victoria, I’m not sure how much I care about the servants. They really are just supporting characters for the queen rather than of interest on their own merits.

At last, the Queen gives birth even as we’ve seen arrangements being made for a wet nurse, she has survived a no go assassination, Robert Peel has been established as an important character even as Lord M has disappeared. That’s one end that I wanted to be tied up—where has he gotten off to? I guess it doesn’t matter but he was integral to everything at first, I kind of miss him.

This finale was kind of jumbled with new plots and information being introduced and resolved quickly while older subplots were brought up and closed even though they had been forgotten. But now that the Queen has given birth to her first, I wonder what the second season will bring knowing that Victoria ultimately had nine kids.
TB-TV-Grade-A-Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Victoria airs Sundays at 9PM on PBS

Read all of our reviews of Victoria here. 
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Carly is a freelance writer that watches too much TV while she writes blogs and articles about lifestyle including travel, food, fashion, beauty, home decor, entertainment, health, fitness and wellness and green living.
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