The Royals Season 1 Episode 8 Recap

At this point, the most insane aspect of The Royals is that Ted continues to be the head security officer at the palace. The king has been stabbed while out walking alone in London and Ted reveals he had an agreement with Simon to let him take these unattended jaunts, and yet he is not immediately fired. Jasper takes Eleanor to the hospital to see her father, disobeying a direct order not to do so, and yet Ted is not immediately fired. Ted sits on his ass while Marcus does all the work, and yet Ted is not immediately fired. Seriously, though, at the point that the king has been violently attacked and the head of security admits he knew the king took walks alone, how is he not immediately sacked? Ted is terrible at everything.

For a little while I was terrified that this show was going to attempt a bottle episode (in which all the action takes place in one room), since the first twenty minutes occur in a single location. I was like, No, please, don’t make me watch this, these people aren’t nearly engaging enough for a bottle episode. The episode starts by stuffing everyone into a secure room—Ted’s there, though, so it can’t be THAT secure—after the king is stabbed. We then spend twenty minutes playing Clue while everyone guesses at motives and whereabouts. Helena even makes a Clue joke, that’s how on-the-nose this scene is. Of course everyone is like, Obviously Cyrus did it, because OBVIOUSLY CYRUS DID IT.

Thankfully we’re let out of the secure room—Ted wandered out and left the door open—and then everyone goes their own way to ponder the many ways in which Cyrus could have done what he did. Ophelia tells Ted that she saw Cyrus skulking around and Ted’s like, “Yeah, he does that,” and does not pursue the lead because he’s literally the worst. Eleanor goes off to spend most of the episode crying and pledging to “do better” so that her father will get well, and then she confronts Jasper about boning Helena and has him arrested. So far Eleanor has come up with more suspects than Ted.

Helena, meanwhile, spends her time either plotting with Cyrus or preparing Liam for the hilariously fake ceremony in which Liam becomes the “acting King of England”. In this episode they actually do mention the United Kingdom—correct term—and a prince regent—also a correct term—and yet everyone still refers to Simon as the “King of England” and Liam is the “acting king”. Would it have killed anyone involved with this show to at least browse the Wiki for the British monarchy? Titles really aren’t that hard to figure out. At any rate, they have this amazing fake ceremony to activate Liam’s king powers, and someone in the crowd is actually wearing a peer’s ceremonial robe. I assume they borrowed it from the Duke of Marlborough, in whose home they film the show.

The crux of the episode, besides Ted’s continued terribleness, is that Cyrus accuses Liam (and Eleanor) of being illegitimate, thus rendering him ineligible for the throne. This means that Cyrus will become acting king. Helena and Cyrus have obviously planned this, trumping Liam’s doe-eyed plan to assume kingship and then end the monarchy, as Simon wants. Liam is basically the Tommen of this show—he’s too naïve and inexperienced to out-maneuver the seasoned manipulators around him. At any rate, I derived glee at this scene, as Cyrus is wearing a velvet blazer when he makes his stand for the throne. Please let Cyrus be king—he’ll probably abolish parliament and reinstate beheadings, but he will wear the most fabulous clothes while doing so. That’s more than dopey Liam has ever done.