‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Flodden”

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 2
Charlotte Hope stars in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 2 (Photo Courtesy of Starz)

Starz’s The Spanish Princess season two’s tagline – “Fight Like a Woman” – truly befits episode two, “Flodden.” Episode one left off with Queen Catherine (Charlotte Hope) declaring her loyalty to England over her homeland of Spain. Her fierce desire to protect and defend England is put to the ultimate test as the Scottish king, James IV, reveals his intention to attack while King Henry is otherwise engaged.

Season two episode two begins with Catherine suffering nightmares while mourning the loss of young baby Henry. King Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) comforts his devastated wife, assuring her they will be strong together.

Daylight finds Catherine and Lina (Stephanie Levi-John) praying in front of Henry IV’s tomb. Lina’s the only person who knows Catherine is pregnant once again, and Catherine confesses she feels like she’s betraying Henry IV with this pregnancy. Lina, who is far along in her own pregnancy, assures her she’s not. She suggests it’s time to tell King Henry about this new development.

King Henry and Queen Catherine meet with their council, and Henry confirms he believes now’s the time to strike France. Catherine thinks her father’s betrayal only makes England stronger.

General Howard (Peter Egan) speaks up, suggesting Henry shouldn’t leave the country to lead the army. It’s brought up that if Henry dies, Edmund de la Pole – although currently incarcerated in the Tower – will try to claim the throne. Catherine speaks up for Edmund, but concern continues to be voiced about the possibility Henry will die in battle and won’t leave an heir to rule.

Catherine’s hand is forced and she reveals she’s pregnant. King Henry and the council all rise after the announcement, with King Henry bowing at her feet and kissing her hand.

“The Queen carries my son as I shall carry the banner of England into France,” declares Henry. “We will be victorious.”

A round of applause follows his declaration.

Later, Catherine attempts to convince Henry that Edmund isn’t a threat. Henry remains undeterred and it’s all but certain now that Edmund must die.

Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) learns King Henry has decreed Edmund de la Pole will be executed and begs Catherine to speak with Henry. Maggie’s son, Henry, apologizes for his mother and acknowledges this is the King’s will. Catherine reminds Maggie her cousin led a rebellion and has had three extra years of life, but now the time has come. Edmund finally needs to pay the ultimate price for his actions.

Maggie rushes off to see Edmund, delivering the news in person.

The execution takes place and Henry Pole thanks Queen Catherine for paying the executioner for a sharp blade. Maggie’s bitter about this turn of events and also about the fact her son will be riding off to battle with King Henry.

Over in Scotland, King James’ men attack English soldiers.

Queen Catherine pays a visit to Lina who’s now on home rest in preparation for her upcoming childbirth. She gives Lina a gorgeous brooch for her soon-to-be-born baby, who Catherine believes will be a girl. Lina’s concerned Oviedo won’t be there for the birth since he’ll be fighting alongside King Henry in France. Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) arrives just as they’re discussing this, and Queen Catherine quickly assigns him to stay with her as part of her palace guard.

Oviedo declines the offer. He doesn’t want to stay safe in Westminster; his men look to him on the field of battle.

In Scotland, Meg (Georgie Henley) barges in on a meeting King James (Ray Stevenson) is having with his council. She’s angry Queen Anne of Brittany has sent James a glove. Meg and James have differing opinions as to what the gesture means. Meg believes Anne is signaling James is weak. James thinks it’s just a token of affection.

James is of the mind Queen Anne is “a lady in distress” since Meg’s brother is out to conquer France. Maybe James will lead his men into taking over land in England since Scotland’s treaty with France is older than their treaty with England.

Meg wonders what’s to become of her since she was sent there to keep the peace with Scotland. James points out Henry never paid out Meg’s inheritance, which was part of the deal. Meg’s certain Henry will eventually pay but James knows Henry won’t which makes Scotland’s alliance with England worthless.

King James rallies his men, instructing them to prepare for war. They cheer their King’s orders.

Meanwhile, King Henry tells his people Queen Catherine will be in charge while he’s gone to fight in France. He names her regent of England.

Winter arrives and spring follows as life continues with King Henry still away in France.

Queen Catherine meets with General Howard to discuss the Scottish border raids. He thinks King James has grown bold since a woman was left in charge of England. Catherine reveals she received notice from Meg that King James is planning an invasion. She instructs General Howard to ride north and raise up an army. He replies, “That’s f**king ridiculous.”

Catherine stands strong, commanding him north.

King Henry’s having success in France while England attempts to rally an army to stand against Scotland.

Catherine’s pregnancy continues as does Lina’s. Both approach their due dates worried about their husbands and war.

General Howard sends a note that he’s having difficulty raising an army. Catherine reacts to the news by asking her Chief Armorer to make armor that will keep her unborn child safe.

In Scotland, Meg wakes from a dream to discover James dead in bed and covered in blood. (It’s just a premonition.) She rises to discover King James has already left for the battlefield and asks to be taken to him to warn him of her vision of impending death.

Meg reaches his side on the battlefield and he shows her the vast amount of Scots who’ve gathered to go to war with England.

Catherine prepares to leave to join General Howard, certain her presence will be enough to convince men to take up arms and protect England from Scotland. Maggie Pole warns her it’s a folly, but Catherine proclaims she’s ready to die for her country, if necessary. “I may make James see sense or I may I go to war. But either way, I ride,” says Queen Catherine.

Days later she joins General Howard to gather more men. He’s having a difficult time and she was right to assume her presence would change minds.

England’s ragtag army prepares for what’s in store while General Howard warns Queen Catherine he doesn’t want her near the action. They are far outnumbered and their army isn’t as well trained as Scotland’s.

As they’re arguing a note arrives from Meg arranging a parley.

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 2
Charlotte Hope and Georgie Henley in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 2 (Photo Courtesy of Starz)

Queen Catherine and General Howard ride into Scotland’s army’s camp accompanied by just a few soldiers. They enter King James’ command tent and Meg’s happy to see Catherine. Meg had no idea Catherine would come, being so far along in her pregnancy. Catherine says, “I would not have had to if your husband had not broken our alliance.”

James acknowledges his wife’s dream of Scottish blood flowing if there’s war. He adds that he also had a dream of the Scottish flag flying over the Tower of London. Meg’s shocked to learn from Catherine that her husband is fighting only because he’s been paid gold by King Louis. James assures her he’s actually doing it to restore Scottish pride.

King James informs Queen Catherine that if her troops withdraw, no blood will need to be spilled. Catherine demands James pledge Scottish troops won’t follow them if they choose to retreat. James, believing he’s won, agrees.

After returning to their camp, Catherine gives General Howard the order to prepare for battle. She realized King James was relieved “the frightened woman” was going to flee.

Night falls and the newly recruited army gathers around their Queen. Catherine tells those assembled she was forged in war and her armor protects the future King of England. She speaks to the women in the group, reminding them they would all kill for their children. “Men and women of England, this is your fight. Bring your axes and your knives, your anger, and your pride. Ride with me and my son,” says Catherine.

King James is informed England is not withdrawing. He still assumes Scottish troops can easily wipe out England’s makeshift army. He’s wrong; King James foolishly underestimated Queen Catherine.

The battle’s fierce and bloody, and once Queen Catherine sees King James is fighting alongside his men she rides into battle – against General Howard’s wishes. Queen Catherine’s pulled from her horse in the middle of the fray but is saved by her soldiers. The battle rages around her and Meg watches from safety as King James falls. Catherine witnesses the fatal blows from close range.

Word spreads King James has fallen and the battle is over.

The King’s body is brought back into camp at night, and Meg weeps over her dead husband. Meg turns on Catherine, claiming James was a good man and good father to their two sons. Catherine reminds her James knew the cost. She instructs Meg to return home and keep her oldest son, the heir to the throne, safe. Catherine will get Henry to support Meg as regent until her son’s old enough to be crowned King of Scotland.

Catherine allows Meg to take King James’ body home, but declares she’ll take his coat and send it to Henry as a symbol of England’s victory.

Back at Westminster, Lina’s contractions begin and her water breaks. Maggie’s in charge of the group of women attending to Lina, and Princess Mary joins in to help.

Lina delivers twin boys.

Queen Catherine returns to the palace and while her ladies congratulate her on defeating King James, she claims it’s King Henry’s victory. She also reveals French forces fled from King Henry so this is actually his second victory.

Later, in a quiet moment, Maggie apologizes to Catherine for attacking her. Maggie admires Catherine’s strength and determination.

King Henry’s welcomed home by his subjects as Queen Catherine beams with pride and love watching his return. Henry publicly thanks her for sending him King James’ coat, and Catherine downplays her role in beating back Scotland. She calls the victory modest and trifling, given his great victory in France.

King Henry presents her with his gift – the Duke of Longueville in chains. She wonders what to do with a chained Duke and it’s suggested he be placed in the Tower.

King Henry announces they’ll feast that evening.

In a whispered exchange, Catherine urges Henry to join her in her bed that evening. Henry declines the invitation, having learned from Wolsey it could harm the baby.

Catherine confronts Wolsey (Philip Cumbus) about his intrusion into her private affairs. He claims he has every right to do so, given that nothing is more important than King Henry’s heir.

King Henry joins Queen Catherine in the moments before the feast. He reveals the French fled so quickly they left their spurs behind. Henry’s proud of Catherine’s leadership and believes having Meg reigning over Scotland is a happy outcome.

King Henry knights Henry Pole and Charles Brandon (Jordan Renzo) for their courage against the French. Queen Catherine asks for Henry to also give General Howard a commendation, but Henry only jokes that Howard simply held up her skirt hem.

Disappointed and looking a bit pained, Catherine speaks with Maggie and praises her son, Henry. Maggie and Princess Mary admit they believe Catherine deserves to be knighted, but Catherine laughs it off. She confesses she feels tired and leaves the feast while holding her belly.

She’s barely outside when she’s forced to her knees by the pain. She cries out and then begins praying.

King Henry notices Catherine’s missing and goes in search of his wife. He finds her outside, crying while seated in the dirt. Their son has arrived, stillborn, and is on the ground in front of her.