‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: “The Other Woman”

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 4
Charlotte Hope and Ruairi O’Connor in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 4 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Season two episode four opens by immediately revealing time has passed since the events that transpired in Starz’s The Spanish Princess season two episode three. Queen Catherine (Charlotte Hope) is once again pregnant and fairly far along as “The Other Woman” begins.

Catherine has a brief encounter with King Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) as she heads out to get fresh air. He’s positive she’s carrying a son and asks about his health. Henry expresses concern that Catherine isn’t in bed, resting, and she claims his son is demanding exercise and fresh air. Henry strolls with her and they encounter Charlie Brandon (Jordan Renzo) on their walk. Charlie’s accompanied by his child-bride-to-be, Elizabeth, and both the King and Queen appear happy to see Charlie.

Henry and Catherine’s relationship seems pretty stable as the episode beings, although she’s not pleased to learn Wolsey wants to be named Chancellor. Henry’s fine with it, but Catherine points out that would make Wolsey second in power only to him.

Over in Scotland, Meg (Georgie Henley) is in bed with her new lover Angus (Andrew Rothney) who’s reciting poetry as they cuddle. Meg’s genuinely in love and asks Angus to continue with his compliments. Their quiet moment together is broken up when Meg’s bedroom door’s kicked in. Angus is pulled from bed as Meg protests, with the men lobbing charges that Angus has compromised the Queen of Scotland.

Meg chases after him and screams out the bombshell news that she has married Angus. She demands they release her husband and they do, however now they claim she’s a traitor to Scotland. She promised not to marry and the council reminds her she was only regent as long as remained single and cared for her son, the future king.

Meg’s warned the Duke of Albany will be called home from France. He’ll govern until her son comes of age. They threaten to take custody of her sons and that sets Meg into motion. She races to her quarters, slamming the door to bar the council. They’re able to break it down but not before Meg and Angus grab the children. The couple manage to outrun the council and lock themselves in a room.

The council doesn’t attempt to break down this door as Meg screams they’ll be punished for disrespecting her, reminding them King Henry and Queen Catherine won’t stand for this.

Meg quickly pens a letter to Catherine, which Catherine immediately brings to Henry upon receipt to discuss in private. Henry doesn’t take the news his sister remarried well and is more upset with her actions than those of the council’s in response. He takes it as a personal insult.

Catherine reveals Meg also requested an army but to make sure they indicate they’ve come in peace. Henry’s livid at this point that Meg wrote to Catherine rather than him and believes his sister has risked the survival of his heir by upsetting Catherine.

Henry commands Catherine not to reply to Meg. He refuses to take any action.

Catherine doesn’t write Meg, but she does reach out to Mary who is now Queen of France. She requests Mary keep the Duke of Albany in France and away from Scotland.

King Henry’s among those gathered in a field to hunt. Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) is there accompanied by William Compton (Luke Mullens). Thomas More (Andrew Buchan) is also with the group, as is the ever-present Thomas Wolsey (Philip Cumbus). Wolsey asks King Henry about a promotion to Chancellor and Henry reveals Catherine’s thoughts on the matter, which aren’t complimentary.

Wolsey, always looking for a way to push Catherine aside, suggests King Henry assist Lady Anne Hastings (Tessa Bonham Jones) who’s enthusiastic but has terrible aim. Thomas points out Wolsey’s maneuverings to Maggie who seems upset that Wolsey’s working against Catherine.

When the group returns from the hunt, Catherine watches as King Henry takes Lady Anne’s hand while she curtseys. Henry and Catherine share alone time moments later and she suggests General Thomas Howard ride to Scotland with just a handful of soldiers to negotiate. Henry stands firm, still angry at his sister’s reckless actions. Catherine confesses Howard has already left and Henry’s stunned she disobeyed.

An argument ensues, with Catherine clearly upset at Wolsey’s influence over her husband.

Later, King Henry addresses his council and explains he sent General Howard to negotiate with the Scots after Meg’s hasty action. “England will not be intimidated. We are mighty. We will be obeyed,” says King Henry.

Catherine’s out for a walk when she asks Lina if Lady Anne has found a lover. Lina claims not to know anything about palace gossip, but Catherine clearly believes Oviedo would share such news. Henry arrives to interrupt the uncomfortable conversation and escort Catherine to her room. Once there, she makes it known she wants to make love but Henry resists. He wants her to stay in her room until the baby has arrived and avoid any stress.

Catherine begs to be allowed out for a few more days to attend mass. Henry gives in, kissing her hand then gently kissing her lips.

Over in Scotland, Meg’s in panic mode. She wonders why they haven’t heard from Angus’ uncle in England or from King Henry. She realizes she’s angered Henry but is counting on Catherine to soothe things over. Just then Angus’ uncle appears at the window with a letter from General Thomas. Meg quickly reads it and is stunned to learn Thomas is only bringing six men. There won’t be an English army arriving soon to save her.

Meg and Angus get into a heated argument over this development. Angus yells at Meg’s son and then refers to himself as a sovereign which immediately earns Meg’s wrath. She points out he’s not a sovereign and he shouldn’t have assumed this would be an easy life. Meg slowly realizes Angus isn’t the man she thought he was and that she was blinded by infatuation.

Catching up with Lina’s family, Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) is playing with his children who are old enough to speak. He confirms King Henry is bedding Anne Hastings but explains that’s just the way of English kings.

Catherine prays for her unborn child and her marriage and then takes one last barefooted walk in the grass before facing confinement. She’s upset by the lack of eye contact and whispers in the hallways as she heads to her room. Lina attempts to assure her confinement can be a blessing, but Catherine once again broaches the subject of her husband’s infidelity. She admits she’s heard the rumors and demands Lina tell her what she’s heard. Lina’s silence appears to confirm to Catherine that King Henry is having an affair with Anne Hastings. Lina tries to assure her they’re foolish rumors but does admit the rumors are spreading. She also reveals a woman was seen leaving King Henry’s rooms – and that woman looked like Anne Hastings.

Catherine doesn’t need to be told by Lina that King Henry loves her. She refuses to be jealous like her sister.

And speaking of gossip, the dinner table is buzzing with whispered conversations about Wolsey’s blatant attempts to put Anne and Henry together. Wolsey’s made sure they’re seated next to each other at the head of the table.

Lady Anne makes a toast to her nephew Henry Stafford and Ursula Pole, wishing them many children and the joys of love. She then goes on to talk about the wedding night and how it’s normal to bleed and be uncomfortable the first time. When King Henry points out not every woman bleeds her first time, Lady Anne corrects him and says all women bleed when they lose their virginity.

Maggie Pole is watching Henry’s reaction from the other end of the table and tries to change the subject by offering her own toast to her daughter and Henry Stafford. It’s not working as King Henry is lost in thought, recalling his first time with Catherine and the lack of blood.

Edward Stafford (Olly Rix) whispers his own toast that only he can hear. “To Wolsey’s swift demise,” he says and then drinks.

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 4
Laura Carmichael in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 4 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Maggie Pole steps away from the table for a conversation with Lina. Lina reveals Catherine knows about the rumors of King Henry sleeping with Lady Anne. Lina confesses she’s worried about the baby because Catherine’s so distressed. Maggie then fills Lina in on the conversation about wedding nights and bleeding. She believes this is an extremely dangerous conversation.

That night King Henry comes to Queen Catherine’s room to say goodnight. She asks if he has any news of Meg before confessing she worships him. She explains she realizes he has appetites she can’t fulfill right now, and she’d understand if he took another woman to his bed. Catherine practically begs him to share this with her so she won’t be pitied anymore. She understands their love is different from his sexual desires.

Henry claims there’s nothing for him to confess. He kisses her forehead and tells her to rest.

General Howard (Peter Egan) and his men arrive in Scotland. Meg leaves her room with Angus and the children, threatening the council England will attack if they harm her or her children. As she’s speaking with General Howard, council members move in to snatch her children. General Howard warns them to hand the boys over or feel England’s wrath. Angus has betrayed her and still holds one child, rushing him back inside the castle as Howard instructs Meg to get on a horse.

Meg’s hysterical and doesn’t want to leave without her children, but Howard assures her it’s the only way she survives this – for now.

They pause on their ride home as Meg’s overcome with emotion. She can’t believe she trusted Angus, betrayed her boys, and that she was so stupid. Howard attempts to comfort her by saying she was lonely. He promises Meg she will return to Scotland and get her boys back. “You’re a f**king she-wolf,” says Howard.

Meg changes their plans, deciding she’ll ride to York to collect herself. She won’t see King Henry until she’s ready.

Maggie has a plan to help Catherine. She asks William Compton for help in easing Catherine’s distress so that their Queen doesn’t lose another baby. Maggie wants William to say Lady Anne was with him, not with King Henry. It has to be William because he’s the only man who shares Henry’s rooms. This will remove the blame from Henry while soothing Catherine’s distress.

William appreciates Maggie’s loyalty to Catherine and agrees to do his part.

A dance is held and Lady Hastings is on the floor with King Henry. When the song ends, Maggie speaks with Anne and says, “It seems the better woman has won. Sir William Compton hasn’t been able to take his eyes from you all night.”

Maggie says she won’t compete with Lady Anne, given her youth and beauty. The dutiful William approaches and Lady Anne giggles as he compliments her appearance.

Tongues are beginning to wag and Maggie appears quite satisfied her plan’s working.

Queen Catherine’s water breaks and she panics because it’s too early. She sends Bessie (Chloe Harris) out to find Lina and upon their return Catherine’s struggling with the pain of labor. It’s too late to call a midwife and Lina assures her they’ll make it through the delivery together.

Meanwhile, Edward Stafford waits until King Henry’s taking a break from dancing to inform him of Angus’ betrayal and Meg’s escape from Scotland.

Wolsey watches and understands the significance of Lady Anne openly dancing with William Compton. Maggie sees his expression and can only smile.

Bessie arrives to tell King Henry his baby’s about to be born. Henry’s friends congratulate him as Lina tries to convince Catherine the baby won’t die if it’s born this early. Maggie has also joined the women assisting Catherine.

After Charlie Brandon suggests Henry name his son Prince Charles, Henry informs his friend the baby will be named Henry.

The baby arrives and Catherine’s disappointed she’s given birth to a girl. The baby cries, as does Catherine.

Henry arrives seconds after the birth and Catherine breaks the news she’s had a healthy girl. She asks through the closed door if Henry will hold his child. He says nothing and leaves.

Maggie tells Catherine her baby needs her mother, but Catherine walks by without comforting her newborn child.

Days later King Henry can only thank her for her efforts. He’s cold and distant in front of the court.

Wolsey writes a note to King Louis instructing him to send the Duke of Albany to take control of Scotland. Wolsey believes it’s the only way to settle matters without going to war.

Queen Catherine walks with Lina and her ladies through the gardens. She’s not holding Princess Mary and is in a horrible mood when she scolds Lina. She thinks Lina was wrong about Lady Anne and believes the lie Sir William Compton was actually bedding Lady Hastings – not King Henry. She blames King Henry being angry with her on the fact she confronted him about the affair, based on Lina’s information.

Meg and General Howard arrive at Westminster and she finally reunites with her brother. She confronts him about his order to send the Duke of Albany to Scotland to raise her children, and he’s momentarily perplexed. Wolsey admits he wrote to France with instructions without Henry’s knowledge, and Meg accuses him of being the new King of England. Henry recovers enough to say Wolsey simply forgot Henry actually gave the order.

King Henry believes the Duke of Albany will keep Scotland stable until Meg’s son comes of age. Meg storms off, determined to speak to Catherine about this matter.

If looks could kill, Wolsey would fall dead to the floor as King Henry stares at him before exiting the room.

The room’s full of the power players as King Henry enters and is immediately asked by Maggie Pole to be released from her betrothal to William Compton. She can not marry him knowing William kissed a married woman. After a lengthy pause, Henry releases her while acknowledging this is what she wanted all along.

Maggie’s next conversation is just as difficult. She informs William that King Henry has withdrawn his consent.

Thomas More walks with Maggie, complimenting a game well played. He then reveals it’s actually true that Lady Hastings never slept with King Henry. Wolsey lied about that. However, King Henry does have a lover.

General Howard tells Catherine he’s being sent away, and Catherine understands he’s being punished by King Henry. She’s grateful for all he’s done for her and for England.

Meg’s next to bend Catherine’s ear, but their conversation is interrupted by Catherine’s lady announcing she’s taking the baby’s swaddling to the laundry. Once she leaves, Meg asks Catherine to tell Henry to help her. She wants to return to Scotland to raise her boys, but Catherine doesn’t think that will happen. “It will not work, Meg. We have all failed. Mary’s trapped in France married to a man she wishes dead. Albany has your kingdom for himself,” says a very depressed Queen Catherine.

Catherine believes King Henry’s angry she failed him by giving birth to a girl.

Catherine refuses to hold her daughter when she’s brought to her. She spots a cloth on the ground and leaves Meg, using the excuse she’s taking it to Bessie. She enters the laundry and there, right out in the open, is King Henry having sex with Bessie. Catherine runs off before they spot her.