‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Faith”

The Spanish Princess Season 2
Stephanie Levi-John and Charlotte Hope star in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Starz’s The Spanish Princess season two episode seven begins with Queen Catherine (Charlotte Hope) prompting Princess Mary to impress King Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) with her ability to speak Latin. Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) assures King Henry that Mary is a natural scholar, and Catherine reiterates her belief girls can learn as well as boys. Unfortunately, King Henry doesn’t seem to care about Princess Mary’s education. He firmly believes Catherine is pregnant with the future King of England, meaning Princess Mary will never lead this country.

Edward Stafford (Olly Rix) arrives to deliver news of the arrests of heretics in Blackfriars. Catherine detests these Martin Luther reformists who don’t believe King Henry’s anointed by God. Edward also announces Angus has arrived from Scotland to speak with King Henry.

After Henry leaves, Catherine blames Maggie Pole for Princess Mary’s unimpressive performance. Catherine decides to bring in a new tutor to instruct her daughter.

Meg, Queen of Scots, learns of Angus’ journey to speak with King Henry and decides she too should pay a visit to her brother. She commands Hal Stewart (Thoren Ferguson) to accompany her on the long ride.

Angus (Andrew Rothney) informs King Henry and Queen Catherine that Meg isn’t well-liked in Scotland and there are fears she could incite more violence against England. Catherine stands up for Meg, blaming Angus’ visit on his own personal grievances. Angus assures them Meg’s still set on annulling their marriage. Catherine and Wolsey are firmly against that possibility, while Henry confirms it can be undone if the Pope decides it. Catherine glances at her husband at the mention of annulment and claims this discussion is upsetting their unborn prince.

Cardinal Wolsey (Philip Cumbus) and Queen Catherine’s dislike of one another’s briefly set aside when they both speak passionately about the sanctity of the Church and the need to root out heretics.

Henry dismisses Angus and sends him back to Scotland.

Queen Catherine calls Angus in for a private audience before he takes off and suggests Meg and the Duke of Albany might be lovers. If so, that could be used to get the Pope to drop their petition to annul Meg’s marriage. She assures Angus of her support in this matter.

At home, Lina (Stephanie Levi-John) and Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) feel the darkness that’s surrounding the Court. Neither are comfortable with what’s happening on the streets or in the castle. Lina confesses she no longer feels safe in England.

Queen Catherine prays for a boy and swears she’ll prove her worth. She pledges to always defend God’s Church. Cardinal Wolsey approaches as she’s praying and reveals Meg is coming to speak with King Henry. Wolsey and Henry are hopeful Catherine can talk some sense into her. Wolsey praises Catherine’s devotion to God and she confirms she sees the Protestant heresy as a threat. She suggests a truce given they’re both dedicated to defending their God and their King. Wolsey agrees.

Undersheriff Thomas More (Andrew Buchan) has confiscated written material from the heretics and presents it to King Henry and his council. Wolsey and Catherine’s alliance is on full display as they speak out against the heretics. Only Edward Stafford is concerned they’re overreacting, reminding them these fanatics are just a tiny group. He doesn’t believe wasting money rounding up this group is money well spent. Catherine reminds him a small spark can burn a city to the ground. She and Wolsey are committed to pursuing these heretics for treason.

“We are defending God, gentleman, and his King of England,” says Catherine.

The council meeting breaks up and King Henry compliments Catherine for speaking up. She credits the unborn prince within her for giving her his strength. Catherine changes the subject and admits she hates Meg’s heresy, believing an annulment will damn her soul.

Henry’s angry Edward Stafford questioned his authority. The King reminds Catherine yet again he needs a son to confirm his standing with God and England.

Thomas Boleyn (Richard Pepper) informs Queen Catherine and Cardinal Wolsey additional heretics have been rounded up. Wolsey suggests a public hanging would send an important message and deter others. Thomas believes a fine is sufficient, and Queen Catherine appears to consider both options before demanding a public burning of confiscated materials, satisfied that will send the right message.

Queen Catherine and King Henry are joined by the council as the material’s burned in public. Wolsey warns the citizens gathered that paper – and flesh – will go to God in the Eternal Flame.

The fracture in Lina and Catherine’s relationship widens when Lina suggests to the Queen that she and Wolsey will be hanging Lutheran men and women soon. Lina wonders why in order to secure King Henry’s continued love Catherine needs to hate so many people. Catherine stands firm in her belief that she’s defending God.

Meg (Georgie Henley) arrives in London at a moment when King Henry’s in an especially sour mood. She demands her inheritance and Henry commands she leave before he forgets she’s his sister. Henry also sends Catherine away, claiming the cold air is bad for their unborn son.

Meg and Catherine have a private chat and it’s clear their relationship has been shattered by Meg’s continued demands for an annulment. Catherine dismisses Meg, informing her they have nothing more to discuss.

Meg takes matters into her own hands and, accompanied by Hal Stewart, heads to the guarded room which holds the kingdom’s riches. She’s decided she’s going to take the inheritance she’s owed in gold. Hal moves in for a kiss and Meg holds him off, although she’s obviously attracted to him. She explains she must remain focused and can’t fall for another man after what happened with Angus.

King Henry learns of Meg’s theft after she leaves. He’s enraged but won’t chase after her. He then confesses to Catherine he’s worried about rumors concerning Edward Stafford. Catherine sticks up for Edward, certain he isn’t challenging Henry’s power.

Maggie meets with Edward Stafford and asks if he’s concerned about Wolsey. Since her daughter married Edward’s son, she’s worried about the entire Stafford family. Edward, however, isn’t. He believes that although Wolsey has King Henry’s ear, he has his heart.

Queen Catherine’s alone late at night when she has another miscarriage. She wanders from her room and spots Edward who immediately understands the gravity of the situation. She begs him to take her to her chamber, but he initially refuses because it’s improper. Catherine weeps as she insists he not call for her ladies. Edward relents and delivers her to her bed, anxious to call a nursemaid. Yet again Catherine refuses attention. She breaks down, unable to understand why she’s incapable of giving her husband a son.

Catherine begs Edward not to tell anyone – including King Henry – she’s lost the baby. He pledges to keep her secret.

The following day Edward’s shocked to see Catherine dressed and on her way to speak with King Henry. He can’t believe she’s not resting. There are others present as Catherine and Edward speak in a guarded manner, not giving away their shared secret. Catherine insists she’s well enough to be up and around and Edward has no option other than to let her go about her day as if the prior evening’s events never occurred.

Queen Catherine learns King Henry’s cleaning out the Court of what he labels its filth. She hurries from Henry’s presence, concerned about what he has planned.

Maggie Pole and Edward Stafford are in conversation when Wolsey rushes up with soldiers and places Edward under arrest for high treason. “This is pure spite! There can be no just cause against the King’s loyal friend and counselor,” says an angry Maggie, convinced this is all Wolsey’s doing.

Maggie informs Catherine of what just happened, and she immediately rushes to speak with King Henry. She reminds him Edward loves him, but Henry believes Edward exploited a perceived weakness. Thomas Boleyn sides with King Henry and refuses Catherine’s plea to talk some sense into Henry.

Catherine visits Edward Stafford in the Tower, confessing she thinks the charges are absurd. Wolsey’s exploiting King Henry but she believes she might be able to reason with him. She suggests Edward beg for Henry’s forgiveness and Edward promises he will.

As they’re speaking an injured man is dragged into the adjacent cell. Edward explains the man is a Lutheran who’s been tortured for his confession.

Catherine demands Wolsey withdraw his charges, but Wolsey’s convinced Stafford is a threat to King Henry. Catherine and Wolsey’s uneasy alliance is shattered when Wolsey reveals he believes King Henry’s closest advisors are his biggest enemies.

The Spanish Princess Season 2
Andrew Buchan and Laura Carmichael in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Thomas More had previously extended an invitation to Maggie Pole to visit his home and she takes him up on the offer, determined to speak with him about Edward. Thomas isn’t available but Maggie’s told she’s free to look around his home. She discovers a room set up as a torture chamber, complete with a rack to stretch prisoners. Disgusted and deeply disturbed, she hurries from Moore’s home without speaking to him.

Queen Catherine finally confesses to Lina she’s lost yet another child. She weeps as she expresses her wish to return to the time when she was certain of Henry’s love.

Edward Stafford’s brought before King Henry and his court to address the charges of treason. Wolsey lays out the evidence and Queen Catherine speaks on behalf of Edward, reminding Henry of Edward’s fierce loyalty and friendship. Thomas Boleyn informs all present that Edward Stafford stated that if King Henry were never to have an heir, it would be God’s judgment on him. Thomas lies and claims Edward also said if another prince died, it would “sit right with him.”

Edward’s enraged and declares he said no such thing. “I said that God’s plans are mysterious,” explains Edward, adding that he was comforting the Queen. That leads to the question of why Catherine needed comforting. Wolsey reveals Edward was in Queen Catherine’s private chambers, alone at night.

Catherine speaks up and explains Edward escorted her to her chambers only because she was tired and her ladies were not present. Wolsey continues to level accusations at Edward, claiming Edward wishes to see King Henry overthrown.

Edward becomes emotional as he proclaims everything he does is at the service of his friend and in support of King Henry and Queen Catherine. Catherine mouths “beg” and Edward does, begging forgiveness for any insult he may have unwittingly uttered.

Catherine replies, “We have never had cause to question your heart, Lord Stafford, and we do not now.”

The trial ends and the outcome is unclear. Maggie and Ursula are discussing Edward’s future when Thomas More asks to speak with Maggie. He explains he only tortures the accused so they can free themselves. He believes he’s doing good. Maggie completely disagrees and walks away, making it clear their friendship is over.

Scaffolding’s set up outside the Tower of London and the audience, including Maggie Pole, assembles. Maggie assures her daughter Ursula and son-in-law Henry Stafford (Edward’s son) that Queen Catherine told her Henry will pardon Edward.

King Henry does not show up for the execution. Princess Mary’s stunned this is taking place and her husband, Charlie Brandon, warns after this day no one is safe.

Edward walks toward the spot of his planned execution, with Oviedo following as a guard. Edward acknowledges Thomas Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey before Oviedo releases him from his shackles. Rain pours down as Wolsey declares Edward has been convicted of treason and sentenced to death. In addition, his land and titles will be forfeited to the Crown. Stafford’s heirs will inherit nothing.

Thomas More rushes in with a message from King Henry. Catherine grabs the note and reads it out loud. Queen Catherine can barely contain her sorrow as she reads what she assumed was going to be Edward’s pardon:

To My Lord Stafford, my dearest friend and noble servant, I commend you this day to Almighty God. I will light candles and say prayers for your soul as it departs this world.

Henry

Wolsey and Thomas Boleyn look smugly satisfied with King Henry’s decision while Edward appears stunned yet unafraid of what’s to come. He accepts King Henry’s sentence. Edward apologizes to his executioner that he doesn’t have any money to pay for a clean death. Oviedo’s standing by the executioner and reveals he paid him on Edward’s behalf, wishing to honor him for the time he served under him in France. “I serve you still,” declares Oviedo, placing a hand over his heart and offering a brief bow.

Edward’s last words are to declare his love for King Henry and Queen Catherine, and to offer a prayer for their long and happy reign. He wishes them a son with all his heart. “Long live the King,” says Edward before refusing a blindfold. Instead he moves his eye patch over his one good eye and is quickly beheaded.

The executioner holds up his severed head.

That evening Wolsey prevents Queen Catherine from entering King Henry’s chambers. She warns him that she’s Henry’s wife under God’s eyes and nothing can change that. She wonders who Wolsey will eventually side with – his God and Pope or his king. Catherine suggests he pray on it.

“I do fear sometimes when the fire is warm what secret will burn you, Your Grace,” replies Wolsey. Catherine only smiles before turning away.