‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Peace” Season Finale

The Spanish Princess Season 2
Georgie Henley stars in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Although the title of Starz’s The Spanish Princess season two episode eight is “Peace,” Queen Catherine’s story throughout much of the season finale is one of unhappiness and betrayal. The season two finale closes the book on Catherine of Aragon as King Henry VIII’s first wife and moves forward the story of his second, Anne Boleyn.

Episode eight opens with King Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) in a rage after Queen Catherine (Charlotte Hope) finally reveals she’s lost yet another son. His anger ramps up when he realizes she miscarried before Edward Stafford was executed and that Stafford knew and kept it a secret.

King Henry threatens to behead Queen Catherine for her failure and deceitfulness. He turns his anger on Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael), ordering her ejected from the palace and demanding his son be brought to him.

After Henry storms away, Maggie calls Henry a monster and wonders how Catherine can remain by his side. Catherine informs Maggie her words are treasonous and she’s no longer willing to help her if King Henry takes drastic action.

Catherine’s in a rotten mood when she drags Princess Mary into the chapel to pray. She finally apologizes to the child for her father’s actions. Mary only pays attention and joins her in prayer after Catherine tells her she loves her.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Meg (Georgie Henley) – accompanied by Hal Stewart (Thoren Ferguson) – convinces noblemen to join her by offering to pay them in English gold. She requests they protect her son, their future king, from the Duke of Albany and others currently in control.

Now that she’s no longer alone in her fight, she retrieves her son Jamie as he’s practicing sword fighting with Alexander Stewart (Mark Rowley). Stewart has no option other than to turn him over, given that she’s accompanied by men who are prepared to fight.

Back in England, Maggie Pole attempts to comfort her sobbing daughter, Ursula (Amelia Gething). Queen Catherine’s turned against them now and stands with King Henry, and Ursula’s rightfully concerned about their future. Maggie promises they won’t starve and their wealth will be returned…or she’ll see the Tudors burn in hell.

Their conversation’s interrupted by the arrival of her son, Henry (Theo Ancient), and many soldiers. He reads the order from King Henry confiscating the Stafford estate in its entirety. Maggie refuses to leave the doorway and Henry begs her to get out of the way. She again refuses, threatening that he’ll need to run her through with his sword if he wants to enter the estate.

Once more to Scotland we go and Meg triumphantly returns to Edinburgh Castle, now in possession of her sons. She orders the Duke of Albany (Gordon Kennedy) from the castle, declaring she’ll take over as regent of Scotland for her son, King James. Meg assures the Duke she’s no longer worried about what King Henry or Queen Catherine want and is only acting in the best interest of Scotland and her sons from this moment on.

The Duke says goodbye to James and Alexander, understanding he’s in no position to fight for control. Meg warns those gathered not to underestimate her because she’s a woman. She will rule with her son and punish any who stand against her.

Lina (Stephanie Levi-John) informs Queen Catherine that King Henry has summoned his son and is set to make an announcement. Although she wasn’t invited, Queen Catherine prepares Princess Mary to stand before King Henry alongside her half-brother.

Members of the court and other nobility have gathered and Thomas Boleyn (Richard Pepper) bows as Queen Catherine arrives with Princess Mary. He calls her attendance unexpected and Queen Catherine’s undeterred, believing Princess Mary has every right to be present.

Bessie Blount stands next to her son in front of King Henry as he bestows the Dukedoms of Richmond and Somerset on his only male heir. The boy’s also appointed Lord High Admiral, Lord President of the Council of the North, and Warden of the Marshes.

Princess Mary is ignored. Catherine asks if Henry will give Princess Mary the throne and responds, “No, I’ll have a son for that.”

As the event’s breaking up, Henry’s sister Mary (Sai Bennett) approaches for a word. Mary wants to know if Catherine’s the source of the rumor Meg is sleeping with the Duke of Albany. Mary realizes Catherine’s no longer fighting on Meg’s behalf and that Catherine doesn’t know Meg has evicted the Duke and now rules Scotland alongside her son.

Catherine believes Meg must rule with Angus, her husband. Mary informs her King Henry’s no longer standing firm behind that marriage and will allow her to seek an annulment from the Pope. Before she walks away to pay her respect to King Henry, Mary apologizes that she and Catherine won’t be good friends any longer.

Queen Catherine’s list of friends and confidants has significantly shortened. She’s also being noticeably pushed from the King’s circle and her influence is being minimalized.

Thomas Boleyn seeks to fill Queen Catherine’s spot with his own daughter, Anne.

Ursula and her husband, Henry Stafford (Milo Callaghan), watch as Henry Pole and the other soldiers pack up all of the Stafford household’s belongings. Maggie’s remained firmly in place blocking the doorway and is standing there when Sir Thomas More (Andrew Buchan) arrives. He informs her she’s no longer Lady Pole, Countess of Salisbury. King Henry’s stripped her of her title.

Maggie makes it clear they’re no longer friends and she feels betrayed by everyone. However, she’s not fearful since she has nothing to lose. She warns those who do should be afraid.

Queen Catherine attempts to speak with King Henry about their relationship. It’s clear he’s finished with this marriage and wants to move on to someone who can give him a legitimate male heir. He believes their marriage is cursed and demands to know if she had sex with his brother, Arthur. Once again, Catherine denies she did and swears she was a virgin when she came to Henry’s bed.

Henry refuses to believe his daughter’s capable of ruling England. He will place Henry FitzRoy on the throne rather than Princess Mary but clings to the belief God has promised him dozens of sons.

Lina and Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) are at odds over whether to leave their service to Queen Catherine and King Henry. Oviedo doesn’t feel safe and suggests they meet up with Rosa and her husband who are currently docked nearby. Lina was already aware of this and confesses Rosa wants to see them. However, Lina doesn’t feel now’s the right time to leave Queen Catherine.

The Spanish Princess Season 2 2020
Charlotte Hope and Stephanie Levi-John star in ‘The Spanish Princess season 2 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Queen Catherine blames Wolsey for the troubles in her marriage, and Lina lends a sympathetic ear. When she attempts to bring up Rosa, Catherine claims not to have time to discuss that now. She also rudely dismisses Lina’s talk of her sons, obviously jealous of Lina’s good fortune.

Catherine spots Maggie Pole outside and wonders if she’s there to beg King Henry for mercy.

Maggie’s accompanied by Thomas More but it’s Thomas Boleyn who walks with her to speak with King Henry. It’s apparent Maggie dislikes Thomas and believes he’ll toss away any of his friends – as he did with Edward Stafford – to secure his own family’s place in court.

Maggie asks for an audience alone with King Henry and confesses she’d like to come clean about a lie. She admits Queen Catherine did lie with Arthur; she was not a virgin when she wed Henry.

King Henry immediately seeks out Queen Catherine to accompany him hunting. They ride out deep into the forest and Catherine’s suddenly leery. She points out there’s not much prey in that area but Henry insists she keep walking while he follows close behind.

Henry finally points to a spot by the lake and pushes her to the ground on its bank. He reveals Maggie Pole has finally told the truth and confirmed Catherine slept with Arthur. She heard their lovemaking from outside the bedroom door. Catherine denies it once again, adamant that since Maggie wasn’t in their bedroom, she couldn’t possibly know what happened.

Henry explains Maggie swore on the Bible and reveals Arthur even spoke to her of his joy in making love to Catherine. Catherine’s forced to acknowledge Arthur wasn’t a liar and reluctantly admits it’s true. They recite Bible verses supporting their opposing sides of the argument. Catherine’s convinced God isn’t punishing them while Henry is equally certain God is.

Henry’s actually relieved she finally admits to being a wanton whore. Catherine reminds her husband he loves her still. He claims to hate her, given that he’s been tossed into the flames of Hell due to their relationship. She begs him to understand she’s always been his, but he’s already detached himself from this marriage.

Catherine spots movement in the nearby trees and Henry refuses to say who it is. She thinks he brought Wolsey with them to kill her, but she survives the meeting. She’s left alone to struggle in the dirt as Henry strides away, calling for his horse. By the time she returns from the shoreline, Henry is gone. She rides home alone.

In Scotland, Meg addresses Parliament and is thankful they have acknowledged her son as king. When she assures them Scotland’s more than a match for “that greedy English king and his deceitful wife,” one of the men speaks up and reminds her she’s a Tudor who rushed into marriage with Angus Douglas.

He’s rude when he addresses Meg and she sends him off to prison. She warns the others gathered the same fate could befall them.

Oviedo and Lina meet up with Rosa (Nadia Parkes) at the docks, and Rosa’s ecstatic the couple will be joining them on their voyage to the Ottoman Empire. She loves the idea of their children growing up together. Lina explains they haven’t decided to leave, and Rosa reveals her husband has already offered Oviedo a job on the ship.

Lina confronts Oviedo, upset he didn’t tell her about this offer. He’s convinced they should leave and have a life where they can be together with their boys as a family every day.

Lina admits to Rosa she’d love to go but can’t because Catherine’s in pain. Rosa suggests she do what’s best for her husband and sons.

Catherine finally makes it back to the castle as Maggie’s instructing Thomas More and Thomas Boleyn to return everything taken from the Stafford estate. Queen Catherine’s looking bedraggled and Thomas Boleyn asks about her guards who are nowhere to be seen. She confronts Maggie and asks what she told King Henry. Maggie replies, “I’m a loyal servant to the King. Is that not what you’d have me be?”

Catherine writes to Meg asking for her help. She’s desperate for Meg’s assistance now that Henry’s pushing her aside and denying Princess Mary’s right to inherit the throne.

That letter arrives in Scotland along with one from King Henry. Meg doesn’t open either and instead tosses both into the fire. Meg believes Catherine’s as lost as Henry and will not entertain correspondence from either.

Hal informs her Angus is gathering men and will challenge her right to rule. Meg names Hal her most senior officer but he believes someone from another house other than Stewart might be a better choice. He also reminds her that her son’s reign isn’t recognized by all of the clans. Meg stands firm; she wants Hal and not just to lead her army.

“I want you, Hal, forever…until the end of Heaven and Earth,” says Meg. Sparks fly as they kiss.

Lina and Oviedo return home and as she bathes her sons, she discovers one is being bullied by English boys.

The following day Catherine confesses to Lina that Maggie told Henry she slept with Arthur. Catherine believes Henry is going to annul their marriage. She apologizes to Lina for her ill-temper and how she’s treated her. She asks for forgiveness and wonders if there’s anything she can do for Lina’s family.

Their conversation’s cut short by the arrival of King Henry and Thomas Boleyn. King Henry informs his wife that Thomas’ daughters, Anne and Mary, will now be part of the Queen’s household as her ladies.

Later, Catherine wakes from a nightmare and sees King Henry outside with Anne Boleyn (Alice Nokes). She watches as Henry gazes upon Anne’s naked body standing before him and as Anne backs slightly away, not allowing Henry to touch her. Catherine aims a crossbow in the couple’s direction but tosses it aside without firing.

Back in Scotland, Angus (Andrew Rothney) leads a group of soldiers to Edinburgh Castle. He’s stopped at the gates but continues to scream out Meg’s name. Angus joins the soldiers as they approach the west side after being denied entrance through the front gate. Meg’s happy about this development and has her men fire cannons at Angus and his fellow traitors.

Meg’s practically giddy watching Angus and his men wiped out, laughing with glee as she orders the cannons to continue to shoot.

Lina finds Catherine alone in the chapel praying. She explains Rosa’s in port and she wants to leave with Oviedo and her boys. Catherine’s saddened but understands, confessing she wishes she could accompany her.

King Henry schools his young son on the family’s history, with Maggie Pole watching closely over the boy. Catherine asks for time alone with Henry and Maggie leaves without acknowledging Catherine.

Catherine shocks Henry by informing him she’s made the decision to leave and will live away from court, but she will always be his wife. She will not be pushed from this marriage and hopes he will find peace.

Next, Catherine speaks briefly with Anne Boleyn. She assures her what she has with King Henry won’t last and she’ll never be Queen of England.

Catherine writes down her thoughts and hopes for her daughter, explaining why they’re leaving. She doesn’t regret anything and wouldn’t change a thing that’s happened to her. Catherine writes that she’s known joy, love, and friendship in this beautiful world of Camelot.

Catherine hopes her daughter will forgive her father and that she’ll pray King Henry finds his way again.

Catherine and Princess Mary’s final act is to set free their caged bird.