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S01.E03: The Price

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Prince Henri returns from war with a new mistress, Filippa, and a baby. Catherine resorts to extreme measures to produce an heir.

Air date: 9.25.2022

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Not as good as the last 2 episodes but solid.   At last Catherine is pregnant.

I assume Mary is Mary, Queen of Scots. Yeah, she's not going to end up Queen of France.

They all really don't like Catherine. I wonder what happened to the rest of her original entourage. I was hoping we get a glimpse of them in the future. 

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I could see what was coming when Catherine left the book behind as she was hurried out of there, but held out hope that she would find some brilliant way to save Sebastiano. Horrifying ending to a really decent episode. I knew they would conceive once the Job of Sex became the Joy of Sex. That happened with my adoptive parents. They thought they had a problem with a couple of failed attempts, and, after adopting me they had two kids of their own.

  Loved Catherine's reaction to the Dauphin's demise:Cath_Shrug.mp4_20220925_203142_943.thumb.jpg.af1d93ec71382a1ed28391a532cfd9ef.jpg

And, of course, the introduction of the Marys, dressed in white so as not to ostentatiously mourn.

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Brb, laughing my ass off at the idea of any version of Mary Stuart being in the same hemisphere as Catherine De'Medici in terms of royal scheming game.

(Although actually mistakenly thinking that she is any good at royal conniving is extremely on brand for Mary, Queen of Scots. That's kind of how she kept wrecking her own life over and over.)

This episode was the first that made me super aware that young Catherine is an Unreliable Narrator. It's a testament to the show that it didn't occur to me until the Sebastio thing. I was thinking about how the way it was framed, it didn't actually seem like she did have much of a choice to turn him over. They needed a scapegoat or there would be a war, and Sebastio was both an "Italian poisoner" and suspiciously the dude that gave young Francois the water he drank just before dying. (OMG I LOVED Catherine turning to the camera and shrugging at that part.) The intensity of the scene where she has to give him up makes it seem like she didn't really have a choice, and her getting pregnant from his sacrifice seemed almost incidental. But then there would have been other avenues for her to take, she was a smart girl. And that's how I came to remember that this is a story being told by an older Catherine to a young woman whom she wants idealizing her. She's not gonna make herself look monstrous.

So they're definitely committed to the maybe magic, maybe mundane thing, which I can roll with. I'm a little surprised the show didn't outright have Catherine causing the somewhat mysterious death of the dauphin. I like that they both went ahead and gave an explanation for his death that suggested it was inevitable, but left a little doubt. (That shrug!)

Henri is starting to work my last nerve. It's like he's capable of being the sweetest genuinely nicest guy in the world - and yet somehow cannot see how utterly adorable his own wife is. Somehow he's not only blind to the fact that she's smart, intensely loyal to him and cute beyond all reason, but also can't catch on that he isn't doing the bare minimum to keep her as his wife, i.e. keep her from being sent back to where she will definitely get murdered. Okay man, you don't love the girl, but at least summon some protective instinct for someone who only means you well. The amount of times Catherine just fucked off out of the room in this episode! The only answer she could give when no one would speak up for her. I mean Diane seems to care about her more (totally calling it that Diane got her attacked and sent Henri out to save her. Which worked!) than Henri.

I think it was him bringing home Fillippa that was the last straw for me with him. I get him having a weird sexual hangup about sleeping with anyone other than Diane, but he brings home an Italian mistress? Dude, appreciate what you have!

Edited by PinkRibbons · Reason: I got too off topic
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1 hour ago, WatcherUatl10 said:

And, of course, the introduction of the Marys, dressed in white so as not to ostentatiously mourn

White was the color for royal mourning back then, so it was appropriate.

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Mathidle and Francois was interesting. Didn't see that coming. He was almost nice in that first scene too.

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I am enjoying it. I’m glad that the King at least appreciates Catherine’s intellect. 
 

She’s the Dauphine and she’s pregnant- things are looking up. But I want to know more about the rest of her entourage and their motives. I get that this is Catherine’s story, but I know more about Diane than I do them. 

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4 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

White was the color for royal mourning back then, so it was appropriate.

So when Mary referenced dressing ostentatiously in mourning, was she referring to Catherine, the maid, or both? Because I assumed she and her Marys were in white as a statement of some sort, possibly the opposite of mourning, which you clarified it is not.

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I'm a bit confused, but I took it as Mary clearly drawing attention to herself and her ladies' mourning (wearing all-white is something people don't even do nowadays aside from special occasions - it's insanely hard to keep pristine, which makes them all wearing it seem super privileged and showy about it. Which they obviously were) to make a point about her still being a Dowager Queen (who, let's be completely clear about this, has absolutely no right to a throne by marriage alone) even as Catherine gears up for the crowning of her next son in line, Charles, who she will be regent for. I suspect Mary is holding to white court mourning past the generally accepted amount of time expected after her husband's death, and therefore seeming holier-than-thou.

In actuality Catherine made a point of wearing mourning exclusively except for a few of very specific formal events from Henri's death until her own. I'm fairly certain she wore black mourning, which was still a sign of privilege, because black cloth involved a lot of dye and that made it expensive. I actually think there's some evidence to suggest Catherine helped popularize black mourning, but don't quote me on that, it's past midnight and I'm too tired to look up a source to back my suspicions.

Anyway, Catherine wouldn't have to change her wardrobe to indicate she was mourning when her eldest died, as Mary is doing. She's been wearing black for Henri since his death. Mary probably chose white mourning specifically to stand as a contrast to Catherine.

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9 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

I think it was him bringing home Fillippa that was the last straw for me with him. I get him having a weird sexual hangup about sleeping with anyone other than Diane, but he brings home an Italian mistress?

Not to mention having the audacity to name the illegitimate baby after Diane, of all people. Could he have been more insensitive?

Diane was right when she burned all of Catherine’s letter from Henri: men are too simple to cry for.

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I'm going to have to re-watch Mary Queen of Scots but did Mary bring that weird thing of renaming her maids 'Mary' to the Scottish court?

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Not to mention having the audacity to name the illegitimate baby after Diane, of all people. Could he have been more insensitive?

And telling Fillippa that Diane will be like a grandmother to her namesake.  I burst out laughing at that.

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1 hour ago, greekmom said:

I'm going to have to re-watch Mary Queen of Scots but did Mary bring that weird thing of renaming her maids 'Mary' to the Scottish court?

They were all actually named Mary

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12 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

Henri is starting to work my last nerve. It's like he's capable of being the sweetest genuinely nicest guy in the world - and yet somehow cannot see how utterly adorable his own wife is. Somehow he's not only blind to the fact that she's smart, intensely loyal to him and cute beyond all reason, but also can't catch on that he isn't doing the bare minimum to keep her as his wife, i.e. keep her from being sent back to where she will definitely get murdered. Okay man, you don't love the girl, but at least summon some protective instinct for someone who only means you well. The amount of times Catherine just fucked off out of the room in this episode! The only answer she could give when no one would speak up for her. I mean Diane seems to care about her more (totally calling it that Diane got her attacked and sent Henri out to save her. Which worked!) than Henri.

I think it was him bringing home Fillippa that was the last straw for me with him. I get him having a weird sexual hangup about sleeping with anyone other than Diane, but he brings home an Italian mistress? Dude, appreciate what you have!

I assumed that it was Francois and the Bourbon cousin that sent those people to attack Mary. Your theory works too. 

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I really enjoyed this episode.  They should have called it "Accidents Happen".    Henri is an idiot to think a female child had with a commoner counts as producing an heir, but I was worried about the baby when Diana got close to the window.

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 Catherine's shrug during the tennis game was priceless.   She's probably not the only one who wanted him dead, but the most likely suspect.

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That certainly took a dark turn, poor Sebastian. Catherine had to throw someone under the bus and he was the most convenient scapegoat, but damn. They sure did get creative about to to kill people back then. They are already setting up a lot of what will make Catherine so infamous, her reputation as a possible poisoner, her interest in magic, and her ability to take bad situations and make them work to her advantage.

Oh Henri, how did you think your wife and girlfriend would take you bringing home another woman complete with child? Then he called the girl Diane! And told the new girl that Diane would be like a grandmother, which I laughed way too hard at. Henri isn't even really trying to be a jerk I don't think, he's just truly clueless to how this is going to make the women in his life feel. At least the king appreciates Catherine, and luckily it seems to be in a paternal way not a creepy way. You can imagine him wishing that either of his sons were more like her. 

I should have known we were getting to Francois's death soon, he was actually not a total prick for three seconds and we learned a bit more about his tragic backstory. I don't think that he was poisoned, but I do like that they leave it just a tiny bit ambiguous as to whether it really was poison, magic, or just a regular natural death.

I loved the very brief "are you seeing this shit?" look between Diane and Catherine when Henri showed up with his new side piece. They can at least respect each others game, not so much this new random woman. I really hope that baby is alright, I do not trust Diane anywhere near baby Diane. 

So enters Mary and her Mary entourage. She certainly knows how to make an entrance.

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Some might criticize Catherine for what happened to Sebastio, but if her uncle the Pope were still alive, I believe he would have approved.

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Poor Sebastio I was hoping Catherine would find a way out of it.

Henri's so stupid. He brings home a mistress and baby and thinks that's going to end well? I laughed at him saying Diane would be more like a grandmother to the baby. 

I'm confused by Mary attempting to keep the throne. She can't do that and everyone would know that. The crown is going to the next son. 

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