For those who have no idea what this show is about, I advise you to catch up with my previous recaps. Everyone else, let's do this thing!
Boom! It's 1848 and we're in Paris! But hold off on adorning your face with a fake beauty mark and biting into that eclair because the royal palace is being stormed by an angry mob! The fleeing rich inhabitants attempt to drag all their prized paintings, gold-rimmed mirrors and fancy furniture along with them. Um, you guys? A literal bomb just went off right outside that window over there. Maybe leave the end table and haul ass? Just a suggestion.
All I know is that this cutie better get out of this alive!
For any regular readers betting on how soon I would find a way to make this recap about a cute animal, the winning guess is: Before the second paragraph!
If the French baby pup hadn't graced our screens, I would have just brought up how I'm still not over Dash dying last season.
Thankfully, we can rest assured that he's in a better place:
Anyway, back to the humans (if we must).
While the King of France tries evading certain death by running through underground tunnels, Victoria and her squad stroll through Buckingham Palace in their finest jewels wholly unbothered because all the downtrodden Brits are too hungry (or too polite?) to revolt.
The gazillion royal children are in attendance. Just look at how many pregnancy storylines we've suffered through over two short seasons!
This is the face I make when thinking about the fact that Queen Victoria had nine kids in total so we still have four more to go:
UGH, make that three more to go. Victoria and Albert have been busy yet again.
Cut to a rowboat in the middle of nowhere carrying a mystery woman, who looks an awful lot like Lucy Lawless. Could this be the Xena / Victoria crossover I never knew I wanted?
Back in London, the new Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, is in the mood to cook up some drama.
On the floor of the House of Commons, Pam (that's what the British people called him back in the day) announces that he's sent congratulations to the French revolutionaries. He then talks a bunch of smack about autocrats. This doesn't go over well with Victoria, seeing as "autocrat" is one of her middle names, so she summons Pam and yells at him. With a Sorry, Not Sorry smirk on his face, Pam essentially says, Hold that thought, ma'am. I'm in the middle of undressing all your maids with my eyes. I'll be right with you though. After two full seasons of Victoria and Albert at each other's throats, I welcome this new challenger!
Downstairs, a new footman is introduced. He looks nothing like Xena. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.
In some working-class borough, a group of Chartists debates how to go about securing the right to vote.
Option A: Submit a petition that will immediately be thrown into a roaring fireplace.
Option B: Overthrow the Queen (guillotine assembly required).
They decide to play nice... for now.
Back at the palace, Hot Italian Chef and Babyface Maid are getting hot and heavy, until Babyface Maid puts the brakes on their trip to home base. "We have to wait," she says. "I'm not leaving here in disgrace!" Wait, does she mean she wants to wait until marriage? Or just until after her morning shift? Either way, Hot Italian Chef has blue balls.
Upstairs, Xena arrives. Turns out she's Victoria's older half-sister, Feodora, who left England to marry a German prince when Victoria was nine. So she's a princess, just like Xena! I knew it!
From the first impression, it's hard to tell if Xenadora is either kind of dumb or shady as hell. Like when she makes sure to point out that Albert is their first cousin (still ew). Or when she says, "So many children," then takes a pregnant pause (pun intended), looks down at Victoria's stomach and continues in a weird judgmental tone, "...and another one on the way." (Don't remind me!) My money's on shady.
Xenadora eventually breaks down and explains the reason for her visit is that the revolutionaries almost got a hold of her. But that doesn't stop Victoria from complaining about how rude it is to drop in unannounced and how she hopes she doesn't stay long. Albert is like, Woah, that's your sister! Her life was in danger! You're being a brat!
Well, he would know.
Unrelated: I don't know what this little cutie's name is, but I am a fan.
The following day, one of the countless kids, Bertie, plays with an abacus.
Hmm, what's a polite way of saying this kid is probably not that bright due to incest? Oops, I said it.
Albert bursts in with his long underwear in a twist over an up-and-comer called Karl Marx, who's advocating for workers' rights. What if lower-class Brits start wanting basic human rights?! If the massive gap between the classes is bridged even a little bit, Albert and Victoria might have to wear clothes more than once!
Based on hanging out with poor people *checks notes* exactly zero times in his life, Albert feels he knows enough to lecture Victoria on the realities of poverty. Victoria doesn't waste any time reminding him he's as much an out-of-touch snob as she is.
Albert: "You know nothing of how these people live!"
Victoria: "You do?"
That's what I thought!
Albert would put his foot in his mouth if there wasn't already a gigantic silver spoon in there.
In a hallway, Hot Italian Chef pounces on Babyface Maid and starts making out with her neck.
Hot Italian Chef: "Do you think you can contrive to leave the palace for an hour? There's something I want to show you."
Babyface Maid: "What is it?"
Hot Italian Chef: "A surprise."
"Surprise" is code for eggplant emoji, isn't it?
Later, Hot Italian Chef unveils his surprise...
...Actually, it ends up not being that (this isn't Poldark). He shows her an inn he wants to buy so they can quit their jobs. Not exactly what I was bargaining for, but okay.
In some rough neighborhood, Albert spends 18 seconds in a poor person's house and is aghast. 14 people under one roof! And they don't have their own rooms, let alone their own wings! He gives them a single coin. Surely he can do better than that. Here's an idea: Donate all the money you don't spend on contraceptives!
Meanwhile, across town, Victoria is riding through the park, complaining about how annoying her childhood pet pony was.
If the memory of how terrible it was to have her own horse isn't enough to upset her, stumbling on Lord Pam enjoying a "vulgar" boxing match does it.
Later that day, when Albert tries to share his 14-people-in-one-wingless-home anecdote, Victoria interrupts: I'ma let you finish, but OMG Lord Pam is the worst person of all time! He was watching people box! Can you believe what this world has come to?!
As if sensing how out-of-touch the Queen is, a Chartist on the other side of town decides the ruling class can ignore a petition, but they can't ignore this rock through that glass window.
Back at the palace, Lord Pam warns Victoria that the Chartists are starting to break windows and might eventually decide to break her neck. But Victoria is not concerned. My people love me too much! They adore paying my bills while they suffer!
But an hour later, Victoria starts having doubts and asks Babyface Maid: "Do you think they hate me?" Instead of blurting out "Um, duh," Babyface Maid says "No way!" and offers to introduce the Queen to a Chartist to ease her worries.
That night, the deposed French king shows up at the palace, needing a place to crash, and doesn't look so good.
He's either reacting to being dethroned and almost murdered, or he's just really upset that we're living through yet another pregnancy storyline. Same, bro. Same.
The next day, Xenadora is getting emotional looking at a portrait of her dead uncle. Bertie runs in and asks what she's doing.
Xenadora: "I'm remembering an old friend."
Bertie: "A FAT friend!"
I know it's not right to laugh, but...
In the Queen's quarters, Babyface Maid presents her Chartist friend, who looks a lot like Jo from The Facts of Life.
Am I crazy?
Don't answer that.
Victoria asks Jo if the Chartists want to get rid of her, and Jo says, "We want justice, not revolution!" Victoria is like, Ok cool, just checking, bye! You might be wondering why this super short scene even exists. Answer: so that we can witness this wonderfully awkward curtsy.
That night, Victoria hosts a dinner for the former French king. After weeks of wearing moth-eaten clothes, Xenadora borrows a dress from Victoria and walks in like:
All eyes are on her instead of the Queen. Again, there's weird tension between Victoria and her sister. Pull each other's hair or get off the pot!
Speaking of fighting, Lord Pam and Victoria get into a tiff over the optics of having the French king stay in the palace. Lord Pam thinks it might inspire Chartists to riot. Victoria doesn't buy it: "We are British! We may grumble, we may protest, but we are not a revolutionary people."
Cut to grumbling, protesting Brits getting revolutionary right outside the palace gate.
Hot Italian Chef looks out at the angry mob and tells Babyface Maid, Hey, this seems like a good time to go buy that inn and avoid being murdered when they storm this place. But she doesn't agree:
Babyface Maid: "She needs me."
Hot Italian Chef: "No, she employs you."
Wow. Hot Italian Chef isn't just a pretty face. He should host a self-help podcast!
Upstairs, a rock flies through a window and almost hits Victoria! And her water breaks!
Can we take some historical liberties here and have quadruplets come out so we can move out of this infinite pregnancy loop? Please and thank you.
Outside, the people burn an effigy of the Queen. And then we're hit with a "To be continued..."
After every episode, it’s only right to reward characters who’ve impressed and diss the ones that haven’t, so here goes:
PIECE OF COAL: Victoria's ovaries and Albert's sperm. Be less impregnable! Swim slower!
HONORABLE MENTION: Bertie. It's not his fault his mom and dad share grandparents.
BRONZE: Window repair people. Revolution: bad for the ruling class, great for business! Congrats!
SILVER: Victoria's Childhood Pet Pony. Don't hate me 'cause you ain't me.
GOLD: Lord Pam. Victoria might be the Queen, but he's the reigning Drama Queen. I think we're supposed to not like him, but I'm excited about whatever messy pot-stirring he's got in store.