Albert wants to make plans to hang out and check out her art collection, especially the paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. Victoria responds with a Who dat?
Victoria gets out of spending time with Albert by explaining that she's going to be too busy going over war reports from Afghanistan, the 19th century version of "I have to wash my hair."
Later that night, Albert and his brother, Ernst, debrief on the interaction. Ernst thinks Albert should be less of a d-ck in the future. Good idea!
Albert threatens to go home because she didn't immediately fall to his feet when he insulted her piano skills. He also whines about how, even if things worked out, he would be married to a woman who was more successful than him. This is like that elevator scene from The Shining, only instead of blood gushing out, it's a sea of red flags.
In a separate bedroom, Victoria and her servants dish on Albert. They decide he's hot, but rude, and suffering from a bad case of Resting Bitch Face™.
The next day, some dude is trying to explain the concept of a stamp to Victoria. She finds the whole thing preposterous and hilarious: "So everybody who wants to send a letter will have to lick my face?!" Albert resting-bitch-faces in a corner and reprimands her for laughing at such a brilliant invention. Yep, that's right; they're not even married yet and already fighting... over stamps!
Victoria goes out on a balcony with Lord M and primal screams. Lord M is like, OMG, don't worry! The war reports from Afghanistan look really promising! Victoria is like, Huh? How can you care about world affairs at a time like this? A boy was mean to me!
It's that time again, when the Victoria writers try to interest us in a servant B-plot again. Babyface Maid meets some woman in an alley, who threatens to tell everyone that Babyface used a fake identity to get the Buckingham Palace job, unless she pays up. I feel like this exact thing happened on Downton Abbey.
Albert and Ernst head into town, where they are introduced to daguerreotypes. Almost as cool as stamps! Albert notices fancy ladies being rude to beggar children. One of these kids is the main character from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl." Albert instructs a servant to give her a few coins. Ugh, now I'm stuck thinking about how sad that story is (Cliffs Notes version: people are trash and don't buy a poor girl's matches, so she hallucinates before freezing to death in a gutter).
Anywaaaay, that night at dinner, Albert glares at Dash the Dog, while Ernst tells Victoria how much fun they had at the National Gallery. She asks if they checked out Hayter's portrait of her (it's her fave). Albert is like, Definitely did not! I hate modern art! Old Masters for life! Especially Rubens! Victoria replies that she detests Rubens and "all that wobbling flesh." Longest, worst first date ever!
After dinner, Albert walks in on Victoria and her friends playing cards, and declares that he hates card games. Cool story, bro. Nobody asked you.
Ernst decides the only way to salvage this mess is with a Schubert duet (naturally). Victoria and Albert take out their sexual frustration on the keys and manage to make beautiful music together. The song ends and they share a nice quiet moment... until Albert tells Victoria she has small hands. Like Donald Trump, Victoria doesn't appreciate this being pointed out.
Then, things get worse:
Albert: "You play very well, cousin, but I believe you do not practice enough. It's necessary to play for at least one hour each day."
Victoria: "But a queen does not have time for scales every day."
Albert: "Only for card games."
The next day, Victoria agrees to continue hanging out with Albert for some reason. She racks her brain for a safe topic that won't lead to more insults. A-ha! Gardens! Surely he can't find a way to turn that subject into something hateful, right? Yeah, no.
Victoria: "Do you like gardens, Albert?"
Albert: "I prefer forests."
Back at Buckingham Palace, Babyface Maid steals a diamond hair pin. She puts it back a few minutes later.
That night, Victoria throws a house party in Albert's honor, even though he doesn't deserve much more than a kick in the teeth and a permanent exile. Albert sulks in a corner (because he's the worst) until he sees Lord M ask Victoria to dance. Like a grumpy toddler who hasn't had a nap all day, Albert walks up to Lord M and wails, Mine!
Like most toddlers, he gets his way and do-si-dos with Victoria. Soon, he gets distracted by a flower Victoria has placed in the middle of her boobs. He inhales her cleavage, looks at her lustily, and says... that it reminds him of his mom.
He takes out a knife, sensually slices his shirt open, and places the flower near his nipple. Victoria looks on like:
It looks like they're about to get into some Billy Bob and Angelina sexy blood vial stuff, but they stop short. I guess that's in next week's episode.
The next day, Lord M tries to update Victoria on Afghanistan. Victoria does not give a single you-know-what.
She's too giddy about taking a road trip to Windsor to care about foreign affairs. Maybe if she shows Albert a forest, he'll stop being so mean! (Fat chance.)
At Windsor, Albert is grumpy because he doesn't like his dinner outfit.
Victoria tells Lord M about how she just binge-read the coolest book: Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Lord M says that his Netflix queue is already super long so he doesn't have time to read about grave robbers and pickpockets. Albert, Patron Saint of Contrarians, comes out of the shadows to declare that he loves Oliver Twist and grave robbers and pickpockets!
The next day, Victoria finally figures out how to get Albert in the mood: show him an old oak tree! It works. He tells her he hates her hat and tells her to take it off. He considers kissing her, before deciding nah.
Victoria tries to rescue the moment by asking about what happened to his dead mom (not exactly something you'd find in a Dirty Talk 101 course manual). Apparently, his mom left his dad when Albert was five and then died sometime later. I mean, if Albert was my son, I would also run away and die, so I get it.
Off in the distance, Dash can be heard squealing in pain. Oh, hell no. If Dash dies, I will seriously stop recapping this show.
Dash broke his leg! Albert rips part of his shirt off to make a puppy paw tourniquet. Awww! Two points for Hufflepuff! But, moments later, Albert throws a jealous hissy fit over Lord M and tells Victoria she should just marry him because she seems to love to surround herself with sycophants. Minus those same two points from Hufflepuff!
Victoria: "How dare you! May I remind you that, while you were looking at paintings in Italy, I was ruling this country! I don't need you to tell me what to think, Albert."
Albert: "No. That's Lord Melbourne's job."
SLAP HIM! KILL HIM! DO IT!
Back in London, Babyface gives some lace collars to Random Blackmailing Lady because she needs to feed her baby or something. I still don't care.
Because of the bicker-fest in the forest, the Windsor slumber party is called off and everyone returns to Buckingham Palace. Victoria complains to Lord M that Albert is super jealous of him. Due to his constant barrage of critiques, she starts to believe that there's something wrong with her, not him: "Albert always looks at me as if I've done something wrong. I'd like him to smile at me." Wake up, girl! He's negging you! It's a classic pickup artist move! Don't fall for it! (She's totally gonna.)
The next day, Lord M takes Albert aside and says, Look, I'm old and going to retire as Victoria's Prime Minister soon, so stop being such a jealous little sh-t.
That night, Victoria gets all gussied up, puts boob flowers in her hair and all over the mantlepiece and calls for Albert. He's like, Oooo! Boob flowers! You know how much thinking about my dead mom turns me on!
She discards all my sage dating advice and proposes marriage to him. (Note: he's still very much her first cousin.)
He responds, Of course! Sorry for being the worst! Let's make out!
Actually, no. His real response: "That depends."
Minus all the points from Hufflepuff. What is this dweeb's damage???
He eventually agrees to marry her and they giggle about how it will be "a marriage of inconvenience" because of how mentally abusive he is. Ha ha ha, so funny.
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: Albert. A high school World History textbook already spoiled this marriage for me, but I'm still hoping Dash interrupts the wedding during the "Speak now or forever hold your peace" part and, in a twist of revisionist history, saves Victoria from a lifetime of passive-aggressive mind games. I also hope that Dash gives Albert rabies.
HONORABLE MENTION: Afghanistan. Victoria doesn't give a crap about you, but Lord M and I do!
BRONZE: The Little Match Girl. I would say it gets better, but it doesn't. 🙁
SILVER: Lord M. The walking and talking embodiment of "I'm too old for this sh-t." He deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for not slapping these people to death on the daily.
GOLD: Dash. This adorable pup knew Albert was bad news from the start. The only one who continuously keeps it real. MVP and all-around dreamboat.
Until next week! If you miss me, read some of my other work or follow me on Twitter @xcusemybeauty!
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