The Royals 3×03 Recap: “Aye, There’s the Rub”

This week’s episode felt a lot lighter than the last two weeks, though somehow I ended up crying more than I probably should have. I don’t know if it was because all of the small, heartfelt moments between the Henstridge family members or the fact that Robert’s beard was gone for a majority of the episode. Thank you flashbacks. Anyway, this episode was proof that things are starting to pick up as we edge closer and closer to the middle of the season.

Liam is unknowingly digging himself into a deeper hole with this whole sleeping-with-my-dead-brother’s-girlfriend thing. We learn pretty early on in the episode, through a flashback, that Liam met Kathryn first. Robert was busy deeming a pub with an honorable plaque, whereas Liam saw it as a chance to chat up the bartender and drink some pints. Robert ends up calling bagsy on Kathryn, which means that Liam went against the rules of bagsy to be with Kathryn. Low blow, Liam. I mean, I know you think your brother is dead and everything but still.

Sara Alice is aiding Eleanor in How to Be a Princess 101 and snooping in Eleanor’s letters to Jasper. Sara Alice tells Eleanor that real princesses have a Royal Scrivener, so Eleanor enlists the amazing James Hill for the job. Guys, James thinks that emojis are “some sort of code.” As things play out, it is revealed that James is essentially writing romantic letters to himself at this point, because both Eleanor and Jasper have been going to him for help in the romance department. James even sets Jasper straight about poetry by saying, “Just because it’s sensitive doesn’t mean it’s girly. The hearts of men and women love the same.” Like, are you kidding?! He’s too perfect! When Eleanor learns the truth behind this whole letter mess, that Jasper isn’t writing letters to her and vice versa, an argument arises between her and Jasper about how well they actually get each other.

Helena wasn’t feeling too great during this episode, which has a lot to do with the fact that the DNA results regarding her children would be coming in soon. Lord Chamberlain Spencer Hoenigsberg was on top of his game and gave the queen what she needed, including an overwhelming amount of royal reality television. Helena was binge-watching the show “Royal and Beautiful” starring the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein played by Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian.

Cyrus isn’t feeling well either, you know with his cancer progressing and all, so he took it upon himself to knight a prostitute. Oh, he also found the woman that Team Helena used as a double of Violet to trick him last week in the hopes that she could help him sort out why he has been unable to be sexually aroused since he lost Violet. Poor “fish lady,” as Cyrus calls her, failed and left Cyrus feeling hopeless.

Back with Liam, things are going seemingly well. He is visiting the pub that Kathryn’s dad owns, which is also the pub that Robert gave the plaque to. Kathryn’s dad hosts a group of veterans there once a week, so Liam is going to say an “inspirational” speech and talk with the veterans. We meet Kathryn’s sister at this pub, and she is vying for Liam’s affection, but we know that Liam only has eyes for Kathryn. Liam calls Kathryn the Pub Princess, and another flashback begins. Earlier in the episode, we learned that Robert always called his little brother Sparrow, which comes from the security detail’s code name for him. Liam is the spare to Robert’s heir after all. In this flashback, Robert and Liam are bonding over a game of darts and talking about how Robert has and always will be more restricted in what he’s allowed to do and who he’s allowed to do it with. Liam still can’t get it through his head as to why Robert is keeping his relationship a secret.

While Helena is getting the whole palace hooked on this reality TV show, Liam is now drinking with some veterans and listening to their stories. Rosie was my favorite, by the way. Liam learns that what kept one veteran going after losing his arm was the thought of his girlfriend at home. This definitely parallels Robert on the island. I WISH I COULD JUST TELL EVERYONE THAT ROBERT IS ALIVE! Wouldn’t that just solve everyone’s problems? Okay, maybe it would complicate things even more…

My favorite person ever Willow is wondering the palace getting work done, I assume, and runs into Liam. He informs her of how he wants to start a charity for wounded veterans to help them get their lives back on track; he also adds how he wants to honor Robert. In her most proud voice, she tells him that it’s a great idea, and then the conversation takes a turn. Liam and Eleanor’s friend that we were introduced to last week, Madden, has asked Willow out. Madden asked Liam if it would be okay for him to date Willow. Willow ingeniously responds, “Well, you’re not the boss of me.” I love her, you guys. They agree that their favorite version of each other is the happy one and they should do whatever keeps them that way.

There’s also a super cute blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment with Liam and Eleanor in this episode, so here’s a gif of it:

Right before the DNA results arrive, Willow is watching television with Helena and is appalled by the crown prince. She says, “Why can’t boys ever be happy with what’s given to them?” Helena thinks that he should be this way; he’s a prince and should always get the best.

Doctor of the week, Spencer Hoenigsberg, then takes Helena to the DNA results. He gives her some advice, telling her that she will always be their mother no matter what and that the show was a nice distraction. After learning the results of the test herself, Helena sits Liam and Eleanor down and tells them that Simon is their father. Yes, I was crying, and I’m sure you were too. With the news fresh in his mind, Liam realizes that #KingLiam is closer to becoming a reality. Eleanor even gives him a sarcastic curtsy. Before Liam leaves a sad Willow in his wake after telling her he has a hot date with Kathryn, Willow congratulates Liam and Liam thanks Willow for always believing in him. It was a super cute moment.

Sara Alice and Jasper make up after their intense breakup because of the whole letter fiasco. Sara Alice argues that Eleanor isn’t a real princess for a list of reasons, and Jasper refutes all of them in the most romantic way. He lists accolade after accolade. It was sincere and passionate. He believes that Eleanor is better than any princess in a fairy tale and says, “She definitely doesn’t need to be rescued.” Eleanor then assures Jasper that his words are perfect and he should be more confident in them, and then there’s some long-awaited sexy time. Jasper wakes up later in the night and writes Eleanor a heartfelt letter that’s true to himself and their relationship.

Helena gladly delivers the news of Liam being the rightful heir to the throne to Cyrus. The two have an argument about who has lost more in their lives. Helena ends the argument with, “Nobody cries for the king.” Cyrus ends up crying on his throne over Violet’s locket, and I can’t help but feel a little bad for him.

In the final flashback of the night, Robert is telling Kathryn how he has to leave for training. She states her frustration of how their relationship has always been a secret, and he assures her there’s a reason for that. She asks, “What do you want?” That line has come full circle from when we first heard her say it to Robert on the island. I assume this is the last thing she said to him, because then Liam takes a picture of Robert and Kathryn and that’s that. Back to the present, Kathryn is putting away said picture just a tad too soon. Liam then comes to her and tells her how his dad is his dad and he’s going to be the King of England. She responds with a rightful, “Holy shit.” Liam promises things will be different for the both of them; he’s not leaving her behind.

Helena and Eleanor make amends while Eleanor is reading her letter from Jasper. It was a nice moment between the two of them. I’ve been waiting for another one of those since the great one last season when they went horse-riding together. The two were walking through the palace, making plans for what’s to come with Liam, and see a silhouette of a man in a hallway. Robert.

Some bits and bobs from this week’s episode of The Royals

  1. Helena was eating pink marshmallows. 
  2. Liam has a fantasy cricket league. 
  3. The portriat of King Simon will always make me sob.
  4. How did the press not find out about Robert’s return? How did no one alert Helena or anyone else about his return?
  5. There was an amazing holiday message from the cast after the episode aired. It was set to “Winter Wonderland,” and Alexandra Park killed it!

The Royals returns Sunday, January 1 at 10/9c on E! 

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