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‘Still Star-Crossed’ 1×04 Review: Still Here for the Rosvolio

‘Still Star-Crossed’ 1×04 Review: Still Here for the Rosvolio

It’s been a couple of weeks. We’ve changed time-slots. ABC has pretty much thrown the towel on this show, which is not exactly surprising, but it is disappointing.

Look, I’m not going to pretend Still Star-Crossed was groundbreaking television plot-wise or that the ratings were spectacular, but when a show is groundbreaking diversity wise (POC IN PERIOD CLOTHES!!), when it’s pushed to summer and not given enough promotion, it’s hard not to feel like we were cheated out of …well, something. Possibilities, perhaps.

Especially, ship wise. Lashana Lynch and Wade Briggs bicker their way through this episode, as they’ve done through the first three, and yet it’s hard not to feel that their chemistry could have elevated this trope-filled show, if given the chance.

We were, after all, not asking Still Star-Crossed be the next Game of Thrones, but, with a little more time and faith – it could have become a guilty pleasure we wouldn’t have relinquished.

That’s, sadly, not to be. However, reality won’t stop us from enjoying the rest of this first season. It won’t stop us from shipping Rosvolio. And it certainly won’t stop me from writing about it, especially about these two characters, these two actors and how – despite the bad rep ships get – this show just proves that, the right romantic storyline can elevate any show and make people want to watch it.

So, let’s discuss.




AS YOU WISH

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I have a thing for these words, I do, and even if there’s a sort of exasperation to Benvolio when he says it – even if he doesn’t mean it, not really, the words still say a lot about what these two are, and may be, together.

Because it’s not about that sentiment, not really. It’s about Benvolio respecting Rosaline enough to let her make her own decisions, even though he might not agree with them, even if he’d prefer she’d do something else. And, on the flip side, it’s about Rosaline recognizing that despite all her prejudice, despite all her reasons to hate him, not so deep down, she doesn’t.

The more you know a person, they say. These two haven’t had much time together – and yet, what’s coming next is all the time together, all of it. Things don’t look good for Benvolio, and yet, he has Rosaline. He might not have her in a romantic sense, not yet, but he has her respect, and most importantly, he has her trust.

Can you think of a better foundation for love than respect and trust?

HOME

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If this episode makes one thing clear is that Benvolio and Rosaline both want the same thing – a home. One where they’re loved, one where they’re cherished. One where they’re not a burden, or an obligation.

Deep down, they’re kindred spirits, you see. Rosaline has suffered at the hands of her aunt, Benvolio at the hands of his uncle. And even when they haven’t liked each other, they’ve recognized that thing in each other, that desire to be loved.

That’s what makes Rosaline promise to help him after he’s framed. That’s what makes him try to spare her by asking her to run.  And, at the same time, that’s what makes Benvolio show up in Rosaline’s balcony at the end of the episode proclaiming not love, which would be absurd after just a few weeks of knowing each other, but trust.

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Here’s, perhaps, where Romeo and Juliet went wrong. They “loved” each other before they knew each other, before they trusted each other, before they respected each other. Rosaline and Benvolio are not the same kind of people, they’ve been too hurt before to just fall into love so blindly, but that doesn’t meant they can’t and won’t fall.

And when they do, when they do – it’ll be forever.

Escalus is a thing of the past. Stella is an afterthought. It’s time for the Benvolio and Rosaline hour.

I can’t wait.

Other things to note:

  • The episode title comes from Hamlet(Act III, Scene II).
  • The shrine to Juliet is creepy AF, I’m just saying.
  • “I’ve come to ask for the afternoon with my fiancée” was made even better by the expression on Lord Capulet’s face when Benvolio said it.
  • “If you want to know a man’s secret you have to know where he spills them.”
  • We were all Rosaline in this moment.
  • The Escalus plot bores me.
  • The awkwardness of taking your new fiancée to the brother where your mistress is cannot be understated.
  • Not even when he’s getting angry on Isabella’s behalf do I like Escalus.
  • Isabella in mini-Cersei mode is my favorite thing.
  • So-jealous-that-he-can’t-see-the-truth Escalus isn’t.
  • Rosaline’s facial expressions are THE BEST THING IN THIS ENTIRE EPISODE AND ENTIRE SHOW GIVE LASHANA LYNCH AN AWARD OR SOMETHING.
  • My face probably contorted like hers when Lord Montague was all like, I’ll marry her.
  • And when Stella was all like, sorry, not sorry, but I sorta gave you up.
  • Paris, you rat bastard. I mean, I already knew you were a rat bastard, the perks of having read the book, but since that was my reaction when I read that part of the book, I’ll say it here again: YOU RAT BASTARD.
  • Read the book, people. Read the book.
  • Also, ABC, if you don’t finish out the first season, I will riot. RIOT. I need my happy ending. I deserve my happy ending.

Still Star-Crossed airs Saturdays at 10/9c on ABC.



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