Do you know that awkward situation when your parents decide to move to a new house and you have to endure the unfairness of your older siblings choosing the biggest rooms for themselves just because they happen to be older than you so they get to choose first? Well, that is exactly what happened in the second episode of Carlos, Rey Emperador, entitled ‘My Big Bro Stole my Bedroom’. I guess.
Oh, so many things happened this week in the Spanish court! You have three main storylines: Carlos and Fernando, Carlos and Germana and Carlos and stupid Chièvres –I really don’t like the man.
Carlos, being the nice 17-year-old boy that he is, decided to spend some quality time with his little brother, especially because Fernando is quite pissed at him for ruining his pretence of being king and taking his bedroom without even asking if there was anyone sleeping in there! Usually, when you anger your brother like that in the 16th century, there is only one thing to do to calm things down: hunting, the Renaissance equivalent of playing FIFA. And it does work, I believe, at least for a while. Fernando falls into the river, Carlos saves him, Fernando shares a few memories of the late king Fernando (we miss you, Rodolfo Sancho). By the way, the entire scene was filmed with actual snow! They thought it was going to be a warm day and they had to endure that freezing hell. So kudos to the actors for filming those scenes completely wet under the snow. Brrrrr.
But let me tell you how Carlos warms himself up: by getting in bed with his step-grandmother Germana. Yikes! Not that strange, anyway, if we consider that when Carlos arrived in Spain he didn’t speak Spanish, so Germana, knowing French like he did, was one of the few who could talk to him. Bastard Chièvres pushes her away, but trust a horny teenager to move heaven and earth to find the woman he loves. It felt a bit like The Graduate, even though Germana was only 29 years old back then. And in case you are wondering, no, it won’t end well: Carlos had to marry her off to some dude to hush the rumours of their relationship. And then she got immensely fat, apparently. I have no physical evidence of this, but it’s true.
Aaaand then we get to the Chièvres part of the story. As Carlos has just arrived and sworn all he has to swear and all, it is time for the parliament assembly (is that the name they had back then? Not sure). All Chièvres wants is to get money from the nobles to finance this and the other (not important yet, I might mention it in future reviews), which angers some of them, especially Juan de Padilla, who, let me tell you in advance, started the War of the Communities against all these “foreigners”, something that got him killed. I don’t know, whenever he and his angry friends got together, all I could think was how much they reminded me of the People’s Front of Judea.
Nevertheless, Carlos gets angry at Chièvres for doing things behind his back, especially when he names his own nephew, a teenager who lives in Flanders, Archbishop of Toledo, the most important position after the king himself –don’t forget the last three men who had this position, Carrillo, Mendoza and Cisneros. In the end, Carlos makes a very sad decision, which is to send his brother Fernando to Flanders to stop the People’s Front of Judea from brainwashing him, as he rightly tells him. Well, at least he was honest with him! So much sadness.
This week we had a bit less of François’s bedroom affairs and a bit more of his mother’s personal war against the Duke of Bourbon. You see, after the death of the duke’s wife, Louise of Savoy considered herself entitled to inherit, by proximity of blood, the Duchy of Auvergne and many other things that the duke’s wife had given to him right before she died. While it is true that she did propose to him to solve the dispute, it is uncertain whether she was actually in love with him or not. If you saw the episode, now you know that he was even angrier than he was in the premiere. It’s only a matter of time before he says ‘au revoir’ to France and makes himself worthy in Spain.
Not much happened. Diego de Velázquez played a dirty trick on Hernán Cortés so that he couldn’t go to the expedition that he had been preparing for months. I just hope we get to see some more action soon, because I am very interested in this plotline.
Next week: we finally enter the world of the Portuguese and English courts!
After every episode, they show a making off with details about the filming and explanations about the characters. Here’s the one for episode 2.