What would you do if you were taken prisoner and wanted desperately to get your captor to speak to you? I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t do: I wouldn’t poison myself! Effective as it is, it seems like a risky bet that could get you killed. Isn’t it easier to just ask nicely?
Not much could happen here when my pal François is locked up in Madrid. But you know what? Louise knows how to handle a kingdom (even if the nobles didn’t actually want her as regent, because of the Salic Law). Louise starts by sending Carlos a “loving” letter in which she tells him that they are family and she wants her son back, etcetera. But she also sends a copy of the letter to every other country in Europe, which makes Carlos looks like a bully. Which he is not! It wasn’t even his idea to bring François to Spain! But that is a matter for the Spanish section.
What Louise does here is something more subtle, more manipulative. She becomes nice to his son’s mistress, Françoise, so that she can get money from her husband to pay for the king’s ransom. And after she gets it, she leaves her without her court pension and sends her back to her husband! We all know she only did that because the king wasn’t there to stop her, and because she wants to be the only female influence over her son. Sneaky.
Not much happened this week in Mexico, right? Barely two scenes. But as expected, Cortés still has delusions of grandeur, which angers the emperor on the other side of the Atlantic. Does Cortés care? Of course he doesn’t. He even gets all angry and violent after finding out that his second in command has done the right thing. To sum it all up: he decides to go out exploring a bit more (leaving Malinche behind), but not before having Cuauhtémoc hanged. All because he didn’t want to carry him along. So little happened that I don’t see the point in illustrating it with a photo.
That has to be one of the saddest royal weddings in the history of royalty. Joao and Catalina got married in a little room and he didn’t even kiss her! The poor thing has spent her entire life locked in Tordesillas and now this. At least, she gets to share a few moments with her cousin Isabel before she heads to Spain, and displays her optimistic nature: if Joao is sad because of Leonor, that is in the past (a good advice for Isabel later) and it is now her turn to be happy. Before Isabel leaves, Catalina shares the happy news of her likely pregnancy with her –sorry to sadden you, but the baby died two months after the birth.
Spain (there’s a lot of movement)
Where to begin. Where. To. Begin. Let’s start with Isabel! She goes to the Portuguese frontier to meet her soon-to-be husband, and who welcomes her? Germana! She didn’t like this. In fact, she liked it so very little that she sent her with a letter to Carlos basically telling him to keep her away from court forever. Understandable, but ouch, harsh. (Although it was actually Germana’s husband the one who welcomed Isabel).
Anyway, because Carlos is extremely busy with a thousand things, he is not there himself to welcome Isabel, but this works fine, because it allows us to focus on the birth of one of the closest friendships of this story: that of Isabel and Francisco de Borja. Borja was instantly captivated by her beauty, and after accidentally seeing her crying, he vows to remain her loyal servant forever and ever. I think it is going to be one of the most beautiful relationships we are going to see in the show, also called in Spain “being a pagafantas.”
So after this, Isabel goes all the way to Seville, only to find out that Carlos is late –again. And after a month in the Andalusian city, Isabel says “no one is going to make a fool out of me” and decides to go back to Portugal. On the way there, we witness a lovely scene in a convent, where Isabel is staying. She talks to whom she thinks is Borja about her disappointment, but it is Carlos on the other side! Heartbreak. We’ll get to that later.
Because it is time to see what was Carlos doing so important to keep him away from his betrothed! Things are off to a good start for him: he has the king of France as his prisoner, he is marrying Leonor off to the Duke of Bourbon, Germana’s not-so-nice husband has died… But of course, everyone is trying to make Carlos do things he doesn’t want to. For starters, all his advisers want him to destroy François and take any parts of France that he wants. But he is not like that. He only wants the French monarch to give him back the Burgundy that is his by right (because of his paternal grandfather) and he will let him leave. But François is a stubborn man, as we all know, and refuses to give it back, especially when Carlos is not even asking him in person. What choice does he have? Yes, he poisons himself with some wild berries. Utterly stupid and reckless. But it worked! He must have been watching The Hunger Games. Carlos agreed to talk to him, thus postponing his trip to meet Isabel. After what felt like ages of talking, they come to an agreement, and such deal includes François marrying Leonor (imagine Bourbon’s anger). Don’t fool yourselves, this was purely political, there was no love in there. But do believe that François, being the lothario that he is, did all the smooth moves and sweet talks we saw in the episode. Carlos looks so sober in comparison! Which is probably why he decided the best way to punish François was by not letting him consummate the marriage. Ha! Now the French monarch has to return to his country to talk to all his nobles and officers, while he sends his two sons, François and Henri, to be held captive in his place. Poor things.
And noooow that the French mess is over, Carlos finally gets to travel as fast as he can to get to Isabel and convince her to stay in Spain and marry him. Sure, like those character traits of him are going to disappear after you are married, Isabel.
I didn’t see that coming! Haha, just kidding. I have actually been dreading this moment since the series started, and frankly, knowing about it didn’t make it easier. In fact, I was vainly hoping that it might change. How silly of me. Because yes, Henry told Catalina that he wanted an annulment! We all know what’s coming down the line. She doesn’t deserve it. Hell, imagine how different things might have been if Arthur hadn’t died?
Anyway. Henry is so not happy about Carlos’s marriage. Remember, he was supposed to marry Mary Tudor! But Carlos sends the Duke of Alba to let him know that if he didn’t fulfil his part of the deal, it was because Henry didn’t send his troops to fight the French. This starts to make Henry very mad, and he unfairly blames Catalina, since it was her auntie love what made him support Carlos. But to top it all off, he finds out that Carlos and François have signed a deal, which means he now will say goodbye to his hopes of getting parts of France for England. So he drops the bomb about wanting to get rid of Catalina. It makes you suffer for her even more, after having seen her life before the events she is known for. If makes it even more unjust! She kept writing to Carlos to warn him, but he thought his aunt would be untouchable. Well, now she is screwed. And Henry is starting to look quite fearful and crazy. Carlos should have taken his aunt and cousin back to Spain. Let’s all sign a petition to change history!
As always, don’t miss the eight edition of El Mundo de Carlos!