‘Victoria’ Season 2: “Entente Cordiale” Recap

(Photo: Courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Victoria: There was sadness all around as Victoria lost her beloved dog Dash, learned Lord Melbourne had a terminal illness and battled a severe case of post-partum depression after the birth of her second child. Elsewhere, Albert faced his own set of problems, thanks to Uncle Leopold’s confession that he might actually be his father. Oh and everyone finally found out about that storyline where Mrs. Skerrett lied about her very identity in order to land her job, but everyone’s surprisingly chill about it in the end. (I don’t even know, y’all.) If you need them, more details can be found in our full recap of "Warp and Weft"/"The Sins of the Father."

After putting us through four hours of intense drama and emotional pain in the opening episodes of Season 2, Victoria finally takes some pity on us viewers. The second season’s third installment is a frothy, light-hearted romp that’s pretty much nothing but glorious costumes, jealousy-inducing hairstyles and good old fashioned period drama fun. That is to say, despite the fact that basically only one thing of any consequence happens during “Entente Cordiale,” it is an immensely entertaining episode. In fact, it feels like a breath of fresh air after everything we’ve been through so far. 

Could Rufus Sewell Return to ‘Victoria’ in Season 3?

(Photo:  Courtesy of ITV Plc for MASTERPIECE)

While it appears as though Rufus Sewell returned to Victoria in Season 2 solely to break all of our hearts at once, it turns out that Lord Melbourne’s exit may not be as final as we all originally assumed.

During the episode “Warp and Weft,” the show revealed that Lord M had an unidentified by definitely terminal illness. After a heartfelt scene with Victoria in which both he and the queen talked around his impending death, but nevertheless managed to convey what their relationship has meant to one another, Melbourne appeared to pass away while staring at the mechanical bird the queen brought him.

But…maybe we were all a little too quick to deem Lord M gone for good. 

And the Oscar Went To… British Best Picture Winners Through the Years

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards earlier this week. Among the Best Picture nominees are British films Darkest HourDunkirk and Phantom Thread. If recent award show results are any indication, it’s more likely that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will nab the ceremony's top honor. That being said 3 Billboards has a bit of a British pedigree in that its writer/director and producer are from the UK.

Regardless of the outcome of this year’s ceremony, the British film industry has had a pretty impressive track record in the Best Picture category. And to prove that point, we’ve compiled a list of some of past winners of this most coveted of Oscar statuettes.

British Actresses You Should Know: Dame Diana Rigg

 Diana Rigg as the Duchess of Buccleuch and Bebe Cave as Wilhelmina Coke  (Image courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE)

When you hear the name Dame Diana Rigg, what comes to mind? The talented lady spy Emma Peel from The Avengers? The one and only Bond girl to marry 007 himself from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? Or perhaps famous British fashion designer and jewel heist victim, Lady Holiday, from The Great Muppet Caper?

Well, Dame Diana has been in the acting game for over six decades and, in my opinion anyhow, her most recent roles have more entertaining and more badass than any martial arts master/genius clad in a leather catsuit. Her new gig as Victoria’s new Mistress of the Robes is just the latest in a growing list of “tough as old boots” roles that have earned Ms. Rigg a whole new generation of fans.

Here are just a sampling of her more mature roles from the past twenty years.

'Victoria' Season 2: "Warp and Weft"/"The Sins of the Father" Recap

(Photo: Courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Victoria: Victoria struggled to find her equilibrium again after the birth of her daughter, as both her husband and her ministers attempted to keep the news of Britain’s defeat in Afghanistan from her. Albert, who’s enjoying his crack at power more than he probably wants to admit, also seems quite taken with one Miss Ada Lovelace and her amazing Analytical Engine. Victora’s new Mistress of the Robes – the Duchess of Buccleuch – arrives, along with her niece Wilhelmina, who seems quite taken with Prince Ernest. And, as usual in a time of personal crisis, Victoria once again turns to Lord Melbourne for advice and a pep talk, and we all tried to pretend that he wasn’t looking quite as ill and tired as we feared. (More details can be found in our full recap of last week's episode.)

If any of us were under any illusions that this season of Victoria was going to be a frothy, light-hearted affair, this double-episode promptly put that particular fantasy to rest. While this installment does feature some soapy fun – a costume ball, several dramatic family revelations, and the unfortunate return of Miss Skerrett’s identity theft subplot – the bulk of the story revolves around sadness, depression and loss. There are moments where the supersized story handles these issues well (everything involving Dash and Lord Melbourne) and moments where it does not (the quickness with which Victoria bounces back from a fairly dark bout of post partum depression), but on the whole, the episode is pretty compelling.