‘Becoming Elizabeth’ follows the early years of Elizabeth I, focusing on the events that shaped her to become the future queen. With every major character introduced in Episode 1, the show moves on to stirring the pot and brewing trouble for all the characters. Previously, there was conflict outside, with Lord Protector going on a war with Scotland. In this episode, the war and turmoil come close to home as differences arise between Mary Tudor and Edward I. While the latter wants to impose his authority, Mary decides it’s time she claims the throne for herself. This leaves Elizabeth in a bind, and she finds herself unable to make a decision without being influenced by anyone. In the end, however, she makes a move that affects not only her future but also that of other major characters. Here’s what it all means.
Becoming Elizabeth Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
The second episode of ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ begins with Thomas Seymour howling like a cockerel through Chelsea, finally barging into Elizabeth’s room. Half-dressed himself, Thomas doesn’t care if Elizabeth is dressed either. This causes alarm to her maids, but Elizabeth is amused by it. She also indulges Jane Grey when she discovers the young girl looking at Robert Dudley and his brother from afar.
After a jest at the court leaves Mary hurt, she decides to take up on Spain’s offer after all. She tries to get Elizabeth to her side, reminding her of their mothers’ fate and warning her of Catherine and Thomas’ intentions for her. King Edward becomes insecure about Mary’s Catholicism and demands her to convert. This further pushes Mary to seek out her allies and make a move for the throne, leaving Elizabeth caught in between.
While Robert advises Elizabeth to not pick a side, Catherine and Thomas try their best to keep her at Chelsea, especially after they discover that Mary had invited Elizabeth to stay with her. While Catherine tries to win Elizabeth’s confidence with a kind nature and educating conversations, Thomas Seymour takes a different approach. His advances toward Elizabeth become more aggressive. At first, she refuses to indulge him, worrying that it might taint her reputation and lead to her death. In the end, however, she relents to Thomas’s charms.
Becoming Elizabeth Episode 2 Ending, Explained
A choice is to be made by Elizabeth at every turn if she is to survive her time in the English court. Her brother, Edward VI, grows stricter regarding faith, almost to the point of fanaticism. Her sister, Mary, holds strong to her own faith. This leads to a clash between them and Elizabeth, no matter how much she doesn’t want to, has to pick a side. After a lot of back and forth throughout the episode, she finally makes her decision.
Before leaving the court and moving to Framlingham Castle, Mary sends a letter to Elizabeth, asking for her support in her faith. She wants Elizabeth to talk to Edward about allowing her to keep practicing Catholicism without any restrictions. While Elizabeth is highly sympathetic to Mary, she is conflicted about her next step. She doesn’t understand why Edward would take such a drastic step, but she is also growing careful of the way everyone is trying to manipulate her. In the end, she has to look out for herself, and she finds her current position pretty safe for herself.
While Elizabeth seems to have made up her own mind, there is no doubt about the fact that her attraction toward Thomas Seymour played some role in it. Seymour has a way of seducing people to get what he wants. We see him act similarly when Catherine protests the loss of her jewels to the Lord Protector. Likewise, when Elizabeth rebuffs his initial advances and he discovers that she might leave Chelsea for Mary, he becomes more assertive.
He visits Elizabeth’s room in the middle of the night and takes her to the empty study. He throws compliments at her, especially after the hunting incident where Elizabeth single-handedly killed a stag. Despite her efforts to stay away from him, Elizabeth’s feelings work against her. She knows that being with Thomas Seymour will leave her in a very precarious situation, and might have her die the same way her mother did. But the far more important effect of her late-night meeting with Seymour is seen in her decision to withdraw any and all support from Mary.
The next morning, she replies to Mary’s letter, letting her know that she has no intention of talking to Edward about her. She does this going against the advice of her trusted governess. Elizabeth also visits the King, and lest he suspects her of anything unruly, she decides to act beforehand. She lets him know that her ties are broken with Mary, and she won’t be supporting her faith. This creates a clear line for Elizabeth regarding where her loyalties lie. However, siding with Seymour might create more problems for her going forward. At the moment, she doesn’t seem to have the foresight for it.