The White Queen Season 1 Episode 5 Review

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Hurrah! After five weeks of endless conversations, exposition sessions and hang-wringing, The White Queen finally gives us a look at the epic battles fought over the throne, proving that the war is bloody and brutal enough to be worth all the trouble. It’s a relief simply because, otherwise, the tedium of The White Queen was threatening to become too much for even the most forgiving of viewers.

There were a few deaths also, with Warwick, Mad King Henry, Henry Stafford and Anne’s horrible husband all departing to make way for some of the more interesting players. It’s still confusing, but losing some characters that we didn’t really need (bar Warwick) is a fortunate take from the history books. This is about the women, of course, and a bit of death and trauma never hurt into spurring them on to victory. Anne, for example, really gets her chance to shine this week, as she stands up to Margaret of Anjou and returns to sister Isobel.

But her father has finally reaped the rewards of his double-crossing, dying in battle while fighting for the King he helped unseat in the first place. He tells his daughters to never commit to a side until they’re sure who will win, but that advice got him a gut wound and a decidedly messy life for his family. Now, with Edward taking drastic action to regain his place on the throne, Isobel is caught between two warring families – born to one and married to the other – and Anne has only narrowly escaped being punished for treachery.

Now that Edward and Elizabeth have produced an heir, the brothers have reunited and resumed their ruthless ways. Boys will be boys, I guess, but smothering your rival to death in his sleep is a tad unnecessary. What Elizabeth does with this information remains to be seen, but it’s not going to be the picture-perfect family we may have expected now that they’ve won. We’re only at the half-way point, and Margaret is still dead set on her son Henry becoming king, so anyone with even a passing knowledge of history knows that things cannot stay as they are.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The White Queen currently airs on BBC1 in the UK.