'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' Episode 4: Tyrant king's son Chauncley becomes a common intern to ease loneliness
It is to Prince Chauncley's credit that despite his privilege and incompetence, he wants to be a better man
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. And Prince Chauncley (Daniel Radcliffe) feels its weight more than most. His father, the king, is the perfect medieval tyrant while he is too sweet to make the cut. In episode 1, he tries to follow the path set down by his father and become a bloodthirsty warrior, only to s**t in his pants when he is sent off to war.
He is also not as clever and resourceful as Lord Vexler (Karan Soni), the king's right-hand man and also, occasionally, his babysitter. Unlike Al Shitshoveler (Geraldine Viswanathan), who is low-born, and therefore strives to do better and is ambitious, Prince Chauncley lives in the lap of luxury. He has no reason to be better -- he is already on top of the food chain, so to speak.
And yet, it is to his credit that despite his privilege and incompetence, he wants to be a better man. Part of the reason for it is that he is incredibly lonely. While he is the friendly sort, his position as the king's son makes it impossible for people to be honest with him.
We see this in episode 4, where his "employer", Eddie Shitshoveler (Steve Buscemi), has to mentor him without criticizing him because Lord Vexler threatens him with death if he tries to correct the prince. However, more than anything, Prince Chauncley wants to be treated like a normal person because he sees the ordinary people in his kingdom share a "fellow-sufferer" bonhomie that he can't have because of who he is.
After all, complaining about the "tepid bathwater" isn't going to score you sympathy points when the other fellow is complaining about sores and blisters from working too hard. We are hoping though that in the coming episodes, Al will teach him more about being a "commoner"
But till now, he has primarily relied on Lord Vexler (who was formerly a peasant) to teach him about his privilege and his seeming lack of empathy because he doesn't know any better.
This was shown to hilarious effect in episode 2 when he tries to get his duck back from Mikey Shitshoveler (Jon Bass) after which Lord Vexler tries (and fails) to get the prince to see why he would be feeling guilty about taking away the duck from Mikey who had nothing, unlike him as the prince and heir of the kingdom.
Then there was that quiet moment in episode 3 where Lord Vexler tells him he as the prince can make as many mistakes as he wants and still be ok. But as a peasant-turned-lord, he doesn't have the privilege to make mistakes and get away scot-free.
But Prince Chauncley's time with Eddie seems to have done him some good. He tells Eddie how he is utterly useless and the only thing that is going for him is that he is the king's son. This utter lack of life skills is one area that he starts concentrating on in this episode. Rather than being fed his soup by an underling (something he is accustomed to), he decides to drink the soup himself by the end of episode 4.
It is a baby step to independence and self-reliance but it is a step.
'Miracle Worker: Dark Ages' airs on Tuesdays at 9:30c on TBS.