'The Spanish Princess' Season 2 Episode 3: Catherine and Henry reconcile with sex but what is the real threat?

In the final moments of the episode, there's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment from Catherine that tells us lovemaking isn't the only solution to her marital woes with Henry


                            'The Spanish Princess' Season 2 Episode 3: Catherine and Henry reconcile with sex but what is the real threat?
(Starz)
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For an episode titled as explicitly as 'Grief', things end on a positive note for our titular royal. After a long and emotionally frustrating hour or so of watching Catherine consistently being chided by her God-fearing husband King Henry for not being able to give him a live, healthy son, things get pretty heated towards the end. Catherine is chastised for almost everything and she too contributes to the unfair treatment toward herself by asking if this is all punishment for lying about sleeping with her ex, Arthur.

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From fighting like a man when she was pregnant to being accused of sparking a rebel in Mary's tone during her forced wedding to the French king, Catherine is blamed for everything. So when the final moments of peace and pleasure arrive, we are content for her. She has earned this, but are things what they seem? Henry seems to get around the fact and get aroused by the end of the episode, but all the way back in the middle, he planted a seed so deep and sinister, he himself isn't fully capable of gauging its potency right now.

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The episode begins with a congratulatory feast where Catherine's victory over Scotland is being celebrated but Henry is quick to remind the crowd that the queen "had a loss" too. It's disappointing to see the man who was so enamored by Catherine's war council and fighting skills to reduce her to this heir-producing machine, but the answer behind that evolution comes soon.

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At first, Henry chides Catherine for going to war while pregnant, completely dismissing the fact that she kept their people safe. Next, he gets angry at her defying his war council and political strategies by disagreeing to the arrangement of getting Mary married to Louis under recent developments. The third snap comes at the inevitable wedding where Mary says "No" during her vows and Henry assumes it was Catherine's idea to cause a stir.

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It is finally towards the latter half of the episode when Catherine actually confronts Henry hours after a failed attempt at making love due to his inability to get aroused that we realize the depth of his issues with her. Despite being told he isn't attracted to her anymore. Catherine pursues her husband like the faithful and loving wife she is.

She ignores Lina's pleas to visit her and the newborn twins to work on her marriage to a man who, eventually admits, has put everything on God's dear plans. At the end of the day, when the storm clears between Catherine and Henry, it is revealed that Wolsey is the root of their problems. 

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Wolsey's growing hold on Henry is worrisome and we know how this ends in the documented pages of history, but it's still unnerving to watch how quickly a man crumbles when the pressure of God's will and verdict is imposed on him. Wolsey has been able to manipulate Henry into a God-fearing man. First, he appoints the seething serpent as the Archbishop of York, giving him more power than he should have.

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Next tells Catherine that his inability to produce live, healthy sons comes off as God's ill-will — lack of blessings of sorts to him. At this point, it's not just Catherine who can see how moulded by Wolsely Henry is allowing himself to be. Others take notice too but Henry is blinded. He uses God as a crutch for his own shortcomings and Wolsely coaxes him along the way, telling him in God he should trust — even if that means banishing his own wife and closest confidant from his bed chambers.

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The end of the episode sees Catherine and Henry reunited after a night of confrontation and lovemaking. They enter the hall together, hand in hand, and Catherine warns Wolsey not to come between her and her husband, and in those moments we know Catherine's grief might have found solace, but threats to her marriage still run wild. The real threat isn't her inability to deliver a child, but Wolsey's weaseling, sneaky advice that resembles Lady Margaret's agenda too much.

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'The Spanish Princess' Season 2 airs on Sundays at 8 pm on Starz.