In the previous episode of Victoria, practically everyone shrugged their shoulders as a million Irish people starved to death, Ernst attempted to cure his syphilis by poisoning himself with mercury, and the Most Likely Gays stopped heart-eyeing each other because the brunette got engaged to a woman and also was rooting for the Irish potato famine. Will the callous people who didn’t lift a finger to help the Irish be forever haunted by ghost versions of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Will Ernst go on a time traveling quest into the future to find penicillin for his STD, temporarily get distracted by the shorter skirts, but eventually cure himself and swing back to the 1840s to bump uglies with Victoria’s widowed bestie? Will the non-problematic Most Likely Gay use the same time machine to travel to the winter Olympics in PyeongChang and go on a hot date with not-engaged-to-a-woman, out-and-proud skier Gus Kenworthy? Only one way to find out! On with the show!
Victoria and Albert are out and about in London at the same time as someone who’s having difficulty walking. This someone promptly takes out a pistol and tries to shoot Victoria! Wow, so we’re not wasting any time this week, I see.
So why did he do it? Maybe he’s pissed about how the government let all those Irish people die. Or maybe he’s disabled and peeved that there is no healthcare. Or maybe he tried to walk after his leg fell asleep and took out his aggravation over the clumsy pain of that on Victoria cause she was right there. Who knows?
What I do know for sure though is that Season 2 assassin has nothing on Season 1 assassin. Remember him? The one that has probably already been reincarnated and won a season of Project Runway? Just look at how he draped the fabric on his regicide-themed dress form!
Back at the palace, Victoria finds out they didn’t manage to catch Season 2 Assassin, so she comes up with an ingenious plan: go back outside and wait for him to try shooting her in the face again! What could possibly go wrong?
Albert vehemently opposes the plan, until the Prime Minister explains the merits of “flushing out” the perpetrator. Albert immediately changes his tune because he loves flushing of all kinds after taking up toilets as a hobby last episode.
Since bulletproof Escalades with those rims that keep spinning after the car has stopped haven’t been invented yet, Victoria settles for another ride in her open-air carriage, armed with a chainmail umbrella. Not the safest, but pretty bad ass, I must say. I hope she starts carrying a walking stick that doubles as one of those spiked-ball-on-a-chain thingies. (Turns out those thingies are called “flails.” Cue the More You Know star!)
Within moments, Season 2 Assassin reemerges (does he live in the park or something? ), tries to murder Victoria again, and is quickly apprehended. They didn’t even need to flush twice to get rid of that piece of poo.
With that plot point all wrapped up in under three minutes, Victoria and the show’s writers quickly realize that life without the threat of having one’s head shot off is kind of boring. So Victoria yells Smell ya later, babies and infants I never hang out with! in the direction of the nursery and heads off on a road trip to Scotland.
On the way, Brunette Most Likely Gay starts yapping about his lady fiancé in front of his almost boyfriend again. WE GET IT! YOU’RE ENGAGED! NO HOMO ETC. GET SOME NEW MATERIAL!
When everyone arrives at the Scottish castle, they get a sneak peek of Season 1 Assassin’s Project Runway finale collection:
Speaking of fashion, Victoria is trying out a new look:
I’ll let the professionals judge this one:
After a long fishing scene in which nothing happens other than Victoria looking across the river, seeing two random girls, and thinking I wish I could be poor and regular too, everyone decides to head back to the castle. Because Victoria seems to have a death wish this episode, she decides to go off into the wilderness with just Albert, who might know a lot about toilets, but not a thing about the geography of Scotland. Waze isn’t going to get them out of this one.
Sure enough they immediately get lost and a search party is dispatched. The Most Likely Gays decide to team up and look for them together. When they look over a cliff and don’t see Victoria and Albert’s mangled bodies on the rocks below, they decide they’ve looked hard enough and that it’s time to talk about how Achilles and Patroclus were totally gay for each other. This is a good start. Now go find a waterfall and skinny dip again! The viewers (mainly me) demand a sequel!
Elsewhere, Albert has gone from I have the best sense of direction! to OMG we’re going to die out here. Who needs an assassin when your overconfident husband can get you killed, bullet-free? Albert makes Victoria ford a river and she almost falls off her horse. What’s next? One of them dies of dysentery? (Shout out to all of us who played Oregon Trail in grade school!)
Eventually, they find a house and get invited in. The owner obviously doesn’t subscribe to US Weekly because he doesn’t recognize them. When Victoria busts in without saying hi and takes a seat by the fire, Scottish Dude says, Umm, excuse you! That’s my chair! I like this humbling moment for Victoria and Albert. Make them do chores!
If you’re a regular reader of this recap series, you know that I despise unnecessary “downstairs” plot lines. But there’s finally one I deeply care about. Some babe in a kilt starts flirting with Babyface Maid, and then promptly makes out with her! If the Most Likely Gays refuse to tongue wrestle, I’ll settle for this. Get it, girl!
Back at Scottish Dude’s place, Victoria and Albert are forced to do chores for the first time in their lives.
High off of learning how to dry dishes, darn socks, and drink plebeian booze, Victoria tells Albert she kind of doesn’t want to be found. Back in the nursery, her three children have a message for their mom:
But they don’t have to worry. The search party finds them and Victoria’s hosts are like, Ohhhh, so that’s why she was acting so entitled!
Back at the Scottish castle, Blond Most Likely Gay excitedly shares the news of Victoria and Albert being found with Brunette Most Likely Gay. They celebrate by embracing for a long time!!!
And then they pull apart and look at each other like they’re about to explore the insides of each other’s mouths!!!!
But they don’t.
After Victoria and Albert are brought back to the castle and applauded for surviving a few hours without being catered to by servants, Victoria debuts a new look to appease the Project Runway judges.
That night, the Most Likely Gays decide that hanging out with the servants will be one zillion times more fun than worshipping the Queen all evening, so they sneak away and twerk with the locals at a rave in the woods. The Duchess’ niece watches from afar. I swear, little girl, don’t you dare interrupt their love like you did back in episode 2. I will make more of these anti-you posters if I must.
Thankfully, she keeps her distance and just stares at them like a weirdo. The boys dance with each other, and laugh, and talk about how wonderful midsummer evenings are, and then stand in front of a body of water, which reminds them of that time at the waterfall, and then THEY TOTALLY MAKE OUT!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, back at the forest rave, Babyface Maid has let her hair down (literally) and is having her own sexy time with Kilt Babe. But, when he asks if he may write erotic letters to her, she declines because she almost dated Hot Italian Chef approximately one thousand years ago. Um, Babyface Maid, Victoria has had like 13 kids since then. Live your life!
Back at the castle, Victoria’s widowed bestie finally holds hands with Ernst because, if everyone else is hooking up, she might as well too. Who knew Scotland was such an aphrodisiac? Viagra who?
Because sexy times must eventually come to an end, everyone returns to the dreariness of London. Albert mopes around, wishing he could be anonymous and poor again. Victoria is like, I know, me too! But we’ll just have to take one for the team and live in a palace for free and get everything we want.
Every actual poor person living at the time:
The next day, after opening Parliament, Victoria comes home, throws her cape, sash, and fancy gloves on the ground in the middle of the hallway (don’t worry, someone else will pick it all up) and meets Albert by the fire, where they role play as their poor Scottish hosts. They grill fish in the fireplace and darn socks and giggle at how fun not wearing garments one time only and actually having to repair them is. Poverty is so cozy!
Again, every actual poor person:
After every episode, it’s only right to reward characters who’ve impressed and diss the ones that haven’t, so here goes:
PIECE OF COAL: Season 2 Assassin. At least the last guy had a knack for designing women’s wear. Downgrade!
HONORABLE MENTION: Kilt Babe. He’s hot. Sometimes, that’s enough.
BRONZE: The Duchess of Buccleuch. For startling everyone by forcefully pronouncing the first syllable of cock-a-leekie soup.
SILVER: The Scotland Tourism Bureau. Congrats on convincing all of us to visit. See y’all at the sock darning workshop!
GOLD: The Most Likely Gays. I didn’t think they ever would get to second base. I’m glad I was wrong! But let’s be real: the writers are probably going to kill one of them off because LGBT people usually don’t get to enjoy happy endings in TV and movies, so let’s celebrate them while we can.
Until next week! If you miss my thoughts on Victoria or pop culture in general, follow me on Twitter @xcusemybeauty, listen to my podcast The Cooler, or read all my other Victoria / Poldark / Downton Abbey recaps!