‘Mary & George’ Recap, Episode 1: ‘The Second Son’


Mary and George

The Second Son

Season 1

Episode 1

Editor’s rating

5 stars

Photo: Starz

Starz finally emerges from the dense Philippa Gregory woodlands of historical nonsense to give us some solid, period dramas. Between Mary & George The following are some examples of how to get started: The Serpent QueenI am Quite pleased With them. This show is wonderful. I thought this was going to be Stuartian sexual escapades, but it’s not It is not clear how to get there. The writing is sharp and humorous. VeepIt’s like without being too jarring. (I love this.)

I’ll say it right away that both the show and recap contain a big trigger warning about attempted suicide. It occurs multiple times and is made fun of by Julianne’s character on both occasions.

We start in 1592! Mary Villiers (Moore), gives birth and the servant drops the baby immediately. Mary tells George he’s a son of a second father and will therefore inherit nothing human. She also refuses the cut of the cord. He is literally attached to Mary for how long? Foreshadowing!

George is now 19 years old. Mary, who has just cut him down in the forest where George had hanged himself, says “Good morning George.” It seems like a routine situation to her. Mary will take her son, who is full of feelings, to places. He’s banging on the maid, which is what he does most of the time. He says he and Jenny, the maid are in LOVE and he will be there with her. Mary tells her, “That is not how it works. That is not how any single thing works.” (I love it so very much.)

George is what I imagine it would have been like to have a Romantic-era writer as a son. Mary’s ability to make him do anything other than lie in a daisy field is amazing. George is upset because he must go to France in order to learn how to be a gentleman and Jenny isn’t there. Mary says in the middle of the argument, “If I was a man, and I looked like your, I’d be ruling the world,” and I believe it. Should this recap be just Mary quotes? Maybe. Thank God they’re still casting Julianne in things. Remember when? Bette Davis released an ad right after What happened to Baby Jane? Are you looking for a job? She was 54 at the time that film came out. Moore is currently 63 years old. Fantastic.

George’s dad dies and no one is upset because he was awful. He was angry because he “elevated Mary” from her position as Mary’s servant, then she gave birth to a son with intellectual disabilities. John is that son. You can also find out more about And really loves giraffes. No one is saddened that this man has died. Mary and his children were left with nothing. He even left the house to their cousin to protect it from his debt. So her only choice is to remarry. The 1600s? But also quite recently? Mary is still on the prowl, two weeks after that, wearing a hat made of pheasant-feathers and donkey-ears. She’s attending a Jacobean celebration! Everyone is wearing animal-related clothing. I don’t know why Mary combined a pheasant with a donkey but I am not complaining. (It’s perfect.) She introduces her as Sir Thomas Compton’s future wife. This is a bold move and it works.

George is on his way to France now that Mary has money! In France, George meets Jean, whom I mistakenly thought was “John”. Research is importantIMDB says Jean, so that’s what we’re going with. Jean is the character who’s like. Let me show you the ways of this world, innocent childGeorge also learns to fence, dance and bang dudes. George also learns a few dance moves and how to bang dudes. We get a scene in which a random guy gives us a full-frontal. I don’t know if I’ll see him again, but I suspect he won’t. He does an excellent job standing there casually with it all hanging out. George has made a great step forward, as he used to sit in stairwells and play the recorder.

Mary is trying to get George into the court of James I, while George is learning French orgies. Sir Thomas, when asking her if she is confident she can seduce James as she did him, says “I fear you have two too many tits and one too few penises.” Pure poetry. Mary wants to meet the king, but the Earl of Somerset keeps telling her that James is not in a good mood or doesn’t want to be with people. Mary wanders through the halls late at night, moseying on over to the king’s bedroom. She runs into a shirtless Somerset and then the king. He’s Vincent Van Gogh, from that Doctor Who ! He and Somerset have a fling in front Mary. And look. People disagree about whether James I was gay/bisexual/queer/straight, but if you’re watching this show, you’ve gotta just lean into him being into men. Also, I am sorry, but there were so many rumors back in the early seventeenth-century that they are still talked about today, combined with what he wrote, I will say, yeah, this is probably true. My wife didn’t know this, and she finds it funny that this was the same King James as the King James Bible.

Mary finds an ally within James’s entourage, who will allow George to be seen James. Everyone around George is confident in his looks. George returns to England, feeling very confident at first. But when he gets the chance to serve dinner to the king, he punches him in the face several times. James intervenes when Somerset tries to cut off George’s arm for fighting in front the king. George, after spending time in France learning how to be gentlemanly, you jump on a stranger when you return home. It was embarrassing to spill food all over the floor and have Somerset and his wife laugh at you. He used to channel his emotions through his recorder. Now he has no outlet.

George steals a knife out of Mary’s drawer at her house. I assume there are knives in Mary’s kitchen, but George probably wants Mary to find out he took it. She finds George sitting up against a tree and threatening to sever his wrist. She shows him another way to do it. ALSO, BE AWARE. Mary tells George that she has plans for him and they will face the world together.

I wonder when she will have them cut the cord. It’s also going to be annoying because the cord is only so much. She tells George James saw him and stopped Somerset to show his interest. They have to find another way to get George to James. Will it succeed? Yes, it’ll succeed because it happened in history. But what an exciting journey we’ll be on!


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