Now That Victoria's Knocked Up, What's Next?
Let's look to the future and side-eye some home remedies!
Did any woman on any TV show ever just eat some bad shrimp?
During the cold open, Victoria enacts the International Sign for Television Pregnancy and barfs during a live performance of Handel. To their credit, in a refreshing break from squirrelly TV "what could her sudden explosive vomiting POSSIBLY MEAN?!" tradition, her pregnancy is confirmed almost before the credits even roll. Albert is thrilled, since he doesn't have a fifty-fifty chance of dying while trying to push a loaf of human out of his private parts.
Victoria, less so. She cries a little and wonders if she should have jumped a little higher to prevent this.
Does brandy and cream really help with nausea?
That...doesn't sound right.
Also, the Duchess of Kent totally seems like the type for Munchausen by proxy, so maybe the Queen should just ask Lehzen for a cup of tea or something.
Why wouldn't Victoria let Albert do all the boring stuff?
It's true: Albert's the new guy, and -- gasp! -- a foreigner, to boot. Maybe he's still figuring out where the good bathrooms are in the palace, and who's nice to sit with in the cafeteria.
HOWEVER. Victoria has never shown much enthusiasm for the minutiae of policy and economics, and it's become clear that Albert lives for this stuff. The Queen has married a nerd! As much as she tries to keep him out of it at first, Albert throws himself into the boring details she couldn't care less about -- the chief exports of Staffordshire (ceramics) and Manchester (cotton), and the intricacies of the railroad. Victoria: USE THIS.
Thankfully, we see the two of them sit down to work side by side at the end of the episode. This kind of division of labor (assuming Albert's doing stuff that isn't Queen-mandatory, though who knows where that line is) seems like a recipe for a happy marriage and an effective reign.
Who keeps a locomotive in his backyard?
And is there a better way to get in good with the new prince consort than to give him a ride on it? In keeping with the tradition of nerds who love trains, Sir Robert Peel comments during a trip to Staffordshire that he has a locomotive at his house, you know, as one does. Conveniently, he lives next door! Albert sneaks out early in the morning to take his first train ride. It's immediately clear that even if Victoria divorces him and deports him back to Germany for ditching her, he'll happily spend the rest of his days riding the European rails. Sir Robert might even go with him, since they've bonded over railway chatter! Victoria is pissed at her husband for sneaking out, but it's all for the best: Sir Robert is the new prime minister, and he's happy to advocate that his new pal be named regent in case Victoria dies. This keeps royal power in the family and prevents any of the other grabby dudes in Parliament from trying to butt in.
Later, in a sweet reminder of how slowly everyone traveled when horsepower top speed, Victoria herself gets a thrill by climbing onto the train and taking a ride, waving at some people in the fields. ("Who is that woman and why is she waving at us?" they think, but whatever.) The future! Is coming!
This episode is all about what's to come -- the next generation of the royal family, the railroad coming to the UK, even Albert starting to take on his own duties and form his own alliances, as with Sir Robert. So...what's to come?
There's one episode left in this series. A second series has already been greenlit by ITV, and the plan is to follow Victoria through the rest her life and reign, à la The Crown. This series has focused closely on palace goings-on rather than whatever's happening in the kingdom, which may be because there's so much story to tell about a young queen learning the ropes, or it may just be that Daisy Goodwin thinks family and romantic drama is more fun and more Downton-y than the world outside the walls.
Future series won't be able to do this -- at least, not for a while. The low-hanging fruit of having a young queen -- learning the job, falling in love, using "jumping up and down" as contraception, having her first child -- has been harvested in this first season. This baby is the first of nine; we won't need to see the other eight, with the possible exception of the next one, who will fulfill the need for an heir. (At this rate, he'll be born in the first six minutes of the second series.) There's plenty of personal drama for Goodwin to return to later in Victoria's life, but none of that happens for another twenty years -- at least two series and maybe a whole other cast away. If they want to keep things moving, and make it to that future series, they're going to have to zoom out.