As the 6th episode begins, we are taken to Schull, County Cork Ireland. Robert Traill (Martin Compston) rides through the village. He sees that the harvest has been ruined. Albert (Tom Hughes) and Victoria (Jenna Coleman) listen to a preacher. Dr. Traill speaks with others at the Bishop’s Palace. Traill is not happy with the way the Bishop (Michael Maloney) and the others are treating the locals. He explains that their current calamity is not one of their own making. Cleary (Tilly Steele) receives a letter from home. Penge (Adrian Schiller) makes a comment about the writing, before reluctantly handing it over. Seconds later, Ernest (David Oakes) arrives in town. He makes a comment to Albert that leads his brother to believe that he may be ill.
That night, Skerrett (Nell Hudson) finds Cleary reading the letter. The girl seems visibly upset, but she refuses to open up to Skerrett. Victoria speaks with Peel (Nigel Lindsay) and Trevelyan (Edward Bennett). Trevelyan shows no sympathy for the Irish. He explains that some of the Catholic recently caused an uprising and burnt buildings. She learns about the religious politics. Seconds later, Traill is stopped by a local. He follows her home and watches a young woman die of starvation. Then, he returns home to his family. Meanwhile, Albert learns more about the town’s sewer city. He intends to install water closets throughout the palace, including in the staffing area. Robert tells his wife, Anne (Grainne Keenan), about his day and the dying woman. She shows very little sympathy for the family. She doesn’t seem interested in helping those that once tried to burn down their house.
Victoria reads the doctor’s writing. Cleary notices and becomes upset, forcing Skerrett to take over. Then, Victoria consults with Peel and Trevelyan about the Irish. Trevelyan suggests it would be immoral for them to intervene in the period of self-regulation. Victoria suggests traveling to Ireland, but Peel admits that would be inadvisable. He explains that he might not be able to keep her safe. Ernest visits a doctor. He learns that he has an oral STD of sorts. He signs up for treatment with mercury steam. However, it seems to have an adverse impact on his respiratory system. Albert speaks with Victoria about the water closets, but she is more interested in the Irish problem. Albert explains that Robert Peel is a good man and a Christian. He insists that he will handle it correctly.
In the morning, Albert and Ernest work out together. Ernest becomes exhausted and quits early. At this time, Albert breaks the news that Harriet’s (Margaret Clunie) husband has passed away in a hunting accident. Alfred Paget (Jordan Waller) speaks with Drummond (Leo Suter) at the palace. Drummond admits his fiancée is trying to schedule the wedding during the middle of the session. Traill speaks with the Bishop. The Bishop suggests that the people have brought the misfortune upon themselves. Traill doesn’t seem to believe so. The Bishop reminds Traill that going against the church will likely prevent him from getting moved up to Dublin. Peel tells Drummond that he cannot send help to Ireland and repeal the laws, since it would look like a betrayal. Peel defends his stance in chambers. Ernest learns that the mercury vapor has been effective. However, he is warned that the condition might not be cured. It could impact his future spouse and children.
That night, Cleary speaks with Penge. She asks if she can get her paycheck early. He refuses in a rude manner. Victoria continues to be obsessed with the Irish crisis. She writes a letter to Traill inviting him to the palace. He arrives in town and is mesmerized by the produce on the street. Cleary speaks with Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley). She tells him about her family’s plight. He gives her his gold watch and tells her to pawn it for money. He wants nothing in return. Traill arrives and explains the situation to Victoria. Traill tells Victoria about the horrors of the famine. Albert enters. He makes a comment about Traill’s past comments. Traill admits that he was wrong. He admits he no longer believes the Catholics have themselves to blame. He explains that the Catholics have no legal right to the land they farm so they have little encouragement to work hard.
As Traill leaves, he is stopped by Cleary. She gives him the watch and tells him to pass it to her family. Lehzen (Daniela Holtz) seems upset that Cleary is Catholic. Traill tells her that she should use her position to help Victoria better understand the land she rules. Once again, Victoria speaks with Peel and Trevelyan. She soon sends Trevelyan away and takes Peel to the nursery. Traill returns home. He admits to his wife that is going to turn the house into a soup kitchen. He tells her to take the family and flee. She agrees, but admits she is not going to return. Victoria pleads with Peel to follow his heart. He is concerned that helping Ireland would destroy his party. The water closet is installed in the staff quarters. Albert admits he would like to see all households have a working toilet.
Back in Ireland, Traill goes against the Bishop’s wishes. He sets up the soup kitchen and begins distributing food to the locals. However, he seems to fall ill. At the palace, Cleary tells Victoria the truth about her religion and her family. She admits that the money arrived too late and her family were evicted. They have decided to move to America. Victoria thanks Cleary for confiding in her. When the conversation ends, Lehzen promises she didn’t know about Cleary’s religion. Victoria admits she doesn’t care either way. Peel defends sending food to Ireland in chambers. Traill passes away. The episode ends with his funeral.
The beginning of the episode was a little difficult to follow. Perhaps I am just a little slow? Nevertheless, the episode came together and ended up being one of the best this season. It was very, very emotional. It was deep and really pulled on the heartstrings. Cleary and Traill definitely stole the spotlight. Albert also got the water closet installed and Harriet’s husband passed away.
Will that open the door for Harriet and Ernest to get together? Or will Ernest be too concerned about his illness? Again, this episode was without a doubt one of the best of the season. It scores a high 9 out of 10. I could watch Victoria every day of the week! Catch up with previous recaps of Victoria right now!