As the series gets underway, we see a group of soldiers in Afghanistan. They’re cold and shivering. Then, we jump over to Victoria (Jenna Coleman). We see that Victoria is being coddled by her servants. Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) gets an update about the soldiers. The soldiers have been given the order to retreat. They’re expected to reach Jalalabad within a month. Albert makes the decision to keep the news from Victoria. He doesn’t want her distressed at this delicate time. Victoria becomes enraged with her treatment. She hops out of the wheelchair and begins walking on her own. She joins Peel (Nigel Lindsay), Albert and the others moments later. Then, Victoria admits she wants to go riding. Peel explains that women are not supposed to go out into public, until they’ve gone to church. Drummond (Leo Suter) tells her the same.
Victoria heads to the church and receives her blessing. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent (Catherine Flemming), believes it a good thing. Victoria doesn’t seem too interested. Victoria and Albert go out riding immediately afterwards. They race two times before heading back inside. Moments later, Penge (Adrian Schiller) is forced to break up a fight between Craddock (Peter Forbes) and a maid. Penge gets the knife and calms everyone down. Victoria plans to throw herself back into her work. Lord Alfred (Jordan Waller) enters and requests Victoria to look at his brother Septimus’s commission. She agrees to do so and believes Albert would’ve granted it. Moments later, Albert enters and Victoria asks about the boxes. Albert explains that he has already gone through them. Nevertheless, he agrees to let Victoria look at them.
Lehzen (Daniela Holtz) speaks with Skerrett (Nell Hudson). Skerrett has been selected to take over for Mrs. Jenkins. Albert and Victoria get dressed up to see Albert’s regiment. Peel speaks with the Duke about Victoria and the soldiers. Peel believes it is best to keep it a secret, but his comrade does not. Albert tells Victoria that the soldiers’ helmets should be changed. She doesn’t seem to think so. Then, Peel asks Victoria about her choice of ladies. He is not happy to learn that she has selected the Duchess of Buccleuch (Diana Rigg) to be the Mistress of Robes. Later, Victoria speaks with Harriet (Margaret Clunie). Victoria alludes to the fact that she doesn’t yet love the child. Harriet tells her that she will in time and that she will need to sacrifice. Then, Harriet leaves for Coburg.
Victoria is introduced to the Duchess of Buccleuch and Wilhelmina Coke (Bebe Cave). Later that night, Albert tells Victoria that the Mistress of the Robes does not like her rooms. It becomes clear right away the she is going to be an annoyance. During their conversation, Albert makes a comment about the soldiers retreating from Kabul. Victoria immediately becomes angered that she was never told about the situation. Albert pretends that it is nothing to worry about. In the morning, Victoria speaks with her ladies. Wilhelmina speaks about a book she is reading. Then, she is scolded by the Duchess of Buccleuch. Victoria’s child is brought in seconds later. Skerrett rejoins the kitchen staff. Penge speaks to her about finding an assistance. It seems he has something in mind.
Next, Victoria overhears Peel and Albert speaking about the soldiers. She interrupts and the conversation is changed. Peel speaks about the Sanitation Commission. Victoria orders Peel to give her information about the soldiers as soon as he gets it. Victoria speaks with the Duke and gets the truth about the army. Meanwhile, Albert’s family arrives. Ernest (David Oakes) and his family bring the dog. Ernest is told that Harriet has returned to her husband. During dinner, the group finds out that the new chef is horrible. King Leopold (Alex Jennings) speaks to Victoria’s mother about her relationship with Albert. He senses that something is wrong. Later that night, Albert and Victoria get into a spat. In the morning, Albert practices his fencing with Ernest. He admits he doesn’t understand why Victoria is so angry. Ernest tells him that she might feel like he is trying to control her.
Victoria speaks with Drummond. She tells him to bring her news of the soldiers. Later, Leopold and the others discuss the potential of Victoria getting pregnant once again. Skerrett is forced to visit Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley). She tells him that the Queen wants him to return. Francatelli refuses. He tells her that she was simply too late. Leopold tells Victoria that he believes she should have another child. He also discusses the possibility of getting the baby married as soon as possible. Victoria tells Leopold that the country needs a queen and not a brood mare. Next, the christening begins. During the ceremony, Ernest looks at Harriet. Afterwards, Ernest and Harriet joke about the crocked cake. Then, Ernest is introduced to Harriet’s husband. Victoria learns that Francatelli has no intention of returning.
Drummond delivers news to Peel. Alfred tells Victoria that he may be able to change Francatelli’s mind. Peel interrupts and pulls Victoria aside. He tells her that the army was wiped outside. There was only one survivor, Dr. Brydon. Victoria meets with Brydon (Alexander Owen) moments later. She learns about the slaughter of the soldiers. Peel blames the problem on Melbourne and Palmerston. The politicians argue it out and blame one another. Victoria decides to celebrate, but the others are not so sure. The Duke reminds them that Trafalgar was a great victory, but it came after a defeat. He sides with the Queen. Albert also mentions the helmets again, but he is quickly shut up by Victoria. Afterwards, he insists he will not be attending the celebration. He admits he be too busy with the Sanitation Commission.
Despite the comment, Albert goes along anyway. Victoria delivers a great speech and rallies the crowd. Back at the palace, Skerrett learns that Francatelli has returned. He remains standoffish and angry with her. Seconds later, Skerrett is introduced to the junior dresser from the Chiswick Institute. Wilhelmina spies on Ernest as he plays piano. Later that night, Victoria tells Albert that she wants her daughter to be free to marry the one she loves. Victoria apologizes about the helmets. She tells him that the country has a past and a future.
I am really, really thrilled to see Victoria return. The first season was great and the second one has started off excellently. I really enjoy the relationship between Albert and Victoria. It definitely feels authentic. Plus, Victoria is surrounded by scoundrels, who want nothing more than to gain the upper hand over her. It is difficult to know who to trust at this point.
We also have great side stories with Skerrett and Francatelli and Ernest and Harriet. Each episode of Victoria seems to have so much emotion and usually a great uplifting moment. This one did with the speech after the defeat of the army in Afghanistan. The episode was a great start for a new season. It scores an 8.5 out of 10. Catch up with past season recaps of Victoria before you go!