The Serpent Queen Part 2 is the second instalment of an American historical period drama TV miniseries revolving around the life of Catherine de’ Medici. Created by Justin Haythe, the miniseries is based on the 2004 non-fiction book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda.
SP O I L E R S
Entitled “To War Rather Than To Bed”, The Serpent Queen Part 2 picks up Queen Catherine’s retelling of her past to her maid. For Catherine, her greatest need is to remain the wife of Prince Henri even as the odds stack up against her. Her cousin Diane is actively plotting against her, a rival to her position arrives in the form of a Prussian princess and her uncle the Pope has died without fulfilling the promised dowry to the King of France.
Most of The Serpent Queen Part 2 is told in flashback, as Catherine manoeuvres herself politically, gaining allies and putting down enemies. Her main obstacle is her failure to get pregnant – which of course back in the day was a woman’s primary function in life. Without providing Henri an heir, her position is untenable. But childless or not, she works hard to get into the King’s good books so that he will protect her, no matter what happens.
The young Catherine is expertly played by Liv Hill, as she dominates every scene that she is in. Not blessed with good looks, Catherine utilises her wit and intelligence to get what she wants. At this point in time, it’s all about survival by any and all means necessary. Perhaps later in the series, we will discover how her reputation as serpent queen was earned. Her cousin Diane is a formidable foe and is the perfect foil for her in this series.
The Final Analysis
The Serpent Queen Part 2 has maintained the high quality of the debut episode and promises much for the remaining parts. Highly recommended.
Now streaming on Starz.
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