This episode is mostly setup for what I assume will be something big in the next episode? Also it’s very Tybalt-centric, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing for my enjoyment of the character.
So we begin where we left off, with Romeo and Juliet romantically kissing on a bridge and Hermione being callously stood up by her fiancé.
I’m still not over it, guys.
At least You Raise Me Up isn’t playing this time so I can’t make weird jokes about a teenager’s boner.
Anywho, they stop kissing long enough for Romeo to proclaim his undying love and Juliet to repeat that they can never be together. Romeo reveals he knows her true identity and he doesn’t care, because she’s “just his Juliet” to him. Juliet gives him the handkerchief she embroidered, says it’s a farewell gift, and runs off.
Incidentally, Juliet’s character is 30% constant rebellion, 20% BSOD, 5% swordfighting, and 45% running away from her feelings.
The next morning, Friar Lawrence is busy giving out bread to the poor of the city under the cynical gaze of a Carabiniero (I totally know how italian works). Tybalt is also there, and hands the guard money for information about the friar.
Who are you working for, Tybalt? Whose side are you on? How do you have enough money to pay off spies? Why do you always wear black?
To match my tortured soul.
Meanwhile, Odin is practicing swordfighting in the theatre courtyard, and scares the shit out of Antonio by being far too aggressive. Odin’s hands are bleeding from the practice, and Cordelia scolds him for training so hard. Odin denies his sudden recklessness has anything to do with a certain noble boy he totally isn’t thinking about all the time because he certainly isn’t running away from his feelings, no siree. Antonio wants to help, but Cordelia tells him to stay out of it, since things like this “are of no concern to boys”. Um, excuse me? Isn’t Romeo a boy? Wouldn’t this be of concern to him? Like, he is half of this tragic forbidden romance after all.
Currio is welcoming his new roommate – or, rather, refusing to get a new roomate because said new roomate is Benvolio. Francisco points out that spending time with such a handsome young man has its benefits (woa, what? Either Francisco isn’t totally straight, or he’s implying that Currio isn’t. Either way, one more point in the OTP jar.)
Or maybe not, because Francisco then says he’s only letting girls in his home. I’m so confused by this whole exchange, so I’ll transcribe it in full to see if you guys can help me here:
Currio: Absolutely not! There’s no way this boy is staying with me.
Francisco: Come on, don’t pretend to be shy!
Currio: What does that mean?
Francisco: Consider your good fortunes, spending time with such a pretty boy (pretends to make out with self) oh, oooh…
Currio: Why don’t you take him home then?
Francisco: Mm, only girls are permitted at my home.
Francisco, you were pretending to make out with a boy not two seconds ago what the hell is this.
Anyways, Benvolio protests that he could do the cooking or the washing in exchange for Currio’s hospitality, then sheepishly admits he doesn’t know how to do either of those things, then literally trips over himself trying to get Currio to let him stay. D’awwww, you adorable puppy.
Currio grumbles that he has no intention of becoming Benvolio’s mentor, which means he’s now going to be Benvolio’s mentor? I’m down with that.
In private, Francisco admits that the real reason he wants Currio and Benvolio to get along is because Benvolio could be a valuable asset in their plot – being a former noble, the son of the previous mayor, and a victim of Montague’s rule. Currio accuses him of using Benvolio like a bargaining chip. Cordelia overhears this, and doesn’t seem too pleased.
Back at the palace, Lord Montague is engaging is his favourite game of slap-the-offspring, and chewing Romeo out for missing his rendezvous with Hermione the night before. Not wanting to admit he was seeing another woman, Romeo lies and says he was riding his dragonsteed and lost track of time. Montague replies by ordering that the dragonsteed be killed.
You can’t do that! He’s like, 25% of my personality!
Fortunately, Hermione bursts into the room at this very moment and begs Montague to reconsider. She pretends that she’s always wanted to ride so fine a steed as Romeo’s, and that she would be sad if it were killed before she had the chance. Montague grants her wish, but warns Romeo that this is the last time he will be so kind.
When they leave, Romeo finally apologizes to Hermione for standing her up last night. She tells him it’s alright, as she imagines he was meeting with Benvolio to help his friend with his relocation. Romeo, ever the idiot, doesn’t take this obvious save she’s offering him and instead shows her the handkerchief. Hermione obviously understands, but still tries to steer the conversation towards the positive by complimenting the embroidery. Romeo still tries really, really hard to explain himself (poorly, I might add), until Hermione breaks down and runs away, crying.
Seriously Romeo, way to read the room.
Does this look like the face of a person who wants to continue this conversation?
Hermione is just too pure. Her fiancé stands her up without any explanation or justification, on a day which is basically the equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Still, she confronts his famously-volatile father to save him and his horse from punishment, thinks the best of him despite having no reason to, tries to make the reveal of his affair less painful for both of them, and still isn’t angry at him for it when he acts like a total moron.
Perfect cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure.
Later, Romeo is moping and Mercutio bumps into him in the hallways. “Wassup?” says Mercutio. “You know how we’ve always been such good friends? Why don’t you just tell me everything that’s bothering you, including your secrets? BTW, I’m totally not a spy sent by your dad.”
“Um, no thanks,” says Romeo awkwardly, then walks in his room to find a letter from Benvolio explaining the plot to assassinate his family, and that I’m safe btw, thanks for checking on me. This is apparently the first Romeo is hearing about Benvolio’s family being presumed dead.
So first Hermione, and then Romeo. Wasn’t the point of making their deaths look like an accident that you could then tell people about their deaths? I mean, I was under the impression that this was meant as a message to Montague’s enemies, like “this is what happens if you oppose me” – everyone will suspect Montague had them killed, but they won’t be able to prove anything. If that’s your plan, isn’t hiding their deaths not only counterproductive but also suspicious as all hockey puck?
Because if Montague just wanted them dead for the fun of it, that makes no sense. Benvolio’s dad was leaving, you had effectively undermined his entire support base in court, there was literally nothing he could do, politically, to harm you. So why go to the trouble of having him killed, therefore risking a scandal?
Uuuuuuuugh, these people’s politics make no sense.
At the theatre, Juliet demands to see her father sword and states that she will now wear it as her father’s heir. Conrad is pleased but surprised at this. (Weren’t you already moving forward with your plot and using her as your figurehead anyway?) But Juliet has fully embraced the cause now, and swears that House Capulet shall rise once more. I guess she cares about revenge now, or something? I’m utterly confused at the motivations here.
Benvolio and Romeo are meeting in secret (in the middle of a busy street, but whatever), and Benvolio tells Romeo everything that’s happened to him in the past few days, except for the Capulet rebels and all-around treason part. Romeo is shocked – shocked, I say! – to hear that his father was behind the assassination attempt.
In the square, we get some explanation as to Juliet’s sudden Capulet fervour as we watch Odin examine the burn marks of the pyre on which Doctor Lancelot died. I must be the wind of hope, Juliet thinks, echoing the doctor’s last words. So is it that she sees the Capulet plot as the only way to help Neo Verona now? Or is she latching onto the doctor’s hopes and trying to honour him in this way? I’m not sure, but at least it’s better than sudden-bloodlust-for-revenge.
Of course, all this is interrupted when Tybalt sneaks up on her and calls her Lady Juliet in public. He call her his “young flower”, continuing his string of creepy comments, and invites her for a chat. Juliet follows, echoing my desires to know exactly what this guy’s deal is.
Tybalt shows off his extensive network of spies by telling Juliet about Doctor Lancelot’s mysterious disappearance on the day of the Red Whirlwind’s death. Dude, how do you have enough money to maintain this highly extensive spy network?
Antonio is worried that Conrad will punish him for losing track of Odin (again). Why is the ten-year-old the babysitter in this situation again?? HE IS TEN YEARS OLD.
Later, Tybalt shows Odin into a tavern. This is “a side of Neo Verona you have never known”, he tells him. Uh, what part exactly? The poverty and hatred of the Montagues? Cause you would think those were the reasons Odin became the Red Whirlwind in the first place. The drunkenness? Alright, I’ll give you that one, but what’s so shocking about “sometimes, people get drunk”? And they seem really harmless drunks, too.
Avert thine eyes, oh fair Juliet! This scene is of the foulest debauchery.
Tybalt gives Odin a knife and taunts him into throwing it at a painting of Lord Montague hanging on the wall. Then Tybalt says that he hates Montague more than Juliet ever could (this is not a contest, dude) and implies that it’s her noble intentions – namely, her wanting to help the people rather than outright just murder everything – that is her great weakness.
Why are sensible goals weaknesses now I have to know. And how exactly is wanting Montague dead more than anyone else an achievement, like do you want a trophy Tybalt? God.
Then Tybalt takes Odin to the church where Friar Lawrence lives, reveals that the priest is a spy and a traitor, and tells Juliet to punish him accordingly. Juliet flies in a rage, unsheathes her sword and threatens the priest, but ultimately can’t hurt him: she leaves with the equivalent of a “now think about what you’ve done.” Unfortunately in her rage she reveals that she is the heir to House Capulet, and Friar Lawrence seizes the opportunity to stab her in the back.
You know when they say the blood of Christ they don’t mean literal blood right?
Then Tybalt kills him, says Juliet should have done so to begin with because Friar Lawrence was an enemy, and Juliet cries because she’s never been responsible for taking a life before.
Really? So all these Carabinieri you threw off bridges all just got really big boo-boos?
Sorry, I forgot this followed action movie logic, where no one’s dead unless you see blood and/or the corpse. Of course.
Anyways, Tybalt chooses this exact moment to stop being a total douchebag and actually comforts Juliet. And of course, who should fly by just in time to see these two in what appears to be a tender embrace?
Of fucking course.
Now how could this possibly go wrong?
Hark! ‘Tis the Plot:
- TYBALT WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR DEEEEAAAAAAL??????
- I guess we’ll be seeing more Capulet plot now that Juliet has fully pledged to the cause? I’m guessing they’ll be going straight for Montague now. But how will Romeo react when he sees his beloved try to kill his dad? And since more and more of his friends are joining the Capulet cause, does that mean Romeo will join in open rebellion?
- “A curse on you and your house!” wins for best out-of-context Shakespeare reference this time.
- Currio is an adorable puppy dad and Benvolio is his adorable puppy son. That’s it, that’s my interpretation of the situation.
- When Juliet said she would wear the sword in memory of her father, I thought it was meant as a symbolic gesture, or like “when we ride into battle against Montague I shall wield my father’s sword in his name”, not that she would literally wear the sword all the time. In public. The heavy, intricate, easily-recognizable sword with a Capulet crest on it, in a city where everyone has been searching for the lost Capulet girl for fourteen years. That certainly won’t paint a bullseye on your head.