01x02 - You Cannot Keep The Birds From Flying Over Your Head

Episode transcripts for the TV show, "Becoming Elizabeth". Aired: June 12, 2022 - present.
Follows Elizabeth, as a teenager, who finds herself involved in the political and sexual politics of the English court on her way to secure the crown.
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01x02 - You Cannot Keep The Birds From Flying Over Your Head

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[KAT WHISPERS] Elizabeth.

The king is d*ad. Long live the king.


Do you remember me, Princess?

Would you have remembered me
if it was not for my status?

Your face, I'd remember that.

[EDWARD] I shouldn't have
to send an army

to fetch a wife for myself,

especially one that's five years old,

especially one that's Scottish.

- [THOMAS] Good luck.
- Hup!

[THOMAS] You up here
craving power, Princess?

We'll have to keep an eye on you.

[HENRY] My daughter
is in line for the throne,

and your brother isn't even here.

Is no one to marry for love?

And what will they do?

Execute us?

That's never stopped that family before.

[SOMERSET] If only problems at home

were as easily solved
as they are here...

with a sword
and some strength of character.

If only we were all... free.

Free to act as we chose.



What are we gonna do, Elizabeth?

♪ ♪

Good morning!

Good morning, Chelsea!


Good morning!

Come on, James,
you lazy bastard, wake up.

Come on, Liam! Good morning, Chelsea!

Good morning, Chelsea!


George? Come on.

Don't drop the wood, George.
Don't drop the wood.


Good morning, George.

Lord, have mercy. [GASPS]

Sir! Sir!


[THOMAS LAUGHS] Good morning.

Good morning, women of Chelsea.

Sir, you are not dressed.

I'm to rouse my household.
I'm the new trumpeter.

I'm afraid I terminated
the life of the last one.





My lady, do you not know what
this sound requires of you?

I do, sir.

Well, then pray,
why are you still in bed?

Sir, please, this is... stop!


Ah, mm, perhaps you're right,
Mistress Ashley.

This is... it's an oversight of mine.

See, I'm afraid my parents,
they tried to teach me

the ways of a young gentleman
but never realizing

the fact that I was actually
born a cockerel.

And as the sun rises, I must also.



Ah, are you roused, stepdaughter?

Yes, sir.

On to the rest. Jane. Jane!


Good morning, Chelsea!

Good morning!



♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


- [DRIVER] Whoa!


♪ ♪


You have taken up residency in my house

and in here.

Pray, when will you stop torturing me?

♪ ♪

I can't be held responsible
for what he decides to...

But you will. And you are.

♪ ♪


Before we go in...

...I wanted to check

if you were always going
to look at me like this

or if it were only temporary.

My sister will be at court.

Is that why you seek
to make peace with me now?

If I had known things
were so bad, we needed peace,

I would have sooner.


I am sorry that my marriage caused this.

I deserve your anger but pray,
not your poor opinion.

Believe it or not, your opinion
means a great deal to me.

He is good, don't you think?

S-Sir Thomas?


You need my answer
on whether your husband's good?

I love him. I am completely
incapable of answering.

[LAUGHS] That's silly.

I know.


♪ ♪


♪ ♪







[KAT] Look, it's the pope.


[DUDLEY] It's outrageous.


[KAT] The holy pope!




♪ ♪






♪ ♪


♪ ♪



[THOMAS] Your Majesty! Your Majesty!

The pope is at your mercy.

Now, you must settle
this gladiators' match for us.

Do you give the...

the-the curiously hatted... [LAUGHS]

...sinner here

the thumbs up...

...or the thumb down?


What would you say, Jane?

♪ ♪


He is the Antichrist.


Ooh, Jane!


♪ ♪

Death to the pope.



♪ ♪




♪ ♪

That's enough.


[EDWARD] Mary!


I'm the king!

Don't embarrass me.

May I be excused, Your Majesty?


Yes, you may.

Are you upset with me?

The Holy Father, the pope,

being mocked

and then condemned
in front of a braying crowd

by my one true king...

...it cleaves me in two.

But I felt unwell,

nothing more.

I wish to take a walk
to, uh, recover myself.

Well, you must.

♪ ♪

Oh! The Lord Oppressor.

- Catherine...
- Catherine? No.

We have not been family
so long, brother-in-law.

[THOMAS] Arguing already?

I cannot abide conflict.

I told you both so,
especially you, wife.

- Yes, wife.

Not queen or king's widow
but Thomas Seymour's wife.

That is what you are now.

And the late king did not leave
the royal jewels

for the neck of Thomas Seymour's wife.

They were left to me by my husband.

They were left in his will
to the king's widow.

You cannot hold the royal jewels

now you are now no longer a royal.

I can well believe semantics
are your lifeblood, sir.

[LAUGHS] Fetch the king's will

and we shall check the wording
of the whole thing,

see that it is being obeyed
to the letter.

Can his will be read here?

Oh, it-it can be.

His and Dudley's handwriting
is most legible...



Whenever is convenient to send for them,

the jewels will be waiting.

And don't you think
he'll look lovely in them?

Or are they for your wife, sir,
or for Lady Elizabeth here?

[SOMERSET] They will go
to the Princess Mary.

Ah, well, I must warn you, sir,

'cause I've heard that women,

if you give them something pretty,
they can take your cock

and they can put it inside themselves.

So I urge caution with Mary,

for these, they're very pretty,

and remember, we weren't made
to marry princesses.


♪ ♪

[ELIZABETH] Leave us for a moment.

The players have all gone.

You came to find me.

You were upset.

You know Edward loves you.

But hates Catholics.

"Death to the pope."

I will end up like my mother,

banished and alone.

Or perhaps like yours.

It is a sad fate for a woman
that displeases a Tudor.

We are Tudors.

♪ ♪

We must pray Edward sees sense soon,

finds his way back to us
and the true faith.

Maybe I could speak with him.

The world wants us at odds.

We don't have to let it be that way.

Yes, you should be with me.

You cannot stay with them.
You'll support either...

People pay far less heed to what
I'm doing than you think, Mary.

I have no effect on the
standing of anyone in this world.

Even your own?

You're the daughter of the great whore.

- Your mother...
- Is d*ad.

I'm not trying to hurt you.
I'm trying to warn you.

Catherine, I once, too,

thought wise and good

and a friend.

But then look how she mocks
our father's memory

with that man.

I feel sick at what I hear
about them both,

what-what I have seen.

You are to leave.

♪ ♪

The king does so love his...

nuanced religious commentary.

May I escort you back?

I'm in no need of an escort.

Are we angry, Mary, about my marriage?

Sir, I have no opinion
on who or what you marry.

You are of no consequence to me.

It's who my father's widow marries

that I have an opinion upon.

But these two things
have converged upon me...


♪ ♪

I had a father, and he is gone.


Except for the one Father
we all share and...

will one day meet.

♪ ♪

For your safety, your sanity,

come to me.

♪ ♪


[TUTOR] Ah, beautiful.

You have come to form your As
as the Lady Catherine does.

[THOMAS] Do you understand?

[CATHERINE] Why are they then initialed?

[THOMAS] I can initial others for you.

[CATHERINE] I was married to the king.

I was the queen of England!

And it was, as you so often tell me,

a hideous time.

So why do you need
these reminders of it for?

They're not medals of honor.
That, I can tell you.

Not reminders nor medals, Thomas,

but they are my property!

I should be the queen regent by rights.

But your brother is in over the carrion,

forcing us both out.

And you allow it.

[THOMAS] Good God, Catherine!

"Take them, brother.

"I bow to you, brother.

What are your instructions
next, brother?"

Who knew you were so weak?

[THOMAS] You think
I let my brother rule me?

He rules England,

so he rules you.

And we let him.

We have the princess under our roof.

Who cares if we have the princess?

It is the king on the throne,

and he will marry and have children.

Who will he marry?

Jane, also under our roof.

You think I'm a weak man?


Let them have their jewels.

Let them have your trinkets.

Let my brother think that he's winning.

Let my brother think
that he's in control.

You do yourself a disservice, Catherine.

And isn't Elizabeth
our real jewel anyway?

Everyone thinks I am a fool
to have married you.



♪ ♪




Princess Elizabeth, why don't you begin?

The Aristotle.









Oh, I discover you working tirelessly.

Your lessons are over,
but still here you go.

Do you ever sleep, Princess?

I was writing to my sister, Mary.

I'm going to go and live with her.

She asked me.

And would you be happy there?

Happier there than here?

Has Mary scared you
with talk of reputations?


I won't speak ill of her.

I won't speak ill
of any woman with ambition.

I never think of my sister
as a woman of ambition.


Then you must see her clearer, dear one.

She has the ambition of...

of... well, of the Lord Protector.

The Lord Protector
is the most dulled man around.

I can't imagine much f*re drives him.

No, not a f*re.

Not the f*re that I would say
drives Thomas...

...or me or even you.

But a...

a slow-burning determination,

a fuel.

I think of them

as plow horses that,
having reached the fence,

just keep going, no mind
of what is in their way.

I-I find that more dangerous than us,

us, jittering hearth fires.

What do you think the Lord Protector

and Mary are ambitious for?

To rule.

Now, the Lord Protector has
most of that sewn up already,

us three on the outside,

as he protects your sister,

who still holds public Mass
at home, I have heard.

Your sister,
with her connections to Spain

and the Catholics and the pope,

she can never be allowed

to sit on the throne of England.

It could never be allowed.

But still, here she is,
trying to gather you up

and take you away, you,

the only real alternative.

My sister loves me.

[CATHERINE] Of course she does.

Of course she does.


So do I.

♪ ♪

Jane told me you said

all women are used.

Choose who to be used by.

That's the child's version, Elizabeth.

Do you want to hear the adult?



All seek to use each other.

Choose who you wish to think

is using you.

Oh, I love you.

I hope you know that.

You're kind.

[CATHERINE] So you'll stay?

♪ ♪

[THOMAS] Good morning!

Come on, Chelsea! Wake up!

Come on, gentlemen.


Come on! Wake up, Chelsea.

[ELIZABETH] Good morning, sir.

Your inner cockerel seems to have slept

right through the dawn this morning.


♪ ♪


[TUTOR] Very good, Jane.


- [TUTOR] Good.

[TUTOR] Sir.


[TUTOR] That was beautiful, Jane.

- [ELIZABETH] Sir, what...
- [THOMAS] Sir? What sir?

♪ ♪

You have a wife.

[CHUCKLES] Well, I've had
a wife for a while now.

A changeable being, aren't you?

Catherine thinks of you as a child,

but you are naught but a woman.

Catherine is kind to me.

And I'm kind to the boys in the stables.

They're yet to determine
who I f*ck, though.


Is that what you were planning, sir?

Do I have a say in this matter?

You gave your say a long time ago.

Did you not?

I thought I might perhaps...

acquiesce to your request.

What use am I to you?

Divisions between my sister and brother

and perhaps you see
a useful playing piece here...

...that you can f*ck?


♪ ♪

You think this is a smart move for me?

You think that this furthers my aims?

You and me?
The princess of England and me?

This risks... look at me!

This risks everything... my life...

my neck.

And mine.

And mine, sir.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

You really are...

all woman.

♪ ♪

[PEDRO] The French have camped here

in support of the Scottish.

If we are to continue this w*r,

it will need men and money.

So we have lost
the little Scottish queen

and doubled our enemies.

I-I-I suppose other people's money

is an easy currency to spend, sir.

It seems as though lives
are an easy currency

for the Privy Council but money is not?


If I were English,
I would not want my countrymen

to rot in Scotland's grounds
for the sake of frugality.

Where did you find this man?

[PEDRO] Knight.

Not "this man"

but "this knight."

[SOMERSET] Yes, I knighted him
after the battle.

Oh, England elevates a man
not on his merit

but for simply being present.

At last, an explanation for you, sir.



[HENRY] A knight is not a duke...





[SOMERSET] You've only just
been allowed into this room

and onto that chair, Henry,
and yet again, I question why.

And I question why we are asked to fund

a w*r we were told was won.

Because it was!

Or do you believe stealing a girl away

in the middle of the night

and pleading for French
assistance the act of winners?

Actually, I could
well believe you might.

But luckily this country
was not made in the same mold

as you, Henry Grey,
and we will not surrender

because you feel the strain
on your wrist

reaching into your pocket

or because you were born without pride.


Trust me, Henry, your chair
remains empty in my mind

even while you sit on it.

My wife is cousin to the king.

God has granted me the right
of a say in this realm.

Neither God nor I
have granted you anything.

I-I would...

♪ ♪


[DUDLEY] Shall we move on?


♪ ♪


Henry, Henry.

You know one day, he's gonna
wake with a Kn*fe to his throat

and he's gonna have simply no
idea what it could be doing there.

My wife questions
whether you and Catherine

are the best guardians
for our daughter Jane.

Everyone questions it.

Matching her with the king
in the future?

What about now?

What about the present?

[LAUGHS] What do you want?



♪ ♪

[MARY] Amen.



♪ ♪

You were the knight
left behind in Scotland

to oversee our fortunes there.

Though it seems
of little importance to anyone,

if you care to know it,

my name is Pedro.

You are, I believe,
from Spain, Sir Pedro?

If so, my lady Catalina
who waits on me at home

would not forgive me if she heard

I met a Spanish n*gro
at the English court

and did not ask his family.

I know if she saw you,
she would wonder if...

she and you were in some way kin.

She served in Spain's court

before coming to England with my mother.

Tell your lady this will be
the first court

I or any one in my family
have ever stepped foot in.

And tell her
a man may find himself at one

without his family destining it so.

Tell her some men are not granted

but earn their positions.

Tell her.

I've never been asked
to play messenger, sir.

Please continue. I'm eager to try it.

Did you not fight alongside Lord Dudley

and the Lord Protector Somerset?

Neither of them were born
into such very great standing

that they fell into
the positions they hold now.

They sought them, believe me.

Sought is different to earned.

As I say, the Lord Somerset
and the Lord Dudley

have sought their positions...

...but hold them
by the grace of the king.

Or do you object to the king's
birthright also as unearned?

For it was won...

by my grandfather

on a bloody b*ttlefield.

By leave of God, he picked up the crown

on Bosworth's Field.


What part do you question, sir?

Princess Mary, f-forgive me, I...

I did not know to whom I spoke.

Well, that accounts for much.

I keep you in my prayers, Princess.


♪ ♪

What do you think you're doing?
Put that away.

It will look better if I give some
other up there command of Scotland.

It was probably not
my best idea leaving it to you,

a foreign mercenary.

I have enough trouble with the princess.

Come find me later, sir.

I'll find some other employment for you,

I'm sure.

♪ ♪

Stop holding Mass.

Your Majesty?

Public Mass.

Your actions are hurting me
and the crown.

You have to convert
to the true religion.


- Else?
- My king.

She has to convert.

This comes from the Lord Protector.

I am the king of England, not him.

And I am a Protestant, and you,

you're-you're a symbol of the old faith,

a rally point for... for heretics.

And, uh...

And you want me to choose

between my king and my God.

I was chosen by God.

I will speak to the Lord Protector.

He does not know I am seeing you.

I am the one asking.

You are to convert
and give up Catholicism...

...and-and denounce it
in front of the whole court.


Please, Mary.

If this is the price
of staying at court,

I will return to the country...


♪ ♪

- What are you doing?
- Who are they?

You're meant to be pining
for my brother.

I barely know the king.


Hello, Robert.

♪ ♪

Spied on by royalty, what an honor.


Jane was merely wondering

who'd taken up a station on our terrace.

You see, Lord Dudley,

my house even offers
entertainment to your offspring

while you interrogate me
and check up upon me.

[DUDLEY] I've done no such thing.

I came to hunt, as did the boys.

Princess, Lady Jane,
I hear you'll be joining us.

Don't let her, Father;
the princess embarrasses

every man she rides next to.

Have you simply tried asking
your horse to go faster, Robert?

It might take pity on you.




[ROBERT] We should wait for the others.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


[ROBERT] Good sh*t.

- Give me your Kn*fe.
- Let's wait for the rest.

- It's in pain.
- You did just sh**t it with a...

Are you mad?

Why must I always be the spectator?

Why can't I just this once
play the part?

- [ROBERT] It's dangerous.
- True.

And I have the right
to make my own reckless,

unchallenged, uninterrupted,
foolish, and selfish decisions.

I claim that right.


Stop me, Robert,

and I won't forgive you.


♪ ♪


♪ ♪



♪ ♪

That's the king's sister
you f*cking halfwit!


[DUDLEY] What the hell
were you thinking?

[CATHERINE] We are going
to speak, Elizabeth,

about what just happened.

[MESSENGER] Princess.

It was asked that this
would be opened alone.

And I'm to await the reply.


My sister, Mary, she's left court,

returned home to Framlingham.

The king has been, um...

She says she's to be persecuted
for her faith.

Edward has a kind heart.

And a strong faith.

She wants me to be her advocate

and save her from...

Sa-save her from what?

I don't understand what she fears.

Mary parades her beliefs,

and your brother fears for his position.

Who will come for his position? Mary?

There is a strong Catholic
following in this country.

You'd do well to know that.

Perhaps you don't see it, closeted away

with your stepmother and her husband.

- You think me naive?
- No. No.

I think you protected.

I'd just stay out of their game.
I wouldn't choose sides.

But that is what is asked of me.


Hiding in corners?

Of course not.

What's that?


I'm sorry about your face.

♪ ♪

Something has to be done.

I heard she still takes Mass
in her house.

The king's sister.

What will the people think?

That a younger brother
lets a woman follow

what her heart governs her to do.

I'll write to her, though.

- You will go see her.
- Will I indeed?

I want a prayer meeting
with those of the true faith.

Catherine too.


She was my stepmother.
She is now my aunt.

I suppose she is.

A well-played hand by all there.

I want to see more of Thomas.

I want him more at court,
not just attending the council.

This is Thomas as in...
m-my brother Thomas?


Just because you hate him...

No, I don't hate him.

Cain hated Abel.

If only forgiveness had been
in their hearts, Uncle.

If only you held the scripture
a little more dear.

Familial bonds shouldn't be broken.

I love my brother.


When I was a boy,

we had a falcon.

We would go every day to play with it.

And then one day...


...it just became distressed,

started tearing its own feathers out.

Again and again, just...

peck itself till it bled.

And they told us it was mad

and we should break the falcon's neck.

But we said, "No, no.

"It can fly. It can hunt. It can live.

"Just... let it live.

"Who cares if the bird
does damage only to itself?

It's the bird's own business,
is it not?"

But no, they said,
"No, there's a sore there.

"Some creature

"or maggot

"has buried itself deep within the bird,

"and the bird
is just trying to get it out.

"All it wants to do

is stop the agony."

So my brother

breaks the falcon's neck.

And then none of the other
birds go near him.

Sometimes my brother
is so focused on here...

...he doesn't see around.

He can't see the consequence.

It's late.

I worry sometimes

that history's going to repeat itself.

What? That you'll have
to break his neck?

[SOMERSET] Sire, he's not the bird.

I'm the bird.

He's the sore.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

[THOMAS] Was that meant to be
some kind of warning to me?

That poor stag.

I'm quite chastened, quite...

[SIGHS] I'm quite dwarfed
by you and your magnificence.

Please, sir.

[THOMAS] Princess, you may hiss
and tease and hate me,

but you may not disbelieve me

when I say that you are magnificent,

for you are.

And I believe

that you know you are.

I've made some excellent moves.

I'm further on in my position and...

and in my happiness

than I've ever been.

And yet here stands this madman

with you before me, and this
would be a most unuseful move.

And yet...

I want to play it all the same.

You may well ruin my life, Elizabeth.

And I'll f*cking let you...

if you'd like to.

Now I have seen sensible men
and sensible women

die all around me,
and yet I stay standing.

What disservice would I be doing them

if we did not try to enjoy
this life a little?

Do I have your permission?

Is this something you want?


Let me ask a better question, then.

Would you like me to stop?

Would you?

- No.
- No.


What do you think of me?

Do you think of me, Elizabeth?

All the time.

All the time?

- All the time.
- All the time?

God, I could do it all tonight.

[EXHALES HEAVILY] I really could.

Ah. You're a powerful tonic.

I'm gonna have to ration myself of you.

'Cause, God, I could.



♪ ♪

[DUDLEY] I suspect
the Princess Mary's faith

is not just ornamental.

We must be sure
her acceptance is not either.

You cannot change a person's heart.

You'd be surprised.


♪ ♪

You've been here,
many a month now, Ambassador.

We barely see you at court, sir.

My king wishes to know
that his favorite cousin

is in no danger here in England.


His Grace has heard
of great religious shifts here,

fanaticism, even.


I seem to remember you bearing witness

to that debacle at court.

A masque?

- A comedy?

♪ ♪

[PEDRO] Sirs.

I had heard the Whitehall party
had arrived.

♪ ♪

Sir Pedro saw the attitude
of court towards me

and the Catholic faith.

Since his services are
no longer required in Scotland,

he offered them to me.

The princess is held in high regard

by all who serve her brother,

above all, by me.

And as long as there is
a degree of discretion,

she is free to practice

what her conscience tells her is fit.

♪ ♪

I wish you'd tell me who you're
writing to with such...

impenetrable dedication

and such regret.

You know it is to Mary.

[KAT] But you won't say
what it concerns.

Well, then you do know who.

I know you think
the Lady Catherine most wise,

but there is no law against
seeking more than one opinion.

I've not spoken to Catherine.

I'm old enough to make my own
decisions without counsel.


Our country is at w*r,

not just with Scotland
and France but with ourselves.

In our hearts or in practice?

One leads to the other, does it not?





What are you f*cking playing at?

Have faith in me.

You're like a brother.

I'm not sure I want to be
held in the esteem

that you hold a brother.

I've seen you and your brother.

I consider you a smart man,

a man keenly aware of your surroundings.

Have some awareness
of your surroundings, man.

We're sitting in a Catholic Mass.

We serve a Protestant king.

We serve the country.

The king is a fanatic.
His sister is a fanatic.

Country's a powder keg.

Our duty is to stop anyone
lighting either fuse.


♪ ♪



♪ ♪

[MESSENGER] Your Grace...

the reply.

♪ ♪

Who do you have
in your prayers, Elizabeth?

I have our sister, Mary.

And for what do you pray?

For her to convert

so that her soul can be saved.

♪ ♪
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