The Romanoffs season 1, episode 1 premiere recap: The Violet Hour


The series premiere of Amazon’s anthology series, The Romanoffs, is off to a royally spectacular start!

The Romanoffs is Amazon’s latest drama and an anthology series created by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. One episode in and I have to say I’m hooked, which is saying a lot considering its an 84-minute episode. From the get-go, the series brings you into the heart of the story and you’ll be surprised to see a familiar face dare I say, two-sided face (I know, I know–lame joke) in the form of The Dark Knight’s Aaron Eckhart AKA Harvey Dent.

Each episode of the series is meant to focus on families who believe that they are descendants of the royal Russian family, The Romanovs. Now, Amazon is doing it a little different this time around and has only released two episodes on premiere day, with more to come in the future weeks.

The premiere takes place in Paris as we are introduced to Eckhart’s character, Greg, who is a descendant of the Russian royals and lives with his ridiculously annoying girlfriend Sophie. She has ulterior motives that involve eyeing Greg’s wealthy aunt’s beautiful apartment. Given that Greg is the last remaining relative, it’s natural that the apartment would be passed down to him.

The Romanoffs is quick to have us invested with the characters immediately and as abrasive as she is, I sort of loved Aunt Anushka. She’s rude, super French, and has an aura about her that oozes elegance and fancy things, but boy, she is relentless.

Credit: Amazon

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Sophie is counting down the days until Anushka takes her last breath but her perfect health prevents her from closing her eyes for good. She is so desperate for Anushka to die that she is willing to take her life. I told you, Sophie is horrible.

But the best part of the series premiere is the caretaker that comes in to handle Anushka’s day to day needs. She’s known to cycle through them often and the next one up is a young Muslim woman named Hajar Azim. Immediately, Anushka is awfully horrible to her–talking down to her about her faith, lifestyle choices, and overall background.

But Hajar isn’t broken down so easily and stands her ground against Anushka and prevails in a way that other caretakers have been unable to. But as each day goes by, Anushka starts to soften up to Hajar and befriend her. In fact, she makes a pit stop one day to change her will to leave everything in Anushka’s name. This happens after she falls incredibly ill and Hajar is there by her side taking care of her.

Greg and Sophie are nowhere to be found and vacationing which prompts Anushka’s decision to hand over her possessions to Hajar after she dies. Upon returning, Greg and Sophie are livid (well, just Sophie really) to hear what has happened in their absence and intend to make sure that it doesn’t come to fruition.

Credit: Amazon

Greg takes Hajar out for dinner where he kindly tries to say that Hajar cannot have the apartment but given how calm her demeanor she politely states that she didn’t make Anushka do anything and she doesn’t intend on giving up the apartment. Over the course of dinner, Hajar and Greg seem to hit it off and even take a romantic walk through the streets of Paris.

When Hajar falls and scrapes her knee, they head back to the hotel so Greg helps clean up her wound. And then, your guess is as good as mine as to what happens next. Yup, the two sleep together and before leaving Hajar assures him that this was the one and only time.

When Hajar returns to work the next day, her guilt leads her to tell Anushka that she can’t take the apartment and a feisty argument later, Hajar quits the job and leaves. This takes us to a time jump of two months where Greg comes to visit Anushka, who now has a new caretaker.

Of course, she’s nothing like Hajar but I’ve come to learn, no one really is. But then something unexpected happens (well, I might have seen it coming, but still), Hajar and her mom show up at the hotel to speak to Greg but run into Sophie instead–and they come bearing news. Hajar is pregnant.

Sophie, Hajar, and her mother go to Anushka’s apartment with the news and it’s already been made clear that there will be no abortion. As Sophie spews all her anger, Greg is taken aback with happiness as Hajar blurts out that she loves him. It seems like Anushka may be having a heart attack but she can’t contain her excitement over the relief that their family line will go on. And just like that, we get a random but lovely happily ever after.

Next. The Romanoffs season 1, episode 2 recap. dark

However, this leaves an angry, bitter Sophie out in the cold (and with no reward for sticking around for so long) so she grabs the Faberge egg from Anushka’s glass cabinet and storms out. Too bad the egg is fake though.

What did you think about The Romanoffs series premiere? Share your thoughts below!