The Romanoffs season 1, episode 2 recap: The Royal We


The second episode of The Romanoffs presents a struggling married couple–and a touch of Romanov history.

The Romanoffs has an interesting vibe to it and given that only two episodes were released to kick off the first season, we will have to hang tight to see where it all leads us. The Amazon anthology series focuses the second episode on a married couple that is doing therapy to work on their failing marriage.

Corey Stoll stars as Michael Romanoff, who as you can deduce, is related to the Romanovs. His soft-spoken wife Shelley Romanoff (Kerry Bishé) is eager to make their marriage, meanwhile, Michael seems like he could care less. Shelley decides to book a cruise for the two of them that is specifically for descendants of the Romanov family.

However, when Michael gets called into jury duty, it throws a wrench in their plan, one that is mostly intentional. After spotting a British woman by the name of Michelle Westbrook (Janet Montgomery) at jury duty, Michael becomes immediately smitten. In fact, he deliberately finds a way to delay jury duty so he can get a shot at talking to her and possibly more.

By delaying the verdict, Michael finds a way out of going to the cruise and can focus on finding an opportunity to talk to Michelle. Of course, the rest of the jury panel is frustrated given that the case is extremely straightforward but the heart wants what it wants.

Credit: Amazon

He uses the case to convince Michelle to visit the scene of the crime, banking on the fact that she is a huge fan of true crime. Their night leads them to a bar whereas the drinks continue flowing, inhibitions start to go away. It’s all but given that the two are going to hook up, and this all goes down at Michael and Shelley’s cabin in the woods.

It all plays out in a very sexy, dangerous way and goes into the next morning as the two share coffee together on the dock. It’s safe to assume Michael is head over heels for Michelle, but the same can’t be said about her.

Meanwhile, on the cruise, Shelley is enjoying learning more about Michael’s Romanov history and being treated to a lavish dinner and Russian themed skits. She meets a mysterious man played by Noah Wyle and the two have a very brief but romantic encounter that doesn’t result in sex but reminds the two of them that they aren’t very happy in their respective marriages.

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After returning from the cruise and finally picking a verdict, both Shelley and Michael return home and head right back to therapy. During their session, Michael breaks down in tears, awkwardly torn in pieces over Michelle.

It’s quite odd considering he isn’t his own person and everything he does is just an absorption of the person he’s around.

The Romanoffs takes a dark turn when Michael starts to veer towards obsession and continuously calls Michelle hoping to speak with her.

When she finally answers and agrees to meet with him it’s to simply tell him this can’t go on. She met her current husband while he was still married and she has no intention of being a homewrecker again.

Still refusing to let go of the idea of being with Michelle, Michael plans something dark and elaborate. He returns home and suggests that he and Shelley go on a hike the next morning. While it all seems innocent at first, the look in his eyes gives way to something a bit more sinister.

As the viewer, it occurs to you that he is going to murder his wife somehow and it becomes clear that he plans to push her off the cliff once they reach the top. And then it happens, as she stands to admire the beauty around her, Michael pushes her off the cliff.

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Much to his disappointment, Shelley starts screaming as she hangs on for dear life from the edge of the cliff. Filled with anger and frustration, Shelley storms away from Michael as he tries to play it off by saying he slipped by accident.

But she is not having it and knows exactly what he was trying to do and maces him before he comes any closer as she gets in the car and speeds off–leaving him behind in his pain and hurt. The episode closes as her sadness and anger transform into a smile on her face because she’s finally free.

Tune into Amazon Video on Oct. 19th to catch the next episode of The Romanoffs!