The Romanoffs season 1, episode 4 recap: Expectation


Ever wondered what a day of facing your deepest darkest secrets is like? This week’s The Romanoffs shows us just that.

The Romanoffs is a unique anthology series, unlike anything we’ve seen in a long time. The concept is simply centered around different characters that presume or truly believe they have some sort of connection with the royal Romanovs of Russia.

Whether or not they are is the true essence of the series because it’s not so much about their possible royal connection as it is about their individual trials and tribulations. In this week’s episode, “Expectation”, Amanda Peet stars as Julia–a wealthy married woman with a pregnant daughter.

Her life seems fairly perfect from the outside, but the lies she’s accumulated over a lifetime come raining down on her over the course of this week’s The Romanoffs. The episode follows Julia as she makes her way around the city, doing one thing or another.

First up is a breakfast date with her daughter Ella, who is very pregnant and overdue by a week. Julia’s concern for Ella is overbearing in the usual motherly way but there’s a hint of resentment and anger right under the surface. She’s infuriated that her son-in-law is out of the country when his wife could be delivering at any moment, and she’s angrier with Ella for acting like a spoiled, entitled brat.

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But the episode focuses on Julia’s biggest secret of all–the fact that Ella is not her husband’s daughter, but his best friend’s daughter with whom she had an affair with many years ago.

Her husband’s best friend, Daniel, is no stranger to The Romanoffs. In fact, he was in episode 2 as the Romanoff historian, and episode 3 was about a mini-series that was based on his book.

Throughout the episode, there are flashbacks to Julia and Daniel’s younger days and then to conversations in the present.

It doesn’t quite all come together until they have an argument where he states that he is tired of being the creepy old uncle that just lingers around.

At that moment it becomes clear what the relationship is between them, and why he’s so invested in Ella and her unborn child. After storming out of an argument with Daniel, Julia gets a bit too drunk and forgets that she has to pick up Ella’s in-laws from the airport, so she does so in a taxi.

Picking them up was quite the adventure because, in her drunken, frustrated state, she lashes out of them because the pressure of keeping secrets is starting to weigh down on her more than ever before. Later that evening when getting ready for dinner, Julia imagines telling her husband about Ella’s father and the affair. She even imagines that he responds with love saying it doesn’t even matter.

But when reality sinks in, she doesn’t come clean about the affair, and it’s a secret she chooses to continue keeping to herself for now. During dinner that night, Julia falls to the ground in searing pain which we later find out is due to gallstones. With Ella by her side, she confesses that she’s upset that she may miss her grandchild’s birthday because she now has to get surgery.

During a moment of silence, Ella asks Julia if she would like to call “him” and takes her cell phone and dials Daniel’s number. Julia fills Daniel in on her gallstones and before hanging up the phone she says, “I love you too.”

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Now, don’t forget The Romanoffs fans that Ella is still in the room, and she is the one that dialed Daniel’s number for Julia. So has she known this entire time that something happened between Julia and Daniel? More importantly, does she actually know he’s her father?

We may never know the real answers to those questions but the understanding and love between Ella and Julia in that moment brought us peace because whether or not anyone else gets it–they do.

The Romanoffs releases episodes weekly every Friday on Amazon!