The Empress Season 1, Episodes 5 and 6 Review

The Empress. Image courtesy Netflix
The Empress. Image courtesy Netflix /

Elisabeth and Franz’s relationship is becoming quite complicated. In The Empress season 1 episodes 5 and 6, she finds herself pitted against closed-minded people in power, including her ridiculously cruel mother-in-law Sophie. She’s quickly losing interest in being Empress as it seems no matter what she does, it is never enough.

Her only reason for even staying is Franz but he is far from husband of the year. Will Franz lose the throne to Maximilian?

Will Franz lose Elisabeth? Will he lose everything?

The Empress Season 1 Episode 5 – Elisabeth is surrounded by idiots

This is probably the first episode of season 1 where I began losing hope for Elisabeth and Franz’s marriage. The subheading might sound mean but trust me it’s the absolute truth.

Elisabeth continues to struggle with palace life and protocol, as Franz begins to send troops to protect their borders against Russia. They literally miss each other that morning because Elisabeth snuck out to draw and smoke outside.

The two are in for a rough day as Elisabeth must meet with the people for the first time, while Franz must figure how to get the funds for the railroad. As we recall, the people are unhappy, which is no surprise considering the brutal treatment they get from palace security.

Elisabeth is instructed to not touch or engage with the people but simply show up and accept a gift. Naturally when they arrive to the factory where even children work in the very harsh conditions, Elisabeth decides to break protocol and go inside.

It’s obvious the working conditions are inhuman at least. She meets a little girl, who we see at the beginning of the episode with her brother.

Elisabeth gifts her, her palace shoes. This act outrages many and now she cannot be allowed to walk on the ground barefoot.

She is forcibly carried back into the carriage. The people see this, become angry at the thought that she can’t walk on her own and a riot ensues.

It is here that Elisabeth sees first-hand the unnecessary brutal behavior of the guards. Even adorable Karl betrays her when someone throws mud at his face.

When Elisabeth returns home, she is livid and tries to explain to Franz what had happened. He thankfully has the common sense to send his mother out of the room, but their argument quickly turns to passion.

The truth of the matter is as angry as they get with each other, they still love each other, but the passion is only going to go so far. This becomes increasingly apparent when Elisabeth once again leaves the bed in the middle of the night while a vicious storm rages outside.

As she wanders the quiet palace, she meets with Maximilian who practically offers her a chance to run away with him. Elisabeth actually considers it, as Maxmilian has yet to treat her unfairly like everyone else.

Now let’s backtrack a bit to Franz who is committing one of the biggest, most annoying tropes ever on television. Turns out his old lover, Louise the Countess, is now engaged to a man who can fund Franz’s railroad.

However, he did not agree to the war. Louise, ever the psychotic ex, who for some reason needs her ex to literally beg her for help, implies that if she helps him, he’ll need to help her.

In short, she wants him back and Franz stupidly kisses her back. Why?!

Why is it that every normal man who is happily married, sane of mind, immediately cheats the second a woman barely seduces them? Am I the only one who is bothered by this trope?

At this point Franz is still keeping his mother at arm’s length but he needed to throw her out of the palace yesterday. She is literally driving a wedge between him and Elisabeth for no good reason at all.

Meanwhile Maxmilian slept with another lady of Elisabeth’s court, Charlotte, and still plans to betray Franz. He’ll need the support of the Catholic Church, the army and then his mother.

And who would have guessed the reason he’s so cruel and jaded is because he lost his one true love. How will all this play out in the season finale?

The Empress Season 1 Episode 6 – Power Destroys

Although Elisabeth was more than happy to see her family leave after her wedding, she still seems to write to her father. However, he seems most unhappy to hear that she is starting to enjoy herself at the palace.

What Elisabeth isn’t telling him is that she’s practically given up. She’s partying and drinking all night long with Maxmilian, his friends and her ladies.

She stumbles back home, well into the morning, and avoids eating breakfast. Franz is far from pleased at her recent behavior.

However, he does feel guilty about their last fight and gifts her a beautiful white horse. Elisabeth immediately wants to ride him, but she cannot leave the grounds.

It seems people have been gathering by the gate and the area is deemed unsafe. The sight of the unhappy people, not knowing whether his plan will work to keep Russia at bay, and still needing funds for his railroad, is making Franz angry and anxious.

He thankfully has not responded or acted upon Louise’s orders. But he has yet to truly speak to Elisabeth, freely and openly about everything.

Because of this, Sophie is able to swoop in and speak to Elisabeth in private, essentially telling her she is not fit to be Empress. She shares the story of how her daughter died in pain as a child, and honestly this scene as a whole aggravates me.

That woman suffered a great loss, yes, and I did get teary eyed, however…that does not give you the right to act as you do. She gives Elisabeth two options; go home or stay but only see Franz at specific times.

To really drive the message home, she lies and says that Franz already knows and agrees to it. Elisabeth initially won’t leave, but her decision quickly changes when she discovers she’s pregnant.

This couldn’t come at a worse time because Maxmilian essentially tells her that Franz will be overthrown, and that he wants her with him. Elisabeth does not share the same feelings and desperately needs to speak to Franz.

He naturally meets with Maxmilian before she can speak to him, who lies and says that Elisabeth sides with him and his place on the throne. Initially, it seems Franz does not believe his brother but that quickly goes out the window when Elisabeth finally tries to tell him the good news.

He immediately believes everything his mother told him about her, but Elisabeth is quick to remind him that his mother wants her gone and that he married her because of her spontaneity, free will and spark. She decides right then and there that she will be leaving.

Leontine, meanwhile, we learned had killed the real Countess Apafi, and has to decide if she will aid in a planned assassination that will occur that evening. However, Countess Amalia has been obtaining evidence to prove Leontine’s treachery, including photos of the real Countess Apafi.

As darkness falls, Leontine did the right thing and betrayed her spy boyfriend, (I think that was who he was to her). He’s killed but the crowd outside the gates grew.

This means Elisabeth cannot leave. But she makes the ultimate power more, truly showing all her colors, by openly walking into the crowd of people.

She bows to them, tells them she’s pregnant, and most importantly, that she sees them. Franz witnesses the event from several gates away.

The same evening, its assumed Maxmilian is arrested as his plan did not work (there was no way he’d ever get approval from his mother). Russia forces did retreat upon seeing Franz’s army at the border.

But perhaps the craziest part of the whole episode, (that I knew was coming), is when Leontine kills Amalia by pushing her over the railing inside the palace. Did Charlotte see Leontine push Amalia?

Will Franz see that Elisabeth has been right all along about how they need to treat the people?

The Empress Season 1 Episodes 5 and 6 – Honest Thoughts

Ok…there is so much to unpack but I want to keep it as brief as possible. What Sophie doesn’t understand is that times change.

Yes, royalty needs to show that they are not the same as the people, otherwise they will not survive. However, when the people are so fed up with being treated differently to the point of riots/assassination attempts, you need to show you are one of people.

That is what Elisabeth understands and why she is surrounded by idiots. She needs to be a leader and role model who shows compassion and strength.

In all honesty, this is what Queen Elizabeth II understood and excelled at until her passing. As we reach more modern times, people aren’t going to need royal families as much anymore.

If Sophie wants her family to survive, she needs to allow Elisabeth to be an Empress. It is very obvious that Sophie always wanted the role, literally saying that none of her children are fit for it.

Which is completely untrue. Franz, as much as he’s struggling, is actually doing a great job.

As long as he stops listening to his mother, starts listening to himself and Elisabeth, his kingdom will thrive. On the other hand, Franz is both the problem and solution.

I know he won’t, but he needs to remove his mother from his court. It is the only way for his marriage, kingdom and sanity to survive.

I’m hoping so very hard that in season 2 we will see him completely ignoring anything his mother says. He knows she hates Elisabeth and yet he still listens to her.

It’s so heartbreaking to witness on so many levels. Admittedly, as much as Maxmilian would not make a great Emperor, he would by far be a better husband to Elisabeth because he, unlike Franz, would put her first.

He would absolutely throw his mother out of the court; he would confide in Elisabeth and be both husband and Emperor. But it looks like his dreams are over and now we await his fate in season 2.

Next. Mayor of Kingstown Jeremy Renner has been released from the hospital. dark

What did you think of The Empress season 1 episodes 5 and 6? Leave your answers in the comments below!

You can watch The Empress season 1 on Netflix.