Ronvolio continue their attempts to uncover who is framing Benvolio and thwarting the Capulet/Montague peace. Meanwhile, Isabella travels to Venice to meet with the Doge. Get a sneak peek of this week’s Still Star-Crossed!
Still Star-Crossed returned last week with a vengeance, totally kicking things into high gear for our faves in Verona.
“Pluck Out the Heart of My Mystery” begins with Juliet’s cat frolicking around the shrine Lady Capulet creates for her daughter. The cat knocks over a vial of some sort and licks the liquid that spills out. The next morning, Nurse finds the cat dead under the bed. Nurse has the cat buried, only to have it jump out of the grave! Clearly that is the poison Juliet took, meant to give the illusion of death…
Speaking of Juliet’s death, Lord Capulet is still flustered by the message from Juliet’s ghost to “beware”. What is she warning her father about? In any event, he is very paranoid. In this midst of his ruminations, Benvolio comes to ask Rosaline out for a picnic. He assures Lord Capulet that Rosaline will be safe. Plus, it important they get to know one another. Though we know that, in actuality, Benvolio and Rosaline are working together to find out who is paying Capulet and Montague men to continue the feud between the families. Epic Ronvolio adventures will be EPIC!
Benvolio has a lead and, at first, he doesn’t want Rosaline to follow him. Where he wants to go would be improper for a lady. However, we know that Rosaline is no shrinking violet, so if Benvolio is going to the brothel, the place where Petruchio was most likely to “spill” his secrets (ew!), she’s going with! Once they arrive, Rosaline is a bit taken aback by the debauchery. However, she meets Stella (Benvolio’s mistress) as well as the woman that would entertain Petruchio. After some financial inducement, this woman shares that Petruchio came in with a friend, someone who helped him write “harlot” of Juliet’s statue. With the decription, Benvolio draws a sketch of the friend and they go from tavern to tavern searching for him. Eventually they learn the friend is Gramio Capulet.
On her way home, Rosaline makes a detour to visit her childhood home and Benvolio, not wanting her to walk alone, follows. Rosaline tells Benvolio about how her father was murdered by Montagues. While the Capulets got revenge, the Montagues came back and on and on with the vicious circle of the feud. It’s a phenomenally well-done and emotional scene from Lashana Lynch about the price women pay for the violence their men perpetuate.
When Benvolio returns to the tavern, he finds Gramio and gives him chase. Unfortunately, a masked person kills Gramio with Benvolio’s sword so Benvolio will be blamed and, by the new law of Verona, sentenced to death. Thank goodness Rosaline comes upon the scnee and sees everything! While Benvolio runs to hide, Rosaline runs to Escalus for help.
Meanwhile, Escalus is dealing with the fallout from the death of Venice’s ambassador (Donato) during the Ronvolio betrothal ceremony. Apparently Donato was brother to the Doge (leader) of Venice and he is not happy that his brother was left to die in the street. Escalus is friends with the new Venetian ambassador Lazzara, yet, the promise of justice and even financial reparation won’t be enough to make ammends. In a closed-door meeting (one Isabella tries and fails to get into), Lazzara suggests that the Doge might be convinced to let go of his animosity in exchange for some time with Isabella, just a night or two. Escalus defends Isabella’s honor, basically by punching Lazzara in the face. Interestingly, when Isaballa learns of this, she isn’t as enraged as Escalus.
Lord Montague’s younger sister, Tessa, returns to Verona ready to scheme and plot. But to what end? Tessa’s next stop after seeing her brother is to visit Isabella. And Tessa encourages the Princess to go to the Doge and manipulate him to do her bidding. I’m just concerned that, whatever results, might not be in Escalus’ interest.
Both Rosaline and Lord Montague go to Escalus to plead Benvolio’s innocence. Rosaline is a very competent advocate, even though Escalus is jealous of the fervor with which she speaks on Benvolio’s behalf.
With encouragement from Tessa, Lord Montague agrees to turn Benvolio in and asks to marry Rosaline himself. (WHATTTT?!) Benvolio hides with Stella and convinces her to run away with him… or so he thinks. She turns him into Lord Montague for money. It’s a shame because Benvolio is so genuine in his affection for Stella. But, as someone said on twitter, boo, you can’t turn a hooker into a housewife!
Elsewhere, Nurse, cleary distruaght from the cat’s sudden reanimation, goes to Friar Lawrence for help. But we all know that the friar is well aware of the conspiracy and evil the Nurse speaks of. Friar Lawrence decides to leave Verona and, on his way out of town, runs into Benvolio. Benvolio begs for the friar’s help, for information about the sinister plot unfolding in the city; he receives no aid. In fact, Friar Lawrence alerts the authorities to Benvolio’s whereabouts!
The episode then presents us with a massive plot twist–the masked man who’s been prolonging the Capulet/Montague feud? IT’S PARIS! *CRIES* Like a fool, I’ve been out here shipping CountLivia, only to learn that Paris is scheming with Lady Capulet and using Livia for information and Juliet, Romeo, and Rosaline. Why would Paris and Lady Capulet want the violence between families to continue? How do they benefit?
A desparate Benvolio makes his way to the only person he can trust, the only person who believes his innocence, Rosaline. It’s an interesting take on the iconic Romeo/Juliet balcony scene. Benvolio believes Friar Lawrence knows the truth behind who has framed him and plans to follow to the abbey that’s a day’s ride away. Rosaline agrees to go with him and leaves a note for Livia. Lady Capulet, who is searching for Rosaline to ask about the circumstances of Juliet’s death, sees Rosaline ride away with Benvolio. Lady Capulet hides the note and alerts the house to Rosaline’s kidnapping at the hands of Benvolio.
In this week’s episode, “Nature Hath Framed Strange Fellows in Her Time” (written by Brian Stampnitsky and Christina M. Walker, directed by Ericson Core):
When Benvolio finds himself in serious trouble, he surprisingly turns to Rosaline for help. Meanwhile, Princess Isabella travels to Venice to try and make peace with the Doge, but quickly discovers he has other intentions. (via ABC)
Judging from the synopsis and images, we’ll spend quite a bit of time with Isabella in Venice and it looks like she might meet a new adversary.
Check out this new clip where Benvolio and Rosaline have tracked down Friar Lawrence to the abbey outside of Verona:
— Still Star-Crossed (@StarCrossedABC) July 15, 2017
*SIGH* I still don’t understand why Friar Lawrence is being so shady!
Watch the new episode Saturday, July 15 at 10p/9c on ABC and come live tweet with me!