Still Star-Crossed – Something Wicked This Way Comes

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By: Stacy Miller

Benvolio’s (Wade Briggs) life hangs in the balance in the Season Finale of “Still Star-Crossed.”  The episode begins with the accused Montague being brought back Verona.  Rosaline (Lashana Lynch) is happy to see her sister Livia (Ebonee Noel).  Count Paris (Torrance Coombs) is hailed a hero by Lord Capulet (Anthony Stewart Head) for “rescuing” Rosaline and bringing Benvolio in to face justice.  If only Lord Capulet knew that the accused is really the victim and the “hero” is actually the villain.  But Paris has Verona falling at his feet; I guess it will make things easier as he moves in for the takeover.  Lady Capulet (Zuleikha Robinson) tells Rosaline that it is good to have her home. At a celebratory dinner, Paris is really playing up the whole thing as he talks about Rosaline’s bravery and Benvolio’s weakness.  And, of course, his (Paris) role in Benvolio’s capture.  Poor Benvolio, labeled a kidnapper and murderer he’s facing the gallows as no one (except Rosaline) will speak for his innocence. Rosaline is desperate to get her sister alone so she can warn Livia about Paris, but the sneaky count is keeping a watchful eye on Rosaline. After she leaves, Count Paris tells Lady Capulet that her niece must be silenced permanently as she knows the truth about him.  But Lady Capulet has changed her tune.  She’s no longer like, “Rosaline must die.”  Lady Capulet tells Paris that she shouldn’t have ordered him to kill both Benvolio and Rosaline because she knows how that would have made Juliet feel; her daughter would have never condoned Rosaline’s murder.  But Paris reminds that Rosaline knows too much and has to be eliminated.  If it is discovered that they (Paris and Lady Capulet) have been in cahoots planning for him to take over Verona, Benvolio won’t be the one who’s executed.

Rosaline arrives at Prince Escalus’ (Sterling Sulieman) palace and requests an audience with him.  She wants to tell him that Count Paris is the real threat to Verona, but Escalus has something important to tell her first.  And what he has to tell her is that he loves her. Escalus, you sure waited long enough!  If only you had said these words sooner instead of trying to marry Rosaline off to another man, think of all the heartache you could have spared. Although Rosaline may be happy to finally hear Escalus proclaiming his love, she has more urgent things on her mind. Namely saving Benvolio’s life!  Rosaline tells Escalus that she lied when she said that Benvolio kidnapped her.  She admits that she left willingly with Benvolio to find out who was the real culprit responsible for Verona’s troubles.  And that person is Paris.  Rosaline tells Escalus how Count Paris threatened Livia’s life if she (Rosaline) didn’t lie. Prince Escalus thinks that Rosaline is the one who’s lying to save Benvolio’s life. Besides, it doesn’t whether Rosaline’s claims are true.  Escalus thinks that Benvolio’s death is necessary; the execution of a Montague will help to bring the city of Verona closer together. What’s the life of one man compared to the city’s unity?  Escalus is jealous that Rosaline seems to have feelings for Benvolio.  She reminds that if he (Escalus) hadn’t insisted upon she and Benvolio marrying, she wouldn’t have grown to care for Montague. So, this is all your fault Escalus! (My words, not hers). Rosaline tells Escalus that she’ll bring him proof of Benvolio’s innocence if he delays the execution for twenty-four hours. Very well, Escalus grants Rosaline a day to deliver him the proof.

Princess Isabella (Medalion Rahimi) returns home from Venice and tells her brother that she got the treaty signed.  She expresses concern that Lord Montague (Grant Bowler) may be planning something, but Escalus assures he has everything under control.  But really, what would he have said? “That’s great sister, you got the treaty signed and are more of a ruler than me; I’m having so much trouble handling all the problems in the city, can you give me any advice?”

Meanwhile, Rosaline visits Benvolio in the dungeon.  He’s angry that she lied that he kidnapped her. Rosaline tells him that she had to because Paris would have killed Livia if she hadn’t. But she told Escalus the truth about Paris and the prince has given her twenty-four hours to bring him proof.  Rosaline says that she will be talking with the nurse (Susan Wooldridge) to get her to tell everything she knows about Paris. When she leaves, Rosaline keeps her word and goes to the nurse, who tells her that about the confession to overhearing what Lady Capulet and Count Paris were plotting.  Rosaline begs the nurse to go to Prince Escalus and tell him what she knows.  But the nurse doesn’t want to betray Lady Capulet yet she does promise that she will sleep on it and make her decision in the morning.  However, the next day the nurse is found at the bottom of the stairs, dead.  Lady Capulet is deeply saddend. When they are alone, Count Paris admits to killing the nurse to keep their secret.  Paris is racking up quite a body count!

Rosaline has to return to Escalus and tell him that she was unable to bring him proof. As her time is up, Benvolio will die. Later, Prince Escalus has Lord Montague and Lord Capulet declare a truce:  Upon the execution of Benvolio, the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues will end.

Tessa Montague (Claire Cooper) is angry when she learns that Lord Capulet burned down the cathedral.  She reminds her brother of their deal.  We learn that Lord Montague poisoned their brother and was supposed to poison little Benvolio as well, but decided not to kill his nephew.  Because he showed mercy, Benvolio is bringing down their family says Tessa.  She promises not to reveal what Lord Montague did as long as he agrees to take the truce.  Lord Montague knows that Tessa is hiding something that happened in Scotland because she is believed to be dead. The Montagues, a family of secrets and deception!  Tessa goes to see Benvolio in the dungeon and tells him that his uncle poisoned his father. When Lord Benvolio visits Benvolio, his nephew says that Tessa told him what he (Lord Montague) did.  Benvolio always wondered why his uncle hated him and now he knows, it is because he (Benvolio) reminds him (Lord Montague) and Benvolio’s father.  Benvolio tells his uncle that Friar Lawrence (Dan Hildebrand) knows who has been plotting against their family but has taken the truth away with him.

Meanwhile, Paris convinces Livia that they should run off and elope. When Rosaline learns that her sister has run off with Paris, she confronts Lady Capulet who says that Rosaline doesn’t need to worry because Paris would never hurt Livia. Rosaline’s words that “Juliet would be ashamed of you” haunt Lady Capulet, who admits to Lord Capulet that she knows why Juliet’s ghost has been appearing to them with the warning of “beware.” It is because of her (Lady Capulet) and all she’s done. Lord Capulet urges his wife to tell the truth about what she’s done.  But as they are leaving to speak with Prince Escalus, the Capulets are detained by some men posing as guards.  They work for Paris.

Paris and Livia are now man and wife.  After they have consummated their marriage and Paris walks out of the room, Livia finds the letter Rosaline wrote to tell her that she was leaving with Benvolio.  It’s obvious now that her sister wasn’t kidnapped and Paris knew it!  Livia confronts her husband and Paris tells her that he doesn’t want to lie to her. Livia feels betrayed. Paris tells her that he is taking her back to his family home. Poor Livia, it looks like the honeymoon is over!

Rosaline goes to see Benvolio and apologizes for failing to save him. And they finally kiss!  The next day as Rosaline prays in the chapel, Benvolio is lead to his execution. But before Benvolio loses his head, Prince Escalus does the right thing and calls it off.  He says that he knows that Benvolio is innocent because he trusts the person who told him so.

As the episode closes, archers on nearby buildings shoot arrows at the crowd below.  One of them strikes Prince Escalus. Benvolio and Rosaline help get him to safety.  High on top his steed, Count Paris flanked by his army says, “The new Prince is here.”

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