One of the best characters to come out of Season 1 of The Royals was Elizabeth Hurley's currently evil Queen Helena. She was one of the few characters left in England at the end of the season, as many of the other characters went their separate ways once the legitimacy of the royal family was thrown into doubt by Cyrus' scheming. And, while I'm sure by Episode 2 of Season 2 everyone will have converged on the palace once again, what Season 2 really needs to work on is redeeming Helena. Even though the reveal that her plot was a villainous one is interesting, that's not a good long term plan for the show, which has very few interesting "good" characters after the death of King Simon.
True, she's not the most moral character on the show. She did he cheat on her husband and sleep with her daughter's sort-of boyfriend. But, at the same time, it shouldn't be that hard to redeem her — she's played by Elizabeth Hurley, who's certainly one of the most charming members of the cast by far, and her character deserves a chance for redemption. The Royals may not be Shakespeare, but it needs an Act II change of heart for the Queen/Queen Mother. Here's how the show could get the job done.
1. She Could Stop Collaborating With Cyrus
Cyrus started as a delightfully twisted Disney villain, but he's quickly escalated to a truly bad guy. I think even Helena would be shocked at how far he's willing to go. So, maybe once she stops being #TeamCyrus, she can get back to being a supportive mother for her children, and a good queen for the people.
2. She Could Get Emotional
She's been lambasted by her children for being cold and unfeeling, so another scene where she truly breaks down is desperately needed. It will help her seem more sympathetic to show that she does care about those she loves.
3. More Lipgloss! Always More Lipgloss
This show's idea of what the royals are allowed to wear for formal functions is way more Gossip Girl than Queen Elizabeth II... and it's marvelous. Keep doing what you're doing, E!
4. Show Her Life As A Commoner
One of the things that Helena's always had on the show is her outrageous wealth. But as an American viewer, there's something about me that just wants to see her claw her way from nothing to everything. We know she wasn't born into aristocracy, so seeing her past can help viewers connect with her.
5. Help Us Empathize — Or At Least Sympathize With Her
The stakes of the show are outsized like a nighttime soap. But Helena's sad love story might work better if we knew where her ambitions end and her actual care for her family begins. And what she'll do if she can now freely pursue her relationship with Captain Lacey — that is, if they're planning to reveal he wasn't really shot. (Hey, anything can happen on this show.)
6. Just Give Her Way More Hysterical Lines
Hurley is at her best when given witty jokes to deliver. The quickest way to redeem Queen Helena for Season 2 of The Royals would be to explore what Hurley does best: and that's being funny and charming. November can't come soon enough.