Prince Escalus is trying his best to end the bloodshed that kicked offStill Star-Crossed” when Romeo and Juliet lost their lives. His idea involves members of the Capulet and Montague families marrying to unite the groups. Rosaline isn’t happy with this particular development, and she struggles with her new lot in life in “The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth.”

Rosaline becomes a Capulet Lady

Now that Rosaline is the official Capulet heir, she can’t be seen cleaning the household or waiting on her own family members. Instead, she’s officially a Lady Capulet, just like Juliet. What does this mean for her? She needs to be chaperoned, well cared for, and ultimately, kept in a cage.

She’s given Juliet’s room where the Capulets can keep an eye on her.

Not only is Rosaline being forced into a life she didn’t want, but she’s also being forced to live with the reminder that she played a role in her cousin ending up dead, being one of the only people Juliet trusted with her secret. Rosaline is living in her own personal hell.

Rosaline though is incredibly smart and determined, and while she keeps trying to appeal to those above her station for a way out, I’m waiting for the moment when she decides to start playing the system. There’s no way she can keep going without starting to manipulate her situation to her advantage.

Benvolio is more clever than you thought

Benvolio was presented as a pretty face who likes the ladies and holds a lot of family loyalty last week, but that’s about all we learned about him.

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There’s a larger focus on Rosaline than Benvolio in the series so far, but this week, we got to see that he’s a little more clever than we might have given him credit for.

When Benvolio is charged with getting dirt on the Capulet family, he stages a theft with the help of a little girl and cozies on up to the architect of the Capulet church, one the family has been working on for two generations, but suddenly halted construction on. As it turns out, the Capulets are broke. Benvolio doesn’t know specifics, but the Capulets were hoping to make money by marrying Juliet off, a luxury they no longer have.

It’s an unfortunate reality that women were treated as property and investments and were worth more to their families as the wife in a powerful union than they were as individuals. And it’s interesting to see the show touch on that, though it’s done more with the soapy intention of making Lord Capulet squirm when he’s instructed to have the wedding for Rosaline in the cathedral that he can’t afford.

Escalus shows his strength

There’s a lot of talk of just how the crown needs to rule in this episode. Escalus is caught up in being the leader his father would want him to be, and the man he wants himself to be. Rosaline spends much of the episode trying to appeal to him so that he won’t force a marriage between her and Benvolio. Escalus spends much of the episode trying to figure out how to get what he wants (Rosaline) and do what’s good for the kingdom.

As a result, when the families are feuding during his political dinner, Escalus decides to make a show of force by putting a fork through a man’s hand to make a point. It’s a nice show of strength that gives everyone pause, though it doesn’t seem to get through to Escalus himself as he, again, tells Rosaline he can’t do what he wants in his position. Rosaline, on the other hand, points out that he’s the only one who has any freedom, and she convinces him when they get the chance to speak alone, that he should exercise it. He decides he can’t force her to marry Benvolio because he loves her.

We all know that’s not going to last as soon as he says it though, right? Escalus cannot make up his own mind to save his life, or, as the case may be, Verona. He wants to be strong but bends to his own weaknesses and the political weaknesses of his situation, and frankly, it’s tiring. We’re only two episodes in and I don’t care much about what kind of relationship he had or will have with Rosaline when he can’t make up his mind and can’t be up front with Rosaline about what’s going on.

Who killed Rosaline’s father?

Rosaline is quick to remind everyone, repeatedly, that she and Livia lost their father thanks to a Montague murdering him. It’s repeated so often, in fact, that I’m starting to wonder if it’s even true. Is it possible that it was someone else who killed him? A Capulet even? Or even a member of a lesser-known family?

We’ve already seen Juliet’s monument desecrated, and in tonight’s “Still Star-Crossed,” Romeo’s body is hacked apart by an unknown figure. Someone is going through an awful lot of trouble to keep everyone angry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all of these things were connected to one another.

The verdict and what’s next

Still a fun episode, but not quite as entertaining as the pilot. “Still Star-Crossed” needs to lay off the back and forth nature of its storytelling in order to keep people engaged. Fans will get tired of being yanked around.

2.5 out of 5 stars

In next week’s “All The World’s A Stage,” Escalus must convince the citizens of Verona that Rosaline and Benvolio are in love, while Livia gets closer to Paris, and a conspiracy continues to threaten the peace between the families.