Breakups can be sad, but they can be empowering, too. Picture Bridget Jones stomping out of sex pest Daniel Cleaver's office and comparing him unfavorably to Saddam Hussein's unmentionables. Or Samantha Jones flinging a cocktail in Richard Wright's face and hissing, "dirty martini, dirty bastard."
Episode 4 of season 2 ("Beryl") shows Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) getting dolled up; she and Billy (Nick Hendrix) are due to announce their engagement that evening. But Billy's a no-show, because he's been shot in the leg during a duel with one of Margaret's friends. When confronted by his future bride, Billy admits that the friend was outraged by his behavior, which included sleeping with another woman. This is too much for Margaret, who really only considered Billy as a marital match because she thought it to be her best option.
"Pathetic, weak, contemptible fool," she says, turning to fix him with her frosty glare. "I never even wanted to marry you. You were only ever an act of charity, of desperation. And now you insult me? You? People like you don't get to insult people like me; you get to be eternally grateful."
She moves toward Billy's bed, leaning over and getting in his face. She keeps her voice level and barely blinks as she dresses him down, the diamonds in her beautiful tiara sparkling.
"Take a look at this face: a picture of disappointment and disgust," she says. "It's the look that every woman you ever know will come to share. This is what the next 40 years of your life will look like."
And with a jolt she spills his drink and dashes out the door, ignoring his pleas. Truly, a masterclass in dealing with slimy men.
As it happens, the real Billy Wallace didn't even live to see the next 40 years. He died about 20 years later, in 1977. Also, that duel was likely just a fictional folly. By most accounts he was indeed stepping out on Margaret, however, prompting her to cut him loose. The rest is history... and ridiculously good TV.
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