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The Empress- Episode 4 Recap

Scene from The Empress Episode 4

The Russian troops were at the Austrian border, but Emperor Franz still wanted to prioritize the railway. Elisabeth reconciled with Franz the night of their wedding.

The Empress (2022) or Die Kaiserin is a Netflix limited series about the Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria. There are 6 episodes in this series where Devrim Lingnau plays the role of Elisabeth and Philip Fraoissant plays the role as Emperor Franz Joseph.

Streaming on Netflix

The Empress - Episode 4 Summary & Recap

War in the family

The episode starts off with a flashback on how Franz became emperor. There was a revolution in Austria and this marked the end of the then emperor’s reign. That emperor was Franz’s uncle. Sophie told Franz that his father is too weak to be emperor and made sure Franz was crowned instead.

Back to the main storyline, Elisabeth had not bled for 30 days, and this was taken as a good sign as she might bear the royal heir. Elisabeth was forced to drink raw eggs and eat the placenta of a woman who recently gave birth to an eighth child. Although she disliked all these, Elisabeth felt happy whenever the emperor spends his time with her.

Meanwhile, France’s Napolean had severed diplomatic relations with Austria. The royal council were concerned and again, Sophie implored Franz to reinforce their troops. Believing that Nicholas Tsar’s son, Alexander views war more like himself, Franz decided to invite him over to Austria to wager peace. Maximillian (or Maxi for short) was present in the council but remained silent. Franz no longer trusted his brother, but Sophie recommended that Franz gives him something to fill his time. Therefore, Franz tried giving Maxi the role of Chief Commander of the Imperial Navy. Maxi took offence as he knew that Austria was not strong in Navy so he asked to be the Governor of Bohemia, but Franz could not trust his brother with such an important role.

Scene from The Empress
Franz having a meeting with his council. Photo: Netflix

From good to bad

During dinner, Sophie asked to postpone the Tsar’s son, Alexander’s visit because they need to make grand preparations. Elisabeth then suggested that they need not impress Alexander, but discuss political matters over a hunting trip. Emperor Franz loved Elisabeth’s idea and proceeded with it. Although Sophie disagrees with the idea, Franz had made up his mind. Sophie told Elisabeth not to join in case she was pregnant, but Elisabeth insisted on joining. On the day that they leave for the hunt, Sophie joined the royal couple. Meanwhile, Maxi made his move by telling the council in confidence that France’s Napoleon would support a new emperor.

The hunt went extremely well with Franz managing to barter peace with Alexander. However, things went south went Maxi showed up at the hunt. Maxi caught Alexander alone in the forest and told him the same thing he told the French- that Franz wanted the Russians and the West to destroy each other so that he could take the Ottoman Empire by himself. When he heard this, Alexander was extremely angry that Franz tried to fool him into peace.

Meanwhile, the hidden lady-in-waiting, Ava almost had her cover blown. She disguised herself as Leontine of Apafi but someone in the hunt knew the Apafi family and claimed to know “Leontine”‘s parents. However, when asked to speak french like the Apafi family, Ava could not do so. The other lady-in-waiting knew something was wrong with Ava.

Scene from The Empress Episode 4
Franz and Elisabeth greeted the Tsar's son, Alexander. Photo: Netflix

Things turned sour

Later that afternoon, Alexander led Elisabeth lost during their hunt. He made passes at Elisabeth and even suggested that he wanted Elisabeth in exchange for “Habsburg’s future”. Before he could do anything further, a wild boar appeared and the Tsar’s son started shooting it but he missed a few times. As the wild boar kept charging towards Alexander and Elisabeth, Elisabeth took her gun and shot the boar dead. Alexander was offended by this and went into an argument with Franz. He claimed that Franz was hiding something and Franz’s pledge for peace is too good to be true. When Franz demanded that Alexander removed his troops from the Austrian border, the two agreed to meet on the battlefield.

The hunt ended up badly and Sophie reminded Elisabeth that Elisabeth still does not know what she’s doing when it comes to politics. Franz was infuriated with his wife and headed back to the palace without her. He asked that Elisabeth returned the next morning.

But we know Elisabeth is not one to follow orders so she decided to head back anyway. When Maxi joined her carriage to console her, Elisabeth asked him to stay as she took comfort in his presence. The two then drank all the way back to the palace and returned drunk. To their surprise, Franz was informed that they had returned and Franz saw the two drunkenly getting out of the carriage. This angered the emperor even more as Elisabeth was getting closer to Maxi, who he did not trust. After Franz left, Elisabeth realized that she was bleeding from under her skirt, indicating that she was not pregnant.

Scene from The Empress Episode 4
Elisabeth killed the wild boar in a single shot. Photo: Netflix

Additional Observations From Episode 4

  • When Ava returned to the palace, she secretly met her comrade, Egon. Egon was angry that Ava did not tell them about the hunt because it was the perfect time to infiltrate the palace. However, after spending so much time with Elisabeth, Ava now believes that the royals are not that bad. She told Egon their plan was a mistake. Egon would not accept her words and asked Ava to quickly decide on which side she’s on.

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