My Lady Jane episode 4 recap: Bluebird Is Dead

Guildford Dudley (Edward Bluemel) in My Lady Jane episode 4 recap
Jane Grey's husband, Guildford Dudley (Edward Bluemel) (Image credit: Prime Video)

This My Lady Jane episode 4 recap contains spoilers for the Prime Video series.

Jane is made Queen of England, yet her troubles are only just beginning. Her first task is to find the people who tried to poison King Edward, although her mother wishes she would just get on with running the kingdom. Speaking of Lady Frances Grey, we're very much enjoying her entanglement charming buffoon, Stan Dudley... 

Jane looks more depressed to find she’s been named Queen than she did when she was told she was marrying the dashing Lord Dudley. Honestly, there’s no pleasing some people! Although if she wasn’t already a target for Lord Seymour and Mary (she was) then she’s even more of one now.

"Even her name is boring!" says Mary, as she vows to kill the new Queen herself. She promises Lord Seymour their children will reign for a thousand years once she sits upon the throne, but we reckon the slippery Seymour is starting to regret jumping into bed with Mary. She’s certainly not a woman for half-measures.

Meanwhile, Jane is still struggling to process the good news, like a woman who’s won the lottery but is annoyed to find she must go through the process of claiming the prize. In her defense, she’s heartbroken by the loss of her friend Edward, although his death had been on the cards for some time.

After hearing that her father-in-law was suspected of poisoning the late King, Jane carries out her own investigation. “Whoever killed Edward tried to kill us too...” Jane tells Guildford, presciently. “We must find them, we owe Edward that.” 

'You are Queen, act like it...' 

Jane’s mother cares not whether Lord Dudley is guilty or innocent (although she’s convinced he’s guilty) but wants Jane to embrace her new position and stop carrying on like Enola Holmes. “Margaret of Anjou had a saying,” she explains. “Live in the now!” Seeing as she was married to King Henry VI, who suffered a nervous breakdown that went on for decades, we’re not surprised to hear it.

However, Jane’s mother is correct, if her daughter does not act like a Queen then the people will not accept her. Monarchy is but a mirage and power resides where people believe it does etc etc.. Google ‘Cersei Lannister’ for more on this subject.

Jane’s first task is to decide on the fate of her father-in-law Lord Dudley. We bet he’s rueing the day he told her nakedly “no one cares what you want” now! The fact that Jane now sits upon the throne only adds to Seymour’s version of events. However, his clumsily-placed witness undermines that. “You’re lying and you’re not even good at it!” Jane tells the unfortunate woman during questioning, who then transforms into an Ethian and is killed as she tries to escape, providing Seymour a very convenient Patsy.

Elsewhere, Mary has hatched another dastardly plot to get rid of Jane, but roping Bess in to help her carry it out might not be the best plan. She’s something of an enigma in our story and her close bond to Petunia would suggest she’s one of the goodies. The Ethian then reveals herself to Bess, expressing regret that she wasn’t able to save the late King. 

Stan Dudley (Henry Ashton) and Frances Grey (Anna Chancellor)

Stan Dudley (Henry Ashton) and Frances Grey (Anna Chancellor)  (Image credit: Prime Video)

'I’m outfoxing Edward’s killer as we speak...' 

Convinced that Jane can’t cure his Ethianism, Guildford decides to run away to Florence, but is interrupted by his father, who’s been freed by Jane, who’s correctly deduced that Seymour is the real villain. Lord Dudley says he should stay and persuade Jane to name him King, rather than settle for the title of ‘Consort’, which makes the young Ethian realise why his father really persuaded him to marry Jane. It wasn’t to cure his Ethianism, it was for power. 

None of the youngsters seem remotely interested in the trappings of monarchy though, which perplexes Lord Dudley. ‘I’m a horrible monster for wanting my son to be King...” he says, rolling his eyes. “Don’t let your one flaw hold you back from greatness.”

Lord Dudley doesn’t know it yet, but he’s edging towards the realisation that Jane could be his family’s greatest asset — and not as a mere vehicle to get his family into power. She’s very much on to Seymour and invites him to a supper party that evening. “I’m outfoxing Edward’s killer as we speak,” Jane tells her husband, as her sisters search Seymour’s quarters. However, Mary - who seems to have flown under the radar as far as Jane is concerned - vows to attend and poison her with Tofana.

As an aside, we’d like to hear more about the pickled chestnuts Stan and Lady Frances Grey have been experimenting with though. Very saucy indeed. 

'Wine-fuelled dreams of us entwined...' 

While Jane manages to dodge the poison during a game of musical glasses at dinner, her sisters find a coded letter among Seymour’s belongings. “It’s the Alberti cipher,” says Guildford, impressing his new wife with his brains.

Also, while we didn’t much like Stan Dudley at the beginning of this tale, we have to say we’re now warming up to him very nicely. We think Frances Grey feels the same way, especially when he serenades her with a version of Moody Blues 1968 hit Nights in White Satin from the courtyard of her plush new pad. Presumably he has some pickled chestnuts in his pocket. “Even if I did need a husband, which I do not, then I wouldn’t choose you,” says Frances, playing hard to get. “You’re just not marriage material”.

Don’t give up Stan, the Grey girls can be difficult nuts to crack, but they’re worth the wait. However it’s not before Stan has let his wine-fuelled dreams get the best of him and revealed the truth about his part equine brother.

'Gods, I'm so naive!"'

News of the grooms all being dismissed from the royal stables has made Mary quite suspicious, while in said stables, Jane and Guildford have finally unearthed evidence that Mary and Seymour poisoned King Edward. This comes as a shock to Jane, who thought Mary loved her brother. “People are selfish,” says Guildford. “They’ll let you down.” We hope he’s not unburdening his conscience from some future act here.

Yet as she heads to court to share the evidence, she meets Mary heading to the stables and tells her she has proof of her regicide. It turns out to be a mistake as Mary overpowers her and eats the letter in which she spelled out her crimes, which would have been no mean feat considering parchment-making processes in the 16th century.

“Abdicate or die!” screams Mary as she throttles Jane. Is she dead? We hope not, because she’d miss out on seeing her beloved friend King Edward - whom the narrator reveals is actually alive — again. What an intentional obfuscation for the purposes of elevated intrigue! 

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Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.