The Empress season 1 – the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph

September 29, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Netflix, Plot Points, Streaming Service
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This article, “the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph,” contains spoilers regarding the Netflix original series The Empress season 1.

The Empress is a period drama based on the actual events of the Duchess Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie in Bavaria (played by Devrim Lingnau), who later became Austria’s empress. “Sisi,” for short, the story follows her marriage to Franz Joseph I, the Emperor of the Austrian Empire (played by Philip Froissant), and mainly, her acclimation into the royal court. And what a bumpy ride it was. As soon as she arrives from Bavaria, it’s a vastly different atmosphere. The man she fell in love with, full of empathy and kindness, who wants nothing more than to help the Austrian people, is the target of death threats. Franz even survived an assassination attempt by the revolution uprising where the mantra, “for the people,” has become a common theme. In the series’s beginning, they have hung five conspirators for an attempt on his life, where one pretended to be a royal guardsman and managed to stab the young emperor in the neck.

Franz Joseph, however, survived.

The Empress season 1 – the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph

The new marriage to the empress has given the revolution a unique opportunity to overthrow the royal court. At the end of the first episode, two prominent revolution members, Ego (Merlin Rose) and Ava (Almila Bagriacik), have a plan. This means the royal family will be setting up staff, filled with a dozen “ladies-in-waiting,” who tend to the empress seven days a week, 365 days a year. A former chambermaid of the French countess Leontine of Apafi, who is headed to Vienna to work for the royal court. Ava emerges from the woods and pretends to be a woman running away and in danger.

While she shows concern, Ego storms the carriage, killing the countess and the driver. Ava takes on her persona. (LinkedIn would have been a massive help in this case). She wears the poor woman’s clothes and arrives for the job. Her mission? To get close to the empress and feed information back to Egon. There is also a third member, Elsa, who is the go-between to send information back “for the people.” However, her rival, a fellow servant named Amalia, is suspicious of her, especially since Ava doesn’t speak a word of French.

Ava becomes conflicted because she sees a change happening inside the royal court as she gains Elisabeth’s trust. The empress has empathy, something she would make her beloved late in life. Ava fails to report vital information when they go on a hunting trip to Egon or Elsa, which would have been a perfect ambush. Egon questions Ava’s loyalty. However, she does convince him she still wants a revolution.

A knife is planted in the ground near a back entrance, and Egon dresses up as a royal guardsman. As he sneaks into a preplanned backway, a dozen armed men arrive, saying they know his plan. As they ask him to put down his weapon, he yells, “For the people!” He cannot finish the sentence before he is shot to death. Ava is grief-stricken, choosing which may be best for Austria, which is the current emperor and empress in charge. Elsa confronts Ava, saying if she ever leaves the palace gates, she will be murdered.

Lastly, Amalia has figured out Ava’s secret. She now has located a picture of Ava as a former chambermaid of the former countess and the bloody dress stuffed in her closet. She is about to tell Sophia and show her a bloody dress that Leontine of Apafi was murdered in when Ava confronts her. Before explaining, Amalia tells her how she must protect her “calling” of being a lady-in-waiting. Oh, and she adds Ava is scum. Big mistake because Ava then pushes her over the railing, and she falls multiple stories to her death.

Ava’s secret, for now, is safe, even though it seems another lady-in-waiting witnessed the murder.

Additional reading for The Empress (2022) season 1

Who died in The Empress season 1

The review for The Empress season 1

You can watch this series on Netflix.

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