The Empress season 1, episode 6 recap – the ending explained

By Marc Miller
Published: September 29, 2022 (Last updated: January 27, 2024)
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The Empress does what the very best streaming series and films do — transport you to another time and place.

This recap of the Netflix series The Empress season 1, episode 6, “The God Who Us Has Freedom Sent,” the ending explained, contains spoilers.

The Empress closes its season, and all the conflicts come to a head. We are talking about Sophia’s power moves against Elisabeth (played by Devrim Lingnau) and Maxi. Franz (played by Philip Froissant) and Maxi not only standoff about who should be emperor but who owns Elisabeth’s heart. Ava must draw a line with the empress or the revolution in the sand while trying to keep Amalia from exposing her secret.  Of course, all with stunning imagery. For example, Elisabeth walks into an angry mob with torches and her reflection while riding a white horse from the wading pool as she races across the palace grounds. The Empress had a fantastic freshman season. The conclusion does what the best streaming series and films do — transport you to another time and place.

The Empress Season 1, episode 6 recap – the ending explained

Elisabeth has gone over to the dark side, it seems. Instead of being the dutiful wife to Franz and bearing his children, she is out drinking all night with his brother, Maxi. If you cannot beat them, join them. I am not sure, but the empress who cared about the people? We hope she is still somewhere inside her.

Franz still has a soft spot for our Elisabeth; even after gifting her a gallant white horse, he must draw a line in the sand, even though he is having his mother take care of it for him. After bringing her in and the royal guard blocking her from horseback riding outside the grounds, Sophia tells Elisabeth that she has two options. One, they can annul the wedding where she can go freely back to Bavaria or follow the rules of the house. By the way, the rules are stricter than before—appointment with her husband, accompanied by a supervisor, and no more unlimited ladies-in-waiting. She is basically a prisoner with plenty of yard time.

Maxi is telling the truth to the cabinet that the Russians leaving the border states out of intimidation is greatly exaggerated. The cabinet members are nervous. They are putting their lives at risk, after all. They reassure Maxi that they can arrest Franz tonight. He even approaches his mother about the idea, who will not have it. She says, “Only God shall choose the emperor.” Maxi points out she chose the last ones as if she does not know she has playing God all along.

Case in point, later, when a high-ranking member of their cabinet tells Maxi that Franz’s plan worked and the Russians are retreating, the sniveling brother refuses to call off the plan until he speaks to his mother. To his face, Sophia tells Maxi that all the men in her life are weak and not worthy of being emperor. She has been running things for years as the dutiful wife, but Elisabeth played the game to stay in control.

And that is when both storylines converge. Franz refuses to see his wife and, when sore back in her room, Maxi arrives. Lightheaded with the world spinning around her, she tells her brother-in-law that his mother wants Elisabeth gone. In a classic forbidden romance trope, as Elisabeth is sitting on the floor hyperventilating, he comforts her by saying that soon there will be a change, and he wants the empress by his side. They kiss, and after a long couple of seconds that felt like an eternity, she pulls away. Then she tells the very blonde Michael Cera lookalike to leave. Soon, Ava comes to her side, still pretending to be a lady-in-waiting. She examines the empress and finds she is pregnant.

The only problem is Maxi must boast about his almost certain takeover of the throne and that Elisabeth has indicated she will be by her side. Franz dutifully punches him in the face and has him sent away. When Elisabeth talks to Franz about the wonderful news, she cannot get a word out before he accuses her of scheming behind his back. She calls him a coward; he calls her a spoiled child. Elisabeth decides to go back to Bavaria.

Lastly, Ava stabs her handler, Egon, in the back. We presume she alerts the royal guard of the plot to kill the emperor. They kill him on the spot while screaming, “for the people!” Ava’s other contact, Elsa, confronts her and says if she ever leaves the grounds, she will be killed immediately. Before Amelia can turn Ava in for being an imposter, Ava pushes her to her death over a railing in the palace. Meanwhile, Theo arrests Maxi for treason, or that’s what we think is happening.

The ending

The season ends with Franz running after Elisabeth, who ends up climbing out of her carriage and into the crowd of angry citizens that block the gate. She walks among them and shows them empathy. Even taking a couple of them into her arms. A servant reports back to Sophia that she has told the crowd she is pregnant — a power move that will gain her sympathy and popularity with the people.

What did you think of The Empress season 1, episode 6, and the ending? Comment below.

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