The Tudors: Episode 2-5
(S02E05) This was by far the heaviest episode of The Tudors I've seen. I'll get to my review of the heavier parts later. First, however, I think I'll begin with some of the lighter parts of the episode, all of which were provided by the Pope. I know I've said it before but Peter O'Toole is an invaluable addition to this show. All of his scenes were impeccable tonight (not really anything different from any other night). I think by far his best scene was after Michelangelo threw a tantrum and used foul language when one of his apprentices didn't paint Moses right. Also great but a little haunting was the pope's mention of Cardinal Fisher's martyrdom. He had this eerie expression on his face while he "lamented" that he would not be able to die for Christ like Fisher.
Read on after the jump for my full review of The Tudors...
Now the heavier stuff. There were three deaths this episode. Anne lost her baby. Bishop Fisher lost his head. And Thomas More almost lost his privates but ended up only losing his head (to think, he only lost his head). Sheesh. Let's talk about Anne first since she was largely in the background tonight to make room for the departure of Sir Thomas More. As I said already, she lost the baby. Of course, back then, it was considered the woman's fault if she miscarried or had a stillbirth. Henry read into the events as God not blessing his marriage.
Thomas Boleyn was already worried he's going to lose his head if Anne doesn't get it together and produce a male heir. We got to see how cold Boleyn is to his daughters and how he treats them like cattle, just goods to be traded for his benefit. I'm glad we finally saw this side of him. I thought up until now that The Tudors painted Thomas Boleyn rather generously. From what I've learned / read about him, he was an ambitious man who cared nothing for the feelings of his family, especially his female family members. It's even surmised that he offered up his own wife as mistress to Henry VIII. Furthermore, Nick Dunning plays a much better cold-hearted father than a caring one.
But let's get to who actually did lose their heads tonight. While Bishop Fisther's execution was clearly the appetizer to the main course that was Thomas's death, I have to say, Fisher's death was equally moving. I watched this screener on the plane to New York and I had to choke back a few tears during Fisher's speech. And when the crowd started blessing him and shouting their support, I really almost lost it. It was very compelling.
Finally, we have the execution of Sir Thomas More. If Peter O'Toole is an invaluable addition to The Tudors, then Jeremy Northam is an incredible loss. I will miss his pious-but-not-self-righteous version of Sir Thomas.
Other Comments / Historical Tidbits:
- I was thanking my lucky stars that Showtime doesn't share HBO's feeling about showing gore and blood on their show. I do NOT have to see the beheading. The nicely edited axe fall into Henry's scream into the blood flooding across the cross that had dropped out of More's hand was quite enough, thank-you.
- Mary Boleyn was not only the mistress of Henry VIII but it's believed that she was King Francis's mistress as well. It's also rumored (but not mentioned in The Tudors) that Mary Boleyn gave Henry two children during their affair, Catherine and Henry. However, neither child was acknowledge by the king and both carried the last name of Mary's first husband William Carey. So, on The Tudors, they skipped to her third child, the one with William Stafford.
- How much longer do you think it will be before Henry casts off Anne entirely?
|Henry VIII||105 (23.2%)|
|the Pope||39 (8.6%)|
|Charles Brandon||150 (33.1%)|
|Thomas Boleyn||4 (0.9%)|
|Thomas More||113 (24.9%)|
|Bishop Fisher||5 (1.1%)|
|Mark Smeaton||13 (2.9%)|
|George Boleyn||4 (0.9%)|
|Thomas Cromwell||19 (4.2%)|
|Thomas Wyatt||1 (0.2%)|