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July 29, 2014

The Tudors: Episode 2-6

by Kristin Sample, posted May 4th 2008 10:19PM
Thomas Cromwell is played by James Frain. (S02E06) "It's called a printing press, my lord. And it will change the world." --Thomas Cromwell to George Boleyn

Thomas Cromwell continues to wage war on the Catholic Church. Henry is haunted by the death of Thomas More. A paranoid Anne loses her grip on her husband's affections. The turbulent royal couple try to fix up baby Elizabeth with King Francis's youngest son. George Boleyn marries, much to his dismay and even more to the dismay of his new wife Jane (not to mention the dismay of George's lover Mark Smeaton).

Just another day in the life of a Tudor. A review of tonight's show is after the jump...

We knew Henry would suffer enormous guilt over the murder of Thomas More. I was happy that guilt came in the form of a nightmare so that viewers got some very special "naked time" with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. As far as I'm concerned, it's always a good time for a "butt in the moonlight" walk. I like the nightmares better than the screaming we witnessed last week when Thomas's head came off. How about you?

Not only is Henry suffering night terrors about his decision to execute More, but also he is actively looking for excuses. In his conversation with Thomas Charles Brandon, the king directly blamed Anne for his err in judgment and the loss of his friend. I know this is naive but I felt a little indignant at Henry pointing his royal finger at his wife. I mean, firstly, Thomas Cromwell was just as influential in the demise of Thomas More. And secondly, Henry is the king. He does what he wants and only what he wants.

I mentioned Thomas Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, above. It seems after tonight that the duke has come full circle in his friendship with Henry. He began the first season Henry's confidante/drinking buddy, then fell out of favor (he's been banished twice from court), and now he's back to intimate walks in the gardens with the king.

Furthermore, I thought the scene where Henry asks the Duke to entertain the French Admiral was great. I thought of the last time Anne spoke with the king about Charles. The couple was walking in the garden and Anne cleverly suggested that the Duke be banished from court for questioning the king's decision to marry her. This time around she just blurted out her reaction. The scene was a good example of the renewal of the king/duke friendship and Anne's loss of total control.

I know I'm belaboring my discussion of the Duke but I have to say one more thing. (He's my favorite character. Can you tell?) I liked the story about his infidelity. It remained mostly on the sidelines but the scenes were just enough to give his character more dimension. Do you think they'll do anything else with it? Or was his cheating just a one-time affair?

The cast of The Tudors hangs out on set.

Other Comments / Historical Tidbits:

  • The play was fun. It's good to know "fart humor" was funny back even during the English Renaissance.
  • I loved the scene where Anne got stabbed. For a show that usually isn't all that stylized, the scene fit seamlessly. I knew she wasn't going to get stabbed (for real) and yet I still felt the suspense. It was placed nicely after Anne's fight with the king.
  • Anne's getting a little lazy in her marital affairs. She knew that Henry would need her to be constantly captivating. She signed on for a life where she walks a tight wire for his affection. I love watching her unravel. I didn't like her at all in season one (not that she was supposed to be a sympathetic character). But now, I love her scenes.
  • George Boleyn married Jane Parker tonight. I look to forward to the part she'll play in this mess. I won't say anything specific here but according to Wikipedia, Jane was involved in the political intrigue of Henry's court for the better part of her life
Who is your least favorite Boleyn?
Anne35 (15.1%)
Thomas109 (47.0%)
George65 (28.0%)
Mary23 (9.9%)

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Jenni Lee

FYI: Fart jokes have been popular for much longer than the Tudor era. In classical Greek plays bodily functions are often the butt (pun indented) of the jokes.

May 05 2008 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brilliantatbreakfast

Well, it's CHARLES Brandon, not Thomas Brandon, but this series plays so fast and loose with history, does it really matter?

I'm getting a sense that there's going to be a lot of material drawn from Phillippa Gregory's Tudor books, and if they take the series down through all six wives (and then Elizabeth's youth, please please please?), you'll see the role Jane Parker played in the whole Catherine Howard affair.

She makes a mean fruitcake to this day, though. :)

May 05 2008 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brilliantatbreakfast's comment
Kristin Sample

Ugh! What a mistake! Thanks for pointing that out. I swear it was Charles Brandon in my head.

May 05 2008 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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