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September 4, 2015

The Tudors: Episode 2-07

by Kristin Sample, posted May 11th 2008 10:13PM
Mark Smeaton and Anne Boleyn (S02E07) I need to point something out first. When they show Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the opening credits, he stares into the camera and widens his eyes just a little bit at the last second. It's perfectly sexy and haunting and dangerous at the same time. I know some readers have commented that his portrayal of Henry is insufferable at times (too much screaming "I'm the king of England" and the like). But I think Rhys Meyers' Henry VIII balances a good amount of wanting to do the right thing (or at least feel like he's doing the right thing) with wanting to do exactly what he wants, because after all, he's king.

A review of tonight's The Tudors (not just the opening credits!) is after the jump.

Anne's unraveling continues tonight. It looks like they are setting up her possible lovers (it happened last week too): Henry Norris, her brother George, and Mark Smeaton. She has a moment with Norris when he comes to see Madge Shelton. The scene is a good mix of Anne being innocently flattered by Norris' compliments and Anne being her undeniably sexual self. The not-quite-as-attractive Madge takes it all in while the man that came to court her paid attention to the queen instead.Thomas Cromwell Another one of Anne's ladies saw Anne picking up her dress sleeve after an intimate conversation with George. The same lady in waiting saw Anne sitting next to Mark in her private chambers.

Not only do we see Anne's "lovers," but we also see those who will probably betray the queen (courtesy of Anne's dream sequence). She is handed an apple by Sir Thomas Wyatt and led along by her own father Thomas Boleyn to the cage where she is set on fire.

Speaking of Thomas Wyatt, I'm glad we got some closure with his Lady Elizabeth. (Remember the virgin-in-waiting to the queen who gave up her maidenhead for a sonnet?) Elizabeth hangs herself after the death of Queen Catherine. And Wyatt comes too late to save his lady. Now he has a reason to plot against Anne. "Plot against" is a little too harsh. I just think it will be easy for Wyatt when the time comes for those opposing Anne to plot out her demise.

And after tonight's episode, I think we can see that Thomas Cromwell might have reason to bring down Anne. The queen should not go toe-to-toe with the secretary. Cromwell is a match for Anne's strength and wits. I loved how he twisted her words saying that she's shouldn't question the king's decisions and policies. A dangerously smart man, that one.

One last thing: Queen Catherine passed away tonight. Her death is moving (especially when Elizabeth has to help her sign her own name) and even more moving are the reactions of the other characters. Her servants weep. As mentioned above, Lady Elizabeth takes her own life. Sitting on the floor by the fire, Henry cries and reads her last letter to him, realizing that she is still the loyal and loving wife he married years ago. Also sitting by the fire is Anne who receives the news with quiet victory whispering her final triumph over Catherine of Aragon.

However, I think the best reaction is Lady Mary's, the daughter who never even got to bid farewell to her mother. You could see how much she takes after her royal mother, allowing herself to cry almost inaudibly as she went through Catherine's belongings. The last shot of Mary through the window was nicely done. I loved her face, already determined to put aside her grief and seek revenge.

Best Lines of the Night:

Pope Paul III and his grandson Alessandro"Now I am indeed Queen." --Anne, after the death of Catherine
"Can you not be more like her?" --George to Anne, about being more like Queen Catherine
"But leave the greater things to my care." Henry to Anne
"That is my advice to you, Mr. Cromwell. Now you can put me back in my box." --Archibishop Cramner's illegal wife.
"As long as they're alive, I cannot conceive a son." --Anne to Henry
"He'd make a fine cardinal. Don't you think?" --Pope Paul III
"Your majesty, may I present my daughter, Lady Jane Seymour." --Sir John Seymour to Henry
"I question the policy, Mr. Cromwell, because I'm not sure that it is the king's." -- Anne to Cromwell
"I know how I got there. And it was not all you. It was not all you, or Norfolk, or George, or any other man you want to name." --Anne to her father

Is Anne a sympathetic character this season?
Yes.70 (27.2%)
Yes, but I still like watching her downfall.86 (33.5%)
No, she never has been and probably never will be.101 (39.3%)

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