The Tudors: Episode 2-10 (season finale)
(S02E10) I'm just going to come out and say it. I really enjoyed the season finale of The Tudors. The wife-number-two storyline is all wrapped up. And now next season we'll move on to wife-number-three, Jane Seymour. I think I'm even more excited for next season because I know next to nothing about Henry's wives post Boleyn drama. I know many of you history buffs will disagree, saying that you'd rather they keep to the facts because Tudor history alone is interesting enough. I feel, at this point, I'd rather just watch the story --which is basically a primetime melodrama with corsets and crowns and public executions. So, I'm not as worried about accuracy. And by the way, public executions on Melrose Place would have been awesome.
But, enough about what's to be, let's talk about what happened tonight. My review of the season finale is after the jump.
The season finale revolved around Anne Boleyn's beheading, which was painfully delayed when the headsman got stuck coming from Dover. The king, in his mercy, ordered that she not be burned but beheaded and that this expert swordsman from Calais be brought in to perform the execution.
The episode was full of well-acted scenes with Natalie Dormer, whom I will definitely miss next season. Anne Boleyn met her death with a mix of masked fear, hope of forgiveness, and true faith and courage. I thought Dormer delivered many of her lines with all three notes.
The first poignant scene we get is when Anne gives her last confession to Archbishop Cranmer. She admits to being envious of the king and not always respecting her husband. But she professes her innocence. You could tell by both Cranmer's and the constable's reaction that she meant it -- and she was telling the truth.
The second set of evocative scenes were when the constable comes to tell her that the execution has been postponed. I loved when Anne laughs after the constable assures her that she would have a clean, painless death. The queen adds that she only has a little neck anyway. It reminded me of how charming and witty Anne was when she first seduced Henry.
When the constable comes the second time, Anne grabs him and suggests, rather desperately, that the king might mean to call off the execution, to teach her a lesson, to send her to a nunnery. I felt like that was such a natural reaction.
The third and saddest scene (I'm not going linearly, I know.) was when Thomas Boleyn got out of prison. I was nearly moved to tears when Anne waved at her father from the tower and he barely looked at her. His shame combined with her agony and despair -- just plain sad. That was hands-down the best scene of the night.
The execution itself was slightly anti-climatic (but only slightly). The queen's speech was good, well-delivered by Dormer. However, what "made" the scene for me was Sir Thomas Wyatt and Charles Brandon with his son in tow. Wyatt, probably the only man on the show who ever loved and understood Anne (i.e. could match her wits), weeps from behind a stone wall. This is a man watching the woman he loves die. It was heartbreaking. Also sad was when Charles Brandon kneels down with his son for the actual beheading. I thought this gesture was a little symbolic. HIs kneeling was less to go with crowd, after all he outranks all of them and more out of sympathy (maybe sympathy isn't the exact word). I think you could see in his face that while he hated the former queen, he realized she was the victim of Henry's whims and other men's machinations.
Here's my questions for you readers:
1. Did you like the season finale?
2. Did you like season two of The Tudors better than season one?
3. Will you be watching season three of The Tudors?
4. I'm not discussing Henry and Jane. I feel all self-righteously angry with him for killing yet another wife. So, what did you think about the king this episode?