Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Tudors: Season Two, Episode 2

"Now, my love. Let me conceive, and we will have a son."

A change of style; no longer do we have the "back to the beginning" stuff at the start of the episodes, just one of many small changes from last season. Another is the absence of Henry Czerny. But we are still treading the same water, plot wise, as per the final few episodes of last season.

We begin with some startlingly odd-looking sixteenth century playing cards, some CGI snow, and a discussion about religion in which Thomas Boleyn shows himself to be very, very Protestant. It's Christmas and Henry, being Henry, is delighted by his gift from Anne Boleyn (a rather large boar spear that might cause Sigmund Freud to raise an eyebrow), but rudely rejects the gift from the Queen. Thomas More gives him a silver cross in this last Christmas for England under the Pope; all the presents, predictably, are symbolic.

Christmas is as extravagant as one might expect, but marred by rumours about Anne and Wyatt. The king, freed from Wolsey's influence, nevertheless proposes alliance with France against his Habsburg in-laws. Oh, and the king more or less proposes to Anne while she's wanking him off. Merry Christmas.

This causes some considerable commotion at court, and even Charles Brandon, who avoids nvokving himself on court factionalism, comes out in favour of Catherine, and is subsequently banished from court. Cromwell, as the most Protestant member of the main cast, is making himself unpopular, particularly given his humble origins. Nevertheless, his influence with the King is strong, and Henry is soon declaring that priests' oaths to the Pope contradict their oaths to him. After all these episodes of treading water it looks as though something may now be happening.

In quick succession, Parliament makes Henry supreme governor of the English Church, Henry gracefully accepts More's resignation as Lord Chancellor, Brandon is recalled to court because the King misses his old mate, and Cranmer goes to uber-Protestant Nuremberg and comes back with a wife. Oh, and Anne is made Marchioness of Pembroke, and thus rich.

More retires, in despair, from public life and starts discussing martyrdom with his family, with whom he is touchingly close. Henry gives Anbe the Queen's jewels, while Anne gives him a hand job. Suddenly, it's all happening.

Brandon is now a fully paid up member of the anti-Anne faction ("I grew up"), while Henry is suddenly very friendly with Francis I, who hates the Emperor. He also has a friendly warning for Anne; being a monarch is not easy.

The episode ends by hints of the future as the King and Anne have sex (finally) during a thunderstorm. Symbolism much?


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