The King is (finally!) much fatter. He`s quixotic, too, this time siding with the French against the Emperor, and proposing that mass be abolished (!) in both realms. He`s too late, though; Francis I is dying of syphilis. He still has power within his own houehold, though, and there is a sense of real danger as Henry tells Catherine that he knows nothing of any warrant for her arrest; is he playing his old games?
The Queen is, rightfully, scared, and determined to hide her thoughts. There is a power struggle at court between Gardiner and Edward Seymour and she, unlike the old, happily weary and sick of politics Duke of Suffolk, cannot simply remain neutral, confident of the King`s affection.
There is move and counter-move. Gardiner sets up an Inquisition; the Seymours use Gardiner`s embezzling ways to blackmail him. The Queen, questioned by Henry, gives a fiery defence of herself, and we know that the King wants to believe her. He hasn`t exactly gone soft in his old age, but even if you didn`t know the famous rhyme I think you`d know, by the rules of drama, that Catherine was utimately safe.
Henry, at his own insistence, dies alone. Death creeps up slowly, and when he`s young again we know he`s dead. We end with an emotional montage, that Hans Holbein portrait, and some text to give us a potted history of the next three reigns. It's a fitting end to a magnificent series, the I, Clavdivs of our age.