First off, let’s have a moment of silence for Sir Thomas More, who finally took his trip to the chopping block — his fate sealed by the sniveling Sir Richard Rich, he of the stupidest sounding name. Then let’s cross our fingers and toes in hopes of an Emmy nod for Jeremy Northam, who acted his pants off as the martyr-par-excellence last night, don’t you think? Let’s also hear it for the dastardly king who, while still allowing his former teacher and most loyal subject be killed, had the kindness to commute More’s sentence — from being drawn on a hurdle through the city, hung until he’s half dead, and losing his bowels, his John Thomas and his noggin — to just a plain old beheading. What a generous fellow you are, Henry. And a ballsy man, too.
Did anyone else notice that the first bloke to yell “God bless you, Cardinal Fisher!” at the holy man’s execution was William Webb, the same guy whose girlfriend the King snogged in front of him earlier in the episode? (Brandon was all smiles during this scene. Lord he hates Anne.) I bet Mr. Webb is storing up some ire against the king, and that he’ll be back in force. Then again, he could go the way of Anthony Knivert and just disappear (which is my only gripe with The Tudors). Either way, if Webb’s purpose was to show how covetous, horny, and abusive of his power the king has become (what did the Pope say about him being mired in vice and lust?), it certainly worked. I’m beginning to hate Henry with all my body and soul. Sure, Anne is a trollop. Yet the one thing you could count on last season is that they were a team, and now he’s turning his back on her the same way he did on Katherine. Grrrr. That jousting accident he’s supposed to get in before the end of the season? The result of bad karma, methinks.
addCredit(“Sir Thomas More; Jonathan Hession”)
Speaking of bad karma, I’m still hoping for lightning (or somethingreally terrible) to strike Papa Boleyn. His first words to Anne aftershe suffered a miscarriage were, “What did you do to kill the baby?” Agreat show of fatherly love on his part. Then, in the same episode, hedisinherits pregnant daughter Mary for marrying beneath them andinfluences Anne to get her banished from court. Yes, it was Anne’s owndecision, but you saw the pain in her eyes as she chastised Mary — shedidn’t want to do it, and it’s partially her and Papa’s fault Mary wasnicknamed “The Great Prostitute” and basically unmarriageable anyway.
In fact, it’s Anne’s fault that a lot of bad things are happening.Don’t get me wrong, I’ve warmed to her. But she’s already cozying uptoo frequently to a freaked-out Mark Smeaton at court and we know wherethat is going to lead. We can already see the worry in his eyes whenthe King appears. Plus, she’s summoning her brother George to herbedchamber when she’s drunk (did you see Cousin Madge spying on them?),which is not going to bode well for him in the future when he isaccused of incest. Then there is Cromwell. Once Anne’s #1 fan, he isgoing to have to jump through hoops to keep in the King’s good gracesas Henry tires of her. What was it that Thomas More said to Cromwellbefore his death? “No difference between us except that I shall dietoday and you tomorrow?” Hint: I think I’ve figured out what’s goingto happen to him in the third season. (If you already didn’t know,Showtime has renewed The Tudors for a another run in which the kingwill marry Anne of Cleves, who a friend of mine swears hadnotoriously rank body odor. To which I said, were you in a past life aperfumer in the court of Anne of Cleves?)
But I digress. While we are still waiting to meet Henry Norris andFrancis Weston (the final two men to be killed along with Anne — theothers are George, Mark, and the assassin William Brereton), we did getan interesting cameo this episode. Providing a little comic reliefafter Fisher’s death, Michelangelo showed up to paint the SistineChapel and give his assistants a right bollocking because “Moses lookslike a pile of crap.” Interestingly enough, Michelangelo’s face wascovered in splashes of red paint that almost matched the pink sores onFisher’s face — could this be a little statement on the martyrdom of apainter for religious art? Hmm.
Anyway, in all this, we have yet to stop and admire the clothes thisseason. Sometimes they just take your breath away, don’t they? I lovedHenry’s thin red velvet vest and black blouse at the beginning of theepisode (and the juicy dressing gown Anne wore last week). I dowonder, however, why Cranmer is meant to look a bit like a cartoon rapmogul with a fur stole and some regal bling. What this says about him,I’ve yet to figure out.
So please come back next week when the Pope goes outside (sort of), theprinting press makes its English debut, George marries (a woman),Cousin Madge attracts a real suitor (not the King), Sir Henry Norrisshows up and, most importantly, Brandon finally gets his own bona fideplotline! Now excuse me while I go do the cabbage patch in celebrationof that one…