Episode Summary: Henry is saying farewell to his sister, Princess Margaret, who is about to leave for Portugal and marry the king. We see that they kiss on the lips, which may seem gross to us, but was actually the accepted gesture of the time.
Thomas More has returned from Rome with great news for Henry. Henry has been declared “Defender of the Faith” by the Pope for his pamphlet against Martin Luther. More also tells Henry that Martin Luther himself has read the pamphlet and has responded by telling Henry to, well, shove it. Henry is not pleased by the response.
In the last episode of The Tudors, Henry purchased fine jewelry for Anne Boleyn. We see now that Anne has sent the jewelry back to Henry with a note claiming that she cannot be worthy of such gifts and therefore cannot accept them (I would have sent them back because they were ugly.). She writes that she is also headed back to her home in Hever. (We are starting to see that Anne plans on winning the king and keeping him by playing hard to get, a pretty decent strategy when dealing with a man who has never been denied. A very similar strategy to the one employed by Anne in The Other Boleyn Girl but very different than Anne of a Thousand Days’ Anne who openly dislikes the king at the beginning of their relationship.)
Back to poor Mr. Pace, who has been locked in the Tower of London for treason, accused of spying for the French. The guard has come to tell him he is to be released, but Mr. Pace has completely lost his mind and won’t be going anyway. (He will not be the last of the series to lose their mind in the Tower.)
At last we meet the infamous Mr. Cromwell. He may not seem like much now, but this is a man who becomes essential to this series and was historically as well.
Wolsey is going over some business with Henry. In order to build up their forces for a joint war with Spain, they will need to raise taxes. The English people, however, shouldn’t mind. They like the idea of fighting the French. The warship that Henry had commissioned is now ready, but Henry doesn’t seem to be interested. Could it be that he is too busy dreaming about Anne? Well if he is, it doesn’t last long. A Princess Marguerite is visiting court without her husband, and Henry makes sure she doesn’t miss him too much.
Princess Margaret is on a ship sailing for Portugal. (Can I just say how absolutely miserable this kind of travel looks? I get seasick watching these scenes. Keep them in mind whenever you’re complaining about being on a plane too long…)
The Boleyn’s are scheming again (What’s new?) It seems Thomas Boleyn has recently discovered that Wolsey has been taking money from the church and keeping it to himself. Some of this money goes to his college, Oxford, but the rest to his own personal use. The Duke of Norfolk wants to tell the king immediately. He dislikes Wolsey and his wicked ways (Give me a break.) and is happy for a way to discredit him. Thomas, however, plans to wait until the timing is just right.
Henry decides to have a friendly chat with Thomas Wyatt. He compliments Wyatt’s poetry then demands to know if Wyatt has ever loved Anne Boleyn. Wolsey has informed Henry they were once engaged. (This is typical Henry. He is always kind before he strikes.) Wyatt (taking Anne’s advice) tells Henry that Anne is so beautiful he has admired her as all men should but assures the king that the rumors are false as he already has a wife. Henry is satisfied. (It’s a good thing Wyatt has a way with words. It will continue to come in handy.)
Things are starting to get interesting for Thomas Tallis, (How many men can possibly be named Thomas!?) the musician. His compositions are getting him noticed by the groupies, and “the twins” have come to offer him their services. He denies them, looking very uncomfortable. (Groupies may not be the only ones who have their eye on Thomas…)
A messenger arrives at court to give Henry wonderful news. The Spanish have defeated the French in battle and the French king himself has been taken prisoner. Nothing could make Henry happier. To celebrate there will be jousting! Henry takes on William and has no problem beating him. Next up is Anthony. The king, who is overcome with happiness, is careless and forgets to put down his visor. The crowd shouts for the men to stop, but their lances meet, Anthony’s catching Henry in the eye. Henry falls screaming and everyone panics. They are able to get Henry up (I’m pretty sure he has a concussion.) and Henry tells Anthony he is not to blame. Catherine begs Henry not to joust again, but Henry insists that he cannot let his people see him wounded and defeated. (This is one of the few tender moments we see between Catherine and Henry.) He demands a rematch with Anthony, who looks like he would rather be sick than go against Henry again. They joust, and this time Henry slams Anthony with such force his bleeding body must be carried from the field. (What a fun game!)
Back at sea, Charles plays cards with Margaret. They haven’t been getting along. Charles teases Margaret, and she pouts about it. This doesn’t last long though. Once they’re alone they sleep together. (This seems quite difficult on a ship at sea in the middle of a storm. I’m sure Henry will be pleased to hear they’ve become friends.)
At court, Catherine talks to Henry about Wolsey. She is unhappy that he has been opening all of her mail. Henry tells Catherine that Wolsey can sometimes take things too far, but he always has their best interest in mind. He assures Catherine he will ask Wolsey to stop, but it shouldn’t bother her too much as long as she has nothing to hide.
Anthony comes in and is made a knight for having survived the jousting ordeal. William, too, is knighted for carrying a tree as a joke.
We see Cromwell attending a Lutheran meeting. It is obvious he agrees with them.
Anne is back at court and meets Henry in a hallway. Henry is so happy to see Anne that he almost chokes her while demanding to know who she was talking to at dinner. Turns out it was her brother, George, so Henry is persuaded it was not another suitor. (Henry is already overly jealous of Anne. This is a huge red flag that she should get out now while she’s still alive! Besides, Henry shouldn’t get jealous over her own brother, or should he?)
Princess Margaret arrives in Lisbon and meets her new husband for the first time. Turns out she had every right to complain. He’s ancient, walks with a cane, and has a ridiculous voice. She does her duty and marries him anyway. It seems Charles Brandon may actually be upset by it.
Brandon may not be the only one falling in love. We see Anne has received a new letter from the king. She reads it and sighs like a school girl. Her father doesn’t notice; he’s too busy plotting their next move.
Margaret spends her first night with the king. As if it isn’t horrible enough, the entire court stays in the room and witnesses the act. (I don’t think this is accurate. Well, none of this is accurate anyway, Margaret never married the king of Portugal. What I mean is, I don’t think it’s typical for the court to stay for the entire first night of marriage. Although there was often a traditional blessing of the marriage bed, everyone left afterwards. A similar scene can be found in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.)
Henry rides out with his new knights. When they come to a stream they must go around, Henry refuses and decides to pole vault across with a flag pole. The pole snaps in half and Henry lands head first into the marshy waters. His friends laugh at him until a servant realizes Henry is drowning and goes in to save him. (What an idiot.)
In Portugal, Charles dances with Margaret. He’s about to sail home to England and wants to mock her one last time. This time Margaret calls him out on being in love with her. Margaret is terrified of being left with her elderly husband. Desperate not to be left behind, she suffocates him while he’s asleep. (You can take a girl out of Tudor England, but you can’t take the Tudor England out of the girl.)
Henry is sick. The doctors decide to bleed him. When he recovers he becomes furious. His recent brush with death has made him realize he’s been too careless with his life. He realizes that if he would die with no heir, all the work his father and he had done would be worthless. He is convinced that God is punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife. He wants a divorce and demands Wolsey get him one.
Jen Says: Wolsey is in trouble now. The king has asked him an impossible task and he must succeed. If he does not, Henry will have no choice but to get rid of him. A couple weeks ago, I posted a link to an interview with actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers about life at Henry’s court. During the interview, Meyers talks about how the king can never be made to look like a fool which is why he must behead the people who let him down. Sounds reasonable right? Meyer’s also talks about the king’s relationship with Wolsey. He says, “Wolsey is corrupt so Henry doesn’t have to be.” I agree with this statement. While Henry is still so young he wants to focus on things like jousting, dancing, and ladies. Henry has very poor morals, but when it comes to matters of state, it’s Wolsey who takes all the blame for anything that goes wrong. Wolsey has very little support at court. The queen despises him, the French cardinals have abandoned him, even the Boleyns want to see his downfall. The only strong support he has is Henry. Good luck, Wolsey. Missed the interview? Click here to watch it now.