Episode two of The Tudors’ new season was quite entertaining. From the beginning to the end, it is positively filled with new information, new innuendo and of course, a lot of sex, lol!
Henry VIII has a medal struck to commemorate his marriage to Catherine Howard, dubbing her his “Rose Without a Thorn”. Little does he know yet!
I have to wonder at all the little subplots this episode has going on. The Earl of Surrey is quite a boisterous and interesting character. Once Lady Hertford (Edward Seymour’s wife) declines to sleep with him, he wickedly insults her and strengthens his campaign to insult the Seymours at every turn, claiming they are “men of low and vile birth”. Can’t wait to see what becomes of him by the end of the season, as history says that he does end up losing his head.
I am still puzzled as to why Michael Hirst decided to have Thomas Seymour sleep with his brother’s wife, Lady Hertford. I am thinking it was a means to show the depth of hatred they both had for Edward, but I am merely speculating.
This episode portrays another Christmas season in the Tudor court and Henry decides to invite Anne of Cleves (his ex wife) and the Lady Mary (formerly princess) to court to celebrate the holidays with him and Catherine. We saw in the first episode that there was a bit of tension between Mary and Catherine and it only becomes more intense with this episode. Queen Catherine decides to confront Lady Mary about her “lack of respect” shown to her as is expected. The women trade some rather ugly words with eachother, resulting in Catherine dismissing two of Mary’s maids. Eustace visits Mary to find her packing her things and tries to get her to see some reason. Mary, in turn, breaks down in his arms and it is quite a sad sight to see. You can only feel sorry for the poor girl, after everything she has endured at the hands of her own father.
Ironically, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard get along remarkably well, and when Henry decides to retire to bed early, the women celebrate and dance well into the night. Anne of Cleves is obviously quite wise to the fact that the more agreeable she is, the more sure she is to keep her head, lol! Henry does seem to see Anne in a new light, however, and I know that it is going to allude to something more down the road. He does tell Thomas Culpepper when asked why he invited Anne to celebrate the holidays, “I like her after all. She keeps her promises, boy.” For Henry, a woman who keeps her promise is a very valuable thing indeed!
As for the King, his leg only starts to debilitate him more and more, landing him a long bout in bed in seclusion. Catherine Howard, being the young and not so bright girl she is, assumes he is having an affair and is quite upset that she is not allowed into Henry’s presence.
Which leads to a perfect opportunity for Thomas Culpepper. He and Lady Jane Rochford, the Queen’s Maid of Honor, start discussing the Queen’s sordid past and one thing leads to another. Wanting to please the ever cunning Culpepper, Lady Rochford offers to arrange a meeting with the Queen. Lady Rochford and Joan Bulmer (another of Katherine’s maids who also happens to be a friend from her past) begin to plant the seed in Catherine’s mind about Culpepper being in love with her and she decides she wants to meet with him.
The episode ends with Joan and Lady Rochford smuggling Thomas Culpepper into Catherine’s bedchamber. WOW!!! I REALLY can’t wait to see Henry’s reaction when he finds out. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is so great at portraying Henry’s anger and tirades and paranoia. I am really shocked at how much Michael Hirst manages to pack into ONE episode! It’s uncanny!!!
Stay tuned for a rundown of Episode Three! More to come!!!!!
****All pictures for this post were found on the sites – Admiring Tamzin Merchant – http://tamzinmerchant.net/ and Showtime’s Tudors Wiki (which has been SUPER helpful to me!) http://tudorswiki.sho.com/photos .