The Tudors: Wha' Happened?!?
Last time, it was really boring and we just set the stage for what will emerge on this season of The Tudors. This week I found myself checking the DVR timer about 20 minutes in, thinking surely this was going to be over soon. This is not good, folks. Did all of the excitement on this show die with Anne Boleyn? I’ll try to keep this short.
We’re all about stamping out the rebellion heading south to London to demand the restoration of the Catholic houses of worship. Another thing that needs stamping is the open sore on His Majesty’s thigh. We get a few odd moments of quasi-naked Henry screaming at people. I imagine some might find this appealing. I can’t say that I do. But Queen Jane longs for the king during these times of struggle, Catholic rabble-rousers, and open sores.
Duke of Suffolk Charles Brandon, i.e., the only reason to keep watching this show, is frustrated over the lack of progress in assembling the army. This struggle continues throughout the episode and leads me to go to the kitchen for something to drink. While I’m gone, read about the real Pilgrimage of Grace.
Ok, I’m back in time for the rebels (I’m sorry PILGRIMS!) to arrive at Yorkshire (a/k/a Helm’s Deep, only without the armaments) and for Lord Darcy to violate his oath and join the rebellion. As Brandon continues to lament his lack of resources and Henry threatens to lead the army himself, Henry self-medicates his thigh with some “special medical treatment” from Lady Misseldon, who you’ll recall is Bryan’s mistress. And by “special medical treatment,” well, we’re all adults and can figure that part out.
On a more chaste note, something happens at the Pope’s retreat in Newport and I realize this guy is just a cardinal and not the Pope (sorry about that last week!)–Cardinal Von Waldburg, apparently. Anywho, he wants newly appointed Cardinal Reginald Pole to write a pamphlet calling for a holy crusade in England. When he arrives in England, Pole speaks of overthrowing Henry and installing either the Catholic Princess Mary or himself, oh don’t you see, he’s an heir to the throne through the old Plantagenet line. How King Ralph!
After Brandon negotiates a truce with leader Robert Aske, two rebel captains are allowed to present their petition to Henry. That doesn’t go over well with Henry, who points out the flaws with all of their so-called grievances, while noting their greater offense is in their rebelling against their sovereign. But His Grace offers a pardon to all who have taken up arms, provided they lay them down and disband. The rebels do not like this response, and in bed that night Queen Jane presses Henry to cede to the rebel’s demands. He declines. (No word on any other pressing.)
As an intermezzo of our boredom, we are treated to Princess Mary’s arrival at court and fainting spell, relieved only by her now doting, formerly absent father, Henry. Sir Bryan, sleazeball of the realm, strikes up a conversation with Mary about an “old country tradition” by the name of “cunnilingus.” Classy. (Speaking of, should I change the spelling on “country”? Just saying.)
Brandon reports back to Henry and shares the growing frustration everyone has with Cromwell. Henry hears Brandon, shifts his monarchial bus into second gear, and gets ready to run down Cromwell . . . should it come to it (and it will). Returning north, Brandon informs the rebels that a new Parliament will be called in York to resolve all issues of declaration and recantation of heresies, etcetera, etcetera. Pleased with their apparent success, Aske disbands the rebels and sends them home for Christmas. At home, Aske receives a letter from the King asking him to come to court and explain the circumstances of the rebellion. The other rebel leaders are suspicious because, like me, they read the end of the Henry VIII chapter in British History and know that nobody crosses Henry and lives to tell.
Next week: We meet Elizabeth, the negotiations breakdown, and I’ll think of ways to make this more interesting. Sorry, I can only work with what the television gives me.
Season 3, Episode 2 (originally aired April 12, 2009)
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Sundays at 9pm on Showtime
Photographs courtesy of Showtime, Jonathan Hession