The Tudors: Hello, Goodbye

Previously on The Tudors: Henry married Katherine Parr and left her in charge while he went off to fight a war in France. There, Charles acquired a comely French prisoner, and Henry’s army was soon decimated by disease.

In France, the bodies of the dysentery dead are piling up so fast they’re now being tossed in a mass grave and covered with lime. So, it’s going to be one of those fun episodes, is it? Oh, and apparently there’s no food to be had for miles around, either. Still, the assaults on the city continue, as does the tunnel digging. Harry and the others continue to swing their pickaxes, almost causing a collapse at one point. Fortunately, the supports hold. Harry tells one of his coworkers the castle is still a good 300 feet away. It’s going to be a long week.

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The Duchess of Duke Street: The Outsiders

A man with a battered suitcase makes his way into the foyer, instantly removes his hat, and looks around like he’s never seen such a place before. There’s nobody there to greet him, but Fred soon raises the alarm, bringing Starr running. Starr asks the man what he needs and the man asks where the check-in desk is. Starr instantly realizes this guy’s out of his league at the Bentink and he suggests another hotel nearby. The man protests that he doesn’t want to go to this other hotel, he wants a room at the Bentink. Starr shortly tells him to get lost, because they’re full, and the man goes to leave, but then rethinks and says he doesn’t believe Starr. Starr tries to persuade the guy to go, because he knows this man can’t afford the Bentink, but the guy gets belligerent, and right about then Charlie comes down the stairs and the guy assumes he’s the manager. Because Charlie’s an affable guy, he offers to help out, introducing himself as Charlie Hazlemere, rather than using his title. The guy finally introduces himself as Stanley Parker. Charlie asks why the guy’s so determined to stay at the Bentink and Parker says he’s heard it’s the best hotel in London.

Louisa comes in, fresh from a shopping trip, to make this little confrontation even more fun. Starr fills her in on Parker. She tells Parker he’ll be more comfortable elsewhere, but Charlie steps in and basically forces her to let the guy stay there. She tells Starr to show him to a room. Once he’s gone, she asks Charlie what he was thinking, because the staff and other guests will look down on Parker and make him uncomfortable for his whole stay. She hisses that he meant to be kind, but it was the cruelest thing he could have done. Charlie follows her into her office and easily says this is really no big deal, and she really should chill out.

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The Tudors: Where is love?

Previously on The Tudors: Kate, Culpeper, Dereham, and Lady Rochford all got their heads chopped off. So, they’re out of the credits now, replaced by Special Guest Star Joley Richardson.

Hunsdon House. Mary tracks down Elizabeth and happily tells her they’re both being restored to the succession. Mary’s over the moon, but Elizabeth couldn’t seem to care less. She’s downcast after Kate’s death, and she’s made up her mind never to marry.

Henry receives Chapuys in his study, which is once again darkened and emo’d out. Chapuys wastes no time in telling Henry the Emperor’s at war with France again and wants Henry’s help. In return, Henry would get back Aquitaine. Henry sends him off without an answer.

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The Duchess of Duke Street: Trouble and Strife

Louisa emerges from the hotel, apparently on her way to a cross-channel trip. She fires off some last-minute instructions to Mary, kindly predicts she’ll come back to a huge mess, and then sets off in her new car with the Major behind the wheel. Mary and Starr wave her off, and Starr takes note of a frizzy-haired woman watching them from across the road before he and Mary go inside.

They’re not in the door two seconds before some bird-faced woman comes downstairs with her equally pinched maid to complain about the maid finding a cockroach in her room. Mary apologizes and Starr offers to give their rooms a sweep. Mary returns to the kitchens and Merriman comes in to hand Starr a letter a young woman just left for him at the back door. Starr asks him to keep an eye on things and steps out.

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The Tudors: Ick Factor

Previously on The Tudors: Henry dragged court and family north, where he magnanimously forgave the northerners for rebelling against him. Kate foolishly hired her ex-boyfriend, Francis Dereham, who turned out to be kind of an asshole. Someone took it upon themselves to write a letter to the king, presumably informing him of Kate’s extracurricular activities.

Henry shows the letter to Seymour, who reads it and reveals it is, in fact, about Kate and her “dissolute living” before she married Henry. And right off the bat we have a bit of a story problem. See, the writers decided to show us Henry and Kate clearly sleeping together before they were married, so he would already know about her past. Surely Henry could tell when a girl was a virgin and when she wasn’t, and yet he seems surprised by this letter, which is unsigned, in case you were wondering. Henry says the letter’s a total lie, but nonetheless he has Seymour investigate and confines Kate to her room, with only Lady Rochford in attendance, until the matter is cleared up.

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The Tudors: Ghosts

Previously on The Tudors: Henry dragged his wife and court north on a progress to tell the northerners there were no hard feelings over that whole rebellion misunderstanding. Katherine continued her incredibly foolish affair with Culpeper, managing to take it to a whole new level of gross.

Pontefract Castle (remember Pontefract?). Everyone who lives there is all lined up in the courtyard as Henry and his entourage arrive in extremely cheesy slow motion. They’re greeted by Ralph, the one rebel who managed to evade slaughter by selling out his buddies. Henry greets him and the others as his “faithful servants” and introduces Kate and Mary. Ralph, who’s now sporting the Beard of Instant Aging, welcomes them all. Henry dismounts, embraces him, and then pulls Culpeper aside to tell him he plans to sleep with Kate that night. Ralph falls into step beside Charles and observes that Henry seems pretty peppy. Charles puts it down to his new marriage and the success of the progress.

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The Duchess of Duke Street: A Lady of Virtue

Previously on The Duchess of Duke Street: Louisa Trotter bought a hotel, worked herself almost to death, and managed to make a success of it after all.

We can hear loud cheering from one of the upstairs rooms as Merriman comes down the steps with some empty champagne bottles. Starr asks what’s up and Merriman says it’s some Liberals celebrating their victory in a Yorkshire by-election, with Louisa in attendance. Merriman shoves off with the recycling, just in time for Fred to start losing his little terrier mind over a basket held by a well-dressed lady who’s just come in. The woman holds the basket out of reach, looking alarmed, and Starr jumps into action, shoving Fred into his little bed and greeting the lady. He snootily asks the woman if there’s an animal in the basket and she tells him there’s a cat in there. Starr says that explains it, because Fred doesn’t usually freak out that way. I think this might be a good time to offer the lady an apology for your dog’s behavior, Starr. He does not, which irks me a bit. I love my dogs to death, but you can be sure I apologize all over the place if they behave badly towards someone. The lady’s a lot nicer than I am towards Starr and tells him she’s there to meet with a Sir James, who’s up with the partying Liberals. The lady, who introduces herself as Mrs. Strickland, asks Starr to tell Sir James that she’s arrived. Apparently, Sir James is lending her his rooms. Starr asks Merriman, who’s passing by on his way back upstairs, to tell Sir James that Mrs. S has arrived.

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The Tudors: Present Day

Previously on The Tudors: Kate spent the holidays insulting Mary and making friends with the very affable Anne of Cleves. Her ladies-in-waiting, out of boredom, I guess, decided to facilitate her affair with Culpeper.

It’s a bright, sunny day, and Culpeper’s helping Henry get dressed in an oddly homoerotic manner. Once he’s done, Henry admires himself in the mirror for a moment.

In Kate’s rooms, she and her ladies are having a dancing lesson, under the tutelage of a French dance master, who urges them to be elegant, which none of them are capable of, because they’re too busy giggling like schoolgirls. Henry pokes his head in and observes the lesson for a little while, unnoticed until Kate turns around and spots him.

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The Duchess of Duke Street: For Love or Money

Previously on The Duchess of Duke Street: Louisa and Charlie started an affair that resulted in a daughter who was adopted by one of the grooms on Charlie’s estate. Louisa realized mothering wasn’t really in her genes and promptly returned to the hotel.

Louisa proudly shows a new guest, Sir George, to a room in the hotel. He seems inclined to be critical, but Louisa’s either really good at faking being cheerful with guests, or she’s in a really, really good mood. He asks if there’s a parlor room open, but she tells him they’re all taken, including Charlie’s, because they’re expecting a friend of his.

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The Duchess of Duke Street: A Bed of Roses

Previously on The Duchess of Duke Street: Louisa almost worked herself to death trying to pay off Gus’s debts and was rescued by the very timely re-introduction of Charlie Tyrell, erstwhile seducer of maids and rescuer of red-headed damsels in distress. He bought out the lease on The Bentink, filled it with fancy stuff, and proudly stood by with champagne as Louisa relaunched.

Charlie’s helping Louisa vet inquiries for rooms as she fusses around with some flowers and comments that there have been lots of inquiries but nobody’s actually checked in yet. Charlie easily says it’ll take time and she shouldn’t worry. Particularly since he’s talking the place up with all his high-class buddies.

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