The Tudors: Reap What You Sow

Previously on the Tudors: Fisher and More paid the ultimate price for their convictions; Anne loses her all-important baby and starts to really panic, knowing full well that Henry could easily send her the way of Katherine.

Roma. Fully dressed in pope hat and richly embroidered robes, the Pope emerges onto a balcony overlooking a very crowded St. Peter’s Square. After a brief prayer, he offers the Catholics of England his support and sympathy over the outrageous martyrdoms of More and Fisher. For those who missed the last episode, we get to rewatch some of More’s execution, followed by shots of angry crowds gathering at the palace’s gates while mobs storm and trash Catholic churches.

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The Tudors: All or Nothing

Previously on The Tudors: Anne found herself pregnant again and offered Henry her own cousin as a girlfriend. More was thrown in jail for refusing to acknowledge Henry as head of the church.

Henry’s reading and wearing what appears to be pirate fashion by Errol Flynn when Cromwell enters and announces Cranmer. Cranmer comes in and informs Henry that they’ve had a lot of success in convincing people to accept Anne as queen and Henry as head of the church, probably because they were threatened with death and dismemberment if they didn’t agree. He doesn’t say that last part, but you know it’s true. Fisher and More are still holdouts, but Cranmer and Cromwell think they can get them to at least agree to some of it. Henry won’t hear it—the guys need to accept all or nothing. Cranmer bows and withdraws, and Cromwell takes the opportunity to try to hand over a letter from Dame Alice, More’s wife, who begs for leniency in view of her husband’s many years of service. Henry doesn’t care, of course, and rants that More, after promising to live a quiet life, continued to write about the king’s divorce and even visited Katherine. The horror!

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Boardwalk Empire: Guys and Dolls

Only the second episode of the season, and we can already celebrate the impending season 2. Guess the millions and millions of dollars that were spent on the pilot weren’t enough to give HBO pause (a fact for which I’m quite thankful). I’m sure the nearly 5 million viewers who tuned in for the first episode helped.

In snowy Chicago, the funeral for Colosimo is underway. An enormous crowd has gathered in front of the church to watch as the coffin is carried out. A gang of reporters pushes to the front of the crowd and asks Torrio about the hit. Torrio tells the reporters Colosimo was killed in a robbery, even though nothing was taken. The coffin is loaded into a hearse, along with a giant wreath from Nucky.

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The Tudors: Mr. Softie

Previously on the Tudors: Henry ditched Catholicism, had his marriage to Katherine annulled, and married Anne and crowned her queen just before she gave birth to little baby Elizabeth.

Speaking of little Lizzy, she’s being christened by Cranmer, with Mary Boleyn standing by, smiling proudly at her little niece. She takes the wailing baby, who’s probably pissed because she’s completely naked and those churches were cold. The baby’s wrapped up again and paraded past Anne’s ladies and the gathered courtiers before being carried back to her mother’s room, where Anne’s sitting up in bed, ready to take her. The courtiers bow to her and her royal offspring and Anne tenderly kisses the baby’s forehead.

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Boardwalk Empire: Let’s Run Away to Atlantic City

Well, the poll takers have spoken, and Boardwalk Empire it is! I’ve been pretty excited about this show since it was announced—I’m obviously a sucker for historical dramas, and I feel a certain connection to this show for a couple of reasons. First off, I’m a Jersey girl myself, and it’s nice to see a depiction of my home state that does not include fake tans and claw-like fingernails (not that a show about Prohibition-era gangsters puts the Garden State in such a great light). Second—I have a family connection to this time and place. My great-grandfather had some cousins who made their living on the wrong side of the law during the Prohibition period. He went to visit them in AC once, at a restaurant they worked out of, and one of them asked him to open the kitchen door to admit some guests. One of those guests? Al Capone. According to family legend. At that point, my great-grandpa hit the road and stopped having anything to do with those cousins, at least one of whom later disappeared. Yay, family history!

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The Tudors: First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…

Previously on The Tudors: The clergy acknowledged Henry as head of the church; More resigned as chancellor as a result. The world’s most inept assassin kept trying and failing to kill Anne Boleyn, at the behest of the pope and the emperor. Anne and Henry travel to France and have sex, presumably getting Anne pregnant.

Things start off rough in a courtyard where chickens, assorted livestock, and rude minor nobility mill about. Two men in black velvet, named as the Savilles, start talking shit to a man they call Pennington, who’s quick to correct that that’s Sir William Pennington, to them. Pennington asks after their master, Boleyn, and that’s Lord Rochford to you, Pennington. The Saville who speaks asks after Pennington’s master, Brandon. Saville asks if Brandon continues to spread vicious rumors about Anne at court, and if he does, he must be completely suicidal. Just how long does Charles expect Henry’s patience to last? He’s already banished him from court once for that. Pennington stupidly says that Brandon doesn’t want anything to do with the elevation of “the king’s whore” and the two Savilles draw their swords at the insult. Pennington draws his own sword and they all start tussling. Man, the Savilles suck. It’s two against one in their favor and Pennington still manages to kick their asses and escape, but not before trashing what looks like a random marketplace set u pin the courtyard. As he flees into the palace, some random guy hilariously yells after him that he’d better pay up for the damage.

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The Tudors: Paris, Je T’Aime

Previously on The Tudors: Henry was named Head of the Church of England and kicked Katherine out of the palace. The pope essentially put out a hit on Anne which looks like it might actually be going forward. More and Bishop Fisher were nearly poisoned to death, at Boleyn’s order.

The camera pushes in on a man playing cards. We don’t see his face. He sets out a queen marked with an A and slashes it in half. Subtle, faceless guy.

In parliament, Fisher is urging his fellow clergymen not to give in and answer to any earthly power, because their power has been ordained by God. He adds that the clergy should be free from the threat of assassination as they uphold the sanctity of the church. Boleyn, George, and Cromwell all look uncomfortable, in their places out in the audience. Boleyn mutters to his son that Henry can’t continue to allow this sort of seditious talk.

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The Tudors: Boiling Point

Previously on The Tudors: All of season one. Henry partied, made and broke treaties all over Europe, and freaked out about not having a son to succeed him. So, he told his right-hand man Wolsey to magically bring about a divorce between Henry and his wife Katherine, so Henry could marry Anne Boleyn. Wolsey failed, was arrested, and committed suicide in one of the most affecting scenes of the entire season. Henry took the news hard, but nonetheless pushed forward with his plan to make himself pope in England, essentially, by forcing through some major religious reforms. This is not going to sit well at all with his heretic-burning chancellor and mentor, Thomas More.

Looks like we’ve got some new shots in the credits (mostly of Anne Boleyn being crowned) and a couple of new cast members, including Peter O’Toole and the rather unpleasant Hans Matheson. This should be fun.

Season two starts in 1532, in the cavernous royal chapel, which is dark, despite the many candles lit. Henry and Anne are kneeling at the altar, receiving communion. Alone in their private chapels, Katherine and More pray.

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The Tudors: Baby, Light My Fire

Previously on The Tudors: Henry failed to get his divorce and blamed it on Wolsey, who found himself kicked out of office and arrested. More took his old job, reluctantly. Anne started to convert Henry.

Well, we might as well just get right to it. We open on Henry masturbating, while leaning on a servant and fantasizing about Anne sewing. That is so utterly not something I needed to see. And also, I hope the guy playing that poor servant fired his agent, because that is the worst few seconds of screentime ever.

Calmer now (and fully dressed), Henry enters his council chamber to meet with the council. He rails about Wolsey’s doings, without actually naming him, and names Norfolk President of the Council, along with Brandon, who smirks a little at the announcement. Norfolk takes that with surprising grace. Henry tells everyone they’ll reconvene soon to discuss the divorce.

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The Tudors: Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

Previously on the Tudors: The long, hard fall of Cardinal Wolsey began in earnest.

We open at Blackfriars Church, where Wolsey is continuing the trial without Katherine, trying to determine whether or not she and Prince Arthur ever consummated the marriage. He calls up his first witness, Sir Anthony Willoughby, who was part of the prince’s entourage on his wedding night. Apparently, the morning after, Arthur asked Willoughby to bring him some ale and mentioned that the night before, he was in the midst of Spain. The audience finds this hilarious; Henry, less so. Willoughby also mentions that Arthur told his friends that it was a good pastime to have a wife. Wolsey says he’s pretty sure they have the bloodstained sheets to corroborate Willoughby’s story. Excuse me? First of all, who would keep those? For decades? Second, if they did exist, wouldn’t they have caused some problems with the original dispensation, since they’d indicate the marriage had been consummated? And finally, who could prove they weren’t just a random set of sheets with blood on them? It’s not like they had DNA testing back then.

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