Talk about shifting allegiances. Four episodes ago, I hated Anne. Her smirk. Her slightly attractive turned-up nose. Her overbearing self-confidence and that weird way she fans out her upper lip when she kisses Henry. My knickers totally twisted every time she came on screen. If only headbutting was fashionable in the 1500s. And Thomas More — as well meaning as he is — freaked me out a bit. A little overzealous in his fear of Lutheranism last season, methinks. But now as they both head to their deaths, I’ve begun to adore them both. Who cares if More burned seven people alive or Anne plotted to steal Henry from Katherine, leading to the latter’s banishment, broken heart, and quite possibly (in future episodes) her death? What happened last season stays in last season. Agreed?
That’s not to say I’ve forgiven all the Boleyns. Mary, for the moment, is harmless. But let’s take Anne’s remark that they’ve got to find Mary a husband as an omen. This girl is going to shake up the court somehow. And she’ll do so using her fanny. That said, I like her. She’s loyal and sweet. And doesn’t resent her sister for going after a guy (Henry) who snubbed her. George, on the other hand is a total wet mop. Face like a slapped arse. Though I loved seeing him and Mark Smeaton consummate their relationship. Here’s hoping that being around our favorite Mark (and coming out, at least to himself) will make George less of a boring gobshite. Now, has any historian ever put forth that these two had a relationship in real life? I wonder. Oh, and PopWatcher Clio is right: David Alpay (the actor portraying Mark) does play his own instruments! According to the show’s publicity materials, he’s been the principal violinist for the Canadian Dance Tapestry since 1994! Now, I know I’m a gusher. I go gaga for just about anyone on this show (yes, you Henry Cavill!), but what’s not to love about this guy? Dear Showtime, let him keep his head (I mean that literally), puh-lease?!?
But I digress. The Boleyn that really gets my fists pounding is Papa. He comes back from France in this episode, greets his daughter, and then tells her that the only way to hold onto Henry is by picking out his mistresses for him. Great, fantastic, wonderful idea. In theory! You’ve not screwed your daughter up enough by pushing her into a volatile, potentially lethal relationship with no emotional stability, now you’re turning her into a pimp. And poor Anne. She chooses her least attractive lady-in-waiting, her moon-faced Cousin Madge, for the job. Can this girl talk without drooling? Sure, Henry’s interested (who wouldn’t be, she’s got tatas the size of Kansas). For now. Nevertheless, who didn’t feel for Anne when they went off riding together leaving her to cry alone in bed?
addCredit(“David Alpay: Jonathan Hession”)
There’s little to say about More beyond the fact that he’s a manthat sticks to his guns. I respect that. And he doesn’t want to swearunder oath that the King is mightier than the Pope. I respect that too.Because if you do believe in God and you are a Catholic, that can be ascary thing. Then again, you’d think the Lord would want you to hang onto your life, take care of your kids, and then some. But I’m notreligious enough (or at all really) to know exactly how this works andwill shut up now.
Brandon on the other hand, has decided totake the oath as his Christmas present to Henry (yes, it’s Christmasagain! Didn’t we just do this like two weeks ago?). But I challengeanyone who sees this as a weakness. I think he was actually moved byCromwell’s confession that, like Brandon, he aches for Katherine, but first and foremost he serves that King. And at this point, in thiscourt, serving the King may mean doing what he wants — because if hekills too many of his merry men, the public might turn against him.
It was at that moment that I began to like Cromwell. Maybe he’s notthe nasty we all thought. He also seemed physically moved (and ill)during Thomas More’s sentencing, a little irked by Cranmer’soverzealousness, and suitably embarrassed that he was the one whosupplied Cranmer with More’s pamphlet (written by the King in his youth,it lambastes Luther). Finally, while we’re on the subject of beingmoved, how do we feel about the former Princess Mary? The King’s nowmade her one of his new daughter, Elizabeth’s, ladies-in-waiting. Talkabout a way to spark sibling rivalry. I like her, she’s got guts. Andit pulled at my heartstrings when the king bowed to her. I can’t decideif that was hurtful or a beautiful mea culpa on his part. Either wayshe’s going to be storing up a lot of hate and abandonment issues overthe next few weeks. I wonder when she’ll burst.
Lastly, for all those with TiVo, or those who can wait until the 10 p.m. replay to watch The Tudors, you should also check out Shamelesson Sundance. Okay, maybe I’m laboring under the false assumption that,like me, y’all are anglophiles. If I’m wrong, I apologize. It’sabout a family living on the estates in Manchester. You’ll never laughor cry this hard watching TV. Trust me. And if you get into it, thefirst season is available on DVD!