Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chapter 8 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.8

Frank Underwood and The RiflemenSynopsis: Frank Underwood returns to the military school where he spent four years of his life as an adolescent for the unveiling of the new library named after him.  His friends at the barbershop quartet whom he thought could not attend the event surprises him with a harmonious rendition of Dixie that interrupted his speech.  Frank becomes an honest person during his brief stay at The Sentinel that he dismisses Remy Danton when the man begins to talk politics unwilling to sully the purity of the school or the fond memories of his past.  Moreover, he conveys his deepest thoughts to his close friend, Tim Corbet.

Episode Summary: Congressman Frank Underwood is at an event at the Sentinel, the premiere military college in South Carolina he attended.  The event is a precursor to the official naming of the school’s new library that is to be called the Francis J. Underwood Library in recognition of the funds he was able to obtain from SanCorp Industries.  In fact, Remy Danton is there to represent SanCorp Industries with the hope to talk business with Frank.  Remy conveys SanCorp’s disappointment with Claire Underwood’s rejection of their donation to CWI.  Moreover, the company is displeased with the Watershed Bill, because it places numerous restrictions on drilling to a state where majority of its land sits atop the Marcellus Shale.  Frank dismisses Remy reluctant to discuss business that night.  He would rather think fondly of the memories from his stay at the Sentinel despite his claim of having been hazed, broken, and nearly expelled from the prestigious military school.  However, the one thing he misses most is the Riflemen, his barbershop quartet friends who are not in attendance.  Imagine his surprise when he hears the faint sound of men singing Dixie and the emergence of the Riflemen in the middle of his speech.  Frank joins his friends in the song and continues with the performance of the Marines’ Hymn delighting everyone at the event.Continue reading...

Frank and his friends decide to sneak inside the old library just as they used to when they were adolescents, while Claire has a drink at the bar of their hotel.  Remy, who is staying at the bridal suite of the same hotel, invites Claire up to his room much to her consternation for the man’s hubris.  The encounter gave Claire the urge to call Adam Galloway.  Their conversation becomes very personal when Adam asks her for the reason why she and Frank do not have children.  Claire makes it sound that it was a mutual decision, but Adam sensed the hesitance in her voice enough not to believe her.  She confesses of having thought about having children, but argues not regretting having them.  She learns that Adam does not want children as well.  In fact, the idea of the man performing a father’s duties is so out of character that it made her laugh.  Meanwhile, the Riflemen continue their cavorting inside the dilapidated old library where they act like children.  They have the best time of their adult lives.  Later, Frank is with Tim Corbet and admits having wondered whether the school made them who they are.  He confesses that the library is a sham built solely on favors.  Frank could not care less about the library, but would like to think that the time he spent at the Sentinel did.  In particular, the time he spent with Tim and the experiences they had together.  It is unfortunate that Frank and Tim lost touch despite the seemingly intimate relationship they had in the four years of their stay at the military school.  They went their separate ways and led different lives with Frank going on to law school and Tim joining the army.  Both men are now married and Tim even has children, but both believe that they meant something to each other.  The two men fall asleep in the library.  The young cadets are already outside with their morning march when Frank wakes up to Claire’s phone call.  Frank leaves his friends at the school’s cafeteria to get some shut-eye at his hotel before the ceremony.

Peter Russo visits his mother at the nursing home to inform her of his plan to run for governor that he will be announcing soon.  He thought it best to warn her, certain that details of his sordid past will be in the news soon after his announcement.  His mother, however, could not care less about his political ambition or his children that she refuses to look even at their photos.  If Peter cannot even get the support of his mother then his dream of becoming a governor is just a chimera.  He decides to pay a visit to Paul Capra, his close friend and senior official of the Shipbuilder’s Association, whom he betrayed.  Peter receives an angry reception from Paul’s wife who wants his husband to get him out of their lives for good.  Paul, however, ends up having drinks in a bar with Peter after hearing that he has a plan to fix the shipyard.  Peter apprises Paul of the Watershed Bill that he believes will bring jobs to Pennsylvania, but the jobs it will bring is not even half of those they lost from the closing of the shipyard and will take at least two years to start.  Nevertheless, Peter plans to speak about the bill at the community meeting with the hope of getting the support of the shipbuilders despite his betrayal that cost them their livelihood.  Moreover, he has lured Paul into speaking to him with his apology only to ask the influential shipbuilder for his support given his bid to run for governor.  Paul becomes disgusted at the politician after hearing his ulterior motive.  The sight of Christina Gallagher sitting on the stoop of his childhood home is a welcome respite from the consecutive rejections he received that day.  He, however, tells Christina to leave certain that tomorrow’s meeting with the shipbuilders will be hostile, but the woman insists on being on his side to provide moral support.  Christina witnesses first-hand what Peter meant as a livid woman rebukes him for the uncertainty of the bill he is sponsoring and the inevitability of her inability to support her family.  Having heard enough, the attendees of the community meeting angrily walk out of the auditorium until only Peter and Christina are the two people left.  Peter realizes that the people in his district do not want empathy.  Paul and his family are shocked to see Peter in their living room waiting for them scaring Paul’s wife and his children.  He asks Paul to help him, but Paul continues to refuse.  Paul attacks Peter when the he refuses to leave and they end up in a brawl where Peter ends up the loser.  Peter may have lost the brawl, but he wins the fight when Paul comes to a realization of the pointlessness of their altercation that he soon decides to give his support.  Peter brings his proposal to a local bar instead of an auditorium and with Paul as his endorser, the people begins to listen.  Peter tells them that the closing of the shipyard was an inevitable event that could have been forestalled, but not for a long time.  He tells them the hard truths.  His proposal is not anywhere close to what they deserve and that there is no one else in Washington who will give them any thought but him.  The proposal is better than nothing and that is all they will get.  The people give Peter their support believing that he is the only one who can provide some help.  He and Christina drop by the nursing home in spite of his reluctance the previous night to have the love of his life meet his cantankerous mother.  Mrs. Russo, although indifferent to Peter’s success as a politician, shows pride at learning that he won the fight that caused the bruises on his hand and face.  Moreover, she is candid enough to acknowledge Peter and Christina’s sexual relationship.  Armed with renewed confidence from gaining the support of the shipbuilders, Peter commands the orderly into submission forcing him to fix the light and the air conditioner in his mother’s room immediately.

The group of people around Frank at the ceremony is of a very different class from those surrounding Peter.  They listen as President Higgins sing Frank Underwood praises for his success at attaining a Harvard Law degree and becoming one of the youngest state legislators in the history of South Carolina.  The Sentinel could not be more proud for having an alumnus that is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Congress much more a House Majority Whip.  President Higgins believes that the values the military school instills in its students allowed Frank to succeed in his career.  His success is then the benefit of the school that now has a newly built library in his name.  The crowd applauds at the unveiling of The Francis J. Underwood Library.  Frank stammers as he deviates from the speech he prepared opting to provide a more personal note on his stay at The Sentinel.  His speech seems to be addressed to Tim and not to the crowd as he comes to a realization of the meaning of his time at The Sentinel.  Frank believes that harmony is what made the four years of his adolescence the fondest experience of his life.  It may have been brief and temporary, but its effect is lasting.  His fumbling yet genuine and heartfelt speech surprised everyone including Claire, who appears to have been brought to tears by it.  Frank bids his friends farewell as they part ways with empty promises of keeping in touch with each other.  Frank spends a few more minutes at the school that gave him so many fond memories.  The moment passes as soon as he turns his back and walks back to his car with Doug Stamper, who with his urging informs him of Peter’s success with the shipbuilders.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chapter 7 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.7

Peter Russo divulges his deepest secretsSynopsis: Francis Underwood gains favor when President Garret Walker signs the pivotal Education Reform and Achievement Act.  His work on the keystone bill of the new administration becomes his weapon in persuading the President into endorsing, Peter Russo, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict as a candidate for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race.  Frank sets in motion the redemption story that will be the narrative of Peter’s campaign, but Peter begins to have doubts on their strategy afraid to face the consequences of revealing his secrets to his family and the public.

Episode Summary: Everyone gather in the Oval Office to attend the press conference President Garrett Walker called to announce the signing into law of the Education Reform and Achievement Act.  Vice President Jim Matthews finds himself relegated off to the side, but decides to stand beside President Garrett Walker taking over the place reserved for Representative Terry Womack.  Unwilling to stand on his designated mark despite the urging of one of the President’s staffs, Vice President Matthews soon finds himself standing behind an African American boy who represents the beneficiaries of the bill.  He feels even more marginalized as the President publicly expresses his gratitude to Congressman Francis Underwood for spearheading the Education Reform and Achievement Act.Continue reading...

Matthews later speaks to Frank about Peter Russo’s candidacy as governor of his home state.  His insecurity for DNC’s decision not to ask for his opinion regarding the candidate overwhelms the legitimacy of his doubt about Peter’s ability to draw in rural voters.  Frank tries to persuade Matthews to show his support for Peter in order to help him with his candidacy, but the Vice President is hesitant to endorse a candidate he finds unfit.  Matthews later finds himself in a meeting with Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez to convey President Walker’s order for him to take a step back from Pennsylvania.  The President has learned that the Vice President has been spending much of his time at his home state as though he is still its governor inadvertently making the White House appear partial to Pennsylvania.  Their meeting surfaces Matthews’ insecurities that stems from his marginalization in President Garrett’s administration.  His diffidence ultimately manifests with his complaint of not receiving a pen from the bill signing.  Later, Matthews sneaks into the Oval Office to sit on the president’s chair and steals a commemorative pen from his desk.

Doug Stamper returns to his office after attending an AA meeting with Peter Russo and finds a letter asking him for more money.  He meets with Rachel Posner, who hides a black eye behind dark sunglasses.  The young woman who yearns to leave the life of prostitution attempts to extort money from Stamper using the information she has about the cover-up concerning Peter’s arrest as fodder.  Stamper warns her about the consequences of blackmailing powerful men.  Rachel, at her wits’ end, begs for help from Stamper, who begins to pity the young woman.  He gives her cash to help her get a fresh start, but demands that she inform him of her whereabouts.  Stamper then extorts Police Commissioner Barney Hull into funneling funds from his mayoral campaign to finance a troubled hooker’s escape from prostitution.  Stamper uses the police commissioner’s debt of gratitude towards Frank for helping fund his campaign and the threat of the prostitute divulging the commissioner’s dismissal of Peter Russo’s arrest as ways to persuade the man into agreement.  Barney, however, is more afraid of the consequences of playing with campaign finance regulations.  After failing to coerce the police commissioner into helping him, Stamper takes the last resort and compels Frank’s secretary, Nancy Kaufberger, to take in Rachel secretly into her home for an indefinite period of time and without asking any questions.  Nancy foregoes spending a weekend with her daughter to receive Rachel in her house.  The young stranger is to sleep in her daughter’s old bedroom.

Peter arrives at the basement of the Underwoods that currently serves as his campaign headquarters.  He sits in silence as he listens to the campaign staff discuss their plan to present his story of redemption given his debauched history of drugs and alcohol.  Aside from his personal issues, they also must address the matter of the shipyard closing.  Claire Underwood and her staff are working on the Delaware River Watershed Act that will make up for the jobs lost due to the shipyard closing.  All are hard at work and progressing with their assignments except Peter whose only tasks are to keep sober, to find co-sponsors for the bill, and to get the support of the shipbuilders.  Peter argues that the proposed bill will not do much in getting the support of the shipbuilders given that the jobs it will create will not match the jobs that were lost.  His criticism of the bill annoys Claire enough for her to confide her concern to her husband who foregoes their discussion.  Frank, however, makes note of Claire’s sudden interest with origami, one she does not deny, but avoids to discuss.  In fact, Claire does not disclose the impetus of her new interest probably believing that her husband will find her compassion for the homeless man as a form of weakness.  Frank does not dwell on it as well and instead brings up her standing in front of the refrigerator.  However, Claire does not want to discuss her menopause either.

Frank arrives at Zoe’s apartment after the young journalist complains of not receiving due attention from him, a complaint that he earlier found annoying for its neediness, but now is more than willing to satiate.  Her need is twofold, one that will satiate her ambition and another that will gratify her senses with the former being greater than the latter.  Frank satisfies the former with information about an unknown congressional representative, Peter Russo, running for governor of Pennsylvania to fill the seat left open when Governor Matthews became Vice President of the United States.  He wants Zoe to write a flattering profile about the little known congressman with a sordid past.  Zoe refuses to write the profile arguing that puff pieces are beneath her.  Frank suggests that she share the privy information to another journalist and use the supposed generosity to her advantage.  Zoe eyes Janine Skorsky as the recipient of her generosity.  The former colleague would have been suspicious of the young journalist’s decision to contact her had she not thought of reaching out to her as well.   Janine confesses to have considered calling her to apologize for her rude behavior towards her when she was still at The Herald.  She shares her dissatisfaction of the new managing editor hired to replace Tom Hammerschmidt, questioning his qualifications given that the man’s primary achievement was managing an online entertainment site.  Zoe suggests to Janine about moving to Slugline and flatters her for the impact it will create given her position as Chief Political Correspondent of the more established yet less competitive newspaper, The Herald.  Janine shows interest in the unsolicited suggestion, but learns that Carly Heath, the founder of Slugline, favors gritty pieces over conventional journalism.  Zoe, however, offers Janine a story that would catch Carly’s attention.  Janine must be desperate to leave The Herald for dismissing her suspicion about Zoe’s generosity.

Peter agrees to divulge his deepest secrets to Walter Doyle as part of the vetting of the potential future governor of Pennsylvania.  Peter confesses to have engaged in prostitution while also under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  The gravity of his licentious activities becomes too much to bear that Peter walks out of the interrogation.  Walter finds him an amateur who does not have the temerity to endure probing questions from the press.  Peter begins to have doubts about the strategy of his campaign believing that he does not have the courage to disclose the details of his sordid past or the strength to face the consequences of doing so.  Stamper is unlike him for the man had just shared to a group of strangers his fear of returning to alcoholism when he has not had a drop of alcohol since April 4, 1999.  However, his disclosure has another motive and that is to convey to Peter that failure is not an option.  Moreover, Stamper emphasizes that he finds strength in his fear thus making him ruthless.  Peter seems to sense that his words are directed at him that he walks out of the meeting and cuts communication with anyone including Frank Underwood.  Frank urges Peter’s former girlfriend, Christina Gallagher, to provide Peter support.  He informs Christina of having spoken to her boss, Speaker of the House Bob Birch, about giving her a six-month leave that she may assume the role of deputy campaign manager in Peter’s campaign.  The lure of the offered position makes Christina more amenable to the idea of becoming Peter’s crutch once again that she agrees to speak to the troubled congressman in order to lift his spirits.  Peter arrives at the Underwoods’ house and finds Christina waiting for him.  Peter confides his decision to forego the gubernatorial race afraid of the consequences of exposing his sordid past, worried of what it will do to his children.  Christina advises that he should not run if he does not want to be governor, but Peter claims that he indeed wants to be in the race.  Hearing this, Christina believes that divulging the truth might be the best recourse not just for his campaign, but also for Peter and his family’s well-being.  Peter learns that Christina truly believes in his ability to become a great governor and with this knowledge, he decides to get back in the race.  He begins to get sponsors for the watershed act that will be the keystone of his campaign, while Frank begins to gain the support of the President first by asking him to keep the Vice President from disrupting the campaign.  Linda, however, unexpectedly sides with the Vice President for his doubts in the choice of the candidate.  She and the President become aghast at learning that Peter is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.  Frank, however, makes them believe that Peter’s redemption story will appeal to the public.  Lucky for him, President Walker only cares for a win enough to allow his administration to endorse a man with a known history of alcoholism and drug abuse.  Linda attempts to dissuade the President from agreeing, but Frank uses the success of the education bill as his weapon.  With that, Frank receives approval from the President.

Zoe speaks to Carly about Janine’s desire to be part of Slugline and with the young journalist’s recommendation agrees to consider the award-winning veteran journalist.  Accepting Zoe’s suggestion that will secure her a job at Slugline, Janine interviews Peter to discuss his alcoholism and drug abuse.  Peter, already coached for the interview, only divulges some truths and sweeps under the rug all the rest.  Moreover, he declares that the reasons for his redemption are his children and his renewed faith in God.  These are two reasons that made Janine question Peter’s sincerity.  The opposite is true with Christina whose desire for Peter rekindles after their conversation earlier that day that she drops by Peter’s house unannounced and resumes their passionate relationship.

Frank decides to come see Zoe, but sees her outside her apartment building with a man.  The man is a drunken Lucas Goodwin, who kisses her passionately revealing the desire he had kept hidden while she was under her employ.  Sympathetic of Lucas, Zoe receives the kiss without reciprocating, but politely rejects him.  Frank delightfully watches in his car the event that has transpired and comes up Zoe’s apartment soon after Lucas woefully leaves.  Zoe is in her nightgown waiting for him in a pest-infested hovel of an apartment.  Frank amusingly watches her trap a spider in a wine glass and learns that she has been catching pests to leave in front of her superintendent’s apartment after the man refused to hire an exterminator.  He then learns that Zoe would rather live in a scrapheap than borrow money from her parents.  Remembering that it is Father’s Day, Frank urges Zoe to call her father and she obliges.  He observes that Zoe speaks an octave higher when speaking to her father and believes that the young woman would share everything but the truth to her father.  He finds that Zoe is much like him and Claire.  All of them feed on their secrets.  On the other hand, there is Peter, who suffocates in his secrets.  Frank believes that the ordeal he is subjecting Peter is his way of setting him free.  Zoe watches as Frank upturns the wine glass presenting the spider hope of deliverance without actually giving it.  Meanwhile, Zoe continues to speak to his father and blatantly lies to him about not seeing anyone.  Frank arouses her while she is still on the phone with her father barely managing to end the call before she reaches orgasm.  While they elate in sexual bliss, the spider struggles to make its way out of the wine glass.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Episode 2 Season 2 – The Tudors Episode Summary 2.2

King Henry VIII crowns Anne Boleyn as Marquess of PembrokeSynopsis: King Henry VIII persuaded by his desire to marry Anne Boleyn and unknowingly supported by Mr. Cromwell’s ulterior motive forces the clergy to submit completely to his authority.  Sir Thomas More witnesses the start of the destruction of the Catholic Church in England and prepares for the call of martyrdom.  With the Great Matter soon to be resolved, King Henry VIII begins the process of inculcating Anne Boleyn as his new wife and future Queen of England.

Episode Summary: Cardinal Campeggio addresses the Parliament in Westminster insisting the Church and its faithful’s immunity from secular interference with the argument that God ordained it.  Moreover, he intimates the violence done to him and the threat to all those who uphold the sanctity of the Church.Continue reading...

It is Christmas and the court is somber with the absence of Queen Katherine of Aragon and her ladies in waiting.  King Henry VIII and Lady Anne Boleyn, however, are delighted with each other’s company.  Lady Anne presents her gift of Biscayan boar spears to King Henry pleasing him even more.  His disposition turns sour when he receives a goblet from Queen Katherine of Aragon.  King Henry rejects the Queen’s gift and refuses to let her spoil the occasion, but Sir Thomas More continues to provoke him with his gift of a silver crucifix as a reminder of the real cause for celebration.  Moreover, it is a reminder of the kingdom’s conflict with the Church.  Henry welcomes the sight of Charles Brandon only to hear a hint of disapproval for his decision to marry Anne.  Charles relays the rumors he heard about Anne and her former lover, Thomas Wyatt, rumors Henry is aware of and Anne denies.  It was an unwelcome suggestion that Henry vehemently rejects.  Henry speaks to Anne of his meeting with the French ambassador with the intent to have the ambassador draw up a new treaty of alliance with France in order to keep the threat from the Emperor at bay.  Moreover, Henry desires to present Anne formally to King Francis as his future wife and Queen of England.  She returns to her quarters with exciting news to Nan, her lady in waiting, only to find a threat waiting for her.  Without Nan’s knowledge, an intruder had left an ominous warning of violence towards Anne.

Mr. Cranmer learns from Mr. Cromwell that he has gained favor from the King.  In fact, the King had just appointed Mr. Cranmer as the Majesty’s special envoy to the Emperor.  This new appointment, however, worries Mr. Cranmer than delights him for he begins to wonder the reason for his good fortune.  He learns that his understanding of the Great Matter is what won him the King’s favor for His Majesty finds in him a suitable representative to advance his desire of marrying Anne Boleyn.  Mr. Cranmer still does not find peace in the task given him and becomes even more anxious of Mr. Cromwell’s instructions for him to visit the city of Nurnberg.  The first city wholly run by Lutherans and reformers.  Mr. Cromwell then speaks to the Archbishop of Canterbury informing him of the King’s plan to put up a bill denying the Pope of the revenue from the English Church.  The bill will also indict the leading clergy of privileges they enjoy and abuse.  Mr. Cromwell accuses the Church of misusing the wealth better spent for the good of the whole commonwealth and not just a privileged few.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, however, finds the bill an attack on the faith of the Church and not the abuses of its clergy.  Nevertheless, King Henry is adamant in putting the bill in place that he summons the clergy to inform them that the oath they swore to the Pope is in contrast to the oath they swore to the kingdom.  The King now demands that they choose whom to serve.

Sir Thomas More speaks with the well-known and respectable Catholic, Sir George Throckmorton, to convey his displeasure with Mr. Cromwell’s scheme of forcing the clergy to submit completely to the King’s will and to secular authority.  He worries of the loss of spiritual life in the kingdom and pleads men like Sir George to remain strong in their faith.  Indeed there are still men with conscience that are unafraid to challenge the King and one such man is the friar that stood on the pulpit in His Majesty’s presence accusing King Henry VIII of turning to Ahab’s ways alluding to Ahab’s marriage to the whore, Jezebel.  His reproachful sermon resulted in his extraction from the church and his reception of Mr. Cromwell’s threat of death, a threat the friar does not fear for his faith is stronger than the fear of death.  Soon, King Henry VIII opens the Parliament expecting the clergy to declare their complete submission to his authority and learns of their surrender from the Archbishop of Canterbury who as representative of the clergy declares their submission to the King.  Both Cardinal Campeggio and Sir Thomas More woe the day the Church broke in England.  Sir Thomas tenders his resignation as Chancellor.  He also asks the King’s permission to allow him to withdraw from public life that he may live the rest of his life in God’s service.  King Henry VIII most willingly discharges Sir Thomas More and expresses appreciation for his service.  Sir Thomas set free from his service to the King finds the temerity to speak to His Majesty of his disapproval of the Great Matter and his desire for him to reconcile with Queen Katherine.  Moreover, he finds that his reconciliation with the rightful and legal Queen of England shall vanquish the divisions and sufferings of the kingdom.  King Henry VIII, however, becomes displeased with his opinion and asks that Sir Thomas keep it to himself.  The influence of Sir Thomas More ends and the sway of Mr. Cromwell begins.  Mr. Cromwell shares his delight to Lord Rochford at learning that Mr. Cranmer has taken advantage of the privilege afforded to the clergy in Nurnberg; the priest had taken himself a wife.  Mr. Cromwell reveals his true intention of destroying the Catholic Church in England and learns that Lord Rochford shares the same desire.  Sir Thomas More is resigned that the ruin of Christendom is at hand and envies the Archbishop of Canterbury who recently passed away.  Sir Thomas agrees with Cardinal Campeggio to their duty to defend Christendom whatever the cost maybe despite his yearning to live in peace having abjured the public realm.  Sir Thomas prepares his daughter for the consequences of standing by his faith, believing that martyrdom calls him.

Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, learns that his suggestion of Anne’s promiscuity displeased the King enough to order his banishment from court.  This is an order Mr. Cromwell relishes to communicate personally to the Duke.  The decision, however, was only made to please Anne.  King Henry, in fact, begins to reconsider the Duke’s banishment.  Lady Anne, however, rejects the idea arguing that forgiving the Duke so quickly might validate the rumors.  King Henry argues that refuting the rumors shall show his trust in her and what better way to invalidate them than to invite Mr. Wyatt to France with them.  Little did they know that Mr. Wyatt has taken steps to dispel the rumors.  He pays a visit to The More to deliver a command from King Henry ordering Queen Katherine of Aragon to return the official jewels.  The seizure of the Queen’s jewels is in anticipation of Lady Anne’s establishment as the new Queen of England.  Lady Elizabeth Darrell receives Mr. Wyatt for the Queen is at prayer.  She learns from Mr. Wyatt’s poem of his desire to be with her despite her declaration of becoming a bride of Christ.  She wills to reject him, but so quickly succumbs to the desire of the flesh.  Lady Elizabeth is unaware that she is merely a smokescreen and that Mr. Wyatt still burns for Anne Boleyn.

Lady Anne has already been acting like a Queen, sitting by the King’s side and introducing to him her chosen courtier, the fiddler, Mark Smeaton.  Soon, in preparation for her rise as Queen, King Henry VIII bestows on Lady Anne the noble title of Marquess of Pembroke that comes with an allowance of a hundred pounds a year.  King Henry then presents to her the jewels of the Queens of England.  With Anne Boleyn’s inevitable coronation as Queen, Ambassador Chapuys meets with the assassin ordering him to carry out the murder of Anne Boleyn in France.  It is, according to the ambassador, a mission sanctioned by the Emperor and the Pope, and done for the benefit of the people of England.  Moreover, Ambassador Chapuys states that the assassination will be done in the service of God.

King Henry VIII and his entourage sans Anne Boleyn arrive in English occupied France to meet with King Francis, who receives them as friends.  It is revealed that the King of France’s wife and sister are disinclined to receive Anne Boleyn as one of their own.  They are not the only ones who are opposed to the King’s chosen new wife for the Duke of Suffolk, who despite being in King Henry’s good graces once again, secretly maintains his allegiance to Queen Katharine of Aragon.  Lord Rochford, father of Anne Boleyn, confronts him about his allegiance and learns that the Duke of Suffolk who once took pride in his apathy towards politics has grown a social and moral conscience.  The festivities continue amidst the gravity of conversations among guests, but everyone’s attention centers on the seductive female dancers who arrived.  One of the dancers lures King Francis to dance with her, pleasing him greatly.  He becomes even more thrilled when King Henry VIII reveals her identity for she is no one else but Anne Boleyn, the future Queen of England and former lady in waiting to the Queen of France.  King Francis remembers the Boleyn sisters well such that Lady Anne requests him to keep his knowledge of her former activities in his court from the King of England.  Lady Anne has found a supporter in King Francis for the man loathes the Emperor who happens to be the nephew of Queen Katherine of Aragon.  King Francis takes great pleasure in seeing the Emperor discomfited with the humiliating divorce of his aunt from the King of England.  He, however, warns Anne Boleyn that the station she desires and soon will have is not an easy one especially to someone like her who is not born to have it.  King Francis confides in her that he himself would not have chosen the life of royalty if given a choice.  Even so, there is no deterring Anne’s aspiration of becoming the Queen of England and she intimates to her recently widowed sister, Mary, of the certainty of fulfilling her dream.  She is unaware that an assassin joined them in France to crush her dream.  Lucky for her, an opportunity to terminate her has not presented itself.  That night, she lies on the bed of King Henry VIII and copulates with him to give him the one thing the King desires to have, a son.

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