Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chapter 10 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.10

The disastrous radio interview of Peter RussoSynopsis: House Representative Francis Underwood learns that his wife betrayed him to pursue her goals and Zoe Barns threatens to expose Claire Underwood’s betrayal.  With the failed passage of the Watershed Bill, Peter Russo finds his election as governor of Pennsylvania in danger.  He threatens to expose Frank’s hand in smearing former State Secretary nominee Michael Kern.

Episode Summary: President Garrett Walker reproaches Congressman Francis Underwood for the failure of the Watershed Bill.  Everybody believed that the bill would pass.  Frank blames the misinformation on the journalist Janine Skorsky, who published an article claiming to have received verified vote counts in favor of the bill.  President Walker, however, is not concerned about the misinformation.  His concern is the division the bill created among Democrats that makes his leadership appear incompetent.  The knowledge that Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez disobeyed his instructions dismays the President even more.  Linda missed meeting with the house representatives to rally them into supporting the bill in order to address a personal matter.  Francis takes full responsibility for her absence believing that Linda’s influence was not necessary at that time.Continue reading...

Frank Underwood is out to chastise the two Democrats who betrayed him, Vanderburgh and Abrams.  He, however, learns from Zoe Barnes that his wife, Claire Underwood, was the person who dissuaded the two from voting for the Watershed Bill.  Zoe threatens to write an article about the betrayal if Frank does not feed her with better information.  Frank verifies Zoe’s information with Vanderburgh and Abrams who relays the conversation they both had with his wife.  Claire Underwood told them to vote for their conscience and added that it would not be the end of the world if the bill failed.  Frank chastises his wife for her betrayal and learns that she has done so as payment for Remy’s help in getting her shipment out of Sudan.  Claire justifies making a decision without consulting him.  She argues that Frank has kept her in the dark of his plans for the past six months.  He worries that her betrayal will become news, one from which they cannot recover.  She learns that the very threat of exposing her betrayal comes from Zoe whom she believed was under the control of her husband.  She attributes the imminent threat to them to her husband’s inability to control his sexual urges.  Frank lost his hold on Zoe when he made her his mistress.  Claire begins to feel that she has made more sacrifices toward her husband’s goals than hers.  This leads Frank to remind her that CWI is not as important as their ultimate goal.  His reminder only made it clear to Claire that her husband has only been using her just like everyone else.  Frank attributes her defiance to menopause causing Claire to throw her husband out of her office.  Later that night, Claire pays Zoe Barnes a surprise visit and purposefully intrudes.  She came to make it known to the young woman that she and her husband share everything, not only does she know of their affair, she is aware of the details including trivial ones such as her trapping a spider with a wine glass.  That night, Claire does not return home and does not answer her phone.  Frank decides to satisfy his urges with Zoe and learns that Claire had come to see her.  This knowledge prompts him to rush back home, but Claire is nowhere to be found.

The failure of passage of the Watershed Bill does not bode well for Peter Russo’s election as Governor of Pennsylvania.  The journalists question his absence in Washington during the critical time when his influence as the chief sponsor of the bill is required.  Moreover, Janine Skorsky brings up the new ad that uses his failed bill to question his resolve in maintaining his sobriety.  Peter realizes the precariousness of his election with the failure of the keystone of his campaign.  He orders Frank who promised the passage of the Watershed Bill to fix it.  He threatens him of going public with Kapeniak and the Kern editorial if he does not do so.  Peter has come to a realization that Frank no longer holds power over him for his sordid past is now public knowledge.  Moreover, Peter now has power over Frank with his participation in the ruining of Senator Michael Kern.  Frank speaks to Doug Stamper about accelerating their plan regarding Peter Russo for the man has become uncontrollable.  Doug obtains a decent apartment for Rachel Posner, one whose furniture, security deposit, first and last rent he paid.  His supposed good will, however, comes with a price.

Still unaware of Claire’s whereabouts, Frank drops by CWI to fish information from Gillian Cole.  He learns that Claire has feigned illness and has scheduled a weeklong absence from work.  Frank also learns that Gillian, a Stanford alumnus, knows the Provost of Stanford Warren Tynsdale.  In fact, the provost has made her the poster child of alumni whose attendance has been requested on fundraising events.  Frank obliges Gillian to recommend Ruben Vasquez, the son of Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez, for acceptance after hearing that Stanford continues to reject his application despite Linda’s meeting with the Dean of Stanford.  Later, he meets with Remy Danton at his secret hideaway, Freddy’s.  Frank proposes turning Peter into a pro-natural gas candidate despite sponsoring the Watershed Bill.  He argues that Peter is for employment and not opposed to drilling.  He is asking SanCorp to consider building refineries that will create jobs in Philadelphia in exchange for Peter’s support for natural gas.  Remy agrees to bring the proposal to SanCorp.  Frank persuades Peter into becoming an ally of SanCorp notwithstanding his appearing a hypocrite for a chance to discuss the construction of SanCorp refineries in Philadelphia.  Christina Gallagher opposes the strategy, but Peter agrees with Frank.  Moreover, he foregoes his prior obligations in order to speak with Remy at a gala for the McNeally Cancer Institute in order to discuss a potential partnership with SanCorp.  Frank also recommends publicly showing his support for SanCorp’s drilling efforts on his radio interview with a local radio station in Pittsburgh the following day.  He tells Peter that Remy has given assurance that a display of public support will prompt Remy to persuade SanCorp to build refineries in Philadelphia.  Peter instructs Christina to cancel the events in his schedule to allow him to attend the gala.  That night, he speaks with Remy and learns that SanCorp is disinclined to build refineries in a major urban center due to the costliness of doing so.  However, statewide permitted use zoning can avert the steep cost.  Peter contends that zoning is state legislature that is beyond the authority of a governor, but Remy claims that a governor can put pressure on the legislature.  His election as governor of Pennsylvania is conditional on his support for permitted use zoning.  Peter reminds Remy that his opponent already supports drilling, but Remy argues that his opponent is not asking to build refineries in Philadelphia.  It is a request SanCorp finds favorable.  Peter tells Remy to have SanCorp listen to his interview with the local Pittsburgh station.  Having made a deal, Remy leaves the event.  Peter is very pleased and delights in the possibility of him winning the gubernatorial race.  Rachel Posner, whom he does not recognize, begins to flirt with him.  She leaves him with a key to her hotel room.  Peter could not fight the urge to be with the young woman that he follows her up to her hotel room.  Soon he loses the fight against alcohol and drinks whiskey with Rachel ending his sobriety.  Moreover, he engages in a sexual intercourse with her.

Claire arrives at Adam Galloway’s apartment and resumes their affair.  That night, she finds herself enjoying a party at Adam’s apartment among his friends unaware that her husband had asked their driver, Ed Meechum to locate her.  Meechum learns from his friend at Missing Persons that Claire is staying with a friend in New York, a friend Frank immediately identifies as Adam Galloway.  Meanwhile, Zoe realizes that she could no longer bear living in a squalid apartment and everything it represents.  She waits for Lucas Goodwin by his car and asks to stay at his apartment for a few days.  Zoe takes the couch, but later decides to sleep beside Lucas.  The two begin a sexual relationship.

Peter spends a night of debauchery with Rachel.  He only realizes the time when the young woman opens the curtains.  Still inebriated, Peter rushes to get ready for his radio interview that begins in half an hour.  Soon he receives a call from Doug, who is waiting for him at the front desk of his apartment building.  He informs Doug of his whereabouts prompting the man to rush to where he is.  Doug smells the alcohol in Peter’s breath and observes his slurred speech.  Congressman Peter Russo pursues the radio interview against the recommendation of Doug to forego it.  Christina immediately senses trouble when Peter misidentifies the radio host.  As the interview progresses, it becomes apparent that Peter could not collect his thoughts.  Moreover, despite the interview done over the phone, the hosts could sense that Congressman Peter Russo is currently intoxicated.  Peter denies being drunk and begins to make excuses until Doug hangs up the phone abruptly ending the interview.  He takes the blame for allowing the congressman to push through with the radio interview and offers a plan to make an announcement for the disastrous interview.  Peter realizes that this is the end of his career as a politician.  Frank immediately after listening to the interview that led to the destruction of Peter Russo sends a message to Zoe of fulfilling his promise of providing her a better story to write about than the story about Claire’s betrayal.  He calls Linda Vasquez soon after to inform her of the fiasco.  The woman does not seem worried for some good news came her way.  Stanford reversed their decision and decided to accept her son due to Gillian Cole’s recommendation.  Linda did some research and learned that Gillian works for Claire.  She finds herself once again indebted to the Underwoods.  Frank then instructs Doug to schedule an urgent meeting with the Vice President.  Doug, however, finds that Peter Russo has sneaked out of the hotel.


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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chapter 9 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.9

Peter Russo for Governor Bus TourSynopsis: Congressman Peter Russo begins the bus tour of Pennsylvania as part of his gubernatorial campaign and he finds himself at the mercy of the reluctant Vice President Jim Matthews.  Congressman Francis Underwood and his staff struggle to get the votes in support of the controversial Watershed Bill that caught the ire of the oil and gas industries not to mention SanCorp Industries.  Meanwhile, Claire Underwood finds that the State Department has failed to get CWI’s shipment of water filters out of South Sudan.

Episode Summary: Representative Francis Underwood and Peter Russo speak with their fellow Democrats to ascertain their support of Peter.  All of them are already in disagreement of the Watershed Act given the disapproval of the drilling industry, SanCorp, in particular.  The house representatives confess that Remy Danton of SanCorp has already approached them with various offers in order to dissuade them from supporting the Watershed Act that enforces more responsible drilling in Pennsylvania.  Congressman Underwood reminds them that the Democrats losing the governorship in Pennsylvania will lead to their party’s loss of the House in the next election along with their committee chairmanship.  Therefore, all of them are dependent on Peter winning the gubernatorial race and his election is contingent on the success of the Watershed Act.Continue reading...

With everyone tied with meetings for Peter Russo’s campaign, Claire Underwood finds herself volunteering to bring Peter’s kids to school.  Kids, the type of people, her husband despises.  With Peter’s drug history out in the open, the other children have been bullying his kids because of it.  Claire sympathizes for the children for suffering the consequences of the sins of their father.  The eldest wishes that her father were not running for governor.  Her wish came in too late.  Congressman Russo meets with a journalist from The New York Times for an interview at Allentown.  The main subject of the interview is the Watershed Bill that has taken a whipping from Republicans and Democrats alike.  The bill receives the ire of the Republicans for it threatens the oil and gas industries, while the Democrats find the bill deficient.  Congressman Russo argues that the bill seeks a middle ground in order to ensure its passing.  The journalist questions his sincerity and insinuates that the sole reason for sponsoring the bill is to get the support for his election as governor of Pennsylvania.  The interview segues into the congressman’s substance abuse, which he handles quite well given his honesty about it.  Congressman Russo once again answers truthfully the question regarding the hesitance of Vice President Jim Matthews to provide him support.  He believes that the vice president did not believe him worth of his endorsement until he heard that he landed a one-on-one interview with The New York Times.  The vice president proves his lack of confidence in him after ignoring Peter in front of the press and the public when he arrived in Pennsylvania.  Moreover, Vice President Jim Matthews has been speaking of himself for an hour and has yet to introduce Peter to the crowd causing Peter to be late for the next stop at his campaign.  Not only did the vice president ruin Peter’s campaign schedule, he publicly opposed him when he cut off Peter as he explains how the Watershed Act will create jobs for Pennsylvania and offered his own strategy of creating tax credits for small businesses as the only real option.  Peter speaks with Frank about the vice president torpedoing his campaign and his decision to have him leave the bus tour.  Frank encourages him to inveigle his support instead or to, at least, stand up for himself.  Peter confronts Vice President Jim Matthews and lays down the fact that he is sabotaging his campaign.  The vice president believes that his acts are saving Peter from a loss.  Peter strokes Matthews' ego by using his struggles to be elected as governor.  Matthews confesses of his regret for leaving the Governor’s mansion at his prime to become a Vice President believing that it was a step up.  He learns now that he is merely a mascot without any shred of influence.  Peter offers him his influence through his guidance and expertise, but if Matthews refuses to show his support, he is to return to Washington to resume his role as a non-entity.  Soon he sees that their confrontation proved its worth.  The vice president addresses the people of Bristol and confesses to have had doubts about Peter Russo, but adds that all that has changed after spending a few days with the smart, energetic, and resilient young congressman.  Vice President Jim Matthews finally gives the support Congressman Peter Russo deserves.

Frank meets with Remy to tell him to stop lobbying against the Watershed Act for he is certain of the bill’s success.  Remy believes that the mere act of meeting with him in an attempt to dissuade SanCorp from lobbying against the bill shows the uncertainty of passing the Watershed Act.  Moreover, he states that SanCorp is against any regulation no matter how trivial it might seem.  SanCorp has already provided financial support for Peter’s opponent because of it despite the knowledge of its consequences, which includes Frank losing his role as the House Majority Whip.  SanCorp finds replacing Frank as their pawn a lesser evil than allowing a bill that will regulate their industry to pass.  Frank believes that there will come a time when he will need to take down Remy, but that time has not yet come.  Meanwhile, Claire meets with State Secretary Catherine Durant to persuade her to force the Sudanese government into releasing CWI’s large shipment of water filters held in South Sudan.  Regrettably, Catherine informs her that she had done everything she can to get her water filters out of South Sudan.  To add to Claire’s misfortune, President Garrett Walker has ordered an end to diplomatic ties with Sudan following its numerous human rights violations.  This means that the State Department can no longer communicate with the Sudanese government in any way.  Claire speaks to her husband with the hope that he could persuade the State Secretary to return the favor for putting her in that position.  There is nothing that anyone can do due to the directive from the President.  Claire begins to consider seeking the help of the law firm Glendon Hill believing that they have contacts in South Sudan.  Unfortunately, receiving a favor from Glendon Hill will be at the expense of the Watershed Act.  Claire comes to a realization that her goals are only secondary to the goals of her husband.  She supposes that her husband’s ego is the one preventing him from seeking the help of Glendon Hill.  Frank is embarrassed to beg a former employee, Remy Danton, for help.  Her supposition caused Frank to grow livid and to go into a tirade of the problems he currently faces.  Claire calmly listens to her husband’s harangue and apologizes only to be asked for a favor again.  Frank wants her to speak to Congressman Vanderburgh and Abrams believing that she can get them to commit to the Watershed Act.  He believes that Claire can appease the concerns of the two congressmen who tout themselves as environmentalists.  Claire complies with her husband’s request.

Janine Skorsky believes that there is more to the Watershed Act than meets the eye.  She finds it strange that the only major bill Congressman Russo has sponsored in six years is getting national coverage.  She believes that the congressman who is running for governor in Pennsylvania is relying on the bill in order to keep the support of the Shipbuilders’ Association.  Congressman Russo cannot win the governorship in Pennsylvania without the support of the Shipbuilder’s Association.  Janine needs a vote count to validate her conjecture.  She reaches out to Zoe Barnes supposing that the young journalist has sources in Underwood’s office.  Zoe, however, denies knowing anyone there.  Janine closing in on the truth behind Congressman Russo’s campaign worries Zoe enough for her to schedule a rendezvous with Frank.  She becomes even more concerned when Janine teases her for having an affair with her mysterious source.  Zoe becomes intrigued when Janine confesses to have done it herself with various staff of politicians not to mention a congressman.  She asks Janine of the identity of the congressman she had an affair with, but the woman would not divulge his identity until Zoe reveals hers.  Janine, however, does not seem to be interested in learning the identity of Zoe’s source for she does not press the young journalist about it.  She instead advices that doing sexual favors in order to get information is not a good strategy.  Janine has been there and no one took her seriously once news of her affairs got out.  Moreover, she learned from experience that the reward she received for debasing herself is not worth it.  Zoe joins Janine for dinner, ignores Frank’s call, but informs him of running late for their meeting.  Frank decides to forego the meeting and comes home to his wife upset.  Sixteen hours later, he receives a text from Zoe asking for them to meet.  Zoe informs him that Janine has found an angle on the Watershed Bill and Peter Russo’s campaign.  Janine believes that the Shipbuilders’ Association has agreed to accept the Watershed Bill as their consolation prize after losing their jobs following the closing of the shipyard.  Moreover, she speculates that their support is contingent on the passage of the bill.  Frank does not deny any of Janine’s conjectures.  He asks that Zoe continue to inform him of any other speculations her colleague might have.  Zoe asks for the vote count in order to keep Janine from feeding her information.  She, however, has another request.  Zoe asks Frank that they end their sexual affair claiming that it complicates their working relationship.  Frank’s immediate concurrence creates doubt and fear on Zoe.

Rachel Posner is still staying at Nancy Kaufberger’s house.  Doug Stamper learns that Rachel has lost her waitressing job possibly due to her manager whom she described to Nancy as a creep.  Doug learned that Leon, the manager of the restaurant, propositioned Zoe into providing him a sexual favor, which the young waitress refused resulting in her termination.  He goes to the restaurant and speaks to the manager insinuating that he has been forcing his employees to perform sexual favors for him.  Leon threatens to call the police, but Doug counters with a threat to call immigration knowing that he has committed a felony after hiring four undocumented staff in his kitchen.  Moreover, Leon has been harboring illegal immigrants in an apartment he rents for them.  He listens to Doug for fear of his imprisonment and deportation of his family.  Soon after, Rachel gets her waitressing job back.

Claire meets with Remy, a partner in Glendon Hill, whose main account is SanCorp.  She seeks the help of SanCorp in getting CWI’s water filters out of South Sudan.  Her request, however, comes with a huge price tag.  SanCorp wants Claire to put an end to the Watershed Bill in exchange for her water filters.  Meanwhile, Frank threatens the two congressmen unwilling to allocate $250 million dollars towards the Watershed Act and orders them to speak to Claire the next day.  He tells them that Claire will go over their concerns point-by-point from which they should base their decision.  Frank informs Claire that the first phase of his plan is completed.  She is to speak to them tomorrow for the second phase.  Frank delivers the premature good news with President Garrett Walker and Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez certain that his wife will obtain the two votes he needs to get the Watershed Act passed.  Both the President and the Chief of Staff are displeased with the bill for starting a battle with the oil and gas industries.  They are disinclined to show their support for the bill, but the President forces Linda to be his representative at any case knowing the significance of a Democrat winning the gubernatorial seat in Pennsylvania.  Her role is to help procure votes in support of the bill.  Frank learns of the real reason behind Linda’s reluctance to appear at the Hill tomorrow to help obtain votes.  Linda is to meet with the Provost of Stanford following the university’s rejection of her son’s application.  Her meeting is on the day the President wants her to be at the Hill.  Linda blames herself for her son’s rejection and believes that personally meeting the provost will lead to Stanford’s acceptance of her son.  Frank orders Linda not to be at the vote count and offers to cover for her absence.  Linda, once again, is beholden to Frank.  Meanwhile, Claire is meeting with Vanderburgh and Abrams who apprises her of Frank’s intimidation.  The congressmen become confused when Claire states that Frank will not fault them if they voted for their conscience.  Moreover, she claims to share the same doubts regarding the bill notwithstanding CWI’s public support of the Watershed Act.  Vanderburgh tells her bluntly of expecting her to persuade them into voting for the bill, but Claire appeases them that new legislation with stricter regulatory standards can be passed if the Watershed Bill fails.  Without telling them to vote against the bill, Claire lets the congressmen decide by encouraging them to vote their conscience.  Claire returns to her office to deliver fortunate news to Gillian Cole.  CWI’s shipment of water filters will be taken out of South Sudan and will be delivered to Botswana in the next few weeks.  Gillian is to set up base camp and the depot in Botswana, but she asks that they send someone else in her place for she is pregnant.  Claire learns that Gillian will be raising her child on her own given that the relationship she had with the unborn child’s father did not end well.  The father who works for Doctors without Borders is married.

Zoe conducts an interview about the Congressional agenda for the fall session, the midterms, and finally Peter Russo’s race for governor and his Watershed Bill.  Janine provides a summary of the Watershed Bill for Zoe’s interview.  Zoe learns that Janine still has not received a vote count on the Watershed Bill and calls Frank to get the information.  She realizes that Frank has been ignoring her calls following her decision to end their affair, a decision she thought was well received.  She finally gets Frank on the phone only to find him deliberately withholding the vote count from her as punishment.  Later that night, Frank receives a text from Zoe resuming their sexual relationship just so she can get the vote count on the Watershed Bill.  Zoe confesses of her disgust of their arrangement and asks the reason for the necessity of the affair.  Frank confesses of their affair as his display of power.  Zoe accepts the role of a whore and demands the payment in the form of information.  Frank states that the bill will pass by two votes.  The following day, the vote count is aired live on C-Span.  Everyone involved in the Peter Russo campaign including Linda Vasquez are in Frank’s office celebrating an imminent win.  Linda has returned from Stanford hopeful of her son’s acceptance.  Peter arrives to watch the final passage of the Watershed Bill only to witness its failure by two votes.  Frank is aghast at the outcome and is already out to get the one who lied.


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Episode 5 Season 2 – The Tudors Episode Summary 2.4

The execution of Sir Thomas MoreSynopsis: Sir Thomas More continues to reject the oath despite his family’s pleas for he firmly believes that swearing it will subject his soul to eternal damnation.  Bishop Fisher too refuses to take the oath.  He is found guilty and is sentenced to death.  Anne Boleyn flaunts his pregnancy only to miscarry disappointing the King and her father who fears for their status with the King.  She begins to become paranoid, fearing that the King will change his mind about the Act of Succession and make Lady Mary the Queen of England.

Episode Summaries: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer apprises King Henry VIII the great success of having his subjects swear the oath.  Regrettably, neither Bishop Fisher nor Sir Thomas More has agreed to swear the oath.  He, however, informs King Henry that Sir Thomas has no misgivings about the Act of Succession.  Nevertheless, King Henry VIII insists that everyone must swear to all the contents of the oath most especially Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas for allowing those two reputable men to swear only to parts of it will set a precedent for others to follow.Continue reading...

Thomas Cromwell hands King Henry a letter from Dame Alice More, the wife of Sir Thomas, a letter that annoys King Henry that he does not bother to read it.  Cromwell apprises him of its contents instead.  The woman pleads mercy in behalf of her husband who seeks no harm, but acts only on his conscience.  King Henry VIII would hear nothing of it for he believes Sir Thomas, who had sworn to live privately and to speak nothing of his great matter, has broken his promise.  He found him writing about his great matter, visiting the former Queen, and raising support for Catherine of Aragon.  It is, therefore, his belief that Sir Thomas must accept the consequences of his actions.

Dame Alice along with her daughter Margaret visits Sir Thomas in his prison cell to beg him to swear the oath.  She informs her husband that his entire family has sworn the oath and pleads him to do so for his family who will face destitution because of his refusal for the penalty is death and forfeiture of his property to the Crown.  Sir Thomas remains hopeful that King Henry will keep his promise that he will not force him to act against his conscience and that Sir Thomas must look first unto God and only after unto the King.  Sir Thomas begs his wife not to be angry with him for his stubbornness and learns that she is not, but she is frightened for her husband.  There is reason for her fright.  Bishop Fisher sends John, his servant, to ask Sir Thomas if he contemplates swearing the oath.  The servant also informs Sir Thomas that the bishop despite his frailty remains unbroken.  As to the inquiry, Sir Thomas answers with certainty that he will never take the oath for doing so will subject his soul to eternal damnation.  Cromwell pays Bishop Fisher a visit to deliver him news that the Pope has made him a cardinal and that Parliament decreed that the malicious denial of the King’s supremacy is treason, which is punishable by death.  Cromwell asks Bishop Fisher one last time if he will swear the oath and accept the King as the Supreme Head of the Church.  Bishop Fisher continues to reject the oath.  Cromwell then produces an intercepted letter from Cardinal Fisher to the Emperor whose contents ask the Emperor to invade England and asks him to restore Catherine of Aragon as Queen of England.  Cardinal Fisher neither denies nor concurs his authorship of the treacherous letter.  News of his impending, disconsolate fate reaches Catherine of Aragon.  Ambassador Chapuys is saddened to see the once powerful Queen unwell.  He learns that the Earl of Wiltshire, Sir Thomas Boleyn, visited her and threatened her life after she refused to take the oath.

Queen Anne Boleyn is again with child and parades her pregnancy around the court very pleased with herself.  Unfortunately, she miscarries disappointing the King once again and driving her into depression.  Her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, visits her and offers no consolation.  In fact, he blames her for the miscarriage.  He warns that they must all be careful not to lose the King’s love.  True enough, King Henry VIII comes across William Webbe and his beautiful wife Bess as they are passing through the forest.  Bess catches the King’s interest and she willingly leaves her husband to lay with the King.  News of Anne Boleyn’s miscarriage and the King’s infidelity reaches the Pope, delighting him.  Cardinal Campeggio, however, is not amused for he fears for Catherine of Aragon, Lady Mary, and Cardinal Fisher.  The Pope can only offer prayers and adds to envy Cardinal Fisher for the opportunity to die for Christ.

The troubles of the Boleyns grow as Mary Boleyn arrives at court carrying the child of a soldier in Calais, William Stafford.  Her news brings ire to both father and sister for her decision to marry a man without standing and fortune.  Sir Thomas Boleyn disowns Mary despite her argument of being fortunate for finding an honest man for a husband in spite of her reputation as the great prostitute.  Mary begs her sister to have mercy on her.  Although Anne feels pity for Mary, she decides to banish her sister and her husband from court.

Cromwell, recently appointed vice-regent in spiritual matters, obeys the King’s order to obtain Sir Thomas More’s reasons for rejecting the oath.  Sir Thomas continues to refuse to state his reasons and to reject the oath despite the knowledge of having to pay the ultimate price.  Margaret More comes to court to petition Mr. Secretary Cromwell in behalf of her family.  The Mores have become impoverished following Sir Thomas More’s imprisonment.  Ambassador Chapuys, who has great respect for the Mores, finds sympathy for the injustice the family received.  He adds that he pities England for there the good suffers and the wicked prospers.  This may not be for so long.  Anne Boleyn appears to be out of sorts following her miscarriage.  She begins to show signs of paranoia believing that Lady Mary and Catherine of Aragon remain impending threats to her throne.  Her brother, Sir George Boleyn, appeases Anne by reminding her that the Act of Succession ensures that Elizabeth will be the heir to the throne.  Anne, however, argues that the oath the King forced everyone to take gives him absolute power allowing him to do whatever he pleases including repealing the Act of Succession.  It is for this reason that she believes that the King can still crown Mary the Queen of England instead of her daughter, Elizabeth.

Sir Thomas learns from John that Cardinal Fisher was found guilty.  Cardinal Fisher will be punished by death the next day.  Sir Thomas knows that he will suffer the same fate soon after.  Although death does bring fear, both men look forward to meeting each other in heaven.  Cardinal Fisher steps up the stage where he will be beheaded.  He addresses the crowd to ask them to love and obey the King whom he finds good in nature despite the punishment he has ordered for him.  He informs them that his condemnation to death is due to his determination to uphold the honor of God and the Holy See.  He, however, confesses to be frightened of death and asks the crowd to help him have courage to face it.  The crowd blesses Cardinal Fisher as he lays his head on the chopping block and waits for the executioner to strike.  He is beheaded with one blow of an axe.  Cardinal Campeggio relays the news to the Pope, who seems to be more interested to peak at Michelangelo’s depiction of The Last Judgment than to hear of Cardinal Fisher’s beheading.  Meanwhile, Margaret visits her father again only to find his situation worse than before.  Sir Thomas asserts not to fear death, but confesses to fear the torture that will be used upon him to force him to swear the oath.  His fear stems from his doubt in his courage to endure the physical suffering.  Margaret begs her father to take the oath in order to save his body, but Sir Thomas firmly believes that saving his flesh will be at the expense of his soul even though none of his family believes it.  Little did they know that King Henry VIII fears having to execute Sir Thomas More for his conscience tells him not to do so.  He continues to love Sir Thomas even though he hates him for having the will of spirit to deny him of the acceptance he seeks.  Cromwell sends Sir Richard Rich to collect the books and papers from Sir Thomas’ cell in order to deprive him the little luxury he has.  Sir Richard Rich poses a hypothetical question to Sir Thomas asking him if he will swear an oath to a bill that names Sir Richard Rich the King of England.  Sir Thomas quickly answers yes, but asks Sir Richard if he would swear an oath to a bill that declares that God was not God.  Sir Richard quickly answers no and adds that no such bill can be passed for Parliament has no competence to decide on that matter.  Following the same reason, Sir Thomas argues that Parliament has no authority to make the King supreme head of the Church.

Sir Thomas More arrives at Westminster for his arraignment on charges of high treason.  Sir Thomas denies maliciously opposing the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and maliciously rejecting the Act of Supremacy for he argues that he had kept silent on both matters.  The commission argues that his silence can be construed as an action to which he counters that his silence precludes the charges laid upon him for he who is silent is taken to agree.  The commission accuses him of conspiring with Cardinal Fisher in prison, but he refutes their accusation without denying corresponding with Cardinal Fisher through his servant.  Finding no evidence to support the accusation of conspiring with a known and punished traitor, the commission returns to Sir Thomas’ claim of silence towards the Act of Supremacy and calls Sir Richard Rich as their witness.  Sir Thomas comes to a realization of the true motive of Sir Richard’s last visit.  Sir Richard relays his conversation with Sir Thomas and quotes him at his statement that Parliament cannot make the King supreme head of the Church.  His statement is found a malicious denial of the King’s authority.  With Sir Richard Rich’s testimony, the commission finds Sir Thomas More guilty of high treason.  Sir Thomas asks the court to allow him to speak before the commission passes judgment, as was the custom when he was practicing law.  The commission allows him to do so and Sir Thomas declares that his indictment is grounded upon an act of Parliament that is directly repugnant to the laws of God and His Holy Church.  Sir Thomas More at last breaks his silence on the great matters and declares that no temporal prince may presume the governance of the Church for it belongs by right to the See of Rome to St. Peter and his successors as per God’s order when He was on Earth.  He adds that the realm cannot make any law that contradicts the general laws of Christ’s universal Catholic Church.  The commission continues to find his assertions malicious and Sir Thomas More continues to deny the maliciousness of his words.  He merely is stating his opinion and even asks God that He preserves and defends the King’s Majesty.  He also wishes that the King would find good counsel.  The commission sentences Sir Thomas More with a torturous and shameful death.  He will be drawn in a hurdle from London to Tyburn where he will be hanged until he is half-dead after which he will be beheaded.  His bowels will then be extracted and burned before his body that will later be quartered.  The crowd clamor as Sir Thomas More is escorted out of Westminster, his children especially Margaret fights through the crowd and the guards to hug her father one last time.  Cromwell upon the urging of King Henry VIII informs him that Sir Thomas More will be executed tomorrow, July 6 at ten in the morning.  It is news that brings the King despair, a stark contrast to the Boleyns who seem to delight at the verdict.  King Henry VIII commutes the sentence to a beheading.  Sir Thomas More addresses the large crowd that has come to attend his execution.  He asks that they bear witness to his death in and for the faith of the Holy Catholic Church.  He begs them to pray for the King and to tell him that he died his good servant, but God’s first.  The crowd is so moved that even his executioner asks Sir Thomas his blessing.  Sir Thomas More says his last prayer and lays his head on the chopping block, opens his eyes and stretches his arms.  The axe soon after strikes his head cutting it from his body.  King Henry VIII wails in agony at having ordered the execution of his dear friend, mentor, and loyal servant, Sir Thomas More.


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