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Sunday, April 6, 2014
Episode 1 Season 2 – The Tudors Episode Summary 2.1
Episode Summary: Ambassador Chapuys returns to London in 1532 with a letter of encouragement and support for Sir Thomas More’s efforts in championing the cause of the Queen Catherine of Aragon. Sir Thomas More, however, requests that Ambassador Chapuys not deliver it to him for although he has gained the confidence of the King he finds that no one is indispensable in the eyes of King Henry VIII. Accepting the letter will do their cause a disservice for it will only bring forth suspicion and prevent Sir Thomas More from boldly speaking in favor of the Queen.
King Henry VIII summons Sir Thomas More to convey to him the complaint from the House of Commons regarding the cruel behavior and the abuses of the prelates and the clergy. Moreover, the King relays to him the supposed desire of his people to be free of clerical rule. Although Sir Thomas condemns the abuses of the clergy, he makes it clear that he cannot condone the vision of private belief and personal grace. He continues to support the Church, believing it to be a palpable community that is the permanent and living sign of God’s presence. Despite his beliefs, Sir Thomas assures the King that his loyalty and love for him prevents him from speaking against the King in public. King Henry VIII arrives at the Parliament in Westminster to speak to the Lords and Graces about the charges laid against them. They have been accused of betraying their King and their country for supporting the authority of the late Cardinal Wolsey and the Bishop of Rome. King Henry VIII states that it is his sacred duty sealed before God and by solemn oath at his coronation to restore right order on Earth and assert the immunities and princely liberties of their realm and crown. The Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Fisher, addresses the Lords and His Majesty regarding the request to admit King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church in England. Bishop Fisher states that agreeing to the request will result in abandoning the unity with the See of Rome. He warns of their realm drowning in a wave of heresies, sects, schisms and divisions that will separate them from the Christian world. Archbishop Warham recommends giving King Henry VIII the title of Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England as far as the law of Christ allows. None of the Lords and Graces expressed contempt to the proposition and so the King becomes the head of the Church of England. King Henry VIII informs Anne Boleyn of the decision delighting the woman who believes that her rise to the throne as the new Queen of England is nearing. Her father, Lord Rochford, however, apprises Anne of what truly happened at the tribunal. The Bishops had indeed voted for the King to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England, but they had added a caveat that bounds his authority under the law of Christ. Lord Rochford remains hopeful believing that only one man stands in their way, and that is Bishop Fisher.
Mr. Cromwell introduces the obscure cleric, Mr. Cranmer, to George Boleyn, who was recently tasked to negotiate with the Graces following the Convocation of the Bishops. He reports that two bishops, Bishop Fisher and Archbishop Warham, remain recalcitrant to the King’s wishes. Later, George Boleyn and Lord Rochford meet with the cook, Mr. Roose. The cook receives money, a vial, and a threat against his family if he fails in his mission. Mr. Roose nervously pours the contents of the vial to the pot of soup he is stirring. The pot of soup is sent to the dining room where the bishops including Sir Thomas More are dining and discussing the success of invalidating the bill that makes the King the head of the Church of England through the addition of the caveat. Bishop Fisher asks one of the servers to give him only a small helping of soup. Everyone is given a bowl except for Sir Thomas More, who refused getting one. Bishop Fisher asks if Sir Thomas has considered resigning his post as Chancellor and delights at hearing that Sir Thomas has decided to keep his position in order to fight for Christendom. Soon, the Graces who have been devouring the soup begin to gag and die from the poisoned soup. Bishop Fisher, who ate only a small amount of the soup, survived the poisoning.
Sir Thomas More reports the incident to the King and of the rumors surrounding the identity of the person who sought the bishop’s death. He informs the King that Wiltshire and Boleyn have been rumored to order the murder. Moreover, Lady Anne has been suspected of involvement. King Henry becomes livid at hearing the accusation against Lady Anne believing that people find her at fault for every unfortunate event in their realm. Although Sir Thomas refuses to impute anyone for the murderous deed, he warns the King about not seeking justice for the crime for it would appear that the murders were done with his blessing. Mr. Roose, indeed, has been sent to the Tower of London. The cook has been tortured to divulge the identity of the person who ordered the murders. Lord Rochford joins Mr. Cromwell’s interrogation to ensure that the man remains silent. Mr. Roose refuses to divulge the person who conceived the crime. He is sentenced to die by boiling.
Mr. Cromwell presents Mr. Cranmer to the King stating that it was he who posited that the Great Matter is a theological and not a legal issue. Hearing of this, King Henry VIII appoints Mr. Cranmer as his personal chaplain. The cleric could barely utter a word to express his gratitude. King Henry VIII later speaks with Lord Suffolk after learning that he married Catherine Brook, his seventeen-year old ward, that his young son may have a mother. The King, fully aware of Lord Suffolk’s proclivity to philandering, feels sorry for the young bride. Although Lord Suffolk does not contest the King’s incredulity, he does declare that his love and admiration for Ms. Brook has brought a change in him.
Anne Boleyn wakes in her bed as the ray of sunlight hits her eyes. Beside her lay the poet, Thomas Wyatt, who professes his eternal love for her. Thomas makes love to Anne Boleyn only to wake and find that it was only a dream. The following day, he sees Anne, now addressed as Lady Anne. Mr. Wyatt has found status in court through the patronage of Mr. Cromwell. He presents the entertainer, Mark Smeaton. At the request of Lady Anne, Mr. Smeaton plays a joyful tune on his violin and gives her a brief lesson. Later, she sees an attendant delivering linen to Queen Catherine, the one she uses to make his shirts. Livid, she confronts the King about it, angry at having found that the Queen still makes him shirts. Lady Anne believes that the act displays intimacy between the King and Queen. The King who has things that is more pressing in his mind, matches Anne’s anger. He, however, informs Queen Catherine that she will no longer make his shirts. In an attempt to placate King Henry, the Queen speaks of their daughter Mary whom she says is unwell. However, her suggestion that they both visit their daughter only added to his anger. King Henry proposes that the Queen go and visit their daughter and that she stay there for good. Queen Catherine of Aragon, although hurt by the King’s words, make it known that her rightful place is to be at the King’s side.
Sir Thomas More pays Bishop Fisher a visit at the Bishopric of Rochester where he is recuperating. He informs him that the King had showed severity towards the criminal. Bishop Fisher, however, still frail from the poison that almost ended his life worries that the King might pursue his divorce while he lies in bed unable to put up a fight. Sir Thomas consoles the bishop with news that only Sir Thomas Boleyn supported his proposal to proceed with the divorce without the Pope’s permission. He notes that not even the King’s good friend, Lord Suffolk, gave him support. The King, however, speaks to Lord Suffolk with a request, which he fulfills. Lord Suffolk asks Queen Catherine to withdraw her appeal to the Pope, but the Queen continues to refuse to relinquish her role as the King’s true wife. Charles Brandon returns with discouraging news that the Queen will remain unquestioning to God and her conscience. King Henry confronts Ambassador Chapuys with a message to the Emperor. He is unwilling to be judged by the Pope in his marital affairs and is unafraid of the threat of excommunication. Despite the Queen’s refusal to fulfill the King’s request, King Henry informs Anne that they are to leave court for a while with a promise that the Queen will be gone upon their return. Queen Catherine of Aragon watch as King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn leave court. Soon Mr. Cromwell arrives to inform her on behalf of the King that she is to leave and settle in the King’s house, The Moor. Moreover, she is to return to him the official jewels of the Queens of England. Queen Catherine refuses to return the jewels that are rightfully hers. She, however, leaves the court where the people including Lord Suffolk and Sir Thomas More show their respect and sadly bid her farewell. A messenger of the Queen arrives at the lodge where the King and Lady Anne are staying with a message from the Queen. He relays the Queen’s regret for the King not bidding her goodbye and asks of his health. The King attacks the messenger with the message that he does not want any of her goodbyes and he does not desire to provide her any consolation. She is no longer to send him any messages.
In Rome, Cardinal Campeggio speaks to the Holy Father regarding the King of England’s Great Matter. The King had sent a letter urging the Curia to make a final and favorable decision on his annulment. King Henry VIII includes in his letter a complaint against the Pope’s predecessor, Pope Clement VII, for delaying the pronouncement. The recently installed Pope, Pope Paul III, also received a letter from the Emperor written on behalf of his aunt, Catherine. The letter urges the Pope to prevent the annulment and to excommunicate the King. Pope Paul III finds that they must not antagonize the King of England lest he begin a war against them. He wonders why no one has tried to get rid of Anne Boleyn whom he believes is the cause of all this strife. Ambassador Chapuys meets with a man who claims to be a close servant of the King willing to assassinate Lady Anne whom he believes to have bewitched the King into betraying his lawful wife and the Holy Church. He receives a blessing from Ambassador Chapuys.
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