The Tudors Episodes

2007, TV Show

The Tudors Episode: "The Act of Succession"

Season 2, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: Henry commands his people to swear an oath of "allegiance and recognition of the King's supremacy" to both church and state, an oath Sir Thomas More is not wont to accept; the King's womanizing ways are brought to the attention of Anne, who arranges, and gives her blessing to, his next mistress. Also, Anne has a confrontation with Henry's daughter, Lady Mary.
Original Air Date: Apr 20, 2008
Guest Cast Andrea Lowe: Lady Eleanor Luke Gemma Reeves: Margaret More David Alpay: Mark Smeaton
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Season 2, Episode 4
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Aired: 4/20/2008
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Season 2, Episode 4 Season 2, Episode 4

I once saw a program on The History Channel that described Henry VIII as a glutton and showed him ripping into a cooked chicken with such gusto that it looked as though he'd fare well on the competitive eating circuit. The Tudors is teaching me that he went through women at nearly the same rate he went through chicken. In the space of fourteen episodes, we've seen him bed 5 or 6 women at least, and we're only on wife number two! Luckily, we're finally seeing the kind of complex character we had last season in Anne. Is she offering up one of her Ladies out of pressure from her father, love for her husband, or a sense of self-preservation (or a combination of all three)? In any case, she obviously hates her father for suggesting it, her husband for forcing her to it, and herself for agreeing to it all. Add that in with her attempt to get back into the good graces of the despondent Princess Mary (more on her later), and you have a woman who is starting to lose on all sides. Spoiler alert, Anne: It's not going to get any better. In more immediately dire straits is Sir Thomas More. As I watch him, and his unwavering determination to save his soul at the expense of his life (and the welfare of his family), I ask myself why he never simply picked up and left England for France, Spain or Rome? Surely he would have been rewarded for having snubbed Henry's attempts to subjugate him and his beliefs. In not taking the oath regarding the Act of Succession, he certainly displays enormous faith, but even he, in his stiff-upper-lip kind of way, accepts the situation as hopeless. Having known Henry as long as he has, and having watched him change into a vengeful despot, More must realize that his martyrdom will have no effect on the English Reformation. And what is there to say of Cromwell? Is it possible that he's both the most forgiving and most manipulative character on the Court? No one else would have given Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas and Charles Brandon more chances to redeem themselves than he. However, his behind the scenes work is often so subtle (even when their results are so shattering) that every time I think I've caught up to his plan, I find I'm about six steps behind. He wholeheartedly forces through all of the King's wishes for greater authority and respect while showing amazing amounts of personal disdain for Henry. Unlike, say, Thomas Boleyn, Cromwell's concerns are not those of how to maneuver the current political situation, but in redrawing the entire political and religious landscape in England. The fact that no one is catching on is a testament to Cromwell's brilliant strategy. Finally, this week we were thoroughly introduced to Princess Mary after last week's single scene with Thomas Boleyn. As a blow upon a bruise, she is forced to become a Lady-in-Waiting for her half-sister, Elizabeth and so she refuses to recognize Anne as anything but her father's mistress. I like the character, but I'm hoping that they aren't trying to portray her in such a way as to suggest that her short, yet incredibly violent reign as Queen years later was nothing more than unresolved daddy issues. I'd like to think that "Bloody" Mary was a little more complex than your average hipster in the East Village. show less
I once saw a program on The History Channel that described Henry VIII as a glutton and showed him ripping into a cooked chicken with such gusto that it looked as though he'd fare well on the competitive eating circuit. The Tudors is teaching me that he went through women at nearly the same rate he went through chicken. In the space of fourteen episodes, we've seen him bed 5 or 6 women at least, and we're only on wife number two!Luckily, we're finally seeing the kind of complex character we had last season in Anne. Is she offering up one of her Ladies out of pressure from her father, love for her husband, or a sense of self-preservation (or a combination of all three)? In any case, she obviously hates her father for suggesting it, her husband for forcing her to it, and herself for agreeing to it all. Add that in with her attempt to get back into the good graces of the despondent Princess Mary (more on her later), and you have a woman who is starting to lose on all sides. Spoiler aler... read more

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Premiered: April 01, 2007, on Showtime
Rating: TV-MA
User Rating: (242 ratings)
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Premise: A chronicle of the early years in the reign of England's King Henry VIII from 1520 to '30, when he divorced his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

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