The Tudors Episodes

2007, TV Show

The Tudors Episode: "His Majesty's Pleasure"

Season 2, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More are charged with high treason and imprisoned for refusing to sign the oath of allegiance; complications arise with Anne's pregnancy; Henry's lust leads him to once again cheat on Anne; Thomas Boleyn enjoins his daughter Anne "not to lose the king's love," while Mary Boleyn returns to court with a pair of surprises.
Original Air Date: Apr 27, 2008
Guest Cast Rod Hallett: Sir Richard Rich Katie McGrath: Bess David Alpay: Mark Smeaton Gemma Reeves: Margaret More
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Season 2, Episode 5
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Aired: 4/27/2008
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Season 2, Episode 5 Season 2, Episode 5

Alas, More is no more (you knew there was going to be a groan-inducing pun sooner or later). It was a set up, I tell you, a set up! Entrapment! The whole system was against him! I joke, but it's true. Cromwell and Richard Rich played Gotcha with Sir Thomas, even though it seemed that both were sympathetic to his plight. But the fact that More, with his legal and scholarly training, fell for the "hypothetical" gives me the impression that he was, by this point, so resigned, and ready to get this all over with, that he welcomed an excuse to be a martyr sooner rather than later. Taken together with the fact that he felt slightly betrayed by his family, he was probably ready to make his final statement. He really seemed particularly distraught to hear that his daughter wanted him to just say the words without believing them. Perhaps it would have been one thing if they had a legitimate difference of opinions on Henry - he probably could have accepted that - but to find out that she swore an oath without believing it just undermined her entire ethical upbringing. In any case, More took his execution in greater stride than Fisher, who nearly cracked before his own, but one wonders whether, in that final second, he (More) had any regrets. I'm not completely convinced he did, to be honest. Henry, on the other hand, certainly did. Here was a man that helped educate him and supported him, but whom he still felt compelled to have executed. Henry could have done whatever he wanted, including making More an example of his mercy, and not his tyranny, but like any good Machiavellian, he chose to be feared and not loved. It wasn't a great episode for Her Majesty either, between losing her baby (could it have been (gasp!) a son?), finding out her sister had secretly married a commoner for love and was now pregnant, and being reamed out by her father for losing the King's affections. At the very least, she could point at Thomas More and go "Well, at least someone's having a worse time than I am!" Meanwhile, her husband is cheating on her (again) with someone new, and she's turned up the flirt-level with Smeaton. This is not a happy marriage, despite their mutual assurances of love. Just look at his awkward half-support of her in the face of her miscarriage. Perhaps part of his anger towards More at the end was really transference of anger towards Anne. He destroyed his relationship with More because of this woman who now can't produce the son she promised. I'm still looking at all of this and trying to figure out Cromwell. It's easy to look at the actual history and see what he physically accomplished, but what was going on in his brain? What's the next step after wiping out dissent at the Courtly level? Obviously there are still commoners out there loyal to the Church, and taking an oath isn't going to change that. In any case, James Frain is doing a fantastic job portraying Cromwell and all of his complexities, so I have no complaints about him pushing Rhys-Meyer's Henry off of a bridge, psychologically speaking. Now that Fisher and More have been disposed of, who do we think is next to go in this grotesque gong show? I, for one, am not going to do my history homework because I want to be surprised. show less
Alas, More is no more (you knew there was going to be a groan-inducing pun sooner or later). It was a set up, I tell you, a set up! Entrapment! The whole system was against him! I joke, but it's true. Cromwell and Richard Rich played Gotcha with Sir Thomas, even though it seemed that both were sympathetic to his plight. But the fact that More, with his legal and scholarly training, fell for the "hypothetical" gives me the impression that he was, by this point, so resigned, and ready to get this all over with, that he welcomed an excuse to be a martyr sooner rather than later. Taken together with the fact that he felt slightly betrayed by his family, he was probably ready to make his final statement. He really seemed particularly distraught to hear that his daughter wanted him to just say the words without believing them. Perhaps it would have been one thing if they had a legitimate difference of opinions on Henry — he probably could have accepted that — but to find out t... read more

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Premiered: April 01, 2007, on Showtime
Rating: TV-MA
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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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