The Tudors Episodes

2007, TV Show

The Tudors Episode: "Destiny and Fortune"

Season 2, Episode 10
Episode Synopsis: In the second-season finale, Anne and her alleged adulterous lovers are sentenced to death. Henry declares their marriage to be null and void, meaning daughter Elizabeth is considered illegitimate and is no longer a successor to the throne. Henry then asks Jane Seymour to be his next queen in hopes of siring a legitimate male heir.
Original Air Date: Jun 1, 2008

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Season 2, Episode 10
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Aired: 6/1/2008
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Season 2, Episode 10 Season 2, Episode 10

The problem with shows based on history is that rarely is there a surprise. Considering that the minute we met Anne, we knew her expiration date, I think The Tudors took a wise approach in making her execution episode (and, sadly, the second season finale) more of a mood piece than even trying to shock us with gratuitous blood or emotional outbursts. After all, we already got that last week. Henry, save for one angry moment, was surprisingly unconcerned with the fate of his wife and daughter. Perhaps his love for Jane Seymour and change, shown through his rebirth in the "Fountain of Youth" (a scene that, abnormally for this show, made me want to retch) simply put the blinders over his heart. Hell, even Cromwell got all shaky over what was going on, and he's not exactly the type to dwell on bad decisions. At least we saw Henry truly happy at the end of this episode. OK, so he was happy because he was tearing into some sort of goopy dish hidden by a stuffed swan (and no, I have no idea what that was supposed to represent, and I'm usually all about symbolism), and not, for instance, staring into Jane's dreamy eyes, but regardless, it's nice to see Jonathan Rhys-Meyers show us a range beyond self-doubt and righteous indignation. But let's be honest here; this episode was Anne's. Happily, we were spared the ranting that Master Kingston mentioned and so only got to see her at the point where she'd accepted her fate. This show usually does go for the bombastic, but Natalie Dormer's performance was subtler and more understated than I was expecting. The idea that she would help choose her executioner instead of trying to change the King's mind until the last minute was a serious maturation over the character we'd seen previously. It could be, though, that watching her brother beheaded simply broke her spirit. Her nearly hysterical laughter at hearing that her execution had been delayed, and at the idea of having, "such a little neck," was disquieting, as was her subsequent breakdown at learning that she would have to wait yet another day to be beheaded. She pretty much swung between numb acceptance and despondent acceptance the whole episode, with the exception of the one moment where she asked if there wasn't some meaning in the continued postponements. Her memory of playing with her brother and father as a child (but not Mary) hurt, especially when contrasted with her father's reaction to his release. Charles Brandon was right to ask him if it was all worth it, but what was he really expecting Boleyn to say? The only piece of the episode that felt out of place was the conversation between Lady (Princess?) Mary and Chapuys. It was obviously utilitarian - we needed the exposition - but the dialogue just rang very false, what with Chapuys calling Elizabeth a "brat", and Mary looking as though she'd been injected chock full of Botox (seriously, one would think that the restoration of her own legacy and the delegitimization of her hated half-sister would give her more than just a mildly amused smile). Similarly, Elizabeth's governess explaining that she would no longer be a princess and advising an underling to marry a rich, stupid man, was just odd, and even less necessary, given what we learned over the course of the rest of the episode. All in all, a satisfying season, though I must say that since Sir Thomas More's execution, the show has sorely missed Jeremy Northam. The show has already been renewed, so let me just end by saying, " The Tudors is dead! Long live The Tudors!" show less
The problem with shows based on history is that rarely is there a surprise. Considering that the minute we met Anne, we knew her expiration date, I think The Tudors took a wise approach in making her execution episode (and, sadly, the second season finale) more of a mood piece than even trying to shock us with gratuitous blood or emotional outbursts. After all, we already got that last week.Henry, save for one angry moment, was surprisingly unconcerned with the fate of his wife and daughter. Perhaps his love for Jane Seymour and change, shown through his rebirth in the "Fountain of Youth" (a scene that, abnormally for this show, made me want to retch) simply put the blinders over his heart. Hell, even Cromwell got all shaky over what was going on, and he's not exactly the type to dwell on bad decisions. At least we saw Henry truly happy at the end of this episode. OK, so he was happy because he was tearing into some sort of goopy dish hidden by a stuffed swan (and no, I have no idea... 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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