Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Henry VIII as a still slightly mixed up person-he wants to do what is right, but he seems to have no idea what right is. While it has been clear that Anne Boleyn, played amazingly well by Natalie Dormer, is the bad guy-it is still a tearful moment when she is lead off to her death. Even though we all know that Anne Boleyn lost her head, you still want Henry to change his mind and pack her off to a nunnery.
Charles Brandon was played by the wonderfully moody Henry Cavill, who always seems on the verge of doing something desperate. James Frain plays the downright evil Thomas Cromwell who shocks us all by falling to his knees to pray as Anne Boleyn is being beheaded-isn’t he an atheist?
Among the people who were killed by Good King Henry this second season of Showtimes The Tudors was Jeremy Northam’s Sir Thomas More-now Saint Thomas More. Natalie Dormer’s beautiful Anne Boleyn was executed with a sword. And while Henry did not outright kill Maria Doyle Kennedy’s somber and dejected Queen Catherine-well, he might as well have. Among the minor characters tortured and killed were Queen Anne’s Brother George Boleyn. There was also an overly perky gay musician, and a total innocence whose only crime was that he was a bit of a wimp and didn’t ask one of Henry’s mistresses to marry him fast enough.
The scenes of torture, from simple imprisonment in The Tower to being boiled alive and being broken on the Rack were hard to watch. These were the good old days-before the Spanish Inquisition-but you have to wonder if they were waiting around in the shadows taking notes. Oddly, one of the few characters that really deserved a good bit of torturing and death got off scott free-Nick Dunning’s uber ambitious Daddy Thomas Boleyn lived to see his son and daughter beheaded. But he got to keep his lands and titles, so he was ok with it.
The Tudors was just as good this season as last. We are left with a new family of villains trying to usurp power from The King of England-even though they have the clear evidence of a stack of headless bodies to prove this is a bad idea. But then, the hallmark of all Tudors Characters is that they never think anything bad will happen to them.
With two wives gone and four wives left-we still have a bit of the story of Henry VIII left to tell. Showtimes The Tudors is the perfect place for it to be told.