I loved this episode for the same reason I loved S2-Ep10 "Destiny And Fortune": it somehow created something beautiful amidst some nauseating and grotesque torture scenes. I've always found the cruelty in The Tudors somewhat overwhelming as it comes from historical fact. Unlike shows like "24" (that does torture so proficiently) the violence in "The Tudors" has an unnerving chill as you know it actually happened. You can't help but wonder how it felt for Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard as they stood before the crowds to get 'cropped'. The Anne Boleyn death scenes in Series 2 managed to give her a dignified beheading, as unimaginable as that sounds! I found her cheeriness and jokes in the tower a triumph of spirit and we were spared the gore thanks to the 'talented' French swordsman. But I think yesterday's portrayal of Catherine Howard, a naive terrified girl urinating on herself facing the executioner, still (?!) had an air of defiant dignity. Whether or not there is any truth in that legendary final declaration "I would rather die the wife of Culpepper!", there was still something about the demise of Howard that felt more liberating than hearing Anne Boleyn's final words praising and begging forgiveness from 'His Majesty'. Unlike Howard, Boleyn appears to have been innocent of the charges of adultery. Her cousin Catherine Howard may have at least enjoyed some well-deserved passion in her final days! :-) But I wanted to commend the creators of The Tudors for the beauty they put into this series that helped counteract the horror - the images will stay in my mind of Catherine practising laying her head with the block in her bedroom (and this is documented), the dark red blood on the block contrasted with a peaceful moon in a blue sky - all very artistically and tastefully done. Great episode!
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