The Tudors

Season 2 Episode 3

Checkmate

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 13, 2008 on Showtime

Episode Recap

The episode starts with servants trading insults about Anne Boleyn. They're servants from Thomas Boleyn and from the Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon. When the insults turn into a sword fight, one of the Duke's servants, Sir William Pennington who is outnumbered, seeks sanctuary in a church, the Boleyn servants follow him and despite the pleas from the clergyman, Pennington is murdered. Before the fight started, Pennington had sent a friend to fetch the Duke and when Charles Brandon arrives he wants to kill the murderers, but the priest begs him not to. Charles Brandon relents but accuses Thomas Boleyn who also arrived at the scene.
Many people clamour to see the lady Anne and when Smeaton asks why, Thomas Wyatt tells him that people prefer a rising sun to a setting sun. Thomas was informed by Cromwell that he has been appointed to the Privy Council. Anne comes out and talks to Thomas about her craving for apples, which King Henry sees as a sign that she is pregnant.
Thomas Cromwell tell King Henry that the King of France did not contact the Pope on King Henry's behalf in support of his annulment, but Henry is not upset. It's all the more reason not to wait for the Pope's decision. Cromwell says that, as the head of Church of England, Henry can annul his marriage, but the King feels that this should be done by the Church, i.e. the Archbishop of Canterbury. While this post is currently vacant, the King has a candidate in mind.
The candidate in question, Thomas Cranmer receives a wagon full of his belongings after his trip to Germany. One of the crates holds his wife, whom he married in Germany, illegally for a man of the cloth.
Thomas More, Ambassador Chapuys and Bishop Fisher are discussing the possible appointment of Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury and his Lutheran past. It is also revealed that Cranmer was once the chaplain of the Boleyn family. When Thomas More states that Anne Boleyn has threatened Queen Katherine and her daughter, Princess Mary, More's wife warns him to think of his own daughters.
In Rome, Pope Paul III signs a papal bull forbidding the enslavement of the native people of the new world. Campeggio also presents him with a letter from King Henry asking for approval of the appointment of Thomas Cranmer as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Despite reservations about a virtually unknown Cranmer and suspicions about his Lutheran tendencies, the Pope decides to approve the appointment as a way to please the king and to give the Church of England a chance to return to the true faith.
When newly appointed Archbishop Cranmer visits king Henry, he admits to having some scruples about accepting the appointment. The king reminds him he is not beholden to the Pope but only to God, and to the King, of course.
Cranmer announces that he will presently announce his verdict on the King's great matter, i.e. the annulment of his first marriage. In the same session, Henry appoints Cromwell as Chancellor.
In a small chamber, in the presence of Charles Brandon, Thomas and George Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, King Henry marries Anne Boleyn, even before his first marriage has been annulled.
Charles Brandon informs Ambassador Chapuys of the marriage and tells him he can no longer bear the place.
The king sends Charles Brandon to Queen Katherine and warns her not to try and return to court since he is now married to Anne. She is no longer Queen Katherine but the Princess Dowager of Wales. The king will no longer pay the wages of her servants or other household expenses.
Later on, Katherine tells her lady in waiting Elizabeth that, as long as she lives, she will call herself the Queen of England.
Thomas More tells Bishop Fisher about a new bill the king intends to present to Parliament. It will give him supreme power, both secular and spiritual meaning the Queen cannot appeal to the Vatican about the annulment.
At a meeting of bishops, Thomas Cranmer announces the first marriage of King Henry null and void. Consequently, Henry's marriage to Anne is valid and lawful in the eyes of god.
The Lady Elizabeth, lady in waiting to Katherine, visits Thomas Wyatt on behalf of Katherine. She reveals to him that the King and Anne are already married. She begs him to speak up for Katherine as a member of the Privy Council. He refuses.
In Rome, the Pope condemns the annulment and declares Henry's marriage to Anne null and void. He gives the king till September to return to Katherine or he will be excommunicated. The Pope asks one of the English messengers, William Brereton, to join the Jesuit order and return to England, even at the risk of martyrdom.
King Henry visits Thomas Cromwell and enquires about the preparations from the coronation. He wants the people to love their new queen.
A pregnant Anne receives a visit from her sister Mary. Anne shows her drawings and designs by Mister Holbein for the coronation.
Charles Brandon discusses his aversion to the coronation with his wife but she advises him to go and in the future use his knowledge and anger to bring her, Anne, down.
During the coronation procession, which lacks crowds, William Brereton fires a shot at Anne, but misses.
Archbishop Cranmer presides over the coronation, which is conducted in Latin. At the last instant, Henry takes over the St Edward's crown and he himself crowns Anne rather than Cranmer. Afterwards, Cromwell informs Henry about the assassination attempt and Anne complains about the lack of people. Henry assures her she is his queen and sends her to her party.
The king observes the party from a distance and notices the absence of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More. Thomas Boleyn and Charles Brandon have another face off as Boleyn claims Brandon, as High Constable, was responsible for the procession.
At the gates, the guards check people's hands with the aim of finding the one who fired the shot as fireworks explode over London.
Ambassador Chapuys reports on the coronation to Thomas More. Thomas More remembers the past and how he thought King Henry's reign would be a golden age. He also tells that Bishop Fisher has been placed under house arrest and warns the ambassador to be careful.
Anne instructs new young servants, male and female, that they must be virtuous and discrete. One in particular is instructed not to visit brothels. She also points out a Bible in the English language as translated by Tyndale, for their spiritual nourishment. An English Bible meant that reading the Bible was no longer limited to the clergy and well educated.
Thomas Boleyn visits princess Mary, daughter of Henry and Katherine. He informs her she no longer has the right to call herself 'princess' but is simply 'Lady Mary'. She refuses to acknowledge Anne and is then forbidden to communicate with her mother in any way.
Thomas More also visits Queen Katherine. He ensures her that many people know how she suffers as well as the grace with which she endures. He whispers to her that he has been encouraging her supporters in Parliament.
Henry and Anne lie in bed and when he makes advances towards her, she refuses him and tells him not while she is with child.
At a dance, Henry notices a woman dancing with George Boleyn. Charles Brandon tells him she is the lady Eleanor and offers to talk to her on his behalf. The king merely smiles.
Mark Smeaton thanks George Boleyn for the patronage of his family. Mark also mentions to George that Anne is very beautiful, though not as beautiful as her brother before he walks away.
Thomas Cromwell presents Henry with a letter containing the final decision of the Curia in Rome. The Curia support Katherine and declare his new marriage and any children born out of it, illegitimate. The Pope threatens Henry with excommunication if he does not return to Katherine. Henry tears up the letter.
Anne is in labour. Henry is already planning festivities to celebrate the birth of his son and cannot decide on a name for the child. It turns out to be girl they call Elizabeth. Anne apologizes to Henry and he states that they are both young and a boy will follow.
Later on, he receives the lady Eleanor. He asks her if she plays chess and she says yes. They make love.
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