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The Tudors Review: Series Finale

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Well, it’s over. 

I am anxious to hear what all of you thought about this final episode of The Tudors.  I have to say I enjoyed it despite my deep and profound disappointment over not seeing Surrey get hanged, drawn, and quartered.  What a letdown!  People who watch this show have become accustomed to seeing some serious violence and I don’t think the last episode was any exception.

Couldn’t they have left us with one little gory execution to cling to?

This was the episode of the Dead and Angry Baby Mamas.  The wives who had given children to King Henry showed up throughout this episode as visions, sort of like a combination between “Six Feet Under” and “Scrooged.”  They all came to berate Henry for being such a sucky father to their various spawn.  Here are their beefs in a nutshell:

  • Katherine of Aragon:  Our daughter should be married off by now with her own kids and I’m still your real wife, so says Jesus!
  • Anne Boleyn:  My daughter is ten times smarter than you and, by the way, I am still innocent.  Oh, and so is Catherine Howard.
  • Jane Seymour:  Sorry, darling, but our kid is going to die young and it’s probably for the best because you’ve made his life totally suck from the moment he was born.
King Henry XIII

I got so excited to see all these dead ladies as soon as I saw them in the opening credits.  I was like, “Yay!  The dead queens are back!”  But I was sad not to see Catherine Howard in all her bare-boobed glory and Joss Stone (whatever her Queen name was, who cares) with her fakey German accent in tow. 

I know she’s not dead but it doesn’t mean I was any less pumped to see her.  I also loved that the Queens were upset with Henry rather than being all fawny and lovey as they were when they were regulars on the show.  They’re already dead so why not talk a little trash?

Now that we are talking about the Royal wifies and chilluns, let me just make a side note here:  I HATE, HATE, HATE when they substitute one kid for another playing the same person to show us that the kid is getting older.  This is the old Chrissy Seever trick from “Growing Pains.” 

Remember when that kid went from being a newborn one season to being a second grader the next?  Talk about discombobulating.  Tonight we saw Prince Edward get about three years older than he was in the last episode.  I can’t stand that!  I know they are trying to help give us a sense of his approximate age when his pop croaked but it still bothers me.  I get rather attached to TV children, I’ll admit it.  I don’t like seeing them go away and transform into a totally different human being without any warning. 

I always have to pause The Lion King right before baby Simba turns into teenager Simba just to savor that last, precious moment.  Not that I watch The Lion King regularly or anything.  Don’t judge.

I feel like I learned a very useful line from tonight’s episode.  Remember when Queen Catherine (the current one) is trying to save her ass from the chopping block and she says to the King, “I am but a woman with all the imperfections natural to the weakness of my sex”?  This is a good one!  I am going to whip this line out next time I get pulled over or get called out for doing anything bad. 

I’ll say it when I’m late for work, when I don’t have enough money to tip the valet parking guy, when I accidentally rear-end someone in traffic, whenever!  I think it will help me out of some sticky situations.  It sure helped Catherine!

Henry and Catherine

I am a sucker for montages set to music and tonight’s episode had a good one.  I have to admit that I get chills whenever old scenes from shows are matched with sad music.  I get all misty and it makes me want to go back and watch the show from the beginning all over again.  I really loved seeing all his kids when they were little but, even more than that I loved seeing sexy Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the young King.  And also, Hottie McHotterson Charles Brandon with him! 

We got to see both these guys die as yucky old codgers tonight and it was really nice to see them as hot youngsters for a brief instant. It took us back to the good ole days when the show was new.

Overall, I liked this last episode.  It wrapped up most of the plotlines neatly yet made me feel a strong desire to go buy a big, heavy book about England post-Henry VIII so I can find out more.  What are your thoughts about the conclusion of this show?  Any comments or feelings to share?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (131 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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QUOTE:wiki-historian Says:
June 25th, 2010 3:23 AM
Read your history, Surrey survived. only his son was executed... Mmm. No. Perhaps you should read your history. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, the renowned Tudor-era poet was in fact executed for treason. HIS Father, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, was spared due to the King dying before his execution could be carried out. But since Norfolk hasn't been around since Season one, they just cut that bit out.

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I agree with everything in the review. The flash scenes of Henry and Charles as young men were a nice touch and actually made me teary! I loved this show. I've been addicted to it since season 1, and am very very sad to see it end. I also agree with the idea that it would have been nice for them to continue it with the daughters' reign as well. After all, THEY were also Tudors and the Tudors reign isn't the most famous just because of Henry. Just saying, give credit where credit is due. I loved that they brought back all the queens, I do wish Henry had begged a little for each of their forgiveness, though. And secretly, I must admit, I loved Anne the best. I loved their torrent love affair and how beautiful she was, although I realize that the real Anne wasn't that pretty. I also liked Jane very much and the hopeless romantic in me liked that Henry had atleast one wife he didn't behead.. (probably didn't have enough time to find a reason) Anyway, great finale, although I don't think it would have hurt to show him die. OH! BUT there is one thing that bothered me! When he sent his daughters and Katherine away before he died... wtf? Poor Mary was beside herself! I thought that was lame, but who am I to judge?!?

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"baby mamas" "made his life suck" "sucky father" "discombobulating" Who wrote this review, a 6th grader in 1991?

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This series is one of a kind if you ask me. The sets and costumes are incredible. While some of the plot and acting gets sluggish at times, I feel like the main characters (especially Henry) are played extremely well. I was literally bawling at the finale. It really touched me how much I still felt that Henry was a "good" king at his death, despite his many atrocities. I think JRM really captured Henry's personal struggles with the choices he made. I love that he reflects on his life and that we get to see his memories. Oh man that really gets my tears flowing just typing about it! I also kind of appreciate that they did not show King Henry's actual death. Not only do I feel it would be an emotional overload (as by the time they showed the giant painting I was sobbing) I also like that they left us with a living image of Henry. Almost like they were respecting that infamous act of imagining the death of the king. However I would have liked to see a little bit of a depiction of how the country mourned Henry's death. My favorite part of the episode was probably the visions of the past wives. I think JRM's expression of regret and sadness over the way he treated his queens (especially his heart wrenching reaction to seeing Jane's ghost) was needed to kind of soften our hearts towards him again. And I haven't even begun to get into how sad it was when Charles Brandon dies! OMG it was so emotional for me. He was Henry's truest friend and the only person closest to the king who survives all the way to the end. I love that the last encounter that the two have is where Henry prays for his healing. And then the very next scene is Brandon's death...it leads me to believe that Charles Brandon's healing could only come in death. This entire series was very well done in my opinion and I want to buy the boxed set so I can watch it over again!!

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Read your history, Surrey survived. only his son was executed...

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I think that the queens past segment was to tell the viewers what WOULD happen to the kids once he was gone.
I would have loved to see the series continue with Edward then Mary and Elizabeth. Then it would have truly been 'The Tudors' and not just about Henry VIII

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I could have imagined what the next season would have looked like if they continued...King Henry hanging around as a ghost giving advise to his children.

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Henry gets busted by Chris Hansen!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

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The calling off of the arrest of the queen is historically accurate, even down to the "knave" calling. The queen got out of it by whipping out the female card, also historically accurate.

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The comments from Kathryn of Hebron are majestically accurate. She is the Queen of Hebron. JRM and Henry Cavill are fantastic actors who excelled in their respective roles. Showtime would have been wise to continue the series to depict the chaos after Henry's death and the reign of Elizabeth.