This week’s episode truly showed us the fickle nature of King Henry’s feelings for his wife, Catherine. At the beginning of the episode he was excited to reunite with her after the many days they were kept apart due to his health problems. He brings her a gift and says, “I will visit your bedchamber and nothing would please me more than for you to conceive my child.”
Though he seemed pleased with Catherine at this point, later he becomes angry with her when she tells him she may be pregnant and then realizes she is not. Catherine seems very concerned when she senses the King is angry with her. She apologizes for not being pregnant and tells the King she knows she is capable of having his child. The King shows his lessened consideration for Catherine by telling her that the Lady Mary will be accompanying them on their trip to the North.
While he was sensitive to the fact that Catherine dislikes the Lady Mary, he seems now to have tired of his wife’s quarrels with his eldest daughter. He knows his daughter is very popular with the northerners and wants her to come on this trip no matter what. The Lady Mary is hoping the Queen does not become pregnant with the King’s child because, if she doesn’t, there is a possibility that Mary could become Queen when her father dies.
Surrey is knighted by Seymour and other knights in a nighttime ceremony. Directly after the ceremony Surrey goes to a local tavern and fraternizes with the villagers there. They are both impressed by and mocking of his new status as a knight. Surrey does not behave particularly gentlemanly. Later Bishop Gardner visits Seymour and tells him about how Surrey behaved at the tavern. Seymour promises to investigate this matter and Gardner makes it clear that he thinks Surrey does not have the conduct of a noble and deserves to be executed.
This episode also included a rekindling of the affections between the King and his most recent former wife, Anne of Cleves. The King was repulsed by Anne while married to her but now that they are divorced he finds her charming and wants to spend time visiting her. He admits regretting their divorce. After an evening of dinner and card playing, King Henry asks Anne to his bed one evening and she agrees.
The King is not alone in his extramarital relations. Queen Catherine and Culpepper meet up several more times and have sex. Lady Rochford and Joan Bolmer are instrumental in arranging these secret meetings. They stand guard at the door and watch the lovers through a peephole. Rochford is also intimately involved with Culpepper and the two of them laugh at Catherine behind her back when she writes a love letter to Culpepper. At one point Culpepper tells Catherine he thinks she is, “a sweet little fool.”
Catherine is getting more and more excited about her relationship with Culpepper and assures Lady Rochford that she can prevent getting pregnant with Culpepper’s child.
The King seems to be feeling very generous toward his people as of late. He blesses the sick who gather outside the castle gates and he tosses coins to villagers who stand beside the royal party’s traveling route. He also pardons the citizenry of the North for their uprising. He calls his trip to the North with Catherine and Mary, “a pilgrimage of forgiveness” and that he wants the people to be happy.