The King is interested in both more war and more wives in this episode. Spanish Ambassador Chapuis visits the King and tells him the King of Spain desires an alliance between Spain and England against France. If the King signs a treaty creating this alliance, then England will receive its lost territories back. King Henry then speaks to the French Ambassador and confronts him about the money France supposedly owes England. The French Ambassador is keenly interested in keeping up the current alliance between France and England but this is not to be. King Henry signs an alliance with Spain and is set on imminent war with France.
England and Spain are not the only two countries interested in forming treaties. King Henry also desires a treaty with Scotland. He wants Scotland to submit to England’s power and sends both Lord Hartford and Lord Surrey to Scotland to make sure that this treaty is accepted. While in Scotland, Hartford and Surrey capture three Scottish nobles and bring them back to Court. The nobles are told that the King desires his son Edward to be betrothed to the newborn Mary, Queen of Scots. They are also told that they will be released and given a pension if they are helpful with getting Scotland back under England’s control.
The King’s daughters are experiencing some changes. King Henry has restored both Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession. They are to follow behind Prince Edward and any of his children. Mary is more excited about this than Elizabeth. Mary is sure this return to the line of succession means that the King really does love his daughters. Elizabeth is unsure and confides in Mary that she never wishes to wed after seeing what happened to her father’s most recent wife, Catherine Howard. Prince Edward is now seen around a bit more and is old enough to attend events at Court like the Christmas celebration.
There are still arrests being made of people who are considered “secret heretics.” This week a group of singers and musicians from Court were arrested and tortured. One musician in particular is pressed to give away the names of high-ranking nobles who are Calvinists. The cruel minister who is interrogating this musician says, “Give me the Earl of Hartford and I will give you back your life.”
We are introduced to Catherine Parr, the future wife of the King, who is currently married to Lord Latimer. Her husband is dying and she is having what she thinks is a secret affair with Thomas Seymour. They desire to be together and plan to marry as soon as her husband dies. However, once the King catches a glimpse of her at Court, he decides he wants Catherine for himself. He chats with her about life and marriage, sends her clothes and jewelry, and plays cards with her. Thomas Seymour looks increasingly downtrodden as he sees his love being pulled away from him. Clearly the King is aware of their affection for each other because Thomas is eventually shipped off to Brussels permanently.
Catherine Parr is understandably anxious about being the recipient of the King’s affections; she knows all too well what happens to his Queens. Despite this sense of foreboding, she is powerless to stop the King from pursuing her. Her dying husband realizes this and when he sees Catherine opening a pile of gifts from the King he grumbles, “I feel as if I am dead already.” Once he is on his deathbed, Catherine is sad but he is angry. His dying words to his wife are, “Go to hell.” She is still in her mourning clothes when she is told the King wishes to marry her as soon as possible. She looks miserable yet powerless to do anything but accept this offer.