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Wolf Hall Wednesday—Episode 5: I'M HENRY VIII, I AM!!!

Now that's what I'm talking about! I'm caught up with Wolf Hall now, having watched episodes 4 & 5 together. Remembering that the series is based on both Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, I find myself preferring the material based on the second book, just as I preferred the second book. So much so that I'm resentful of the time that director Peter Kominsky spent setting things up in the earlier episodes. The Bring Up the Bodies portion is just so much fun! Henry has had his way, he's got rid of Katharine of Aragon, Anne is now queen but alas the new queen isn't giving the king the son he wants either. He has had enough of Anne, he's ready for Jane Seymour and he blames Cromwell for not hastening his shedding of the Queen. 

In this week's episode we finally got a chance to see Damian Lewis truly step into the regal and raging shoes of Henry VIII. As Anne Boleyn fails to deliver, Henry grows increasingly angry; Lewis is fantastic, getting all puffed up and blustery, full of fury, almost physically expanding before our eyes as he lays into Cromwell. In one scene, after Henry has railed at the Spanish ambassador —the rest of the world does not accept Anne Boleyn as Queen or Henry as the new head of the church of England — he fumes at Cromwell, basically saying who the hell do you think you are, me? while the rest of the court stands by watching awkwardly. Lewis' Henry VIII is so out of control you can see the spit fly in Cromwell's face. I rewound just to be certain. 

Cromwell better get moving, that's for sure. A vision of Cardinal Wolsey comes to remind him what happens when you're the man who fails to deliver what the king wants. You die. 

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