I’m sad that this summer project is starting off on such a downer note and that these early episodes are so lame, which I take as a personal affront to my investment as a fan and as a regular joe trying to pen a blog post. I'll carry on but I just have nothing meaningful to say about an hour of TV that could have so much more Megan Follows in it and consciously chooses not to take advantage of that. Especially when I see this "Written by" credit right at the beginning and am automatically psyched, since I know what kind of champ Doris Egan is and what she has in store for us as the season rolls. Here it’s a letdown in every way possible.
Fashion-wise, I’m giving this week’s prize to this Portuguese toolbox, who makes his first appearance literally dressed as a snake:
Way to mask your intentions as an evil friend to the realm. I can't bother to look up the spelling of his name, because come on, but I feel like it would have a Z at the end: “Tomasz.” Sketchy. His whole sexy (sexx-ayyy) party dance with Mary is so obvious and awkward, not "hot" as I assume it was intended to be. It’s amazing how many generically handsome jokers they throw at Mary as potential suitors and how little chemistry she has with any of them. Not that Tomasz is doing anybody any favors in that department. “They just need you to show up, weasel into your snake garb and use whatever kind of accent seems Portuguese to you,” that’s the casting note this guy got from his agent. On all those points he scores pretty high. Chemistry with his costar was just never part of the equation.
Here’s a prime example of why they don’t use more period-appropriate clothing on this show. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen, like an artist’s smock made for a very pregnant lady that for some reason they thought would be okay for a king who’s not actually Henry VIII. He looks so confused by it, like what set did I wander onto. They probably hoped his neck chain would distract from the horror, but it doesn’t. It makes everything ten times worse. And I know he isn’t getting any action from Kenna yet, but I don’t think that should divert him from his first and most important task, which is to walk around in leather pants. Horndogs should only ever dress in leather. That should be a law. Pretty good episode all around, though, for ol’ Horndog. He got to engage in sword fighting with two of his sons, take a free cruise on a floating pavilion surrounded by flaming torches, and impart some royal wisdom. Things are really moving in his direction.
This is the most appealing Francis has ever been to me, this “vulnerable early morning devastation” look he has nailed here. He’s just learned all sorts of lessons about the consequences of making reckless decisions regarding Scotland based on his burgeoning feelings for Mary (gross phrase, I know), although he’ll forget them almost immediately. Of course something stupid is afoot in Scotland, that country has so many problems! One thing this show has definitely excelled at is making me hate Scotland. I check out mentally every time somebody mentions sending troops to Scotland and then wastes a whole episode whining about it and ultimately failing to do so. I’d turn it into a drinking game but becoming an alcoholic is not on my summer agenda. Sorry. Goal for 2016 maybe.
Even with limited screen time, QC and the Bear run the best sideshow in town. They should not be the sideshow, however, as previously stated. They should be the main act always, just standing around commenting on the incompetence of others. What a full-time job that would be. I do like how Henry finally calls them out on it, their constant reconnoitering in public, and then puts him to work sealing poor Braidy’s fate. Like that was a surprise to anybody but Braidy. She should start saying no to these castle gatherings, I feel. Just hole up in her room and work out some way to braid herself back home to Scotland, Rapunzel-style.