Wolf Hall Finale Recap: Master of Phantoms
“Wolf Hall” Season 1 Episode 6 “Master of Phantoms” aired on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. on BBC Two. As it happened in history, the season finale for this show spelled the end for Anne Boleyn. Find out what took place in the episode in the recap below.
King Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) is no longer happy and trusting of his second wife, Anne (Claire Foyle). He instructs his aid, Cromwell (Mark Rylance), to deal with her as he sets his sights on Jane Seymour (Kate Philips). Bearing the task before him, Cromwell daydreams of the body of Anne being dragged on the dining table, with her political enemies cheering before her. Is he having a premonition? She is slowly losing the king’s favor, and his distaste for his concubine is evident.
Anne confronts Cromwell regarding the incident with the king’s near-death experience (in the episode “Crows” air date: Feb. 19, 2015) and wondered why he sent for Mary, the king’s daughter from his first wife, not for Anne’s daughter Elizabeth. Cromwell defends that he cannot let an infant and an unborn child sit on the throne. She reminds Cromwell that she made him into the powerful man that he is, and what can be made can be unmade. Cromwell agrees with her, alluding to the same situation she’s currently embroiled in.
Anne’s enemies want her ousted, and some declare that most part of England will rejoice when she’s gone. They favor the Seymour girl, as she represents their true religion. With her, England can fix its relationship with Rome as well.
As her enemies grow, Anne is seen in her court tormenting Mark Smeaton (Max Fowler). She also fights with her sister-in-law and Harry, her rumored lover before marrying the king. The sister-in-law reports everything to Cromwell and alludes how Anne has been unfaithful to the king all this time. She also advises Cromwell to seek the truth from Smeaton.
Smeaton, in his wanting to boast, told Cromwell that he is, along with other men, the queen’s lover. When Cromwell presses on for names, he realizes the gravity and weight of what he said and suddenly refuses to talk. Cromwell detains him and someone tortures the poor boy into admitting the queen’s indiscretion.
Cromwell then instructs his aide to personally tell the king this fact, and then a warrant for Anne is issued. She is removed from her lavish house. Men associated with her are also questioned and detained. The king expresses to Cromwell that he truly believes his wife committed adultery with hundreds of men, and her trial has been set. Anne is found guilty of treason, which is punishable by death.
The series ends with the former queen being beheaded in front of a crowd, which included Cromwell. Later, Cromwell returns to the king’s palace, where King Henry VIII welcomes him with a big smile and open arms. Yet he remains stoic, shattered and sad all throughout. What has he done? What has he become?
There goes the finale for “Wolf Hall” Season 1 Episode 6 “Master of Phantoms,” which aired on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. on BBC Two. For those in the United States, the series will debut on April 5, 2015 on PBS.
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