As the episode Entirely Beloved starts, we learn that Cromwell’s beloved Cardinal Wolsey is more ostracized than ever, urged by the King to go further north, further away from the political center of the country. And we see Cromwell holding fast to his mission of getting the Cardinal back in favor with the King.
Meanwhile, Wolsey is destitute, flagellating himself on the advice of monks who visit and likely believe that the suffering he is going thru is the result of a sin that must be expiated with even more suffering. A cat gives birth to a litter of black kittens under Wolsey’s bed. Cromwell promptly translates the dark omen into something optimistic. He doesn’t want the Cardinal to give up hope.
"I'll say this for you. You stick by your man."
Entirely Beloved… Wolf Hall! This is dark, witty political drama at its BEST with superb writing, directing, and acting. Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance absolutely STORM it together, and it’s just pure pleasure to watch, think, and write about Wolf Hall!
“Perhaps you should teach me your Three Card Trick… in case we both end up on the streets.” -Cardinal Wolsey
“Three-Card Trick” is a slow-burning episode that sets the scene for Wolf Hall. We get to meet our protagonist, Thomas Cromwell, and find out about his personal tragedy — from his humble beginnings as a violent blacksmith’s son to losing his wife and two daughters to “sweating sickness.” Cromwell starts at the bottom, escapes from home at an early age, spends time in Europe, learns trade, fights for France, and is now a pretty affluent lawyer in the service of Cardinal Wolsey, the Lord Chancellor of the King Henry VIII. Still, our Thomas is “Master” Cromwell — or “a person” as Duke of Norfolk likes to call him — essentially, he doesn’t have a title. Continue reading “Wolf Hall on PBS, Episode One: Three Card Trick”