Sadly, after his apparent perfection last episode, Tomas falls from grace and reveals an inner self that is twisted and ugly. He makes thinly veiled threats against Mary, taunting her by beating a whipping boy on her behalf. He leers and taunts and generally mocks the French court. He may even have murdered his first wife. Though Tomas's cruelty comes as an almost unbelievable shock at first--how can they take someone who was so noble last week, and suddenly make him hate everything he purported to love about Mary?--it eventually does make sense. He did need a queen to seal the deal for the Pope's approval to rule. And as he says himself, a bastard needs to learn brutality. Everything in life is a struggle, as they are so close to nobility but never fully accepted. It can go two ways--either be awesome, like Bash, or lead to a hungry desperation, like Tomas.
Tomas's downfall does provide another surprise. It allows for the toothless Prince to finally gain some bite. Apparently seeing the woman he decided to love belonging to another man pushes Francis to become a man. He is suddenly filled with purpose, openly pining after Mary and launching a campaign to discover the dark side of Tomas. When he discovers that Tomas warned the English troops that wounded Bash (instead of English peace envoy Simon, who is moments from death as this is all revealed), Francis takes charge. He practically grows taller, as he protects injured Bash, Mary's honor, and tries to become a noble king. And Francis does gain some foothold. He kills Tomas, shaking afterward, in an effort do what is right and necessary. He is becoming a man, a man who might be king. At the end, when he and Mary gaze over the kingdom, she says "I'll make you a great king someday." Considering all she has already done to help Francis's progress, it's easy to believe her.
Even the awful King Henry shows a different face. Slutty LiW (whose name I will never, NEVER learn, as a matter of principle) gets all mopey at her impending move to Portugal, and goes to tell the king she's ready to give herself to him. Which is silly, because if she isn't in his court she won't have his royal protection, so if she leaves she's all deflowered for no reason. ANYWAY. Henry rightly points this out to her, but because someone has to be boning in this show, and it can't be Mary because politics demand her purity, Henry has to have a change of heart. When slutty LiW begs him to delay Simon's execution, Henry gets all soft. He seems almost human. It's still creepy, and later when they do get it on he still shows a gross dom-type personality, but it reinforces that royals have layers the eye can't see.
This includes Mary, who finally gains her queenly ground. The episode begins with her floundering in the politics of engagements, hating that because she is queen she has no choices. It ends with her cunningly outmaneuvering Henry, dismissing her snotrag of an uncle from engagement re-negotiations and taking matters of her own country's alliance into her own hands. Seeing Mary so powerful and strong (and using the royal "we"!) is a delight , as she more than proves herself capable of operating at the level of nations.
-Having Francis dress up as Saint Michael was so deliciously French, and helped reinforce the nobility of his actions as he slew the dark, leering interloper Tomas.
-Bash gets more screen-time this episode, and continues to prove himself awesome. Rosemary correctly pointed out that he's an interesting character that is rarely seen, more's the pity. Hopefully this proves a turning point, because yes. So much yes.
-That being said, I certainly hope they are not trying to set up some sparks between him and romantic LiW. I'm sorry, but there is nothing there, Bash's fieriness so far can only be matched by Mary, and it would be terribly mean of the show to keep crushing romantic LiW.
-I would watch the Bash/Nostradamus comedy hour, because seeing them snipe at each other delights my soul.
-I laughed when Mary and Francis were describing royal rumors that Francis is the sickly, weak and stunted prince, while Bash has all the looks and passion. Because you know what? IT'S TRUE.
-That same conversation has Francis bring up a sister, claiming the rumors began because he was sitting in a portrait while she was standing. We've seen Francis's younger brother, but there has been no sister. Could that be the ghostly Clarissa? Is the sack-wearing girl a horribly disfigured princess?