Tom’s character Prince Hal makes an appearance about 12 seconds in, which was a quality call. You need to remind people why exactly it is they’ve decided to sit down and watch this thing for two hours. Wait too long, and you risk them flipping the channel back over to “Say Yes to the Dress.”
At the end of the last episode, “Richard II,” Henry IV is crowned king after taking the throne from King Richard. In this episode, the king is now much older and played by Jeremy Irons. Which is great, because the last time a character played by Jeremy Irons became king by getting rid of the guy before him it worked out super well for everyone. All that aside though, I’m loving the casting choice. Jeremy Irons has that deep, commanding voice and that intimidating quality that makes him a convincing authority figure. Plus he produced Max Irons, so we know he’s capable of amazing things. The main conflict of the story starts when the king asks this guy Harry Percy to hand over captured soldiers and Percy refuses. Because that’s how conflicts in the middle ages and Shakespearean plays start. I’m sure it’s more nuanced than that, but let’s carry on…
And address the fact that Prince Hal is a “Grade A-douchey-trust fund baby- frat guy” type. As far as we can tell, he’s blown off all his responsibilities, and spends his time getting drunk in taverns and playing pranks on his middle aged friend Falstaff. Also, why is some guy in his fifties Prince Hal’s best friend? I know the whole quarter life crisis thing can be hard, but he is a grown ass man and a prince. He needs to get his shit together.
But thankfully he doesn’t get said shit together before we get to watch some hard core making out. When Falstaff robs some guys and the authorities come looking for him, Prince Hal and a prostitute kiss the hell out of each other as a distraction. At least I think that’s what was going on because I was, in fact, distracted. Bottom line: the real winner here is the prostitute. “Oh no, we have to create a diversion? Maybe me straddling you and sucking on your face will suffice!” Way to cash in on a golden opportunity when it arises sister.
But eventually we do get around to the scene where Hal realizes that he needs to grow up and go to see his father. And King Henry takes the opportunity to call his son out on all the ridiculous crap he’s done. He even slaps him across the face. Like full on bitch slap with rings and all. Sorry to say, but Hal kind of deserves it. Plus, he should consider himself lucky; he could have been tossed off the side of a cliff to be trampled to death by stampeding wildebeests. He got off easy.
And of course we have the big battle scene (complete with Shakespearean trash talk) between Team King Henry IV and Team Harry Percy. Tom Hiddleston doesn’t have to wear the curved horn Loki helmet, but he does still have a cape. I’m no military strategist, but a cape seems like a terrible costuming choice for battle wear. Doesn’t it get in the way all the time? Also, how can anyone possibly train a horse well enough to stick around when war is raging around them? Because if I were a horse, I would be bailing on that so fast it’s ridiculous. Regardless… muddy, sweaty, sword wielding Tom is fabulous looking. Team King Henry IV wins to fight another day, and so ends this chapter of “The Hollow Crown.” If you missed it when it aired, or were kind of on the fence about it, I recommend that you watch it. Shakespeare’s themes are always timely, that’s why adaptations like this are still being made.
There are still two more glorious Hiddleston filled episodes of this mini-series to go! There’s a scene that takes place in what appears to be a steam room of some kind that I’m particularly excited to see him in, and I believe there’s more kissing at some point. Plus, once he becomes king he lets his facial hair grow in. Because it looks more regal obviously. So we all have to tune in for that. Until next time fair gentles!