When Reign ended last season, Queen Elizabeth was hot on Mary, Queen of Scots’ trail, calling for her death and her mission annihilate any others who lay claim to the English throne. Francis, accepting his forthcoming death, moved onto the final chapter of his life, and reconciled with Mary, who had an affair with Prince Conde, who knows what the hell happened to him, after her attack in the last midseason finale. Continue reading
The beginning of the end. This season of Reign has been very eventful; starting with the plague and leading to the events that caused Mary’s assault. This episode, perhaps a slow one compared to the rest of the season, began with the Duke of Guise’s funeral, after Narcisse and Antoine falsely accused him of being responsible for the poisoning of King Henry.
The return of Marie de Guise, Mary’s mother, marked the drama for the episode. Still frightened about Queen Elizabeth and her rise in England, Marie confronts Mary about the state of her sex life with Francis, and pushes to know why they have not conceived. Not wanting to tell her mother of her assault, Mary lies about why rumors of her and Francis sharing separate chambers have spread, saying they’ve grown apart. Her mother, still devious and power hungry as ever, repeatedly pushes Mary to conceive, offering her a special mix of herbs that will help her relax and be “in the mood.”
When Lola accidentally runs into Marie de Guise, she is subjected to her scrutiny. As every mother should be, Marie is angry that Lola has a child with Mary’s husband, and angry that it was so easy for her to conceive. Lola must sit and listen, as she is only a Lady, and once Marie leaves, Lola drinks all of Marie’s wine, which she is unaware that it is mixed with special herbs. At the party, later in the episode, Lola is obviously not in her right state of mind. Francis arranged for her to meet a potential wife for their child, but she comments on the baby and mother’s unibrow and their funny ears. She seems drunk, but we learn that it was because of the herbs, which causes Lola to offer herself to Narcisse, but he respectfully declines, knowing that she isn’t aware of her choices. The herbs, we later learn, are for Marie’s deadly disease. She is slowly dying.
Mary decides to listen to her mother, and arranges a public night with Francis, so there is no question of who the father is, if she were to conceive. The good thing about Reign is they haven’t rushed Mary’s story; she is still traumatized from her assault, as she should be. Francis reluctantly agreed to Mary’s proposition, but then she is unable to follow through. She is still unable after her trauma to be in such a close proximity with a man. After her decision to call it off, Marie de Guise comes to Mary again, this time much angrier with her, as we find out she only looks at Mary as a way to gather power. Mary slowly informs her mother of her rape, to which her mother is still more concerned with a potential child, than Mary.
Mary decides to take control of her life and her power, and to return to France. We’ll see if she follows through, but she offers Conde the chance to come with her, in a romantic way, even though she might not ever be ready to be with him. Conde, however, is offered another opportunity. The potential chance to be Queen Elizabeth’s husband.
Reign has become the show we all expected in the season one. The show is much more about political power, and with the current events in the show’s timeline, it’ll be interesting to see how the story between Mary and Elizabeth will twist and turn. We’ll see if the writers follow history, somewhat, or if they give the show the happy ending for Mary that never existed.
After a few lackluster episodes, Reign finally picked up yet again with the revelation that King Henry had been poisoned before his untimely death, which lead to him being driven mad. If Catherine hadn’t been poisoned as well by their family Bible, we would have always thought that Henry was just a crazy bastard.
The episode began with a really nice scene with Mary and her ladies, well Kenna and Lola, seeing as Greer was stripped of her title, sledding and drinking hot chocolate. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Mary even remotely happy and she was smiling and everything. It didn’t have anything to do with the episode, I just think it was a great way to show that Mary is slowly making progress.
Starting off, Catherine and Narcisse are still working together (God knows why, I’m positive that they’d never work with a former Lord that tried to destroy their family, but okay Reign writers…) and are hot on the trail of Henry’s poisoner. First, Lord Conde is implicated, as he has ties to the man that they believed was responsible for actually poisoning the Bible. This lead to Mary and Francis having a Royal dinner, where they planned to question Conde about his involvement. However, in order for Conde to be present at the Royal dinner, he would have to postpone his trip with Lola, the courtship that Mary and Francis arranged, and he was less than pleased when Mary told him he must wait a day. Not because he’s remotely interested in Lola, but because he’s tired of Mary’s push and pull. He obliges, and at the mess of the Royal dinner, Conde learns about the interest in him as a suspect in the poisoning and before long, Narcisse interrupts, but the damage is done. Mary and Francis continue on the path that he should see other people, so he decides to spend more time with Lola and his child. Mary and Conde later confess their love for one another, but Mary vows to not let him ruin her status as she is Francis’ wife and she will always be. She leaves their conversation with saying, “You will be my death, and I of you.”
All of this was complicated by the Duke of Guise’s return, where he appeared in Mary’s chambers questioning her and Francis’ involvement with Conde and his brother, Antoine, whose family has always been after the throne. Mary turns him away, because he vanished as soon as the plague was mentioned, so he makes his way over to seduce Catherine, but she is less than inclined as well. Later, she makes plans to meet him in the greenhouse on the far side of the castle, but is interrupted by Narcisse’s revelation that (shockingly) the Duke of Guise was the one who orchestrated the poisoning of King Henry, clearing the names of Conde and anyone else possibly suspected. The Duke is murdered for his treason, shot by several arrows, and left for dead in what is (seemingly) the middle of nowhere. At the end of the episode, Narcisse and King Antoine rendezvous and discuss the framing of the Duke of Guise and Antoine confesses to being responsible, which Narcisse knew and used to his advantage.
I was disappointed with the lack of substance for Mary during this episode. If you hadn’t seen the previous episodes, you would have never know what Mary had gone through, besides her quick mention of it in her chat with Conde. I’m (painfully) interested in how Francis and Mary’s relationship is right now, and my shipper heart hopes they will reunite, but it’s nice to see them each as their own person, something that we’ve truly missed. Narcisse has said that Mary and Francis will never see him coming, and I’m excited to see what he’s planning on doing.
(Sorry for the late recap, I’ve been really busy lately!)
If you’ve been watching Reign from the pilot, you’ve seen Mary, Queen of Scots, suffer in many ways, but none more heartbreaking than recently. In the midseason finale, Mary was raped by intruders of the castle that were after Francis, a storyline that I was/am completely against, but at least the writers have been writing realistic scenarios of the aftermath.
To begin the episode, Lord Conde’s brother, King Antoine, visits the French Court. This man being focused on slithering Conde through the lives of Francis and Mary, recognizes Bash as his brother’s murderer. Conde has become a big obstacle in recent episodes, as he’s fallen for Mary, but she is (obviously) not interested, as she’s married to Francis and dealing with her trauma. More interesting than Narcisse, however, who spends his time as a former Lord (titles stripped) “entertaining” Princess Claude, and trying to make a name for himself once more.
Bash makes a trip to a local town, where a man was “raised from the dead” to avoid his fighting with Kenna. This man, a demon as the townsfolk would refer to him, repeatedly tells Bash that he was dead and brought back, though Bash thinks it was a coma (or a long sleep, that is sometime mistaken as death.) This man, a Greek, claimed that a woman in white stood over him and pulled him out of the grave. However, Bash isn’t convinced, and the town’s men find them and shoot an arrow into the man’s chest.
Queen Catherine is diagnosed with syphilis, after having a prophetic vision of Francis dying (part of the episode’s throwback to Nostradamus) and the doctor discovering she had sores in her mouth and on her hands. Claude, still evil and resentful after Catherine poisoned her, helps her mother through the cures of syphilis, which apparently includes having birds peck at your feet for hours (what?!) and sitting in a steam box. Later in the episode, Narcisse comes to Catherine’s aid after she screams for water and being the dirty man he is, he is familiar with syphilis and suggests that maybe Catherine was being poisoned. This leads back to King Henry and how he lost his mind, and we find out that his Bible was laced with poison… (someone wanted King Henry dead??? No way. I’m so shocked….)
What has really been great writing is Mary’s struggle. Just to be clear, I was and am completely against them even including this storyline, I wish they would have gone about furthering Mary’s character like this a different way, but I think Mary’s character growth recently is astounding. She lets Francis sleep in the same bed as her, trying to make progress, but ultimately is reminded of her trauma by the sound of him breathing next to her. It’s incredibly heartbreaking to see Mary so vulnerable and fragile, but also so strong at the same time. She is strong enough to say that she isn’t comfortable, and strong enough to be a woman that she has to be at this time, and it speaks to Francis’ character as well that he is perfectly okay with giving her time and space. Her character is going through so much besides her recovery as well, with King Antoine informing them that Queen Elizabeth is planning to attack them, threatened by Mary’s Catholic status and her claim to the English throne. But we return to Francis and Mary and the episode ends with Mary giving Francis her permission to wed another, as she doesn’t think she’ll ever be ready to be the wife he “deserves”.
I hope that the Reign writers continue to write Mary’s struggle this well, but don’t rush as they do with most every other story. Mary’s recovery should take time, perhaps even over a whole season as time seems to move fast between each episode, and should they decide to “end” the story, I hope they should find the way to do it that is believable.