This week’s episode lived up to the thesis and title of the show: Reign. The central question to the show is not really who Mary will end up with (and if you’re curious you can always google Mary Queen of Scots marriage to find out where this series is heading). The true question of Reign is who is at the seat of power. We’ve taken for granted at the beginning of the series that Queen Catherine and King Henry’s positions are secure. But once the “Other Medici’s” showed up in this episode, dressed like they’re ready to teach The Dark Arts at Hogwarts, we know that Catherine is in trouble. Medici’s aren’t coming all the way to France just to give their relative a pep talk and a bundt cake.
Elsewhere in the castle Bash and Mary check in on Isobel’s baby to see how that pagan scar is holding up. At this point, yeah we get it; both of them look adorable doting for a baby. The CW wants us to want them to make babies. I see what you’re doing there. This also sets up yet another scene where Mary and Bash need to flee the castle and run to the countryside to keep the baby from harm. I’m never not a fan of obligatory shots of Bash riding horseback through the woods of France. Of course the French guards follow them because at this point their entire career centers around chasing Bash to whatever location he’s hiding out in. Bash and Mary hide in a grain pantry and Bash takes a sword to the arm while the guard tries to suss out if it’s really grain in there. Now I know that men aren’t giving birth but my god would Bash be good at it. While a sword goes straight through him he remains completely silent and has the fortitude to knock over a sack of grain. Mary, marry this man already!
In King Henry news, Henry falsely accuses Catherine of adultery in order to get the support of France to have her killed. His plans to have the Pope bless the legitimization of his bastard Bash did not work, which is something quite literally anyone could have told him before he made the trip to the Vatican. Well I hope he at least had a nice cappuccino while he was there. So on his long ride back to France, Henry concocted a better plan to get rid of Queen Catherine. He asks Kenna to bare false witness on an illicit scene between Catherine and Nostradamus. Catherine visits Nostradamus in his jail cell and lets him know he’s doing a horrible job of seeing the future, “too bad you couldn’t see this one coming.” She also inquires about “a ghost” visitor in the night, who will all know is Clarissa. Nostradamus finally gives us what we’ve been waiting for: just an ounce of an explanation of what Clarissa is doing on this show because thus far she has not explained it all. Clarissa is a disfigured girl who was brought to his father. Since his father botched the operation to remove the scar, Nostradamus has felt responsible for her and has let her roam around the castle in the shadows. Far enough, Nosty! But what I wasn’t prepared for at all was the later reveal that this is the bastard child of Queen Catherine. Clarissa, you’re a Medici and you didn’t even know it.
Buried in this episode is a moment between Mary and Bash that is equally touching and frightening. Bash asks Mary if he was the Prince of France when she left the convent, would she be open to his heart. Mary lets him know that her heart is open now. And then Bash surprises her by letting Mary know he would be willing to kill King Henry for her. Well, then!
Elsewhere in the castle, Queen Catherine has used up all of her power ups and now she knows that she’s going to die. Her relatives kindly leave her a poison so she can take matters in her own hand. And that’s quite nice of them considering that King Henry does a rather poor job at committing execution. Catherine is seen brushing her hair and staring at the poison and we cut to Mary getting ready to soak in a tub. Catherine, unable to be happy for anyone else, breaks into Mary’s room and holds a knife at her throat while she drops the poison in her bath water. At some point someone needs to have a serious conversation with Mary’s guards because it seems so easy to distract them. Clarissa breaks into the room from literally out of nowhere, and wrestles Catherine to the ground. Bash also races to save Mary because he has supersonic hearing and can tell when she’s in distress. So if we’re counting, Bash saved the day twice in this episode and Catherine has tried to have Mary killed at least three times in this season. Long may she Reign!
-Still no Francis in this episode. Wonder if anyone has let him know his mother was thrown in prison?
-Bash can tell the sound of “at least 6 horses.”
-King Henry and Theon Greyjoy have the same skill level when it comes to chopping off heads.
-Bash saved Mary from dying in the royal tub, which means that technically Bash has now seen her in the buff.
-We never got to see King Henry getting rejected by the Pope at the Vatican.
-The week’s best Catherine “Who ties the hands of the King, other than a select lusty few?”
-Bash knows how to woo a lady “I was only interested in claiming you.”
[Photo via Sven Frenzel/The CW — © 2013 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved]