Whoa, just whoa! I need to take a few cleansing breathes before I continue with this review. If you’re new to Reign, welcome to the party. It’s a pseudo historic, semi mystical, boundary pushing CW drama and you’re going to love every minute of it.
This episode opens with the cast getting laced up and braided in preparation for a big event: Queen Catherine’s execution. We cut to Catherine running around the castle, planning her own post death party. Catherine wants no expense spared and notes that the nobles should get 100 cases of wine, “let them drink and swim in my blood and wonder who is next.” Cheerful. She seems a little exhausted from the logistics and even moans “shall I catch my head in my own hands, too?” Her behavior is unusual for a Queen who is about to be killed which means she (a) doesn’t really think she’s going to die or (b) has stronger than normal denial skills. Both are entirely possible.
Meanwhile, Lola and Francis are packing up to head towards the Castle for Francis to save the day. Lola realizes they’re going to need to come up with a good cover story about why they are travelling together. Francis insists that it doesn’t really matter since he’s already over Mary anyways. Right.
Speaking of illicit affairs, Nostradamus is seen enjoying the company of a young red headed woman who doesn’t appear to have a name. She’s concerned about Nostradamus and tries to save him when he puts his head in a noose to draw out prophecies. Nostradamus sees Mary and Francis happy with children and now believes that his prophecies are false. What good are these prophecies if they can’t be trusted? Why even put any stock into them?
Inside Royal Court a chorus of violins starts playing to announce a visitor: Marie De Guise (Mary’s mother). Catherine is also there to greet her, making this author wonder why a soon to be executed Queen is allowed to roam around. Mary’s mother is none too pleased that her daughter is engaged to the bastard Bash. She blames religion “our country is on the knife’s edge of falling into Protestantism.” It’s best that Mary weds Francis who is a Catholic. Mary, who apparently hasn’t seen her mother since she was 11, rushes to Bash to accelerate the wedding date to the end of the day. She doesn’t trust that her mother will support the wedding. Bash, happy for an excuse to ride a horse, says he’ll ride out to take care of all of the arrangements and quips “don’t plan on sleeping this night, wife.” Well, then!
Mary’s mother Marie and Catherine trade barbs about who is the biggest royal disappointment. Catherine notices that Marie’s bosoms are exposed and Marie offers that Catherine “couldn’t keep your husband interested in bed.” For all of the royal lady cat fights, this is one of my favorites. Marie makes Catherine look positively weak and emotional in comparison. Marie De Guise believes that her daughter “may be Scotland’s Queen, but I am its King.”
Lola and Francis arrive back at court, suspiciously a few feet behind each other. Kenna is the only one who pokes holes in Lola’s story about how they met up. You see, Kenna is a part time liar and conniver herself so she can smell one of her own. Francis and Mary lock eyes and she seems to get lost in the sea of his pretty blues (or at least I did). Francis insists he’s just back to save his mother and Mary tries not to run her finger through his hair.
Nostradamus comes clean to Catherine, giving her the perfect excuse to get Mary and Francis back together and save her own life. She’s peeved at Nostradamus for his prophecy flip flopping but quickly turns into planning the future mode. She confronts Francis to see if he’s really all that into being a Prince in exile and he admits he wouldn’t mind getting the crown, Mary and the safety of his brothers. Marie De Guise, ever the diplomat, tells Francis “hurry before your brother gets his hand on everything you want.”
Francis runs to the Chapel to find Bash waiting around in a grave for Mary. Francis calls Bash’s engagement to Mary a “marriage of convenience” and then in a blink of an eye there is punching and rolling around on the ground. Francis takes it squarely in the eye and looks like he wouldn’t make it that long in physical fight with his Pagan half-brother. Mary breaks them apart, crushing all of our dreams.
A messenger arrives at the Castle announcing that the Queen of England has died. Henry gets all riled up that his family could be in possession of England. He tells Mary that she will wed one of his sons, tonight. Mary spits back at him that she won’t take direct orders but we don’t need Nostradamus to know that we’re getting a royal wedding out of this episode.
Kenna shows up at Henry’s door to remind him that she’s gorgeous and willing to engage in some illicit behavior. She asks Henry to line up some wealthy suitors for her while she continues to please him. Henry seems eager to take the deal because she’s not wearing anything underneath her robe. Well played, Kenna.
Catherine uses a blank letter to force Mary to figure out who she loves. For a split second I wondered if she could forget Bash so quickly, but I was wrong. It seems that she wasn’t that into him all along. Sure, she claims she loved him but she loved Francis more which means he’s the silver medal winner of rejection. Bash, who is for no reason shirtless, looks absolutely crushed. Mary, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BREAK HIS HEART? Bash tries to plead with her and tell her that he’ll always put her first but she won’t budge. Fine Mary, go be with stupid Francis and see if he treats you with care. I know this show is trying to be historically accurate and get onto the part where Mary and Francis wed in real life but come on man. BASH WITHOUT A SHIRT.
Sigh. Mary and Francis get married and Adelaide Kane looks absolutely stunning. Nostradamus figures out that Clarissa might not be as dead as he thought she was (maybe next time don’t try getting information through hanging yourself on a noose?). Catherine is pardoned and overjoyed that her son will be King and that she’s alive. Mary’s mother pulls Catherine aside to let her know she pulled a switcharoo and the English Queen isn’t dead after all.
Bash decides to opt out of the wedding and flee the country, but not before his father Henry catches him and drags him somewhere. At the same time, Francis and Mary are dragged by Greer to consummate their marriage. At first it’s sort of a touching moment between the two and then we pan out to see that Henry has brought Bash to the consummation TO WATCH. TO WATCH, PEOPLE. He’s watching while his hands are tied in rope! Mary catches his eye and looks extremely uncomfortable. Francis notices but keeps going. And as we pan out on the screen, it’s apparent that literally everyone is watching. Just what every girl dreams of!
Bash is taken away from the castle to be put into exile. He’s a little upset after that Eyes Wide Shut display, grabs the blade off of the royal guards and kills them all. Then he jumps onto a horse, his only friend.
-So who exactly was that in Nostradamus’ bed?
-In retrospect, I don’t think Mary will actually sleep that night anyways.
-Marie De Guise, we need more of you.
-Mary’s wedding didn’t have the same emotional impact because I couldn’t stop thinking about Bash’s poor broken heart.
-Yes Bash and bastard are two words that almost sound the same.
-No one brings up that Mary and Francis have already had practice at consummating.
-Again, shirtless Bash, thank you.
[Photo via Christos Kalohoridis/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved]