This week on Reign,
the tension is political and personal, as pagans force the love triangle out into the open, Bash begins to truly understand his precarious position at court, and danger surrounds Mary.
"Oh Mary's in danger? Must be a day that ends in Y," everyone in the castle mutters to themselves. While Queen Catherine was berating the servants, you could feel half of them rolling their eyes. Someone tries to kill Mary more consistently than Kenny on South Park.
During the general time period Reign is supposedly taking place, there was indeed huge religious tensions. None of this tension, however, involved human sacrificing pagans. Instead, the religious undercurrent was a fight between Catholicism and the newly popular Protestant faith.
While the Catholic religion was still the overwhelming faith of choice for choosy Frenchmen, there was certainly a growing number of Protestants. This caused incredible tension, and eventually lead to events like the St. Bartholomew's Day Mascare, which was some gnarly stuff if you are so inclined to look it up.
The point of this history lesson is that the choices this show makes with established fact are often unpredictable. Here Reign had a ready-made religious conflict, and instead they made up blood-letting pagans to up the dramatic flare. Although apparently, like being Jewish, crazy pagan is both a religion and an ethnicity. Even if Bash doesn't want to admit it, he has a little crazy pagan in his bloodlines.
The show went darker with its characters this week, and made everyone just a little more interesting. We've always seen Queen Catherine as the obvious villain, but it was interesting to see just what lengths Bash would go to protect his family's position at court. Francis admits to his dark thoughts about Bash's betrayal, while Diane proves to be as wily as you'd expect.
Even Mary got to fight a crazy pearl-headbanded pagan with a fire poker. That last sentence isn't anything I ever thought I'd type, so thanks for that, Reign.
Mary and Catherine's Excellent Girl Detective Agency
In case you forgot, Bash helpfully dreams a recap of last week's over-dramatic pagan antics to catch up the audience. Soon Mary is being threatened with tacky necklaces and deer heads hung over her bed. The pagan mafia never forgets Bash, and they never forgive. Mary swims with the fishes now.
While Bash stresses about needing to kill and sacrifice another human being, Francis is totally pissy about the kiss he saw last week. "I'd love to help you with all that murdering and sacrificing, Bash, but I just have this huge secret I'm hiding from my brother. It's probably about a girl. You wouldn't understand that would you? Are my passive aggressive words too subtle?" Thankfully, neither Bash nor Mary has time to deal with Francis stomping his little feet.
Bash decides to take a thief out in the woods for the sacrifice, but then sacrifices the pagan instead. Unfortunately for the thief, he hears about Bash's lineage as part-pagan and gets a nice shove off a cliff for his troubles.
For Mary, she's way too busy opening the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency with Queen Catherine. As soon as Catherine finds out someone else tried to kill Mary under her roof, she's on the case like a terrifying yet magnificent Nancy Drew.
"Yes, they drugged you with poppy Mary. It's the same drug I use to roofie all my daughters-in-law. I'm surprised you haven't built up an immunity. Another failing of yours I suppose."
They pull all the servants into the throne room so Mary and Catherine can play a ye old game of good cop-bad cop. Mary tells the servants that anyone who gives information will be protected. When no one steps forward, Catherine says anyone who doesn't give information will get their village burnt to the ground. "I'm here to drink wine and raze villages, and I'm all out of wine!"
I've said it before and I'll say it again, but this show is magic whenever they put Adelaide Kane and Megan Follows into a room together. Both have more steel and personality than all of the minions-in-waiting combined. This week it's like watching a 16th century version of Lethal Weapon. "I'm too old for this razing!" Catherine practically says later when a servant comes to give her information.
Thanks to her keen eye for sartorial detail, Catherine finds the unkempt guard responsible. Meanwhile, Mary fights off a pagan servant with a fire poker and some copious yelling. Both pagans go up in flames, securing Bash's beliefs that he's not as safe as he'd always assumed.
Number One Mistress
In her race to the bottom, Kenna freaks out about being the number one mistress. When the girls find out about her new position, they try to politely point out that King Henri might not be the most reliable of adulterers. They do this by bringing her attention to the fact that she is literally boning her new boyfriend above tiles that attest to his forever love with his former mistress.
Predictably, this causes Kenna to freak out at the King. Because if there's anything a king wants in a girlfriend, it's high maintenance behavior. Without any R&B smooth jams to put on at a time like this, he merely sends up some fireworks and writes Kenna's name in candles. It's not exactly holding a boom box over your head, but Kenna falls right back into his arms anyway.
Yet the King still goes to see Diane, the O.M, (or Original Mistress), during tile construction. She promises to take care of the construction on her cottage, get things done without any fuss, and never wear tacky flower crowns like she's a Beatles groupie from the '70s.
Unsurprisingly, the King is more into this take-charge, yet laissez-faire attitude. Then she soothes his exhaustion with a little sexual healing. Kenna might think a few candles makes her position secure, but that's because she's an idiot.
A Break Up?
Mary and Francis have the most fraught non-relationship of all time. After whining around the castle all episode while other people get stuff done, Francis finally explodes on Bash and Mary. He tells them he knows all about the kiss, and that he's really angry about it.
He admits he thought that if Bash died in the woods he would totally deserve it. "That's way harsh bro," Bash says sadly, covered in the blood of the pagan he brutally murdered while Francis was writing sad poems in his feelings journal.
When it comes to Mary, he says their relationship is destructive. He's letting her go to fly free. If France is so inclined, maybe one day they'll get married. Then he tells Mary she can hook up with anyone in the castle besides Bash, and immediately goes to spend some quality time with Olivia. Mary is angry and confused, because who knows what Francis was even talking about.
Mary and Francis' ye old Facebook relationship status: In An Open Relationship.
Elsewhere in the French Court...
-- I love it whenever the show gets meta about its lack of historical accuracy. Bash mentions that there are some people who will be remembered and some people who never will be. He says he wants to be remembered, but obviously the joke is on him since he doesn't exist.
-- The minions-in-waiting are only around to play "you're an idiot" Greek chorus to Kenna this week. Although the flashbacks undermining Kenna's version of her relationship with the King were comedy gold.
-- Mary's white peasant dress looked like she jumped forward in time and stole Stevie Nicks' wardrobe. Why was everyone dressed like a hippie gypsy this week?
-- Clarissa the friendly neighborhood burlap monster was really sleeping on the job when the pagans broke into Mary's room. What's the use of having your own personal wall monster if she only occasionally alerts you to roofies?
What did you think? Are Mary and Francis done for good? Will King Henri get rid of Kenna? Who was wearing the funniest outfit? Sound off in the comments!
Reign airs Thursdays at 9pm on The CW. (Image courtesy of The CW)