'Reign' Recap: Game Changer, Reign Changer
'Reign' Recap: Game Changer, Reign Changer
Emily E. Steck
Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
On tonight's episode of Reign, Mary and Bash make it about a week and a cliff away from the castle before being summoned back. And Mary must work to save Bash and Francis' life from sinister forces -- aka Daddy Hankie and Fate.

When we last left the historical fantasy drama, Mary Queen of Scots was running away from her dearly doomed fiancé Francis with -- get this --  the dude's bastard brother Bash. Why? So Mary can avoid taking the English throne and potentially save Francis from Nostradamus' fatal prophecy. 

Reign can't possibly be incredibly faithful to history because a). history is not as cool as the paragraph above and b). because this is a television show that uses supernatural soap a la The Vampire Diaries and political scheming soap a la Scandal. No one on this show is chewing their own wrist or anything that ludicrous (though there was that one time when Catherine poisoned and massacred a room full of men), but it has fully embraced the camp and historical divergences. With Reign, there is a historical ground, one willing to shift facts and reality for narrative. 

It's honestly something kind of exciting because it does not go half way. 


Enter tonight's episode.

So Much For Running Away

Mary and Bash are still running away from King Francis' guards a week after we just left them. Mary, donning this beautiful all black, bad-ass queen look, and Bash, donning those piercing eyes, make with the dramatics and jump off a cliff, slo-mo style, and it just looks pretty. It probably blew half of their budget, but hey: Mary is willing to jump off a cliff rather than rule England and marry Francis. It's an understandable act of rebellion (I know it's much more than that, but go with it).  

Back at the castle, everyone is in Def Con 3 mode looking for Mary. By that, I mean everyone is in a state of like, "Eh. We'll find her eventually. Not to worry." Seriously, there didn't even seem to be that much fuss. For the King, she's his meal ticket to take over France and he seemed unconcerned. For Catherine, she's nearly happy because Francis is safe, for the time being, but naturally, the two squabble, as they are known to do. I love how the King and Queen of France act towards one another. Genuine loathing and contempt, like a real marriage. 

Francis, holding his own search parties, just wants an explanation, a clarification perhaps as to why Mary left on her wedding day with his half-brother when he is certain Mary loves him. It's not a bad one considering Bash has Mary feelings and Mary kissed him that one time she got drunk. And also, look at that cute scene where they have to get naked and dry while they are on the lam! If I didn't know any better, I'd say running away was sexy!

But alas. Play time is over because the guards find Mary and Bash and take them back to the castle. Like, I knew this was going to happen just because that cliff shot must have taken up half the episode's budget and because France and Scotland are not close to one another like at all. 

Reunited And It Feels So Good

I don't mean Mary and Francis, I mean the castle. I love looking at that castle set. Anyway, Francis is stoked to see Mary, who is less than impressed at being forced to come back here after she ran away. Bless the fact that this version of Francis is pretty because he is certainly thick -- no matter how many times Mary says no, his love for her strengthens. This is a particularly strong Mary episode. In fact, she's rather a badass this episode, black cape thing included.

Mary meets with Francis and Catherine, and defiantly says no to King Henry's terms of taking the throne and marrying Francis. However, Mary is not yet a ruler willing to sacrifice lives, which Francis so heavily bets on. So what does he do? Threaten to kill his favorite son if she does not marry Francis and take the throne.

Listen, Henry has never and will never be my favorite -- clearly that title belongs to Catherine --  but I respect that he knows which buttons to push with Mary. That said, Henry threatened to kill my sardonic Bash and there will be hell to pay. Mainly, I will probably be calling him Hank sometimes. 

Elsewhere, gal pals Mary and Catherine think of ways to get out of this predicament. I love that Catherine suggests marrying Bash and Mary immediately dismisses it because she knows Catherine doesn't give a rat's ass if Bash lives or not. Her main concern is always Francis, who will manipulate Mary that the prophecy is not real. 

And what does Francis do? He uses logic and reason to destroy what the prophecy means all so he can be with Mary. Of course, Mary does believe the prophecy, but back then, a man didn't want your opinions or beliefs, just your kingdom (or your love).

Mary offers a new proposal: marry Bash and take the English throne, the Pope therefore legitimizing Bash and saving Francis from death. Of course, this will annul Catherine's marriage to Henry and leave his other 10 children now bastards (I think) and basically ruin Bash and Francis' brother relationship, but Hank is pleased. Hank is not the brightest king, just the most power hungry and a closet fan of John Hughes after that Kenna light display a few episodes back.

Despite the fact that I know what is going to happen in history (to Francis and Henry and everyone) this is a game changer. Bash is not a real person in history, though Henry had plenty of bastard children. And the fact that Bash -- who never wanted power or Francis' life -- may become king and get the dream girl? Even though we know it won't happen, it's fascinating to watch these close calls with what ifs.

Gal Pal Chit Chat Wow Wow

And now, for the obligatory gossip girl section of Reign. This is the part of the show I could try and care less about the ladies in waiting. What Mary actually needs is a team of advisers, instead of politically dumb pretty friends. Make me care about them, show. So far I only like Greer, and that's because her kitchen lover boy is hawt.

With the news of Mary's new fiance, most of Mary's ladies are just like, "Cool. You're marrying Bash now. Scotland forever. YOLO." I did appreciate that they were supportive of her love life. Except for Kenna, who makes this all about her. WHAT ABOUT ME? HOW WILL HENRY AND I BE 2GETHER 4EVER? This fits with Kenna's lame personality, but she's smart enough to realize Diane or Catherine poisoned Aylee, aka Hipster Braids. RIP. 

Mary confronts Catherine because she is BA this episode. But never fear. Catherine owns up to it, naturally, and admits she may have told Francis that Mary and Bash are to wed. Cut to Francis, approaching the jail cell, looking ridiculous as he tries to look menacing. But really, are you trying to tell me that Francis, stickling that he is, could beat up Bash? Even in his jail cell? And the problemo with Mary's matrimony plans: she may have forgotten to tell Bash. Oops.

Francis then manages to have some weird noble goodbye to Mary and Bash, accepting that he got what he always wanted: Bash's freedom. And if he doesn't it whore it up around the castle in the next few weeks, I'll have to check if it is really him.

No matter. Henry accepts all of these deals and heartaches because he just wants power. As for his plan for Catherine? Surprise, bitch. It's a dead soldier on her ceiling and forced imprisonment.

Over in the crazy part of the castle, Clarissa, the husky voiced crazy who lurks in the castle, is being held prison by Nostradamus for her role in Hipster Braids' death. And suddenly, girl stabs Nostradamus and escapes. Zing!

Do you like the crazy, soapy supernatural on Reign? Or do you wish for a more historically accurate show? Are you shipping Bash and Mary or Francis and Mary? What are their respective ship names? Does anyone feel like voicing an opinion that will be respected and having some cool discourse? Leave a comment! I like Reign too much to be the only one talking about it.

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 Reign airs Thursdays at 9pm on The CW. 
 
(Image courtesy of the CW)

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