In Thursday’s episode of the CW’s Reign, “The Consummation,” Mary finally got married to a man she loved. Much of the publicity leading up to the wedding posed the question of which brother Mary would choose, though I thought it was a given that she would choose Francis because of their historical marriage. But if the show had been open to letting Mary choose either brother, did she make the right choice? I would argue that neither man is right for Mary, at least not right now.
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Love triangles have become a staple of CW shows, so it did not surprise me to learn that Reign would introduce Francis’ fictional half-brother Bash as a potential suitor for Mary. What did surprise me was how both relationships have been sold as great loves, as both sides of the triangle are lacking–in very different ways.
Take Mary’s romance with Francis, the man she chose to marry. Mary and Francis have excellent sexual chemistry, and there is plenty of sexual tension between them. Their attraction to one another is at the fore-front of their every interaction, and it feels like any one of their kisses could lead to them ending up in bed together. But, their emotional connection is weak.
Mary and Francis spent so long fighting to be together, yet they spent so little time actually getting to know each other. Part of that was not their fault, as they had to deal with a lot of political drama (and several assassination attempts) throughout their courtship. But during the rare quiet moments they did have together, they were more interested in gazing into each other’s eyes than talking about their hopes and dreams. They have also had many misunderstandings throughout their brief relationship, simply because they have not learned how to communicate with each other. And as we all know, communication is key to any successful relationship.
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On the other hand, Bash and Mary have developed a strong emotional bond, and have built a solid foundation of trust and friendship with one another. Mary and Bash took the time to get to know each other, and they had to figure out how to communicate in order to survive the challenges they faced thanks to Bash’s legitimization claim. But, the sexual chemistry and sexual tension are just not there.
Bash and Mary have shared several romantic moments, but those moments lacked the passion and longing found in Mary’s scenes with Francis. When Bash and Mary look at one another, it is clear that they care about each other, but I do not get the feeling that they want to tear each other’s clothes off. While sexual chemistry and sexual tension are not necessary aspects of every romantic relationship, it is important when trying to sell a love triangle, especially when the other side of the triangle nails that sort of thing.
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But there is another problem, as well. Neither brother has been developed enough outside of their relationships with Mary. The same could be said about almost every character on CW’s Reign — Catherine being the exception — but that does not excuse the lack of character development for Francis and Bash. In order to know which man is truly right for Mary, we have to know more about them. The show has a great opportunity to explore Bash’s character now that his relationships with Mary and Francis have fallen apart, but they wasted that opportunity with Francis earlier this season, so I am not holding my breath that they will do any better with Bash.
This is not to say that there is no hope for things to improve. Now that Francis and Mary are married, they should have the opportunity to get to know each other better, and they will have to learn how to communicate in order to be successful rulers together. Likewise, now that Bash and Mary have been torn apart, we may start to see some real sexual tension between them, which could lead to more sexual chemistry should they rekindle their romance at some point in the future. But when it comes down to whether or not Mary chose the right brother for her husband, I do not think we can determine that until something changes in their relationships with Mary, and Reign gives both men more character development.
What do you think? Did Mary choose the right brother to wed? Do you think one of her relationships is stronger than the other or do both relationships fall flat? Which guy would you have chosen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Reign airs Thursday nights at 9pm on the CW.
(Image courtesy of the CW)