Between Bash acknowledging Kenna as a survivor of sexual abuse and violence, understanding that she may not be ready to be in a sexual situation again, that – husband or not – he isn’t entitled to her body, but still respecting her yes when she gave it, and Lord Castleroy empowering Greer to protect the women in her family and assuring her that the only people whose consent to their marriage matters are the two of them, this was a pretty good episode for dudes respecting their ladies’ agency.
Certainly a far cry from self-involved-prince-of-pepper!Castleroy and let-me-stare-at-you-while-you-change-after-you-just-asked-me-not-to-because-my-desires-obviously-trump-your-right-to-determine-who-has-access-to-your-body!Bash.
With every episode of Reign that passes, I keep wondering who exactly this show is written for? The only other show that has taken such a huge dive for me this season is Sleepy Hollow and I think it’s for the same issues: the writers forgot what made the show good. What made Reign such a good show despite huge historical faux-pas and other weird casting choices was that it: cared about it’s female characters and it cared about it’s female friendships. This season started off strong, but the exact movement that everything went to shit was the rape of Mary.
Not only was the rape terrible because it was entirely unnecessary to any aspect of the narrative, but it was used to facilitate a love triangle and create drama for all the relationships instead of focusing on just Mary and her feelings and her issues. No, instead it has been about pushing Mary/Conde. Which, let me state, is not about the ship itself. I actually think that Mary/Conde have great chemistry together and I could have even enjoyed the idea if not for the fact that it was created through rape, but the reality is that it was. Reign wrote rape into a story to create another love triangle. That’s pretty much the only reason I don’t like the ship.
Season one’s love triangle was a mess for the same reason the love triangle here is a mess, it is a pathway to nowhere. Even if I had shipped Mash, it just was not going to happen because there was no way to make up an imaginary King Sebastian of France being married to Queen Mary of Scots. Plus, I enjoyed Frary more, but still they managed to end season one by pairing up Bash/Kenna, making them a couple we were invested in. Frary had challenges, but they were interesting and based around the two of them being royalty and learning that they work better together than apart. It was excellent CHARACTER DRAMA.
All those lessons were forgotten this season. Along with all common sense. Claude ghost plot was overall a waste of time to tie in a character that is too over the top to even be enjoyable. At least Narcisse was/is interesting, Conde’s brother is a low-rent Henry and I didn’t even ask for the old Henry to come back.
Some people are angry at Mary, but I’m not. I’m angry at the writers, they are addicted to subpar writing and romantic subplots that show they didn’t plan things out well. I mean why did Greer marry if in the end they were just going to be broken up because she and Leith are “destined?” Why did you give us no Kenna/Bash scenes when they were together and when we do finally see them it is all chaos? Did they just implode offscreen? Why did you put Mary/Conde together if you were just going to have Conde betray Mary in the same episode they finally commit to each other? Do you think this is drama? This is aggravation.
Annoying for Monde shippers who are getting jerked around for no reason, and Frary shippers who already have an end date for their ship in the back of their minds so they don’t understand why they are decided to make the last couple months of the marriage like this? I mean they do know that we have Google/Wikipedia? Francis is gonna die. Conde is going to marry two other women and have 8+ children. Mary ends up marrying two other men. None of them even remotely named Louis or Sebastian.
I keep watching the show because I have connected to these characters, but I am just wondering who is supposed to be enjoying this show, except for Greer/Leith shippers right now?
Last year at Comic-Con, Adelaide Kane said that love triangles as a tool for shows can get “rather boring.” Well we are bored, upset and just not sure what the hell is going on.
While I ship Frary, let it be known that my girl is Mary 100%. Just because I don’t always agree with her and hate the way the writers are treating her, doesn’t mean I’m going to call her names or want her to suffer. I am emotionally ready for Francis to die so she can go be HBIC in Scotland, but I am also scared to see what they are going to do with the more complex parts of her life. This was the simple stuff and if they can’t handle that here, what are they gonna do when the whole Darnley/Bothwell situation comes up?