Last night’s Reign opened with a pair of bloody hands!
Queen Elizabeth was bloodying up her sheets before the maid came in and the maid did not look like she appreciated it. What a prank!
Okay no Elizabeth was not pranking her laundress by spilling her diva cup all over the sheets, but hiding her pregnancy by faking a period.
Also Lola had arrived in England, and looking styling. Finally a member of the core cast is at English court! Despite Lola’s hopes that she would be able to trade herself for the release of her family, that was not the plan.
Rather, Lola’s family would remain in captivity while she hung out with Queen Elizabeth at court as a “guest.” Lola tried to shout her way out of the situation and guilt trip Elizabeth for holding her hostage and breaking their deal, but unlike Queen Mary, Elizabeth gives no fucks about a guilt trip. Instead William was like “Hey, you want to get moved to the crawlspace? Keep pushing it.”
Mary, meanwhile, was desperate to remain at French court while she looks for a husband because real talk she has run out of options and it’s hard to convince Kings that you’re a powerful ruler staying in the Fantasy Suite of Greer’s tavern.
Narcisse strolled in and threw a lot of shade about French soldiers returning from wars on her behalf needing to get paid. To get that money, Narcisse wanted to marry off Claude ASAP to the richest bidder, luckily one had recently put forward an offer: Duke Bonnell!
Meanwhile Greer approached Mary with some letters to from Elizabeth to Gideon she’d intercepted and deciphered. Greer is essentially the head of the Scottish CIA right now in addition to serving up pints of delicious butterbeer at her cozy ass tavern. But also from these letters Mary learned part of Gideon’s mission was to SEDUCE her!
So she confronted him about this sexy side-mission while he was beating the shit out of a flour bag.
Mary had a cunning plan: how about he actually DOES SEDUCE her?! Or at least, they would pretend to be in love in front of his fellow spy, Jeffrey. Then Gideon could get his daughter freed, have a ton of cred with Elizabeth, and Mary would have her rival in the dark about her motives and huge leverage over the spy working in her service.
Also what else does she have to do in this lonely ass castle where Narcisse is in charge and has gone so power-mad he rounds up the entire royal family for elaborate, impromptu accusations ?
Narcisse and Charles also announced that Duke Bonnell’s gold bridal payment had gone missing, so Claude would be getting married at the earliest possible convenience to this dude, without any input from Catherine. Then he snidely accused Mary and Catherine of being in alliance with each other against him. It’s one of the first times someone outside of Queen’s Club openly acknowledged Queen’s Club and while Mary rolled her eyes and pretended she didn’t know what he was talking about there is very much a Queen’s Club and clearly it was time for an emergency meeting. Catherinea and Mary were both smdh about the King of France getting all Dicks Before Sis and selling off Claude.
Claude was not happy about any of this either I might add.
Beatuiful embroidery on that veil…oh wait, let me digitally enhance…
Yeah Claude was not pleased, though her wedding dress is one of the most gorgeous gowns I’ve seen on Reign and consequently in the world.
Her long, piercing stare at Leith as she road away with her new gross husband was genuinely cinematic.
This episode was directed by Megan Follows aka Queen Catherine and there were several moments like this that were so thoughtfully composed and gave so much space for the actor’s performance to develop and heighten the emotional moments, just amazing job by Megan, she’s a legend in front of the camera and maybe she’s poised to become a legend behind the camera as well.
Also Robin was where Elizabeth was getting her fake period blood.
Robin, where are you getting all this pig’s blood? You know what don’t answer. You know your boyfriend is a real one when you can turn to him for period stuff, like buying you tampons or mysteriously acquiring fresh pig’s blood. Robin was like “this is the last batch, after this we really can’t risk being seen together because I’m suspected of murder and also am about to possibly go on trial for murder if a tribunal says so, so, that’s awkard.” and Elizabeth was like “Ugh I really don’t want to marry someone else and raise your baby with a stranger but that’s what I’m doing I guess.” I mean, these two, have they had even one happy moment together? Poor darlings.
Meanwhile Greer’s sexy pirate lover turned up at her tavern and offered to send her child support (in the form of chests of treasure? Sounds pretty sweet.) Greer rebuffed him, telling him she was looking into an open adoption, though we’d come to find out the situation is sort of less than ideal: her sister and her sister’s husband would raise her baby in a home Greer would pay for, and Greer would get to visit and have to put up with her brother-in-laws twattiness.There was a red flag right away that this shituation was going to be rife with saltiness when her sister was like “Seems like we’re all paying for your mistakes”
I was like…
Greer was like “Um…as in I’ll be paying for your rent? For life? WTF are you talking about?!” Greer, take the pirate money and run!
Meanwhile Mary was trying to stage a fake date with Gideon for Jeffrey’s benefit, and she was pulling it off with all the swagger of a nerdy teen from an 80’s sex romp. There were no candles at the dinner table! And then it started raining!
Mary fled back into the castle crying “BRING THE WINE!” which, relatable, and then Gideon stumbled onto a pillow literally bursting with gold.
The stolen gold from Duke Bonnell had been planted on Mary! And Mary planted one on Gideon.
Then they kissed again to make sure Jeffrey knew they meant it, and then after the second kiss Mary immediately she pulled away and was like “Well, mission accomplished, off you go, see you never!” and Gideon was adorably flustered. Jeffrey wasn’t the only one watching they convinced guys. Do you ship it yet? I cannot deny the Ledgeriness, personally, 9/10 would recommend, PRIME shipping imho.
Less adorable: Claude’s first interaction with her new husband, which included a pop in the face. Claude responded by breaking out all her self defense skills like a badass while screaming “THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT THE ROYAL BLOOD OF FRANCE!” and then screaming “I’M A PRINCESS!!!” as she fled the scene. The emotion in Claude’s voice and the commitment of her physical performance was genuinely exceptional.
As someone who takes self defense classes and is learning to perfect my eye jab, charlie horses and throat punches, I will say that I thoroughly recommend them to anyone interested in moving through the world confidently, and I will certainly consider shouting “THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT THE ROYAL BLOOD OF FRANCE!” when I’m practicing, or when someone invades my personal space on the bus, or if McDonald’s fails to include two BBQ sauce packets the next time I treat myself to some mcnuggs.
Real talk though self defense classes: FUN. Good exercise! And worth it!
Back at French court, Mary confronted Catherine about hiding the gold in her room. Catherine was like okay yes I planted it in your room, my back was against the wall, Mary was like that is a CLEAR violation of Queen’s Club rules, but she let it slide for once, because when Narcisse questioned her about it later (and tore her room apart looking for it) she did not snitch. Even if Narcisse did try to scare her with the disembodied hand of Timothy.
Narcisse also told her to get packing, because he was done with her taking up one suite and half a balcony at Court. Class act, evicting a royal widow, well done.
Meanwhile in England someone added something to the tea.
And moments later Elizabeth was finding a private place to miscarry. Girrrrrrl. Oh man. Elizabeth never gets a moment of happiness, does she? Robin turned up with the disheartening news that the tribunal had declared him basically “not proven” in the murder of his wife. He wasn’t fully exonerated but he wasn’t going through a trial. Bad times, because now he’s forever associated with scandal and Elizabeth’s major claim to the throne rests on the popular support of their subjects. If she marries the guy they don’t ship her with, she’s dunzo.
Of course now she doesn’t have to rush to marry, but also she’s lost the child of the man she loves in the most painful way possible and it’s just been a 24 hour period of non stop body horror. How many bodily fluids does one Queen have to deal with? It’s been a lot, and then William had the nerve to blame the poisoning on Lola. But Elizabeth wasn’t buying it. She knew the Tudor Family fandom was just trying to bully her out of her OTP with Dudley.
“The English Did This To Me” is something I want on a t-shirt and a mug. The amount of feels I have endured over the years due to English period films, mini series and BBC dramas has almost destroyed me. Jane Eyre alone almost broke my mind at age 13. The English did this to all of us, with their moody landscapes and class struggles and proud history of emotionally rich literature, damn it!
Back au France, Bash had picked up Claude off the roads, hitch-hiking to Paris, and brought her and her extremely bruised face back to court.
The bad news: Claude had had a rough night. The good news: she was back in Leith’s arms, he vowed to rise in station until they could marry, and a furious Charles demanded Narcisse be voted out of power as Regent and Catherine elected instead!
Queen’s Club was back on top, and Ctaherine told Mary to stop packing her bags, she could hang as long as she wanted! Everything had worked out for the best, until, PLOT TWIST!
Catherine had set up Claude to get punched in the face so Charles would turn on Narcisse and Catherine would be back in power. I guess once you get used to manipulating your powerful children through pure savage cunning its pretty hard to stop, but also she had effectively saved them. Claude’s fist fight with her husband had saved her from an actual arranged marriage and secured her freedom, Narcisse has proved a power-hungry baddie in the past, if Charles has to be under the thumb of a power-hungry baddie it might as well be his mother.
Finally, when Mary brought Gideon word that his daughter was coming to visit, he got a little too happy, spilled a drink on himself and kissed her.
Gideon had gotten lost in the sauce of their staged date and let himself believe the love was real, but Mary straight-armed him: No way bro. Nope. Nope nope no.
Does the lady protest too much? Is Mary secretly feeling it? You tell me.
We have I think a bit of a break coming up after this episode…but I will be tweeting links to Reign news as I see it. And I am always down to talk about Tudor-era Europe and Mary Queen of Scots and Anne Boleyn at all times of the day or night. HMU!!! And thank you for reading!!!