HELLO. Thank you for checking out these Reign recaps here on my humble tumblr, it makes my life when people like and comment these, so thank you so much for the encouragement & your time in reading these. How are you doing? Are you all up in your feels yet? No one is going to blame you if you are up in your feels. It’s all well and good for Francis to claim he’s dying when he looks fit as a handsome blonde fiddle, but now that he’s looking gaunt and having fainting spells, well, the feels start to creep up on you. Just about every scene of Reign’s “Extreme Measures” was charged with Francis’ visible decline.
But just when I thought nothing could put a smile on my face, here came Catherine biting flesh out of her cheek so she could be pulled out of jail for medical treatment and get in a few jabs at Mary.
You’ll notice Mary’s voice and demeanor was completely assertive across from Catherine. She was holding her own and refusing to back down in the face of threats about Elizabeth. She was not shook, even when Catherine called her a “vampire bitch” which, coming from your semi-surrogate mom, cannot feel great.
Also, did they have Bowflexes in the 16th century because it looks like Leith has been working out.
So Claude is showering Leith with gifts like you or I would shower Channing Tatum with dollar bills and all the ladies are noticing or at least this one was:
But suddenly Antoine is here and he wants to see Francis because somehow Conde managed to get himself trapped in a snowy mountain surrounded by the Frenchmen he was trying to start a civil war with last season. Because Francis does not want Antoine to see that he is extremely weak he had Mary put on her boldest trenchcoat and negotiate with Antoine alone, but when she pushed Antoine to surrender his claim on the throne in exchange for Luis’ life, Antoine lost his shit.
Man, ain’t that always the way. You break up with a guy and suddenly all his friends, people who you have been nothing but nice to, are just shit talking you left front and center. Suddenly people who you sort of considered your friends are proving their loyalty to your ex by snickering inside jokes about your chest size when it’s your turn to speak during Model UN meetings, but let’s not make this about me. Yes, Mary stabbed Luis in the chest and then threw him in jail, but Luis started it by staging a freaking coup so stay in your lane Antoine.
Francis decided that he would deal with Antoine himself, got all dressed up in a super heavy coat and crown, and then proceeded to almost fall down a thirty-foot flight of stairs.
Hey, Guards? Get it together. Mary was calling for y'all three or four times. The first time Francis looks so much as even dizzy one of you should be leaping behind him with a pillow. There aren’t even phones yet, so what else could you possibly be doing? Get it together guys.
Meanwhile Narcisse was bringing in the fruit tray of my wildest dreams to Lola after a night spent in a two person fur sleeping bag beside a crackling fire. Narcisse was going full Edward Cullen on Lola like “Just because you are willing to have sex all day every day doesn’t mean that’s enough for me I need spiritually and legally binding vows, missy, I want to lock this down.” Lola knows Francis hates Narcisse like I hate math, but she also knows he’s dying, but obviously that’s literally a national secret. So she can’t tell Narcisse why he should just chill but she does advise him quite firmly to chill. And to his credit, Narcisse is like “Okay. Love you but okay.”
Meanwhile Francis was offered some opium to deal with his increasing illness and pain but he was like “I just say no to drugs” and then troubled tween Charles pocketed the opium enjoy later with Constance, another rich troubled tween whose life is basically living a 16th century version of Skins. More on them later. First Lola and Francis had to have an awkward talk about how his spies caught her doing the walk of shame out of Narcisse’s chambers
Francis made a fair point: he didn’t want a dastardly dude raising his son. Like, that’s a very simple request that would break anyone’s heart, “please raise our kid right since I cannot be there to teach him right from wrong.”
Then at the ball Mary and Francis made a bee line for a stool to prop Francis up on next to Antoine, since he is like literally too sick to walk down the stairs, but then this jerk popped up and yelled at them to dance:
And Francis was like “YOLO.” And then it was the saddest guys, this dance was sort of heartbreaking and gorgeous and charged with the bittersweet tension of Mary and Francis being back together but also, you know, he’s struggling.
Mary was leading, which was low key the theme of this episode, and while Mary and Francis and Lola were just trying to maintain and not break down in tears, Narcisse was getting super horny. Which like, do you not hear the heart breaking violin, Narcisse? Inappropriate.
Lola shot him down, hard, and Narcisse took off.
Meanwhile Charles and Constance were doing what troubled rich tweens do: getting high as eff out of, like, ennui, except they were getting high by CHUGGING OPIUM. Kids do not try this at home. Do not get distilled opium and mix it in a jug of wine and then drink it because you will at the very least drop a glass bottle and think it’s hilarious but also you might possibly fall into a coma.
Yeah, chugging opium is not great for your body. Basically Constance appeared to drop dead, so Charles hurried off to find Claude, the partyingest girl he knows, and Claude was like “Um, y'all chugged opium?! And you thought I would know what to do? Rude. We need Narcisse for his level of fuckery.” Narcisse, hilariously, knew exactly what to do.
Soooo many questions here: how many ODs has Narcisse dealt with before? Where? Why? Narcisse started expertly staging a stomach pumping with random household objects like he was the manager of the Sex Pistols or something. Plus he made Charles help out because duh, Charles, you gave her the drugs. Be a gentleman and help her puke them up. Luckily Constance did puke everything up and if this wasn’t a PSA for how drugs can make a date go wrong I don’t know what is.
Then Charles told Francis about the drug shenanigans and Francis called in Narcisse and was like “Actually your take charge alpha male mentality is great for shaping young dudes. Please marry Lola immediately.” So Narcisse’s hilariously shady secret opium den past ended up winning him Lola’s hand in marriage and I really hope we hear more about it in future episodes.
Also Claude hurried to Leith to brag about how she’d saved a tween from ODing on opium juice and found him making sweet love to one of her ladies. When she confronted him about it, he blurted something about never letting himself have feelings for a high born woman again, but it was hard for Claude to hear him over ALL THOSE GUNS.
During his time in the kitchens Leith may have invented protein powder? Or maybe drop sets? Again, Claude was feeling it.
Meanwhile English Ambassador Nicholas had a proposition for Antoine: don’t abdicate your right to the French throne. In fact, why don’t you take some money and soldiers and march on France with England backing you? And okay yes your brother will die up in a mountain but, come on. You will be a double king. Nicholas gave Antoine til dawn to decide if he was cool with being way more rich and powerful than he was now, but then Mary and Francis found out about the deal, and Mary pulled a bold move: she sic’d Catherine on Nicholas like a mad dog.
This scene was amazing. Catherine, with a conspicuously hollow-looking cheek, really laid it out for the English ambassador: if he encouraged a revolution against the Valois, she would drag Elizabeth for filth. And sure, she could then be prosecuted for treason but not before she’d smeared Elizabeth’s name on the international stage, so do you really want to fuck with a Queen who has no fucks left to give? Do you feel that confident? I mean, she was terrifying in the best way, all that madness from last week focused perfectly on the task at hand.
So instead of the ambassador going to meet Antoine, Mary and Francis showed up like “Nice try” and when Antoine was still resistant about abdicating his claim to the French throne Francis straight up killed his huge bodyguard.
Francis said in this scene he was his father’s son but this felt like a page out of Catherine’s playbook: the IDGAF Francis hellbent on not leaving this earth until his Mary is okay.
However this desperately romantic act (of, okay, murder) also woke Mary up to a political reality: Francis was protecting Scotland because he loves Mary. It certainly is not benefitting France in any way. Charles would not feel the same way about Mary and would certainly not risk his own country’s security to defend Scotland, the way Francis clearly was doing.
So Mary sort of put all of this in front of Francis and then was like “so basically I can’t be Regent. Your mom should be regent. Real talk, she’s crazy but she’s as loyal as she is crazy.” Mary had decided she would try to marry the Prince of Spain, because Spain, though we associate it now primarily with football, bulls, and zesty rice dishes, was at that point a major superpower. Mary talked Francis into bringing Catherine out of the jail and into Charles’ life, and then Mary and Catherine had one of their moments…
Can I just say that Mary and Catherine’s friendship is what I ship on this show? This was sort of the most emotionally satisfying moment for me this season, to see the two of them mending fences and Mary giving Catherine credit for what she is: a ruthlessly efficient political fixer, a 16th century Olivia Pope with no moral compass and a trunk of exotic poisons.
However as awesome as Catherine’s return to favor was for me and other Matherine fans (do BroTPs name squish? IDK) it was not so great for the newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Narcisse.
Yeah. Then we ended things with Catherine returning to her throne room and a veritable SYMPHONY playing across her face, like…
So there’s triumph there, and relish to be on the throne, and then the agony of understanding it’s because Francis is dying, and then like her triumph is tempered with grief. It all washes over her face in like thirty seconds. I mean, it’s like a master class in facial acting. So many feels. So many feels in just those two damn gifs. I can barely handle it. Like, history tells us Francis has gotz to go but man, what it’s going to do to Catherine and Mary it’s like…
Lea Michele has always been the star of the show and always will be. Don’t you wonder why she always has to tweet and talk about glee, even if the show sucks? She promotes it like crazy and she stays loyal to the show that gave her fame, even if now it’s not that good anymore. She doesn’t complain and cries like her coworkers who even look bored when they film. Loyalty, determination and passion are good qualities in this business