These reviews are from, and are all from Season Four.

With Friends Like TheseEdit

A Grain Of DeceptionEdit

Leaps of FaithEdit

Reign 4.03 “Leaps of Faith” Recap -
Reign’s final season has very much expanded the scope of its universe and the scope of its very title. The show is really focusing on three Queen’s – as indicated by the season poster. I realize that Catherine (Megan Follows) isn’t technically a Queen – or even a Regent at this point, but it’s impossible not to think of her as running the French court… I’m very much enjoying Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane) really coming into her own, but I remain disappointed in Rachel Skarsten’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth.

Much has happened in the first three episodes! “With Friends Like These” was written by the team of Wendy Riss Gatsiounis and Drew Lindo and was directed by Stuart Gillard. “A Grain Of Deception” was written by the team of Patti Carr and Lara Olsen and was directed by Fred Gerber. Laurie McCarthy teamed with April Blair to write “Leaps of Faith,” which was directed by Charles Binamé

The show continues to be stunning to watch visually. The thread that runs through this final season is the lack of control even a monarch has over their own choices. This thought that has been expressed by both Mary and Elizabeth that they are pawns in a greater narrative is one played out in the historic record. The two Queens are trapped by circumstances. Just as Lola came to be a friend to both Queens, had the two had the luxury of actually getting to know each other and co-exist, one gets the sense that they would have become friends.

Let’s start with a quick look at the state of affairs in France. I was worried that we would lose Catherine’s humor and scheming from the show as the narrative shifted to Scotland with Mary, so I’m glad that we still have this element. Catherine, however, has challenges on all sides. Most pressing is the return of daughter Queen Leeza (Anastasia Phillips) to throw around the weight of Spain and try to exact revenge on her mother. Catherine knows that they need Spain’s support – most noticeably Spain’s financial support – but there’s no way that she is going to let Spain take over France, either. Lord Narcisse (Craig Parker) has returned to court, and it’s always great to see Parker and Megan Follows working together.

Princess Claude (Rose Williams) is mourning the death of Leith Bayard who may or may not be dead – though it’s not looking good. Claude would appear to be united with Catherine against Leesa but only because she hates Leesa more. Williams and Follows also continue to provide comedy gold, but also deliver some great dramatic moments. Perhaps even more disturbingly, Claude is not the only one of Catherine’s children to be devastated by the violence of last season. King Charles (Spencer MacPherson) is clearly in real trouble – is he, in fact, insane? Has he killed the poor girl that Narcisse sent to “cheer him up?” Once again, Charles IX’s mental and physical weaknesses were a matter of history. This time period really is a fantastic one for dramatizing.

In England, Queen Elizabeth continues her scheming. She has lost Robert Dudley (Charlie Carrick) again apparently as he ran off and got re-married. She has tried to negotiate an agreement with Mary through Gideon Blackburn(Ben Geurens). She tries to throw a roadblock between Mary and Darnley (Will Kemp), which backfires due to the mechanizations of Lord Darnley’s mother Lady Lennox (Nola Auguston). Auguston is a welcome addition to the cast as she does a good job at her dithering cover identity and her actual scheming nature. I wish there was some way to get Catherine and Lady Lennox in the same room! Elizabeth is destined to be unlucky in love, though history links Queen Elizabeth I to Sir Robert Dudley throughout her publicly-lonely life.

In Scotland, Queen Mary tries to find her footing. She is opposed by both Elizabeth and at home, John Knox (Jonathan Goad). Her brother James Stuart (Dan Jeannotte) relationship with Knox is troubling, especially as Mary tries to find out who she can truly trust and win over both the Catholic and Protestant members of her country. Happily, she is joined by Greer (Celina Sinden). It was heartbreaking to see Mary almost find happiness with Gideon, only to have that plan completely dashed. It looks like she is well on the historical path to a marriage of convenience with Darnley. Kemp, so far, has done little to win me over. I have been enjoying Mary’s finding her own footing – as she practices fencing with James and puts the clans in their place. By: Lisa Macklem

Playing With FireEdit

Reign 4.04 “Playing With Fireh” Recap -
Reign “Playing with Fire” was written by the team of John J Sakmar and Kerry Lenhart and was directed by Fred Gerber. While the team of Sakmar and Lenhart are new to Reign, they bring a wealth of writing experience from shows such as the original MacGyver, Remington Steele, Psych and Boston Public. I liked how the title of this episode worked on both the literal level and the figurative level. Once again, the plot played out rather satisfyingly on all three fronts.

In France, two children playing in the woods declare that King Charles (Spencer MacPherson “is strange and drinks the blood of children.” The two then find an injured and disturbed Bianca Simon (Sofia Banzhaf). Narcisse and Catherine worry about what will be said about Charles’ strange behaviour – Charles’ guilt over the death of his friend has made him obsessed with the dead. The fire he is playing with. Catherine tells Lord Narcisse, however, that the only monster in the palace is gossip, and they have to ensure that it isn’t fed.

Narcisse and Catherine go to Charles who has taken to his bed. Narcisse tries to show empathy for Charles’ sorrow – and PTSD – over what he saw, but Charles pushes him away by declaring he’s not his father and has no right to speak to him as such. Megan Follows is, as always, fantastic, and tries to impress upon Charles the gravity of the situation. His behavior is playing with fire as everyone is now questioning his mental state!

When she asks if he were chasing Bianca, Charles never says yes or no, but he does say she’s lucky to be alive. Spencer MacPherson delivers one of his best performances in this scene. It’s clear from the anguish on his face that he doesn’t mean what Catherine thinks he means. He wasn’t hunting Bianca, he simply means that she is lucky not to be amongst the dead – many of whom he blames himself for their death.

Queen Leeza (Anastasia Phillips) continues to interfere. She continues to try to find out what is happening with Charles, so as to usurp power for Spain. But even more, we find out that Princess Claude (Rose Williams) is playing with fire too – she’s burying her grief over Leith Bayard ' by having sex with a married man. Catherine tries to explain this to Leesa, but she doesn’t care. Leesa sees Claude as having had a happier upbringing than she did, so out of spite, she’s having Claude sent to a nunnery!

Narcisse offers to talk to Leesa about Claude – and once again, Catherine fails to see that working with Narcisse is always going to be playing with fire. Narcisse provides the Catholic noble that Leesa insists Claude must marry. It’s Narcisse’s own son – Luc Narcisse (Steve Lund). I was happy to see Lund join the cast, having enjoyed his performances on Bitten. He was also a great choice because he totally looks like Craig Parker! Does anyone believe that he’s not like his scheming father?

Luc maintains that he doesn’t want to change her spirit. He admits that he has reasons for accepting the marriage, but that they aren’t his father’s reasons. Catherine is not a fool. She doesn’t trust that Luc is what he seems. She promises to help Claude if she wants out of the marriage – once she has gotten Leesa to go back to Spain. She might not be able to get Claude out of a nunnery, but she is happy to kill a bad husband!

Claude and Luc are wed – another gorgeous moment of set, costumes, and music for the show. Luc makes a good impression on Claude when he saves her from Leesa at the reception and spirits her off for their first dance. We also get treated to a dance between Narcisse and Catherine – it’s a nice parallel between the generations – and as always, the dance is also a nice metaphor for the political dance they all play at court too – repositioning themselves constantly.

Catherine leaves the dance when she sees Charles stagger through the celebration. She accosts him in the hallway – playing with fire now to confront him. His face appears to be covered in blood – but is it his or has he been drinking it? Is it human blood? Charles angrily shoves Catherine out of the way, slamming her into the wall. While this looks very suspicious, the historical figure of Charles suffered from tuberculosis and was also mentally unstable. He could be coughing up blood or even drinking animal blood for the iron – there are plausible explanations here.

In England, Queen Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) is unhappy with the amount of time that Gideon Blackburn (Ben Geurens) is spending with his sick daughter. Gideon advises Elizabeth to win the nobles to her side rather than continuing to fight with them.

Elizabeth entertains Lord Maxford (Ted Dykstra) – a catholic noble – who turns out to be a typical sixteenth century man. Women are to be seen and not heard, so he shows no respect for her, directing all his conversation to Gideon. Elizabeth proves she is a Tudor Queen by besting him on the hunt. Rachel Skarsten is quite delightful on the hunt, but I remain completely unimpressed by affected delivery of most of her dialogue.

Elizabeth does gain both Maxford’s respect and attention. She’s been listening to his tirade about being a businessman and how that takes precedence over religion and petty squabbles – even with Scotland. She also paid attention to his concerns over Spain. At the banquet after the hunt, she informs him that she’s planning on strengthening the navy – but it will need a lot of lumber. Lumber she wishes to buy from him – but in exchange he would have to agree not to meet with representatives from the Vatican. She’s hit all the right buttons, and Maxford pledges his allegiance to her – and carries the rest of the nobles with him in a toast to the “Hunting Queen.”

Gideon finally comes to Elizabeth who reprimands him for missing the hunt, but Gideon isn’t having any of it. His daughter has taken a turn for the worse. He is distraught that his being caught up in the Queen’s affairs may have cost him his daughter. Elizabeth promises to make it right, but Gideon tells her that even she has no power over death.

In Scotland, Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane) has retreated to the country – on holiday – with Greer. I loved the opening scene with the two of them outside, playing at throwing blueberries in each other’s mouths – and discussing – or not discussing – their love lives. Mary doesn’t want to talk politics – which is what her love life with both Gideon Blackburn and Lord Darnley (Will Kemp) is – she wants to help Greer set up her new home. Mary is once again joined by her gigantic Irish Wolfhound – I love that dog!

Greer tells Mary that Lord Castleroy is not the man she remembers. He’s been broken by his time in prison and is trying to pull away from her. Greer, however, is determined to remain loyal to Castleroy and recapture their happiness.

Mary goes off on her own and we have a beautiful pastoral, musical romp with that gorgeous dog. Her time alone is interrupted by Lord Darnley, who wastes no time in proposing! He wants to help her secure – and increase her reign. Mary and Darnley play golf – in the middle of a field with huge weeds. Yes, golf has been a Scottish pastime since those times – but never in such a field.

In a nice parallel to the Claude storyline, James Stuart (Dan Jeannotte) continues his pursuit of Emily Knox (Claire Hunter). The two risk hellfire – as Emily thinks – by going so far as kissing – before Emily runs off. James uses the opportunity to go through John Knox’s desk.

James comes to Mary with Darnley in the field with news that Knox is planning on turning the people of Perthshire against Mary at their Harvest Festival. Their crops have failed and Knox is going to portray her as a distant and uncaring monarch. Mary takes food to ensure that the people are happy to see her – and she takes Darnley so that he can make a good impression on the people too. She tells James that Darnley has made a good impression on her.

It’s quite hilarious that Mary is able to sneak up on Knox as he speaks with two laden wagons – really? He’s shocked when she starts speaking? And all she brings is bread. Two wagons are enough to feed everyone there? And it would only feed them for the day – or maybe a few more. Certainly not enough to combat failed crops. Mary and Darnley grow closer as they hand the bread out to the farmers. The two seem on the same page as they attribute their goodness to simply being God’s servants.

Knox leaves just before fire breaks out. The literal playing with fire from the title. Mary and Darnley work with the others to put the fire out, though Darnley tries to get Mary to leave. James is burned. Once the fire seems to be out, it mysteriously starts again in one hut, allowing Darnley to play the hero and save a child. Mary gets three cheers and the approbation of the crowd. Mary is impressed by his bravery, but James is suspicious about the timing.

Mary entertains Darnley in the throne room. She clearly hasn’t fallen in love and lost her reason entirely. She asks if she is what he expected. Darnley oversteps when he asks for the Crown Matrimonial. He backtracks and accepts her terms. He admits that he is ambitious and if this is the only way he can be king, he’ll do it. He kisses her hand, but it seems quite passionless. I haven’t been terribly impressed by Kemp yet, but there is the potential for chemistry between him and Kane.

In the final scene In France, Leith Bayard finally returns! Claude is also not getting her happy ending. Narcisse prevents Leith from interrupting Claude and Luc before they can consummate the marriage. Narcisse has Leith dragged away.

In the final scene In Scotland, Mary and Greer discuss her marriage to Darnley. Greer is convinced that a loveless marriage for all the power in the world won’t be enough to satisfy Mary – certainly not enough to make her happy. Mary finds a note and a piece of burned wood on her desk. The note cautions that Darnley started his own fire to appear the hero, and it’s signed her Loyal Watchman. Mary begins to question who she has agreed to marry.

This was another well written episode. I loved the various ties back to the title and how the three storylines are being interwoven. Scotland and France continue to be the most interesting storylines – at least for me. Queen Elizabeth I has been played by so many great actors, it would be difficult for anyone to fill her shoes, but Skarsten has really left me underwhelmed. Lots of balls in the air this episode – what will happen to Leith? What are Narcisse and Luc really up to? What is wrong with Charles? How bad is Darnley? Pretty bad if they follow history… By: Lisa Macklem

Highland GamesEdit

Reign 4.05 “Highland Games” Recap -
Reign “Highland Games” was written by Robert Doty and was directed by Michael McGowan. Being a big fan of the actual Highland Games, I have to admit to being very disappointed by the absence of any caber tossing or even hammer tossing. However, the title is a nice play on words for the “games” going on behind the scenes in both Scotland and France. Even though France isn’t really directly related to Mary’s story anymore, Megan Follows (Catherine) and Craig Parker (Lord Narcisse) are compelling enough to carry their own show! I can’t say that I was the least bit dismayed not to spend any time at all with Queen Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) in England.

Narcisse and Catherine confront King Charles again when a local child goes missing. The villagers are convince that Charles has eaten the child. Charles finally agrees to do whatever they want to reestablish his regal, Kingly authority after Catherine warns him that Queen Leeza is also moving against him.

In the end, it turns out to be a bear that has killed the child, but the villagers are too far gone in their distrust of Charles and start a riot in which he is covered in blood and then runs away. When Charles is later found in a cave, he will only talk to Catherine. She goes to him there and he tells her that it gives him solace to relive his survival. In the end, Charles runs away from Catherine, deeper into the woods. Spencer MacPherson is really delivering this season in this storyline. He didn’t truly impress me as the somewhat spoiled boy, but the troubled youth is much more compelling.

Lord Narcisse tells Luc Narcisseabout Leith Bayardbeing alive – and in the dungeon. Luc is appalled and wants him released immediately! It certainly seems as if Luc really is the honorables man. Luc goes to Princess Claude and tells her Leith is alive.

Claude rushes to Leith and vows to leave Luc. He reminds her that she’s married and she brushes it off – she’ll live with him anywhere. But Leith knows she won’t be happy not living like the princess she is. At first, Luc refuses to lie for an annulment because it will look bad for Claude because she’s already had an annulment. In the end he agrees to say he was too drunk to perform.

We get a couple of very sweet scenes between Claude and Leith. She comes to him in his bed and tells him that Luc is a decent man who will give her the annulment. Leith is distressed she married so soon, but she explains it was marry or the nunnery. For her part, she wonders why he never sent her word, and he explains that he couldn’t trust anyone to send word he was alive.

In the end, Narcisse won’t support the annulment. He wants the royal allegiance to secure the power to protect all of his descendants. Luc tells Claude and Luc the annulment is off but makes them another very interesting offer. He agrees to let them be together in a way that Leith won’t be imprisoned and Claude won’t be sent to the nunnery. Luc suggests that he can be with whomever he likes and he’ll let the two of them be together. However, he also insists that Claude will have to have 2 or 3 children with him. For his part, Leith doesn’t think he can live with sharing Claude.

Meanwhile, In Scotland, Queen Mary plans to announce her engagement to Lord Darnley (Will Kemp) at the games. She tells James Stuart that she’s planning on alluding to Darnley’s claim to the English throne as a way of demonstrating his worth to her own power base. James urges her to delay the announcement. She tells James about the Loyal Watchmen, and after he denies it’s him, she tasks him with finding out who it is. She doesn’t care if Darnley did set the fire – she’s determined to marry him anyway.

When Lord Taylor (Chad Connell) insults Darnley, Darnley agrees to a boxing match to prove he’s not a coward. Mary worries that he will lose – and that will weaken both of them in the eyes of the clans. James actually supports the match, saying that Darnley needs to overcome his father’s reputation. I loved the scene in which Mary refuses to call Darnley anything but Darnley. He admits to setting the fire when she asks – so at least he’s honest about that. He tells her that if she wants something, she has to go for it.

The scene with Darnley and James sparring is also a good one – he also proves that he can box. However, when Taylor accuses Darnley of trying to poison him, Darnley denies it – he promised Mary he wouldn’t cheat and he didn’t, but she’s having a hard time believing him. It’s Mary who discovers that the man supposedly poisoned had the same food poisoning as half the castle.

Lady Lennox (Nola Augustson) finds Darley drinking in a pub. He tells her that he and Mary are too different. Everything is so black and white with her! He finds her overbearing and judgmental. Darnley tells his mother he needs his own power to hold his own. He doesn’t want to find love, he wants to be loved BY the people.

One of Taylor’s thugs bashes Darnley’s right hand. After Mary finds out about the food poisoning she reached out to apologize. Darnley insists he’s going to fight anyway. He’s losing – badly – until Mary helps him by putting some coins in his hand to “give him a chance.” It works as he knocks Taylor out. Mary tells him it’s also to give them a chance. She finally breaks down and calls him Henry. She tells him that he’s his own man – she can respect that, and he respects that she’s willing to break the rules.

In other French relationship news, Emily Knox (Claire Hunter) breaks down and comes to James – and they have sex!

Lord Castleroy (Michael Therriault) finally arrives with Rose Castleroy – but it wasn’t at all the happy homecoming that I was hoping for. I really like Michael Therriault and was hoping the show would end by pairing the two. Greer finally gets Castleroy to open up about what’s been bothering him. He’s in love with another, and while as a Protestant, he can get a divorce, he doesn’t want to force Greer to be alone the rest of her life because as a Catholic, she’d never be able to remarry. Greer releases Castleroy from the marriage. Will she remain alone or find another? She seems to have been growing closer to James…

There was some good action in this episode – and some good humor – loved Mary rousting Darnley out of bed! I also like how they are moving Mary and Darnley closer together with mutual respect. By: Lisa Macklem

Love & DeathEdit

Reign 4.06 “Love & Death” Recap -
Reign “Love & Death” was written by the team of Drew Lindo and Wendy Riss Gatsiounis and was directed by the ever wonderful Megan Follows. I always find it difficult to enjoy Follows terrific direction because it generally means we see less of her on screen in the episode – and of course, in this episode Catherine ([Megan Follows]]) must undertake a “trip” to deceive Leesa (Anastasia Phillips). Once again this week, we split the storyline three ways between Scotland, France, and England.

I think the show has done a good job in seguing to Queen Mary new love. We’ve had our rebound in Gideon Blackburn and are now ready to enjoy Lord Darnley – or maybe that’s just me? There’s no denying the two have some good chemistry and I like what Darnley is bringing out in Mary – her natural fierceness. I loved the two racing on horseback and then confronting Richards (Philip Riccio) together. I particularly loved Mary’s saucy “I’ve misplaced my fiancé!” after Darnley basically flips the bird at him and rides off.

I also liked the scene of the two flirting at the fountain on their return to the castle. However, when Darnley makes a move to take their relationship further, it freaks Mary out and she pushes him away. Mary confides in Greer that she wanted to let go. She’s attracted to the wild and daring of Darnley, but she’s also filled with a sense of panic when they get closer. Deep down, she knows that marrying Darnley may solidify her power but there will also be no going back on hostilities with Queen Elizabeth.

I have to say that I’m sad to see Celina Sinden basically shunted to trusted confidante for this final season. I was really hoping she’d have a juicy storyline of her own, but it seems there is no room for that – too bad they didn’t wait and cast her as Elizabeth. It truly feels like a real waste of talent. Her only other scene is a mild flirtation with James Stuart. And with her separation from Lord Castleroy, there’s no hope for any real relationship between the two of them.

James tells Mary that he’s received word the English are coming for Darnley. He tells her to consider whether the marriage is worth it. Mary has sent word to Spain for help, but the engagement party is scheduled for that night, and there’s no hope of help by then. For his part, Darnley refuses to be intimidated.

I like that they are starting to escalate the real rivalry and hatred that actually existed between these two men. James wants to try to keep the peace and wants to put Scotland’s welfare first. Darnley insists that he and Mary are the future of Scotland – and that James became redundant the minute Darnley arrived. Mary sends James out of the room, but in the end, insists that Darnley go to a safe house to avoid a conflict they aren’t yet ready for.

When Richards shows up with only a few men, Mary immediately suspects that there is a secondary plot – which, of course, there is! Mary receives another note from the Lone Watchman, warning that an assassin is coming. It’s clearly after Darnley, as she has isolated him and made him an easy target. Darnley, even though drunk, is able to protect himself and kill his would be assassin (Simon Northwood).

There’s a nice scene with a very tearful Mary arriving to find Darnley very much alive. The two return in triumph to the engagement party and present Richards with an English body to take back with him – the body of the dead assassin! This is also a great scene – I’m totally on board with liking fierce Mary. Richards denies any knowledge of the assassination attempt. Mary seems to consider that maybe he didn’t know.

Mary pulls back again from Darnley, but he follows her. She tells him that she can’t allow herself to fall in love with him because of Francis. Everyone whom she loves ends up in danger. Darnley assures her that he’s not worried about the danger – “Doesn’t it make you feel alive?” He tells her that they will always be in peril because of who they are – and he’s not wrong. Yet, he not only accepts the danger, he actively invites it – and that’s a crucial difference. But he wins Mary over and the two take their relationship to the next level.

In France, Leesa returns and is more determined than ever to see Charles – who is still missing. Catherine goes off to forge his signature on a document to allow France to contribute to the Spanish efforts to help Scotland. Leesa takes great joy in not letting Catherine weigh in on the decision, but accepts Lord Narcisse's opinion as Lord Chancellor.

Leesa seems to be falling under Narcisse’s spell somewhat. There’s a terrific scene in which Narcisse seems to find common ground with Queen Leeza] – who has been stealing great works of art from the people she is persecuting for religious reasons. I do hope that the avariciousness we see in Narcisse in this scene is him just playing a part and not a return to his truly evil ways. He is clearly trying to seduce her, however. The two are interrupted by a report that the King has been spotted – but not at the monastery where he’s supposed to be. Narcisse makes up a story about a problem with inposters.

Meanwhile, Leith Bayard (Jonathan Keltz) is still struggling with the arrangement that he and Princess Claude made with Luc Narcisse. It is further complicated by the fact that Luc is a truly honorable and nice guy. When Claude struggles to fulfill her wifely duties, Luc is completely understanding and lets her beg off. He’s also finding some fun for himself among the ladies at court. It’s clear that Claude could actually fall for him.

When Catherine discovers the arrangement, she cautions Claude. She says “how progressive of you” but means it quite ironically. After all that was the exact kind of arrangement she had with King Henry and Diane de Poitiers. She warns Claude that watching someone you love with another poisons the heart. Both Follows and Williams are great in this short scene. I miss Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane having antics together, but this pair generally delivers too.

Narcisse sends Luc to get to Charles before Leesa’s men can, and Claude asks Leith to go as well. He’s reluctant and petulant after torturing himself outside of Claude’s room and hearing her with Luc. He manages to get there just as Luc elicits the same giggle that Leith had early that morning. He doesn’t stay to find out that nothing happened – though Claude tells him as she begs him to help Charles.

Leith gives in and discovers Luc injured by bandits and left to die. It’s clear that Leith seriously considers letting Luc die – it would solve all of his problems. Lund and Keltz are both terrific in the scene, and I loved Follows choice to go to black and pause for a commercial to make us wait for Leith’s decision.

On returning to the castle, Luc sings Leith’s praises as his savior to Narcisse who is forced to thank Leith. When Narcisse asks how he can repay Leith, Leith demands 10,000 livre and he wants the land back that King Francis gave him and that Narcisse took. He assures Narcisse that if he pays him, Claude and Luc's future is secure – he will leave court and never come back. Narcisse wistfully comments, look how far you’ve come, trading your heart to improve your station – something Leith has repeatedly avoided up until now.

We get a tearful farewell between Claude and Leith. She begs him to stay, but he’s adamant. He tells her that he hates what he’s becoming – and so do we!!! He echoes Catherine’s very words – nice writing show! – and tells her “I feel a poison in my heart. How long before I give in to it?” Clause begs him to meet her in Tuscany in one year. By then she will have given Luc his heir, and she promises not to fall in love with him. Leith tells her that he’ll try – to have faith in her and to meet her, but he won’t promise because he doesn’t think she can keep her promise. He rides out, and there’s a beautiful shot of the gate coming down between them – Claude trapped like the rest of the royals in the show by her duty, forced to let her heart ride away.

Leesa confronts Narcisse – and then the returned Catherine. She knows the truth about Charles. She tells them that it’s time for the Valois to step down in France and for Spain to take control!

In England, Queen Elizabeth tries to be a friend to Gideon Blackburn by providing the best that medicine can offer to save his daughter, Agatha Blackburn (Macy Drouin). We get a couple of nice scenes with Gideon and his daughter. Elizabeth brings in the renowned Viktor Koslov (Jason Cadieux) who turns out to be a charlatan. He is only able to relieve the symptoms – Agatha can’t be saved.

The final scene in Scotland confirms that Mary has given in to Darnley. However, she puts him off for that night and retires to her own bed. Darnley is accosted in the courtyard by none other than his lost love Lady Keira (Sara Garcia). She’s run away to be with the love of her life. Darnley is perhaps not that happy to see her. He tells her that he’s going to marry the Queen of Scotland… but she tells him that he can’t because she’ll never have his heart because she, Keira, has it. Darnley looks both worried and a bit thoughtful. Even Megan Follows couldn’t pull a particularly good performance from Sara Garcia, so let’s hope that she meets a quick and untimely death…

What did you think of the episode? We have so much more history to get through! I’m really beginning to wonder how much of the rest of Mary’s story we will be able to get. I’d gladly sacrifice most of the English storyline, but I’ll never cease to want to watch more of the Catherine/Narcisse storyline! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! By: Lisa Macklem

Hanging SwordsEdit

Reign 4.07 “Hanging Swords” Recap -
Reign “Hanging Swords” was written by the team of Chris Atwood and Kamran Pasha and was directed by Lee Rose. Atwood’s other credits include 90210, Two and a Half Men and Reba, while Pasha’s more action, period writing includes Nikita, Kings, and Sleeper Cell. The episode centers around the title and how all the royals have a sword hanging over their heads – the battles for power, inevitably make them targets.

In England, we finally get a storyline that actually forced me to like Queen Elizabeth. She takes a dying Agatha Blackburn under her wing, making her “Queen” and lavishing her with anything her heart desires.

Agatha proves herself more than worthy of the title. She gives away a beautiful doll to a serving girl, simply because the serving girl had never had one. She also doesn’t want Elizabeth to attack Queen Mary, and pointedly asks if Mary has hurt her. In the end, Elizabeth backs away from her plan to attack Mary. She refuses to be remembered as the Queen who drew first blood.

When Agatha asks what will happen to her after she dies – another reason she didn’t need that doll herself – Elizabeth paints a beautiful picture of Heaven. In fact, Elizabeth jumps in when Gideon Blackburn is too overwhelmed by emotion to answer himself. Later, he thanks her for offering such comfort to his daughter.

Gideon knows that what Elizabeth told Agatha wasn’t made up on the spur of the moment – it’s what she told herself when she was a child. Elizabeth tells him that she grew up with a sword hanging over her head. She was kept in The Tower of London for years, never knowing if every day would be her last, simply because of her royal birth. Gideon muses that she faced death every day of her life. It would have had to have changed her and shaped who she’d become. He clearly has a new respect for her and tells her that she’s stronger than she thinks. Let’s also not forget that this entire series began with Mary in hiding in a Convent and an attempt on Mary’s life…

The one thing that Agatha wanted that seemed impossible for her to have was blueberry pie. Elizabeth goes to great lengths to get the blueberries. When she comes to give Agatha the pie, however, she learns that she’s died in the night. Elizabeth goes to comfort Gideon.

In France, King Charles has found a way to evade the sword of responsibility hanging over his head. Narcisse and Catherine go after Charles when Queen Leeza starts drafting an abdication letter for Charles to sign. Lord Narcisse suggests that Charles needs a strong male figure (he’s not wrong) and reminds Catherine that Charles ran away from her the last time she saw him! It’s always fun to watch Craig Parker and Megan Follows together – and particularly as fish out of water when they find Charles happily playing at being a simple farmer’s son. Catherine thinks she’s having pheasant soup only to find that it is pigeon! To her credit, she doesn’t spit it out…

Charles tells Narcisse and Catherine that he’s happy there – he feels loved and has freedom. The farmer points out that a boy just needs purpose and direction. Catherine points out that Charles is King – that is both purpose and direction – and he has a family that loves him… at court.

Catherine proves once again that she’s more nuanced than the power-hungry monster she may seem. She muses to Narcisse as she watches Charles that part of her wishes he could stay because he’s clearly happy. However, when it becomes clear that Charles has formed a bond with Nicole Touchet (Ann Pirvu) – they stay up all night talking – Narcisse offers to bring her back to court too if she can convince Charles to return. And naturally, this was her plan all along.

Charles returns to court and seems to answer and crush all of Leesa’s questions and objections. He seems particularly regal as he tells her that she has no power over him – and then he drops his bombshell by telling them all that the Vatican holds no power over him either as he’s converted! He is now a Protestant!

Narcisse and Catherine try to persuade Charles as to what a bad idea this is. Charles cites King Henry VIII – and it’s interesting that we return to a theme that Agatha also brought up – can’t royals just do as they choose? It’s a theme that comes up in the Scottish storyline as well as Mary really isn’t free to choose whom she marries. Narcisse and Catherine point out to Charles that he’s NOT Henry VIII – his money comes from his nobles who are vehemently Catholic.

Catherine tries to dissuade Leesa from leaving, telling her that she’s going to start a Civil war. Leesa is adamant that Protestantism is a disease. Catherine begs her to tell her what she wants. Catherine knows she can’t change the past, but is willing to do whatever it takes now. Leesa and Catherine come to an understanding, but Catherine is left with an impossible choice – she must replace Charles with his brother Prince Henri. While this is clearly a fictional plotline, it does mirror the religious and political upheaval of the time – I really love how the show plays with the history but keeps the broad strokes true.

Nicole, meanwhile, has shown up in Narcisse’s bed. She has the King’s ear and can persuade him to re-think his religious position, but she wants money. Narcisse informs Catherine that Nicole is going to be a problem – and haven’t we been here before? This particular plotline is a bit worn thin…

Finally, in Scotland, Queen Mary is pretty happy with Lord Darnley, but of course, that can’t last. Lady Lennox even reads Darnley the riot act over Lady Keira, but Darnley sleeps with her anyway. Mary even takes back the Lennox lands from James Stuart to give to Darnley.

James has every reason to dislike Darnley. He’s lost his lands and trade route to Darnley, and James tells Mary that Darnley even took his horse! And of course, it’s when he recognizes that horse in town that James finds Darnley in bed with Keira. However, James has even more damning evidence before this – James insists to Mary that he doesn’t mind the sacrifices, but he wishes they were for someone worthy of Mary. The stable hands have seen Darnley’s cruelty firsthand, but James also insists that Darnley isn’t just reckless, he’s also insecure and selfish and he’s driven by ambition and pride. All words used to describe the historical Darnley too!

James doesn’t tell Mary about finding Darnley with Keira. He tells Darnley that he won’t be the one to hurt Mary, but if Darnley betrays Mary again, he will pay with his life. And yes. There is truth in that statement as well! In the end, it’s the Loyal Watchman who tips Mary off about Darnley.

While James finds Darnley, Mary has come to town to speak to Lord Bothwell (Adam Croasdell) about securing a new trade route for James. He’s already dissed her by not coming to court when she summoned him, and here he tricks her into a bidding war with his friends. It’s a nice first scene between these two – and yes. Bothwell will form an important bond with Mary going forward.

The episode concludes with Mary confronting Darnley. He begins by trying to lie that he’s only been with Keira the one time and excusing it because he’s giving up the love of his life. Mary tells him it was stupid of her to think they could have had more than a political marriage. Darnley quickly turns ugly and begins to reveal his true character. He tells her that she doesn’t love him and she never will – and now that we get a glimpse of the real Darnley, it’s clear that he’s right. Mary tells him that if she marries him it will be for the good of Scotland. She will never love him and they will never be happy.

I quite liked how the themes of royal responsibility – danger and really a lack of true choice - run throughout this episode. It was fun to see the introduction of Bothwell – really Mary’s next great love! And no. James isn’t going to like him any better. By: Lisa Macklem

Unchartered WatersEdit

Reign 4.08 “Unchartered Watersh” Recap -
Reign “Uncharted Waters” was written by the team of Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt and was directed by Fred Gerber. This episode continues to introduce some of the juicier historical elements to Mary’s story. We’re getting so much history packed into this final season, it’s keeping me even sadder that we won’t get to see some of these events teased out. There’s at least enough material for three more exciting seasons before Mary gets locked in the Tower! Still, I guess we’ll simply have to settle for what we can get in these last episodes.

As the episode opens, Queen Mary is about to welcome her cousin, the Duchess of Florence – an important ally. Mary reads Darnley the riot act, and he promises that Mary is his priority – Lady Keira is gone. Of course, he manages to completely alienate the Duchess by insulting Francis – her cousin – within her hearing. We also get a fantastic scene in which Mary tells Darnley that Francis was more of a man than he will ever be – and ain’t that the truth!

Darnley offers to apologize, but that’s not enough. Mary had to promise the Duchess lands - and a title to her cousin. Mary tells Darnley she will have to negotiate it, and he complains that he wants to be treated as her equal partner. Mary points out that he lied to her, cheated on her, and humiliate her. She tells him that she will marry him because she sees no other option, but that is the only reason – he certainly hasn’t earned the right to be treated as an equal!

Mary finds Lord Bothwell (Adam Croasdell) at Lord Davies’ estate. He tells her that he’s won the lands in a poker game, so she must now negotiate with him! Bothwell insists that he was a good friend to Mary’s mother and can be one to her too. However, he also says that he needs to survey the land before he can consider what price to sell it to her for and insists that she come on a boat ride with him to see what the land is worth.

Mary agrees to the boat ride, and Bothwell reveals he simply wanted a moment alone with her away from prying eyes. He tells her that Darnley will be her undoing – he’s not the asset she expects him to be. Interestingly, Bothwell echoes Darnley’s words, telling her that she needs a partner. Mary insists that Darnley will secure England for her and that’s enough.

The two are caught in a ridiculous flash flood. But I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy him helping her out of her wet dress! Mary tells Bothwell that he is a liar and a scoundrel when he reveals he doesn’t even own the lands. He also reveals that he promised her mother that he would look out for her – and he’s her Loyal Watchman! Bothwell promises that he will help her secure the lands to appease her cousin. He also tells her that James doesn’t like him because of his ties to her mother.

The two are interrupted by a man – David Rizzio (Andrew Shaver) who stumbles out of the woods. He mysteriously tells Mary, “you will have love or an heir but not both. If you choose the child, it will be a son who rules both nations – England and Scotland will be united and at peace.” He then collapses. He is bringing the message from a Druid – and we can assume it is Sebastian. I’m very disappointed not to have [[ Torrance Coombs]] back! And Rizzio really makes it sound like Bash may, in fact, be no more than a spirit… Rizzio has an important part to play in Mary’s history, however.

On returning to court, James Stuart sees Rizzio as a threat. Mary says it’s prophecy and not a threat. Her path is clear. She must have an heir. But she does send James to get rid of Keira when James tells her that Keira is still there. Naturally, this goes horribly wrong when Lady Keira is run over by a runaway horse.

Bothwell is true to his word and brings the deed to the Duchess for Mary. He tell her that they make good partners – there’s that word again! James is not happy to see Bothwell back at court. James also tells Mary about Keira, and Mary goes to Darnley who is at her bedside, and tells her Keira is dying. He also tells her that he hadn’t been going to see Keira but to get special earring for Mary as a wedding present. Now, however, whenever he looks at Mary he will only see the woman who killed his one true love.

In England, Queen Elizabeth is entertaining John Hawkins (Max Lloyd-Jones) – an English explorer who has enraged the Spanish, who want him in the Tower… or worse. Spain views him as a pirate, but he tells Elizabeth that he’s an explorer! He’s brought her a tomato and a turkey! The guards have warned her about the “angry chicken!” When Hawkins calls her boring, she proves him wrong by getting drunk with him. I did love the scene with the two of them entertaining the turkey on the table!

Hawkins wants Elizabeth to realize that the world is bigger than Europe – and of course, this will be her claim to fame – she will defy Spain and England will become the biggest power in the world. When Elizabeth is visited by the Spanish ambassador, he insists that she throw Hawkins in The Tower of London and return their gold. Elizabeth apologizes, but she’s clearly angry at having to do so.

Hawkins is brought to Elizabeth in chains, but she tells him that she will rise to the challenge of Spain! She tells him that she’s been too focused on her own fear. She gives Hawkins a Royal Charter of Exploration and Trade to claim new lands for England. She tells him that she wants to be the Queen who makes England the greatest power the world has ever known!

In France, Narcisse and Catherine are pleased with how much Nicole Touchet has brought King Charles around. Lord Narcisse says that he didn’t have to sleep with her to get her to do it, but it’s cost him a lot of money. Catherine confides that Queen Leeza is still not happy and that Prince Henri’s return to France has been delayed as he’s fighting the Turks. This is hysterical as it was only a few episodes ago that we saw him as about 10 – but be prepared for him to return fully grown! Leesa is also sending Catherine to Scotland to represent both Spain and France at Mary’s wedding. At least it means we get to see Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane together again!

Claude and Luc are still struggling. He tells her that it’s been weeks since the wedding, and while he’s trying to be sympathetic, they can’t continue to keep separate chambers. Claude says their deal was she would give him heirs if she got to have Leith, but Leith Bayard is gone. She also confides that she’s worried about Charles. Luc Narcisse thinks that if Henri takes the throne, King Charles can simply retire – which is what Charles would most like. Claude, however, points out that Charles would never be safe – he’d always be seen as a threat.

Narcisse goes to Nicole – who is ridiculously extravagant. He tells her that he will give her family a manor house if she can get Charles to “un” convert. She insists that she didn’t convert him in the first place. She tells Narcisse that Charles found peace in his conversion.

Charles and Nicole have a robust sex life. He tells her that she taught him to have fun with sex – growing up Catholic, sex was not fun. Nicole asks him if it wouldn’t be better at court if he at least said he was Catholic. Charles immediately sees Narcisse and Catherine behind the comment. He tells her that turning his back on Protestantism would open him to the darkness again.

Luc goes to Charles for advice on how to make Claude happy. He wants to go out for archery and a talk. Charles is suspicious that Luc has been sent by Narcisse and Catherine, but Luc really just wants to talk about Claude and what she enjoys. Charles tells him that she loves the stars because they remain constant and give comfort and direction.

Charles confides in Luc that Narcisse and Catherine want him to renounce his faith. Luc asks him what appeals to him about Protestantism, and Charles tells him that it’s the freedom to make choices without having the Pope dictate them. He wants to be free to rule on his own terms. Luc points out that it’s not religion – or not just religion. There will always be pressure, and he encourages Charles to lean on those around him.

Catherine goes to Narcisse and is thrilled that Charles has asked to see a Catholic Priest. It wasn’t Nicole – it was all Luc. Catherine still insists that Narcisse needs to control Nicole. She want him to have her fall for him – but Narcisse doesn’t want to sleep with her.

Luc brings the stars to Claude. He tells her that he wants to be the husband who is there for her. He tells her what Charles told him. Claude thanks him for helping Charles, and Luc shrugs it off, saying, of course, he’s family. However, Luc later finds Charles in the hall and he’s falling back into the darkness, he tells Luc “I was well… I want to be well…” but he’s clearly not.

Catherine sets off for Scotland and arrives to find Mary weeping by the fire. She runs into Catherine’s arms and declares that she doesn’t want this marriage! Things are definitely heating up! It will be interesting to see how much they compress the events of the next few years. I’m enjoying Claude and Luc’s chemistry almost as much as Mary’s and Bothwell’s! I’m definitely looking forward to what Catherine will have to say to Darnley – and I’m curious to see her reaction to Bothwell! What did you think of the episode? By: Lisa Macklem

Pulling StringsEdit

Reign 4.09 “Pulling Strings” Recap -
Reign “Pulling Strings” was written by the team of April Blair and Laurie McCarthy and was directed by Andy Mikita. As is often the case with McCarthy penned episodes, the title resonates nicely throughout the episode and has at its centerpiece the wedding game of literally pulling strings. I loved the metaphor of how all things are connected in this way, with one decision leading you along that string to an almost pre-ordained outcome.

As the episode opens, Mary and Catherine are walking along the street – how much will I miss seeing these two share a screen? Catherine’s last words to Mary in the episode would seem to indicate that as history dictates, this will be the last time the two are physically in each other’s presence. Hopefully, Catherine has now taught Mary enough of how to be ruthless enough to protect herself and her heart – though history dictates that Mary, Queen of Scots's life will not be an easy one.

In the episode, however, Catherine tells Queen Mary that if she wishes, she will spread rumors of Darnley’s affairs – because of course she’ll embellish it! – and the people will then blame him even if it’s Mary who calls off the wedding. Catherine advises that Mary can appease the nobles by giving them a “parting gift” of money or jewels to keep them happy, but Mary tells Catherine the palace coffers are empty.

James Stuart interjects that the Vatican will be very displeased if the marriage is called off and they can’t be appeased with money or jewels and they don’t care who Darnley sleeps with either. Mary tells James she still needs to check on one more detail before she can call the wedding off anyway. She asks him to keep watching John Knox (Jonathan Goad) – she needs to know where all her enemies are.

I loved the look at Scottish marriage rituals! Lord Darnley is carrying a giant stone through the streets to lay at Mary’s feet. The creeling of the bridegroom is a time honored tradition that proves Darnley’s strength and virility. Darnley tries to talk to Mary after his task is complete, but she puts him off, saying she’s too busy with wedding details. And of course, Darnley has already proven his virility because the final information Mary needed was to confirm that she’s pregnant! She has no choice but to go through with the wedding – I loved how the string she follows in the wedding game leads her to a cradle. Sleeping with Darnley before she knew what he was really like has lead her inexorably here.

Darnley doesn’t want to talk to his mother, but Lady Lennox insists. She tells him that he’s winning the people over by performing the Scottish wedding traditions. It’s what he came there to do – to win power. She reminds him that there are people coming to th wedding who will be able to make his every desire a reality.

I was happy we finally got to see a lot more of Greer in this episode. It looks like she might be headed for a happy ending after all. She’s been assigned by Mary to help look after the guests, especially the important ones. She is tasked with looking after Cardinal Odomo (Paulino Nunes) – the representative from The Vatican. And I was thrilled to see Nunes – a terrific Canadian actor who I really enjoyed in Bitten – though he has relatively little to do in this episode.

Greer is surprised to see Martin de Lambert (Saamer Usmani), who is there with one of his Italian women friends as part of the Vatican delegation! I was also happy to see Saamer Usmani back! After all, who doesn’t love a pirate! Greer, however, is not happy to see him, especially when Martin expresses a wish to spend time with Rose Castleroy. Greer is short with James in an attempt to keep him away from Martin. She is terrified that her secret will be discovered and she tells Martin as much – she went to great lengths to ensure that Rose was not seen as illegitimate.

Meanwhile, Mary’s love life becomes even more complicated when Lord Bothwell (Adam Croasdell) shows up at court. Mary is surprised to see him as he made it very clear that he disapproved of her marrying Darnley. Bothwell tells her that she can’t marry Darnley, but it’s not about him. He tells her that he feels something far deeper for her than he should, given the short time he’s known her… The kiss passionately and then Mary runs away! Will she never get a break?!?!?

Mary tells Catherine that she can’t call off the wedding because she is pregnant. Catherine tells her that she must protect her crown and her heir at all costs. Mary is resigned to there being no backing out now.

Neither Greer nor James are planning on attending the knotting ceremony. Greer tells James she can’t leave Rose in the nursery because the nobles don’t like a baby of color. James is outraged and says that he will set them straight. He tells Greer that the three of them will go to the knotting ceremony together!

Meanwhile, however, James goes to see Emily Knox (Claire Hunter), and she professes her love for him. It seems to be clear that James is actually falling for Greer and is only using Emily to get information on Knox’s plans for Mary. He does learn that Lord White, Keira’s husband is coming to murder Darnley. James leaves to take care of it.

Mary tells Catherine that she suspects some plot is afoot when neither James nor Darnley show up for the knotting game. David Rizzio (Andrew Shaver) is introduced to Catherine, and I adored him fanboying her! Shaver is great in this scene – and really in the episode. I loved him giggling over the honor of meeting Catherine! Rizzio also comes to Mary’s rescue and tells her to begin the game – no one gives a damn about the groom!

James finally arrives and fills Mary in that he’s saved Darnley’s life, but has no idea where he is. Mary is sure that Lady Lennox will know – and she sends Catherine to find out.

I adored the scene between Catherine and Lady Lennox. First, Reign is just so good at these wonderful sumptuous events. But more than that, Megan Follows is simply brilliant in this role. Catherine is standing on Lady Lennox’s string – physically preventing her from getting to her reward. Very much like a spider catching a fly in her web. Catherine begins by saying that she and Lady Lennox have a great deal in common. Lady Lennox agrees that they are both the mothers of Kings. Catherine clarifies that she meant that they both have great affection for Mary, Queen of Scots – not so subtly underlining who the royal is. And driving the point home with, “I suppose a King Consort is a kind of King…” Lady Lennox tries to get some of her own back by disparaging King Charles as a “special” kind of King, but Catherine is having none of it. Lady Lennox’s face gives away the fact that Darnley is meeting with Cardinal Odomo.

Rizzio is bringing Mary cake and overhears Mary and Catherine talking. He tells them that he can find out where Darnley is meeting with the Cardinal. Catherine immediately wants to know who he is sleeping with – and he admiringly remarks that she’s good! Catherine modestly says she doesn’t judge… As it turns out Rizzio is sleeping with Father Julian (Kyle McWatters]).

Mary warns Rizzio that what he’s doing is dangerous, but thanks him for his loyalty. For his own part, Rizzio says he still doesn’t ever really understand how he got there. He’s clearly Sebastian's emissary to carry out Bash’s promise to look out for Mary – at least as far as the series goes. In real life, however, David Riccio di Pancalieri was Mary, Queen of Scots’s trusted private secretary.

Darnley and Odomo are having a nice chat, agreeing that women are not suited to rule. Darnley insists that he’s a friend to the Church, and Odomo tells him that the Vatican will supply him with the funds he needs to keep Mary in line. The two are interrupted by a furious Mary!

Adelaide Kane was terrific in this scene. She confronts Odomo and tells him in no uncertain terms that Scotland has one true ruler. Mary, Queen of Scots, daughter of King James V, crowned on her sixth day. She tells him, “it’s my crown and my birthright and I’ll defend it from anyone who tries to take it!” I loved how uncomfortable Darnley looks too!

Mary still has doubts about her own border towns, however, and confides as much in Catherine. Catherine assures her that there are other ways to keep them in line. And this is Catherine’s final gift to Mary…

At the knotting game, James apologizes to Greer for being late and the three follow a thread together, growing closer. Later, James accosts Martin, who tells him that he met Greer in France and means her no harm – he insists that he’s no threat to the relationship that he sees beginning between James and Greer. James quickly realizes that Martin is Rose’s father. He insists that he’s heard “bastard” too often to be offended by the term – he is one after all! Martin then has a proposition for James.

James tells Greer that he knows about Rose and tells her to let Martin spend time with Rose. Greer is mostly worried about what to tell Rose. James urges her not to let her past cloud her future. He insists that Martin could make both Greer and Rose’s lives richer. He tells Greer to let Martin look after Rose during the wedding so that she can attend the wedding with him.

Meanwhile, Emily Knox is in a carriage with John Knox. He takes her to see a woman who is being savagely punished for committing adultery. James and Mary knew too much about his plans so he’s had Emily watched and discovered her affair with James. Luckily, for Emily he doesn’t want quite so public a punishment for her – it would be bad for him too. But he does take her shoes and her dress and sets her out on her own, telling her he doesn’t know where she will go, but she will go there in shame.

Mary breaks the news to Bothwell that she will marry Darnley. She tells him that she’s not as strong as he thinks she is.

There is a lovely moment between Mary and Catherine as she presents Mary with a piece she embroidered for her herself. Mary is surprised, but Catherine insists that poison and political manipulation aren’t her only skills! Catherine tells Mary that she may not love Darnley, but she is surrounded by people who love her and there is still much to be gained from the marriage.

Rizzio comes sailing in to interrupt them – pausing to be distracted by Mary’s dress with a breathless “oh my!” he tells them that there’s a problem with Darnley – he’s drunk…

Mary goes to Darnley – who is indeed drunk. She tells him that she wants to try over and Darnley does seem to want to do better. He tells her that he wants to be a better man, but what are the chances of that? They set about trying to sober him up, but he’s still clearly drunk as the wedding starts. This was a really nicely filmed sequence as Darnley offers his hand, but Mary fails to see it. He thinks she is pushing him away again, but then she offers her own hand and he takes it, realizing that she hadn’t seen his. Lady Lennox is happy to see it.

The wedding is another typical Reign spectacle. James takes Greer’s arm to lead her in and she thanks him for his advice about Martin. She also tells him that she has a checkered past, but he’s not deterred and the two share a nice moment. Greer’s ultimate happiness is threatened again, however, as a very disheveled Emily is seen watching from the background.

As the wedding winds down, we see somewhat confusing views of changing crosses and flags. I was actually pretty confused as to what we were seeing. However, it was the border towns leaving England for Scotland – or at least declaring their loyalty.

Queen Elizabeth is furious. She has been growing closer to Gideon Blackburn – even letting him win at chess to cheer him up. He has completely forgotten about Mary. He tells Elizabeth that he will defend her against Spain. Hearing the news of the border towns, Elizabeth has one of her cloying tantrums. However, she does bring up a good point, blaming her father for creating a lasting distrust of her legitimacy. This creates a nice resonance with Mary’s speech earlier to Odomo about her own legitimacy. And of course, those lines of heritage and legitimacy are also strings that are pulled. Gideon comforts Elizabeth and the two make love.

Meanwhile, Greer has returned to her chambers to discover that Martin has pierced Rose’s ears! More lines of heritage. Greer points out that noble babies don’t have pierced ears and Martin insists that pirate babies do! To make up for it, he leaves some gems – rubies, diamonds, and emeralds – that can be cut down to make earrings for her. In fact, he’s proven that James was right – the stones are worth a fortune in and of themselves. He’s already made Greer and Rose literally richer.

In their final scene, Catherine tells Mary that the border towns have been swayed – because Catherine saw to it. She took Mary’s wedding gifts and distributed them amongst the towns, winning their loyalty – or paying for it anyway. Mary is hopeful that she will never have to sleep with Darnley again. Catherine advises her to take trips away from him and then claim that the pregnancy makes sex out of the question. Catherine also warns Mary that she needs more than a child and being Queen – she needs to be careful to ensure her own safety.

The episode ends with Mary going to the wedding chamber only to find Darnley passed out on the bed. She goes out onto the balcony to see Bothwell looking up at her from the courtyard – the two share a long look…

I thought this was quite a good episode, with the themes carried through the various threads/strings of the story. We are galloping along now, and I’m enjoying seeing the threads of history woven into the story as well. I am also sad that there is still so much of Mary’s story to tell in such a little time. It’s going to be interesting to see how far they will go. What did you think of the episode? Did you miss the France storyline? Would you be as happy as I would be if they’d just mostly drop the Elizabeth storyline? By: Lisa Macklem

A Better ManEdit

Reign 4.10 “A Better Man” Recap -
Reign “A Better Man” was written by the team of John J Sakmar and Kenny Lenhart and was directed by Dawn Wilkinson, whose other credits include Riverdale, Nashville, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. I really liked how the title of this episode ran through the various threads of the story. Darnley tries to be a better man for Mary , but James really is a better man. Elizabeth looks for the best man to become her husband and finds that Gideon is a better man – certainly better than Dudley. Charles tries to be a better man and King but may not be as good as his brother Prince Henri (Nick Slater). And finally, Narcisse’s efforts to be the better man Lola knew he could be is heartbreakingly thwarted in his efforts.

The episode begins in Scotland with David Rizzio helping King Darnley compose his Coronation music. I’m really loving the addition of Shaver to the cast – and I love how they’ve written the character. We discover that Rizzio has moved up in the Court quickly and is actually now Mary’s private secretary – the post he held in real life. We also learn that he’s been assigned to keep Darnley busy and out from under Mary’s feet. Darnley asks to come to Mary’s chambers, and she puts him off. She’s taken Catherine’s advice and has been travelling to avoid having to sleep with Darnley again.

Lord Hamilton (Tyrone Savage) is coming to court and Queen Mary is hoping to keep Darnley away from him as there is a blood feud between the Darnleys and Hamiltons because the Hamiltons murdered Darnley’s great grandfather. James points out that if Mary can convince the Hamiltons to side with her, as Protestants, it will demonstrate that she is a tolerant Queen. Mary tells James that he has to find out whatever he can about Knox’s plans by continuing to show an interest in Emily Knox. (Claire Hunter).

I loved the scene in which Mary tells James Stuart that she is pregnant. He’s immediately thrilled for her and tells her that she’s going to be a wonderful mother. When Greer interrupts them, James is polite but immediately withdraws. Greer thinks she made a mistake by telling James that she had feelings for him that are clearly not returned. Mary insists that he’s simply respecting Greer’s “situation,” but Greer points out that Emily is also married. Mary cryptically tells her that things may be more complicated than they seem. It seemed like rather a plot hole for Mary not to confide in Greer completely about James working for her.

Mary welcomes Hamilton and his men to court and invites them to the Coronation to show a united front. Hamilton maintains that she should have married him, a Protestant. She’s asking him to turn his back on his family and its long-standing feud. He wants to know what’s in it for him. She promises him a seat on the Privy Council. Mary insists that she is only interested in the future – not the past.

Meanwhile, Greer takes the bull by the horns and accosts James, telling him she’s sorry if she made him uncomfortable by what she said at the wedding. James apologizes and says that he’s just been very busy with his duties. Greer doesn’t beat around the bush at all and asks him point blank if he has feelings for Emily Knox. James tells her that his life is complicated, but he hopes it won’t always be. He tells her he’s sorry and walks away only to come back and kiss her! He asks her to be patient with him.

Darnley is furious that Mary invited the Hamiltons, and Mary makes it even worse by telling him about her offer of a seat on the Privy Council! Darnley has it driven home that he is really just a figurehead – he’s not going to be helping make decisions or even be consulted. Mary tells him that she’d hoped it might be different, but his drinking, cheating, and blind ambition don’t make him a good choice for partner. Darnley insists that he’s been trying to do better – and Mary yells at him to “Try harder!” She points out that a better partner or King knows they must sometimes do things they hate for the good of the crown.

Darnley does try to make an effort and takes a bottle as a peace offering to Hamilton and invites him personally to the Coronation. Hamilton insults him until Darnley loses it over Hamilton’s family killing his grandfather. Hamilton throws back at him that a Catholic who turns Protestant still serves the same God, but a Scot who turns Englishman loses his soul. Darnley somehow manages to keep his temper and tells Hamilton that he hopes he’ll take the seat on the Privy Council. Hamilton throws back that he will and he will block everything Darnley tries to do to show everyone how weak and impotent Darnley is!

James goes to Emily, and she tells him that Knox knows all about them and is treating her like one of the animals on their farm. She knows that James was only using her and now she hates him more than she thought possible. She wants him to spirit her away to a new life In France, and in return, she tells him of a plot by Knox and Hamilton to kill Mary.

However, Emily is playing him and Knox has poisoned Hamilton against Mary, telling him that she is out to kill Hamilton. When the two groups meet in the hallway, Mary trying to escape the supposed assassination plot, Hamilton thinks it’s an ambush, and they engage. Naturally, Hamilton and all his men are killed so there’s no one to corroborate that Knox orchestrated the whole thing.

James determines that Mary must sacrifice him in order to regain any hope of winning the Protestants to her side. He insists she ban him from Scotland, insisting that she is a good and fair Queen and her people need her. He’s sorry he won’t be at her side to protect and advise her, but he insists that she summon Bothwell to take his place, trusting that no one else will be as dedicated to protecting her.

Mary calls Emily in front of her. Emily insists that the lies she told were no worse than those James told her. She’s prepared to die, and she warns Mary that anything she does to Knox will only make him a martyr. Mary determines that by far the worst punishment for Emily is to send her home to Knox to let him continue to punish her.

Mary publicly denounces James and banishes him, but she can’t stop herself from running after him tearfully and hugging him. Greer is angry – once again she lose the ‘better’ man of her dreams! Greer asks Mary how many more people she will sacrifice and wants to know if there was no other way. Mary vows to James that she will eventually bring him home.

Darnley actually shows some sense and suggests that in the end, the coronation should be a small, quiet affair as emotions are already running high. Darnley tells her that he didn’t provoke Hamilton, having found strength in her challenge to be a better man. He insists that he can protect and support her if she’ll let him. Once again, he asks if they can try to start a family, and Mary finally tells him that they already have – he’s thrilled and promises to be a good father and husband.

Meanwhile, In England, Elizabeth and Gideon are enjoying each other. It’s become personal for both of them, however. Gideon Blackburn is trying to find her a husband – preferably Catholic – to help unite Scotland with them. Gideon, however, is clearly a little jealous when Queen Elizabeth shows favor to one of her suitors.

When Gideon forgets his condom, she insists it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t know if she can get pregnant anyway. Maybe she’s barren? It’s better that she finds out before marriage – and Gideon takes offense and being treated like a stud horse. Of course, we know she can get pregnant because she was pregnant with Robert Dudley’s child. The two ultimately make up, and Gideon assures her that he’s a ‘better man’ than Dudley as he will be able to accept their relationship for what it is.

In France, Nicole Touchet is doing a good job helping King Charlesshoulder the burdens of ruling. Catherine is still worried, however, because Queen Leeza is insisting that Prince Henri – who has just had a big win against the Turks – should take power. Catherine wants Nicole to convince Charles to abdicate and retire to the country and hopes he’ll be allowed to simply live in peace.

Lord Narcisse goes to Nicole to enlist her help in getting Charles to abdicate. However, this all runs counter to Nicole’s own plans and desires. She doesn’t want to retire to the country – she wants to be in the thick of the action at Court, and furthermore, she declares that she’s in love with Narcisse. When it’s clear that he doesn’t really return her feelings, she is enraged and refuses to do his bidding any longer. Can I just pause her to say that Ann Pirvu is terrible? I felt bad for Craig Parker having to share scenes with her.

When Protestants take Catholics hostage in a church, Catherine insists that Narcisse win back Nicole’s favor. It’s a nice echo of Mary’s words to Darnley – sometimes you have to do something you hate for the good of the country. However, if Charles doesn’t put the uprising down, Leesa will take his crown and abdicating won’t be an option.

Narcisse goes to Nicole, and Craig Parker is brilliant in this scene. He tells Nicole that he feels like loving her is a betrayal to Lola, but he can’t erase Nicole from his mind. It’s utterly clear that the first half of his statement is true and the second part is a lie. Nicole believes it all, however, and is happy to convince Charles to have the Protestant uprising put down.

Catherine is pleased and thanks Narcisse, and the true anguish it cost him is apparent as he tells Catherine, “and all it cost me was the desecration of my wife’s memory.”

The Protestants are defeated, and Charles first thought is for how many soldiers he’d sent to their deaths. Catherine leads him out to the crowds who call him their savior and Charles takes heart from their approval, even going back to sparring, preparing to actually lead his armies in the field. He’s finally ready to be King and tells Catherine so.

Naturally, this is when Prince Henri arrives. Catherine informs him that there’s been a change of plans. Charles is recovered, and Henri doesn’t need to step in and take over. Henri says good, it’s a relief, and Catherine presses that he’s not disappointed? Henri denies being disappointed, saying he’s a Prince and gets to do whatever he wants – why would he want the burden of being King? Catherine is relieved, but it seems obvious that Henri isn’t pleased and does want to be King.

I liked how the themes of this episode wove through the three storylines. There’s so much more story to tell, I can’t imagine how they can do it all! I have to wonder how they will close the series out. By: Lisa Macklem

Dead of NightEdit

Reign 4.11 “Dead of Night” Recap -
Sorry for the delay on these, but here’s a nice double review to make up for missing a week! Reign “Dead of Night” was written by the team of Wendy Riss Gatsiounis and Drew Lindo and was directed by Deborah Chow. The title nicely encapsulates all three storylines in this episode – as dead of night would suggest, dangerous and nefarious things are happening In Scotland,England, and France!

In England, it looks like Queen Elizabeth may have finally come to terms with marrying Archduke Ferdinand (Steve Byers). He tells her that he wants a real marriage – he’s not just marrying her for the crown. However, she and Gideon are still conducting their relationship in secret. Gideon Blackburn confesses it’s been more difficult than he thought it would be to see her with someone else, yet when he suggests leaving to make it easier on Elizabeth, she becomes frantic.

In Scotland, Mary and Darnley are trying to get along. When King Darnley brings news of Elizabeth’s potential marriage to the Archduke, a Catholic, they agree that they need to act before they lose the Catholic advantage. Darnley promises to call in his English allies to help.

Queen Mary agrees and plans to hold Elizabeth hostage in her own castle. She offers her Royal Seal as her promise to stand behind the allies. Mary wants Elizabeth to publicly acknowledge her as the rightful heir and she’ll let her live. Mary will only make the decision to execute Elizabeth if she gives her no choice.

Darnley is furious when Lord Bothwell shows up at court. This is a terrific scene. Darnley wants Bothwell to apologize for what he said in the Loyal Watchman letters and to bow to him as his King. Bothwell refuses. He tells him that he may wear the Scottish crown but he’ll always be English by birth. He tells him that he hates the English because they’ve crossed their borders and slaughtered his people for 300 years. Darnley banishes Bothwell from Court.

In the end, Darnley is just in it for power. He asks Mary for The Crown Matrimonial yet again. He tells her that he’s without power without it – but he’s also without risk. If Mary’s Royal Seal is found, she alone will be blamed. He gives her an ultimatum: give him the Crown Matrimonial or she will lose everything that she’s fought for.

David Rizzio goes to Bothwell in a tavern and persuades him to talk to Mary. They meet in her carriage, and she tells him she needs to abort the mission, save the men, and retrieve her seal – and she needs Bothwell to do it all. It would have to be unsanctioned and he’ll be screwed if he doesn’t succeed. Bothwell tells her he’ll do it – and he vows that he would do it for her with or without her crown. I’m very much liking the chemistry between these two!

Mary sends Bothwell and Rizzio to Gideon. Gideon has already pledged to Elizabeth to rescue her from a four hour carriage ride with the Archduke, but he is destined not to fulfill that promise. Gideon has an “Italian” visitor, who turns out to be Rizzio and Bothwell. Gideon is reluctant at first, but agrees that Lord Barrett (James Gilbert) is dangerous and agrees to help.

Back In Scotland, Darnley has gathered the Privy Council and wants Mary to sign the order for The Crown Matrimonial, making him a true King and her equal. Mary tells him that she made him King, but they’ll never be equals and rips up the document.

In England, Rizzio and Bothwell show up to Barrett’s hideout. The tell the Scots there to return home, the mission is off. Barrett tries to resist, and Rizzio sets him straight about the Scottish hierarchy – Darnley is only King Consort and has no real power. Bothwell takes the Seal back from Barrett by force. Gideon is also there and Bothwell wants to kill him for seeing too much, but Rizzio stops him, saying it’s Mary’s call. Bothwell knocks Gideon out and brings him back to Scotland.

Gideon wakes up In Scotland, and Mary explains what happened. She also assures him that she is no longer a threat to Elizabeth. After she promises she releases him and he returns to Elizabeth. At first, he excuses his absence from saving her to having gotten caught up drinking with friends, and I was really expecting we’d have a series of stupid lies, but he actually tells her the truth. But he also tells her that she must marry the Archduke as she’ll always be in danger otherwise.

There’s another intense scene between Mary and Bothwell in which she tells him she should have listened to him and not married Darnley. He tells her that she’s stronger than she thinks she is. She keeps him at arms’ length, however, reminding him that she’s Queen and can’t afford to make a mistake – but the two share a look…

The final scene in Scotland is brilliant. With Rizzio and Bothwell on either side of her throne, Mary summons Darnley in front of her. Darnley immediately apologizes when he sees that she has the Seal. But Mary is done and tells him they’re finished. Darnley, like the petulant child he is, declared he never had a chance – oh, so many chances, Darnley! – and tells her that he’ll drink and whore his way across Scotland. Mary is going to have Bothwell arrest him, but Darnley has one final ace up his sleeve. Mary’s baby needs a father – he still has the power to ruin her if he denies he is the father!

In France, Prince Henri attempts to undermine King Charles . He throws a party for Charles – and forgets to invite Charles – to woo the court and show off his own accomplishments. He’s brought gifts for everyone, including a book of black magic – to freak Charles out. Nicole Touchet is captivated – along with the others.

Catherine(superb as always throughout this episode!) is furious. She tells Henri that Nostradamus warned her about the danger of things like the book. She tells him that he mustn’t let Spain divide their family. When one Valois is weakened, they all are.

Meanwhile Lord Narcisse seems to be falling back into his old ways as he continues to seduce Nicole. He compliments her on being the source of Charles’ confidence, and she tells him that he is the source of her happiness. It seems she might be the weak link that Henri is searching for…

Henri and Charles are playing tennis, and Henri, in very unsportsmanlike behavior throws a ball – which turns out to be full of rocks as Narcisse discovers – directly at Charles face – breaking his nose. Catherine confronts Henri and tells him she knows what he’s up to – undermining Charles AND eyeing Nicole.

Henri lies and denies it, but Catherine has the proof. Henri insists that he’s done more and Queen Leeza wants him in power. Catherine insists that all Charles had to do was be born first. She also tells him that the book of black magic is heresy and all she has to do is take it to the Vatican. Henri is aghast and doesn’t believe that Catherine would accuse her own son of witchcraft, but she tells him she would if it prevented the family from being torn apart. Henri agrees to apologize to Charles.

At yet another super-awkward family dinner, Henri finally apologizes, at Narcisse’s prompting, but also taunts Charles. Charles tells him to get out of his Court, and Henri says he can’t because Spain wants him there – Charles attacks Henri!

Princess Claude is distraught after the dinner. Charles is damaged and Henri is ruthless – she’d hoped to be a family. Luc Narcisse tries to console her that perhaps it can be different when they start a family of their own. Claude reminds him that she’s not in love with him, and he tells her that he’s not in love with her either….yet. Maybe there’s hope for them in the future.

Narcisse goes to Henri and tells him they’ll go to The Vatican, telling them Henri dabbles in the occult. Henri tells Narcisse that he knows about Nicole. Narcisse tells him to make sure he has proof before he threatens, but he’s impressed enough to go to Catherine and suggest that they are backing the wrong horse with Charles. Narcisse tells Catherine that he likes Charles, but he’s irrevocably damaged and Catherine doesn’t have the power to save him.

So naturally, Catherine turns to the book of black magic!

This was a solid episode with lots of action that moved the plots along fairly nicely in both France and Scotland. It’s becoming very clear that there’s no way we are going to make it to the end of Mary’s story, however – to say nothing of Catherine, Henri or the rest of the French Court. What did you think of the episode? Are you team Charles or team Henri? Is anybody not team Bothwell? By: Lisa Macklem

The ShakedownEdit

Reign 4.12 “The Shakedown” Recap -
“The Shakedown” was written by the team of Patti Carr and Lara Olsen and was directed by Norma Bailey. Once again, the episode resonates throughout the storylines. There is a literal shakedown of Scotland by an earthquake, but there are intrigues and blackmail afoot everywhere.

Queen Mary goes on a walkabout to survey the damage of the Earthquake and is desperate to help her people. She appeals to the Privy Council but the emergency fund has already been depleted – and there’s no money left. Knox shows up to gloat and tells her that either she fails her people or she exposes her weakness to the Privy Council. Either way, it helps his cause!

Mary goes to King Darnley at his estate. He’s been draining the treasury to support his debauchery. Mary wants the money back. She doesn’t care if he punishes her, but he can’t let the Scottish people suffer. Darnley agrees to help – he’s not a monster, he protests – but he wants to be able to return to Court. Mary points out that they hate each other, but Darnley just wants respect from the people – who can’t respect a King that they can’t see.

Luckily, Mary doesn’t actually trust Darnley – as Lord Bothwell first fears – so she arranges for a huge party to welcome him back at Court. I loved the toasting scene. Darnley makes a show of kissing Mary and then comments that not everyone seems happy to see him back – Bothwell is giving him death stares for instance. Mary tells Darnley that he can’t expect everyone to be happy he’s back – some of them know him! ZING! Mary and Bothwell sneak away to steal the gold back from Darnley, only to find most of it already gone.

Bothwell stalls Darnley when he arrives back so that Mary can take what money there is to safety. Bothwell and Darnley fight, but Darnley has him taken prisoner and beaten. Darnley arrives back to Court with Bothwell under arrest, and David Rizzio tells Mary that Darnley spent the money acquiring property – and solidifying his own power that way. Mary knows that he is buying influence with her enemies. He’s actively working against her.

Mary confronts Darnley and asks how low he will go. She insists that he’s taken his quest for power too far. Darnley insists that she lied to him, stole from him, and betrayed him with another man! Bothwell all but admitted that he loved Mary. Darnley insists that he defended Mary’s honor by beating him to within an inch of his life. But Bothwell won’t die because that would have proved that he cared. Mary insists that the child is Darnley’s and that Bothwell only returned to Court to protect her from him!

There’s a terrific scene between Mary and Bothwell when she goes to visit him in prison. It’s clear that Darnley is not willing to share power and he is willing to take it. Mary insists that they have to find another way to stop him – she’s not ready to kill a King just yet.

In the final scene, however, we see that Darnley is working with John Knox\! They are planning on convincing the Privy Council to grant Darnley The Crown Matrimonial. Knox suggests that Darnley might have to convert… and Darnley is pretty much fine with that.

In England, Elizabeth and Gideon escape to a cottage on the coast because Queen Elizabeth is utterly freaked out by the barely thwarted rebellion. She has her maid – Jane (Megan Hutchings) taste her tea to see if it’s “cold” because she’s terrified it’s been poisoned!

We get some pleasant role play and general playing on the beach between Gideon Blackburn and Elizabeth before Jane suddenly shows up! She gives them what seems to be a plausible explanation – she had a few days off and is visiting family, but Elizabeth is taking no chances and smacks her in the head with a handy paddle!

Elizabeth is determined that Gideon must kill Jane to hide their secret. He insists that Jane is an innocent, loyal servant and points out that Lola’s death still haunts Jane. Elizabeth insists that she is the “Virgin” Queen – and has to remain so to the world! Gideon is about to take Jane to the woods and kill her even as Gideon insists that he can’t make Elizabeth feel safe when men come to the door searching for Jane who’s been reported missing.

Elizabeth hides in the basement where Jane is being held. In the end, Elizabeth can’t kill her either because Lola does still haunt her – all of which is laying the groundwork for her not to be able to kill Queen Mary when it comes to it. Elizabeth lets her go, only to have Jane show up back at Court! She begs to be allowed to stay – she needs the work and promises to keep Elizabeth’s secret. She reveals that she already knows about Robert Dudley and she’s kept that secret! Elizabeth agrees, but in the last scene we see Jane writing – and it appears she is spying on Elizabeth for someone!

In France, King Charles and Luc Narcisse are having an archery contest. Charles wins, but Prince Henri taunts him again, suggesting that the family only lets him think he’s the best archer in the family. Charles then challenges Henri. He’ll shoot an apple off Henri’s head – the prize is the crown! Henri says that he promised Catherine not to challenge the king. Princess Claude is appalled – if he misses, Henri could be dead! Lord Narcisse agrees it’s not a good idea. Henri shrugs it off – some other time… And Charles shoots the apple out of his hand! Everyone is appalled, but Narcisse looks thoughtful. This is out of character for Charles.

However, Narcisse starts laying the groundwork to join Henri’s “team” by telling him he feels a certain kinship with him. Henri is called to “watch” as his brother considers a situation brewing with some English nobles. Charles wants to strike quickly, but Henri advises waiting to ensure the best advantage.

Narcisse goes to Catherine and wants to know what’s changed with Charles. Catherine insists that Charles is simply stronger than Narcisse thought – he was wrong. However, Catherine isn’t impressed when she hears Charles order the English nobles thrown in prison. Henri tells her that Charles is out of control.

Claude is the first to discover that Catherine has cast a spell on Charles. I love when these two have scenes together! Both are terrific in this one. Catherine insists she was just trying to make Charles stronger and burns the rope figure she was using, promising not to do it again. Honestly, it felt like the Darkhold plot from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a moment! Catherine insists that she can fix the situation through conventional means – she’ll get the English lords to negotiate.

Catherine asks how Claude is doing and she confesses that she’s having a hard time honoring the promise she made to Leith. Catherine insists that Claude won’t be able to keep both her promises – to give Luc an heir and not to fall in love. Claude goes to Luc to fulfill the first promise.

Catherine finds Charles by the fire, considering the offer to negotiate. He’s concerned about looking weak, but Catherine assures him that it’s a chance to show how strong and confident he is. In the end, Charles goes off, supposedly to negotiate and returns with the English lords’ heads on pikes! Everyone is horrified – including Catherine. Narcisse insists that these are the actions of a madman, leading them to war!

Meanwhile, Narcisse has gone to Luc to ask him to spy on Henri and Charles via Claude. Luc refuses and Narcisse produces a letter that he intercepted. Claude has hired men to find Leith Bayard, and she plans to go to him once she’s provided Luc with an heir. Narcisse insists that power is shifting at court and they must use every resource in their power to ensure they pick the right side. Luc is upset – this isn’t the kind of marriage he wanted.

After Charles returns, Claude goes to Luc for help. Luc shows her the letter and tells her that he can’t be with her. She tells him that I maybe too late – she’s already falling in love with Luc and feels terrible about breaking her vow to Leith. She tells Luc that she grew up in Court, surrounded by lies and betrayal and if she breaks her vows she’ll be no better than her mother or father. She tells him she doesn’t want to become like them. Luc assures her she won’t. From now on their marriage will simply be a political formality – but he’s clearly sad about it.

Catherine goes to Charles and demands to know why he did it. Charles tells her that he’d planned to negotiate but he always has to prove himself or people will rise against him. Charles confesses that he knows he’s weak – everyone sees it but Catherine. He confesses that he’s afraid and hugs Catherine.

In the final scene In France, Narcisse comes to Catherine and tells her that Henri diffused the situation. Narcisse insists that he was right about Henri – he’s a natural and has talent. Catherine insists that Henri’s talent is in going after what doesn’t belong to him – and we see Henri tell Nicole that Charles is not the man for her – and she’s listening!

It would seem that all the monarchs are in danger from within their own inner circles! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! By: Lisa Macklem

Coup de GraceEdit

Reign 4.13 “Coup de Grace” Recap -
Reign “Coup de Grace” was written by the team of John J Sakmar and Kerry Lenhart and was directed by the wickedly, multi-talented Megan Follows. We got to a bit of history that I knew was coming but still managed to make me very sad. I knew as soon as we met him that David Rizzio’s days were numbered, but Andrew Shaver brought him so to life in such a short time! I’d hoped they might fudge that death a little. In fact, they did somewhat, as he didn’t die exactly according to historical records, and it felt like a bigger tribute making it seem very Julius Caesar.

The action in the Scottish Court centers on the intrigues unfolding at court. I loved the cat and mouse scene between Mary and Darnley as he tries to follow her through the corridors as she makes her way to her secret meeting with David Rizzio and Lord Bothwell. It was nice to bring it full circle later in the episode when the two escape through the same secret passageways. I wonder if Mary will ultimately regret having revealed that secret?

They’ve discovered that King Darnley is paying off the Privy Council to get them to give him The Crown Matrimonial – damn, he was fixated on that! Queen Mary realizes that the Privy Council will completely defer to Darnley if he gets it because she is a woman. She needs to find a way to gain control over the Privy Council.

Mary’s plan is to announce her pregnancy. It’s clear that Darnley – being the shallow idiot that he is – is happy to bask in the accolades from the courtiers. Rizzio compliments her on the brilliant move, but wonders if she wasn’t worried that Darnley might have made good on his threat to disown the baby. Mary explains that she just didn’t give Darnley any warning or time to think. She knows that he is not a complex man – he simply wants to be loved and adored, so she gave him an opportunity to feed his ego.

Meanwhile, Kno and Lord Ruthven (John Ralston) are less than happy with Darnley for giving away their leverage. Darnley is so stupid that he didn’t even realize that they wanted Mary dead! They tell him to come up with an alternative plan.

There’s a lovely scene between Mary and Rizzio. He tells her that the Privy Council is now on her side, except for the Treasurer – Ruthven. Mary asks Rizzio as someone with accounting experience through his business dealings to look into the books. Mary thanks him and tells him that she trust him with her life. He replies that this is his home now, and she is his friend. Mary is clearly very touched and tells him that a Queen doesn’t have many friends – and for good reason as it seems so many of Mary’s end up dead!

Rizzio does discover that Ruthven has been stealing, and Mary confronts him, telling him she’ll tell the other nobles that he’s been swindling them. Ruthven still refuses to vote her way. Rizzio, however, has more damning evidence against Ruthven and tells him that he’ll expose him as a homosexual – they’ve even had the same boyfriend! Ruthven points out that that would also expose Rizzio to the penalty – being burnt alive – and Rizzio maintains that he’d do anything for Mary. It’s a horrifying commentary on what life was like then – and really not even so long ago.

Darnley’s plan is to catch Mary in the act with Bothwell and accuse her of adultery. Darnley insists, however, that Mary be spared. John Knox agrees to banish her, and leaves Bothwell’s fate up to the “King,” Darnley is thrilled to anticipate cutting off Bothwell’s head!

Bothwell comes to warn Mary that the Privy Council are moving against her to overthrow her. He urges her to leave, but she insists that she must remain strong and sends Bothwell to Dunbar castle to rally their forces. Rizzio stays as her witness.

Mary realizes as soon as Darnley arrives that his plan is to accuse her of adultery. She tells them to stand down an she will pardon them all of treason. Ruthven, however, once again refuses to be swayed and solves both his problems by saying they’ll just use Rizzio instead of Bothwell. Darnley does try to stop them, but of course, it doesn’t work and Rizzio is killed viciously.

Mary is being held prisoner in her chambers and fakes that something is wrong with the baby. She demands to see Darnley and points out to him how stupid he’s being. Knox hates the monarchy and is simply using Darnley until he can turn on him and kill him too. She begs Darnley to help her escape so that they can take the kingdom back together.

Darnley gets her out of the castle and most of the way to Dunbar before abandoning his pregnant wife alone in the woods at night. He tells her that he’s sorry about Rizzio, but he’s sure that Bothwell will kill him and he leaves her to go into hiding.

Mary arrives alone at Dunbar and tells Bothwell what happened. She delivers yet another inspiring speech to her loyal followers, telling them that their loyalty won’t be forgotten and that the traitors will pay with their lives!

In England, Queen Elizabeth is furious with the developments in France – King Charles’ killing the English nobles. She doesn’t want a war with France, but she also can’t appear weak in the eyes of the world. She sends Gideon Blackburn to negotiate, but she’s sad that he’s leaving.

While Gideon is away, Elizabeth continues to be pursued by Archduke Ferdinand. Unfortunately, as he’s filling her chambers with flowers as a surprise, he finds the eroticism that she’s been writing for Gideon. Thinking quickly, she lies and says it was about the Archduke and she was planning on giving it to him on their wedding night. He’s excited that the Queen reads erotica! He also suggests that as they are getting married there’s no reason not to satisfy themselves. Elizabeth has really written herself into a corner here.

Later over dinner, Ferdinand has a ring for her. It sounds like they may have just cuddled – or at least not gone all the way. He tells Elizabeth that he knows the writing wasn’t for him, and he’s ok with that if they are honest and faithful to each other from this point forward. He doesn’t want to marry her just for her country. He tells her that it’s ok to enjoy sex with your husband! He’s not stupid, and he knows that they are marrying because his country needs the money and hers needs the Catholic support, but they can be more than that. Elizabeth agrees to stop the relationship with Gideon and have him removed from court. His name is never mentioned, however.

Narcisse and Catherine discuss strategy. They need to give back the ships to avoid war, but can’t look weak. Catherine is also worried about averting civil war between the Protestants and Catholics. Lord Narcisse complains about how clingy Nicole Touchet is – she even stayed back while King Charles went to Paris.

Catherine confronts Prince Henri, who says he doesn’t care what England thinks or does. Catherine agrees that the English may owe taxes, but she also cautions him that his way is going to plunge them into war. Narcisse tells Henri that he’ll be meeting with Gideon for the negotiations – alone. Henri is not pleased.

Gideon is trying to smooth things over in France. Narcisse greets him at the docks and begins the negotiations with him. It’s clear that Craig Parker and Ben Geurens enjoy the chance to work together again. It’s a fun scene as the two quibble over the wording of the agreement – was it murder or execution?

There’s a terrific scene between Narcisse and Gideon in which Gideon accuses Narcisse of being driven by wanting revenge for Lola. Gideon assures Narcisse that Elizabeth also mourns the loss of Lola, but Narcisse insists that no one understands loss until they’ve experienced it. Of course, Gideon has, and tells Narcisse that he lost his wife and daughter – but when he found real love, it changed him. Being in love changed him – and boy, is he in for a rude awakening! However, Narcisse says that he’s happy for Gideon.

Gideon urges Narcisse to allow himself to love and be loved again or the bitterness will destroy him. Narcisse is genuine when he says that it’s good advice. He then warns Gideon that Spain is at court to support Henri. He tells Gideon to talk to Charles in Paris about the cargo. He might be surprised at how receptive Charles is.

Of course, Henri has seized the cargo which turns out to be saltpeter. And of course, it’s ridiculous that Narcisse didn’t know what the cargo was during his negotiations. It turns out that Henri has promised the saltpeter to Spain to make into gunpowder. Henri also moves against Narcisse with Nicole. He promises to show her that Narcisse is merely using and manipulating her to control Charles.

They hide in Narcisse’s chambers to watch his reaction to a gift. I thought that Gideon’s words might have saved the day here, but they prove just the opposite. Instead of giving Nicole Touchet a chance (thank God, he didn’t befoul the memory of Lola by having feelings for her!), he makes a move on Catherine – which, YEAH!!!! Love these two together!

I loved Catherine musing about how good Narcisse is at manipulation because he manipulated her, and him saying that at least they were equally matched. Catherine is amused and says that after all this time, the two of them are still there – and Narcisse adds, keeping the kingdom together. Catherine tells him that when she told him to get over Lola, he didn’t mean for him to sleep with every woman at court – but she’s also different this time around and it doesn’t really bother her – can we really believe that?! The two make love while Nicole and Henri – his mother!!! – are forced to watch from their hiding place.

Gideon meets with Charles – and we get a nice shot of the Mona Lisa. Once Gideon tells Charles what’s going on with Spain, he gives back the ships and cargo so there’s no reason for war. On his return, Narcisse congratulates Gideon. Gideon asks him why, and Narcisse says he thought it would be nice for them both to have a win for a change. It’s time to bury the past and move on. Of course, Gideon is about to lose Elizabeth, and Narcisse is about to lose control of Nicole and burn any chance of allying with Henri.

Charles returns to court and calls Henri to him in the throne room. He tells Henri that he’s thwarted his plan with Spain, and that he’ll never have anything that belongs to Charles. Meanwhile, Nicole is standing beside him, and Henri has already “had” her – and no doubt will again. As Henri walks away, he’s smiling.

This episode moved things along. I’m still curious about how much they can stuff into the remaining episodes. It’s sad that here at the end, I think that the last 15 minutes – or less – maybe even 5 minutes – will be devoted to the last 20 years of everyone’s lives. What did you think of the episode? Do you think that Narcisse and Catherine can prevail? The Scottish and English histories are a little more clearly written By: Lisa Macklem

A Bride. A Box. A Body.Edit

Reign 4.14 “A Bride. A Box. A Body.” Recap -
Reign “A Bride. A Box. A Body.” was written by the team of April Blair and Robert D Doty and was directed by Andy Mikita. The series begins to tie up some loose ends, but it’s hard to believe that they can really do justice to the rest of Mary’s story in only two remaining episodes. Fingers crossed that they are either planning for a movie or mini-series to wrap it up – or maybe they’ll wait a few years until everyone is older and come back and finish the story then!

The episode picks up where we left off last week. Queen Mary gathers her troops to take back her castle and get revenge for David Rizzio. She is determined to lead her army – pregnant or not! – but Lord Bothwell convinces her that it’s too dangerous, and she does agree to keep a safe distance from any actual fighting.

Lord Ruthven doesn’t even realize that he’s lost both Mary and Darnley. Once he realizes that he has nothing to bargain with he gives up, but he refuses to give up Knox. Mary finally tires of him and knocks the platform out from under him herself to hang him!

Eventually, after months have passed, John Knox comes to Mary to try to get her to ease up on him. He points out that it’s been months and she still has no evidence against him. He warns her that he is not her biggest threat, King Darnley is. He warns that Darnley is gathering the Privy Council against her. Mary looks worried.

Meanwhile, In France, Lord Narcisse is planning a diplomatic mission to Scotland. He’s moving against Knox because the Protestant leader is causing religious turmoil in France too. I loved this scene between Narcisse and Catherine. It’s not the passion that Lord Narcisse had with Lola, but there’s no denying the chemistry between these two exceptional actors. Catherine worries that Nicole Touchet won’t be as easy to manage with Narcisse away. Spain has chosen brides for King Charles , so Catherine will be busy trying to get him to choose.

Mary tells Lord Bothwell that they must find Darnley. She tells him that she wants to be free of her marriage and she wants to be with Bothwell. I have to admit that if I were Bothwell, I’d be fed up by now with Mary waffling back and forth between getting rid of Darnley and insisting she needs him.

Bothwell comes to Mary with Darnley who’s brought them one of the conspirators. Darnley swears he’s a new man because Mary’s words that Knox was using him really hit home. He tells her that he wants her to be happy and he just wants to know his child. Mary tells him to prove it by finding the other conspirators. When they are alone again, Bothwell tells Mary that he doesn’t trust him, and Mary says that Darnley will lead them to the others and they’ll arrest Darnley with the rest of them.

Narcisse arrives in Scotland and tells Mary that he plans to exact revenge on Knox for Lola’s death. Mary tells Narcisse that Knox will pay for Lola and his other crimes, but she won’t give her consent for his plan. She insists that justice can’t be seen as personal retribution. She reiterates that Knox will die, and she’ll enjoy watching him die.

Darnley is shown to be roping the conspirators in by telling them that Queen Elizabeth is backing them to form a ready made government when she invades Scotland. It’s a ploy so that he can get them all together in one house – and then burn it to the ground! I like how his pyromania comes back into the plot! Bothwell is sure that Darnley did it because of his history of setting fires to get what he wants. Bothwell insists that Darnley is a threat to her and asks her what she wants him to do with Darnley. She won’t allow him to do more than throw him in the dungeon and question him.

Mary thinks that Knox has once again escaped justice, but in fact, Narcisse has him captive and is torturing him and exacting revenge on him. Knox insists that it was all Elizabeth’s doing, and Narcisse tells him that everyone will pay in their own way.

In England, Queen Elizabeth and the Archduke Ferdinand have been spending their days and nights together. Gideon Blackburn is due to return, having been sent on endless diplomatic missions, and Elizabeth insists that she can’t keep sending him away. She can’t banish him from Court because he’s invaluable due to his knowledge of France and Mary. The Archduke isn’t happy, but he says that if Gideon is nothing to her, he’s nothing to him.

Naturally, Elizabeth plans to pick up right where she left off with Gideon. He returns ill and angry at the pointless trips, but he understands that she needs the marriage. When Gideon tries to sneak into Elizabeth’s chambers that night, he finds the Archduke waiting for him. Gideon is finally ready to call it off with Elizabeth, telling her he can no longer tolerate her lies.

Jane (Megan Hutchings) is now Elizabeth’s firm confidante, and she brings Gideon to an abandoned chapel. He finds Elizabeth waiting for him, and she tells him that she wants him to be happy and that she told the Archduke that she won’t give Gideon up. The two bind themselves to each other is a touching ceremony only to have Gideon drop dead upon leaving the chapel. Narcisse has taken his revenge on Elizabeth.

I had a moment when I thought Jane might be in on it, that she’d been friends with Lola and was corresponding with Narcisse. But she pulls Elizabeth away from the body, comforting her that Gideon loved Elizabeth and wouldn’t want to see harm come to her. It was sad to lose Ben Geurens who delivered an excellent farewell performance in the episode – but then, we are drawing to a close anyway.

In France, we learn a startling fact about Prince Henri – he likes wearing women’s clothing – and jewelry! There is some historical evidence of this which also suggests that it was Catherine’s Flying Squad who introduced him to the practice. I’m disappointed we never really got to see much of the The Flying Squad in recent seasons. There are also rumors that King Henry III was homosexual, but those are disputed.

Luc Narcisse sees Nicole Touchet with Henri in the village and tells Catherine, who asks Claude and Luc to talk to Henri. Henri gives in quickly, saying he was about to call it off with Nicole anyway. Presumably, he’s gotten cold feet after she saw him playing with her earrings. However, Nicole proves to be a sweet girl at heart. She tells Henri that she doesn’t want to hurt Charles because he’s been kind to her, and she is completely non judgmental with Henri.

Henri goes to break it off with Nicole, but she doesn’t let him get that far. She says that it wasn’t the first time she’d seen him with her jewelry and has also seen corset marks on him. He defiantly tells her he likes wearing women’s clothing. She gives him her earrings as a sign of acceptance, and instead of calling it off, he declares that he loves her!

King Charles is meant to be choosing a wife from Spain, but he keeps turning down every woman the French Ambassador shows him. Princess Claude has asked Luc to attend the party with her, and he thinks she may be willing to give them a chance. However, when he mentions it, she runs away. This prompts Luc to ask Charles to annul the marriage so that Claude can be happy and marry the man she loves. This appeal to Charles has unexpected consequences as he suddenly announces he’s ready to declare who his bride will be – and it’s Nicole!

In Scotland, Narcisse presents Mary with a box. Inside the box is the thing Knox most valued as a man. Mary is horrified as Narcisse has castrated Knox. Narcisse tells her that “Revenge is not meant to ease the pain, it’s meant to balance the scales.” Mary also realizes that Narcisse is behind Gideon’s death – of which she’s been informed. Narcisse tells her that Gideon didn’t deserve to die – and weren’t they friends!!!! – but everyone is going to feel his pain. Elizabeth now knows what it feels like to lose love.

Mary tells Bothwell that she can’t life in this cycle of bitterness and revenge, and against Bothwell’s recommendation, she sets Darnley free.

In the final scene, Lady Lennox comes to visit her son. She finds him strangely happy. He tells her that he did burn down the house with all the conspirators in it – because Keira told him to do it! He’s clearly mad, and Lady Lennox is horrified.

With only two episodes to go, I’m both eager to find out what happens next By: Lisa Macklem

Blood in the WaterEdit

Reign 4.15 “Blood in the Water” Recap -
Reign “Blood in the Water” was written by the team of Drew Lindo and Wendy Riss Gatsiounis and was directed by Charles Binamé. I can’t believe that there’s only one episode to go. I’m really hoping that the last episode doesn’t suddenly just sum up half of Mary’s life in the last 10 minutes. I feel like there is just so much story left to tell – and so much was set up in this episode – not just with Mary but also in France.

In France, Queen Leeza returns and is apparently ok with King Charles marrying Nicole Touchet . Prince Henri and Princess Claude are understandably not happy to see their brother getting better treatment than they did!Catherine is immediately suspicious that Leesa is up to something – in addition to her bringing an entire wagon full of witches to be burned at the stake – presumably as a wedding entertainment!

Charles breaks the news that he can’t give Claude and Luc the annulment he’d promised because he now has to court the Vatican and Spain’s good favor for his own marriage. Luc Narcisse tells Claude to go to Leith Bayard anyway and be happy.

Leeza goes to Henri, who is understandably still angry, and she assures him that nothing has changed. Spain has chosen him and is sending the Armada. Henro tells Nicole and promises that she will be his Queen. Nicole makes Henro promise that Charles won’t be harmed before she’ll agree to go with him to hide on one of the Spanish ships. For his own part, Henro tells her that he’s sure that Charles will just step down because he never wanted to be King. It seems like Henri does believe that – though Charles’ recent behavior sure makes it seem like he wants to be King…

Charles sees Henri and Nicole go to the Spanish ships and assumes that Henro has kidnapped Nicole. He arrives with guards and throws Leesa into the dungeon for treason!

There is a lovely scene between Catherine and Claude, who has been missing all the excitement. Claude is heartbroken as she went to Leith as Luc told her to only to discover that Leith is getting married! Claude tells Catherine that she tried so hard to keep her promise only to lose Leith anyway. Catherine, wisely, tells her that it’s one thing to keep her promise because she wants to be good and honorable but that isn’t the same as keeping her promise because she truly loves someone. In other words, it shouldn’t have been so hard to keep her promise if she really loved Leith. She tells Claude that maybe she doesn’t love Leith as much as she thinks she does and reminds her that she does still have a husband who truly values her. Claude looks thoughtful.

In one of the best scenes in the episode, we get some classic Catherine as she visits Leesa in the dungeon. Catherine is happy to tell Leesa that the Armada isn’t coming to France – they’re too busy dealing with England. Leesa is on her own. Catherine tells her that Charles is angry. Leesa begs her mother to help her, and Catherine agrees – but it’s going to cost Leesa – and Spain! – a long list of favors.

Charles is not happy with Catherine for letting Leesa out. Catherine tells him that he can thank her for averting a war. Charles insists that he is going to crush Henri because he’s tarnished Nicole. Catherine has no patience for Charles. She tells him that he only wants to destroy Henri because two are rivals over Nicole.

In the final scene In France, Catherine goes to the witch Emanuelle (Catherine Berube) in the dungeon with the book of dark magic. She enlists her help – and you just know that is not going to end well.

In England, we see that Jane (Megan Hutchings) has brought her family a box full of French luxuries, telling them that the gifts are from Elizabeth with whom she’s grown very close. The next time Jane goes to visit her family, we find out that the gifts were from Lord Narcisse for Jane helping him to murder Gideon Blackburn – and Narcisse has taken her family hostage to ensure her continued compliance. Narcisse demands that Jane push Elizabeth to kill the Archduke.

Queen Elizabeth is still in mourning after 47 days. She is convinced that the Archduke of Bohemia killed Gideon Blackburn because he was jealous. In fact, Elizabeth tells Jane that the only two people it could have been were Jane and the Archduke. She assumes Jane had no reason to do it and that Jane knew what Elizabeth would do to her family if she betrayed her. But Jane does look worried.

Elizabeth enlists the help of Sir Francis Drake (Richard Fleeshman) to steal the Archduke’s gold – and ruin his family. Fleeshman was not especially impressive. Drake, of course, did historically act as a privateer (pirate) from time to time, so he has no problem agreeing to help Elizabeth. However, in the end, he does end up in trouble when he runs afoul of Spanish ships after having plundered the Archduke’s ship. By the time he encounters the Spanish, Drake is once again flying British colors, so when they want to board, and he sinks one of the ship instead, they know it’s the British to blame. So, now we have the beginning of the war between Britain and Spain that really created the legend of Elizabeth and made Britain a world leader.

Elizabeth has taken note that Jane’s family seems to be missing. She calls Jane in to her and asks Jane what she should do about the Archduke. Jane tells her to kill him. When Elizabeth asks Jane if she’s willing to help kill him, Jane says yes. It was the final evidence that Elizabeth needed – Jane was willing to kill a man for nothing. Elizabeth sends her off to the Tower to answer to the interrogators.

Finally, In Scotland, Queen Mary is ready to have the baby – we get a lovely scene with Greer and that gigantic Irish Wolfhound of Mary’s! Mary has some good news for Greer and tells her that she’s called James Stuart back to court to name him Regent if anything happens to Mary. Will Greer finally get some happiness? Greer, however, has less good news about Darnley’s current behavior.

Mary goes to King Darnley, who has made an adorable toy horse for the baby. Mary realizes that Darnley has syphilis and that has caused his erratic behavior. She tells him she wants to help and sends him for treatment, wondering if this has been the cause of his insanity and cruelty all along.

Lord Bothwell is all for simply locking Darnley away and letting the disease kill him. Mary refuses, insisting that Darnley is her husband and the King. Bothwell insists that he is fated to be with her. She insists that he is her most trusted friend and protector, but all he can be is her bodyguard.

Lady Lennox is angry with Mary for sending Darnley away, and arguing with her sends Mary into labor. Lady Lennox can’t leave well enough alone and because she really cares more about power than her son, she has Darnley removed from the treatment that is actually helping. She even brushes off his delusions of Lady Keira .

Naturally, Mary’s labor is life threatening. While the scene was emotionally charged, I couldn’t help but groan when Bothwell convinces Mary not to give up, and she gives one final push – to a previously stuck baby – who then just slides out, easy peasy.

Bothwell goes to Mary after the birth. He is going to leave her in peace when she tells him that it was his voice that guided her back. She’s seen that she’s done it all wrong. The danger lies in being apart. Her enemies will gossip and plot regardless of what she does, so she’s decided to spend the rest of her life with the ones she loves. Greer interrupts them to give them the news that Lady Lennox has organized the Privy Council and shifted the power.

Lady Lennox addresses the Privy Council for Darnley. Mary bursts in and wants to talk to Darnley alone. However, Darnley thinks Mary just wants to take his child away. Lady Lennox insists that they’ll accuse Mary of giving Darnley syphilis, and it’s clear that Darnley is slipping back into madness.

Mary seems to be giving up and writes a letter to Elizabeth. This is one of Adelaide Kane’s best scenes – and wonderfully written. Mary tells Elizabeth that they are still family and informs her that she’s had a baby. He is her duty and her heir. She asks Elizabeth that if anything happens to her, to protect her son. In exchange, Mary promises not to move against England. And then she asks Elizabeth that if she decides to remain the Virgin Queen, make her son King of England and Scotland. That is, of course, what happens historically – James I becomes the King of Scotland and James IV of England – but Queen Elizabeth I never clearly endorsed the succession.

Darnley manages to convince the baby’s nanny to leave him alone with the baby – he is still King after all. He is clearly in the throes of madness again, as he is talking to Lady Keira and asserting that the two of them will take good care of the baby. The final scene in Scotland is Mary discovering that Darnley has taken her baby and run off!

So, the final episode will have to deal with the kidnapping of the baby, the beginning of the Anglo-Spanish war, and the struggle between Henri and Charles for the crown in France. Seems like an awful lot to pack into one episode, to say nothing of the last few decades of Mary’s life! By: Lisa Macklem

All It Cost HerEdit

Reign 4.16 “All It Cost Her” Recap -

By: Lisa Macklem

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