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Reign Wiki
Season 3 Episode
Spiders in a Jar
Season 3, Episode 18
Spiders in a Jar
Air date June 20, 2016
Written by Laurie McCarthy
Directed by Deborah Chow
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With Friends Like These
"They're like two spiders in a jar. They can't coexist, they can't let the other survive. Still, sometimes, someone needs to give the jar a good shake."
John Knox


Season Final
Mary makes a bold move to defend her reign in Scotland, which results in a battle royale with her cousin, Elizabeth. Lola is accused of a heinous crime and suffers the drastic consequences. Meanwhile, back in France, Catherine finds that Charles has returned a changed man after paying a price for his mother’s relentless quest for power.


Mary has returned to Scotland and learns that Elizabeth plans to unite their two countries under her rule. James Stuart suggests Mary convert to Protestantism in order to appease John Knox and his followers, as Knox will back Elizabeth if she doesn't. However, Mary insists that queens do not bow to their subjects; it is, in fact, quite the other way around.

Catherine has invited a group of commoners to the castle under the guise of thanking them for their gardening skills. Her actual motive is to use them as leverage against the Red Knight she and Leith captured to force him to reveal Charles' location.

When John Knox finds out that Mary is planning to take Mass, he shows up to stop her, reminding her that the Lords of Congregation have forbidden Catholics from practicing their faith. She asks him to help her unite all of Scotland's people together to live in peace and threatens him if he chooses another path.

Lola gets a visit from her son's nanny, the same woman who passed along a letter asking Lola to kill Elizabeth. Lola plans to help Mary's assassin and asks the nanny to arrange a meeting with Narcisse. Meanwhile, Mary stands in her throne room and receives a visit from James and Sebastian. James brings news of a slaughter of Protestants in a village and Bash apprises her of Elizabeth's noble delegates meeting with Scottish lords.

When Bash leaves Mary's throne room to assemble a group of guards, he sees the woman who died in front of him in the MacFie village raid. She tells him he cannot protect Mary and that he doesn't belong at court. She vanishes and he realizes it was her ghost.

Robert Dudley has returned to English Court after a long period of absense and wishes to speak to Elizabeth, but is rebuffed. Elsewhere, Lola meets with Narcisse and brings John Philip and the nanny to him. When she tells him that she cannot go with him, he wants to know why, but she cannot tell him. Instead she sends him and John to an inn where she plans to meet them in two days' time.

Catherine gets word from Martel de Guise that the nobles protecting her other children when she and Claude are asked to return to her chambers at once. Leith rounds the corner and kills both of the men revealing them to be the last of the Red Knights who had infiltrated the Kingsguard. Catherine gives Leith and Claude her blessing to marry.

Mary and Bash ride into a village to interrogate the Englishmen who are traveling the country on Elizabeth's behalf. When she asks to speak to the leader of their group, Gideon rises before her. They enter a cabin to speak privately and Gideon kisses Mary. She asks him for intelligence and learns Elizabeth is planning a bloodless coup. She asks for time and he promises to give it.

Catherine and her men find Charles walking toward the castle frostbitten and begging to be king no longer. Lola meets with a Catholic assassin to learn more about the plan to kill Elizabeth. Leith tells Claude that he plans to bring down the rest of the Red Knights and she vows not to love him if he leaves on this mission. He proposes in response.

Mary meets with the Catholic priest who is blamed for inciting the murder of Scottish Protestants. He says he wasn't there and claims to have been on a retreat, alone, when the attack occurred. Mary feels torn, unable to appease either side. As Elizabeth goes to a meeting with her advisors, Lola holds her up. Robert Dudley senses something foul is afoot and pushes Elizabeth out of the way, causing the assassin's bullet to miss. Lola is arrested.

Elizabeth meets with Lola in her dungeon and confronts her friend about the assassination plot. Elizabeth feels betrayed because she considered Lola a friend. Lola tells Elizabeth she pities her. Catherine finds Charles in his chambers and he's a broken King.

Mary learns that the Catholic priest in her dungeon hanged himself in the night. She decides to use his death to her own advantage and stages his body in front of a contingent of Protestants and Catholics so she can rally them to her cause. Bash leaves in the middle of her speech, but she manages to win the rest of them over.

Catherine enters the Privy Council chambers to find that Charles called a meeting and asked them to declare him of age. They agreed. Catherine is no longer Regent. Charles dismisses her and a messenger brings a letter which urges him to summon his military advisors.

Elizabeth meets with Robert Dudley and he tells her that Narcisse has arrived at court as the Chancellor of France and demands his wife is innocent. Elizabeth decides to execute Lola that day. She asked Dudley to marry her so that she will no longer be alone and then learns that he has already married someone else.

Charles convenes his military and Martel de Guise offers up his own troops for a strike against the Red Knights when he learns that Leith will be there too.

Mary spends the night with Gideon. Narcisse and English villagers wait in the courtyard where Lola is to be executed. She walks calmly and Narcisse fights to save her. When she's asked for her final words, she can only tells Stephan that she loves him. He is given a front row seat to her death.

At La Crusaz, Leith gives the plan to the men who have come to kill the Red Knights. When they depart, one man stays behind and stabs Leith. He seemingly dies with Claude's name on his lips.

Bash brings Mary the news of Lola's death and James deduces that it was John Knox who set the assassination attempt into motion. Knox knows he is safe because of Mary's promise of tolerance. Bash gets another visit from the old woman and she invites him to learn the Druids' ways. Mary doesn't want him to go, but he does anyway.

Catherine threatens Charles by bringing Henry home to the castle. Mary asks Gideon to get close to Elizabeth so that she can take England from her cousin. 


Sebastian: Where are you going?
Queen Mary: To show John Knox that queens do not bow to their subjects. It is, in fact, quite the other way around.

Queen Mary: Help me bring all of my people together, or may God and your queen have mercy on your soul.

Lady Lola: I feel like I was a child before I knew you. I was able to judge you and the things you did because I never understood the darkest truths of this world.

Lady Lola: Please go while I still have the courage to say goodbye.

Queen Catherine: Leith, protect my daughter. Cling to each other. May you have a long and happy life. I give you my blessing to wed.

Princess Claude: You can stop trying to prove yourself to my family. Charles is out of danger and my mother has given us her blessing.
Leith Bayard: But none of that matters unless I can keep the Valois safe. Most importantly, you.

Lady Lola: There can only be one queen. And I had to choose mine.

Lady Lola: It's incredible, really. I march to my execution very soon, and yet you are the one to be pitied.

Queen Catherine: You show your enemies such weakness, and they will keep coming.

Queen Mary: I have invited you here so that you may know that under my rule, all men will be judged not by their faith but by their actions. Because, regardless of my faith, I am not a Catholic queen, I am not a Protestant queen, I am not a French queen, I am your queen.

Queen Mary: I believe in a Scotland that is independent, prosperous, and peaceful. A Scotland that cannot be frightened, bullied, or bought by anyone. If you agree, then you will stand with me and tell this English delegation, who would urge you to bow to their queen, what we have told countless invaders before them. That this is our land. And that, though they may spill our blood, they will never take the Scotland that pounds in our veins!

King Charles: You can't use your children as pawns in your schemes to gain power. You have no power 'cause I've taken it all away.

Lady Lola: Stéphane. Let me go.

John Knox: They're like two spiders in a jar. They can't coexist, they can't let the other survive. Still, sometimes, someone needs to give the jar a good shake.

John Knox: If you care about your sister, you won't give her reason to misstep.
James Stuart: And if I care about my sister, what do I do about you?!

Queen Catherine: My dearest son, you can't hug your big brother whenever you like. He's King. At the moment.

Gideon Blackburn: Do not kill Elizabeth. There will be much retaliation.
Queen Mary: I have no intention of killing her. I will dismantle her power bit by bit. Every choice I make, who I fight, who I support, who I marry, will be in service of taking her throne.


Death Toll [2][3]
- 3 Red Knights
- Thierry Huguenot
- 1 English Guard
- Lady Lola


Historical Notes[]

  • Robert Dudley did marry Lettice Knollys but not for another 17 years, on 21 September 1578.
  • Executioners sometimes ask for forgiveness from whoever they were about to behead. As was the case for Anne Boleyn, right before her beheading.



Actor Character
Adelaide Kane Queen Mary
Megan Follows Queen Catherine
Rachel Skarsten Queen Elizabeth
Torrance Coombs Sebastian
Anna Popplewell Lady Lola
Jonathan Keltz Leith Bayard
Craig Parker Lord Narcisse
Rose Williams Princess Claude
Charlie Carrick Robert Dudley
Ben Geurens Gideon Blackburn
Guest Staring
Spencer MacPherson King Charles
Jonathan Goad John Knox
Jefferson Brown Scottish Assassin
Dan Jeannotte James Stuart
Lewis Kirk Martel de Guise
Seamus Patterson Thierry Huguenot
Tomaso Sanelli Prince Henri
Brandon McGibbon Father Ashby
Lucy Parker Byrne Melaniee
Character debut
Speaking debut
Episode debut