Reviews

‘Reign’ Review: Marrying the Next King of France

Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

Tonight brought the return of Reign and the series picked up where it left off with Mary and Bash on the run after fleeing the castle. The king’s guards were hot on their trail as was Francis while Catherine tried to persuade everyone to just give up the search since a week had already passed. But the men in her life were determined and it wasn’t long before the guards were able to track them down and force the runaways to return to the castle.

For King and Country” was a fantastic episode. I didn’t even have time to be disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of Mary and Bash on the run because there was so much going on once the action jumped back to the castle. Bash was taken prisoner for treason, but the king’s real motive was to use him as leverage against Mary. King Henry assumed they’d run off because Mary wanted to be with him and he threatened to behead Bash if Mary didn’t marry Francis and make a claim to the English throne.

Mary refused because she didn’t want to endanger Francis’ life. Catherine tried to get her son and her husband to back off, but neither would budge and then Mary found herself in an even more difficult position when she learned that her mother (and therefore Scotland) wanted her to fight for the English throne. That meant that she had to marry the next king of Francis. However, no one said that king had to be Francis and that was when Mary went to Henry with a dangerous proposal: she would wed his son and fight for the crown, but only if Bash was the legitimate heir, not Francis.

I have to admit that it was pretty obvious this twist was coming when people kept making the generic statement about wedding the ‘next king of France’. But that didn’t diminish the impact at all, especially once it was pointed out that Catherine would have to give up her crown because her marriage would need to be annulled so the king could marry Diane. Mary informed the queen that she’d already made her sacrifice and now it was Catherine’s turn to prove just how far she was willing to go for Francis. It was definitely an awesome moment to watch.

But this is Queen Catherine we’re talking about and she’s not one to go down without a fight. She decided that she would just have Mary and Bash killed and then there wouldn’t be an issue. However, Henry was on to her and he’d pulled Mary and Bash into a secret meeting to seal the deal (and warn that Francis might be the one to suffer the most, something Bash would have to live with). Catherine returned to her chambers and found one of her guards hanging from the ceiling and that was when Henry revealed all to his wife.

Again, this was a fantastic moment. Henry and Catherine are quite the pair. They don’t really like each other, but they’ve been together a long time and each understands the way the other’s mind works (and how fun was their snappy insults?). Usually Catherine seems to come out on top, but this time, it was Henry who was one step ahead of her along the way. Even when Catherine was prepared to leave the castle (how sad was that queen walk of shame?), Henry intervened again because he didn’t trust that she wouldn’t go plot against him somewhere else. So now Catherine is his prisoner while he works on convincing the pope to make Bash the legitimate heir.

Naturally, Francis did not take any of this very well. After Catherine let it slip that Bash was going to be legitimized, Francis paid his brother a visit and gave him a beating (which Bash just took because he’s a good guy). Mary interrupted and told him the real reason she’d left – to protect him from death. Francis was not a believer and did his best to convince Mary that it was all superstition (just like Catherine warned that he would), but it wasn’t enough. She loved him too much to risk his life so she ended up breaking his heart instead. And even after all of that, Francis still stood up for Mary and Bash and warned his mother that no harm could come to either one of them or she’d answer to him. It is impossible not to love Francis.

It’s also impossible not to love Bash. He was worried for his brother and what this would do to him, but he also wanted to protect him from the prophecy and help Mary. Bash made it clear that he never wanted to be king, he never wanted to steal the crown from Francis, but he agreed to the deal because it was best for everyone (in his eyes). It’s also pretty obvious that despite his stoic behavior, there’s a part of Bash that is pretty happy with the idea of Mary being his wife. And I can’t blame him for that either. That’s why this show is so good. The characters are amazing and their motivations are clear. I want to root for all of them. Everyone should win (and yes, that’s not possible, but it should be).

While all of this was going on, Nostradamus was secretly dealing with Clarissa and punishing her for murdering Aylee. Seriously, who is this girl? The clues we got from this episode were that even though Nostradamus thinks she’s a monster, he still let her have her freedom, but that was over now. Except he made the mistake of leaving a doll with her and she took it apart and used the pieces to stab Nostradamus and run away. Something tells me having Clarissa on the loose again is not going to be a good thing.

So with one episode, all of the dynamics at French Court have changed. Francis is now the prince who has freedom, Catherine has lost hers and Bash and Mary are preparing for their union, even though Mary is still in love with Francis and Bash feels guilty for stealing his brother’s legacy. It was fun to watch all of this unfold and once again the episode seemed to be over far too fast. Where will the royals go from here?

What did you guys think of the episode? Were you surprised that the king agreed to Mary’s plan? How do you feel about Catherine’s predicament? Will the fact that Mary and Francis slept together be revealed? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

3 Comments

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  • Mary and Bash have zero chemistry. When I read Mash fans comment about them, it’s always about how hot Bash is our how beautiful his eyes are… it’s never about how Mary and Bash are hot together or have great chemistry or belong together. In other words, it’s not about Mash, it’s about Bash fans just wanting Bash for themselves! On the other hand, Frary’s chemistry is undeniable. However, it doesn’t matter. Bash/Mash never existed in reality and Frary will end up together in the end.