‘Reign’ Review: Top 5 Moments from ‘Royal Blood’

Christos Kalohoridis/The CW

Tonight, Reign returned from hiatus with another fantastic episode. This show is so good at firing on all cylinders and one hour passes by in the blink of an eye. “Royal Blood” brought more trouble to French Court and it also took us to Paris where Lola had traveled to rescue her brother, only to end up needing help from a familiar prince.

As always, a lot happened in the episode. Catherine was waiting to be executed, but she wouldn’t be the queen we know and love if she just sat back and accepted her fate without a fight. Meanwhile, Clarissa was determined to make a stand of her own and she started by killing a maid who had snuck into the queen’s chambers. But Clarissa was interested in a lot more than just going through her mother’s possessions.

So let’s get into the top five moments from the episode and as always, it was difficult to choose the order because there were so many captivating moments happening:

5. Bash and Mary fight over the princes

When Bash and Mary made their deal with King Henry, they knew there would be unrest in the kingdom. Mary was worried about the two young princes and suggested she and Bash take them to a winter festival. But she was not prepared for their carriage to be attacked. Everyone got back to the castle safely, but Bash knew it was only going to get worse. He proposed they send the princes away and Mary hated that plan since she was sent away from her home. She also accused Bash of only doing it because they reminded him of Francis and his guilt (Ouch).

Bash redeemed himself by throwing a festival for the boys at the castle. But in the middle of it, the princes disappeared. Everyone was frantic except Bash – he pulled Mary aside and admitted that he had them sent away for their own good. Yikes. I can see both of their sides, but I was a little surprised that Bash was already going against Mary’s wishes. I like that he won’t back down, but at the same time, it was obvious the princes leaving the castle was not going to end well.

4. Nostradamus helps Catherine plot an escape

Poor Catherine was still trapped in the tower with nothing to do other than wait to die. Nostradamus came to visit her and brought a bible, suggesting that she make peace with her maker before her execution. Catherine was not impressed, but I think we all knew this was just a show for the guard, even before the camera panned to the rope in the corner. Sure enough, the next scene featured Catherine hanging herself and Nostradamus rushing in to rescue her.

The plan was to get her off the grounds so she had a chance to make an escape to Italy. But before she could leave, Catherine learned that Bash had sent the youngest princes away from the castle. Catherine wasn’t surprised, but when she learned that Clarissa was involved in the boys’ disappearance, Catherine forgot all about her escape plans. Catherine is the absolute best, just in case anyone had any doubts. She truly values her children more than her own life.

3. Francis saves Lola

I’ve complained before about Lola having too little to do so it was nice to finally see her in a storyline, even if it was a little farfetched. Lola’s brother had gotten into trouble at a French brothel/casino and Lola had to bail him out. But the owner wasn’t only interested in money – he wanted to spend the night with Lola too. Thankfully, Francis (!!!!) showed up in the nick of time and challenged the man to a bet. Luck wasn’t on his side the first time, but Francis raised the stakes and came away the winner. How awesome was it to see him swoop in and get to play the hero after being gone for a few episodes?

Francis and Lola retired to his room for the evening and did some bonding over wine. Francis admitted that even though he had his freedom, he still missed his life at the court. Lola made it clear that she wasn’t a fan of life at court, but she felt bad for Francis and pointed out that he had a good heart and it would mend. They started giving each other the look and then thought better of it and fell asleep cuddling. But morning brought a change of heart and the two shared a kiss. Lola instantly felt guilty and Francis told her not to so she got over it. She also pointed out that she wasn’t a virgin and they headed to bed.

While I do like the chemistry between the two actors, this was not my favorite moment. It just felt really rushed instead of spontaneous – like they wanted something to hold over Francis’ head once he returned to court and to create problems between Mary and Lola in the future because regardless of who she’s engaged to – Mary’s feelings for Francis did not just evaporate.

2. The Proposal(s)

We still need to get to the resolution of the Clarissa situation, but let’s skip ahead for a moment to the part where Mary and Bash were back at the castle afterward. They both got to see that the other one was right to an extent and Bash agreed that they needed to keep the princes with them and protect them. Mary realized that there’s no such thing as being safe and it was time to stop waiting for the pope’s blessing. She’s the Queen of Scotland and she wants to marry Bash, whether the pope agrees or not.

He was surprised and pointed out that there was still a solid chance the pope would rule against them and she’d wind up married to a poor bastard. Mary didn’t care. She wanted to take her chances with Bash by her side. But he said ‘no’ to her proposal – not because he thought it was a bad idea, but because he wanted to be the one to propose, which he got down on one knee and did then and there. It was a super sweet moment for them and I love that Mary wants to take control back.

Of course this was right around the time Francis and Lola were saying goodbye in Paris, only for Francis to learn that his mother was to be executed for adultery. He decided that he had to go back and save her life (right on, Francis!).

1. Mary and Catherine team up to stop Clarissa

While I do enjoy both sides of the Francis/Mary/Bash love triangle, I would rather watch Mary have scenes with Catherine than anyone else. These two have the BEST dynamic. Early in the episode, Mary offered to look out for the princes once Catherine was beheaded and needless to say the elder queen was not happy with anyone making decisions for her children. But there also wasn’t much she could do about it.

Once Catherine learned the boys were missing, she went to Mary and asked to go with her and Bash to search for them (don’t you kind of wish they’d shown us the journey there?). They found the dead man who was supposed to be guarding them and then they tracked down Clarissa, who had just been in the process of instructing the boys to put rocks in their pockets so they could drown (Clarissa is scary. Her life is super sad, but damn, that was creepy). Catherine tried to pretend they could all be a family, but she couldn’t hide her fear and Clarissa was ready to kill the prince – until Mary came up behind her and hit her in the head with a rock.

It was a sad way for Clarissa to go, but it had to be done (although the guards left behind to bury her could have actually done it instead of just leaving her lying in the snow). Mary and Catherine had another moment and Catherine pointed out that she now owed Mary for all of her children’s lives. Mary promised they’d be safe and Catherine was forced to go back into the tower to wait for her execution. But once again, these two women delivered.

Next week brings a BIG episode that pulls out all the stops and is filled with plenty of twists and turns and the introduction of Mary’s mother. We’ll have more in depth teasers this weekend, but trust me, this is not an episode to be missed.

In the meantime, feel free to hit the comments and share your thoughts on “Royal Blood.” Were you surprised Mary was the one to kill Clarissa? Did you think the Francis/Lola hookup was too rushed or are you already shipping it? Whose proposal was better – Mary’s, Bash’s or Francis’?

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.

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1 Comment

  1. This was an awesome episode. I agree with you – Megan Follows is Catherine! I knew the exchange between Nostradamus and Catherine was a show but I wasn’t expecting her to fake hanging herself LOL. I loved how they showed Bash and Mary having a sort of parenting style argument – nicely done. Bash’s love for his little brothers came through and I liked that. Lola and Francis…while a little rushed I kind of got the point. Neither expected Francis to return to the castle anyway – might as well go for it.
    Clarissa isn’t dead- I’m sure of it. The non burial clinched it for me :)
    Proposals? I’d have to go with Bash’s proposal. He never thought he’d ever have a chance with Mary and his was very heartfelt. The smile on his face when he said “make me the luckiest Bastard in the world” was gorgeous!
    I can’t wait for next week!

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