After a brief hiatus, Reign returned tonight with what might be its best episode ever. I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but this show just impresses me more and more each week and I love everything about it right now.
“No Exit” was fantastic from beginning to end without a single weak link in its armor. As usual, politics were front and center at French Court. Catherine was still struggling to keep Henry’s condition a secret, which was not easy as he unraveled even further just as a cardinal showed up to renegotiate a deal between France and the Vatican. Meanwhile, Mary’s half-brother came to warn her about new upheaval in Scotland that required her immediate attention.
The episode also dealt with some major relationship developments for nearly everyone. Former enemies teamed up, relationships ended, suspicions were aroused, progress was made and one relationship may have been permanently changed. So let’s get into the good stuff and talk about why this episode was excellent.
5. Nostradamus sends Olivia away
Romantic bliss lasted about five minutes for these two. They were happy and ready to begin their life together away from the French Court when Catherine threw a bucket of cold water over the plan. First, she tried to sway Nostradamus to think of the scandal it would cause Olivia and when that didn’t work, she made it clear that his visions were vital to her life and she didn’t want to lose them. He wasn’t cool with that and threatened to never share them with her again.
But then he had a vision of Olivia’s dead body and she found a snake in her luggage (I did not appreciate this scene. There should be a ‘no snakes on TV without warning’ rule). Nostradamus decided the only safe choice was for Olivia to leave the castle without him and they shared a bittersweet goodbye. To be honest, I don’t really care about either one of these characters and I wish Nostradamus had gone with her, but that secret prophecy has to come back and bite him sooner or later.
4. Lola begins to doubt Lord Julien
At first, I was surprised that these two were married already because wow, that was fast. But then I remembered that people didn’t live that long back in this era so it makes sense that they have to move quickly. Last week, Julien was giving me bad vibes and this week, Lola picked up on them as well because he seemed a little too concerned with her dowry. She didn’t understand why someone so wealthy would be obsessed with it and she shared her concerns with Greer, but her friend thought she was overreacting. Then Lola accidentally dropped the necklace Julien had gifted her and the jewel shattered because it was made of glass.
Considering her huge secret, Lola wasn’t sure if she should say anything to Julien or not, but she did hold off on signing the paperwork that would give him control of her money. That was a smart move because she seriously needs to find out if this guy is planning to off her during childbirth like he may or may not have done with his first two wives. There’s always a chance that this is just misdirection, but Lola hasn’t had the best luck. For now, I’m just going to assume he’s planning to kill her for her money until proven otherwise. Also, her secret has to come out sooner or later, right? Why else have Lola get pregnant with Francis’ child other than for everyone to find out at the worst possible moment?
3. Catherine topples Penelope
Speaking of the worst, kitchen girl queen was still making everyone’s life miserable, including Kenna when she noticed the king paying attention to her. Catherine was fed up, but she knew that she couldn’t risk killing Penelope because Henry was insane and would kill her for that. So she devised a new plan that involved Kenna manipulating Henry into some weird sexual positions that resembled a man on a cross (I feel guilty just typing this so obviously it was a good plan to get through to Henry’s Catholic guilt). And that’s exactly what happened when Catherine and a (fake) member of the clergy walked in on the act.
Henry was instantly remorseful and sent Penelope on her way. She tried to blame Catherine and Kenna, but the king wasn’t hearing it. He was too busy freaking out about his lost soul. Catherine did her best to soothe him, but this isn’t going away any time soon. She might have won this battle, but she’s not going to be able to keep Henry from deteriorating because they have no idea what’s wrong with him and the fact that he’s seeing people who are not there? That’s probably not a good sign. I know historically Henry is the first one to die, but I really don’t want that to happen any time soon because I need Henry/Catherine banter in my life.
2. Bash and Kenna grow closer
The episode began with Bash offering Kenna a ring, it wasn’t much and she side-eyed it, but it was a sweet gesture that he wanted his wife to have a ring. Of course things got awkward because everything about their union is tinged with awkwardness, but that didn’t stop me from smiling through all of their scenes. As far as I’m concerned, the best pairings are the ones that shouldn’t work and then do and these two fit that category perfectly. Bash wasn’t happy when Henry started coming onto his wife again, but Kenna held him back to calm him down (how cute was that?).
Kenna agreed to help Catherine with her plan and in exchange, Catherine offered the couple a place to live and land of their own so they wouldn’t be so tied to the castle. It was a good deal for them, included one of Catherine’s rings and Kenna got back the ring Bash gave her once Penelope was sent back to the kitchen. The two agreed that they were going to make the best of their situation and then they sealed the deal with a kiss. It was fangirl heaven and I regret nothing about my reaction to the moment. I’m here for these two falling in love for real and I’m sure there are going to be more complications, but I’m just going to ignore that for now and focus on how awesome they are together.
1. Francis betrays Mary to keep her safe
Remember the tension that was brewing between Francis and Mary in the last episode after she threatened France? That was child’s play compared to what went down between the two this week. Mary’s half-brother James asked her to go back to Scotland to help her mother. The Scottish were getting nervous about the abundance of French influence in their country so James needed Mary to play peacemaker and keep her mother from being forced out. She wanted Francis to go with her, but he wasn’t in any hurry to make the trip. That didn’t go over well with Mary.
Francis and Bash had a conversation about being a good king and a good husband and Bash advised his brother to be a bad king. Francis pointed out that this was why Mary wanted to marry him – because Bash could always put her first. I loved these scenes so much because these two have come so far and are back to being brothers to the point that they can talk about Mary and what almost happened without resulting to anger or violence. This is the relationship that I missed and I’m so happy they’re back to being brothers. Francis decided to go to Scotland after all and Mary was thrilled.
James was not and then Francis noticed that something was up with one of James’ men. Francis took him to the dungeon and attempted to torture the information out of him and when that didn’t work, he offered him money and protection. He finally admitted that the plan was to kill Mary on the journey back to Scotland because the Protestants wanted James to be king. Supposedly James didn’t know about the plan and Mary believed that. She insisted on going and Francis tried to stop her because he was concerned for her safety. Mary wasn’t backing down though and that’s when Francis ordered the guards to stop her from leaving.
As if that was not unspeakable enough, Francis locked Mary in the tower under guard to make sure that she wouldn’t try to sneak out. Needless to say, the queen was not amused and screamed at her husband for refusing to let her be a queen. Holy OMFG…I was not expecting that and I don’t know how to feel about it. On the one hand, I understand Francis wanting to keep her safe and maybe Mary is not thinking clearly at the moment, but on the other, she’s the Queen of Scotland and he has no right to stop her from returning to her country.
I still can’t get over that ending. Mary made it clear to Francis that if Scotland falls, she will never forgive him and he will lose her love forever…yikes. Next week, another relative of Mary’s shows up at court. I can only imagine what kind of drama he will bring.
Now it’s your turn. Did you enjoy the episode? Were you surprised by the ending? Are you Team Mary or Team Francis? Are you enjoying Bash and Kenna? Do you feel bad for Nostradamus? How happy are you that Penelope is back in the kitchen? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!