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‘Reign’ Review: Mary and Catherine Plot Henry’s Downfall

Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

There hasn’t been a single dull moment at French Court all season and the penultimate episode of Reign continued to raise the stakes as we head into next week’s season finale. “Long Live the King” featured some major surprises in addition to the usual double crosses and shifts in alliances. But that didn’t stop the show from making time for a little romance in between all the murder and mayhem (just the way we like it).

Let’s start with Lola and Lord Julien. They had moved away from the castle to their own place, but Lola was worried they were still too close. She admitted that she was worried that the baby would be fair haired and people would suspect something was up since they both have dark hair. Julien wasn’t too worried about genetics and just as I was wondering if maybe he knew the truth and that was his ultimate scheme, Julien’s uncle showed up to pay them a visit.

Julien gave him a friendly greeting, but as soon as the servant walked away, the uncle wanted to know why his nephew’s secretary was being so friendly with him. That’s right! It turns out that he’s not Lord Julien at all. His name is Remy and he was Julien’s employee until the real Julien was killed in a fire. Well done, show. I definitely did not see that one coming. I thought everything was out in the open after last week. Remy had no choice other than to confess to Lola and beg her to help him.

Lola wasn’t exactly thrilled to learn that he’d deceived her, but she ended up going along with the plan. They’d nearly had the uncle convinced that Julien had abandoned Lola and his child due to gambling debts when the uncle spotted Julien’s ring on Remy’s finger. He assumed Remy had murdered his nephew and started to attack him, but Lola shoved him away and accidentally killed him. Remy knew their only choice was for Lola to go back to court, he would burn the house down with the uncle’s body inside and everyone would assume Lord Julien had died.

Even though I had a hard time trusting Lord Julien Remy from day one, I was really sad to see things end this way. He has to run for his life and Lola has a name and respectability for her baby, but she’s lost her love. Is he gone for good? I have no idea, but I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Remy. And now Lola will be back at the castle when she gives birth so maybe Francis will find out about his child sooner rather than later. I’m surprised it’s been a secret this long.

Now let’s talk about my favorite couple Kenna and Bash. Kenna has been understandably anxious to move out of the castle and away from the unstable king, but Bash keeps putting it off because he’s investigating the darkness. He feels super guilty about the innocent life that he took and he wants to make sure the darkness is stopped. While he’s out investigating, he finds a young boy hiding in the woods and brings him back to the castle. Nostradamus doesn’t find any injuries, but the boy doesn’t tell them anything. He does take a liking to Kenna, who is not quite as pushy with him as the two men are.

Pascal tells Kenna of a place that he was taken by the monster. Bash wants to go back to the woods and sends Kenna to their new home without him. She’s not amused, but he wins her over pretty quickly with an impassioned speech about how their marriage has become real to him and he wants to be with her, but first he has to make sure the monster can’t hurt anyone else (swoon). Kenna kisses him and warns him that he’d better come home to her or she’ll kill him herself (these two are the cutest). Nostradamus is heading for the woods with Bash and while Kenna and Pascal are in the carriage, he tells her about the bad man that murdered his father and the flashback reveals that it was Bash!

Okay, this episode was two for two with surprises because I was not expecting that. When Pascal proved to be unhurt and just scared, I started to get a little suspicious, but I was thinking more along the lines that he was the son of the man they call the darkness and he was setting up Bash and Nostradamus. He still seems to be setting them up, but it’s hard to fault him when he saw Bash kill his father. Yikes…I’ve never been a huge fan of this darkness story, but this episode certainly elevated things.

Last, but certainly not least, we need to talk about Mary and Catherine and their plot to murder King Henry. Francis and the army returned victorious from battle, but Henry was not satisfied with just getting their territory back. He announced that the English queen had died and he wanted to take the war to England and make sure Mary was named the rightful queen. Mary and Francis decided to take some naked time to themselves since things had been tense between them before Francis left. Francis promised to stand by Mary, no matter what she decided when it came to England. She chose to write her cousin a letter and relinquish her claim to the throne and hope for peace.

Unfortunately, the Duke of Guise intercepted that letter and warned Mary that it was a terrible idea because it made her look weak. Catherine was concerned that Henry’s judgment was too far gone and the only way to stop him was to kill him. Francis didn’t like that plan and offered to take his father on a hunting trip to try and get through to him. Mary agreed, but as soon as Francis left, Catherine told her that they had no choice. Mary and Catherine proceeded to put their heads together to figure out the best way to murder the king.

As much as I love seeing Mary and Catherine working together (and I absolutely do), it gives me pause how casually Mary has jumped on the murder bandwagon. I know she’s a queen and she has to do what’s right for her country and she can see how messed up Henry is, but yikes. Anyway, they planned to poison Henry’s communion wafers (if it’s possible to be go to hell twice for one crime that ought to do it). But then Francis returned and assured them that he’d gotten through to his father and everything was going to be okay.

But it was too late…or was it? Henry sat down to communion and then spotted a guard about to attack him. Henry got there first and killed him, which only furthered his delusions. Now for the final twist of the episode: Catherine told Mary and Francis that she’d gotten to the priest in time to stop him from poisoning Henry. So who ordered this hit? The royals realized it was the Duke of Guise. He’d basically hedged his bets. If Henry had died, Francis would give him power. Instead, he saved Henry and became his trusted advisor. This guy has got some serious game.

Henry continued to lose his grip on reality and decided that Francis was ruining his life and needed to be killed, but not only that, Henry wanted to wed his wife (Did anyone else dry heave watching that scene? Just me?). So that’s where Henry’s head is at as we get ready for the final episode of the season next week.

What did you guys think? Were you surprised by the twists? Which story is your favorite? Do you think Lola’s baby secret is ever coming out? Will Kenna learn the truth about Bash? Will Bash and Nostradamus survive the woods? Can Henry be stopped before he makes a move against Francis? Is Mary too eager to kill? 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.