Previously on Reign: Princess Claude arrived at court. Francis asked Lola to hide something incriminating in Narcisse’s house. Narcisse blackmailed and threatened Francis into signing an edict effectively outlawing Protestantism. Mary and Francis had WORDS.
- The Catholic law is being being enforced around the countryside by Vatican inquisitors in horribly brutal ways. THANKS, FRANCIS.
This is her "Why can't you be more like your hot cousin?" face.
- Mary tells Francis that what the Vatican is doing is all his fault. (This will be an ongoing theme.) Francis reminds her that she can take a boat back to Scotland at any time. She can’t even believe he’s saying that and tells him that she’s not leaving. She’s given up on him, but not on France. Bash warns Francis that he could end up pushing Mary too far away, but Francis still believes that it’s the way to keep her safe.
- “Rise and shine, Claude. The only people in bed past noon are drunks and reprobates.” Listen to your mother, Claude! She refers to Claude’s hair as unsalvageable and declares her to be in no condition to meet her future husband. Claude has many objections to marrying a Bavarian count’s son, but Catherine really does not care.
- Hot Cousin Louis is abducted in the village and taken to Jacob Rivelle, the Protestant leader in the area. They’re running their church in the forest and want to enlist Louis’ help to gain some sympathy from the king. He asks Louis to get their minister an audience with Francis.
- Lola has lost her horse while out riding alone in the forest, as genteel young ladies were prone to do. Or actually, as they never did. When, of course, Narcisse and his questionable reputation arrives, illustrating why it was bad news for women to have been without an escort. She initially refuses to ride with him, but doesn’t really have any choice, since she’s a long way from the castle. He tells her that she doesn’t need to be shy with him, since he’s already seen her in the bath.
- Louis introduces Francis to the Protestant minister. Mary convinces Francis that these people need some show of support from the king for their protection. Francis agrees that the church can be rebuilt, but that’s all that he can offer. The minister says that it’s not enough, and that Francis has two days to expel the inquisitors from France or the Protestants will be setting off some explosives and Catholics are gonna die. Poor Cousin Louis wasn’t expecting any of that, and now Francis has to toss the minister into the dungeon to torture intel out of him. Mary sticks up for Louis, reminding Francis that this is all his fault. Bash and Louis go off in search of the minister’s comrades.
- Narcisse proposes that he and Lola start meeting clandestinely, since she doesn’t want to be seen with him, and he’s just into shady things. I can barely even listen because I’m so distracted by how she looks like a teenager next to him and it’s kind of icky.
- The Bavarian count is concerned about the rumors he’s heard regarding Claude’s virtue and won’t proceed without assurances of her chastity. Oops. Good luck with that, Catherine.
- Lola goes to Francis to tell him how upset Mary is. I think this is one marriage that she should consider STAYING OUT OF. She tells him that she knows about Narcisse’s blackmail and urges him to tell Mary. She thinks that Francis is after Narcisse to protect his secret, but he tells her about all the people Narcisse has threatened, including their infant son. That’s enough for her to confess that she did hide the envelope at Narcisse’s house, like he asked her to. Francis has serious crazy eyes when he says this is what he needs to take Narcisse’s head.
- Since Catherine couldn’t convince that count of Claude’s non-existent virtue, she’s going to have her examined by a representative from the Vatican. In true Catherine fashion, she’s made a sizable donation to ensure the outcome.
- Louis tells Francis that they found Rivelle and he was shocked by the minister’s plan. He thinks it’s the act of a fringe group of radicals within the sect. Privately, Mary and Louis realize that the minister was sent with his terror threat, knowing he’d be tortured, so that he could become the martyr needed to incite rebellion against the crown. Then, there’s brief, but hot, hand contact. Totally shipping this torrid affair. Get to it!
- Francis tries to reason with the minister chained in the dungeon. The minister tells him where the explosives are hidden, but it turns out to be a decoy location with a taunting Latin threat on the wall.
Gee, Francis. I can't imagine why this guy isn't being more helpful.
- Claude is storming around the castle, being a petulant brat because she can’t have her way. Bash is sympathetic, because they’ve both always felt unloved by Catherine. He tries to convince her to take the opportunity for a new start, for her own happiness. But then he goes to confront Catherine over the Bavarian trade routes excuse she’s using to marry Claude off. She claims that she loves all of her children, even the dead ones. She sees the the bossy ghost girls on her bed, while she’s talking to him, and he buys that she’s had too much to drink. Who wouldn’t? He urges her to show Claude some gesture of love before she’s gone. The he witnesses Catherine tucking invisible children into bed. Our girl looks cray.
- Bash receives word that Narcisse is in residence, so he and the guards go to accuse him of suspected treason and search his house. Of course, the envelope Lola planted is gone. Francis spazzes out of this news. Lola thinks it’s weird that Narcisse gave no indication that he knew what she’d done, but she doesn’t believe she’s in any danger from him.
- Francis has the minister stretched on the rack because of the decoy information. Mary interrupts the torture so that Francis doesn’t end up turning this guy into a martyr. But Francis doesn’t stop it before the guy’s arm is dislodged from his socket. He tells Mary that he never meant for any of this happen. Mary doesn’t actually remind him again that it’s all his fault, but you KNOW she’s thinking it.
- Narcisse is creepily waiting in Lola’s room. He stakes the fact that she tried to have him framed for treason as an answer to his proposal of a clandestine affair. He claims that he didn’t threaten her baby, but that they all have targets on their backs because of what Francis has done. He tells her that the day will come when she’ll wish she had the protection of someone like him.
- Claude submits to the Vatican’s examination. One dude paws at her, while three other dudes witness it. How very scientific. Catherine goes to hold her hand in silence. Later, Catherine apologizes to Claude for having to endure that procedure. But tells her that it’s for her own good that she’s soon be married and away from the castle. In flashback, we see that child Claude was jealous of the twin babies and would pinch them. Geez, no wonder they hate her. Claude beds to stay, but Catherine says it’s a done deal. The creepy ghost sisters look on.
- Somehow, they don’t have a surgeon at the castle who can heal the damage done to the minister. Francis tells Bash to take him to the nearest one. While Bash is driving the injured minister in a wagon through the forest, they’re ambushed. He’s show in the shoulder with an arrow, and he sees the minister stabbed through with a sword by his own Protestant comrades.
- Claude publicly throws herself at Narcisse, ruining the alliance with the Bavarians. Narcisse knows that it’s all for show, but let’s her know he’s also pretty interested. Catherine is super pissed, and in another flashback, we see that the twin babies must have been suffocated by young Claude, and Catherine KNOWS this. Wow, this girl is a whole new level of terrible. Can you imagine the unholy evil if she were to team up with Narcisse?
- Kenna (Hi Kenna! Read any good sex journals lately?) is doctoring up the injured and shirtless (!) Bash, when Francis and Mary arrive to find out what happened. Then word is received that the minister has been strung up in the town square like a heretic, which incites the anticipated violence. Mary astutely surmises that THIS is the Protestants’ bomb. She tells Francis that this is fault (DRINK!) and she’s lost all faith in him.
- Francis is with his baby son, feeling sorry for himself for having ruined his marriage. Lola assures him that he just loves his wife and is a good man, making her the only one standing beside him. OMG, LOLA.
History According to Reign:
“You can’t force me to go through with this ridiculous test or to marry!” Is Claude new to how this whole princess thing works? Her entire existence is to be used for advantageous political or financial alliances. Where would she get the idea she was ever going to have a choice in the matter?
The king and queen of France don’t have a personal physician in residence at the castle. With the frequency with which people get poisoned around that place? Sure, seems legit.
LOLA’S SEQUINED CROP TOP. WHAT IS THAT.
Number of Times I Forgot I Wasn’t Watching Gossip Girl: 2
1. Claude objects to a match with a Bavarian count because Bavaria is cold and smells like sheep dung. GASP. That’s worse than Brooklyn.
2. ”Why is everyone so judgemental?” Claude wonders, after revealing that she’s no longer welcome at her cousin’s estate after sleeping with the cousin’s fiance. Why, indeed?
More religious war and assassins sneak into the castle!
Please tell me in the comments if you’re also now missing One Tree Hill, and what pie you’ll be drowning your sorrows in when the show is off the air next week.