Title: Reign S1.E19 “Toy Soldiers”
Released: 2014
Series:  Reign

Previously on Reign: Greer got engaged to Lord Nerd. Bash and Kenna are coming to terms with their forced marriage. Catherine got wily kitchen girl, Penelope, ousted from Crazy Henry’s company. Francis locked Mary in the tower for her own protection.

You guys, I actually felt sorry for our royals and their entourage this week. Not only did they not have one wedding/party/festival, but it looks so cold. I’m nostalgic for the good ol’ days of barn party masquerades. But, let’s talk war instead.

The Intrigue

  • A man later revealed to be the Duke of Guise, delivers a dead soldier home to his mother, then takes the soldier’s 14 year-old brother into service. He tosses some money at the boy’s crying mother, so that should make it alright.

  • Mary and her ladies are having a ludicrous snowball fight in the castle courtyard. We learn that it’s been a month since she was locked in the tower, and she’s no longer screaming at Francis. They marvel over the fact that they’re all married now, and that Greer is about to be. Were cocktails not a thing a in the 16th century? Is this why they’re playing with snow instead?

Hot toddies? Something! You know Kenna knows what I’m talking about.
  • – Mary receives word that her mother’s estate has been besieged. Francis thinks they can talk Catherine into funding an army. But Catherine and Henry are more worried over the news that Elizabeth I is to be crowned Queen of England, instead of Mary. Henry is enraged and blames Mary for being useless to France.

  • Francis protests Mary’s plan to involve to her uncle, the Duke of Guise, in her troubles. He doesn’t think the Duke can be trusted. Whereas, everyone else around them? Totes trustworthy.

  • Penelope is outside the king’s chambers, claiming to be pregnant with his child, thinking that Henry will care. He does not. And Catherine warns her that she doesn’t want to become a problem. As the two dead girls can attest to. Oh wait. They can’t.

  • Greer’s father arrives, and is awful. And he’s brought her two very young sisters along, to look for suitors.

Ugh, this guy. I mean, look at the awful clothes Greer has to wear because of his broke ass?
  • Bash is shirtless in his chambers and Kenna appears to be fully dressed, but wearing a bustier that I bought from Contempo Casuals in 1993. Bash is apparently into that sort of thing.

  • The Duke of Guise arrives at the castle and Catherine warns Mary that she’s invited the devil into their home.

Catherine prefers to be the most evil person in residence.
  • When Francis and Mary go to welcome the duke, he makes jokes about Henry’s madness and makes no secret of his ambitions. In exchange for providing an army, he wants to be Lord Magistrate of France.

  • Catherine interrupts Penelope mid-tryst with a random in a storeroom. Catherine has her locked in the tower for her “protection”, as this family is wont to do.

  • Lord Nerd tells Greer’s father that he’s not interested in her dowry, just a blessing on their union. It’s very sweet, and Greer is suitably touched.

  • Francis finds Henry strategizing world domination. Again. Although, this time, he’s apparently sent troops into action. Also, God is now speaking to him. It’s got to be crowded in his head, with all those voices.

  • Francis runs to Catherine. “It’s Father. He’s gone utterly mad!” “Define utterly.” For real, Francis. Catherine says Henry has ridden a pig through the throne room in nothing but his underthings. I’m not even sure that’s the craziest thing that Henry’s done in the throne room. Regardless, Catherine thinks she’s on top of countermanding Henry’s orders to his generals.

  • Bash and Kenna are still at it in their chambers. He’s apparently attempting to erase all of her previous experiences. Hopefully, he has a lot of time on his hands.

  • The Duke of Guise reveals that he actually wants to be Francis’s Lord Magistrate, when Francis is king, in exchange for helping Mary retain Scotland. Francis makes the deal, but insists that he’s going to Scotland too.

  • Bash witnesses Mary kissing Francis in appreciation, and heads back to half-naked Kenna. Ah, so it’s his memories he’s trying to erase. But, Kenna is able to get him to focus on the task at hand.

  • Penelope doesn’t last long in the tower before admitting that she is not pregnant, and begs to stay in the castle in whatever capacity. Catherine has decided to send her off to Italy to be trained for her Flying Squad. Surely, hijinks will ensue.

  • Lord Nerd corrects Greer’s father when he speaks to her rudely, and settles generous dowries on her sisters, with the stipulation that Greer gets to approve their suitors so that she can ensure they marry for love. He’s my new favorite.

  • Henry knows that Catherine has been keeping his generals from following his orders. So, he replaced all those guys, has sent an army to Calais, and plans to join them himself. As soon as he finds his trousers.

  • Francis decides they might succeed in taking Calais, if he also uses the army promised to Mary. He says she’ll have to understand. Yeah, that seems likely.

  • Lord Nerd tells Greer that he’s always known about her family’s lack of wealth. And he wants her, not her father, to be the one to sign their marriage contract. She kisses him and seems surprised that it’s not awful.

  • Shockingly, Mary is upset that Francis is using her promised army to take Calais, not save her mother. She says their marriage was a mistake. She wants two things from him: to stop making her promises that he can’t keep, and to survive the battle and come back home to her. If I were her, I could live without the second one.

History According to Reign

  • It is mentioned that the Duke of Guise fell out of favor some time in the past and was banished from court. Per wikipedia, the Duke was King Henry’s cousin and they were raised together, the Duke never falling out of favor.

  • The battle of Calais actually happened in January 1558, which would have been four months before Mary and Francis were married.

Number of Times I Forgot I Wasn’t Watching Gossip Girl: 2

1. Penelope, girl. You gotta have the random impregnate you BEFORE you go around claiming to actually be pregnant. You are such a freshman schemer.

2. Bash trying to make Kenna forget her past lover(s). You can’t marry one of those upper east side girls, and then pretend she was a nun.

Next week: Battle and kidnappings? I don’t even know, y’all. It just looks CRAZY.


Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.