Title: Reign S1.E21 “Long Live the King”
Released: 2014
Series:  Reign

Previously on Reign: Bash killed a pagan in the woods and still feels kinda bad about it. Mary invited the Duke of Guise to court, despite Catherine’s protests. France appropriated the troops and went off to take Calais, or die trying. Henry = still crazy.

Murder, murder, and more murder. If they’re not talking about it, they’re actually committing it. This show makes me paranoid. I think I’m going to invest in a home security system. Ooh! And a tiara.

The Intrigue

  • The conquering troops are returning home and Mary is nervous to reunite with France after months (or in the case of this show, one episode). But apparently all is well, because he finds her in the crowd and they greet each other in a restrained way, as befitting their royal status.

Or, they make out like typical teenagers.
  • Henry makes a victory speech and then announces that Mary Tudor has died, after naming Elizabeth as her heir. He says they’ll celebrate their victory, and then go take England, so that its rightful queen, Mary Stewart, can take the throne.

Huh. When she smiles, she looks just like Anne of Green Gables. How odd.
  • Lola is now hugely pregnant. She and Julian are shacked up in a place that looks beyond their means, but he’s chopping their own wood, so I guess they’re pinching pennies elsewhere. He sweetly tells her that he will be the happiest husband and father. I assume this means that he’s about to die.

  • Post-coital Mary and Francis discuss England. Mary is reluctant to stake her claim, make a lifelong enemy of her cousin, and cause a war. She’s thinking of writing to Elizabeth.

  • Bash is in the woods, hunting The Darkness. My guess is that he just needed a break from a jabbering Kenna. He and his guard stumble upon a child that Bash thinks will lead them to The Darkness. Which, sure, if that will end this yawn of a plot.

  • Mary interrupts the Duke of Guise having a gross interlude with one of Catherine’s spies. He has summoned Mary because he has objections to the letter she’s written to Elizabeth, which he’s intercepted. The Duke maintains that Mary’s power lies in her claim to England’s throne, and that without it, she’s useless to France.

  • Yet another of Catherine’s spies found out that Henry is already mobilizing troops to head for England, in order to put Mary on the throne.

  • Julian receives a visitor who calls him Remy, refers to him as Julian’s secretary, and demands to know where Lord Julian is. Uh oh. He runs to confess to Lola that Julian died in a fire, and Remy took on his identity. He swears he really did fall in love with her, which is why he stayed, and he needs her help. She says that he terrifies her.

  • Catherine and Mary confront Francis about Henry’s newest wacky scheme, to wage another war. Catherine tells him “Don’t get sentimental about a father that was never sentimental about you.” Francis is in denial and thinks Henry is reachable, so he’ll just go take him on a hunting trip. Catherine decides that she and Mary must think like queens. Which, apparently, means killing the king of France. “You are a very imaginative murderer, there must be a way.” Which is Mary’s way of pep-talking Catherine while they brainstorm murder. They decide his private communion is the way to go.

  • Remy tells Lord Julian’s uncle that Julian had gambling debts and ran off, abandoning Lola. She reluctantly backs him up in his tale.

  • Kenna tries to get information out of the pagan child that Bash has brought back from the woods, because he and Nostradamus got nowhere. Bash reveals to Nostradamus that he feels guilty about The Darkness because of his own pagan blood and because he’s been forced to kill in those woods. Nostradamus wants to go with him to continue the hunt.

  • Henry and Francis share a father-son bonding moment while on their hunting trip. Henry even briefly sounds sane. He tells a terrible story about his father. “Sons must sacrifice for their fathers,” being the lesson he go out of it. Francis convinces him that there’s work to do in France, before tackling England. Henry seems to agree. But who really knows? Because, you know, crazy.

  • Lord Julian’s uncle grows suspicious and uncovers the deception. He attacks Remy. Lola tries to pull him off and while stumbling away, he slips on fire logs and ends up impaled on a mantel hook. It’s completely absurd, especially when Lola concludes that she killed him.

  • Bash talks Kenna into leaving the castle to go to their estate. As she’s saying goodbye to the pagan child, she’s moved by his fear, and decides to take him with her. He tells her his name is Pascal.

  • Henry catches his less than stealthy would-be assassin, and beats him to death on the chapel floor. Honestly, I would expect Catherine to employ better assassins.

  • Catherine tells Mary that she actually did call off her assassin, based on Francis believing that Henry was going to back off with war on England. They surmise that it was the Duke of Guise’s man. Henry now considers the Duke to be the only one he can trust.

  • Kenna is angry that Bash is breaking his promise and sending her off alone, while he pursues The Darkness. He tells her that he just wants to finish this and come back to her. She says that he’d better or she’ll find him and kill him. I think Kenna has been at the French court too long.

  • Lola devises a plan for them to burn the body of Lord Julian’s uncle beyond recognition and claim that it was Julian, so that Remy can run and disappear. He doesn’t want to leave her, but she thinks it’s the only way for him to get away safe, and she’ll still have Julian’s name and respectability for her unborn child. They both cry, but really? Lola is right to rid herself of this shady character.

  • Kenna asks Pascal what happened to his father. He tells her that a bad man killed him, and she assures him that bad men always get what’s coming to them. We see from Pascal’s memory that it was Bash who killed his crazy father in the woods.

  • Francis is appalled that Mary was a part of the plot to kill Henry and wants to know who she’s becoming. Well, she has been spending a lot of time with your mother, dude.

  • Henry soliloquies, as the crazy do. He’s pretty sure that God wants him to invade England and take the throne. But first, he needs to kill his son and wed his wife. I’m sorry, WHAT?

History According to Reign

  • Henry tells Francis that he and his brother were sent to Spain to be held as hostages in his father’s place. This really happened, when Henry II was 7 years-old. Henry felt he was mistreated during his years in captivity, though he may not have been beaten and starved. He did hold a lifelong grudge against the Spanish, and his father. Can’t say I blame the dude.

  • Mary exhibits reluctance to stake her claim to the throne of England, but that claim does end up making a lifelong enemy out of her cousin. Luckily, thanks to Francis, Mary is already acquainted with being imprisoned. She should probably get comfortable with that.

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

1. An utterly ridiculous pop song scores Mary and Francis’s intimate reunion. I guess the Lumineers were busy.

2. Mary’s sheer embroidered dress, and beribboned braid is so Serena van der Woodsen goes to Coachella.

I just can’t with you, girl.

Next: It’s the season finale, and sure enough, Henry tries to kill his son. The Duke’s advice to Mary: “strike first.” Catherine misses the girl Mary used to be. And there will be JOUSTING.


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.