Title: Reign S1.E22 “Slaughter of Innocence”
Released: 2014
Series:  Reign

Previously on Reign: Bash and Nostradamus hunted The Darkness. Mad King Henry sees dead people, and decides Francis should be one of them.

Can you believe it’s the season finale already? It feels like just yesterday we were all thinking “The Lumineers, really? Oh, CW, you’re so crazy.” Now it’s time to don our tiaras and talk creepy father-in-laws and jousting!

The Intrigue

  • Cuckoo King Henry has summoned everyone to the courtyard in the middle of the night, in their nightclothes. He claims his sword will find the person who tried to kill him. Oh, and his hallucinations are now speaking to him. He ends up stabbing some random dude who admits that he went to confession that week. Like, what? And then announces they’ll be celebrating their victory at Calais.

  • Francis finally realizes Henry is a lost cause. He and Mary and Catherine debate the merits of a coup, since assassination didn’t really work out.

Hi Francis. Welcome to the We All Knew Henry Is Crazy Party. Where ya been?
  • Kenna is off at their country estate with the creepy pagan boy, Pascal. He thinks they’re being watched. See? This is why I never go to the country.

  • Pastry Boy (Hi Pastry Boy! Call me!) is all healed and cleans up WELL. Francis made good on his promise and awarded him a sweet estate, that comes with an orchard. I think Pastry Boy and I are equally excited about the idea of pear tarts. He’s extremely grateful and Francis wishes him luck with his dream girl. Pastry Boy saves a cute redhead from unwanted attention, but declines her offer of a drink because he’s headed off to find Greer.

  • Henry assures the man that he’s instructed to poison Francis at the night’s feast not to trouble himself about the sin. And then he casually mentions he’s planning a wedding soon.

  • Francis and Mary are plotting to get the fired generals on their side, when they encounter Henry, who wants Mary to be the guest of honor at the naval display and jousting tournament. He regrets they haven’t been closer. Ew, Henry.

  • Pastry Boy finds Greer in her chambers to tell her his good news. She’s happy for him, but tells him that it’s not enough to clear her father’s debts or to provide dowries for her sisters like marrying Lord Nerd will do. They part with her (and me) in tears.

  • Everyone is on the shore, watching some kind of naval re-enactment. Henry is being overly solicitous and creepy to Mary. Catherine is suspicious. Then, one of the ships accidentally blows the other one up with a canon? Henry is irritated about the mistake and says they’ll try again tomorrow. Catherine and Mary share a horrified look. The dude is certifiably bonkers.

  • Greer tells Lord Nerd about Pastry Boy’s visit. He’s relieved that she still consider him her future.

  • Mary and Catherine try to decipher what Henry’s up to. Catherine knows he’s attempting to have their marriage annulled and believes it’s because he wants to marry Mary and rule over three countries. Mary knows that Henry must realize she and Francis would never agree to annul their marriage. Which is when she and Catherine come to the conclusion that he’s going to try and kill Francis.

  • Francis arrives back at the castle to see the carnage produced by the naval spectacle and is appalled to hear that his father is going to attempt it again. Then the soldiers tell him that that Henry is also shipping 3000 troops off to England.

  • Mary tries to sway the Duke of Guise to support a coup, but he doesn’t think the other nobles would rally around Francis as king. He thinks she should position herself to lead instead.

  • Bash and Nostradamus find an abandoned house in the Blood Woods with dead bodies in it. Ooh, cozy! There are predictions painted on the walls, most of the events already having come to pass. They believe this is the house Pascal came from.

  • Pascal is chanting the same rhyme that Bash saw on the wall, while at the estate with Kenna. He observes that it’s too quiet and they can’t hear the guards, when a hooded figure breaks in through the window. Do pagans have something against doors? Kenna tries to barricade herself and Pascal in another room. The hooded man wants Pascal to sacrifice Kenna to appease the gods.

  • Greer is desperately searching for Pastry Boy, fearing he was one of the soldiers killed on the exploding ship. When they find each other, she hugs him in relief.

  • Henry doesn’t understand why everyone at the joust looks so bummed. Catherine reminds him that some of them lost loved ones in the ship mishap. Oh, right.

  • Taking the duke’s advice, Mary dons the English coat of arms, all but declaring herself the queen of England, and arrives at the joust. Catherine disapproves of Mary’s decision, and how cunning she’s become. Looked in the mirror lately, your highness? “How I miss the girl you were.” “Many will. She was easier to kill.” I don’t know, I could live with this Mary.

Henry turns the creepy up to THREAT LEVEL: MALL SANTA.
  • Henry announces he’s going to compete in the jousting tournament himself. This should go well! Spoiler: It will not go well. 

  • Greer and Pastry Boy are getting hot and heavy in her chambers, professing their love. He begs her to marry him, but she can’t. He gets angry that she can’t believe in him and take a leap of faith. He predicts she’ll be alone and miserable and that he’ll one day be rich and powerful, but that he’ll never be hers again. Whoa. That’s harsh, Pastry Boy.

  • Catherine predicts the knight jousting with Henry will go easy on the boss, but Henry ends up getting lanced RIGHT THROUGH THE EYE. This does not look good, folks. Montgomery, the opposing knight, stumbles off to the tent and removes his helmet – revealing FRANCIS.

  • Bash arrives at the estate to save Kenna, and Nostradamus stabs the hooded figure who claims to be The Darkness. The man claims that Pascal must succeed him as The Darkness or the plague will come. Bash says no more children shall suffer and kills him.

  • On his deathbed, Henry tells Catherine that he wants her to reach out and befriend Diane. She agrees that she will. Yet. somehow, I don’t believe her. Then Henry tells Francis about his namesake, Henry’s older brother, who Henry killed on a tennis court (his mystery hallucination!), because he knew he’d make the better king. A still guilty Francis is at Henry’s side when he dies.

Aw, sniff. Pour one out for ol’ Crazy McMurderpants.
  • Bash is rushing through the castle but doesn’t make it back in time to see Henry. He goes to kneel before the new king, but Francis grabs him in a desperate embrace. Aw, brothers who aren’t trying to murder each other are the best.

  • Pastry Boy finds the cute redhead from earlier. She tells him her name is Yvette, but turns him down for a drink as she has a prior engagement. That engagement turns out to be Lord Nerd. But luckily, it’s not as icky as we might think. She calls him “father”! This could get complicated.

  • Lola arrives at a village woman’s house in labor. She’s having a difficult time and worries she won’t survive. She dictates a letter to be taken to Mary, releasing her from her promise to keep Lola’s secret.

  • Bash and Kenna confess their love to each other, before witnessing falling stars. I’m sure Kenna finds it romantic, until Bash ruins it by telling her it was The Darkness’s prediction of the event that would proceed the plague.

  • Francis wants to confess to Mary what he’s done. Mary worries that she’s turning into someone cold and hard. Then she receives Lola’s letter. She tells him why he must go to be with Lola, in case she or the baby don’t survive.

  • Catherine begins locking down the castle because they’ve received reports of the plague in the villages. Mary runs to stop Francis from leaving and risking bringing plague back to the castle. But he feels that he must go anyway. Mary orders the castle gates closed behind him.

History According to Reign

  • The Black Death makes for an impressive Big Bad, no? However, per wikipedia:

“The most general outbreaks in Tudor and Stuart England seem to have begun in 1498, 1535, 1543, 1563, 1589, 1603, 1625, and 1636, and ended with the Great Plague of London in 1665.” Francis became King of France in 1559.

  • Francis II became king when he was 15 years old, and was reportedly named after his grandfather, not his uncle. By all accounts, Francis was in fragile health and somewhat weak. It’s highly unlikely that he would have managed to so spectacularly unseat his father in the deadly jousting match. But if he had, could you really blame him?

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

1. Mary sports a deep v-necked and sequined dress that Blair Waldorf would have deemed at a glance, better suited to the ice capades.

2. Kenna continues to channel Serena van der Woodsen. Her idea of country attire appears to be a flowered jumper from the Urban Outfitters festival-wear collection.

Oh, Kenna. GIRL.

Next season: Bring on the Black Death! This has been so fun, you guys! See you back here next Fall?


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.