Previously on Reign: Catherine’s murdered children are haunting her and threatening Claude, so Catherine poisons her. Kenna spies Bash carrying off the ill Claude. Conde confesses to Mary that he’s been branded by the Dark Riders. Conde’s older brother wants an update on his infiltration of the French court. Mary finds Conde’s love letter to her. She tells Francis that she blames him for what happened and wants them to live separate lives.
So glad this show is back! I missed it, and you guys, and Pastry Boy!
- Bash and Kenna are having some amorous time – or would be, if she could shut up about her Claude jealousy. But then they’re interrupted by a guard who wants Bash to come and see that all the dead traitors they’d strung up and left on display have been marked by the Dark Riders. The Cardinal thinks it’s a mark of some secret Protestant society and wants his cleric to investigate it, despite Bash’s assertion that he’s the king’s deputy and will take care of it.
- Francis brings wood for Mary’s chamber fire. Don’t they have servants for that? He’s been trying to ingratiate himself, and she just wants him to leave her alone. She wants to get away and visit their chateau, he wants to come along. Geez, Francis. Take a hint.
- Bash tells the Cardinal that he believes the mark was added to the Protestant prisoners after death, in order to fan the flames of hatred. The Cardinal has notices posted in the village, hoping neighbor will turn on neighbor. You know, just like in the good book. A noblewoman arrives to confess that she saw the mark on someone she sinned with. Uh oh. Two guesses who that might have been.
- A frazzled Lola is dealing with a screaming royal heir, but she’s unwilling to leave him with the nannies, since the attack on the castle. Poor Francis can feel guilty about that one, too.
- The Cardinal announces to Francis and Bash that the confessor accused Conde (Hot Cousin Louis) of wearing the brand, and if it’s true, Louis will hang. Mary overhears this, and grabs Greer, and plans to head straight for her carriage, with the new Captain of the Royal Guard who’s been charged with escorting her, Pastry Boy! Mary makes for Conde’s estate, and helps him escape out the window and to her carriage, before the Cardinal’s guards can take him.
- Catherine is still playing Ghost with the ghost of her dead husband, King Henry. He’s trying to convince her that she needs to poison Claude quicker, or the twins are going to take matters into their own hands.
- Kenna tells Bash that she thinks Catherine is poisoning Claude. He isn’t so sure, despite the fact that Catherine is acting oddly, and yes, has poisoned people before. He suggests that Kenna gather evidence.
- Mary, Greer, and Conde arrive at Conde’s brother’s house. King Antoine welcomes them and talks Mary into staying for the night, and attending his party as the guest of honor. Privately, Antoine demands to know why Conde isn’t spying on Francis, and Conde shows him the mark that left him no choice.
- Bash reports to Francis that Conde escaped in Mary’s carriage. Francis wonders where she’s taken him, while admiring Mary’s daring. Bash admits that Kenna confided in him, and he wants to know how Mary’s doing since the attack. Francis says everything has been his fault, and he wants to find a way to stand up to the Vatican, so that Mary will see him as the man she thought she married.
- Mary avoids Conde’s touch, but is still a bit flirty with him at Antoine’s party, which sly Antoine observes. Antoine tells Conde that he should seduce Mary, to gain influence with Francis. Antoine won’t listen to any objections about why that’s a bad idea, so Conde simply states that she’s too prudish for his taste. Which is easy to buy, given the buttoned-up gowns that Mary prefers now.
- Leith (Pastry Boy) and Greer bump into each other at the party, and bless him for admitting aloud “Well, this is awkward.”
- Kenna takes cheese, croissants, and a book to minister to poor, sick, Claude. As if the girl hasn’t suffered enough.
- The Cardinal and his cleric share some pillow talk about their ambitions. I’ll admit, I didn’t see that coming. The cleric is attacked, after sneaking out of the Cardinal’s room, and branded with the mark of the Dark Riders. This was Bash’s big plan to help convince the Cardinal that not only Protestants bear the mark.
- Poor Conde is mauled by a noblewoman at Antoine’s scandalous party. He tells her his heart belongs to another, so she simply blindfolds him and tells him to pretend that’s who she is. He can work with that.
- Greer assumes that Mary is upset by the improper party they’ve left, but she’s not over everything that happened to her, and can’t stand even a simple courteous touch from a man. Greer promises she’s strong, and she’ll recover. Mary feels like she’s sleepwalking.
- Claude is back to feeling like her hideous brat self, since Kenna has been bringing her meals and “accidentally” knocking over the soups from Catherine. Kenna has to spell it out for the little wench, that her mother is poisoning her. But Kenna’s pity is the worst part for Claude, and she screams about Bash having been her lover.
- Conde comes to Mary to say goodbye, as she’ll be leaving for her chateau. He tries to talk her out of returning to France, since her husband’s decisions have endangered her. She tells him she doesn’t trust his advice on the matter, since she found his letter. AWKWARD. They part, expecting to maybe see each other from a distance, at some court gathering.
- Kenna confronts Bash over his sister/lover. They were young, drunk, and she lied to him about their parentage. Kenna is angry at all of the perceived lying, but Bash tells her he kills, and lies when he has to, that’s just who he is. And suddenly, I find Bash ten times more attractive.
- The Cardinal has tearily administered last rites to his cleric in the dungeon, before discovering Bash is injured on his arm, where the cleric said he wounded his attacker.
- The Cardinal’s guards arrive at King Antoine’s estate, for Conde. Mary decides that they need to burn off the mark of the Dark Riders in order to create enough doubt to have Conde arrested and taken back to court, where she’s certain that Francis will intercede on his behalf. Conde is less than sure, but he gives in to her pleas. Leith heats the sword, while the guards are at the door. He burns the mark, and Mary grabs Conde’s hand and offers comfort, while he screams his poor head off.
- Shirtless and bloody Conde appears before the Cardinal’s guards (I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to locate an image), flanked by Mary, Greer, and Leith. Mary claims it was a wound that had to be cauterized after a drunken sparring match with the captain of her guard. Pastry Boy dutifully concurs.
- Mary and Greer head back to court with the Vatican transport, so that Mary can keep fighting for Conde. She tells Greer that she was able to touch someone and connect and doesn’t want to be distant anymore, including from Francis.
- Francis tells the Cardinal that his cleric lover can live, if he gives up on his demands for Conde’s head, and leaves France. The Cardinal’s love for the cleric forces him to give in and agree.
- Bash welcomes Conde back to court, a free man, and tells Mary that she’ll be proud of Francis when she hears what he did.
- Greer asks Leith if he enjoyed Antoine’s party and if he went off with any of the ladies. He tells her she has to put aside her jealousy because it only gives him hope, when he’s trying to respect her wish to wait for Castleroy. Such an honorable guy, that Pastry Boy.
- Claude tears apart Catherine’s chambers, searching for poison. Catherine tells her that she murdered her baby sisters as a child. But Catherine can’t go through with making Claude pay for that with death, despite the menacing presence of ghost Henry and the twins.
- Francis finally goes to take a turn with his screaming baby and Lola promptly passes out from exhaustion. Mary goes looking for Francis, and finds him asleep on a nursery bed, with his son and Lola. She leaves without waking him.
History According to Reign
- “Your sister, Claude, told me you were lovers!” “Half-sister.” Hi, Kenna. Welcome to royal family life.
- Conde visits Mary in her chambers, where she receives him in her dressing gown. Srsly, show?
- The Cardinal and his lover being the worst kept secret in France, I can buy. But Francis and Bash’s blasé attitude about it was harder to believe.
Number of Times I Forgot I Wasn’t Watching Gossip Girl: 3
1. “I’ve missed the way you mix garlic with arsenic.” It takes a certain kind of man to appreciate his lady’s evil deeds.
2. “Not everything is about your ass, Kenna.”
3. Conde’s pimpin’ fox fur stole. The matriarchs of the Upper East Side weep with envy.
Next week: Francis tells Mary that he knows Conde has feelings for her. Francis and Conde mock duel at a banquet, but seem to forget the “mock” part.