Previously on Reign: Mary was warned The Duke of Guise is a dangerous man. Mary is aware that Conde has a thing for her. Narcisse helped Catherine figure out that King Henry’s bible was poisoned. King Antoine thinks Bash killed their brother. Mary had to banish Greer because her husband accidentally funded the attack on the castle.
Welcome to the most love triangles ever to appear in a television show that doesn’t feature vampires. Let’s see how many of them survive the episode!
- Mary and her ladies are playing in the snow, sledding, and drinking hot chocolate. Like typical teenagers. Mary looks on a little jealously as Conde plays the solicitous suitor with Lola. When he asks her permission to take Lola to visit his estate, she pretends to be pleased. Antoine is still inappropriately flirting with Kenna. Bash catches this and tells Antoine to keep his hands off Bash’s wife, which somehow embarrasses Kenna. Then she storms off in a snit because Bash is always working too much to play with her. Like, that is her for real grudge.
- Conde drags Antoine off to lecture him about trying to ruin Bash’s marriage, and tells him to, you know, go home to his wife. Antoine reveals his wife is dying, and that’s why he seeks distraction elsewhere. But Conde knows this is really about getting revenge on Bash for supposedly murdering their brother. Conde tells him that he risks both their lives by going after the king’s brother.
- The Duke of Guise comes back to the castle, expecting to be the king’s magistrate again, despite the fact that he turned tail and ran the second the plague came. Mary isn’t at all thrilled to have him back. He warns her that the Bourbon brothers are a threat to the throne and he’s surprised Catherine hasn’t already had them killed.
- At a family dinner, Catherine reveals that she wasn’t ill with syphilis (pity, because it was amusing) but actually poisoned. Narcisse (whom she refers to as Stefan!) waits upon her hand and foot while she recounts the tale. Francis wants him to stop doting on Catherine, but she insists he’s been a help to her. They determine that the poisoning is why Henry went mad and did horrible things, and they must figure out who’s responsible for the poisoning. So Catherine can destroy them “and make them weep tears of blood.” It’s nice that she’s feeling better.
- The Duke of Guise confesses to Catherine that he’s not really back to seek his old post, but that he’s arrived to court her now that she’s no longer in mourning. He blathers on about empire building, and her eyes glaze over like he’s reading her erotica.
- Lola and Kenna go in secret to find Greer at the village inn where they’ve heard she’s staying. Apparently, Greer has made no plans for what she’s going to do, but she has been getting drunk regularly. So, it’s not like she’s been completely wasting her time. Lola gives Greer some money to get by. But Greer refuses to go back to Scotland. She thinks she could find work as a lady’s companion, due to her noble birth. This conversation is had, while her neighbor goes about a different sort of work. Greer goes to quiet her down. “Excuse me, I have to speak to the whore next door.”
- Bash offered a reward to find out information about a valet they believe had the access to poison Henry, and he’s discovered that the valet had hidden ties to Conde. Mary objects to them treating Conde with suspicion, when he’s displayed nothing but loyalty to them. Francis needs her to keep Conde at the castle, preventing his trip with Lola, while they keep digging to find out if Conde is really guilty.
- Narcisse is disappointed to learn that Catherine is being courted by the Duke of Guise. He assumed she was “done with all that.” But, of course, he was hoping to have his own shot at her. But she can’t forget his blackmailing of Francis and the resulting calamities. “Don’t argue with me. Make it up to me and my son.” Catherine tells Narcisse that if he pursues the lead he has on who might have poisoned Henry, then possibly they could talk about their future.
- Mary tells Conde that she wants him to stay at the castle for a party, a thank you dinner for him, and he’s understandably skeptical. Conde tells her that he knows she and Francis no longer share a bed and he wants to know if there’s nothing left there to save. He’s courting her friend because she asked him to, but he’d like her to be honest for once, if that’s not really what she wants. He’s intensely hot during all of this. And it forces Mary to admit that she doesn’t want him to court Lola. But for some reason, they don’t make out, even with me screaming at my TV for them to do so.
- Francis warns Lola that Conde is possibly a traitor. She says they were just barely getting to know each other, but that if he’s a traitor, she wants nothing to do with him. Lola tells him she was seeing Conde for Mary and Francis. She tells him she knows that he’s been avoiding her. He admits it was because of the time that Mary saw them asleep together, and he’s just been trying to spare Mary more pain. Lola understands, and tells him she thinks of him as family.
- Antoine continues to be completely inappropriate to Kenna, to the point that she tells him he’s making her uncomfortable, which he claims was never his intention. Oh, so he’s just creepy by accident? Good to know.
- The Duke of Guise runs into Narcisse and rubs it in, about Narcisse having lost everything. The Duke tells Narcisse that his friendship with Catherine won’t be continuing. When Catherine joins them, Narcisse finds out she and the Duke will be meeting in the greenhouse after dinner. “I had sex in that greenhouse once. It’s a lovely venue.” Narcisse really knows how to bring the awkward. But Catherine looks intrigued.
- Mary is donning a ridiculous amount of sparkly regalia when Francis comes in and compliments her beauty. She’s not really interested in hearing it from him. She’s angry with him for making her trick Conde into staying, and admits that she called off his courtship with Lola. He tells her that he had a similar conversation with Lola. Not quite that similar, Francis. He realizes that she let Conde think it was because she has feelings for him. Bash tells them the valet they were seeking was killed in Conde’s region shortly after leaving court. Francis decides they have to confront the Bourbon brothers directly, and if Conde’s guilty, he’ll have to be beheaded.
- Francis plops the bible down in front of Conde and asks him to open it and read a passage. Conde appears confused, Antoine a little less so. Francis tells him that it was read by his father, and his mother after him, and that it was poisoned by a valet. Conde swears that he had nothing to do with it. For some reason, nobody suspects Antoine. Francis tells Conde that he doesn’t believe him. Then Catherine interrupts with evidence that Narcisse has received, pointing to the Duke of Guise as the one who paid the valet to poison Henry. How strangely convenient for Narcisse. Conde is tearfully angry at how he’s been treated, after the friendship he’s offered them. He then accuses Bash of having stabbed their brother in the back like a coward, and leaves the room. Bash admits he killed a man during the Italian wars, on orders from Henry, who told him the man was a traitor to France. He had no idea the man was a Bourbon, he just did as he was told. He’s genuinely remorseful. Antoine forgives Bash for the sake of peace between their two nations. He claims Conde will do the same. Francis wants the Duke of Guise arrested, but Catherine says there’s no need, because the Duke will never cause anyone harm again.
- The Duke’s carriage is stopped on the dark road. When the Duke gets out, he’s shot by numerous arrows and left for dead. No one is surprised.
- Poor Greer is drinking stout for dinner again, because she doesn’t have enough money for food at the inn. She’s propositioned by a nice man in the inn common room who just wants to run his fingers through her hair. She lectures him about his behavior, but is understanding about the confusion. She offers to arrange the services of her next door neighbor. Uh, Greer. I don’t know if pimping is something you really want to add to your resumé.
- Mary finds Conde sulking on a balcony. Poor Hot Cousin Louis is so upset that Mary lied to him, misled him, and humiliated him, despite knowing that he’s in love with her. She’s upset that he doesn’t understand that she had no choice. It’s all very angsty.
- Conde admits to Antoine that he revealed their Bash hand to save Antoine from seeking revenge. Because if anything happens to Bash now, they’re the first two that fall under suspicion. But Antoine says he’ll just let Bash live and find another way to make him suffer. Ugh, seriously, Antoine? Find a hobby.
- Greer is interviewing to be a lady’s companion for a Hungarian countess when Charlene, her next door neighbor from the inn busts in, because the john Greer sent her way, drugged her and cut off her hair. For some reason, the Hungarian countess is now no longer interested in hiring Greer.
- Mary is writing a letter to her mother, to inform her of the Duke’s fate. Francis wishes they’d known about the poison sooner, so that Mary could have been spared all this. He suggests that maybe they can still salvage the match between Conde and Lola. But Mary thinks they should step back, instead of trying to force other people’s hearts. Francis says he can’t move on to another, as she told him to, because his heart is closed to anyone but her.
- Antoine meets with Narcisse, to pay him for setting up the Duke of Guise to take the fall for the poisoning that was actually perpetrated by Antoine. What a shocking turn of events, said no one who’s ever seen this show. And now we have this scary bit of unholy alliance.
- Charlene gives Greer her cut of their transaction, which Greer protests, but at least she finally gets a hot meal that’s not cheap ale. Madam Greer is a fantastic turn of events.
- Conde finally figures out his brother was behind the poisoning. Conde is angry that he stood before their king and queen and claimed they were innocent. Conde tells Antoine that he’ll never trust him again. Antoine is of the opinion that Henry got what he deserved.
- Kenna finds her candlelit chamber filled with strawberry covered desserts, like the strawberries and snow she was rhapsodizing about earlier to Antoine. The poor simpleton probably assumes it’s from her husband.
- Francis goes to find Lola reading in the nursery, and tells her that he’s missed their friendship too, and would like them to be close again. As they hover over their son’s cradle, it’s all a little more intimate than “friends”.
- Mary seeks out Conde on his sulking balcony in the snow. She tells him that she owed him the truth, that she didn’t want him to be with another. But that she is Francis’ wife and she would never do anything to betray that, and she has nothing to offer Conde. He notices that she doesn’t say anything of her heart, and tells her he’s fighting his instincts every day, but that he’s aware of nothing but her. She tells him “You will be the death of me, and I of you.” AND THEN I DIED OF THE SWOON. R.I.P me.
History According to Reign
- Poor Greer. Ladies of that time would never stay alone in an inn unchaperoned, unless they shared a profession with her neighbor, Charlene. So it’s no wonder the assumptions that were made.
- The Duke of Guise was assassinated, but not until 1588, and it was on the orders of King Henry III, Francis’ younger brother. So, even in real life, nobody liked that dude.
- “Find a hobby or a whore.” Conde’s advice to his brother is just plain good advice to everyone.
- “Did you think that just because you don’t entertain women my age, that no other men do?” I heart Catherine so much.
- OMG, why won’t Mary and Conde just make out already?!
- Ugh, Francis and Lola.
If you’re not also dead of the swoon, join me in the comments. We can commiserate over our televisions never listening when we yell for people to make out.
Next week: Mary is tired of pretending to be a wife when she isn’t. Francis is upset that she insists she cannot be with him. Mary tells Conde that Francis knows about their feelings and has forbidden them to be together. Mary’s awful mother returns, and reminds Lola what part she played in Mary’s ruined marriage.