Title: Reign S2.E18 “Reversal of Fortune”
Released: 2015
Series:  Reign

Previously on Reign: Bash met the woman in white, Delphine, who can heal people with her hands – but there’s a price. Then he promptly got stabbed and begged her to help him. Mary and Conde finally consummated their affair, with Francis’ half-hearted blessing. She also planned to leave France for Scotland. Then Francis collapsed.

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if everyone stared at an unconscious King of France for an hour? Then, is this the show for you.

The Intrigue

  • Francis is still suffering from the worst ear infection ever, and the royal physician tells Catherine that if Francis’ ear doesn’t stop bleeding, he will die.

  • Mary and Conde are enjoying their afterglow, and I’m pretty sure Mary especially enjoys that Conde turned down Elizabeth for her. Lola shows up to inform her of Francis’ grave illness, and Mary knows she must go to him.

  • Bash wakes up with Delphine preparing medicines and he wants to know how she saved him and if there will be a price. But she tells him these things are unwritten. Bash could really use one of those big books on magical stuff that all the paranormal shows have.

  • Mary shows up at Francis’ sick bed and Catherine unleashes her fury that Mary had chosen not to be a wife and that she abandoned him. Nostradamus predicted all of this of course, but Catherine didn’t predict Mary would kill Francis by breaking his heart. Damn, that makes Francis sound like a weakling, doesn’t it? After Catherine storms out, Mary begs an unconscious Francis to live.

  • Leith awakes to Greer packing because she’s leased a grand townhouse to open her brothel in. Leith is judgy, but Greer is business savvy, and ready to entertain some merchants in her fancy new digs. Leith brings up the possibility of an annulment again, alluding to a powerful friend, and all he’d have to do are a few favors. Yes, this totally sounds more realistic than Greer earning her living as a madam.

  • Catherine is intent on keeping the nobles from knowing how serious Francis’ condition really is, so they don’t attempt a power grab. Mary insists that since this is her fault, she’ll deal with the advisors, and Catherine should stay by Francis’ side. Mary breezily assures the nobles that Francis is simply away from the castle, and she’ll be handling things in his absence, then she promptly dismisses them. Narcisse congratulates her on the performance, but then says, should anything happen to Francis, she and Conde could marry, and he could become the king of Scotland. Weird segue, Narcisse.

It’s a shame these ladies are so beset by tragedy that they have no time to be concerned with hair or accessories.

  • Mary worries to Conde about being to blame for Francis’ condition. He tries to reassure her, which just makes her feel guilty. They’re interrupted by a message from Scotland. The Protestants are staging a coup and beheading her supporters, leaving the bodies behind as warnings. YIKES. I’d be all “Nope, not me. NEVER liked that chick.” Mary asks Conde what she should do, and he suggests continuing with their plan to sail for Scotland. Which, she rightly points out, is sailing into the middle of a war. She doesn’t have enough troops, only a king could command a force that large. Conde points out with the king in his current condition, Mary is kind of in charge.

  • Leith tries to get out of Claude babysitting duties, by claiming an errand in town, but Catherine won’t hear about it and tells him to take Claude with him. Leith seems to understand the situation and agrees to occupy Claude elsewhere. I can tell you how she’d like to be occupied, Pastry Boy.

  • Mary sends Kenna to find Bash, so he can say goodbye to his brother, if this is Francis’ last moments. While riding in the carriage, Kenna’s driver appears to have a heart attack. Stupid Kenna is leaning out the door to see what’s happening, when she tumbles out into the snow, while the carriage goes on its way. The driver’s body falls out in the snow, but Kenna is entirely unconcerned about him.

  • Mary has qualms about using Francis’ troops to save Scottish loyalists, but Lola and Conde convince her that it’s necessary to save their home and families, and also to save her crown. Conde reminds her, should anything happen to Francis, she loses her French throne. Catherine storms in and kicks the others out, to tell Mary that she doesn’t like this, that Scotland is all but lost and she can’t drag France down with it. “You may have the authority, I will move heaven and earth to stop you.”

  • Bash is in the village to punish the man who tried to kill him. They hang that dude quick, and then bring forth “the witch” to hang, too. Of course, it’s Clarissa Who Will Not Die. Bash intends to take her back to the castle, to face punishment for that time she kidnapped the princes.

  • Conde is sparring in his chambers when Mary shows up to break the news that she has changed her mind about Scotland AGAIN. She doesn’t want to save Scotland at the risk of France. She thinks there could be another way. Conde tells her that they could go through Narcisse to hire a mercenary army.

  • Leith is dragging Claude around the village, and then actually expects her to stay in the carriage while he “runs a quick errand.” She, of course, asks some random to direct her to the most unsavory place in town. Leith is a terrible babysitter.

  • Superstitious Bash tells Delphine that since he’s saved Clarissa, he’s worried the next close person to him, Francis, might be in danger. Because of the prophecy, of course. He plans to go back to the castle to check on him.

  • Mary tries to use Narcisse’s treachery, in buying an army, to maneuver that army into her own command. “Today, I am king. And I will punish those who defy me. Remember your son. Do not test my power, and do not tempt my fury.” CHILLS.

  • Kenna is making her way in the snowy woods, which are surprisingly well-inhabited. She tries to steal a horse, but gets caught by Renaude, the general of Narcisse’s hired army. Luckily, he figures out pretty quickly that she’s not a common horse thief and insists on escorting her back to the castle, even though she hasn’t located Bash yet. He promises to ask after him on his journey. They spend some time together, and Renaude is obviously into her, but when he finds out she’s married, he sends her off with a different escort back to the castle.

  • Bash is already back at the castle and watching over his brother’s unconscious body with Mary. Bash confirms that Francis’ illness happened within the time frame that he was stabbed and healed and is feeling massively guilty.

“Yep, he’s still just laying there. This is kind of like watching grass grow, isn’t it?”

  • Claude has made herself at home at Greer’s brothel party, and is scaring off the nobleman she recognizes before she starts dancing on table. How she doesn’t already work for Greer is anybody’s guess.

  • Narcisse tries to comfort Catherine, who’s been told that Francis is dying. Narcisse offers his protection, in the form of the army that Mary has demanded for her use. They decide to stall Mary, because if Francis doesn’t survive, Mary is no longer queen to command.

  • Bash shares wine with Clarissa and Delphine and Clarissa promptly passes out because Bash has poisoned her. WHAT. This is Bash’s stupid balancing of the scales, to save Francis. It’s really terrible.

  • Mary demands that Narcisse be sent to the dungeons for defying her with Renaude’s army. She confesses to unconscious Francis that she’s sent French forces to Scotland, even though she knows he wouldn’t approve. He wakes while she’s crying over him. She screams for Catherine, which is awfully thoughtful, considering Catherine’s epic biatchness.

  • Mary tells Lola that Francis has regained consciousness, is upright and speaking. Catherine interrupts to rub it in Mary’s face that she’s informed Francis of Mary’s treachery in trying to send troops to defend her country. When Mary goes to try to explain to Francis, he cuts her off to let them both know that he’s made his final decision. He’s sending 2000 troops to defend Scotland and he feels confident France can handle it. Mary and Catherine both want to know why Francis would do this, when Mary was about to betray him, but Francis feels strongly about the promise his country made to ally with hers. But he doesn’t plan to give her anything else, including his trust.

  • When Leith escorts drunken Claude back to the castle, Kenna spills the beans about Francis having been ill, which of course, no one informed Claude about. “Why do they treat me like a child? Like a problem to be managed?” Leith is kind enough to not look at her like “Girl, really?” Claude thinks she could turn over a new leaf with Leith, even though so many ladies of the evening seem to know him. He confesses that it’s because he and their madam are together. What is that saying? All the best men are gay or dating madams?

  • Bash comes to see for himself that Francis is recovering. Catherine tells him that it was a middle of the night miracle, which seems to coincide with Bash’s murdering.

  • Mary tells Conde that can’t go to Scotland now. She can’t weaken Francis in the eyes of everyone, when he’s already weakened France to protect the alliance with Scotland. Conde doesn’t understand how she plans to stay, when they’re so tearfully in love. Yeah, Conde, but she’s married. She goes back to Francis’ bedside, and Conde has a temper tantrum.

History According to Reign

  • Francis is alive! King Francis II died from a middle ear infection, so I’m afraid this is borrowed time, friends.

Final Thoughts

  • Kenna has become the comic relief, and I don’t mind a bit.

Kenna: “Never discount a woman’s skills. Our daily lives consist of making hardships seem effortless.”

Kenna: “Please save your rage for after I leave.”

  • Is it just me, or are the Mary and Conde scenes incredibly repetitive? I used to think I wanted their torrid affair, now it’s a bit of a yawn.

  • Wouldn’t you love to watch a show about Greer’s brothel instead?

Have your own table dancing story? Head to the comments!

Next week: Mary and Conde are still meeting indiscreetly and professing their love for eachother. Narcisse’s idea of foreplay is telling Catherine that he could have Conde killed. Conde begs Mary to go to Scotland with him, again.


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.