Title: Reign S2.E22 “Burn”
Released: 2015
Series:  Reign

Previously on Reign: Delphine did some freaky binding ritual with a random servant dude. Catherine made jealous threats to Narcisse. Francis sent Lola and Baby John off with his childhood blankie. Renaude offered up what he knew of Conde’s army. Francis told Mary that Conde is still in love with her, and she ran off to Conde, begging him to save her and their unborn child.

Yay, finale time! Finally, the dramatic happenings we’ve been waiting for! Or, some of them anyway.

The Intrigue

  • Conde is reluctant to interrupt his men’s revelry, since tonight may be their last on earth. Mary is a buzzkill, reminding him that it could be true for all of them. Conde promises to protect her and their child. She tells him that Francis has canons now and wants them to just run away. But Conde says he’s come too far for that. It’s down to him or Francis now.

  • Catherine harangues Francis about how his men saw Mary going to Conde, and that she’s betrayed him again. Catherine thinks it means all their deaths, if Conde becomes king, and she’ll never forgive Mary for any of this.

  • A servant girl brings blankets to Delphine in a dark room and then there’s creepy noises and screaming. Claude goes to Leith to tell him the reports from the servant and that the creepy creature from the passages could very well be a shape-shifting Delphine. Has someone been drugging Claude again?

  • Conde’s men appear to be coming down with the plague, on the morning of battle. One of the camp prostitutes runs through the camp screaming about it. Conde intercepts her, and immediately realizes it’s a hoax. Mary’s expression gives her away. When he goes to confront her, SHE STABS HIM. She “never wanted to hurt him” but she had to stop him.

There’s a lesson here, Francis. May not want to piss her off.

  • Bash and Francis realize that Conde’s men are scattering. Bash tells Francis that Mary gave him a package for Greer before she left, and maybe something is up. Francis insists now is the time to lead an attack, even though Conde’s men still outnumber theirs. When seeking Conde during their raid, Francis finds Mary, kneeling beside the bleeding Conde. She tells him one of them was going to die, and it couldn’t be Francis. Conde was a traitor, and Francis is her husband and her king, and she loves him. Aw, unexpected Frary feelings.

  • Narcisse goes to announce to Catherine and her children and ladies that the coup is over and everything is alright now. Catherine wants comfort from Conde, and a future with him. He’s clearly still majorly freaked out by her.

Oh, relax, Narcisse. It’s not like you have another horse for her to barbecue.

  • Francis receives a hero’s welcome upon returning to the castle. Francis wants to know how Mary got Conde to trust her, but she simply keeps it as vague as using his love for her. She finds a convenient exit when Greer arrives. She thanks Greer profusely for her ladies’ part in the deception. Greer is glad to have been of service and to hear her employees called ladies. Mary promises to visit her friends at the brothel soon. Aw, so unlikely, but so sweet. Greer asks after Conde. Catherine practically cackles with glee while gloating that he’s in the dungeon, and about to lose his head. But Francis takes her aside to let her know that he is not beheading Conde so fast and plans to turn him over to his brother, in exchange for a promise to no longer seek the throne. Catherine is pissed that he’s ignoring her counsel.

  • Renaude apologizes to Kenna for the damage done to her reputation by being associated with him, as he’s on the way to the hangman’s noose. He warns her that Mary and her friends aren’t safe, because Queen Elizabeth’s vendetta is personal and it’s not over. And then he’s hung before he can even finish speaking. See ya, Renaude.

  • Bash confronts Claude and Marcel, the servant boy, about their claims that Delphine is a shapeshifting demon. Marcel tells Bash about Delphine’s seduction on a bloody shirt during the siege, and Bash promises to investigate it. Yes, this sounds like a matter to take very seriously. Kenna finds him and wants to explain that she reached out for Renaude out of loneliness. She knows Bash is with Delphine now, but suddenly she doesn’t want to lose him. She’s able to seduce him with impressive speed.

  • Mary goes to see Conde in the dungeons, and tells him she loved him once and wishes he hadn’t made her choose. He tells her he still wants her, but should have known he could never compete with her love for Francis.

  • Francis had sent for Lola and Baby John and a servant brings back the bloody baby blanket, Francis had given them. Francis is livid when confronting Conde about having his son killed. Conde denies it, but Francis says he had them kidnapped to use as leverage, but it was botched and John was killed. Mary is horrified, and Conde swears it isn’t true. Francis isn’t interested in listening. He says they captured Conde’s soldier who confessed and Francis promises that Conde will lose his head before the day is done.

  • Francis is bereft while telling Mary the report that John fell and hit his head during the kidnapping attempt and that they can’t find Lola anywhere. They both cry as she comforts him. Narcisse bursts in, demanding that he be allowed to go find Lola. He believes that someone in the castle had something to do with the plot, and wants them to keep his search a secret. Uh oh, Catherine.

  • Bash tells Delphine of the whispered stories about her. She scoffs at the rumors, and he promises to squash them. But then he tells her that his circumstances have changed, and he’s reconciling with Kenna. Delphine assumes that’s because of the pregnancy she sensed when she touched Kenna earlier. Girl, you are evil. Bash runs to confront Kenna, assuming it’s Renaude’s. He realizes that’s why she lured him into bed. She begs him not to abandon her, especially knowing what it’s like to be born a bastard. But he’s too pissed at her for lying, and says they’re finished.

  • The suddenly valiant Narcisse storms into a hut and attacks a dude, demanding to know he received his orders from, because he knows it wasn’t Conde. In the next room, they find Lola and Baby John, safe and relieved to be rescued.

  • Conde is visited in the dungeons by someone in a black hood. Immediately after, a maid discovers that someone has killed the executioner, and the guards, too. But Mary realizes it’s an imposter under the hood of the dead body and orders the castle locked down. But it’s too late, Conde is escaping on horseback.

  • Bash updates Mary that the king’s guard is after Conde, and they know that the fake executioner was English. Narcisse arrives to update the situation of “utmost secrecy”. Mary has the room cleared, but tells him that Francis is in isolation, grieving for his son. He tells her that Lola and John are alive and unharmed, and that the baby’s death was a ruse, meant to hasten Conde’s execution. Mary immediately jumps to the correct conclusion of Catherine, where Narcisse has apparently been all along. Narcisse admits to having suspected that Catherine might be up to something, so he had her men followed to the house where Lola was kept. Mary asks why he’s turned on his co-conspirator, but like I predicted, dude is bone-deep scared of her.
  • Mary confronts Catherine over the proof they have of her terrible plot. She’s somehow surprised that Catherine feels no remorse. But Catherine claims that Conde signed his death warrant when he had an affair with her. Diplomacy just takes too long, in Catherine’s opinion. But she really doesn’t think Francis needs to know about all these short-cuts. Mary intends for Francis to know what Catherine has done. And this all makes for a helluva scene between these two queens.

“Oh, whatev. Did I get shizz done, or didn’t I?”

  • The same poor servant girl from earlier finds Delphine moaning over a seemingly-eviscerated dude. Bash goes to find Delphine flanked by guards over the dead body, claiming she had nothing to do with it. Just some wacky misunderstanding? The camera pans out to show us that the dead body is in the middle of a pentagram drawn on the floor. She pleads with Bash to not let them drown her, but I think he draws the line at devil worship.

  • Guards bring Catherine for an audience with Francis in full king mode. She pleads, but he can’t forgive her for sending men armed with swords to take Lola and John by force. She blames Mary for everything that’s happened, and still believes she will be the death of Francis. He dramatically exiles her. She makes sure to spit on that “Judas”, Narcisse, on the way out. Lola looks on sympathetically.

  • Mary, reclining in a window seat, with her ladies (including Greer!) is everything I never knew I always wanted (again). Kenna talks about the travel and parties she wants to enjoy, but she’ll be hiding out in Sweden, with a couple who are going to adopt her baby. She thanks Mary for arranging it, and saving her reputation. She leaves tearfully, and it feels somewhat final.

  • Francis is waiting in Mary’s room. He told her he didn’t think he’d be able to forgive her, even if it took years. Mary claims she’d wait, because she loves him. He believes she’s proven that. She wants to know if they could recommit to each other, love each other again, even though it’s basically impossible. They end up back in bed together pretty quick. Déjà vu.

  • Kenna is being regaled with boring tales by a teenage king from some small Russian kingdom. She suggests they could be pen pals, and that maybe she could visit him in, oh, say nine months time. She asks if she could maybe bring her “sister’s baby” with her when she comes to visit. The naive boy doesn’t mind, and looks forward to the long voyage, while they get to know one another. Oh, Kenna. Please don’t leave us!

  • Bash is in bed with Delphine, or a vision of Delphine. He wonders how she’s there, since she’s supposed to be under guard. She swears she didn’t harm the boy, but she did have sex with him on Bash’s bloody shirt, but just to bind Bash to her. Oh, is that all? She tells him it worked, they’re linked, and that she’s being burned. He jumps out of his bed and looks out the window, and sure enough, they’re burning the witch at the stake. He feels the burning. She somehow escapes, hissing like a feral beast and runs off. Oh, great. That bodes well for Bash’s silly season three storyline.

  • Mary and Francis are still in bed. She tells him she’ll love him for the rest of her life, and never let him go again. Then he goes and meets Nostradamus in secret. (Hey, hipster Nostradamus! Where ya been?) Francis says that he hopes Mary is pregnant soon, to protect her and France. Francis winces and Nostradamus asks if the pain of his illness has never abated. His herbs have helped, but Francis knows he’s dying. Nostradamus agrees.

  • Catherine goes for an audience with a radiant Queen Elizabeth. They praise each other’s beauty, and Catherine’s comments on Elizabeth’s responsibility for the loss of 1000 lives in Francis that month, Francis nearly being one of them. It’s a combination of pointed and admiring. Catherine claims she’s come to offer the destruction of their mutual enemy, Mary Queen of Scots.

History According to Reign

  • There’s no record of Catherine ever being exiled from the French court, though I can’t imagine no one ever considered it.

  • Apparently, the real Prince Conde did raise an army and in 1560 began attacking towns in the south. Catherine ordered him to court and had him immediately imprisoned. He was tried and found guilty of offenses against the crown, and sentenced to death. He was only released once Catherine made a pact with the King of Navarre that the Bourbons would renounce their claims to the throne of France, in exchange for Conde’s life. Huh. The show didn’t make the whole thing up.

Final Thoughts

  • The hair wasn’t quite right, but I think the Elizabeth casting looks pretty good. She’s definitely a commanding presence. What sayeth you?

  • “The difference between us is this: for us, bloodshed is a gruesome last resort for us. But for you, for you, it’s as easy as drawing your next breath.” God, Mary. Always so judgy.

  • “It turns out there’s something worse than being hated by Catherine de’ Medici. And that’s being loved by her.” Personally, I just think that makes her even more delightful.

  • The promo for next season showed a couple making out in a castle corridor. Those court folk, so discreet. Was it Narcisse and Lola??

  • Is our comic relief, Kenna, gone for good? Say it ain’t so!

  • True talk: How much longer can Francis possibly have to linger?


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.