It’s been a long five months since the season one finale of CW’s Reign. When we last left off Kenna and Bash were playing house with their new ward, Pascal. Greer decided to call it quits with Leith once and for all, only to have him rebound with…her husband’s daughter? Francis killed Henry in a dual (sensing a Freudian theme here) and after inheriting the throne promptly left Mary alone at court to find Lola after discovering that she is carrying his child. Enter Plague.
Francis and Lola: What to Do About the Baby?
Francis jets off through the Plague-stricken countryside to heroically save his wife’s friend and their illegitimate child. Before the baby even has a name, the Plague rears its head, forcing them to pick up and leave. Along the way the trio bumps into Francis’s long lost cousin, Lord Conde, who offers to keep them safe for a couple days - a true gentleman. Though later we find out that Conde was hiding his safe passage from them, so then again maybe not. Meanwhile, Francis graciously allows Lola and the baby to go with his cousin, so that they can start new lives someplace safe. I was actually extremely impressed at how progressive and considerate this decision was until…oops he changes his mind, instead playing the “I’m king” card to get them to stay. Oh well, so close. This will definitely make for an interesting dynamic between Francis, Mary, and Lola, especially with Catherine judgmentally looking down on all three.
Mary: A Transformation
Left to oversee French court alone, Mary finally takes charge and assumes her role as Queen. Gone are the days when Catherine could simply taunt and threaten Mary to bend at her will. Perhaps to show the Court that she means business, or in weird reference to the Plague, Mary undergoes a bit of a style transformation as well, opting for high necklines and somber shades of wine, gold, and black. Amongst this Contagion like backdrop, Mary attempts to assuage the panicking members of Court with the help of Nostradamus (now oddly beard-free!) As if this wasn’t enough, a nobleman has the audacity to barge into Mary and Catherine’s private throne room, complete with the latest in Plague inhibiting technology (burning goblets of potpourri), and request that they kill this random person or else. Obviously, Queen Mary quickly denies this proposal, and to assure that Catherine does not have other plans, slips a little something in her drink. Unfortunately, her efforts prove futile, as the obstinate nobleman went right ahead and carried out his vengeance on his enemy’s entire family, including Greer’s new man-stealing daughter-in-law. Don’t worry though, because Mary finds out and brings down the hammer, locking that family-poisoning betrayer in a dungeon where disease runs rampant. The new, edgy side of Mary that emerged at the close of last season is here to stay, and I for one can’t get enough.
Greer: How My Boyfriend Almost Became My Son
As the Plague approaches, Yvette decides to use the dire circumstances to her advantage, and proposes a little “last night on Earth” rendezvous to Leith. Greer, however, swoops in and quickly intercepts this slightly overzealous suggestion, and convinces Leith to decline. “Don’t test me in this way, for I will fail” well played Greer, well played. Of course it was only just after that Yvette was poisoned along with her entire family anyways. Now that’s what you call wishful thinking.
Bash and Kenna: Trouble in Paradise
With Francis recklessly abandoning his newly inherited kingdom in their time of need, Bash takes it upon himself to pick up the necessary slack. Who’s illegitimate now? However, while he is off protecting the people and such, Kenna is cornered by the very cranky and very pasty plague-starter who forces Pascal to come help him with his groceries. When Kenna finally finds Pascal, now clearly infected, and tries to help him, she is discovered and locked into the bedroom with the two extreme. What ensues is a heartbreaking scene in which Kenna leans against the door separating them, w velvet and satin silver dress splayed around her, and comforts Pascal in his last moments to the somber sound of Don Brownrigg’s “Fight for Your Castle”. She is then promptly rescued by her “Master of Horse and Hunt” in shining armor, showing that perhaps Henry did at least one good deed in pairing the two together.
This dark, conceptual episode cohesively fits together with a carefully outlined plot that made for a nearly standalone piece. I'm curious to see how this Plague plotline plays out - where do our favorite royals go from here? And, perhaps more importantly, will we see more beaded headbands in the near future?