Reign gets political

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We’re following the M3 air dates for Reign so if you haven’t seen “Drawn and Quartered” yet and want to avoid spoilers, we suggest staying in your plague-resisitant chambers until you’re all caught up.

I don’t know what it is I enjoy more about Reign, the scandalous personal drama or the equally scandalous politicking. Wednesday’s “Drawn and Quartered” offered up a fine mix of both with Mary forced to deal with the fallout of her impromptu execution by plague order from last week, while Francis and Lola returned to the castle with a baby in tow.

The politicking seems likely to fuel some personal drama—I can’t have been the only one momentarily duped by a flashback to Season 1 Mary and Francis—and I’ve got to give some credit to Lord Narcisse for really bringing it when it came to pointing out to Mary where a royal’s powers come from. While Francis and Mary have been full of plans for the future from the beginning, there was something fantastic about Narcisse pointing out they weren’t absolute rulers, even if he is likely to cause serious problems for our couple down the road. I’m less keen on his opinion that Francis should be handling his wife, but for all that he’s providing the political thrills he’s still got to be the scripted bad guy.

I also can’t wait to see how the tension between old school Narcisse and pseudo-Protestant Louis plays out. It’s great to see the show delving into this hefty issue instead of side-stepping it with pagans yet again, though we’ve apparently got a haunting on our hands. Since last season’s mystical big bad ended up just being a man, I’m partly suspicious this is a ruse by Narcisse (or someone else) to terrify Francis into submitting by playing up the guilt of the murder. That does beg the question of who could possibly know what Francis did, but so far the show has stayed away from actually depicting the supernatural and I’m not convinced they’d start now. Though we still have Bash’s dead child hallucination to account for.

As for that good guy/bad guy dichotomy brewing between our nobles and royalty and within it, Mary is certainly playing with it this season. We’re a far cry from her slapping Catherine over the death of 12 men when she’s not even blinking at the suggestion that she could have just arrested Edward instead of throwing him to his death in the dungeon. Then again, it’s starting to feel like every move from our queen is becoming calculated, to the point where I’m not entirely sure she told Francis to claim his son out of the goodness of his heart.

She’s seen with Catherine how a bastard child can be used against a king (and queen) and I can’t help but wonder if she wants some leverage in this relationship, what with Lola and Francis talking about state business over baby Robert updates, or at least wants to make sure the power-grabbing nobles at court don’t try to use paternity suspicions against her. Maybe this is a flash of the old Mary who sympathized with Bash and the underdog—it’s just we’ve seen so little of her this season that it’s almost impossible to spot.

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If nothing else, it’s quite the sign that Catherine tried attacking Mary through Francis claiming his son instead of going at her directly. I’m assuming that’s what that talk over Henry’s tomb was. Much as Catherine cares for her son, she’s all about protecting the throne and I don’t think she’d stand for the bastard child of Lola to have a shot at it. Since she’s finally pieced together that Mary drugged her, and got Nostradamus to help, I’m assuming that moment of maternal tenderness had a sharp edge and pointed direction—namely at the one person who would be publicly humiliated by Francis officially acknowledging his new son.

And if we’re back to Catherine waging a sneaky war against Mary, well, I might be even more excited about that than I am an abandoned Greer and Leith in a billowing blouse of angst. I have absolutely no idea how Castleroy made the leap from Yvette getting poisoned while having dinner with a friend to Leith being responsible, but I guess that’s jealousy for you. On the brighter side, it means Greer’s suddenly free of his clinginess just as our favourite cook has been summoned back to court by the king. Give the man a title and let these two get married already—everyone else has had their moment.

Reign-ing moments:

  • I know everyone has had a nickname for Castleroy—I have secretly been calling him Fauntleroy, the yippy dog from Foxtrot. I was almost sad to see him go.
  • Was anyone else extremely alarmed at how little protection Bash and the men were taking while removing the plague bodies?
  • “One bedroom for husband and wife. Good luck to you with that.” Can we get Catherine her own relationship column?
  • “I loved Henry, but he was a terrible husband.” I mean, seriously.
  • Has anyone looked up what it means to be drawn and quartered? Nostradamus got lucky. Alas, he also got the hell out of there.

Reign airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on M3 and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV2 and The CW. Get a sneak peek at next week here: