Reign S04E01 Recap

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Between last season and this one I’d actually forgotten that Lola was beheaded. All of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting are gone now and that idea kind of makes me nostalgic for when the series first began and they were all together. I don’t expect to see much of Greer this season since she’s in France and not part of French court anymore and Mary is in Scotland. It would have been nice to get more of a scene for Lola’s funeral instead of a few shots. And poor Narcisse, scoundrel that he is, was unable to attend.

On the topic of dead characters, I don’t want to believe that Leith is dead. I love him and Claude together. It took me a very long time to accept that Greith was over and embrace this ship. But it looks like Claude has decided to accept that he is, in fact, dead. Her desire to avenge his death at the hands of Martel de Guise’s men inspired what I think is one of the most beautiful moments of mother-daughter bonding between her and Catherine.

Leave it to Catherine de’ Medici to make murder a beautiful mother-daughter bonding moment. As much as I used to hate her, her love for her children and the lengths she will go to to protect them always redeemed her for me. She’s an extremely more likeable version of Cersei Lannister; the ruthless, power hungry queen who would do anything to hold onto her throne and seize more power for herself.

Her other daughter, Queen Leeza, I totally forgot existed and needed to refer to one of the Reign fan wikis to find out who she was. She’s very annoying in that she’s positioning herself to take over control of French court – and how dare she side eye Catherine for sitting down first – but I do like the relationship dynamic between her, Catherine and Claude and look forward to see more scenes with them together. Particularly like the one in which Catherine explained away Martel’s death. It’s funny watching her do her usual Catherine de’ Medici spiel to cover up something that she’s done, when she knows that Leeza knows that she lying.

Back in Scotland, Mary was kidnapped by Clan Gordon in an effort to force her to marry George, the son of their leader. I was amused by the gall that the Earl of Clan Gordon had to speak to Mary, his Queen, the way he did and threaten and black mail her. Mary had even me fooled when she “accepted” “George’s” proposal. But our clever Queen Mary had a plan. I burst out laughing when George passed out as Mary tried to seduce him and she was surprised that it had been so easy and effective. I cheered when she killed that one guard that tried to recapture her and again when she put James in his place when she met him and his men on the road.

I thought it was very smart the way she handled clan Gordon after their treason and James in the process. I do believe that James really does want to serve Mary and be loyal to her, but I think she needs to be careful of how stern she is to him. She could very easily drive him into the hands of John Knox. And as much as I believe in James’ sincerity, I don’t trust him 100% because of his long relationship with the man.

He may believe himself to be a man of God, but John Knox is the devil in my eyes and I can’t wait until he’s killed off. It’s a shame that his plan to pit Mary and Elizabeth against each other succeeded flawlessly.

Baby John is so sweet and so precious and my heart broke for him in this episode, watching him sit on the bed and cry as Gideon tried to reason with Renee. He is so young to have suffered as much as he has and I wonder what will happen to him now that both of his parents are dead. Perhaps he will go back to France with Narcisse. He is the greatest casualty of Knox’s plot.

I really like Elizabeth and I think that under any other circumstances she and Mary would be the best of friends. That’s why I totally understand her desire to never get to know Mary personally. I can see them getting closer than even she and Lola were. But as she said, they’ve been positioned as rivals and who they are, politically and dynastically speaking,  means that that can never be.

Lord Darnley made his grand entrance at the end of the episode and it looks like Mary and Elizabeth may well be fighting over his loyalties for at least a small part of the season. Given that this series is filled with strong female characters, I was a little peeved that two of it’s three most powerful women seem to be set up to fight over a man. The saving grace here, though, is that the fight is political and not romantic so it’s not at all bothersome.

Knowing what really happened historically speaking, we all know that Mary will never claim England’s throne and become it’s Queen. In fact, she’s beheaded. Seeing as this is the last season I am very curious to see if that is how the series will end. I don’t think that it will, though, and will instead end on high note for Mary. She may not get England, but I think that she will secure her footing as Queen of Scotland.

Random thoughts:

  1. Remember when Claude was annoying?
  2. I don’t remember who you are Martel de Guise, but I don’t trust you.
  3. Clan Gordon really underestimated Mary.

Reign airs Fridays at 9 PM on The CW.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.