SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
This episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Mary ready to take back her castle and punish the Privy Council for staging their coup. She dresses for battle and, despite her pregnancy, refuses to stay behind; she will be on the battlefield with her men! She appears at the castle with her men, shocking Ruthven who assumed he had her trapped safe and sound in her room, ready to reclaim what is hers…and then we cut to Bothwell, Mary and company hanging him. With Mary herself kicking the wood from beneath Ruthven’s feet.
I must say that I was disappointed that we didn’t get at least a skirmish between Mary’s forces and those of the Privy Council. By the time she’d gotten there, all of them except for Ruthven had run and there was no battle to be fought. All she needed to to was stroll right in. At first I thought that the members of her Privy Council had run out of cowardice, but as the episode progressed and she found it increasingly difficult to find and bring them to justice, I realised it was the smartest thing for them to do.
This unfortunately also worked in Knox’s favour because there was no one around to testify that he was involved in it. Here had been her greatest opportunity to rid herself of the man and it was slipping between her fingers like sand. That is until Darnley showed up, having served up on of the conspirators on a platter for Mary, claiming to have changed in the months since the coup and wanting only to be involved in his child’s life. I didn’t trust Darnley at all and neither did Bothwell, although I was hopeful that he was telling the truth just as Mary was.
Another thing that disappointed me was when Mary turned down Narcisse’s offer to take revenge on Knox for Lola’s execution. If anyone besides Mary had more than enough reason to see the man dead, it was Narcisse. So when Mary’s plan to round up the members of the Privy Council and arrest them literally went up in smoke and she told Narcisse that he wouldn’t be able to see Knox brought to justice, I thought that was her subtle way of telling him to go right ahead with his revenge.
Except Mary wasn’t doing that and she knew nothing about the torture Narcisse had subjected Knox to. It was admittedly satisfying seeing Knox finally get what he deserved for all of the evil he had done. I didn’t think he would castrate Knox (or give Mary his severed testicles as a parting gift, for that matter). I expected him to kill him. Narcisse wasn’t done avenging Lola’s death, however.
It turned out that Bothwell’s mistrust – and mine as well – in Darnley was well deserved. I didn’t want to believe Bothwell when he proposed to Mary that it had been Darnley and not Knox who’d burned the Privy Council alive, but he was right. It was him. And Darnley is perhaps more sinister than ever now because he’s gone completely mad; telling his mother that his dead love, Kira had guided him.
Elizabeth had quite the task juggling Ferdinand and Gideon and lying to both about what she was doing with the other. She semi kept her promise to Ferdinand by sending Gideon on numerous trips out of the country and convinced him that there was nothing between her and Gideon. On the other hand she failed to tell Gideon of her sexual relationship with Ferdinand and assured him that the frequent trips weren’t because of Ferdinand’s jealousy, which it was.
She was very much trying to have her cake and eat it too, but it ultimately backfired when she invited Gideon to her chambers one night and he found Ferdinand waiting outside. Ferdinand, already far wiser to the situation than Gideon was, made it abundantly clear that he was there for the same reason he knew Gideon was. Heartbroken to learn that Elizabeth had been lying to him, Gideon ends their affair.
Elizabeth won’t let go of their relationship that easily and has him meet her in a church, where she explains that she would never lie to him again and only did what she had to keep them together despite her marriage and Ferdinand’s jealousy. The two perform a handfasting ceremony, binding them together in love for all eternity.
Their happiness is very shortly lived when Gideon suddenly collapses and dies in Elizabeth’s arms. Jane urges Elizabeth to leave so that she will not be found with him, thereby raising questions, since she’d already sent for a doctor. Clutching Gideon’s lifeless body, Elizabeth insists that he must have been poisoned (had had shown signs of illness earlier in the episode, however) and swears she will find who killed him.
At first, I thought that it had been Ferdinand who poisoned Gideon. We don’t know him that well yet so I wouldn’t put it past him, but it was Narcisse. Like I said, he wasn’t quite done avenging Lola. It puzzled me as to how he could have done so when he was miles away in Scotland, but then it occurred to me that he may well have been the person that Jane had been writing to. It would make sense that she be his agent in England and had been the one to deliver the poison to Gideon.
In France Luc, on his way back to French court from his estates, catches Henry and Nicole kissing in the town and heading into an inn together. He immediately tells Catherine who enlists his and Claude’s help in convincing Henry to end his affair with Nicole. Henry enthusiastically and far too quickly agrees, saying he was about to end it. Which was altogether true since earlier in the episode, she’d caught him trying on her earrings at the inn.
When Henry goes to Nicole to break things off, she says it wasn’t the first time she’d caught him doing that and noticed marks that could only have come from wearing a corset on his chest. Defiant, Henry says he likes dressing in women’s clothing and the way it makes him feel. He refuses to let go of the pleasure it brings him and she is free to leave him if that’s not the kind of man she wants.
As was obvious to anyone but Henry, Nicole is perfectly fine with his proclivities, even gifting him a pair of earrings. Henry returns the “I love you” Nicole had given him earlier in the episode, in turn ruining my hope that he was only using her.
Charles, in the meantime, is busy trying to decide which of Spain’s pre-approved options for his wife he would like to marry. After all of the struggling with Spain, France has finally come to an agreement with them and his marriage to one of these girls would ensure a lasting peace between them. But when Luc asks Charles to support his annulment from Claude so that she can be with the one she loves, Charles decides to follow suit, announcing his intended as Nicole and destroying the progress they had made with Spain.
- I’m surprised Nicole didn’t react to Henry now saying “I love you” back.
- Charles: “Too equine.” Lol.
- Elizabeth is playing a dangerous game with these two.
- How is Knox always one step ahead?
- This “marriage” won’t end well for Elizabeth and Gideon.
- Wait what? Gideon just died?
- Stop sinking my ship Claude!
- Oh good gravy Charles!
The series finale of Reign air on Friday June 16th.