Previously on Reign: unsurprisingly, the Protestants who hate the Catholics also hate Francis, and are threatening to blow everyone sky high. His response is to shut Mary out, depriving our main squeeze of basically any plot this episode, while elsewhere we find out taffy-haired Claude may be a murderer, blonde bombshell Catherine may not be all that crazy (I’m kidding, she’s crayfish), and there’s something about Lola (or there was, until she screwed over Narcisse; STOP BLOWING HOLES IN MY SHIP, REIGN).

 

WTF #5: That’s the minister. He’s so hot right now.

Once upon a time, Condé’s nephew died after attending a service hosted by this guy. At the time, he was wearing a sweet velvet doublet, and not threatening to make monks go boom.

Here’s a slightly more pressing question, however – what is Condé’s actual name? His title is “Prince of Condé,” but everyone just calls him Condé. Maybe “Aroused Woman” from last episode knows. I’m sure it’s been mentioned; I was probably just too busy objectifying him to pay attention.

 

Blah blah blah, Francis tortures the location of the bomb out of the velvet-less minister, but in a twist we all saw coming miles/centuries away, it’s not actually there. What is on the wall of the monastery is a message:  

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.

Just kidding. It’s meant to say “blood will flow,” but Latin grammar says –at is the present tense, sorry.

 

Blah blah blah, the Protestants kill their minister themselves in a twist Mary and Condé-Nast saw miles away, and Bash gets shot…and then recovers, without the help of Hotsodamus, who’s taken himself off somewhere to recover from being in a Levi’s ad, wild horses and all.

This was clearly done just to spice up the episode promo. Even Kenna wasn’t woried.

 

WTF #4: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Breaking news: not only is Mary not going back to Scotland, but she’s found a tiara to match those snowflake earrings she’s only worn a dozen times already this season.

Maybe it’s cold outside? That would explain the seventies knitwear and the three hundred and fifty-three fine silk shawls that had to die to make one voluminous skirt.

 

If Anne Boleyn was queen of a thousand days, Mary is queen of a thousand peplums. She even has them on her shoulders, would you believe.

I know we all live to mock the anachronistic fashions of this show, but I’m crying out for the slim-cut Jenny Packham-esque designs of yesterseason. If Mary wore something even vaguely interesting or colourful that Kate Bush hadn’t already worn better, I’d have an aneurysm.

 

Although I’m starting think she may be just getting in the spirit of the season with all these diamond snowflakes. Is it royal practice to have little and large versions of the same pieces?

 

WTF #3: The Devil Wears Marc Jacobs

I’m convinced Cathy’s dress is either Marc by Marc, or Alice + Olivia. No one else does florals this pretty. Who knew they’d work so well in a — gasp! — period-appropriate gown?

 

So we know the wee ghosties Cathy’s been seeing are two of her dead daughters, right? Now we also know that — gasp again! — somebody murdered them by shoving ribbon flowers down their throats when they were just babies.

 

We also know that the next time Sarah Manning mislays Kira, the cutest member of the Orphan Black cabal can be found at French Court (seriously, why do they say it like that, all capitalised? It should be the French court, or the court of the King of France. It’s not some nightclub where you can only get in if you go on about Gone Girl for half an hour while cramming down the contents of a bento box.)

That’s little Claude, by the way, and kudos on the casting.

 

WTF #2: We interrupt this programming to bring you…accuracy?

While it’s not quite there, the silhouette of this full skirt and higher neckline are far more similar to what the real Lola would’ve worn than even the flounciest of Mary’s dresses.

Also, I love this. There’s a kind of alchemy associated with making cranberry and creamy candy pink work together, and that prizefighter belt is part of it. If only Narcisse hadn’t departed for less sneaky climes…

 

WTF #1: Claude the Virgin (AKA Less Sneaky Climes)

Point the first: sleep in a corset, and you will die when all your organs climb up your throat to knock some sense into your brain.

Point two: try to sleep off a hangover, and the Dowager Queen will waterboard you.

 

Claude, respledent as Emmy Rossum is The Phantom of the Opera, is about to be married off to the son of a Bavarian count. Since Bavaria is the land of beer, I’m surprised Christine Claude is kicking up such a stink about moving there. She looks ready to run a saloon herself, what with all that lilac lace straight from the O.K. Pastel.

 

Her hair is so gorgeous, though. That curl game may actually replace braid game on this show. Also, her pales and pearls are truly beautiful, even if they do look like a prom dress.

Those crystals lead straight to A Night to Remember in the nineties.

 

The Count of Bavaria (whose name we don’t need to bother about because he’s a non-union actor with maybe five lines) demands Claude’s chastity be checked by the Vatican, which apparently involves a large bribe, a marquee over her downstairs and as many priests as they can fit into one camera angle.

Because Catholic priests are obviously experts on lady parts.

 

Claude and Narcisse make a nicely matched pair, since he’s all miserable now he doesn’t have Lola to take to his burgundy room of pain, and Claude is all miserable because she has mummy issues. Apparently, the way to get over these things is some grinding at a public banquet that would’ve gotten any woman of that age locked up in a nunnery for the rest of her days.

But hey, you only get one prom night, and two of what Narcisse has his eye on.

 

Remember those flowers I mentioned earlier, the ones which killed tiny Emone and teeny Henriette? Guess whose teeny-tiny dress they came from, readers.

Like mother, like daughter…although that doesn’t explain why Catherine is hallucinating her dead daughters aged eight, why she keeps professing to love Claude so much when she needs her head examined and/or removed, and what Lola was collecting in the forest at the beginning of the episode.

Did I mention Narcisse wanted Lola to use his horse’s saddle as a sex toy? Good times.