This week, our favourite Very Historically Accurate Drama keeps up with its trademark slightly-too-fast pace, as the Evil Fork Branded Protestants go the way of The Darkness, Clarissa, et al and nobody remembers they ever happened. This week puts two plotlines on the front burner: Francis and Condé’s cosplay as Francis and Bash from season 1, warring over Mary’s affections; and, more awesomely, Catherine’s ghost-related complete mental breakdown. Who’d have thought that Sherlock Bash (with his assistant Claude Watson) would be the ones to save the day? Because that whole thing where they hooked up as tween half-siblings is also something I guess we’ve all gotten past and no longer need to discuss.
WTF #5: French Court goes furry
Last season we were sort of obsessed with this show’s completely random handling of the passing of seasons. If I recall correctly, it went from summer to winter to more winter to summer to winter again then to summer. And, sure enough, it’s suddenly cold enough that everyone’s in their furry half-cloaks that don’t actually look that warm because they don’t close in the front.
We begin the episode with Mary, in her first cloak, accessorizing with her PTSD Sad Eyes and some gold embellishments (more on her outfit in a bit).
It’s important to note that this is the #sadface she gets whenever she’s in the vicinity of Francis, who she still blames (and rightly so) for what happened during the Protestants’ attack on the castle. So you’d think Francis would stay away, particularly given she’s asked him to stay away. But you would be wrong.
Aw, here’s a smile! Notably not caused by her husband, but by Condé.
It can’t be this new cloak that’s got her in a better mood, since it looks like the child of Queen Cathy’s discarded throw rug with a direwolf. AND if it’s cold enough to need that cloak, wouldn’t she need a hat, too? But then I guess that would mess up the royal ‘do.
Princess Claude, meanwhile, throws on the same baby pink furry shrug she wore when she first arrived at court. Her hair game is 100% improved from those Renaissance Season 1 Carrie Bradshaw days, but this shrug continues to bring to mind some sort of terrible winter wedding with an Easter egg theme.
Claude’s amazing facial expressions (seriously, watch her in any scene and she’s giving amazing face) still can’t make up for the THE UGLIEST GARMENT ON THIS SHOW SINCE GREER’S MUPPET COAT THAT ONE TIME. You guys, it has PEARLS on it. PEARLS.
Bash’s Mom, Diane, also gets into the furry game with the collar on this velvet cloak. Not only is she exposing her head and ears to the cold, but also her cleave, hands and wrists. I guess it’s the sort of weather that makes you cold exclusively on your shoulders.
Francis uses fur to possible compensate for how powerless he feels in the face of Mary’s trauma. Or maybe these are like the royal furs, and he has to wear them because they’re hand-me-downs from Pimp Daddy. Seriously, he’s so clearly his father’s son in this Liberace-adjacent number.
Like, I was almost expecting him to stand up and have no pants, is how much he resembles the late King H here. NOT A GOOD THING, FRANKIE.
Later, King Francis busts out a light grey number for the big Ice Party or whatever this was.
So it’s so cold you need fur indoors now, too? That shoulder-affecting cold is just everywhere I guess.
Not to be outdone, Cathy busts out her best Queen Elsa in this white-and-gold coat. Perfect for hanging out with your creepy ghost family, no? Though those buttons on the front do have a sort of “affixed via glue gun by the props department at a high school drama program” look to them.
Behind her, King H is going in a loose-fitting peasant blouse because as we’re all about to learn, ghosts don’t need coats.
Cathy even manages to work a furry theme into her housecoat. Here it’s less for warmth than it is to make her look like a regal lioness as she finally gives Ghost Pimp Daddy the smackdown he’s been needing for so long.
Just let him go, C.
WTF #4: Ladies in waiting… for a plotline
Remember when we’d get a shot like this at least once per week? All our fancy ladies, posing in a row in their perfectly coordinated outfits? Love how they’ve each brought their own flavor to the Ice Party.
We’ve got Lola in a classic, romantic silhouette without too much embellishment. Mary’s outfit is almost bridal, yet has her usual aura of armor about it with the latticework bodice, structured skirt, and strong lines. And OK ths skirt is also covered with feathers, but it’s Reign, so of course it is. Meanwhile Kenna’s in an amazeballs tutu (more on this in a bit), and Greer’s doing her customary overdoing it thing. When your tiara has more bling than the Queen’s, you may want to scale it down.
Ever since Claude hit the scene, the L-I-Ws have had very little to do. Kenna’s doing the best she can with her few scenes, first hanging around in this oh-so-1550s bustier top. Clearly it’s cold enough outside to require fur, but the castle’s heated well enough for you to lounge around comfortably in lingerie.
It just occurred to me this week that Kenna’s like this show’s Hanna Marin. At first she just seems flighty and superficial, which she is, but she’s also a kickass friend, frequently hilarious, and gets some of the best outfits on the show.
Here’s a close-up of her Ice Party dress:
The sheer nude lace is standard for a Kenna outfit, but also works to boho up what could have been a standard white bodice. I also like how her necklace and tiara don’t match each other so much as just complement each other, and the gown. You don’t always have to go matchy-matchy (*cough, Greer, cough**
And this skirt! I’m willing to bet cash money that Caitlin Stasey spent all her time behind the scenes twirling and swishing this skirt around because how could she not.
Anyone would! She’s like a Disney princess up in here! Too bad she’s about to have her heart broken by the ruthless plot twists of the writing staff.
The Invisible Woman, Lola, was in this episode for like 45 seconds total. But we still love her, so here’s some detail on her Ice Party ensemble. I like how her take on the nude lace and white dress mirrors Kenna’s without duplicating the look.
Also she has the best hair of anyone on this show. This sideswept thing is breathtakingly lovely.
Mary, perhaps realizing that Lola’s been in need of a plotline ever since she stopped performance bathing for Narcisse, decides to randomly throw Lola at Condé.
Seriously, this show cannot commit to any flirtations. Already this season we’ve had Lola/Narcisse, Narcisse/Claude, and Claude/Condé. Now we’ll just complete the love square by closing off the only open end in that diagram, Lola/Condé. Am I the only one who wants her back with Narcisse? And remember how we briefly had Narcisse/Cathy, too? French Court is really just like Gossip Girl, but with longer hemlines.
And then OH POOR GREER. She’s so sad about the whole “her husband funded the assassin rapists who attacked Francis and Mary” that she’s entirely given up on volumizer. Her hair has never been this flat, and her face has never been this defeated.
The black lace outfit and stabby knives necklace aren’t here usual look, either. She’s clearly in a time of crisis. Oh, honey.
Her prickly theme continues with this Ice Party look. Check out all of the studs on this. I’m guessing she’s hoping her dress is so spiky nobody can get close enough to arrest her.
Sorry, G. Here’s hoping that her newfound loss of title and position doesn’t mean she’s leaving the show. But given the way things turn around, by the end of the season she and Leith will probably be the new King and Queen of Scotland or something.
WTF #3: Mary’s trauma continues to be not about Mary’s trauma
You guys, how did a story about Mary working through her trauma and learning to trust again turn into a literal dick measuring (OK, “stick hitting”) competition between Frank and Condé? Look at this woman:
When she says she needs time alone, give her some m-f’ing time alone. You want her to choo-choo-choose you? Wait until she’s worked through her very recent trauma before pressuring her into making a decision in a love triangle that WE ALL KNOW HOW IT WILL END because in season one Nostro saw a vision of Frank dying in bed next to Mary and Wikipedia tells us that Condé marries some other lady so arrrrgggggghhhhaldshjfdalf
Ahem. Sorry. Where were we? Oh, taking a look at what’s under Mary’s cloak. We’ve got a fairly standard Mary black and gold number, slightly more historically adjacent than the usz.
And what’s that accessory we haven’t seen her wear for awhile…?
She’s cheery at this moment not because she’s hanging out with Condé, but because she’s watching Francis totally humiliate Narcisse by selling off all of his lands. Seems like she’d do well to take a Queen Cathy inspired approach to recovery: less boyfriend sulking, more basking in your enemies’ humiliation.
Oh, and about twenty minutes after the rest of her entered the room, the entirety of Mary’s skirt was able to catch up with her.
Girl, you may want to check under your skirt because two evil ghost twins may just be hiding in there, along with Clarissa, Olivia, Nostro, and every other character we’ve lost track of in this show’s short tenure. Skirt is massive.
For the Ice Party, Mary opts for an updo which is really rare for her. The last major updo I can recall is when she wore her hair up for the sexy tango with the Portuguese bastard prince in season one. Those were truly simpler times.
Note how her earrings look sort of like crosses, which is probably a nod towards the whole Catholic vs. Protestant drama that seems to be always happening in the background of things. Also? Upon close inspection, that bodice is doing very odd things to her bustline. I assume that like Greer, Mary’s inner turmoil is being expressed via oddly chosen clothing items.
But what about Francis and his MAN PAIN???
Suck it up, no one cares.
Ah, here’s the happy couple looking totally not like two teenage royals who are living separate lives but pretending to be together for the good of their country.
Yeah, it’s all happy times here in Arendelle.
And I don’t really have much to say but I really love this image of Condé and his horse, both of whom are like, “… le derp?”
WTF #2: Cathy visits Evil Sex Narnia
So, the other main character of this show, everybody’s fav redhead Queen Cathy, is reaching PEAK CRAZY TIMES. This is evidenced by her sudden change in hairstyle.
Girl, you should wear your hair in Crazy Lady Curls EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE because you look ten years younger. Which, I suppose, is maybe why the show puts her in that Downton-adjacent updo 24/7.
Possibly to coordinate with the Frozen theme of this week’s party, she throws on this Princess Anna type outfit. And her hair is so thick and pretty!
Insanity suits her well.
Cathy pulls herself together ever-so-slightly for a leasurely stroll down The Only Corridor This Castle Has, where she runs into both her nemesis Diane, as well as her ghost family. The crown and velvet gown harken back to the Queen C of days gone by.
“Oh hello, I’m totally not crazy! Don’t know who told you that! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and have sex with my ghost husband and visit with my ghost twins.”
Yeah, bitch is crazy. She’s not only hallucinating her dead husband and daughters, but the hallucination of her dead husband is trying to kill her AND have outdoor snow sex with her. But he’s a hallucination so she’s really wanting to kill and have sex with HERSELF. That’s intense.
Oh noes! Snow sexed to death!!
But never fear, Bash arrives in the nick of time to save the day and put C in front of a roaring fire to thaw out.
Yeah, even the show had Cathy say, “Why did you save my life? I tried to murder you like seventeen times and you’re my least favorite person at court.” And Bash is like, “¯_(ツ)_/¯”.
Note: you know the bitch is back when you see how she’s matched her blanket with her hair with the roaring fireplace.
That’s how you recover from hypothermia and insanity, royal style.
WTF #1: CSI: Renaissance French Court
You guys, I’m so happy Bash has finally found something to do on this show because that means we get to gaze upon Torrance Coombs on a weekly basis again! Anyway, the thing he’s found is being the David Caruso of this old timey CSI franchise.
This week, Detective Bash takes on a case from his half-sister (who he slept with in the recent past, but nobody really cares about that anymore so let’s just forget about it). Claude wants to know: who killed the baby twins? If I were her, my question would be, “Who thought this look was a good idea?”
Princess Claude LOOK AT YOURSELF. Your boobs are looking even more misshapen in that than Mary’s were in her white dress, you’re wearing a corset made of Laura Ashley fabric samples, and there’s some sort of mold growing across your top.
And you’re wearing a beehive, about four hundred years before Hairspray.
Oh, and totally by coincidence and not for plot contrivance reasons at all, Diane’s back in town. And dressing like a middle school art teacher/1990s Winona Ryder in that drapey velvet maxi dresss.
Oh and maybe take special note of that necklace. No reason, just because.
Ugggghhhh Claudddddde. She is to pink and ruffles as Mary is to black and peplums.
Can we dress her in a not-pink color once, ever? I promise we’ll remember who she is, even if you don’t keep her color coded.
And OK, her dress sense may be problematic, but never forget that she is the biological daughter of two absolute sociopaths. In case you can’t tell, when she and Bash interrogate her former nanny, Claude fully inhabits the role of Bad Cop.
Badly Dressed, Bad Cop.
So, Detective Bash figures out that the baby murderer was not Claude, and not the Nanny, but rather DIANE! What an incredible coincidence that she just happened to return to the show just in time for him to figure this out. Being that’s his mother, Bash banishes her from court rather than murdering her. But she’s not Catherine’s mother. We’ve seen Queen C murder via poison, poison bubble bath, and stabbing (I think?). But we’ve never seen her like this:
IMMA KILL YOU SO HARD!!!!!
Yeah, strangling Diane by her own necklace (given to her by Henry) was a pretty baller move. Cathy takes a moment post-murder to pose for this quite stunning screencap:
I think she’s mainly offering a silent prayer that the whole Ghost Twins plotline is finally over. But with both Henry and Ghost Henry now gone, who will help her clean up this murder? Bash is out of the question (see above re: Diane’s his mother), so Francis? Mary? If only Nostro was still around, or Cathy had a squadron of ladies-in-waiting who were also master spies and criminals. OH WAIT.