You guys, I’m officially in love with Rachel Skarsten’s Queen Elizabeth. Think about the impossible job they gave her: become the second lead of a show in its third season, playing the antagonist of our heroine, but make her sympathetic and vulnerable and snarky and witty. Make us care about the pencil line drawings of characters that surround her. And? I think she’s basically my favorite character right now. Lizzie is everything that Mary has never been: ruthless, pragmatic, ambitious, and ready to make the tough decisions. But she’s also got so much in common with Mary: her love is too big, she’s a young ruler who’s constantly in over her head, and can’t really trust anybody. In case you suddenly mistook this for an actual historical drama, never fear. This week featured a dead rat in a bathtub, secret code words that nearly murdered an entire family, and Lola transforming into Little Red Riding Hood. Still no Kenna, though. #sadface
WTF #5: To Grandmother’s House We Go
If you ever wondered what Lola would look like the moment she discovers a dead rat in the bathtub: here you go:
A few other things. 1) Why is the water so… opaque? How long has she been sitting in her own filth or is this some sort of Renaissance bath bomb scenario? 2) Didn’t people in this time period bathe like, once per year? 3) Where is your DAMN SON while you’re bathing seventeen times a day and 4) STOP IT WITH THE BATHS, LOLA, I BEG OF YOU.
The rat appears to be a threat to her forbidden romance with Narcisse, so naturally girlfriend throws on the most fabulous housecoat ever and visits her would-be-hookup:
This is some velvet Diane von Furstenburg realness and I am here for it. I’m also here for the return of Lola’s dubious snark face:
Anyway, so you know how Lola spends so much time in the woods gathering plants for her son? No? Oh right, we’ve literally never seen her do or speak about this. But look how lovely she looks doing it:
This is straight up like a painting by Fragonard. Which, despite being about 150 years after the events in this show were meant to transpire, is actually a lot more historically accurate than this show usually is.
Seriously, look at her with her perfect curls and her little corset top:
She’s like a mixture of Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella pre-transformation, and Little Red.
And boyfriend is clearly the Big Bad Wolf:
And if we all remember the secret sex diary Kenna read last season, emphasis on the BIG.
After yet more rounds of will-they-won’t-they-no-one-cares, Lola agrees to marry him. I think? And then we learn Narcisse was the one who put the rat in the bath. Which means he’s actually playing her? Or he’s just really desperate to woo her? I don’t think the writers or the actors actually know, which is why we end with him making this very vague facial expression:
Guilt? Determination? Passionate love? Smelling a fart?
WTF #4: Nobody puts Cathy in a dungeon
Remember in season one, when Cathy was put in prison and basically turned her cell into a bordello? Where’s that initiative now?? Girlfriend is in rough shape this week.
They even took her tiara! And she’s wearing EARTH TONES! WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?
She turns on her best Cercei Lannister when she meets with her son, Brunette Joffrey:
Snaps to Megan Follows for going all-out with this grungy prisoner look for the entire episode. I don’t pity her trying to comb that all out at the end of the work day.
You know Cathy’s game is not at its best when she’s outsmarted by Mary and Francis. Like, Mary and Francis. The same dream team that bring France to the brink of war regularly every sweeps week.
No wonder she ended the episode knocking herself unconscious. I’d be embarrassed, too.*
*But you know this is some sort of ploy to ultimately escape prison. And furthermore, I think we all know she’ll be fully back on #TeamFrary two episodes from now. Because nobody on this show can ever hold a grudge.
WTF #3: The Princess Bride Brat
Apparently I didn’t read the credits well enough last week, because both Claude and Leith are still series regulars. And so we get round two of their Westley/Buttercup proto-romance. Claude’s still H-to-T in pink, as is her boudoir:
And still a total adorable brat, and I guess we’ve all moved on from that whole half-incest-sleeping-with-Bash plotline from last season, which I am TOTALLY FINE WITH PRETENDING NEVER HAPPENED.
And Leith is still attempting his best Mr. Knightley routine, being all, “I outwardly disapprove of you, but secretly I very much enjoy you.”
He’s also taking grooming tips from Francis about how to best sport a five o’clock shadow when your beard grows in blond.
The non-plot development this week is that Claude’s desperate for her blanket because it was a gift from her dead father, and it comforts her now that her brother is slowly (soooo slowly) dying. Also, her necklace is hilariously gigantic a la Caroline’s pearls on Two Broke Girls:
Cute as a button, this one.
Leith has (yet another) moment of revelation when he realizes (yet again) that there’s more to Claude that pink accessories and sleeping around:
“Can she be pretty, perky, flighty and also… a worthwhile human being?”
Sorry, I enjoyed this storyline better when it was about Bash and Kenna. Which reminds me: WHERE IS KENNA???
WTF #2: Mary and Francis, political masterminds
As mentioned above, Mary and Francis manage to outmaneuver Cathy. I mean, she’s in a dungeon, but that still shouldn’t be an even playing field. Especially since these two are still in full-on pre-grieving mode:
I’m actually really into Mary’s embellished maxi action this week. And not just because it looks like something Kenna might wear.
She’s also got these door knocker earrings:
It’s a good thing I dig this look because it’s the only thing she wears all episode. What the hell, show? Did they have to give up part of the wardrobe budget to pay for Lizzie’s looks? Actually: I’m entirely OK with that. Carry on.
FYI: this dress also has some cape action, going two for two episodes this season. Are capes going to be her new peplums? Will she soon be wearing six capes simultaneously? I’m also OK with that.
So anyway, much like Francis at the start of season one, Charles is too busy playing Renaissance soccer to worry about being the heir to the throne. (Except of course season one Francis was busy screwing random women, not playing soccer) So Mary and Francis take it upon themselves to teach him how to be a good monarch:
These two. I know. Poor kid is doomed.
Unrelated: am I the only one who thinks he looks like Baby Bash?
Right down to the overly styled short bangs. Are we sure he’s Henry’s son, and not Bash’s? Which reminds me, when he’s like, “I don’t want to marry Mary! I want to be with someone my own age!” are we all supposed to forget that Mary and Francis are supposed to be like, 16, still? How old is Baby Bash mean to be, 10?
SO ANYWAY. As much as I mock, you know I’m #TeamFrary4Ever. And I didn’t tear up at all with this end of episode snuggle.
Nope. Just something got in my eye.
WTF #1: The Many Faces of Elizabeth Rex
Between Petra on Jane the Virgin and Liz on Reign, CW has hired the actresses with the most expressive faces on TV right now. Seriously, check out how the ginger queen wheels and deals to make her BFF basically admit to treason, as a favor.
Step one: “Heeeyyyy girl. Is that a new dress because you look SO CUTE TODAY!”
Step two: “Speaking of you doing something for me, can you do me the TINIEST LITTLE FAVOR?”
Step three: “OK so it’s slightly treasonous but I would owe you BIG TIME.”
And who could turn down that face? Of course her friend, Alternate Reality Greer, agrees to lie and say she invited Cathy to court:
And then she gets slightly murdered, but that’s just the cost of admission for being lifelong BFFs with this fiery ginger, amirite? And let’s be fair: girl had it coming. You don’t call out the Queen as a bad friend, especially when her entire political dynasty is on the line.
Seriously, who could stay mad at this Queen Elsa side braid and array of gold jewels, so flattering for an autumn?
Liz is to gold and orange as Claude is to pink. Her entire castle is styled in a fiery palette.
And this sweet off-the-shoulder number turns out to be handy for easy removal, during her illicit hook-up with her married LOVAH, Poor Man’s Robb Stark:
Luckily, his name is Robert too, so I’ll remember which one he is.
And we all remember his sad wife with the split ends, right? Last week she was all, “Please, man with toupee, teach me about sex so I can win back my husband!” and this week she’s like, “I’ll let you in the back door, toupee man, if you can ensure my husband becomes Ambassador to anywhere far away from Elizabeth!”
Yeah, the chemistry just radiates off of these two.
Whatever her motivations, you know she’s not in this for the physical pleasure of this dude’s company:
Also that’s an interesting… hair… bib?
Ultimately, Lizzie manages to get Robert to stay in England and hires this new guy to spy on Mary in France:
Faaaabulous. Just what this show needs: another lantern-jawed white guy between the ages of 25-40. I’m sure I’ll have NO TROUBLE AT ALL telling him apart from EVERY OTHER MAN ON THIS SHOW.
But the best part was how she convinced him to go. She was all, “I know you’re a retired spy and all… but can you do me a solid?”
Can the show take place entirely in England now? Asking for a friend.
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