You guys, just when I was starting to worship at the alter of Rachel Skarsten, we get a Liz-free episode. In fact, the only bit of England we get this week is when her spy from last episode shows up to stir some shit. This had better mean we get a DOUBLE DOSE OF LIZ next week because I have certain expectations from this show now. In her absence, Cathy does her usual bang-up job of ruling the known universe so it’s not like we’re entirely without badass ginger queens. In fact, this is a sort of throwback to season one Reign shenanigans, what with the blood-spattery random slayings, blackmail schemes, gratuitous male shirtlessness, and what was very nearly another sex-related death.
Bash’s continued presence on this show is a continued WTF, but this week took it to new territory. Mary and Greer, busy talking about the actual plotlines of the show, run into him in the hallway and Mary’s like:
Like this is just another random guard or deputy, and not the dude she almost MARRIED, who was almost the KING, who was married for at least a season to her BFF Kenna (#whereiskenna). Like, Mary and Greer act like they only vaguely know who he is, to the point they don’t even know his nickname is Bash.
The WTF increases when you realize that Mary spoke with Bash EARLIER THIS SAME EPISODE.
But I think we all know why he’s still on the show. Dem eyes!
But seriously, either start the Supernatural: Bash, The Original Winchestor spinoff, or incorporate him back into the actual plot of the show. Nobody is here for the whole murderer/witch/Delphine plotline. Literally no one. None of the other characters. Maybe it’s all in his head??
Meanwhile, in this actual show…
WTF #5: #CLEITH
This WTF is not so much that Claude and Leith are still flirting, but rather that the show seems to have suddenly noticed that Jonathan Keltz has a torso. So they find any reason possible for him to show it. *Note this is not a problem.
First, Claude is like, “Hey snookums! Bought you this shirt! Please put it on right now, in front of everyone, which means taking off your current shirt ‘k?”
The viewing audience thanks you, Claude.
She’s pretty pleased with herself, too.
I’m not so much here for her weak sauce Crimson Peak knockoff gown. The pink and white striped back is cute, but the front is like a ski vest layered over what may be a cute ruffled top, hard to tell, what with the faux fur-lined SKI VEST. A few less layers might work better here. Not as few layers as Leith has on but… less.
Later on, she accidentally discovers Leith in flagrante with her ladies maid. She dashes off, and he hurries after her — shirtless, as one does.
Oh hai there nerps.
Here’s both a view of Leith’s back muscles, as well as Claude’s sweet sparkley dress:
I’m really into this gown. It’s less prissy than so much of what Claude tends to wear, but still retains her girlie style. A good mixture of Princess with edge, like she’s finally starting to fit in with the other ladies on this show instead of being sort of an American Girl doll trapped in France.
When he explains he only hooked up with what’s her name because he was afraid of his feelings for Claude, she stops being as mad at him. And, once he leaves, girlfriend busts out the happiest grin.
D’awwwww. Cleith forever.
WTF #4: Tonight, on A Very Special Reign
Kids these days. One season, they’re little boys playing soccer and warning you about the castle ghosts. Then suddenly, they’re stealing their dying brother’s pain meds and trying to hide the body of their OD’d ladyfriend.
No, literally. One of you lovely YKYLF readers reminded us that season one Mary and Charles looked like this, playing soccer and talking about the castle ghosts (#whereisClarissa):
Season three Mary and Charles, debating getting married and him assuring her that he’ll give her an heir:
Also, apparently Mary’s now a resident of Downton Abbey/also into the Crimson Peak style a la Claude with this lacey high-necked number. More on this later.
Anyway, Charles is distracted from discussing knocking up his brother’s wife when his FWB Constance shows up at court. You know she’s got her priorities out of wack when he says Antoine is in town and she’s like, “Booooring.”
Yeah, I don’t know about you, but as I recall Antoine runs a court where every night they have Eyes Wide Shut massive key swapping orgy parties as everybody watches everybody else hooking up. How much more excitement could she possibly want??
As it turns out, she’s more of a recreational use of medicinal-grade opium type of girl. So, after Francis gives a deathbed lecture about how he has a zero tolerance policy and won’t take painkillers due to their addictive qualities, Charles steals this comically huge vial for some shenanigans with Connie.
I’m not sure if you’re supposed to just like… drink straight opium? Isn’t this a smoking type situation?
I’m particularly certain you aren’t meant to chug a whole bottle of it, like Connie here:
Yeah, girlfriend OD’s basically instantaneously. Rather than running for a healer, a doctor, one of his guards, one of her ladies or anyone for help, Charles rushes to his party girl sister for help stowing the dead body.
Claude, shocked that she’s at this moment NOT the most useless member of her family, is basically like, “You don’t even know if she’s dead or not and you want to stow the body? Amateur, please.”
With their evil genius mother still in jail, it’s Claude’s brainwave to get the only other evil genius they have on hand – her ex-sort-of-fling, Narcisse. Narcisse pulls a Renaissance MacGyver to pump Connie’s stomach and saves the day.
The upside of the Connie opium-OD situation is that Narcisse behaved so admirably (with no ulterior motive!) that Dying Francis will now agree he can marry Lola. So… yay?
WTF #3: Mrs. Lola Narcisse
I cannot keep track of these two. First Narcisse is seducing Lola and she’s turning him down, then he’s turning her down because he wants to wait for marriage, but now they’re two little snuggly bears together in bed?
The best part was Narcisse picking up a GIGANTIC platter of wine and cheese. A night with Narcisse requires a lot of nourishment. But we all knew that as soon as Kenna read his sex diary, right?
Sidenote: I’m not sure how much older Narcisse is meant to be than Lola, but hearing him talk about his own adult children was not the sort of pillow talk I come to The CW to hear. That’s nearing Rosewood level creepiness.
Ten seconds after Francis gives his blessing, these two are practically sprinting down the aisle together. Lola must have had this Kate Middleton-adjacent number on hand just in case (or leftover from her last marriage, to that guy who turned out not to be the guy, and then she killed the other guy, and the house burned down, you guys remember that right?)
These two are skipping back to their marital bed, when they turn around and the look on their faces says it all:
Guess who’s BAAAACKKK?
See, I told you she wouldn’t stay in jail for that long. I also forgot (willful amnesia) that she and Narcisse had that “love” “story” last season where she was jealous of his feelings for Lola. She hasn’t forgotten that, though, and she gives them the least sincere, most gritted-tooth false blessing since Maleficent crashed Aurura’s christening.
WTF #2: Stay With Me
Francis is still dying, again, some more, which leaves Mary and Claude running around doing all the royal-related stuff. Mary throws her Renaissane blazer/housecoat on top of her Downton ensemble to greet the visiting Antoine:
She handles herself well but, fairly, Antoine is like, “Gurl, you’re the one who seduced and destroyed my brother and you are single-handedly the reason he’s in jail right now so… did you think I’d like, forget all of that?”
Dude’s got a point, actually.
He refuses to deal with Mary and insists to speak to Francis. So the King pulls himself together (sans opium, thnak you very much [just say no, kids!]) and emerges from his sick bed long enough to attend a ball. He and Mary dance to a very, very pretty orchestral version of Stay With Me:
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Shut up. Just give me a minute.
So, although Francis may still be slowly succumbing to his earache, he’s still got enough stamina to get all King Henry (#RIP) and suddenly stab Antoine’s guard and utter some genuinely badass death threats.
Yeah, that’s the guard’s blood all over his face. Like a boss.
Antoine, face also splattered with the unfortunate guard’s blood, agrees to never challenge them for the throne of France.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you rule a country. In THE FIVE KINGDOMS OF WESTEROS. Slow clap for Francis pulling out this sort of Khaleesi-level move.
WTF #1: The Nine Lives of Cathy de’Medici
Hahahahaha amazing. If you will recall, last week ended with Cathy at her lowest point — throwing herself against the wall to cause herself a massive head injury. We also learn this week she chewed out a piece of her cheek and spit it on the floor. All of which as a cry for attention which: goal unlocked.
Mary stops by mainly for a nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah sesh where she’s like, “You can chew out as many cheeks as you want, you will never see your children or the outside world ever again! Hahahaa!”
But of course, the world falls apart without Cathy standing there making it turn. First, there’s no one around to teach her children how to safely injest opium (and when it’s the proper thing to do — i.e. when you’re dying and in constant pain). Second, Claude and Charles had to turn to Narcisse for body disposal/stomach pumping assistance. And third, Mary and Francis are once more outmaneuvered by Liz’s spy who’s turned Antoine against them.
At least, I think that’s the same spy as last week? Though he looks different here than he did in the “previously on”. But he was in the “previously on” so it must be him. #WhiteManFaceBlindness
In any case, Mary and Francis are useless to change Antoine’s mind and turn to the only person who they know that can. Enter: Cathy.
This entrance was everything. Nicholas looked up and saw her and she was basically like, “I’m Chuck Bass” and he knew he was done for.
Not only is Cathy out of jail, but she’s now the regent-to-be as Mary’s decided not to marry her husband’s tweenage brother after all. This is partly for reasons of state, and partly for reasons of historical accuracy. Either way, it leaves us with this chilling preview of things to come as Cathy struts into the throne room and takes her seat.
Watch out, humans of the 16th century world. Cathy’s back on top, and it only took her what… an episode and a half? Once Charles is on the throne, it’s going to be the Cathy show 24/7.
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