Partway through this episode, Mary throws the truth bomb that she and Francis have been married for one year. Other than Lola’s baby’s age, this is the only thing we have to hint at this show’s timeline. So in brief, in the past year: Mary and Francis got married, Cathy was thrown in jail and got out about seventeen times, Lola had a baby, Greer got married, was cast out of court, and became France’s preeminent teenage madam, Mary was attacked, hooked up with Conde, nearly led France into war, and reunited with Francis just in time for his ear infection sitch to get real. All in twelve months? This is like Rosewood time. This episode also contains about a half-season’s worth of plot twists, but as we all know by now, that’s just how things roll in Renaissancey France.
WTF #5: Lady Lola, Detective
Lola’s always been the smart one. That’s her thing, along with only wearing maroon and having curly hair and, so far this season, wearing quasi-puffy vests all the time.
I mean, look at this face. Girlfriend couldn’t play dumb if her life depended on it. Remember how she’s also an expert forger? I miss that side of her.
So, Lola runs into Cathy who — OK, before we move on, we need to discuss this look which I call Night of a Thousand Necklaces.
This look makes me think of nothing more than how salesgirls at Claire’s Accessories have to wear at least six pieces from the collection at all times. Cathy’s making up for her time in the dungeon by wearing all of her jewels simultaneously.
When Narcisse sneaks off early morning mid-honeymoon, Lola immediately notices his muddy shoes and knows he’s been sneaking off somewhere else. Renaissance Nancy Drew, this one.
Gah, even the wood finish on this bed is basically maroon.
Yet somehow despite all of her smarts, Lola is shocked SHOCKED to learn that Narcisse is still sneaking around and doing vilalnous shizz. Girl, don’t front: you know who you married.
She’s also wearing about 1/5 as many necklaces as Cathy. Did this show get a sudden influx of new jewels, or a new sponsorship from Lia Sophia, or what?
WTF #4: Lady Greer, Teen Madam
So, if Francis and Mary have been married for a year and Mary and her squad arrived in France a few months before that, Greer’s been in France for maybe 18 months. And the ladies were all sweet 16 (and never been kissed, mostly… #KennaWatch2K15) then, so girlfriend is maybe 18 years old, maximum. Pretty good for being not just a madam, but clearly the most successful entrepreneur in all of France.
She’s she’s also clearly untouchable enough that she, OWNER OF A BROTHEL, is able to casually hang out and visit with HRH Mary and Francis whenever she wants? Like, nobody finds that a big deal at all? ‘K.
This ruffled, sheer bathrobe makes me think of something Rihanna would wear grocery shopping which is one of the highest compliments you can get, bathrobe wise. Though, if she’s able to afford this many fancy robes surely she has time to do something with her hair besides this tired Elsa braid.
And let us not speak about the return of Mary’s horrifying Cabo braids.
But maybe her friendship with Mary is a secret? Otherwise why would English spies chat so freely in The Best Little Whorehouse in France? Luckily Greer’s lurking around and is able to send messages back to her BFF.
She’s also is there to sort out Bash and Bash 2.0… but we’ll get to that in a bit.
WTF #3: Queen Cathy, Family Pimp
Cathy’s always been big into velvet, but heretofore she’s gone with subdued jewel tones, as one might find in a high school production of Camelot. This number veers right over into high school Once Upon a Mattress territory:
Like the Night of a Thousand Necklaces, I’m assuiming this look is her sartorial statement about being out of jail. And in case you forgot she’s more Catholic than the Pope: crucifix necklace.
Cathy exchanges the heavy jewels for heavy beading in the epic collar of this next number:
The back is even more stunning:
I couldn’t get a good screencap, but Cathy highlights the back of her gown by casually stroking her ass as she sashays away from Narcisse. Girlfriend is out of the pokey and ready to party.
Other than throwing shade at the newlywed Lolcisse, Ginger Queen #2’s other main goal this week is to get enough votes to be Charles’s regent which like…isn’t this a monarchy? Can’t they just order it? Meh, then we wouldn’t get amazing scenes like this of Cathy literally pimping out her daughter to get a vote:
“You just bend… and snap!”
And is that Claude in NOT PINK? What is happening to the world???
WTF #2: Queen Elizabeth, Teenage Spinster
Queen Liz solidifies yellow as her power color this week. She also instantly proves how much better she is at everything than Mary by serving up her own Cabo braid ™ of about 10x thicker than Mary’s ever was. Her advisor is like, “You should marry someone,” and she’s like, “Gurl, who you talking to?”
She’s visited by the visiting Spanish Prince (also mentioned in previous episodes as maybe a candidate for Mary’s next hubs) who, if he was in 2015, would be wearing a fedora and being all, “Milady.”
Liz is intrigued by this guy who would be literally a good beard for her relaysh with Robert, who we learn this week is BAD NEWS. Like, wife-strangling BAD NEWS. If you Wikipedia Robert Dudley and his wife Amy, you’ll see that this is historically accurate-ish, and Amy and her limp hair need to RUN AWAY.
Also: is this just me, or is she like half-Emma Roberts/half-Yael Grobglas? Discuss.
Liz proves herself as a Queen in the mold of Snow White’s Stepmother as she gazes at her reflection while scheming. Mary does have a kind of Snow White thing going on so I wouldn’t be surprised for all this to turn Once Upon A Time on us by the end of the season. I also wouldn’t put it past Liz to send a poisoned apple, or for Mary to be clueless enough to bite into it.
Gagging over her in this jewel tone. Why did they have to make yellow her power color when this ginger comes ALIVE in this blue? The costume team needs to exactly copy Joan’s Mad Men color story, put it in longer dresses, and there you go.
Liz then throws the shadiest of shade upon her maid, who (can’t say I blame her) overstepped her role to caress the cheek of her Queen.
Bitch did whaaaa?
This moment was weird enough that either a) this maid is secretly on Cathy’s flying squadron and just took a secret DNA scraping, b) the maid secretly applied a Renaissance GPS tracker to Liz’s face, or c) this is the first foreshadow of the terrible skin condition the real Liz had that made her face essentially melt off. Wikipedia that shizz, it’s totally true.
ANYWHODLE, much to my delight, Spanish Prince’s appalling proposal (greatest hits: “Lift up your skirt so I can see you aren’t a man,” “When I’m your husband I’ll be King and can make you do whatever I say”) leads to some of the best #RachieFaces yet as Rachel Skarsten as Liz makes her way from condescending politeness:
To mildly disgusted:
To throwing up in her mouth a little:
Liz vows to never marry which, seeing everything that goes down on this show, is really every woman’s best bet.
Personally, I’d also advise her to vow to never wear her hair up again, but that’s just me. I love seeing those long ginger locks free in the breeze.
WTF #1: Bashwatch 2K15
Just when I started to suspect that the whole Delphine scenario was Bash having a Fight Club/Henry-and-Catherine-style syphilis/poisoning attack and she didn’t actually exist, SO MUCH SHIZZ GOES DOWN. Delphine is not a hallucination, but suddenly a very important plot device.
So first, Bash integrates with actual other members of the cast as he pays a visit to Greer’s shockingly successful brothel where he runs into his Mini Me and his bat signal* goes off:
*That thing where his body is marked when Delphine is injured is legit the only actual supernatural thing to ever happen on this show, other than Nostro’s visions, right? Everything else turned out to be poison, syphilis or Clarissa-related, I’m pretty sure.
This cross-shaped burn means Delphine’s off being branded by someone, but who and where??? Then Bash realizes that in this Catholic country, there’s only one place with crosses, and he rushes off to save her.
This is what we call non-gratuitous shirtlessness FYI. It’s not as fun as, for instance, Leith changing shirts every two seconds last episode, but it’ll do for now.
Mary’s been getting Francis to take some new meds that has him back out on the open water, on the boat that is suddenly their big thing. Also: Mary’s suddenly all done up like a pioneer times American Girl doll. Not her best look.
Dreamcatcher earrings on point, though. And she’s also wearing the huge necklace apparently necessary for all female characters this week.
Oh and remember Mary has a mother? We met her that one time. She’s played by the crazy cult lady from The Leftovers and they write to each other in code:
I know among the more soap operatic plotlines it was easy to zone out during the talks of queens and succession, but basically: if Mary’s mother dies, everyone is EFFED. That’s all you need to know. #foreshadowing
When it becomes apparent that Queen Elizabeth’s spy whose face I can never remember has been leaking secrets to England, Mary pulls out this “clever” “plan” to have him catch her using the cipher. Love how she’s all, “La la la nothing to see here, just a Queen decoding a letter, now I’m going to wander out of the room for a minute, hope nobody copies these top secret ciphers la la la.”
Also interesting that ever since Francis has been on the slow Death March, Mary hasn’t been wearing her usual blacks and reds, right? She’s all about silvers and whites lately.
Much like Liz pops in jewel tones, Mary’s really at her most stunning when she dresses in her Alexander McQueen for Dia de los Muertos ensembles.
This next look is like a straight-up priest robe:
And who are these new ladies she’s hanging with? I mean yes her original squad are now either a) dead, b) en route to Russia with a boy King, c) on a honeymoon with an arch-villain or d) busy running a brothel, but where did these new women come from??
Mary’s “plan” works, and things all seem great until with six minutes left in the episoe, Francis totally dies. Literally. He just suddenly dies, right after a vision straight out of Nostro’s vision from season one, complete with ear blood:
A million fangirls wept.*
* But real talk: if and when Francis dies for real, it’s not going to happen in the last six minutes of episode four. You know it’ll be hyped up all week before, and the episode will have everyone sharing last moments with him, and lots of flashbacks, and maybe a Frary one-hour special beforehand, and it’ll be during a sweeps period. I mean, that’s just basic TV programming I think.
But remember Bash’s whole deal? By TOTAL COINCIDENCE, he shows up with his witchy friend just as Francis breathes his last ear-infected breath. And thanks to Delphine, Francis is resurrected, Zombie Frankenstein style:
As per the rules of Delphine’s superpowers, someone else has to die somewhere else every time she saves a life. And this time? The price is paid by Mary’s mother, who, to be fair, it was mentioned earlier in the episode has been ill.
Her non-helpful servants also call the time of death basically immediately, like **collapse** “She’s dead!” without even checking for a pulse. Golf claps for the administrative staff in that castle. BUT remember our history lesson? Mary’s mother being dead = a world of trouble for Mary. So this is a good news/bad news sort of deal.
AND FURTHERMORE, how permanent was Delphine’s fix, anyway? When the producers said Francis was going to die, did they mean this technical death moment, or is he going to die for real later? SOMEONE HOLD ME I CAN’T HANDLE THE SUSPENSE.
Because there’s only so much sad Snow White I can take. #Frary4Life