I’d like to start off this recap by quoting myself from last week: “if and when Francis dies for real… it’ll be hyped up all week before, and the episode will have everyone sharing last moments with him, and lots of flashbacks… and it’ll be during a sweeps period.” Oh, had I but known I had the precognitive abilities of Nostro! Because on Thursday we started getting rumblings from the cast on Twitter and Instagram saying things like, “You should DEFINITELY ALL WATCH this week’s episode” and “The ENTIRE CAST will be live tweeting so don’t miss it.” The episode practically started with, “Tonight, on a Very Special Reign…” and we’re in sweeps week so… sayanara, King Frank.
WTF #5: This damn boat
This may be a small pet peeve in the grand scale of things, but this boat has only been a symbol of Frary’s undying love since four episodes ago. Now, all of a sudden, these two are yachting 24/7 and are we meant to pretend this has been a thing since day 1?
Show: you knew going into this that Francis was going to die young. You had PLENTY OF TIME to set up sweet memories and recurring motifs for these two but all we got were a) feathers-a-palooza and b) five episodes of sailing lessons.
I expect better.
Oh, and Mary’s yachting attire – while nautical-adjacent with the white – is really not what one wants to be wearing along wet sand:
I know this is a super sad episode and there are much more important things to discuss but THIS DRESS THOUGH. Yes, yes, she looks lovely but that’s just her face fooling you with her happiness at her newly-resurrected teen husband. Focus on the QUILTED BODICE.
I do admire Adelaide Kane’s earlobe strength, though. She wears at least one pair of doorknockers like this every week and always sells the hell out of them.
But even gorge jewelry is not enough to distract from how much she looks like an upside-down feather duster in this number. That skirt is fully a bedskirt, right? And the bell-bottom sleeves? Why is this look even in her closet at all??
WTF #4: Torrance Coombs and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Hair Day
Meanwhile in the continued saga of What Did Torrance Coombs Do To Piss Off The Entire Show’s Staff, we get the return of his season one bowlcut bangs:
… and a quasi-beard? Did he fully skip hair and makeup before filming this scene?
In the absence of Queen Liz, Delphine takes the Rachel Skarsten Memorial Prize for best facial expression this week:
My face did exactly the same thing when I saw his hair, too. And did they get a two-for-one deal for Delphine and Greer’s sidebraid wigs because these two have been rocking this style non-stop all season long.
Step away from the clip-on extensions, ladies. Time for a new ‘do. (Mary’s look here is obviously killer – NO PUN INTENDED – but we’ll get to that in a bit).
So anyway, Bash and Delphine seem to be posing for the cover of the Blu-Ray release of season one of OLD TIMEY NANCY DREW AND HARDY BOY:
Something is seriously wrong with his makeup this week. Also, the puffy blouse is not his best look. Delphine is actually growing on me, I’m not sure what’s going on.
Wait, on closer inspection, Bash’s new puffy shirt appears to be made of BLACK SATIN:
This is starting to border on figure skater dressed up like Romeo Montague.
The wardrobe department continues their revenge on Torrance Coombs by putting him in Bea Arthur’s old housecoat:
And then the writers get their revenge by making him act out this “near death by drowning” scene:
Anywhoodle, you’d think their hunt for the Hannibal Lector of the French countryside would have led to something – like say, Francis’s death via serial killer, but no. None of it leads to anything, as ever.
WTF #3: No, no, Nostro
Guess who’s back, back again. Nostro’s back, tell a friend.
Oh, you twelve-foot-fall slice of bearded prognosticating dreamboat. So glad to see his old fur coat (that comprises of an entire bear) is still as fluffy as ever.
His thousand-mile stare is also back, as is the hilarious way he’s approximately two Cathys tall.
Basically, last time he was on the show, Cathy was having him drawn and quartered and he was about to run off to the New World with Petra Solano. But he couldn’t stop himself from a return viz to basically tell Cathy, “I told you so” re: Mary leading to Francis’s death.
Cathy, in a really fab housedress with embroidered detail, is like, “Are you freaking kidding me with these continued visions of my son dying? Can’t you just get me the lottery numbers for once?”
WTF #2: The not-so-secret service
Since Nostro has a 100% success rate with his death predictions, Cathy rushes to warn Francis to be careful. But, still high on his Frankenstein juice, he’s having none of it. First, he throws on his most kingly attire to sign some paperwork with his wifey — raediant in a Grecian crown and Renaissance-adjacent velvet:
Then, he whisks her off on a romantic trip in a carriage with Revenge–level green screen technology.
Pretty sure those earrings are literal doorknockers. This poor woman’s ears.
And then in the leap of logic required about six times per episode on this show, they peace out from their guards to frolic in the woods, solo.
Again, if this was the sort of romantic detour they used to do and this was like a rekindling the spark sort of scenario? I’d be down. But as it stands, these two look like idiots – and so do their guards because: what kind of guard leaves the King and Queen off on their own in the woods? Especially when the Queen is in the midst of some highly contentious political stuff? Particularly when, combined, these two have been almost-assassinated on a weekly basis for the past three years (* one year, in Reign time)??
But these basic facts can be forgotten when they get down to business, showing us just how easy it was to dress and undress in these times. Who needs ladies maids or manservants? Teenage hormones give you superpowers!
So THEN, in yet another plot twist that strains even the logic of this show, Mary heads off to do a Lola-from-a-few-weeks-ago cosplay and pick berries, while Francis naps through his refractory period.
So THEN, just when you think naked sleeping Francis will be murdered by the serial killer Bashphine are hunting, Francis’s spidey senses act up. So he throws on his leather leggings and puffy blouse and sets out to find Mary.
And… things do not go well.
WTF #1: Francis Gets Final Destination’d
I’m legit going to miss Toby Regbo on this show. But I bet Toby Regbo won’t miss having to collapse to the ground ever week. Because: Francis was one lightheaded boy king.
I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t snark when Francis’s Death Part Two is still out there breaking the Internet. And it’s sweet the show let him go down heroically, rather than succumbing to a season-long ear infection.
Basically, idiot Mary is wandering around the woods on her own when she’s attacked by a dude in a beret. Francis dies defending her. Ultimately, we learn he’s a Scottish Protestant angry about her decisionmaking. So: Mary quite literally led to his death. Nostro’s prophecy accuracy level remains 100%. The show’s cinematography also remains A+ level.
Even knowing Francis would bite it sometime this season, I was not anticipating this to happen in episode 5. But here we are, everyone in their Renaissance version of PLL-level inappropes funeral wear, bidding farewell to the show’s best leather pants wearer:
I promise you, if there had been a better shot of Greer’s look, I would have gotten it for you. Because she seems to be wearing some sort of fascinator/earmuffs AND a poncho and I’m really disappointed not to get a better look at it.
Mary’s channeling Spain for no real reason in this mantilla-style widow fashion:
If I can take a moment to throw down some IRL history for you: Mary, Queen of Scots, is effed right now. She has no power in France anymore, her rule in Scotland is insecure, and Elizabeth might kill or imprison her at any moment. The real Mary took this opportunity to return to Scotland to rule, but would the show really transplant everyone across the Channel?
Especially when Nostro’s final prediction to Cathy is that she’ll need Mary’s help to become Charles’s regent?
Yes, girlfriend is wearing a black crown. As one does, when one is a Queen at a funeral.
So what’s Mary to do now? Well, it all comes back to that plot device we started out with:
Let’s hope this time she’s got some royal guards in other boats nearby and/or watching from shore.