Well, that’s a hell of a way to go into the midseason hiatus. What starts out as your usual episode filled with scheming, marriage arranging and peplum overindulging takes a sudden and breathtaking twist at the end. I can’t think of any other show where sex and death occur quite so simultaneously. From the series that brught you season one’s window sex death and season three’s death by sawmill castration comes… the Reign sex chair of doooooom.

WTF #5: Got me looking so crazy right now

You may have noticed that all of the new men on this show are of a similar type. Quick, can you name the following four handsome beardy men?

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ʎǝlpnp ʇɹǝqoɹ ˙p ǝɥdoʇsıɹɥɔ ˙ɔ solɹɐɔ ǝɔuıɹd ˙q uoǝpıƃ ˙ɐ

Memo to the Reign casting directors: some variety would prevent your viewing audience from having to refer to cheat sheets so we can be properly scandalized by who is falling into bed with who. xo

WTF #4: Got me hoping you’ll save me right now

So this week in serial killer zzzzzzzzz…. Huh? Oh, sorry, I just zone out whenever this plotline comes up. Things get slightly more interesting this week when Delphine’s spidey senses make them think Greer might be the next victim. As she is one of my fav TV characters of all time, and as this show is not shy about randomly murdering characters, THIS GREATLY CONCERNS ME.

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Spoiler: Greer is not actually the killer’s target. And frankly, even if she were, she’s pragmatic and resourceful enough I feel like she’d probably successfully catch him. Case in point: when she learns her brothel has been targeted, she and her kickass employees agree to stay open in a catch-that-murderer sting operation. Remember, these are the same prostitutes who helped defeat Conde last season. These ladies are not to be trifled with.

Also, and maybe most importantly? She’s finally taken our advice and left the Queen Elsa side braid action to Delphine. Her new hairstyle is quite a sight to behold:

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I’m counting at least four individual braids snaking around her head, but I might have missed some. This is some Khalessi-level braid mastery and I AM HERE FOR IT. Actually, I was here but I have to run off for a minute to add this to my Pinterest…

Anyhoo, Greer can’t be bothered with being the potential next victim of a serial killer because there are some shadowy, fog-entrenched streets to wander late at night! Now, I’m pretty sure the last time we saw the exterior of Greer’s House Of Ill Repute, it wasn’t on the corner of Old Timey Jack The Ripper Street and Phantom of the Opera’s Secret Lair Avenue, but here we are. Real talk: the crew got the most of that day’s rental of a dry ice machine.

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Now, I would never blame the victim for their own attack but like… this alley may as well be named DRACULA’S ALLEY OF MURDER.

Speculation time: do you think this will wrap up that the serial killer is Bash’s secret alternate identity a la Fight Club? Because that would make me retroactively SO INTERESTED IN THIS PLOTLINE.

Anyway, Greer is totally not murdered but it turns out it’s now her turn to be inconveniently pregnant because we haven’t had that happen in a few weeks. And by process of elimination, the father is a beardy man not included in the montage above.

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ǝpnp ǝʇɐɹᴉԀ ʎxǝS ˙Ǝ

Yes, spawn of Sexy Pirate will soon be upon us. Which means inevitably Leith will end up marrying her to save her reputation, which will complicate things with him and Claude, because this show can’t last ten seconds without a superfluous lurrrve triangle.

WTF #3: You got me sprung and I don’t care who sees

Speaking of love triangles! I have mad respect for this show giving a woman in her forties a sex triangle with two (debatably) hot dudes. For her to pull this off shows both her excellent time management skills as well as a well-stocked wardrobe of clothes that can be easily removed at a moment’s notice.

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Basically, her outfit this week was a strapless dress inside of a housecoat. Girl is DTF 24/7.

Seriously, she plays so hard that after a quick afternoon sesh with Bachelor C, her bouffant is still top notch.

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Respect.

When all the courtiers engage in a sort of sex hide-and-seek game, Cathy’s clearly in it to win it. She brought a pair of knee-high fetish running boots and you know she’s more practiced than anyone else at running while wearing a full corset.

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Pretty sure Cathy and Bachelor C won the game. Peep her boots here:

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I would like to literally say, YAS QUEEN.

Of course, her side piece Narcisse catches a hot glimpse of this action, which sets his eternal flip-flop of characterization back to the Hot For Cathy side. So he strings along his beautiful genius bride, who really deserves better.

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Yes, she only ever wears maroon, but she still has FEELINGS. Sidenote: what happened to her brain? Remember when she was the smart one? Also, what happened to her son? Remember when she had a son?

Anyway, although Francis and Mary seemed to reign entirely on their own, there is now a council of cranky old dudes who Cathy has to impress. She tries to make her best impression in this h-to-t gold look, a subtle visual reminder of how valuable she is. But Narcisse’s personality is now at Totally Evil Dude o’clock and he usurps power from her by framing her for murdering Francis.

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Note: Francis is like the one dead person whose death Cathy had 0% to do with. And would they really have done an autopsy on his liver, when everyone on Earth knew he died of an ear infection? I call shenanigans.

WTF #2: I’m not myself lately I’m foolish, I don’t do this

So this instantly classic Reign plotline begins with Don Carlos (Bachelor B) going for a stroll with Mary. You can tell they’re on the same page because of the matching black and gold ensembles.

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Actually, what’s up with Mary wearing this heavy cloak when these two ladies serving up epic side-eye are both in off-the-shoulder sheer sleeves? Maybe royals just get chilled more easily. Also, snaps to the side-eye ladies. I want these two to photobomb every scene from now on, and then get their own web series where they share their own WTFs about what’s going on in French Court.

Anyway, this Mary+Carlos (Marlos? Cary?) engagement seems like a go, until he randomly flips out that she won’t play a sex hide-and-seek game with him.

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Um, so you remember how she and her husband were hunted down like animials in the woods two weeks ago? I think it’s entirely understandable that she’s not in the mood to play a game where humans are hunted for sport in the woods.

So she goes for a kiki with Cathy to dish on Carlos’s odd request. I’m gagging over the sheer back of her dress here, but what’s going on with that sleeve detail…? Are those… arm peplums?

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According to the Fashion of Reign tumblr, the armplums were specifically added by the show’s costumers to an entirely innocent and lovely dress. What is up with the tyranny of peplums? Does Adelaide Kane have something in her contract insisting on a number of peplums per episode??

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As it turns out, Lizzie’s spy (Bachelor A) can’t resist a woman in superflous peplums (or, real talk, this gorgeous beadwork) so he turns on his Renaissance pickup artist charm to neg her. Yes, he literally negs The Queen of Scotland. No wonder she looks shocked and appalled… and intrigued? Girl, no.

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Although, truth be told, terrible taste in men is one of the defining characteristics of the IRL Mary, Queen of Scots.

But in this 50% historical 50% fantasy world, Cathy gets Mary to agree to the chasing-in-the-woods game. I think Mary may have agreed entirely so she could serve us this Merida cosplay. She is bringing the Scottish flavor like whoa along with the most ~gorgeous~ braid. The key here, and what’s elevating her look above Delphine or Greer’s, is the volume at the crown.

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Heh, check Cathy to her left, IN IT TO WIN IT.

Mary heads off to track down Don Carlos like the dog he is (#spoiler) and on the way apparently stumbles into the clearing where they film Outlander:

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You canna get any more Scottish, really.

Whoaaaa check the gold net sleeves on this number. This is maybe one of the most beautiful gowns she’s ever worn.

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The braid. The dress. This whole look is just perfection on a plate.

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Aaaand then she twists her ankle. And she’s so far from anyone else that nobody hears her screams. Like, get it together, the Royal Guard, honestly.

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Ultimately, she’s rescued not by Bachelor B (who she’d wanted to meet up with) but by Bachelor A, who continues to neg her by insulting her weight (!) as he carries her back. I mean, we already know he’s working on orders from Elizabeth to seduce-and-destroy Mary, but still. There are enough red flags here she should be running for the hills (after her ankle heals of course).

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WTF #1: Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh oh no no

While being carried back, A tells Mary about the rumors that B has something incriminating stored in the luggage dungeon. Naturally, Mary grabs the nearest candelabra and heads down to investigate. Again, it’s not like she was recently nearly assassinated or anything — why not wander into out-of-the-way parts of the castle on her own?

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What could be in this giant crate?

Oh, I don’t know, maybe a PORTABLE RED ROOM OF PAIN.

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No, that’s literally what it is. Don Carlos all but says, “My tastes are very singular, Ms. Stuart,” as Mary puts on her most quivering-lipped Dakota Johnson face.

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How the show didn’t score this with a Renaissance string quartet version of Beyonce’s cover of Crazy In Love, I’ll never know.

Mary again runs to her new BFF Cathy for advice. And together, they hatch THE BEST WORST PLAN EVER.  It begins with Mary heading to meet Don Carlos in his room, where he’s had the Sex Elliptical trainer unboxed.

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He’s also come prepared Cathy-style, with an easily-removable housecoat on top of leather pants and nothing else. The Sex Chair does wonders for ones posture, it seems.

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Mary convinces him to wear a blindfold, which he’s into, and then Cathy sneaks into the room to do the actual whipping. Now, remember she was married for years to the late lamented Pimp Daddy, and from what we saw of his sex life with Penelope the Bean Queen, Cathy knows her way around whips and chains.

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Cathy, in fact, gets so into character that Mary (who’s pretending to be the one doing the whipping, remember), is like, “Stop! Is what I would say! If I wasn’t the one whipping you! Which I totally am!”

Don Carlos figures something’s gone awry and he removes the blindfold to see that Mary has betrayed his confidence by telling Cathy. He gets so mad he starts flailing around, but he’s still all tied up so…

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Cathy and Mary are both a little shocked to have contributed to the sex death of a visiting nobleman… and even more surprised when they turn away for ten seconds and he escapes.

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 Yeah, I know. He was a) dead and b) tied up so c) where’d he go???

They find him crawling down the hallway, covered in blood and with a giant hork of wood sticking out of his neck.

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Of course, now Cathy and Mary have literal blood on their hands (and dresses). And not just servant FWB blood — a visiting Prince who people will be looking for.

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So this is all amazing and dramatic and ridiculous and the rest of it, but I’m not too concerned. If I was ever in a situation where a not-so-dead body needed disposing of, Catherine de’Medici is basically #1 on my list of people to call. If anyone knows how to dispose of the body and clean up the blood, it’s this multiple-murderer.