Welp, I need to start with a mea culpa. Last episode, I assumed that Don Carlos had died of his head wound (or that he would shortly die), but it turns out #SEXDEATH was more like #SEXCLOSECALL and he’s alive… but with convenient amnesia and brain damage so he can’t turn to Mary and Cathy all “J’accuse!!” And thus do the two Queens spend the episode first covering up their accidental attempted manslaughter, followed by some undercover work to prove Cathy didn’t poison Francis to death.
WTF #5: CLOAKWATCH 2K16
Reign is keeping very on trend for winter 2016 (despite them all being in 1560) with SO MUCH CLOAKS. It’s like the sale rack at Free People around here. Cathy kicks things off in this very Kylo Ren drapey number, her “Imma sneak outta the castle despite being the King’s mother, the former Queen, instantly recognizable, and currently under investigation for murdering my son” cloak, which is also made out of pleated drapery:
She uses two members of her Slut Squad (remember them?? From back in the Bean Queen days??) to distract the hilariously easily distracted guards with their cloak/shawls (the guards themselves wearing sort of cloak/capes as her usz):
Despite this “clever” “plot”, Cathy’s spotted in 0.5 seconds by “still on this show for some reason” Bash, who I’m pretty sure only gets to be on this week because the wardrobe dept couldn’t find anyone else capable of pulling off this brown suede cloak/Slanket:
Meanwhile, Mary’s busy with the sudden arrival of the Outlander cast, led by this tall drink of whiskey in his CLOAK and CUTE HAT and SPORRAN and KILT. I like how Mary’s cloak here is like the fancier version of his – contrasting trim, gold accents. Like, you can tell these two are meant to have something in common namely: an ancestral love of haggis.
Mary ultimately uses her own stealth mode cloak to help smuggle Cathy out of the palace (I’ll get into why in a bit). In Mary’s case, the cloak is more of an “abracadabra! Look at me, pay no attention to the ‘servant’ trailing after me” and it really does the trick. The fur collar is all kinds of ???
I thought for a minute that this next cloak was her “Och aye I’m Scottish” one again, but while similar, it’s def not. I’ve been looking at so many cloaks now that I can spot the different fabric and how this one has arm holes. But real talk: none of you are looking at that when Lola is next to her in an elbow-length capelet ENTIRELY COMPRISED OF RUFFLES. God bless this show.
Later on, Cathy returns from her secret mission in yet another cloak, one I can only assume was also worn in some sort of disguise because those thready bits are more mangy yarn and less Chanel frayed hems. This is like she just grabbed a blanket from the horse’s stable and threw it on.
Love her sidebraid though. Casual Cathy is one of my fav kinds of Cathy.
Total cloak count = 12
WTF #3: Mary and Cathy, crisis management professionals
Buuuut before they got busy cloaking it up, Mary and Cathy were busy cleaning Carlos’s brain blood off of their dresses. In a sequence sure to be memorialized in a thousand gifs by Matherine shippers, they help each other slightly undress.
In possible a Reign first, we get to see what’s inside of Mary’s skirt. And it is: petticoat, pretty much indistinguishable from the white skirt she’d been wearing on top of it.
Still, assuming that the other people at the palace are capable of differentiating inner skirts from outer skirts, Cathy loans her this mismatched skirt and then throws on a formal housecoat of her own.
Again, with this show’s track record of randomly paired tops and skirts, Mary has to keep tugging at her waistband to remind us that this isn’t meant to match.
So these two get busy scheming how to distance themselves from Carlos’s death BUT OH NOES turns out he’s still (slightly) alive:
Carlos’s entourage is luckily barking up the wrong tree, assuming that the SEX CHAIR OF DOOM was being used to entertain local prostitues, rather than two Queens. So they’re like, “go out and find the best madam in all of France to see if she sent any of her girls here.” And as we all know, the most successful and best madam in all of France is this teenager who’s been in the biz for approx three months:
Hi, Greer! Missed you! Love the Khaleesi-meets-Shannara ‘do:
But mainly she’s just here to remind us about the pregnancy thing as that’s likely going to be a grenade that gets thrown in the way of the Claude/Leith love story. I mean, right? Mary’s like, “Something looks different about you” and Greer’s like, “Oh it must be this shapeless maternity dress I’m wearing FOR NO REASON DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME.”
Too distracted to notice a friend in need (though tbh we all know Greer can handle anything), Mary heads back to the palace for further damage control. Bad news! Carlos is now awake and speaking! But good news! He has significant brain damage/amnesia and doesn’t remember his accident at all! In fact, all Carlos seems able to do is tell Mary how pretty she is. In this lacy emerald green dress, who can blame him? She really needs to incorporate more of this tone into her wardrobe.
As you might imagine, when she learns Carlos is alive, Cathy is like, “So obviously we have to re-murder him again, this time for real.” But Mary’s like, “No, instead I shall enter into a loveless marriage with this brain-damanged former kinkster. Or should I? I don’t know.” #ClassicMary This woman can never make up her mind.
Lovveeeeing Mary’s peplum top here. Cathy’s doing that American Horror Story: Coven/Stevie Nicks thing she sometimes does.
Oh, right, and also Mary and Cathy are trying to prove that Francis died of a virulent ear infection, not by poisoning. Which means Cathy has to sneak off campus to EXHUME HER SON’S BODY which she does, because of course she does. And she clears her name, like she always does, and is in good spirits by that evening’s big soiree. I really enjoy this hair-and-tiara tribute to Holly Golightly, worn with yet another formal housecoat:
OK she needs to wear her hair in this style EVERY DAY OF EVERY WEEK FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. The elegant swoops and spirals are giving me serious Betty Francis flashbacks.
WTF #2: Twelve Angry French Nobles
So, in order to determine Cathy’s guilt, a group of corrupt nobles who hate her put together a show trial. Their first witness is Lola, who just happens to be married to one of the aforementioned corrupt nobles, and who has been manipulated into thinking Cathy put a rat in her bathtub.
Now I know and you know and everyone on the show but her knows that was Narcisse who did that, but don’t worry. Lola got her Renaissance Nancy Drew back on again and figures it out. See? She’s got her smart face on this week.
Luckily, she remembers just in the nick of time that she, Lola, is herself a master forger. With this personality facet dusted off, she makes quick work of determining that the handwriting on the bathtub rat note is that of Narcisse’s personal secretary. Ergo, Narcisse planted the bath rat. You know she’s back to her true self as she’s clad entirely in maroon.
In the sort of terrible lapse of judgment that gets day players murdered 100% of the time on this show, the Secretary tells Narcisse that Lola’s onto them. And his second mistake was telling Narcisse while they were both on a high tower with nobody else around. Did he forget what show he’s on??
But shocker! Lola, clearly on a roll now, instantly deduces that Narcisse killed the secretary. So she slides into this lacy black number, dumps his ass, and declares she’s moving to England. (To visit her family AND to spy on Elizabeth for Mary which means LOLA AND LIZ SCENES!!! Can’t. Wait.)
Narcisse pitches a fit a la The Duke in Moulin Rouge, all “SHE IS MINE!!!” but Lola’s not looking back.
But #sadface that we won’t get more sweet heart-to-heart chats while they both artfully drape their skirts over benches. We get one last girl talk sesh, though, and they definitely dressed for the occasion. Mary’s star motif bodice is oh so Valentino Pre-Fall 2015, right? Though I’m not feeling the ginormous statement necklace, mainly because it blends in with the pattern and I can’t see it properly.
Lola’s in a maroon velvet skirt and a sensible jeweled top so, business as usual really.
WTF #1: The grain from Spain stays mainly on the plain
Ah, a plotline about the the Scottish grain shortage of 1560. That’s the sort of quality plotline that brings us all to watch teen soaps on The CW on a Friday night, amirite?
J/K Let’s talk about Mary’s twinkley star outfit which is an amazing H-to-T. Let’s start with this crown, which sort of makes it look like she’s growing Christmas garlands from her head, like they’re woven into her hair somehow?
Her head becomes an entire solar system with the addition of these crescent moon earrings which also sort of look like pieces of a Mandarin orange:
Again, this almost looks like what she’d been wearing with Lola earlier but here she’s got a patterned skirt and the top is looser. But I’m fairly confident the pattern on the skirt are stars as well, and Mary + stars makes me think of this season one ensemble and then I think about how far she’s come and then I get overwhelmed with feelings and… where was I? Oh yes, Scottish grain shortage.
So basically, blah blah grain, blah blah sexy Scottish dudes, blah blah she doesn’t have money to send them, blah blah she agrees to marry brain damaged Carlos, then uses him like a ventriloquist’s dummy to agree Spain will put some grain mainly on the plain:
Now, the show missed an opportunity for Carlos to be like, “Grain… wood grain… wooden chairs… sex chair… OMG you sort of murdered me!” but when the time comes for his memory to return, I bet it’ll be along those lines.
Given that he’s brain-damaged and basically died what – two days ago? – these two look pretty cute together in their matchy royal reds.
Mary, of course, is grossed out at herself. You just know that season one idealistic Mary would never have done any of this, but that’s what happens when you’re a teen monarch on a CW show. Anyway, we know these two won’t actually get married (because: history) and you also know Carlos only wasn’t killed off so he can dramatically regain his memory at some highly inconvenient and dramatic time.
Still, I’d like to extend an apology to Reign but my incorrect assumption last recap that Carlos was dead. As such, I have amended this screencap from last time:
And I’m ending with that, because the show’s actual ending – of some dude I don’t know who he is killing some other dude I don’t know who he is? Was way less exciting than this sex chair scenario. Vatican guy killing other Vatican guy doesn’t really have the punch of people we know and love accidentally sex murdering others.