If this ever-changing world in which we’re living makes you give up and cry, remember there’s always Reign, where Adelaide Kane will cry for you as the cast dwindles around her. This week, second coolest lady-in-waiting Greer left in a cloud of maternity florals and Long Lost Husband Syndrome, while Lola’s Long Lost Loser Lord Narcisse got nekkid to Wolverine a fat guy and save France…again. Lola herself continued to strengthen her bromance with Queen Liz by a) watching her sleep and b) helping her frame 1500s Vivienne Westwood over pearls and perjury. Mentions of incest abound (and I’m not talking about Catherine’s killer grip on Charles, AKA Bash II), while Bash I makes heart eyes at Mary you’ll feel super terrible about mocking when he’s bumped off in a few episodes’ time. To business!
WTF #5: Poison me once, shame on you.
Sigh, why does this show even bother pretending it has a plot? Basically, there are some soldiers who require payment for fighting for Mary in Scotland. This guy is their leader, but you may know him better as The Reason Gideon’s Biceps Aren’t On My Screen This Week.
Catherine is clearly vexed that wine and several yards of Hungarian crushed curtain material — in the form of her dress — aren’t payment enough. She invites this dude and all his other dude friends to a banquet in a week’s time, which is the same classic plotting maneuver I use when my hairdresser wants to do my roots and I’m broke as.
I officially hate Cathy’s huge flat collars. They’re more Star Trek than Valois.
Catherine immediately hotfoots it to Cardinal Frollo, the Meanie of Notre Dame, who refuses to give her any money but rains largess on Mary, possibly just because he’s salty.
Having tapped that vein of bass-ackwards, she then turns to Narcisse, who has a *cough* secret but effective *cough* solution to France’s money woes (it’s a tithe, since you ask, a neither secret nor effective tax). Look how nonplussed Catherine is:
I’m nonplussed by that nasty half-up business on her head — do or do not, there is no ‘only curl half of it’ — and her jewelry is too heavy for such a close neckline. I blame the tithe for our great queen looking like Stevie Nicks after a three day binge.
Catherine later redeems herself with this fabulous dress, which is definitely my favorite this season. I love her in strong colors, and this scarlet gown with its gorgeously encrusted bodice and sleeves, which are sooooo period-appropriate, ticks all the boxes for me.
Money is found to pay the soldiers via an intrigue I’ll explain later, and Catherine nips to her room mid-banquet to receive a mysterious tribute. Ruh-roh.
I SAID RUH-ROH, YOU MEDICI-FRIED MADWOMAN.
Of course the Red Knights have poisoned all the generals to make it look like Catherine killed them rather than pay their men. With the peasants already revolting thanks to Narcisse, the unpaid, now dad-less army is bound to follow.
Baby Bash doesn’t quite believe Momma Bear didn’t do it. We’re with you there, Your Highness.
WTF #4: The Hangover, Part IV
My main problem with Bash 2.0 is that he’s prettier than me.
My main problem with Narcisse is that he’s a dirty, dirty liar who appears to wear his wedding suit to conduct everyday business (I remember those frilly bits, and I remember being happy because Lola was happy, and now I hate the frilly bits and myself).
Gold popped collars aside, Francis and Bash’s lovechild Charles hits upon an idea to raise some cash which involves him portentously saying, ‘”t’s especially cold in the foothills of the Alps,” as if Reign weren’t obsessed with mentioning the names of places its largely non-European viewers will never have heard of.
So Charles throws on a poodle and Narcisse throws on a wolf, and they use the deeds to the royal vineyards in Burgundy (see what I meant about place names? See?) to pay their entry into a casino, which is apparently where Charles spent his last summer. Doing drugs with that girl that time is one thing, but any more of this and I’m going to start calling him Chuck Bash.
The casino is run by a countess who has not only followed Greer’s hair turban tutorial, but who also appears to think this is a Versailles-era period drama. Look at that sausage curl!
When Charles inevitably goes double or nothing and, just as inevitably, loses, Countess Von Resting-Bitch-Face gives them a chance to win their money back by fighting her champion.
I don’t know what to call a style of fighting which seems solely to consist of taking your shirt off and pretending to be Freddy Krueger, but Narcisse seems game.
He defeats the heavy drunk guy, and I feel slightly more warmly towards him, possibly because I’ve gotten reacquainted with his abs. Catherine clearly shares my perversity, because she appoints him Lord Chancellor, conveniently forgetting about the tithe business.
That leaves Charles sitting pretty in bling and brocade. Let’s hope he enjoyed this moment, because with thirteen dead generals, that’s the last fun he’s going to have for a while.
WTF #3: And the award for most costume changes goes to…
I try very hard not to be offended on a historical level by this show, but come on. Dream sequence or not, Anne Boleyn went to her death looking like a HBIC in an ermine robe and a scarlet skirt which wouldn’t be ruined if her head unfortunately flew off.
She also made a badass speech and made sure her hair was out of the way. This lady does neither of those things.
Why, might you ask, is Elizabeth dreaming about her mother? And why is Lola close enough to hear her and pop her head round the door?
I’ll leave that one for you to decide.
It’s the fiftieth anniversary of Henry VIII’s coronation (making the year 1559, which is only awkward if you remember Amy Dudley died in 1560), and doesn’t Liz look every inch his daughter? I’m not saying he had such nice shoulders, but her ornate red and gold gown would definitely meet with Big Daddy Tudor’s approval.
It’s becoming harder to justify recapping Lola’s outfits, as they’re always the same.
But whatevs. All you need to know is the jubilee celebrations will bring Lady Beatrice Somerset to court, a totally fictional woman who claimed Anne did the do-do with her brother George and got the Boleyn lands as payment for fibbing. Elizabeth can’t just take them back, possibly because she’s too weighed down with embroidery and awesome.
Instead, she devises a plan for Lola to plant a string of her pearls on Lady Somerset. Liz can then arrest and fine her, which is quite a clever idea when you don’t factor in Lola hiding the pearls up her highly translucent, iridescent sleeve.
So when Elizabeth offers golden favors to the first hundred courtiers who say they love her ruff…
…Lola completely fails to plant the pearls, getting both herself and Lady Beatrice (who looks like Liz plus twenty years) arrested.
But here be a plot twist: Beatrice wasn’t the original source of the info which brought down Queen Anne.
Anne’s night nurse — I genuinely have no idea why a thirty-five year old women would need a night nurse, but that’s the story they’re going with — saw Anne attempt to get it on with George. In a turn of events ripped straight from The Other Boleyn Girl, she asked her brother to knock her upin order to ensure the succession and stop Henry hating on Elizabeth.
That’d be my facial expression too, Your Majesty. The Boleyns didn’t go through with it in the end, but Henry tortured the nurse until she told all, then blackmailed Lady Somerset into repeating the story to make it seem more legit, her being Anne’s best friend.
Feeling empowered to be her mother’s daughter by this story, Elizabeth pardons Lady Bea and pops on a fresh pair of puff sleeves, AKA her sixth outfit change of the episode. Since it’s all about keeping it in the family this week, she rewards Lola for her service by reuniting her with her son. Awww.
Can Lolabeth just get together already?!
WTF #2: Love. Never. Dies.
The Vatican has granted Mary all the money to buy an army, so she grabs her best tinsel-y cloak and goes off to find Bash, because he’s male and good at mercenary-related things.
Bash does not seem enthusiastic.
That may well be because he hasn’t seen what Mary’s got under her tinsel-y cloak, though. Yes, it’s black, but I think this is a cropped jacket, and it has these supremely straight lines which just go with the flounciness of her skirt.
Catherine, keen to get Mary off back to Scotland after three seasons, buys her a whole new winter wardrobe. She claims it makes her daughter-in-law look like ‘a queen men would die for’, but in my humble opinion, she looks like a very pretty snow beast.
Elsewhere, Greer has suddenly gotten eight months pregnant over a couple of days. When her loving Mary goes round to say, ‘girl, you rocking that V-neck’, she also promises to get her a new name and a husband for her baby — but of course, Greer already has a husband, and it’s not Leith, so don’t get your hopes up.
So Her Scheming Highness puts on her glorious crimson and purple scheming cloak, does her best Khaleesi braid and, in spite of Bash’s eye rolls, offers the mercenary general a deal: she’ll give him all the money if he shows his sneaky prowess by breaking Lord Castleroy (remember him?) out of prison to parent Greer’s pirate baby.
This goes well, and as Greer has toned down her hair turban into something silky and very Pinterest-able, Ridiculous First Name Castleroy objects for about two minutes before Greer smooches him into submission, and off they go into the night and, presumably, off-air.
I have a real bone to pick with the writers about the complete lack of closure Greer and Leith got after he slut-shamed her for being a madam. I can’t fault them for consistency, though, because the absence of Kenna means the absence of any need for Bash not to love Mary anymore. He and his big baby blues are coming to Scotland!
Mary’s response is underwhelming.
And, as we know Torrance Coombs is leaving the show, whatever sticky end this throwback pairing gets treated to is just going to make me angry.
WTF #1: #RachFace
You may have observed my lack of reference to Rachel Skarsten, AKA Queen Elizabeth, AKA Queen of Everything’s killer facial expressions. All shall be revealed, however…
…THERE WERE SO MANY, THEY MERITED THEIR OWN SECTION.
No word of a lie, I had to cut these down twice, leaving out a spectacular ugly crying face because my laptop started to buzz and smell like burning coffee.
What amazes me above all is just how many expressions Rach can get through in a short space of time. She ’ s the full spectrum of human emotion personified, and she has great hair, and if she starts a Swift-esque squad, we at YKYLF, Reign subdivision, are totes in it.