So we’re all trapped in yet another endless hiatus between seasons of the greatest historically-adjacent teen soap opera currently running. The show has completed its massacre of supporting actors, leaving us going into season 4 with just Mary and Cathy representing the OG cast. But this in-between time feels appropriate to pay tribute to her girl squad, who rolled up on the shores of France in Coachella prom lewks that made us all squint and say, “… the hell is this show?” Now, Kenna, Lola, Aylee and Greer weren’t the kind of foursome to inspire a Golden Girls/PLL/Girls frenzy of “Which Lady in Waiting are you? Oh, you’re a total Kenna” because real talk: their personalities depended on what the plot needed them to do week to week and changed more frequently than Cathy’s tiaras. But after Lola and Greer peaced out at the end of season three, we couldn’t go without paying tribute to Mary’s ride or die girl squad. #RIPL-I-W
Lady “Facebraid” Aylee: Yes, she was on this show, really
Her death in episode 8 was the first time we were like, oh, this is going to be that kind of show. The kind where tertiary characters are murdered nonstop and someone as gentle and naive as Aylee was maybe best off leaving as early as she did.
Lady “AnthropoloChella” Kenna: Manic Pixie Boho Dreamgirl
Kenna first made her strongest impression making like The Davinyls in the hallway until King Henry (#RIP) happened along to help her along. And thus began the sexual relationship that literally nobody was shipping. He was a) married to Cathy, b) already serious with Bash’s Mom Diane, and c) a total creeper. But it made Kenna happy so we went with it.
Unnntil he started acting crazy from syphilis/poison/PTSD/I forget honestly, and started doing things like forcing her into threesomes and dumping her for Penelope the Bean Queen. And then because he was bored one day, he married her to Bash. It was, I was surprised to realize, the first wedding on this show.
These two played out a rom-com plotline where he thinks she’s silly and she thinks he’s too serious, but they pretty quickly figured out that they were a perfect match #InTheBedroom
But then, just as quickly, they suffered from the fate of all happy well-adjusted couples on TV shows everywhere: lack of plotline. And so did Kenna then veer into a sudden and random maternal thing with The Child Of The Darkness or whoever this kid was…
And then a flirtation/party planning gig for Antoine the (married, but it’s to a woman who is very ill so it’s cool, I promise) Sex King of Navarre…
To an officially open relaysh with Bash, which led her into the arms of Ginger Dude I Forgot Was On This Show Until I Saw This Image And I Still Don’t For Sure Remember Him:
And she got knocked up, and delusionally thought that the Pope would annul her marriage to Bash (?) because that was a normal and common thing back then among Catholics, but then it turns out Ginger is on the wrong side of the Catholic/Protestant divide and she’s #SixteenAndPregnant.
She pulls Bash (who was busy then with Delphine/The Darkness/I think?) back into bed, and it looks like he’ll be her cuckolded faux-babydaddy until Delphine’s spidey senses spoil everything by revealing she’s already pregz, and so they break up for real, for real. But she always lands on her feet, and charms the pants off (not literally) the King of some small nation who she happens to get on board a cruise ship (?) with, so she may yet make a surprise reappearance as the Tsarina of somewhere-or-other.
Lady Greer: Renaissance Social Climber
It took us awhile to figure out what Greer’s deal was. At first, all we really knew was she had a tendency to overly accessorize and was from a slightly poorer family than the others. Never forget, she once wore this Muppet pelt shrug:
And then plot twist! The one L-I-W to whom marriage as a financial transaction was not only OK but preferable falls for then-kitchen boy Leith Bayard. He taught her to make sexy omelettes and that was basically that: her heart was his.
Except for how she had to marry Pepperpot to save her family, financially. It got more complicated when it turns out that Pepperpot was secretly feminist and promised to help her sisters out and was actually a really decent dude.
Wedding #2! Very, very, very very Grace Kelly style here.
So everything’s great! Until it turns out Pepperpot is also secretly a Protestant, and Greer honors her wedding vows by backing him, which means she gets kicked out of French court and Pepperpot is sent to jail. Or maybe he tried to blow something up. I don’t remember exactly, but I do remember assuming that would be the last we’d see of Lady G… until! She becomes an accidental pimp!
Yes, recommending her prostitute friend to a dude in need suddenly makes her the most successful Madam in all of France, which means she can now earn her own fortune. To quote The Pussycat Dolls, she don’t need a man! But when Leith pops up, she’s happy to rekindle their old flame.
… Until he’s like, “You won’t have to work anymore when we’re married and popping out babies!” And she’s like, “Yeah but I want to work,” and he’s like, “Agree to disagree” and just like that, #Greith is all over. She’s living that independent life until she finds a sexy pirate…
… Who knocks her up and then blows out of town. So like Kenna and Lola before her, surprise! She’s knocked up out of wedlock in a time when that’s not the best life. But? She’s also a Madam so like, not sure why this was such a big deal tbh. She goes to her sister, Megan Follows’s IRL daughter, who will secretly adopt the baby and pretend it’s hers but then her sister and brother-in-law secretly blackmail her so that won’t work.
She finally admits to Mary that she’s not just a fan of empire waistlines, but is totes pregz, and Mary arranges to get Pepperpot out of jail to make an honest woman of her. Happy ending? Not really. But at least it’s not as unhappy an ending as…
Lady Lola: She Liked Baths. A Lot.
I am not making this up at all, but all the way back in the Pilot for this series, Lola was busy having sexy baths. This dude was her episode 1 BF Colin, who got paid to try to rape Mary, and then was killed, and Lola was mad about it for a hot minute.
This early loss doesn’t make her lose her innately romantic personality, or at least it doesn’t affect her Raphaelite painting-adjacent curls and softly colored gown choices.
They tried teasing a thing with her and Bash because this show likes nothing better than smashing two characters together to see what happens, but it’s with the other Valois boy that she winds up having a liaison (this was when Bash was King [?] and Francis was off wandering the countryside being pretty and broody):
As we all know, this leads to the conception of Baby “Plot Device/Baby Alive Doll” John, with whom Lola was pregnant for approximately fourteen months, entirely taking place in winter. She takes forever to show at all, which helps when Mary decides to help her find a husband. And the husband she finds? Is Soulpatch here. Having seen all of the above images, I think we can all agree this is by far the fugliest wedding dress of the bunch, no?
In an oh-so-very-Reign plot twist, it turns out Soulpatch isn’t who he says he is, but he’s the servant of the real rich dude and then Lola accidentally kills the rich dude and then they have to burn down the house and Soulpatch runs off. Right? I think I’m remembering this correctly?
So she’s all on her own when she finally goes into labor, which happens OF COURSE during the midst of an outbreak of plague, and she’s in a random peasant’s yurt, because being a woman in the 16th century is NOT A LOT OF FUN.
Once John is born, she quickly runs out of plotlines and mostly just stands around looking lovely and sort of bored with a bundle of blankets we’re all agreeing to pretend is an actual human child.
And there’s a bit of thing where it’s like, will Francis leave Mary for Lola? Will Francis make Lola his official mistress? But he never really does, and nobody ever really thought he would. And then this dude shows up:
And he’s like, “I want to see you take a baaaaaath.” And she’s like, “OK, you dirty perv.”
Except not! She totally paid a maid with curly brown hair to take a bath and keep her face hidden! But that secrecy lasts a hot second before she’s actually performance bathing for him…
And he’s like, “I want you, Lola! Also, I’m the guy Cathy wrote that 50 Shades of Grey diary about because my sexual skills are SO AMAZING” and she’s like, “New phone who dis?” and he’s like, “One day you will be mine!” And then she accidentally takes a goblet filled with opium wine (again, I think? That’s what I remember happening?) and she throws herself at him and he’s like, “No, I don’t want you unless you’re 100% consenting,” and the viewing audience is like what is this plotline even:
And then ANOTHER BATH! With a dead rat in it! Which Narcisse pretends Cathy left there to scare her, but really he left it there to frame Cathy so that Lola would get back with him, or something, I don’t know, Lola may have never actually learned the provenance of the bath rat, it was all… really weird.
But it works! She fully commits to being with Narcisse, and Mary gives them permission to marry, and next thing you know Lola is on her second teenage marriage! And also, now apparently Cathy’s arch-nemesis.
And then for a few episodes she whips between being a brainless wifey and being her own cunning self, sometimes not trusting Narcisse and sometimes being like, “Oh, blush blush, I can’t tell you about my sexual fantasies,” until eventually she falls firmly on Team #NarcisseIsABadDude and runs off to England for ::reasons:: where Elizabeth lights some dresses on fire and Team #LolaBeth was born.
And it’s great until it’s not, which happens the moment Lola is sent a (clearly forged) letter saying Mary wants her to assassinate Liz, and Lola suddenly has no chill, and her murder attempt is super obvious, and she gets thrown in jail.
And then BEHEADED????
I will say this was a stronger narrative ending than Greer or Kenna, but as we noted in our recap of the season finale: “pragmatic, brave, cunning, kind Lola was my favourite of Mary’s ladies for all those reasons. She’s been friend, jailer, mother, spy and all round baller since the pilot. She didn’t deserve to be written out like this.”
Bonus farewell: Clarissa