So the thing is that literally every episode of this show could have been titled Love & Death, to the point that the show could have been given that title instead of Reign. We get as per usz amount of scheming, sexing, and frankly a bit less death than usual? But we’re on board here, there are ten episodes left, and a lot of what happened this week is lining up dominoes for the rest of the season so let’s take a peek, shall we?
WTF #5: Where in the world France is Carmen Santiago Charles
So, remember how last week ended with Cathy sprawled out in the woods as her son The Vampire Charles scooted off to wherever? Once again, Cathy clearly popped herself up like nbd and is busy now lying about the fact that the King of France is fully AWOL. To be clear, that is the WTF here: the King is fully missing and nobody knows/cares other than Cathy.
Oh, also Cathy directed this week’s episode so she’s in it long enough to look like a bamf, wear an amazing outfit you know she chose herself, and then peaces out to “try” to “find” “Charles.” Like, this gown is super gorgeous from the beading to the lace to the green, always a power colour for our Cath (and also INTERESTINGLY is the main palette Mary’s been dealing with because these two are SOUL SISTERS).
Apparently before Lola died (RIP, forever) she gave Cathy some tips on counterfeiting signatures and letters because Cathy arrives at the end of the episode with “Charles” giving permission for some military shizz. Dyinggg over this screencap of the moment Cathy realizes the jig is up, mainly because these two are just too gorgeous.
Leeza figures out in 0.00005 seconds that Charles is gone and Cathy is covering for him, so next week perhaps someone will actually try to like…. find the King? And I don’t mean my new fav character, Charles’s stand-in Gerard.
WTF #4: Leez-cisse
Speaking of Cathy’s most got-her-shizz-together child, Leeza arrives back from a visit to Spain (sidenote: these people go from country to country almost as quickly as they send letters from country to country) refreshed and tan and ready to tear down the French royal family.
As far as we’re concerned, there can never be enough kickass ladies in amazing outfits on this show so the more Leeza, the better. Her style continues to be unlike any of the other women, tricky to manage when everyone wears fancy gowns and lots of jewellery. Somehow, Leeza’s just a bit… extra, and we love it.
For reasons we don’t know, she literally lets her hair down later in the episode as she takes a stroll through her Scrooge McDuck-like room of stolen art from Protestants she had murdered. It’s the closest she’s able to being vulnerable, and it is a VERY INTERESTING SEQUENCE.
Oh, of course Narcisse shows up because he has a “hook up with every Valois person” bingo card and Leeza’s one of the only squares he has left to dab. She’s way too religious to consider adultery (esp. looking at the way she got all up in Claude’s grill last time vis-a-vis extramarital affairs) so this may just remain the meeting of two fairly evil minds, at least for now.
And then, of course, later on when she learns her useless teenage brother is gone she — honestly, sorta rightfully — declares that she/Spain are going to take over. This gown, by the way, is AMAZING and if you look at each person in the room, she’s the shiniest and therefore clearly the most appropriate to rule.
Lest we remind you the alternate is… Gerard.
WTF #3: Liz falls for a 16th century telemarketer scam
Sooooo guess who’s still on the show, guys! The thing is, Gideon has been handed storyline after storyline and he’s somehow survived them all. But nobody gets out of this show with a happy ending, as he’s starting to realize.
Remember that thing where he has a daughter who is named Agatha and is also sick? Yeah, we’d sort of forgotten, too. But know who hasn’t? Liz! Who has two things to worry about this week: stopping Mary from marrying Darnley, and curing a terminally ill child with 16th century medicine.
Neither goes particularly well.
On the one side, we’ve got Liz in her version of a blazer and pantsuit, ordering Gideon’s understudy that he has to drag Darnley back to England or else she’ll kill him, basically. With this many royals to juggle, they’re leaning hard into the Liz-in-a-man’s-world look, which of course suits her as well as anything else, because she’s Rachel Skarsten, bitches.
While Not!Gideon is off ineffectively trying to stop Mary’s marriage to a socipath, Liz can put on something sightly softer as she presents Agatha with a man who is effectively the live action version of Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas.
Like, I mean:
And he’s like, “Well, I can absolutely cure this child’s terminal illness with the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold…”
And Liz is like, “For sure! Here, take lots of my money!” and he’s like, “Amazing, great, I’ll just bring out my child’s chemistry set and get to work.”
Guess what!! He’s a total charlatan! Liz figures it out via the most obvious clue of all: the rash on his hand that comes from rubbing off the blue dye he uses to colour the roses he pretends are a rare and important part of the cure. Basically: Liz is amazing, and this guy is the worst.
And so Liz had to explain to Gideon that his daughter is going to die after all, in a scene that’s sort of like “and her heart great three sizes that day.”
Oh, and then that whole stopping-Mary-and-Darnley-from-getting-married thing? Also not going super well.
Liz is having… a bit of a time. Don’t worry girl, history has its eyes on you.
WTF #2: Mary and Darnley, Together For Never
Things start off amazingly for Mary x Darnley, in the sense of, she is wearing leather leggings and a thousand mile long dress to go horseback riding with him with the show’s erstwhile theme song raging in the background. #Iconic
Right, so she and Darnley are having lots of fun together, and not just because their relationship is literally an act of war. But every time they get too close, Mary freaks out and runs away. Luckily, Greer is now unmarried and in Scotland and available for girl time 24/7. Also? Baby Rose is LITERALLY THE CUTEST BABY ON TV FIGHT ME I DARE YOU
Basically, they agree that Mary has some understandable psychological issues re: Darnley, but that’s just because they don’t have access to Wikipedia and don’t know this panic is perhaps Mary’s lizard brain being like RUN! SAVE YOURSELF! I KNEW HE WAS TROUBLE WHEN HE WALKED IN!
But much like Liz is multi-tasking the personal and the royal, so too is Mary too busy trying to not have her or Darnley assassinated to focus too much on her own thoughts. Basically, Not!Gideon set a clever trap but Mary figured it out on time, and Darnley got his second big fight sequence in two episodes and then the assassin was unrolled from a carpet at their engagement party.
Her dress here is like possibly a series-best. It’s got the same thousand-yard train as her opening horseback riding ensemble, but in a more emerald green and it’s a sort of cape-train hybrid and this is not a woman you want to mess with, England. BOW DOWN.
After she runs Not!Gideon and his crew out of Scotland, there’s a palpable tension in the air. So of course Darnley is like, “Hey, girl. Let’s dance!” Which is like… what is going on. And also: what is her crown doing? It’s like two snakes holding onto a tiny baby crown with their mouths?
But soon enough, #Marnley are hooking up in a hallway (RIP forever, Kenna x Henry) and things seem to be going very well for them in the engagment arena. Until… Whatsherface shows up! Remember? Sort of?
In case you don’t, Darnley is like, “Kira!” And she’s like, “Yes, it’s me, Kira! Your girlfriend from a few episodes ago! I’m back, Fatal Attraction style!”
Even Darnley is like, “… the hell?”
WTF #1: Bye Fe-Leith-cia
So, turns out that Claude and Leith and Luke have all agreed on an open marriage, which suits Claude and Luke just fine, but Leith is… struggling.
Also, not sure how exactly Claude and Luke are so confident in their rhythm method plan to ensure any of her future children are Nascisseses? Like, if she just hooked up with Leith, how can she be sure that sleeping with Luke the next night will result in a Narcisse baby? #justsaying
So Claude does her best to seal the deal with Luke, as Leith waits outside in AGONY like: do yourself a favour, maybe don’t lurk outside while your GF is boning her husband? #lifeadvice
But then! Claude, too, is unable to go through with being impregnated by Luke because, as Cathy tried to tell her before, communication is key to a successful open relationship and also: Leith is not a good candidate for a third. But it’s OK, girl, Woke Bae respects her boundaries. This guy.
And then the show makes us all thing it’s going to go there as Dark Leith emerges, sort of like Dark Betty Cooper that time when she almost boiled/drowned Chuck Clayton in the hot tub. Because he finds Luke out all wounded in the woods, and Luke is like, “Are you going to let me die?” and Leith is like, “… OR AM I???”
But after commercial break, the show is like jk, of course Leith didn’t kill his romantic rival. But he’s afraid of what he saw in himself, and also saw a great opportunity to get his land back from Narcisse and skip town, which is what he does. This is… a lot of plot in one episode.
And then Leith Bayard, who we thought was dead for most of the season so far, who only just came back like two episodes ago, peaces out on the show yet again. Like Gideon, I guess he’s finally realized that it means to remain on this show vis-a-vis sanity.
Of course, this moment of self-discovery comes at the price of Claude, who is now stuck in a marriage to Woke Bae, who is great, but is not her True Love. Aww, girl. You’ll always have your collection of twee headbands and frilly dresses. And undoubtedly, some other hot guys in short order.
Still, pouring one out for yet another ship, sunk to the bottoms of the sea. #RIPCleith