As we tweeted about 20 minutes into this week’s Reign: the first part of every episode of of this show is like the slow overture to the bonkersness of the second part. You know a storm is coming… (And then we included a hilarious GIF of a reporter being hit by a Stop sign and… basically, you need to follow us on Twitter — @ykylfashion holla!!). This week was like that to the most extreme, as we spent the first like 40 minutes with fun plot twists and amazing hair and outfits and some blah blah about politics, only to spend the final 20 minutes in… I mean… it just… damn girl. And because this show, moving into its final episodes (#SOB) is no holds barred bonkers so the entire idea of 5 WTFs doesn’t begin to cover it, and everything other than that one thing is of equal WTF-ery so the order is random, the numbering scheme is nonexistent, so let’s dig in.
WTF #64: Fifty Shades of LizGid
The thing with LizGid is that they’re just really, really, like… passionate. They don’t goof around or go on trips to the Fantasy Suite like Mary and Francis or Bash and Kenna or even #Catcisse. They’re just non-stop like… uncomfortably intimate 24/7 even when there’s England Biz to be doing. You two: get a room. And/or: stop inviting us into that room.
There’s some blah blah going on in France, which means Gideon has to go sort things out (which: we’ll get to in a hot minute). Liz is like THIR.STY. and can’t be without the D for for 45 minutes it takes for him to get there and back, so he’s like, “Oy you saucy minx,” (because he still talks exactly like Captain Jack Sparrow) “why don’t you write your SEXY SHMIDDEON FANTASIES DOWN and we can READ THEM ALOUD TOGETHER once I return, my luv?”
The above image is what we wish Liz had said, but instead she’s like, “Yasss, I’ve been hoping to get a Secret Sex Diary plotline because I wasn’t on the show that time in season two,” and begins writing out her more innermost erotic fantasies.
I mean. It’s like… doesn’t she have… a country… to run…?
So then, Who’s His Beans is still around pretending like she’s going to marry him-slash-continuing the non-stop Bachelorette cosplay with this Room Of Flowers like he’s going to Norman Bates her or something. The camera angle when she wanders into his Murder Room is like she’s on drugs or something, making it obvious we are not supposed to find this at all romantic, because Cathy directed this episode, and she is The Greatest.
Not only did Beans arrange this mega-creepy rose-filled room of death, but he also went through her papers (???) like isn’t that treason or something (????) but the tea is that she left her Erotic Shmiddeon Fan Fiction out where anyone can find it (??????????) and he’s pissed. So in the time-honored way people on this show always get shifty-eyed when they lie, she spins it that the sexy stories are about… um… him?
And he’s like, “OMG amazing, because I am also writing explicit fan fiction about you so let’s hop to it, shall we?” And she’s like, “Amaaaazing. This is… so great.”
Later on, they meet up for yet another Bachelorette one-on-one, with Liz is some incredible fur, where he admits not only did he know she was lying it was about him, but he used it against her so that she would sleep with him, because he was confident his bedroom skills would win her over.
YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of how every man on this show is THE WORST. Not just that he violated her trust and tricked her into bed? But also that he thought it was like, the most charming thing ever? And, sort of like Darnley (which: more in a hot minute) he knows she sort of has to marry him so she can’t escape this?
Also? Beans forces her to banish Gideon from court so, for countless reasons, it sounds like that LizGid sexytimes book club will not be holding a reading anytime soon.
WTF #63: Gideon Blackburn, International Man of… ?
Right, so not only is Gideon now inspiring Liz to write self-incriminating sex stories about him, but also he’s the only person in all of England capable of sorting out some French-adjacent political biz this week.
I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Mary used to be the star of this show? Is this like a back door Gideon spinoff pilot? Will each week find him Forrest Gump-ing his way across the Renaissance, solving international issues week after week?
Anyway, he brings his Jack Sparrow accent and signature leather jeggings to talk bureaucracy with the only person in France capable of handling biz, aka Narcisse.
It’s like a reunion of two characters who both defied the odds to not only Not Get Murdered, but also to extend their initial plotlines into multi-season arcs. Like, neither of these characters are based on real people yet have made their way into being extraordinarily vital to the French, English, and Scottish monarchies on a history-based show. What is their magic???
And rest assured, between Narcisse’s scheming power play and Gideon’s poker face, they sort out like whatever the issue was? I think?
WTF #62: Henri’s amateur hour scheming
So, basically: Nicole truly thinks Narisse loves her? And is bestowing upon him a variety of girlie gifts? That she thinks he loves? Like: girl, don’t make me send Davey Rizzio over there to offer you some real talk. The closest she has to a GBF is Henri, who happens to overhear Cathy and Narcisse laughing about this, and he’s like:
Henri’s scheming style is still pretty in development, because what he does is run off to try to blackmail Narcisse yet again.
Getting nowhere with this tack, instead he heads to Nicole to try and tell all. But, because he also obviously wants to hook up with her, she’s like, “Yeah right, my bae Narcisse lurrrves my little gifties.”
Also important to note, Nicole’s cloak ensemble is super gorgeous. Imagine how sad it would have been for someone with this sense of style and ability to wear a cloak were trapped living on a provincial farm her whole life.
Anywhoo, Henri arranges for them to spy on Narcisse when he opens her next present. This does NOT go well. In fact, it goes so poorly this gets its own WTF.
WTF #61: Season One, Episode One, but sadder (but still sexy)
So Henri and Nicole creep behind the same screen thing that Mary and her ladies (pour one out for Aylee, Kenna, and Lola) used to spy on, I think Leeza and her husband? getting it on in the Pilot. They didn’t show up to watch sexytimes, though, just to watch Narcisse unboxing Nicole’s latest gift.
I think the trajectory of her and Henri’s facial expressions really says it all:
But what are they seeing? Welllllll…
WTF #60: #Catcisse
So, it’s obviously not a WTF that Cathy and Narcisse would hook up — we’ve known this was in the cards for them ever since he returned to court. After all, she’s a woman who knows what she wants and likes, and he’s the one they wrote the Sex Diary v1.0 about so: come on.
They begin with what I guess is like foreplay for them, making fun of Nicole’s goofy gift, then admiring each others’ badass leather outfits, and generally sneering.
Now, bear in mind both Nicole (Cathy’s son’s girlfriend and also Narcisse’s secret piece) and Henri (Cathy’s SON) are both watching. And imagine their joint horror at what happens next:
Now, for the at-home audience, many of whom I know have just been counting down for these two to seal the deal, I know it was more of a YASSSSS thing. But for Henri, this is possibly even more awkward than that time his half-brother Bash had to stand with a crowd and watch his brother Francis and Mary consummate their marriage.
I mean, what are two sexy young teens to do in such a circumstance? Best to just forget about what they saw by making their own sweet, sweet love.
After all this goes down, Nicole heads back to her primary boyfriend and semi-tattles on what’s Just happened. Basically, she outs Henri as scheming against Charles, but doesn’t mention a) her own thing with Narcisse or b) her thing with Henri. So Charles is lounging in his throne like Commander Riker all, “Gotcha, little brother.”
Henri, very relieved that his brother/King only found out like 10% of what went down, struts out of there knowing he got one over on him. Kinda. I mean, in his way. Little baby schemer’s growing up.
WTF #59: Meanwhile back in Scotland (**takes big sip of wine**)
So, first of all, there is a SECRET LABYRINTH OF TUNNELS UNDER THE CASTLE. Why are we only learning about this now, vis-a-vis a masterfully directed montage?? How many sub-castle hijinxs could we have seen this whole season so far???
So she’s all stealthing through the tunnels, with Darnley hot on her heels, but he misses a turn somewhere and she’s able to slip into her Secret Clubhouse/Library which, again: how is this the first time we’re seeing this room?
It’s like Beauty and the Beast level amazing and if I was Mary, I would basically just live there and not just because of the constant assassination attempts. Making the whole place even better is who’s inside of it, namely: Team Amazing Hair.
With their love and support, and help curling the back of her hair, she hatches a plan to neuter Darnley/GJK’s gross current plan of pretending her baby is illegitimate. And it’s as easy as announcing it in public, counting on Darnley’s inability to turn down good PR.
Everything’s going so well! How could this possibly backfire??
WTF #58: GJK is somehow even worse than Darnley?
After the plan he decided upon like five minutes ago evaporated, Darnley goes running to GJK to learn about what Plan B may just be. GJK, never a man to mince words, just throws it all right out there.
Darnley’s able to dissuade him from that point for like, a good twenty minutes. But a few plot twists later, their next one-on-one date doesn’t go quite so well.
Boyfriend is in over his head, but I’m sure it’ll all work out, rather gut? (Spoiler: so very much no)
WTF #57: Davey Rizzio, the Swiss Army Knife of amazingness
Mary is making good use of, I think either the Club House or maybe the cozy fireplace thing next to her card table in her bedroom, just drinking literal tea and spilling metaphorical tea with Davey “Bae” Rizzio, because if he was my friend? You know I’d spent every waking minute with him, because: come on.
She’s also like, “Ugh, I wish I had a good accountant,” and we suddenly learn that Davey is NOT ONLY an expert orchestra conductor and Darnley-distractor who single-handedly improved both Mary and LP’s hair game CONSIDERABLY and communes with sexy druids on the ASTRAL PLANE, but he’s also apparently a licenced CPA.
He spends ten seconds going over her books and figures out Bargain Basement Anderson Cooper here has been not paying his taxes, or something. They stomp up to the throne room to read him.
And not only is he slimy and gross and the worst, but something about BBAC seems verrrrry familiar to Davey.
And so he goes off-script, revealing yet another onion-y layer to the non-stop gloriousness of his personality: Badass Blackmail-Adjacent Bodyguard. Because he knows BBAC from the local gay club, and Davey will not allow this closet case to get in the way of his BFF.
I mean. This man. He just… between the undone blouse and the stubbley face and his trademark Fabio-like hair — combined with the palpable level of menace?
Like I think we all need to take a moment here and just like… that coat? The BEDAZZLED COAT? The necklace? I MEAN. Y’ALL. Sorry, just give me a sec.
OK. I’m good. Let’s continue.
WTF #1-56: The first (through fifty-sixth) cut is the deepest. Baby, I know.
So, as noted above, Darnley and GJK have come up with a gross yet plausible strategy to get rid of Mary: catch her in flagrante with LP (who they both think she’s hooking up with, despite being like five months pregnant?) and then kill him and put her in jail. Complication #1: LP finds out about the plan, and warns her. Mary, who thought everything was amazing ten seconds ago, is beyond devastated.
So LP hurries out to save himself-slash-muster some pro-Mary troops. Mary settles back for a card game with Davey R, so they can both look up like, “Oh hey nothing to see here” when Darnley and his squad force their way in, Gaston-style.
Darnley, who was not 100% into this plan anyway, is like, “OK guys I guess that’s it.” BUT GUESS WHO IS PART OF THE MOB? Bargain Basement Anderson Cooper! Who takes one look at Davey and is like, “Let’s say this six foot drink of amazingly haired water was having an affair with Mary and kill him instead. For that reason. Not for my personal reasons.”
Everybody in the room knows that’s not true, up to and including Darnley. They all just sort of look at BBAC like, “I mean. What?”
And Mary is like, “I am the QUEEN so like: enough. I was just about to beat Davey in a game of Asshole so like, sashay away y’all.”
But BBAC and the mob are like, “WE DON’T CARE! MEET OUR 56 KNIVES AND SWORDS!!!”
Davey goes from being like WTF? to WTFFFF??? to utter resignation in like less than ten seconds. He’s always said he was willing to die for Mary and, turns out, he is.
Now, if you were wondering, “How are they going to dramatize someone being stabbed 56 times on the CW during primetime TV?” The answer is to get Cathy to direct it, and just focus as much as possible on the utter devastation of Mary. Because on a show that has never flinched from going there, this was rough to watch. Adelaide Kane was just like the personification of devastation, followed with a glassy-eyed dead eyes look that was even sadder. And Andrew “Davey Bae Rizzio” Shaver was a total champ, flopping around like the body bag his character turned out to be.
Ugh. It was all just like: gut-wrenching.
But Mary’s nothing if not a survivor, so she climbs up from the ground and immediately knows just what to do. She calls out to a guard, pretending like there’s something wrong with her baby, and demands to see Darnley one-on-one. He arrives, and she’s like Snow White just laying there, looking super fragile and vulnerable. But that’s the plan, you see.
Darnley, who it must be said did nothing to stop Rizzio from being stabbed 56 times and also led the mob to their room, but who also seemed sort of grossed out by the whole thing, is swayed by Mary’s explanation that GJK is only using him and will probably also stab him 56 times so they both need to get out of there.
And so Darnley, as I guess we all expect by now, does his trademark 180 turn in motivation and escapes with Mary via all the secret passageways. They ride off into the night, a sort of negative version of that happy horseback ride they had what, like seven episodes ago? To freedom!!!
Except not, because it’s been more than five minutes so Darnley has to do yet another about-face. Is it exhausting? Being this changeable? They pause in the middle of the woods — and bear in mind, Mary is FIVE MONTHS PREGNANT (or so?) and just witnessed her BFF being STABBED 56 TIMES IN FRONT OF HER and just went for a lengthy HORSEBACK RIDE — for Darnley to be like, “Know what? I’m out.”
Mary, at this point I think must be at least part immortal Goddess, because she does not pause but just moves on with her badass Viking hair braid (Davey’s final gift to her??) and takes herself to the safehouse where LP’s been hanging out with the rest of #TeamMary.
In a sort of repeat of Liz’s “I am but a poor peasant girl!” roleplay from last time, she struts inside, whips off her hood, and takes charge of everything. Basically, she will NOT stand for ANY OF THIS and is going to lead them all into battle to siege (re-siege?) the castle and, history be damned, hopefully rip GJK apart limb from limb.
Like, no idea who these guys are back there, but if they’re on her team then they are my new favorite characters. It’s not just that GJK engineered the murder of Davey Rizzio, thus depriving him from my show forever, but also she has been waiting hopefully for things to get better for so fucking long. This isn’t the girl from the first season unsure of what to do, or the young woman from seasons two or three looking to her mentors for guidance. She is a badass QUEEN and those who wronged her best be shaking in their boots.
Also, somewhere in the afterlife, you just know that Francis and Lola are greeting Davey with big hugs and lots of amazing wine and music, and all three are fist-pumping to watch their gal set out on this PATH OF RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE. Get it, girl.