This was definitely a Royale finale for a powerful first season. The character growth has been immense, and although this episode left me screaming towards the end, I am pleased with the resolutions and cliffhangers that it brought. Reign writers, you definitely have me waiting for the Fall premiere of Season 2. As we mentioned last week, King Henry is pretty teed off that someone in his own castle tried to kill him. He wakens the whole castle and calls everyone to the courtyard. He’s in one of his manic godly states and intends to find out the one who plotted to kill him. Mary and Katherine are pretty spooked. But, lucky for them, Henry decides to slay an innocent man and got that over with quite quickly. As everyone stands there in horror, Francis is officially convinced that there’s no gaining his father’s sanity back. He’s far too gone. At that moment, he didn’t know half of what the King had planned. The victory in Calais has brought back Leith! Except he’s returned donning fancy clothes and now the owner of a nice piece of land and orchards; no title as of yet as it’s pretty bad timing for Francis to ask the king. But truly, I love the friendship that has blossomed between Leith and Francis, and I’m hoping this grows into a bromance in season 2.
Anywho, Leith is itching to find Greer. He even overlooks a beautiful red head in order to find the love of his life. Unfortunately, Leith’s new lands have not changed the fact that Greer is engaged to Lord Castleroy. Nor has it changed the fact Greer carries her family’s future on her back, and she believes a piece of land isn’t enough yet. During the celebration of the battle of Calais, King Henry not only is putting the moves on Mary right in front of Katherine’s eyes, but he also forces his military men to reenact a naval battle with real cannons. Obviously quite a bad idea, one of the ships ends up being blown to pieces.
Thankfully for all us Leith lovers, he survived once again! Greer is bursting with joy to find out that Leith wasn’t dead. The thought of his death pained her more than she even imagined. They’re about to get it on when she stops it all and insists this doesn’t change anything. Leith has about had it with being rejected twice in one day.
Greer, he loves you, but the boy has some dignity. He sure didn’t stand for this any longer and promised her that he would work hard and become the man she always dreamed of (financially that is). His speech of how he would become the best Greer could ever want was so genuine that I believe he really will be the Bill Gates of that time. But, he also vowed that he would never be hers again. This crushed me. Yeah, Greer is crying and what not but she still didn’t risk it for love and at the end of the day though Castleroy is loaded and such a nice man — he’s not Leith. Love over money, honey. The thing is that I truly don’t believe Greer is just a gold digger. She’s just a girl who’s stuck under her father’s reign and doesn’t have enough of a backbone to stand up for what she wants for her life. She’s too submissive to her family’s desires even though she even probably doubts that they’d do the same for her. It’s actually quite a sad thing to see. What she doesn’t realize is that Francis will soon be able to give Leith any title. Who knows, maybe he will even be one of his advisors. Greer is for sure going to regret her choice, and I’m sure we will have to see her endure it in Season 2. Francis, not present at the celebration, runs into these dead men’s bodies that have washed upon the shore. He also learns that his father intends to send 3,000 more men that night out to England. That about does it for Francis, and he decides to take action against his father. Meanwhile, Katherine and Mary have connected the dots. Henry has asked Katherine for an annulment of their marriage. He keeps insinuating himself with Mary and so they realize his plan to kill Francis. If he kills Francis, then he can wed Mary and have Scotland, England, and France’s crowns all to himself. Indeed, King Henry had intended to poison at the Calais feast that very night! Katherine, Mary and Francis understand that it’s too late to try to plan an assassination; he’s too aware. So, their only option is a coup. Mary turns to her uncle, Duke De Guise, and he actually offers good insight. Francis’s image is tainted as a ruler because of his father; it truly is up to Mary to gain control of France as well. Quite a bold move to make. Far from the craziness of the castle, Bash and Nostradamus have arrived at Visagod in the search of the Darkness. All that they find is abandoned houses, one in particular that seemed to be the Darkness’ lair. On the walls, it seems like predictions have been painted, all have come to pass, the last one depicts shooting stars that symbolize the return of the deadly Black Plague all over the land.
Kenna is with Pascal, a pagan boy as she vows to protect him from the darkness. It wasn’t long before the Darkness himself comes looking for Pascal to turn him into his successor by taking Kenna’s blood. Kenna actually holds her own, and it was nice to not see her a weak and dainty. Lucky for her, Bash and Nostradamus burst into the house just in time to slay the Darkness. Those two make quite a team as they gave the Darkness quite a butt whooping. The Darkness, who really is just a very unattractive man with sharpened pointy teeth, does warn that if Pascal does succeed him, if blood isn’t poured out for the pagan gods, then that will trigger the return of the plague. Bash decides to ignore this and axes him to his death.
Back in French court, Mary made an even bolder move at the jousting tournament held by King Henry. She wore a cape and gown with the royal crests and colors of England, insinuating to onlookers that she plans to take claim to the throne. This incites jealousy as all attention from the public has gone towards Mary. He decides to take a jab at a jousting match, and nonetheless is injured by his opponent, a Lord from French court.
Henry has been injured severely as a stack of wood has pierced him. But what no one knows is that it was Francis who played against Henry as his opponent in disguise. He killed his own father in such a discrete way that we never expected him to pull something off like this. It was even more surprising to find out that Mary wasn’t in on this plan. All along we thought that Mary would be the one to execute a plan for Henry’s death. Yet, Francis seemingly out of nowhere gathered the strength to do it. It seems so out of character that it shows that Mary hasn’t been the only one growing cold and slipping into the ways of a ruler. As Henry is in his death bed, he calls for Francis and confesses to him how he poisoned his own brother so many years ago in order to become King. He warns Francis to never kill someone you love as you will live with regret and pain for the rest of your life. It was this that eventually drove Henry mad. I was happy to see that I had been right about my theory about the tennis player who Henry kept seeing in his visions. Francis is being overloaded with condemnation over what he did to his father. He truly did love Henry with all his heart but saw no other way out. It doesn’t take away the fact that he murdered his own father but maybe Francis would feel better if he knew that if it hadn’t been Henry who died, then Francis would have suffered the same death as his late uncle who he was named after. It’s a tougher world than we expected for these royals certainly.
King Henry passes away with Francis at his side. I must say I will miss Alan Van Sprang, who played Henry. He was entertaining to watch and his interactions with Katherine were some of the best scenes. Unfortunately, I doubt he will be able to come back to life like so many characters do in shows like Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries. Long live the King! Towards the end of this episode, we finally get to have the loose end of Lola’s subplot be wrapped up. She’s going into a labor and has to bust into a random person’s house to give birth. Seeing as she’s not in the best conditions, she writes a letter to Mary just in case she doesn’t make it alive. Suddenly, she decides she would like for Francis to know the truth. It was a rather quick way to solve the baby daddy drama that had been lingering for so many episodes. Mary tells Francis and his face of shock is quite priceless. Mary urges him to be by Lola’s side, and she will join later. But, it’s just then that the Plague has hit again; the Darkness was right about his prediction. The castle is being shut down so that the Plague doesn’t get in. No one is allowed to leave or come in. And so, this marks the moment where Francis makes a choice that could kill his marriage – literally and emotionally. He could become infected with the Plague out there, but as he says, “This could be my only child.” A remark that clearly cuts Mary deep.
At that moment, Mary lets him go,and told the guards to lower the gates. Francis wants to be a different kind of King and that means he could possibly be contaminated and rule for the shortest time ever. Mary has made her choice; she is a Queen and she can’t be as reckless. The look they give each other as the gate closes, and Francis looks back as he rides forward is heartbreaking. Both because you see the love between them, but also because you see Mary’s heart grow harder at Francis’s choice. What we need to find out and want more of in Season 2? – Kenna and Bash: They’ve become such an adorable and unexpected couple. – Will Lola die? Will the baby survive? – Will Mary do what her uncle suggested and take over France as well? – Will Francis get sick with the Plague? – Will Francis and Mary’s marriage be totally broken? I’m excited for Season 2! Reign has done a great job of leaving enough possibilities open with their Season 1 finale to have us creating thousands of theories as we wait for its fall return. What were your favorite moments from this season finale episode? Comment below! Gif Credits: Reign Caps Reign Frarys Reign Daily Olivia Damencourt