TV Review: <i>Reign</i> 3×02 “Betrothed”

Don’t get me wrong, I love Reign more than almost anything else that is currently on TV, but… this episode didn’t really do it for me. I didn’t hate it by any stretch, but I always have such high expectations for Reign, and with so much going on right now I was expecting a little bit more. Still, this is only episode two of what I expect will be a pretty amazing season, so let’s jump in!

The episode opens with bad news for our favorite royal couple… Mary and Francis still aren’t pregnant, and by how things are looking, they don’t seem all that confident that they’ll get the opportunity again. Which means they need to start seriously considering that they won’t have an heir to put on the thrown when Francis dies, meaning the crown will go to his brother. So it’s finally time to start bringing in everyone else to the fact that Francis is dying. And for all of the reasons that it initially made sense to wed Francis to Mary, Francis decides that it makes just as much sense for his brother to marry his widow. Mary isn’t thrilled about this, but sees the logic. Charles just downright isn’t interested, and you can’t really blame him. He has just found out his brother is dying, he’s going to be king, and now he’s expected to marry an older woman who is madly in love with his soon to be dead brother. No thanks! He demands to talk to his mother, who is of course still imprisoned and surprisingly Mary and Francis agree to let him do it. And Catherine does what Catherine does best… plays the sympathetic mother who wants to show her son the rope, and instead tricks him into ordering the deaths of the entire Nevva royal family as they could potentially challenge Charles’ claim to the thrown. I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming, but thankfully Mary and Francis did. They expected Catherine to pull something like this all along, and quickly bring Charles into the loop to show him that having his mother as regent would be a pretty terrible plan. Which made for a pretty fun storyline, definitely my favorite of the episode. Which of course means it’s all down hill from here.

Remember when I said last week that I was hoping they’d give Lola more to do than replay the same old romantic sub plot this season? Well, it doesn’t look like that is happening, at least not yet. She and Narcisse flitted around each other a bit more this week, and while I do like them together I just want to see her as more than mother and potential-wife. I did think it was a nice twist that she didn’t want to be married, but thanks to some not so unexpected plotting on Narcisse’s part, it looks like she’ll be caving on that too. All that being said, I can’t deny that she stepped up to the plate when Mary told her about Francis’ illness. Her first concern was for her friend, even though this could bring up some real threats for her son. I expect, if they do end up killing off Francis’ her storyline will quickly take off in that direction, which… is it bad to say I’m looking forward to that?

What I am not looking forward to is more Queen Elizabeth. The show seems to be doing its best to make her a main character, but so far there haven’t really been any redeeming personality traits as far as the “virgin” queen is concerned. This week she spent some time betraying her friend, and a little more time selfishly throwing her lover under the bus. I expect they’re bringing her in in order to create a new villain of sorts for Mary if she ends up moving back to Scotland after Francis dies (historically, Mary does not wed Charles and instead returns to Scotland, but who knows if the writers will go that route). Either way, Elizabeth got a whole lot of screen time this episode which was the main reason I didn’t love it quite as much as I usually do.

There was one more element of this episode I somewhat enjoyed, though it was a smaller plot point. Apparently, Greer’s ex-boyfriend (or current… I really cannot remember how these two ended things), Leith, is still puttering around the castle, playing man servant to Princess Claude (when he wasn’t busy telling Bash he was being ridiculous about all things Delphine… another storyline I’m 110% not enjoying this season). When Claude learned of Francis’ coming death, she quickly had to face that the new king wouldn’t necessarily agree never to force her to marry like the last two kings had… something Charles was quick to confirm for her, so she spent most of the episode fairly stressed about what the future would bring for her (something I wouldn’t mind exploring). And the episode wrapped up with a cute moment between her and Leith. I suspect they’ll be trying to push that as a romance plot sooner rather than later, but I’m not totally against it.

Guys… is Kenna not coming back? I demand to see Kenna!



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