TV Review: <i>Reign</i> 3×03 “Extreme Measures”

Well that’s more like it! I enjoyed this week’s episode of Reign way more than last weeks, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the lack of Queen Elizabeth and only minor mistep into the bizarro Bash storyline. In other news, this show moves impossibly fast. A lot happened this week, and it’s hard to know if this show having to keep pace with CW standards is helping or hurting it. In the end, I expect it’s a little of both. Now, let’s get down to the business of ruling France, shall we?

Francis isn’t looking so good. It’s certainly looking like his remaining episode count could be severely numbered, and I doubt the writers are going to defy history and offer some sort of miraculous recovery for him. And no matter what’s in store, the characters definitely think his end us coming, and have to act accordingly. Mary’s heart is clearly still breaking because of all of this, but she’s soldiering on with the best of them. This week’s tasks were (once again) getting Charles up to the task, as well as negotiating with the King of Nevva who had stopped in for a surprise visit.

Conde has been kidnapped by mercenaries and so Antoine needs to secure his passage back to Nevva, except that the only safe route is through France. But by now Mary couldn’t care in the slightest what happens to her former lover, and instead jumps on the opportunity to try and get Antoine to renounce his claim to the French throne, something that will come in handy soon. Alas, he refused to negotiate with Mary (blaming her for his brother’s downfall) and wanted to see Francis himself. Not great news when you consider that Francis looks physically ill and can’t play the role of healthy king for more than a few minutes at a time. You can’t say no to a king, even when you are one yourself. So Francis agrees to the meeting, but not before Elizabeth’s diplomatic envoy swoops in with a counter offer from the British Queen. Nicolas is none too happy that Francis hasn’t made him a priority since his arrival, and has no problem swooping in to try to secure Nevva’s continued support for his queen. Drama, drama everywhere. So, business as usual at court.

So now everything is at stake once again. Time for Catherine to get back into the game and back onto the good guys’ team, or as much on this team as she’s capable of being. Even though earlier in the episode Mary and Catherine were absolutely brutal to one another, Mary has no problem bringing out the big guns in order to blackmail Queen Elizabeth and securing the deal with Nevva. Catherine looks suitably crazy through all of this (though nothing like her shouting match with Mary, after she’d already bitten out a chunk of her own cheek), and still manages to be severely awesome. Victory is ours!

Sort of. The B plot for this week involved the fact that Charles is kind of a moron. He slipped his date some opium that had been meant for his brother, and shockingly, it didn’t go well. But please hold that thought while we briefly jump over to Lola. This week, on Lola’s love life, Narcisse is desperately hoping for marriage and goes so far as to offer a secret proposal. The two are still hiding their relationship but neither is willing to drop it completely. And despite it not being the best logical plan, Lola follows her heart and agrees to Mary Narcisse, eventually. It turns out eventually is later this episode, but that’s Reign for you. You see, the biggest hurdle in their way is Francis and his disapproval. He doesn’t want Narcisse raising his son because he’s pretty sure the guy is a scum bag. And on some fronts, he’s not wrong.

Now, bear with me as all of these storylines start to come together. Narcisse comes to the rescue of Charles and his wild child date, saving the girls life after Claude couldn’t help and decides to bring in the biggish guns (Catherine is still imprisoned at this point). Narcisse is hesitant to get involved because he doesn’t want to come off as a horrible influence yet again to the King. Except, when he saves the day, things actually take a turn for the better. Charles tells Francis, who apparently only needed this small push in order to approve of Narcisse’s character and approve his wedding to Lola. They get married, hurrah. Seriously, it happened that fast.


But now, Mary has decided not to marry Charles. Not because he’s not the best at decision making, but because he can never love her like Francis does, and will never do as much to protect Scotland as his brother was willing to do. She needs to go elsewhere, which means France will need a different regent. And since Catherine played her hand this week, she gets to come back for real. All too quickly she goes from crazy prisoner Catherine to the presumptive Queen Regent. I’m going to miss Crazy Catherine, she was pretty fantastic. The episode ends with Catherine playfully tormenting the newlyweds Lola and Narcisse, and then taking her place on the throne like it was built just for her. This is shaping up to be a great season, though the further we go into it, the less I have any idea about what’s going to happen. Mary isn’t going to marry Charles, meaning she likely won’t be staying in France after Francis’ death. But all of the main characters are here!





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