I was already thinking this season of Reign had been my least favorite so far. After this past episode, the last before the winter break, there’s just no getting around it. Reign is struggling. The Hound and the Hare was a little bit ridiculous and not at all on par with the show I’ve come to love. The bulk of the episode was sub-par as it was, with all of the focus on Bash’s crime solving skills, and then it concluded with… whatever that was. If nothing else, the fact that I disliked this episode more than anything that came before it, and it didn’t even feature Queen Elizabeth, should tell you something.
The one highlight of the episode was the Hound and the Hair game that Mary agreed to play in order to keep Carlos from leaving (he’d been scared off by Elizabeth’s spy). The ladies of the court got to chase their men through the forest, and it was exactly the kind of lighthearted moment the show needed. It also served to start to build a hesitant relationship between Mary and Gideon. It’s main purpose though was to let Narcisse sneak a look at Catherine’s tryst with her servant boy in the forest, which he was none to happy about. And the fact that he cares at all seems to have re-sealed his fate as irredeemable.
The big political move of the episode also came from Narcisse. Who is now unofficially the ruler of all France. Through a few subtle moves, he managed to get himself elected regent when Catherine could not, throwing her under the bus in order to do so. Whether her affair was the reason, or he’d planned this all along, well… we can all have our theories. And how this will factor into the show come the new year, I’m curious to see.
But that’s where this episode’s highlights end. And frankly, the lowlights absolutely overshadowed the rest. First up… Bash and Delphine continue to hunt for the heart-stealing-sorta-maybe-supernatural-murderer, and officially introduce some more ill-fitted supernatural elements to the show. And this week they managed to suck Greer and her “place of business” into the black hole with them. Delphine had a vision, suggesting that Greer was going to be the next target, so Bash brought some men to her establishment to stake things out for the evening. Nothing happened, people started to pack up, and then it turned out not to be Greer after all, but Delphine herself that was the victim. And alas, she managed to survive her second near death experience within only a handful of episodes.
Bash’s plot taking up such a large chunk of the episode was likely what hurt it the most… but that final scene was really the nail in the coffin. Carlos had scared off a few potential wives in the past once they heard of his sexual preferences (BDSM. He travels with a seated whipping post), but Mary was willing to try. She was hesitant at first, but Catherine convinced her to give it a go. And that should have been the end of that. Instead, Catherine stepped in to help. No, really. She did the whipping, while Mary floundered around trying to come up with dirty talk (though Catherine’s look of disbelief at how badly Mary handled it was pretty hilarious). Okay, so that is where it should have ended. And again, it didn’t. Carlos took off his blindfold, realized he’d been betrayed (which seemed like an odd move for this particular show). He panicked, fell down while still strapped into his chair, and… died? Maybe. But while Mary and Catherine were freaking out (not that they’d killed him, but about how his father would retalitate), he wandered off, bleeding and still half strapped in. Huh?
To be fair, the scene was kind of hilarious, but in all the wrong ways, at least in terms of what I’ve come to expect from this show that doesn’t usually pull any punches. It absolutely looked like Adelaide Kane and Megan Follows enjoyed themselves filming all of this, which made it fun to watch. But beyond that… this whole subplot seemed so far out in left field that it should have belonged to a completely different show.
Thankfully, this was the last episode of the year, and we’re going to have a few weeks off before Reign returns in 2016. Hopefully it will be enough time for the show to get back on track. Usually, my hopes for the show centered around getting rid of the silly supernatural elements (and bringing back Kenna!), but after this episode, I don’t even know what to hope for. Once you’ve had a duel Mary and Catherine BDSM, murder, scandal scene, is there any going back? Right now, a snap back to the glory days of season one seems hard to pull off, but that’s probably the shock of this particular episode speaking.
Seriously… what was that?!