Well that was exciting. Sort of. “Wedlock” has to be the most action packed episode of Reign that we’ve seen in a good long while, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. On one hand, this episode went full speed, starting new plot lines that could easily last half a season, but then instead wrapping them up as quickly as they started. On the other hand, Reign still seems to be trying to juggle more and more story lines, struggling to keep up with them in the process.
Once upon a time, Reign was a show I’d recommend to anyone and everyone. Alas, those days seem to have come to an end. Episode nine of this season found Mary on the verge of marrying Don Carlos, and Queen Elizabeth pregnant with her married lovers child. Drama, drama everywhere. There’s also that small matter of Bash and Delphine going back on their hunt for the serial killer. I’m starting to hope the murderer is Bash and he ends up written off of the show sooner rather than later. And with how wildly inconsistent most of this show’s characters have been lately, it would seem the writers are willing to bet we’d believe anything at this point.
Let’s start things off this week talking about Queen Elizabeth. Just when we thought the love triangle angle was done, Queen Elizabeth (who goes down in history as a virgin queen) is pregnant with her lover’s baby, threatening both her crown and her life if the scandal were to get out. Robert Dudley finally agrees to divorce his wife so he can marry Elizabeth, but of course that doesn’t go according to plan either as his wife promptly kills herself in order to frame her husband for her murder. And it works well enough that the suspicions surrounding her death alone should be enough to keep Robert and Elizabeth apart. It was a minor point, but one bonus from this plot line was that they acknowledged that Lola was currently on a boat to England, rather than once again using the incredibly speedy travel methods that all of our characters seem to have access to despite it being the 1500s.
Once again, Claude and Leith got their own small arc this episode as the two of them continued to get closer, faking Latin lessons so they could spend time together. Claude started to get a bit nervous, worrying that she’d get hurt in all this, but thanks to some wise words from Greer, she eventually decided to chance it anyway. But it would seem that this was all a ploy to set us up for heartbreak as the end of the episode found Narcisse announcing his plans to marry off Claude to some unknown, something we’ll probably jump into in the next episode.
And finally, as always the biggest plot of the week goes to our very own Queen Mary. Despite some interference from England (specifically, the new ambassador who has been sent to woo Mary in a secret plot by Elizabeth), she is all set to marry Don Carlos. His entourage has demanded that he be given true King status in Scotland, which would carry through even if Mary were to die, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Except, Don Carlos has miraculously recovered from his injury, and his memory loss surrounding Mary’s involvement in his accident. He’s out for revenge and a country of his own, opting to fake his continued impairment long enough to be officially married, then plans to kill Mary shortly after the wedding.
Now I did expect this to get drawn out a little longer, with a last minute save by whoever so that Mary and Don Carlos could go their separate ways. Instead, the wedding was supposed to happen immediately, meaning Mary had to catch on to Don Carlos’ dishonesty pretty quickly in order to avoid matrimony. She thinks she sees his hand twitch during a meeting, and that’s all it takes. Greer, as the only lady in waiting still in France, steps in to suggest it might just be cold feet, but Mary’s not one to take chances and devises a pretty basic plot in order to out her betrothed. Since this was so rushed I did hope they’d offer up something a little more involved than Mary simply switching out the contracts to see if Don Carlos would catch it, but that’s what happened. Scotland is still in trouble, but Mary is saved and lives to fight another week. She’s also potentially freed up to start falling into Elizabeth’s trap as far as the dashing ambassador is concerned.
I miss Francis. And Kenna. And season one.