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'Reign' star Torrance Coombs says Bash puts ghosts before his marriage

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Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

When Reign premiered, Bash was best known as the bastard son of the king. Now, he’s the brother of the king, and most importantly, the king’s deputy. Oh, he’s also a husband to Kenna, but considering that Antoine recently proposed marriage to Kenna, things aren’t looking great. And yet, with his marriage on the line, the looming mysteries of the Woman in White and Catherine’s secret—she killed his mother—all but guarantee that Bash is about to have a lot of drama on his hands.

We spoke with Torrance Coombs about tonight’s return, and what’s next for Bash and company:

EW: When we last saw the show, Antoine was trying to marry your woman.

TORRANCE COOMBS: I love it when they bring in handsome men to come in and give me a hard time. It’s the best. “Here’s a really charming dude just to come and shake things up a little for you.”

Yes, because competing with your father wasn’t enough.

Yeah. Well, you know, you gotta fight em off to be king of the castle.

Very true. Well I’m intrigued by this week’s episode description, which claims that Bash and Kenna’s marriage is beyond repair after he learns of her scheming. Is this a new scheme or more of what we’ve already seen?

Well, Antoine’s still up to it. I don’t think his tactic has changed so much. What’s interesting with him is that it’s hard to get a read on him. He definitely started doing this to try to get back at me, but his humanity, we start to see it come out a little bit. And then Antoine ultimately ends up a bit like Catherine where you’re like, “Was that all an act or was that sincere?” The tears start flowing and you’re just like, “Okay is she actually just a sociopath and a master manipulator or is there a heart there?” So it’s interesting.

And Kenna, for her part, she knows Antoine’s playing her so it’s it’s fun to watch that play out. For Bash’s part, he knows what Antoine’s up to, he can see it plainly, but even a schemer can maybe start to show a woman that she’s not getting everything that she needs out of her life.

So you’re saying that Bash needs to step up his game.

Yeah, well, Bash is busy. He decided that the most important thing in his life was chasing ghosts because a ghost came to visit him and ever since then, he’s believed in them. It doesn’t go over well with your wife when you say, “Oh man there’s a woman resurrecting dead bodies in this village, I can’t be here to participate in our marriage right now.” [Laughs] So there’s love there but she doesn’t understand the gravity of what he’s dealing with. And for his part, he’s just not as attentive, he’s not there for her, so you can’t really blame her for wondering what she’s getting out of it.

Do you agree with the description that their marriage is beyond repair?

It’s certainly in a lot of trouble. It seems at this juncture to be beyond repair, but one could argue that Mary and Francis’ [marriage] seems a little beyond repair as well. You never really know how these things are going to come back around, keeping in mind too that it’s not as simple in these days as just getting a divorce and saying sayonara. If you’re Catholic, it has to be an annulment and there’s a whole thing, you have to curry the Vatican’s favor and find a really good reason for it and it’s, I don’t know, it’s probably expensive. And then there’s a woman’s reputation on the line as far as finding another husband. There’s all kinds of things to consider so it’s not just as simple as like, “Okay well I guess we’re done here.” Whatever problems they go through, there’s something that binds them, and so we’ll see how they reconcile that.

As a result of his marital troubles, is Bash going to throw himself into his work? 

Yeah he definitely throws himself into his work. It’s a vicious cycle: As his marriage seems to be going worse and worse, he just spends less and less time with it. He’s prone to making bad decisions when he’s angry or upset, so in service of the king, doing some deputy work, he gets himself into quite a lot of trouble and he’s going to need some help while he’s out there.

I have to say, I’m still furious with him for letting the Woman in White touch him.

Well it’s a morbid curiousity, isn’t it? Here’s the thing: It’s just that he wouldn’t have known [if she hadn’t touched him]. He’s constantly trying to figure out what’s for real and what isn’t. So Nostradamus, everything he said seems to come true. And then he insisted the Darkness is a man, and then he kills the Darkness and the Darkness is like, “Actually, I’ve been doing the blood sacrifices to stave off the plague.” Within hours, this plague hits the land and kills a bunch of people. And a ghost comes to visit him. You can’t really fault him for making these connections.

For her part, the Woman in White says, “Look I didn’t bring this guy back from the dead. He just kind of crawled out of the grave and I helped him.” She’s trying to downplay what it is she can do, but he’s trying to figure out, “Okay what is it that you can do? Is any of this real? For crying out loud, will somebody please tell me what’s going on?” [Laughs] So he’s got another quest here that he has no idea what it is. If she’s like, “I know something you don’t and I’ve been raising people from the dead and blah blah blah,” and he’s like, “Okay, maybe just don’t touch me then,” then he’ll never know.

Fine, I’ll sort of forgive him.

[Laughs] It’s a twisted logic but you have to remember the hero complex Bash has right now. He feels like he’s let everybody down constantly and he has to fix it. But he doesn’t even know what he’s trying to fix.

In terms of Mary running away with Condé, Bash was in a very similar position last year—riding away with Mary on horseback. Do you have any advice for Condé?

Here’s the thing with Condé is that Bash was lucky in that, at the end of the day, his dad was the king and his brother was going to be king and there was that connection. Condé doesn’t quite have the same close family ties, so if things go south for him, it could be really big trouble for him. He’s got to navigate some pretty tricky political waters to get what his heart wants. 

Reign returns Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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