Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to know what happened in the March 19 episode of Reign, stop reading now.
In the final moments of tonight’s Reign, Catherine told Francis of Mary’s plans to return to Scotland with Condé. However, viewers didn’t get to see his reaction. Instead, the king grew increasingly pale before collapsing to the ground.
And as the hour came to a close, Francis, now lying in bed, began to bleed from his ears—a visual that fans of the show will recognize from Nostradamus’ visions.
In an exclusive statement from executive producer Laurie McCarthy, EW learned more about what this means for Mary’s husband. “Francis falling ill in tonight’s episode, in very much the way we, and those in his life, have feared, reminds our viewers as well as our characters that young men, even young kings, do not live forever. The real Francis died young, and while we take historical liberties, we adhere to the major signposts of Mary Queen of Scots’ life,” McCarthy wrote. “Moreover, the foreshadowing of Francis’s eventual but untimely death has been woven into our story from the outset.”
However, looking at the immediate future, Francis’ condition will most affect the women who love him, his mother and wife. (And, of course, the man who loves his wife.) “At this point in time, this reminder of what Nostradamus prophesied, this hint of death, of things to come, lights a fire under our characters—Mary, his painfully estranged wife, and his mother, Catherine de Medici, foremost among them,” McCarthy wrote, before adding, “It also offers his rival, Condé, the man who is currently his wife’s lover, a taste of what life could be, if only the King of France were no longer in the picture.”
Regardless of Francis’ state, McCarthy assured fans that there’s more to come. “Fans will have to tune in to our next episode to find out Francis’ fate, but there is a rising energy to the series, a spike in Condé’s ambition, and a testing of Mary’s loyalties—to the men she loves and the nations she rules. I can’t wait for everyone to see how our story continues. Tonight was just the beginning…”
Reign returns on Thursday, April 16 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.