Well, I hope you weren’t too attached to Diane, Greer, or any of the ghosts—HENRY!—because Reign brought the drama tonight, and that drama resulted in multiple “permanent” farewells. It was a heavy hour, but one that gave the Claude story the shocking twist it deserved while also adding the sort of Frary moment that we can hold onto, well, for a week.
Speaking of Frary, the episode kicks off with Mary finally telling Francis about what she saw the other night: Him sleeping with Lola and their son. According to her, it gave her a glimpse of the happier life he could have. Meanwhile, she still can’t stand to be touched. But there is one thing she’s willing to do: Help him to hand out Narcisse’s land, because there’s nothing quite like taking down Scar to cheer Nala up. Obviously, Francis accepts her offer because love and marriage and all that stuff.
Also dealing with love and marriage (and land), Bash informs Kenna that Francis has given him both land and a title. In other words, people are finally going to bow to Kenna! But only after she bows to her husband, if you get my extremely dirty joke. Actually, hold that thought, because Bash’s mother just entered the room. I know it’s the 1500’s but surely knocking was still a thing.
Apparently, Bash has offered his dear mother some of his new estate. In other news: She’s still a frigid bitch.
And while we’re on the subject of being frigid, Catherine is busy not putting on makeup and just generally trying to figure out if her hot hubby and creepy daughters are “real.” Now that the ghost girls have let go of their anger, essentially all they want to do is run around and play. As for ghost Henry, well, he’s busy realizing all of his mistakes, including the “old and too thin” Diane. Yeah, he’s definitely a figment of Catherine’s imagination if he’s finally admitting that. But she doesn’t care. In what might be the most Shining-esque moment of this entire creepy-twins plot, Henry and Catherine chase their daughters around what looks like a maze … in the snow. Seriously, it was The Shining (but with ghost sex).
Yeah, let’s just say Henry made sure Catherine felt his presence in the garden before essentially trying to murder her when her ghost sex left her to fast asleep in the snow. She only woke when Bash found her, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, the reason why Bash was looking for Catherine: At the beginning of the hour, Claude asks Bash to look into the murder of her sisters and find out if she’s really guilty. After locating the twins’ nanny, Bash and Claude question her, only to discover that she was yet another of Henry’s play things. And the night the twins died, he’d sort of drugged her? Either way, they slept together, she fell asleep, and by the time she returned to the nursery, the wind had blown the window open and the babies had frozen to death. The nanny then put the flowers in their throats to frame Claude and save her own head (which she will now surely lose).
Okay, back to Bash finding Catherine. After saving her life, Bash finally tells Catherine the truth about her daughters, and in a rare moment, the two of them seem to bond. Catherine finally admits that Henry had been awful to Diane, promising her that he’d leave Catherine after they finished having children and going back on his word. But her speech seems to make Bash realize something, so he leaves before she can properly mock him “for saving the life of your mother’s worst enemy.” Suddenly, I want a Bash-Catheirne spin-off. (Kidding. Sort of.)
But that’s enough with the baby and mama drama for now. Elsewhere in the castle, Mary is helping Francis give away Narcisse’s lands when he brings up giving land to Protestants who have proven themselves loyal to the crown. Mary’s first suggestion: Condé. But Condé refuses to accept the lands. He claims there are other Protestants more deserving, but it’s clear he really just hates Francis and blames the king for all the attacks (a.k.a. Mary’s rape). However, when Francis sees Mary touch Condé’s arm—after telling him she can’t stand a man’s touch—the feud officially begins.
At the event of the week, otherwise known as the Ice Festival, Francis confronts Condé on his disapproval of his rule, when Condé all but punches Francis in the face with this one: “One of us utterly failed to protect her just when she needed it the most.” He then proceeds to literally punch Francis in the face after the king challenges him to some sort of duel? All I know is that the men are hitting each other with sticks, and there don’t seem to be any rules. Perhaps this was the origin of hockey? It is at an Ice Festival, after all.
It doesn’t take long for the fight to escalate and for Mary’s ladies to realize that they’re fighting over the queen. After Francis snaps Condé’s stick—symbolism!—Mary puts a halt to everything. Alone with Mary, Francis finally confronts her about Condé’s feeling for her before handing out some harsh truths: Living separate lives is a threat to both their marriage and their rule. Whenever Mary produces an heir, there can be no question of the child’s paternity because that’s the kind of stuff that starts wars … literally. As Mary storms off claiming Francis is trying to “tighten his grip” on his woman, I can’t help but be a little sad that if I ever had a child, it’s paternity couldn’t start a war even if I wanted it to. 21st Century problems, am I right?
NEXT: Murder, she wrote[pagebreak]
But you don’t have to have a child to have problems—you just need to have a man. Isn’t that right, Greer? After a prisoner claims that Castleroy funded the Protestants who attacked the castle—UNKNOWINGLY funded, you jerk—Mary asks Greer for the truth. Instead, Greer lies and gets Leith to help her hide all evidence. Basically, they just have to destroy Castleroy’s personal ledger. And yet, they fail to do even that, and in the second occurrence of someone barging into a room in this episode, a guard interrupts the Ice Festival to state that the ledger proves Castleroy’s guilt. Really, dude? You have to scream that to everyone in the room? #rude
And this leads us to our string of goodbyes: In the dungeon—or whatever royal word they use for this?—Mary informs Greer that the ledger proves guilt in the eyes of the Catholic nobles, but because it’s unclear which Protestants the money was going to, it does not prove guilt in the eyes of the king. So Greer can keep her life. However, she can’t keep her title, lands, holdings, rooms at the castle, or position as one of Mary’s ladies. With a wagon ready to take her away, Mary has to say goodbye. But surely Greer’s just going to shack up with Leith right?!
In other goodbye news, Catherine is finally done with the ghosts (that live in her mind). After sending the girls away to find peace, she sends Henry back “to your Hell and leave me to mine.” And with this, I say goodbye to Catherine forever, because how dare she take Henry away from us again.
Finally, after Bash’s talk with Catherine, he confronts his mother about something he remembered: The day she broke the window at the chapel Henry had bought them. Two days after she broke the window out of anger toward Henry, the twins were dead. Bash then realizes that the wind couldn’t have blown the window open because it was latched. And rather quickly, Diane confesses to murdering the babies.
With that, Bash revokes his land and tells Diane that he will keep her secret if she leaves now and never returns. Only, she has a secret of her own: She informs Bash that Kenna was the one who told Catherine that Diane was in Rome last year when she was trying to get him legitimized. So basically, he could’ve been killed because of what Kenna did.
After saying goodbye to his mother, Bash confronts his wife, and again, these women are feeling REAL honest. Kenna quickly cops to the truth and admits that she did it because she loved Henry. Then she nearly gets him with this: “Did you throw away Mary’s love when you had it?” Answer: No he did not. And yet, Bash believes some things are unforgivable, and sacrificing the lives of others for your own petty interests is one. Verdict: Trouble in paradise.
So while one relationship hits a bumpy road, another begins when Mary asks Lola to offer herself as a potential match for Condé. Pimping was so much classier back then, wasn’t it? Condé is hesitant at first, but Lola wins him over with her ferocity. (She probably shouldn’t tell him that’s also what Narcisse liked about her.)
Final thought: First Julian and now Condé. Screw Mary, I want to be Lola!
Ending the hour like we began, Francis finds Mary in her room—with her dog?—and wants to check on her after saying goodbye to Greer. Mary admits that Francis was right earlier: Appearances do matter for them. But Francis no longer wants her to feel alone so he offers to sleep by her bed tonight to watch over her. Spoiler: She would like that. Progress!
And finally, because one Diane twist wasn’t enough, Catherine puts two and two together and realizes that Diane killed her daughters. In return, she chokes the woman to death with her own necklace. Fittingly, her final words to her husband’s mistress are about Henry: “He’s all yours!” In the afterlife, that is.
Altogether, tonight was full of all kinds of delicious drama and just enough murder. And in keeping with tonight’s theme, I’ll now say goodbye to all of you (but never Henry, because he’s in my heart).
King Henry’s ranking: Not again.