Here we go, guys. The hyena has traveled long and far down a road full of deception in order to find himself at the mercy of Scar. And there’s no good that can come of Antoine and Narcisse being in the same boat.
And on the other side of things, hyena number two is busy sweeping Nala off her feet. So basically, Pride Rock is about to get a whole lot more complicated. If only Mufasa could speak down from the clouds above—well, he’d probably hit on someone—but he’d definitely kill Antoine first. I mean, who poisons a BIBLE?!
We start with a close-up of Mary, who’s finally smiling again! Then again, it’s hard not to smile when you’re wearing fabulous fur headgear and sledding down hills. But when Condé asks Mary’s permission to take Lola away to his estate for the holiday, the smile quickly disappears. What would Mary do without her eye candy? Personally, I’d say look at Francis, because is it just me or is his mane feeling fuller than usual? He’s really grown into his rule as king. He feels so adult. Also, it could be the red attire. He really should wear red more often.
With one hyena taken care of, the other—Antoine—decides to hit on Kenna again, but Bash won’t have it. Serious question: did we decide on a Lion King character for Bash? If we have to make one up, can we just call him Bash? I feel like Simba would have a brother named Bash. Sorry, back to the important stuff: Bash tells Antoine to keep his grubby paws off his wife… before he leaves her yet again to do more “work.”
Leaving Bash to talk to his wife, Condé grabs his brother away and asks Antoine to leave French court. Instead, Antoine reveals that his wife is dying and that he’s merely looking for a distraction. “Find a hobby or a whore,” Condé tells him, which I’ve decided is the official slogan of the 16th century. “Welcome everyone, now find a hobby or a whore (and try to avoid the plague).”
Back at the castle, Mary’s informed that her uncle, the Duke of Guise, has returned and would like his position as the king’s magistrate back. It’s a position he fled when he first heard the word “plague,” and it’s one Mary knows he doesn’t really want back. And she’s right: Turns out the duke isn’t back for his position but rather a new one he’s hoping to acquire: Catherine’s new man. Apparently the two of them shared a flirtation back in the day, and now that she’s no longer wearing black—and therefore no longer mourning Henry—he’s ready to sweep Catherine off her feet … and he plans to do it with talk of developing a region? Courting is weird. Let’s add that to the slogan.
Also, was this guy stalking Catherine to see when she stopped wearing black? And did she ever wear black? Narcisse would know…
But Catherine has bigger worries: After calling a family luncheon—which we need every week—she informs everyone about the poisoned Bible. It reportedly affects people in different ways. For instance, it drove Henry mad, and it makes Catherine really hungry for sweets, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s important is that Narcisse has a lead on the poisoner. One of Henry’s valets, Frederick, encouraged Henry to seek solace in scripture before fleeing after the king’s death. Bash agrees to look into it while Catherine secretly has Narcisse do the same.
Very important sidenote: Did they just reveal that Narcisse’s name is Stefon?! Because that’s not my favorite thing ever.
Rather quickly—like, freakishly fast for people on horseback and whatnot—Bash finds evidence tying Condé to Frederick. Apparently Frederick served in Condé’s private army in Spain. And considering that Condé arrived just after Henry’s death, Francis asks Mary to stall Condé’s trip with Lola. They need to get to the bottom of things first.
So despite her trust of Condé, Mary agrees, and she asks Condé to stay the night to attend a royal dinner. But when Condé starts talking of rumors surrounding Mary and Francis—that he no longer visits her chambers and that they barely speak—things take a turn. Condé, who grows in attractiveness every week, tells Mary that he and Lola must leave now if they have a chance: “If you want me to court your friend, don’t ask me to spend another moment in your presence.” Damn, he’s good. So good that Mary tells him that she no longer wants him to court Lola… and lets him believe it’s for personal reasons—which isn’t it?
Elsewhere in the castle, Francis tells Lola the same—that she no longer needs to be with Condé. And considering that Lola was only getting to know the guy—and probably still dreams of Narcisse—she has no problem dropping it. However, she does have a problem with the way that Francis has been avoiding her ever since Mary saw them together. She gets why he needed to do it, but she misses their friendship. After all, they’re family(ish).
NEXT: A love triangle we can believe in
But let’s get back to all the courtings: First up, the Duke of Guise wants Narcisse to end his friendship with Catherine—which won’t happen—and Antoine is really bummed that Kenna won’t be making it to dinner. She feels the same—not because of his company but because she’s missing all the “strawberries and snow.” As for Mary and Francis? Well, things aren’t going well.
Mary’s angry that she was asked to manipulate Condé, but when Bash enters with news that Frederick was killed upon returning to Condé’s region, Francis decides they have enough information to confront the Bourbons.
Throwing the Bible on the table—is there a greater entrance than that?—Francis accuses Condé of knowing something about Henry’s death, but Catherine enters in just enough time to reveal that it wasn’t the Bourbons who poisoned Henry. It was the Duke of Guise!
Too bad Catherine couldn’t have entered the room, like, 30 seconds earlier so that Condé didn’t have to feel like crap and inform Bash that he’s responsible for the death of his brother Marcus. Regardless, Bash doesn’t deny stabbing Marcus, but he claims that he didn’t know he was a Bourbon. Bash was simply following his king’s orders. With that, Condé storms off, leaving Antoine and Francis to agree that they should let their feuds die with their fathers. As for the duke? Well, Catherine has him killed. So much for any chance of romance there.
After dinner, Mary goes straight to Condé, who informs her that he still loves her before running into his angry older brother. Antoine saw right through Condé’s decision to accuse Bash. It’s a way to keep Antoine from killing him, because now, the Bourbons will be the first suspects if Bash is killed. And yet, Antoine promises to make Bash suffer in “other ways.” And considering that he just sent Kenna an obscene amount of “strawberries and snow,” I think we know his plan.
From her visit with Condé, Mary goes to write a letter to her mother to inform her of the duke’s death. But when Francis enters, Mary decides not to reunite Lola and Condé. She’s finally learned that you can’t force hearts and that they’ll have to see where time takes them. Hearing Mary speak of hearts and the future gives Francis hope—time has healed some wounds—but he informs her that without her, his heart is closed “as tight as a fist.”
Bringing things full circle, we’re back to the meeting of Scar and hyena number one. Turns out, Antoine WAS the one behind Henry’s death, but he made a deal with Narcisse to make it look like the Duke of Guise did it, and there’s even a paper trail to prove it.
And yet, Condé quickly realizes the truth, calling his brother out on his act of treason. Once again, Antoine pulls the Marcus card to make Condé feel bad, but Condé is done trusting his brother. However, he still trusts Mary, who goes to him to tell him that she’s not ready to lose him. In fact, the thought of losing him—to Lola or to treason—pained her more than it should pain a married woman. With tears in his beautiful eyes, Condé tells her that he has to fight every instinct he has, for they all draw him to her. Then he melts hearts with this one: “When I am near you, I am aware of every breath you take.”
Then he says something about the wind and her that’s a little more cheesy, so we’re going to bypass it and move to Mary saying, “You will be the death of me, and I of you.” Damn. Suddenly, Reign has given us the most intriguing love triangle to date.
We should probably also talk about Greer, who now lives in an inn, shares a wall with a whore, and eats stout to get drunk and stay full. She does have a life plan—to find work as a lady’s companion—but her friendship with a whore quickly turns her into more of a pimp. Seriously, can we start calling this part of the show The Lady and the Tramp?! Because it is.
So basically, everything that happens on Reign can be traced back to a Disney film, and it’s all the better for it.
Mufasa Henry is fed up with these traitors and their lies.