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'Reign' recap: 'Forbidden'

The arrival of Mary’s mother forces the queen to make a life-changing decision.

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Sven Frenzel/The CW


TV Show
run date:
Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows
The CW
Current Status:
In Season

Just when you start to think that Reign is a love story about two young adults who are struggling to make marriage work—and all the other stuff going on as a result of their rule—we’re reminded that being royal sucks. Not only are you forced to marry at a young age and handle nobles, people trying to kill you, and so on, but “following your heart” is about as much of an option as wearing the whatever the 16th-century equivalent is to scrubs. And don’t even talk about being young and reckless and making mistakes because the entire country could crumble. After all, a one-night stand could literally cause a war. (And we think STDs are a problem.)

We start this week with the return of Marie de Guise, who has arrived in France to attend her brother’s funeral. After saying a few nice words, Marie thanks Catherine for keeping her brother’s treachery a secret before agreeing that his death was necessary because messing with royals is just not cool. So an upside to being royal? You get to kill anyone who looks at you sideways! (Or poisons a king, whichever comes first.)

Plus, you get to wear super fancy veils. And speaking of veils, Mary’s really working for Condé in this moment. As Antoine puts it, Condé has that “possessive look” in his eye that says he’s begun “turning her heart.” Okay, being a royal might be worth it just to get to talk like that. 

Just kidding, I take it back, because Francis just informed Lola that he’s found his infant son’s wife. The kid can’t even walk yet and he’s engaged. As for Lola, she could not be more excited that her son is engaged to one of the most powerful families in Europe. The catch? They want to meet Lola before finalizing the agreement. And please don’t ask me to attempt to spell their family name.

From getting a gift to returning one, Kenna finds Antoine in order to return a ruby that she found in one of the strawberries he left her. So did she eat all of them? Because that’d be the most impressive thing she’s ever done, apart from not choking on that ruby.

Handing the ruby back to Antoine, she tells him to stop flirting with her. Of course, using his fancy, royal language, he promises to stop laying his heart so inconveniently at her feet. 

After that’s settled, Antoine asks for Kenna’s help in planning a party for tomorrow, which he intends to celebrate the renewed friendship between France and Navarre. And considering that his wife is sick—way to sneak that in, buddy—he needs a woman to help him find a custom tile maker and other fun stuff. Kenna’s hesitant, but the thought of having 300,000 gold deniers—and something to do with her day other than wait around for Bash—wins her over. She’s officially Antoine’s mistress hostess.

So while Kenna plans a party, Mary is forced to talk to her mother, who really wants to know why her daughter isn’t knocked up yet. She’s heard that Francis no longer visits Mary’s chambers, which means one thing in her mind: Mary is failing her country. She then gives her daughter some herbal concoction that will make sex seem less like a “continual chore one comes to dread.” (Yeah, no thanks, royalty.) According to Marie, the herbs will put Mary in a more “expansive mood.” Now that’s just gross.

But that’s only the beginning of Marie’s speech. With Mary’s cousin Elizabeth still unmarried, people are worried about the instability that would follow if she were to die. Elizabeth’s subjects want an heir from their royal bloodline, and Mary can provide that. Marie then informs Mary that the Protestant Lords in Scotland want Mary gone. Basically, Mary is on the cusp of losing her country. As Marie puts it, “Either you or Elizabeth will rule Scotland and England. Make an heir and it will be you.” 

Sounds simple, right? Well, that’s Mary’s approach when she first goes to Francis and tells him that it’s time to make an heir. Francis doesn’t think she’s ready for sex just yet, but they both agree to think on it. 

NEXT: Bountiful wombs are the worst