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'Reign' recap: 'Tasting Revenge'

Infidelity is in the air as Condé and Mary share their first kiss, Francis is offered about 100 mistresses, and Antoine pursues Kenna.

Posted on

Sven Frenzel/The CW


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

So here’s the thing, Royals. I know that the last time we talked, I was hung up on how difficult it must have been to be a royal: Once you’re married, it’s very hard to get out of, and having an affair is the most complicated thing in the entire world. (Apart from, like, war.) 

However, there is one upside to all of this—wisdom. I feel like this entire first hour back was nothing but people spreading wisdom—occasionally pausing to have sex—and then spreading some more wisdom. For a group of teen(ish) folk, these royals spend a lot of time thinking about life, love, politics, and whatever other philosophical stuff I should add here. Let’s get to it, shall we?

We begin with the arrival of some unnecessary count and countess, who are in town for a vintage wine tasting. With Kenna now finding her passion for party planning, she figures out the seating arrangements while Catherine states the obvious: All of the Lords are bringing their daughters in the hopes that Francis will pick a mistress. Heck, even Narcisse is getting in on the bid, bringing his niece Lady Emily. Apparently, she loves all the essential arts … including embroidery. I’m sorry, did he just make embroidery sound dirty? And how do we think Emily feels about baths?

Although Francis asks Narcisse do make it known that he doesn’t need a mistress, Catherine is doing her best to ensure that Lola’s interested. Spoiler: She’s not (right now).

From one king to another, Antoine meets with Condé to inform him that he has set up a meeting between Condé and Elizabeth’s envoy to start to work out the details of their arrangement. Of course, Condé couldn’t care less right now, so Antoine keeps himself busy by stalking Kenna instead. He begs her to come talk to him, but we’ll have to come back to these two, because…

…right now, we have to focus on the biggest affair currently underway—infidelity is so in right now. After Mary tells Francis that she feels like Condé is her only hope for being happy, he tries to convince her that it’s too dangerous. If they were caught, they’d lose their heads. And furthermore, any child she had would be presumed illegitimate. But Mary doesn’t care. She meets Condé in the wine cellar to try to work out the logistics of their escape.

She tells him that she’s hired an agent to gather intelligence for her about which nobles she can trust and which areas are not yet infiltrated by Elizabeth’s troops. However, her “How to Have an Affair” checklist still includes finding men, money, shops, and weapons… all without Francis noticing. Thankfully, her beau is super helpful, offering up safe passage to Scotland. And with that, Condé lets her know that yes, he wants to leave with her. #roadtrip

Back upstairs, Kenna refuses to talk to Bash because, quite frankly, she doesn’t see the point. Instead, she goes to Antoine’s quarters to ask why he’s chosen her as his target. And in my favorite line of the hour, he tells her, “It is not easy for most men to love you.” Is that a compliment?! But don’t worry, he rounds it out, telling her that she lacks shame, which makes her seem bold and “open to the pleasures that men want to give to you.” In other words, she’s totally down to experiment in the bedroom. She’s quite literally a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets.

However, being bold also makes her “open to rivals”—did he just call her slutty?—which can make other men jealous. But not Antoine. He has no use for shame and he does not fear rivals. And he doesn’t want his kids to know shame either, so Kenna will be the perfect choice to help raise them. After Kenna admits that the idea of parenting is more interesting to her than the idea of Bash right now, Antoine kisses her. Direct quote from my notes: “OKAY, THAT’S A GOOD KISS.” It really, really was. But of course, she runs away because she’s cheating and whatnot. 

With the tasting—which sadly has nothing to do with kissing—fast approaching, Condé and Mary make up excuses for their whereabouts—and Mary tells Francis he is really, really free to be with someone else—and ride off on horseback together. Hey, at least this time we didn’t have to watch Francis fall to his knees in agony, right?

Wait, is that the same waterfall she jumped over with Bash? Because that’s almost too specific a callback. Regardless, Mary and Condé make their way to meet with her agent, who says he needs two weeks to get everything set up for the trip. With that, Mary and Condé find themselves in what must be the biggest fire hazard in all of the 15th century. There are literally hundreds of candles in that little wooden hut. But Mary doesn’t care. She’s ready to move forward, and considering how safe she feels with Condé—no doubt because of his leather pants—she kisses him. Man, these Bourbons are doing well for themselves this episode, aren’t they?

At the castle, everyone is enjoying the tasting of a vintage wine that was bottled to celebrate Francis’ birth. So by vintage, they really only mean like 16 years old, but whatever. While Catherine comes clean to Lola—she wants her to date her son—Francis is pulled away by Narcisse’s niece, Emily, who claims she has a private message for him. And that message is her body. Taking Francis aside, Emily says all the right things to get Francis to strip off his crown, all his clothes, and sleep with her. 

Also in a horizontal position is Mary and Condé. The two only kiss passionately, but Mary seems to enjoy herself enough. Francis, on the other hand, is miserable after his time with Emily. Emily’s thought? “You are talented.” Yeah, he gets it from his father, no doubt.

NEXT: Someone’s a bastard. Okay, lots of people are bastards.