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'Reign' recap: 'Tempting Fate'

Posted on

Sven Frenzel/The CW


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo
The CW

Well, this can’t be good. There’s no way it’s a coincidence that Francis collapses as Bash is getting healed by the Woman in White, right? And how is Mary going to feel when she finds out she was sleeping with Condé as Francis was bleeding from his ears? And where is Nostradamus when you need him?!

We start off the hour in Le Havre, France, where Mary’s agent, Ridley, gets himself killed by some man we’ve never seen before, who now finds himself in possession of Mary’s letters about her plans to return to Scotland. So basically, Mary’s screwed.

But she certainly doesn’t know it yet. All the queen is focused on right now is getting to the chapel on time to meet her handsome lover and makeout. She and Condé plan to leave for Scotland in a week. That is, if Condé can get out of his plans to set sail for England in two days. The lesson here: Cheating is never easy, no matter the century. And when Mary learns of Ridley’s death, the couple’s problems only multiply.

Speaking of problems, Bash and Kenna’s marriage seems to be a thing of the past when he packs up and leaves, informing her that his stuff will be moved to a new room while he’s gone. However, there is a glimmer of hope for them when Bash asks her to resist the urge to annul their marriage. He knows that Kenna is practically a magnet for kings and bastards alike—she prefers kings—and keeping his name will protect her until the right one comes along. So essentially, Bash is the nicest, but he doesn’t think that he’s the man for her.

After a brief chat with Francis about how difficult it is to lose a wife, Bash sets off to do his duty to the king, leaving Francis to deal with the inner workings of the castle, and most importantly, Catherine, who totally figures out Mary’s affair.

Despite Catherine’s questioning, Francis continues to lie for his wife, but he warns Mary against Catherine’s appetite for vengeance.

Meanwhile, someone should be warning Narcisse about Claude’s appetite for rebellion. He wakes up to find Claude in his bed, once again attempting to seduce him. (Doesn’t the girl know she should try the bath?)

Narcisse doesn’t fall for it, but instead brings the news to Catherine, who’d rather not hear about his sex life. Now that the two of them have grown closer, he thought she’d want to know, but it turns out that Catherine only likes to hear about other people’s sexcapades when it involves Mary sleeping with anyone who isn’t her son.

To be fair, that’s not entirely true. She also cares about her daughter’s sexcapades, which is why she pulls Leith away from his beloved Greer to give him a promotion: He’s now going to be Claude’s personal bodyguard. He’s responsible for keeping her “spiritual, passionate”—read: slutty—tendencies in check. And no, he’s not allowed to sleep with her.

Although that shouldn’t be a problem considering that Leith is completely in love with Greer, even to the point of lying to a Cardinal to try and get the Vatican to annul Greer’s marriage to Castleroy. Fingers crossed that the Cardinal has a thing for beards!

NEXT: Did the Woman in White just kill Francis?


With Bash out fighting domestic violence and stripping abusive men of their titles, Condé fights to keep his plans with Mary alive. When she freaks out about the English potentially getting their hands on her letters, he decides to fess up to having an English contact who might have information about military strategy. How does he have such a contact? Because the man was negotiating a marital alliance between Condé and Elizabeth. Remember when I called Condé a hyena? It seems I might have been right.

But after Lola—who might as well be Rafiki—reassures Mary that her strength is still within her, she tells her friend that she should take Condé on her journey because he can help. And maybe then, she’ll forgive him. Mary then returns to Condé with a plan: She gets his English contact arrested and accuses him of conspiring with Protestant militants, because there’s nothing quite like the threat of decapitation to set a plan in motion.

Part two of Mary’s plan involves Condé sweeping in to save Elizabeth’s contact. In doing so, Condé learns of which ports will provide safe passageway to Scotland. And part three of the plan? Mary admitting that she still sees her future with Condé in Scotland. But most importantly, she realizes that she hasn’t lost her strength. Asking Condé to choose between herself and Elizabeth, she says she knows that Elizabeth is the wiser choice, but Mary offers to give him her full, strong heart.

Spoiler: He chooses Mary, and the two of them have sex for the first time. As she tells him, “You are my choice and this is our moment.”

But let’s not get so caught up in the fun stuff that we forget about the tragedy of the hour: First up, Bash is tracked down by the abuser he met earlier, and apparently, the guy doesn’t just enjoy beating his wife. He also likes stabbing blue-eyed men.

Bash eventually wakes up to find himself in the company of the Woman in White, whom he asks to heal him. And so she does. [Insert dramatic music here.]

Okay, so remember the mysterious guy who murdered Ridley at the start of the hour? Well, of course he knows Narcisse, because Scar’s minions know no bounds. As a result, Narcisse is now in possession of the letters. That is, until he turns them over to Catherine who surprisingly isn’t looking to trick Condé and Mary. She claims that she doesn’t want to destroy Mary or her reputation. She simply wants to tell Francis so that he can stop her.

After the letters are returned to Mary, Catherine goes to Francis to tell him of Mary’s plans. And despite the fact that she uses the word “cuckold,” Francis can’t focus on what she’s saying. Instead, he collapses, and suddenly, Catherine realizes that Nostradamus’ vision is coming true.

Following her realization, Catherine’s panic attack can only be slowed by one thing: sex with Narcisse. Yep, it’s official: Lola can never sleep with him now.

Cutting back to Francis, as he’s put in bed, blood starts to come out of his ear. And suddenly, I’m panicking like I’m Catherine, only I don’t really want Narcisse to distract me. Can somebody find me Julian from last season? He’ll definitely do the trick.

King Henry’s ranking: Watching his son collapse feels like taking a wooden splinter to the eye all over again.