Well, that was a heavy hour. With Francis’ illness looming over the castle for the entire episode, it felt like everyone was walking around with tears in his or her eyes the entire time. And when they weren’t tears of love, they were tears of hate. And, of course, there were tears of sadness. Basically what I’m saying is that people cried a lot in the 1500s. Who knew?!
Let’s dig in.
After Francis’ collapse, his ears won’t stop bleeding. The physician seems to think that if Francis can’t break his fever and overcome this infection, he will die very soon. And from bleeding ears to red-hot ears—get it? because people are talking about her—we catch up with Mary and Condé, all postcoital and happy. Although, Condé doesn’t seem to feel like Mary’s “happy,” or “pleased” one might say. She says that she loves him, but he can tell something’s off.
By the time Mary and Condé get dressed, Lola has arrived at their love shack with news of Francis’ illness. Mary rushes straight to his side, but Catherine’s there to intercept things with a good old game of “who’s to blame.” Spoiler: It’s Mary. Catherine informs her daughter-in-law that both she and Francis know of her plans to run away to Scotland, and that’s what Catherine believes caused Francis’ collapse.
Once Catherine leaves, Mary goes to Francis’ side and begs him to live. However, her bigger problem right now—okay, so not really bigger—is that rumor is starting to spread of the king’s illness. Mary agrees to talk to the king’s advisers and assures them that Francis is simply off hunting and got a little lost in the woods. Classic mistake, right?
Of course, she doesn’t fool Narcisse, but who does? The man has honed many a perceptive skill from all those years watching people take baths.
And can we talk about how Mary sent Kenna off to find Bash so that he can say goodbye to his brother? I know she’s trying not to fall apart for her nation and all that, but damn. That was cold. I guess we’ve decided Francis is officially dying now? Cool, thanks.
Outside the castle, Bash wakes up at the home of the Woman in White, who ironically—or more fittingly—is wearing black. Delphine tells him that the man who stabbed him has already been caught and that he should rush to town to confirm his guilt. Bash does just that, and the man is quickly hanged. (Talk about a speedy trial.) But here’s the twist: The next person on the “to-hang” list is a witch … named Clarissa.
Because this show apparently hates us, we now have to deal with Clarissa and her annoying voice yet again. This time, Bash takes her to Delphine’s house while he heads back to the castle. He’s scared that saving Clarissa could mean
a ratings slump Francis’ death.
[Sidenote: Is there sexual tension between Bash and Delphine? And how do we feel about it?]
Speaking of the castle, Mary is now deep in dealing with being “king for the day.” When an admiral comes to her with news that Protestant rebels are mobilizing—and starting to kill—Mary’s supporters, she has to decide whether she’s willing to risk French lives to help her home country of Scotland. Not surprisingly, Condé and Lola tell her to do it—are they allowed to have a say in this?—and Catherine tells her the opposite. More specifically, Catherine threatens to move heaven and earth to stop Mary.
And this is your weekly reminder that Mary is a teenager. (But what is her exact age at this point?)
That’s enough with the heavy stuff for now. Instead, let’s catch up with Leith, who spends the hour running errands for his new Cardinal friend with Claude in tow. And because you can’t cage a beast, Claude escapes Leith’s grasp and finds herself at Greer’s party, surrounded by whores and (w)horribly embarrassed men. Oh, did I not mention Greer’s plans to build a proper brothel? Because it’s my favorite. I love it almost as much as I love Leith turning down Clause by telling her that he’s with a “madam.” Yeah you are! Let your (super) freak flags fly, you two!
NEXT: The least likely thing to ever happen to a window (including that time a woman was humped out of one)
Okay, back to the castle, where Bash visits Francis for the first time. (Good thing Kenna’s off looking for him in the woods, right?) Seeing his brother unconscious, Bash instantly decides that he did this by saving Clarissa. And that means that his next move is simple: Return to the creepiest house in all the land—Delphine AND Clarissa?—and poison his sister. If it means I’ll never have to hear her voice again, I’m into it. And you know what? So is Clarissa. (And you know something’s right when even the victim is all about her death.)
After Catherine’s threats, Mary goes to Condé. Unable to use French troops, Condé has another idea: Narcisse has a secret army (and his general just so happens to be coveting Kenna in the woods). With that, Mary puts on her game face and threatens Narcisse into letting her use his army. But Narcisse isn’t impressed with her threats—”Do not test my power and do not tempt my fury.” Instead, he follows his heart right to Catherine.
He offers Catherine his private army, but when Narcisse tries to fool Mary by saying his general is two days away, Kenna lets it slip that the general was called off. As Mary puts it, she now has plans to tear Narcisse in half. Like, literally. #medievaltorturetechniques
Mary then returns to Francis’ side, where she tells him—still unconscious—that she’s going to send French troops to Scotland and she hopes he can forgive her like she finally forgives him for the decisions he made that led to her rape. Holding his hand, she remembers the time when she couldn’t even stand to hear the sound of his breathing. “I cling to that sound now,” she says. She doesn’t want it to end … and with that, Francis wakes up!
But because war waits for no one, Francis is immediately forced to make a decision on Scotland. To Catherine’s dismay, he sends 2,000 French troops to Scotland. But it’s not because he loves Mary. It’s because “my country made yours a promise.” (Spoiler: It’s also because he loves Mary.)
Francis sees his waking up as a second chance as life, and he wants to live it more wisely so that the next time he’s staring at death, he’ll have no regrets. When Mary asks if he regrets marrying her, he asks her to leave. Whether she wants to leave the room or the country, well, he leaves that up to her. Regardless, she shouldn’t expect a fond farewell from him … or his trust, ever again.
With that in mind, Mary heads straight to Condé to tell him that she can no longer leave and weaken Francis in the eyes of Europe. Condé warns her that their love will die here, but she has to focus on her two countries, something she hasn’t been doing lately. All she can offer Condé is her heart (under her husband’s roof). Condé’s not sure if that’s enough anymore. And based on the fact that he just punched through a window—that easily would’ve shattered his hand into a thousand pieces—I think it’s safe to say it’s not enough.
Returning to a now-sleeping Francis—whom Bash thinks he saved by killing Clarissa (when he really only saved my sanity … I think)—Mary sits on her husband’s bed and asks to stay with him. Because #love.
King Henry’s ranking: This week, we’re going with a Henry-inspired moment, because it’s just so perfect, and Henry loves watching his boys getting along: