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'Reign' recap: 'Reversal of Fortune'

Francis’ illness forces Mary to act as king for a day (and make an important decision about her personal life).

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Sven Frenzel/The CW


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

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)