The lesson of this week’s episode is simple: 16th-century men are exactly the same as 21st-century men (and probably every man in the centuries between). All they care about is sex and their ego and sex (and bathing if his name is Narcisse). And then there’s Leith, who is pretty much the Romeo of the show at this point, but for what he lacks in selfishness, Greer certainly makes up for.
We start off with a dream sequence that I was really hoping would feature King Henry. But it seems Kenna has moved on to the hot ging. Yep, she’s fantasizing about Renaude telling her to “tell me what you want.” (The words we all want to hear … but never will because men only care about [themselves during] sex and ego.)
In real life, Francis has Renaude’s men on the search for Condé, stopping everyone who fits his description at check points. In other words, those check points are hot spots to find a sexy husband, ladies! Get to it!
Not surprisingly, Mary is still trying to save Condé’s life, asking Francis to let him flee, not out of love but out of guilt for putting him in this position. Sadly, treason is punishable by death, and Francis can’t find a way that Condé walks away from this alive.
In the hallways, Renaude runs into Kenna “in the flesh”—Kenna, you’re drooling—where he speaks frankly about ambition. And when Kenna swoons, he tells her, “I’m always happy to know I’ve pleased a lady.” WELL PLAYED, RENAUDE.
Meanwhile in Claude’s room, Leith catches her in a lie. It seems her trip to the “hatmaker” is really a trip into town to drink alcohol and have sex with her “twin soul.” Yeah, not a good way to explain a lover. Regardless, Leith isn’t looking to get on Catherine’s bad side, so he leaves Claude at the castle for now.
So while Catherine denies her daughter sex, she enjoys a bit of her own with Narcisse. Only, she can’t stop thinking about Condé on the run. Bit of advice: Don’t sleep with Scar and then bring up one of the hyenas. (We decided Condé was a hyena, right?)
But Catherine quickly moves the subject to Lola. She wants Narcisse to prove that Lola’s nothing more than a “passing amusement.” How? By doing something unforgivable. Spoiler: He sketches a very detailed photo of Lola naked in a bathtub. (Or maybe he’d already sketched it. Who knows with that one.) Needless to say, the gossip about Lola spreads quickly.
But that isn’t the sort of gossip that Mary is currently worried about. Wearing a black veil to conceal herself, Mary pays a visit to Greer and asks that her “girls” keep an ear out for any news on Condé or who might’ve burned down the house. In exchange, she gives greedy Greer even more money!
So while Greer manages her brothel, her dreamy beau returns to the Cardinal for an update on the annulment. Long story short: Leith is going to have to keep doing “chores” for years in order to pay enough for the annulment. Option 2? Steal from the castle, sell said stolen good, and then roll in dough and enjoy wedded bliss.
Ever the eager romantic, Leith goes for option 2, but Claude catches him in the act. So instead of getting all the money he needs, he gets turned into Claude’s servant. Moments later, he’s escorting her into town so that she can have all the reunion sex she wants with her lover. The bad news? By “all the reunion sex she wants” I mean “all the reunion sex he wants,” because instead of sticking around and trying to become a legitimate man for Claude, he does the typical man thing and gets his and then hits the road.
NEXT: Where has Bash been all day?
While we’re on the topic of men being pigs, let’s get back to Narcisse. When Lola confronts him about his custom-made 16th century porno mag, he says that he shared it with other nobles in order to win a bet. According to Narcisse, he thought Lola was prettier than some other woman, and he wanted other nobles to back him up. And to make matters worse, SHE DIDN’T EVEN WIN THE (FAKE) BET. Ugh, Narcisse. Although, to be fair, he was right in what he said about him very obviously being bad all along. After all, happy people just don’t
shoot their husbands try to kill their king.
Speaking of killing the king, that’s now the agenda of Condé! Okay, let me back up: First, Condé meets Mary in the woods to apologize. By the way, how she knew where to meet him from his letter that read “Meet me,” I have no idea. Somebody really needs to teach that man the 5 W’s.
Anyway, after apologizing to Mary, she comes up with a plan to get him out of town by forging the necessary papers to say he’s a tanner. But when Renaude finds him at a checkpoint, Mary sobs in her room at the thought of him being killed.
But because Renaude clearly isn’t as good as they say he is, Elizabeth’s men are able to show up and rescue Condé, which is where they propose that he marry Elizabeth. Apparently, she’s still all about it—clearly she saw a photo of him—but there is one catch: She now thinks she needs to marry a king instead of a prince. So Condé needs to kill Francis and become king of France.
At first, Condé’s not sure about the proposition, but all it seemingly takes to change his mind is a room of approximately 20 men chanting his name. Twenty men do not an army make, but this should be fun.
Back at the castle, Leith’s shift is over, but when he tries to leave, Claude proves that misery loves company. Because her boyfriend left her, she wants Leith to leave Greer. But all it takes is one swoon-worthy speech about how he’ll do whatever it takes to hold Greer in his arms and call her his wife for Claude to change her mind. She gives him her diamond earrings to sell for the rest of the money he needs to get an annulment. Then, he kisses her on the head, and suddenly, they’re my favorite brother-sister-esque pairing.
All high on life and love, Leith then rushes to Greer with the good news. But because she’s a scaredy cat, the thought of a life that consists of a house in town, a family, and depending on a husband terrifies her. She wants to keep the brothel because it’s stable. It provides safety (because men will always pay for sex). Leith then gives her a choice: him or the brothel. And believe it or not, she chooses a house of whores over Romeo. So, love is dead.
Back at the castle, Narcisse is not happy with Catherine for making him prove his loyalty. He tells her that she needs to give up the idea that she’s unlovable—something Henry put in her head by sleeping with so many women. And one of those women Henry slept with? Yep, she’s currently getting it on with Renaude. (In case you didn’t get that, it’s Kenna.)
I have to admit, the most I’ve ever liked Kenna was in the moment she basically told Renaude that sleeping together was a test—read: If you’re bad in bed, we can’t be together. Her final words: “Impress me.” Right now, I’d bow down to Kenna before I’d bow down to Queen Mary.
Oh yes, we should get to Mary. Basically, Francis finds out that she once again tried to save Condé and he tells her it’s the most dangerous thing she’s ever done. Even though she assures him again that it wasn’t out of love, he can only ever look at her one way: naked in Condé’s arms.
With that, Francis leaves and Bash–where you been, Bash?!—enters. As the OG Condé, he offers some words of advice. Mary’s title prevents her from being with anyone below her. As she puts it, “Only a king could survive my love … my rank is poison.” Well, it’s a good thing that you have a king who’s madly in love with you! Honestly.
Okay, so Francis is crazy in love with her, but to be fair, the two of them aren’t in the best place right now. Going to Francis, Mary does compare their marriage to being chained together as prisoners in a dungeon, which isn’t the best sign. Then again, ball and chain, amirite?
Mary asks her husband for forgiveness, but Francis can’t give it while Condé is out there, probably rallying against France.
King Henry’s Ranking: Translation: “How dare you, Kenna. And with a ginger?!”