Reign is a lot like a queen in the television world—it’s constantly juggling its many different facets and responsibilities and deciding how it will present itself to its loyal followers week after week. On the outside, its appearance is always flawless, but this week, it showed off the rarely seen underbelly that every royal feels they need to hide: emotion. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Reign really is a love story. Sure, it’s a love story filled with ghosts and politics and all kinds of accents, but a love story nonetheless. And this episode gave us those poignant lovey moments without taking away our ghosts. In fact, we got love AND some sort of Mark of the Devil. Take that, all you other television queens! (I have no idea whom I’m talking to.)
We pick up in the woods. You know, the ones where the Darkness—that adorable small man who was shockingly easy to kill—once roamed. But this season, the Darkness has been replaced with three cloaked riders with ice-cold hands who find themselves a shepherd in the woods. When Francis sends Bash and Condé—whose pants seemed perfectly acceptable this week—off to talk to the man, he claims that they wanted his soul in exchange for protection for his family. The only thing the shepherd had to do was renounce God. But he said no.
Correction: He said no… and then they held him down and gave him the “Mark of the Riders” anyway. In what feels like a fun Sleepy Hollow headless horseman-Supernatural Mark of Cain mash-up, the Mark of the Riders looks like a pitchfork of sorts, and as you can probably guess, it makes men go mad and kill their family with a pair of shears. To be fair, he did say that his kids wouldn’t go to sleep and that is pretty annoying. Alright, I’ll stop.
Back at the castle, things are less bloody. Well, for the time being. First up, Catherine is planning her grandchild’s christening, complete with a butter sculpture (but still not a golden-horned unicorn because clearly Catherine hates bastards). Despite Lola and Francis’ desire for a small event, Catherine continues to do what she does best: whatever the hell she wants. When asked about the godmother for their child, Lola and Francis are undecided. However, they do know that they don’t want Catherine, which might be my favorite thing Lola has ever done.
After Lola can’t take anymore of Catherine’s questions and judgments, she steps outside to pick a fight with Mary. Lola has decided that she wants to move out of the castle and live nearby basically because she’s waiting for the day when Mary lets her anger out and starts resenting her. But in order to move out, Lola would no longer be Mary’s lady, so in the heat of (a not-so-sexy) passion, Mary releases her lady like Lola’s Pam and Mary’s her maker or something.
With that, Lola heads off on her mission of the week, and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with her baby. Okay, so it’s sort of connected, but distantly. When Narcisse shows up at the castle with a new bride in Estelle, a.k.a. the girl who helped Lola during childbirth and then lost her family to the plague, Estelle begs Lola for help. Shockingly, Narcisse has a reputation for brutally abusing his many wives, and Estelle isn’t super excited about marrying such a charming fella, no matter how fancy his clothes are.
But when Lola asks for Mary’s help, yet another fight ensues. Remember the anger that Lola was waiting for Mary to feel? Well she’s definitely feeling it now. Mary offers no help on the matter and instead tells Lola she can move out of the castle, like, now.
Don’t worry, Lola shakes it off like it ain’t no thang and decides to use her own resources to set up a plan for Estelle to leave the castle during the banquet for her son’s christening. The good news is that by the time the banquet comes around, Mary’s calmed down and is ready to be Lola’s bestie again. And her first act as renewed bestie? Threatening one of Narcisse’s guards with torture and making up some fake story about transporting Henry’s heart in order to get Estelle out of Narcisse’s grasp.
The bad news is that Estelle might get away, but after claiming she heard her parents calling her name, she jumps off a cliff and kills herself. Also, Narcisse claims all that murder stuff was just rumor. The poor guy’s never been in love before. (Enter Catherine?!)
NEXT: Francis finds his light