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Reign recap: 'Blood for Blood'

As the Catholic-Protestant tension rises, Francis learns Narcisse’s real motives, and Greer walks down the aisle. Most importantly, there’s a sex journal.

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Reign Recap
Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW


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

Every week, I’m amazed at what Reign teaches me about history. Not only did Catholics really hate Protestants—something I already knew, just FYI—but Mary loved sequins, maids lied, and people in 16th-century France were all kinds of horny. But more than anything, they should’ve had a reality television show if they were half as sexual interesting as the folks on Reign. With a wedding, a sex journal, and a not-so-ghostly ghost Henry, this was another solid hour full of drama, and have I mentioned the sex journal? The life of a royal is just so glamorous… unless you’re Francis and have to deal with Narcisse (who’s supposedly great at the sex). Okay, I’ll stop.

We pick up with Castleroy—yes, you read that correctly—who is attending a (gasp!) Protestant church service in a barn, a.k.a. living life as close to the edge as he’s ever going to. Let’s be honest, the most rebellious thing Castleroy’s ever done is let his curly hair flow freely. Regardless, just as the Protestant minister is going on about fearing Catholics, a group of said Catholics shows up and torches the barn. In other words, their fear was completely justified. But don’t worry, Castleroy gets out alive, and Francis is not happy to hear of the violence. He sends Bash and Leith—my new favorite duo—out to find the Catholics responsible.

Only, when one of the king’s guards utters this gem: “They look like they might be Protestant” (seriously, what would people say about me?) Leith ends up finding Castleroy, covered in smoke and ash, trying to make his way home. Leith tells him to get out of there and then lies to the king’s guards, who are essentially the dumb jocks of the 1500s. “No, that’s not ash. And the man he’s helping walk? Totally fine. Clearly not attacked at the church that they’re within walking distance of. NBD.”

Back at the castle, Greer is getting ready for her tacky wedding to Castleroy, which her mother has decorated. Speaking of mothers, Greer is about to become a mother of four… and even without ever getting pregnant. You can practically read Mary’s thoughts as she looks at the children longingly. However, she assures Francis that he doesn’t need to act as if she’s fragile. She encourages him to tell her when he visits his son. She hasn’t given up hope. If they can get pregnant once, they can do it again, right? Francis agrees.

But Francis has bigger issues on his hands than getting Mary knocked up again. When he finds the piece of wood that killed his father on his pillow, he rushes outside his room to find Caroline/Henry looking out a window, probably contemplating humping someone out of it. But Caroline claims not to remember how she got there, so Francis sends her away. But when Catherine reappears later in the day, Francis’ greatest fear seems to be coming true.

Brief break for us to talk about how Caroline/Henry grunted at Kenna on her way to the throne. Amazing. AMAZING.

When he can’t risk Caroline talking to anyone else, Francis rushes off to confront his large-breasted father. And as soon as Henry presses on about his death, Francis finally admits that he was the one responsible for his father’s death… and Narcisse overhears. Immediately, Francis sends Caroline off to be kept under lock and key, but he’s not quite sure what to do with Narcisse. Of course, Narcisse—who I’ve decided resembles Scar in every way—has a speech up his very well-tailored sleeve about how Francis can either trust him or kill him. And anyone who knows Francis knows he’s incapable of killing a man in a situation like that. However, he is fully capable of uttering some pretty badass lines. Example A:

Narcisse: “Perhaps you are not your father after all.”

Francis: “As long as I’m never given a reason to be.”

Also, I love that being Henry is such a horrible thing. I mean, I get that it is, but also, is it?

So with Francis off dealing with Narcisse, Mary is left to handle the growing Catholic-Protestant issue when the Protestants from Castleroy’s barn church show up and drop off the body of a young boy who the Catholics beat to death. And when Condé sees the boy, he immediately identifies him as his nephew. Karmic punishment for those tight leather pants? That wouldn’t seem fair, would it?

The Protestants ask for justice, which pisses off every Catholic in the room (of which there are many). Recognizing the delicacy of the situation, Francis refuses to put his foot down on one side of the religious issue. He’s in no rush to openly declare how he will rule, so instead, he attempts to get to the bottom of the situation. But unfortunately, things only get more complicated when the Catholics show up with the body of a boy they claim Narcisse’s nephew assaulted. And as you can probably guess, standing with the Catholics is Narcisse, who just loves any opportunity to face-off against his fellow lover of leather pants, Condé.

Despite the fact that the Catholics bow to their king and Condé stands tall, Francis doesn’t rule in their favor. In fact, after the Protestants retaliate and this turns into revenge on revenge on revenge, Francis decides to punish equal crimes equally. That is until he figures out that Narcisse is the one behind Henry’s “possession.” Caroline wasn’t being possessed after all! She was just faking it in order to get a confession out of Francis! So there is a reason her boobs were always out!

After figuring all this out, Francis quickly confronts Narcisse, who has nothing to hide. Narcisse also confesses that he has Montgomery ready to tell the world that he didn’t kill Henry as soon as Narcisse gives word and/or if something happens to him. Sure, Narcisse doesn’t have physical proof, but he’s not after Francis’ crown. He’s simply trying to weaken him into a ruler who listens to him. For one thing, Francis’ crazy ideas of justice and tolerance will surely drive people to war—a.k.a. Narcisse is responsible for all the bad in the world. He requests that Francis release the Catholic murderers in exchange for him keeping Francis’ secret.

Well, at least now we know why his leather pants are so baggy: So that there’s enough room for all of his secrets, because he’s certainly not keeping them in his hair.

NEXT: A sex journal!