I’m not one to hate on monarchy because hey, royals get to wear pretty crowns, but this episode put the main flaws of the system on full display: Namely, hormonal teens should not be trusted to do absolutely anything, from cleaning themselves in the real world to running a country in Reign‘s world. And although I will admit that Francis and Mary are both very mature, didn’t anyone teach Francis that secrets don’t make friends? Okay, so there’s a difference between a typical teenage secret—somebody has a crush on somebody—and a royal teenage secret—you killed your father and a grown-ass noble is about to out you for it and have you executed—but honestly, why can’t Francis just tell his wife the truth?!
It’s incredibly frustrating and I’m almost sick of it, but I will admit that it makes for good drama. But seriously kids, nobody get married before you’re an adult. And if you can help it, don’t run a country either.
This week, we start with the arrival of what appears to be a human-sized doll in a carriage. Just kidding! This doll has boobs, and she’s not afraid to use them to get her hands on some booze. Ah yes, I’d recognize that do-it-yourself attitude anywhere. Everyone, meet Princess Claude. Catherine’s daughter if we’ve ever seen one.
But before word of Claude’s arrival spreads, Francis and Mary are left to deal with the both emotional and quite literal space between them. Over a working breakfast, Narcisse approaches Francis and Mary with an edict he’d like for Francis to sign. And what does it say? Oh you know, just that every citizen of France has to publicly declare their faith to the king under penalty of death. In other words, Narcisse is ready to weed out the Protestants, and if Francis denies his request for mass murder of sorts, he will tell the world about Henry. So if Narcisse is Scar, the nobles are the hyenas, yes?
Back to Claude! According to Catherine, the priest was not supposed to bring Claude home, but let’s just say the father fell under her spell. (Read: She got under him.) Because she can no longer avoid her, Catherine greets Claude, calls her out on already smelling of whiskey—so she’s the Marissa Cooper of the castle?—and then lets her go say hello to Francis, Mary, and Bash before admiring Kenna’s headpiece? Yeah, something’s not right there.
During Claude’s welcome, Mary spots Greer trying to sneak by, and when she goes into her room, she learns the truth: Greer and Castleroy were attacked during their wedding tour after Castleroy didn’t take mass. So basically, Greer admits to marrying a Protestant, and suddenly, Narcisse’s edict is more dangerous than ever.
Idea! What if they kill Castleroy and then Greer gets his money and can be with Leith? Don’t get me wrong—Castleroy is so sweet and I’d be sad to see him go, but the man is getting himself involved in some dangerous stuff, and shit happens. Even to lords. Okay, especially to lords.
With Claude getting settled in, Bash and Francis head off for some brotherly bonding. And by bonding I mean that Bash gives Francis an update on Narcisse. Apparently Francis has Bash watching Scar’s estate for signs of Montgomery and/or the nanny. Neither have been spotted yet. But when Bash asks questions, Francis finally decides to tell someone his predicament. And because he’s great, Bash understands. Not only that, but Bash vows to find the nanny, find Montgomery, and then kill Narcisse.
Does this make Bash like a combination of Timon and Pumbaa? Francis is obviously Simba trying to gain back his kingdom from Scar. Mary is Nala. Catherine is Sarabi. But who’s Rafiki?
So now that Francis is freaking out about Narcisse and Mary is freaking out about Greer, it’s the perfect time for them to have a chat, right? Eh, not so much. Mary more or less promises Francis that she will stay out of his way when it comes to the edict, because she claims she will trust him to make the right choice. After all, “The man I love knows it’s wrong.” Oh, snap. She’s playing the love card. It’s like the more mature version of Claude flashing someone.
However, shockingly, Mary does not stay out of it. Instead, she goes to Condé—who really loves sleeping with married women—and asks him to help her with her plan: She wants to divide the nobles by finding a Protestant noble who’s willing to come forward and oppose the edict publicly. And considering Condé is a sympathizer, she figures he can give her a name of someone worth convincing.
But Mary isn’t the only one plotting. Back at the castle, Catherine informs Francis that Gifford—the sexy guard with great hair from last week—had a cipher and, as a spy for the English, was coding messages to Elizabeth. She suspects there are more English spies among the nobles, and that gives Francis an idea. After finding out about Lola and Narcisse’s connection, he asks her to plan an envelope—a.k.a. a cipher—in Narcisse’s quarters. He doesn’t give her details, but asks her to help the “better man.”
NEXT: Lola takes a bath