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Reign recap: 'Terror of the Faithful'

Between Protestant persecution and uprisings, marital problems, and Catherine getting a little loopy, Francis is losing his grasp on his reign.

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Reign Recap
Sven Frenzel/The CW


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

Dear fellow subjects of the realm of Reign,

Unfortunately our Queen Recapper, Lady Samantha Highfill, is otherwise obliged this evening, and I must step in as regent for tonight’s episode. Fret not, for she will return with quill and parchment in hand next Thursday eve. Now, without further ado, let us commence the discussion of tonight’s episode.

Last week King Francis signed an edict basically screwing over Protestants, and then made it worse by telling Mary that if she had any complaints he might as well return to Scotland. France: Love it or leave it. The scene this week opens with some scary soldiers led by an even scarier Cardinal Vasari. This Cardinal orders the soldiers to cut off the lips of possible Protestant peasants. Gruesome much?

Mary denounces Cardinal Vasari and blames Francis (whose tiny crown looks more like a tiara). He tells her to hop on a boat to Scotland. Badass Mary tells him that while she may have decided to give up on him, she’s not giving up on France. She exits fiercely, and Francis confides to Bash that he wants her to leave so she’ll be safe from Narcisse.

Catherine wakes up Claude with the news that her fiance, a Bavarian Count, has arrived. For a fleeting moment, Catherine affectionately fiddles with her daughter’s hair… then she snaps back into evil fairy tale mother and dumps water on her head.

Walking through a medieval alleyway, the always sultry and now openly Protestant Condé gets kidnapped by Jacob Revel, a Protestant resistance leader. As Condé points out, “There are more civil ways to extend an invitation.” Revel enlists Condé to get a Protestant minister to have an audience with the king and queen.

Lola wears a red riding hood and gets lost in the forest. Luckily/unluckily, big bad wolf Narcisse is there to “save” her.  She hops on horseback with him, their long capes draping on each side of the horse. As his scruffy beard presses on the nape of her neck, he breathily reminds her that she doesn’t have to be shy, as he has seen her in her bath. She smiles a naughty smile. Narcisse tosses out Harlequin novel words like clandestine, pleasure, adultery, as he asks Lola to become his mistress. In his slow, sexy voice, he claims that “fruit is always better when it’s forbidden.”

Condé—playing the righteous man that Mary wishes Francis could be—brings the minister to request the sovereigns’ permission to rebuild the Protestant church. Francis acquiesces, but the wily minister has something else up his puffy sleeve: He orders Francis to expel the ignoble Cardinal Vasari and threatens that if these needs are not met, he has explosives set to blow up Catholics. Francis has him arrested, and swears he will find these explosives, even if he has to bleed the minister to find the whereabouts. Bash and Condé set off to discover where these explosives are. Once again, Mary and Francis are left alone, and Francis pretends he cares not for his wife’s opines.

Queen Catherine welcomes the Bavarians. Claude’s fiance, young William, is more appealing than one could have hoped for. But the groom-to-be’s father has concerns, for he has heard rumors of Claude’s dalliances. (For not having internet, phones, or even telegrams, gossip sure does travel fast in the 1500s.) This presumptuous Bavarian needs assurances of Claude’s virtue. Catherine acquiesces and tells Claude she has to have a virginity test (vomit) and admits that she’ll have to pay off the tester to get the results they want.

Lola goes to speak with Francis and tells her what Narcisse has told her about Francis killing his father. She insists that Francis tell Mary that he committed regicide. (Please take her advice already, Francis!) But he’s like, “hell no! Narcisse wants to see me, my family, and our baby dead” (summarized with poetic license). Lola’s she-bear claws come out when she hears Narcisse has threatened her cub’s life. She’s now on board to get rid of Narcisse. Francis tells her that the envelope he gave her to place in his house is key to framing him and getting him beheaded. She’s on board.

Back from his reconnaissance mission, Condé returns with the information that the minister was working with fringe radicals. Francis leaves Mary and Condé to question the minister further. In a romantic walk through the herb garden, Mary has suspicions as to why the minister would come so openly to Francis when he knew he would be locked up. Mary comes to the conclusion that there are no explosives, but that perhaps this wily minister intends to martyr himself. And those are the kind of brains you need to be queen, folks. Down in the dungeon, the tortured minister tells Francis where the explosives are. When Condé goes to the place, however, there are no explosives to be found.

Bash catches Claude in the long stony hallway and tries to help her with her strife. He recommends for her to change castles, but Claude wants to stay put. Bash tells her it’s because of her mommy issues, and that he can understand because Catherine never liked him either. He goes on to say that that was what drew them together (other than being half-siblings). Can we take a moment to talk about how there’s so much incest on TV right now? Should we blame Game of Thrones?

NEXT: Narcisse comes a-creepin