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Reign season premiere recap: 'The Plague'

The Black Death strikes the castle, Mary strikes back, and Francis meets his son

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Reign 03
Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW


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

You know the old saying: First comes plague, then comes famine, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. If you don’t know it, it’s okay. It’s a really old saying. But it certainly applies to this season of Reign, where Henry’s craziness has been swapped for a plague. So needless to say, post-Henry, France is a lot less sexy. Quite literally, if people aren’t dressed in some variation of black and gold, their limbs are blackening from the plague. And if they do strip down and make any sort of physical contact, there’s about a 70 percent chance they’re passing the disease around. Yeah, a lot less sexy.

However, sexiness aside, the plague served as a great stand-in for the king’s madness, bringing a dramatic weight with it that kept viewers on their toes. After all, it’s hard to be boring when any sort of physical contact can mean certain death. Confession: My first thought when they showed a plague victim was, “Couldn’t it have been a prettier plague?” Look, I’m not asking that they all turn into gold and then die, but are the open sores really necessary? Henry would not have stood for this!

I’m kidding… sort of. Regardless, the “old and faceless” foe has returned and with Francis out to find Lola, new queen Mary is left to rule alongside Catherine. Two queens and no king? It’s edgy and feels very modern, and I’m not afraid to admit that I like it. And clearly, Nostradamus agrees, because he has shaved his beard in honor of the plague (but really in honor of all the hot women running the show). First up, clean-shaven Nostradamus informs the castle that a fever = death, aches and pains = death, sores = death, and finally, blackening of extremities = definite death. However, being Nostradamus = immunity from all of the above.

In the crowd, Kenna and Bash seem happily intertwined while Greer seems to think Castleroy has the plague judging by the distance between them. But really, she’s just too busy watching Leith hold Castleroy’s ginger daughter, who turns out to be a stage-five clinger, because after knowing Leith for roughly 48 hours, she invites him to spend their last days together. A) Who said you were going to die? And B) Slow down, crazy. Slow down.

Don’t worry, after Leith runs into Greer in the hallway and she begs him not to go to Yvette—because she still loves him, basically—Leith ends up staying away from Yvette, who isolates herself with some family friends. So it’s a victory for one of Mary’s ladies. Actually, make that two of Mary’s ladies. When Francis arrives to Lola’s cabin, she and the baby are both alive. And it’s a boy. For now, we shall call him Sebastian Jr. (Just for clarification: I made that up.)

When the plague enters Lola’s cabin, Francis takes his baby and baby mama on the road, where they eventually find a camp run by Lord Condé, Francis’ very, very far removed cousin. Long story short, Condé seems nice enough. Also, he’s definitely hot enough to be Lola’s rebound (until Lord Julien returns, obvs). You know who isn’t hot? This Lord Narcisse character who tries to act as though Condé is the bad guy. Sorry, but when your voice is that gruff, it’s obvious you’re the villain, Narcisse.

Narcisse informs Francis of a boat that Condé has arranged for his lover. Condé then offers Lola and the baby a spot on the voyage, which Francis nearly accepts before realizing that his baby is sort of the cutest. Once Francis picks up his crying son and takes in all of the adorableness that baby Bash has to offer, he simply cannot let him go.

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if it had been an ugly baby? Kidding. All babies are cute and whatever.

NEXT: Meet Mary 2.0