A celebratory feast gone horribly wrong, 16th-century-style gladiator fighting, and a swoon-worthy admission of undying love all made for one of the best episodes of Reign this season. See what happens when you shed a too-talky plot about evil archbishops? So many good things!
Mary and Catherine are both in need of some cash for an army — Mary for her return to Scotland and Catherine to quash the Red Knights. The good Catholic queens decide it’s time to hit up the holy ATM, and ask Archbishop Ridolfi for a little financial assistance with their causes. Since the Vatican is still angry with Catherine for sending Gideon Blackburn back to England, Ridolfi has nothing to offer Catherine, but for Mary he’s like a dad who can’t say no to his teenage daughter. He cuts her a big ol’ check and tells her to buy whichever army she wants. Thanks, Daddy!
Alas, where does a young queen find an army these days? There’s not, like, a catalog for this sort of purchase. Thankfully, she has her good friend Bash to point her in the right direction. He takes her to a group of available mercenaries. Before Mary hands over all of her gold, she wants to give the guys a test run. Mary, ever the multitasker, has just the mission for them: She’s trying to mend fences with Greer, and what Greer wants more than anything is a respectable last name to give her baby; she needs a husband. (Oh, right! Mary knows Greer is knocked up. Mary deployed the only move one can against someone who is ghosting — the surprise pop-in.) Mary reminds Greer that she already has a husband: Lord Castleroy. Sure, he’s in prison for treason, but that’s a minor detail. So Mary charges the mercenaries with breaking Castleroy out of jail.
As Mary and Bash nervously wait for the mercenaries’ return, they share a quiet moment alone. Man, I’ve missed these two working together! And from the look of that smile that spreads across Bash’s face as he reminisces about the time they tried to make a run for it together, he has too.
Before too long, the men return with Castleroy in tow. Let’s not beat around the bush: The dude looks terrible. Mary gets him fixed up before she and Bash bring him to Greer’s tavern. The estranged husband and wife’s meeting doesn’t go as smoothly as Mary had been hoping. Castleroy wanted to see Greer before deciding to take her and her child on. Before the rage of injustice sets in, let’s skip to the part where Mary reminds Castleroy of how intensely he loved Greer at one time. Love like that doesn’t go away; there are always embers left. Castleroy and Greer end up reconciling, but more important, Bash can’t take his eyes off of Mary during her speech.
Mary hands Greer some papers that will help her and Castleroy start over, far away from French Court. And so, we say goodbye to the last lady-in-waiting. Mary’s pretty torn up about it, but Greer just talks about how friends grow apart. Have some sense of occasion, lady. Thankfully, Bash understands how hard this is for Mary. He holds her as she cries and decides to come clean: He wants to help her face whatever hardships await her in Scotland. She should have at least one person next to her whose love she never has to question…and that person is Bash.
Bash still loves Mary, you guys!
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More specifically, he tells Mary that those embers she spoke of to Castleroy, he has them for her. He goes on, “Those embers, they keep me warm, and they will for as long I am lucky enough to serve you.” MY KNEES ARE BUCKLING. That is just so swoon-worthy. Sure, nothing is going to happen long-term since Mary needs to marry a royal and Torrance Coombs has already announced his departure from the show, but I live life one episode at a time. I’ve always enjoyed the Mary-Bash pairing, so I choose to bask in the glow of this development. Bash loves Mary!
Mary has her army, but what of Catherine? She too pays a visit to an ex-lover: Narcisse. The crown needs money, and it needs it fast. Catherine’s general made it clear that if she couldn’t pay his soldiers in the next two weeks, they’d be deserting to go work with the Greeks. When Narcisse’s first plan backfires — he forces the peasants to pay another tithe, which of course they can’t afford and it only angers them — little King Charles steps up with an idea to make some money: To the casino!
Charles and Narcisse hit up a high-end casino in the foothills of the Alps that Charles used to frequent. He’s confident he can solve their money problem with just a few rounds of knucklebones. Charles is so good that he’s up a lot of coin pretty quickly, but against Narcisse’s advice, the king goes all in – and loses everything. Men, am I right?
NEXT: Are you not entertained?