How many times during “Safe Passage” did you want to stand up and cheer? I counted three. Bash, especially, had some major badass moments. His final confrontation with Christophe almost made that whole dragged out serial killer story line worth it — almost. But seriously, it’s great to see Torrance Coombs get some meaty scenes before his departure from the show. Bash was one of the most endearing and interesting characters on Reign when it began, and he’s been saddled with some snooze-fest story arcs since he came up short in the Mary love triangle. Not today, my friends. Today, Bash has a crossbow and he isn’t afraid to use it. To the recap!
Mary and Bash roll up to the castle just in time to catch the tail end of Catherine and Charles’ dinner celebrating their ability to pay their army — which, as you may recall, ended with nine generals dead on the table courtesy of the Red Knights. The whole crew, including Narcisse, immediately go into damage control. If the soldiers find out what happened, they’ll think the royal family once again killed in order to eschew a debt, it will incite a rebellion… you know, total royal problems. They decide the best plan is to bury the bodies under the castle, pretend that the generals never showed up for dinner, and shove the gold in the soldiers’ faces. There are hundreds of ways this plan could go awry, but everyone’s sticking with it. French court is so wacky!
One way Catherine and Co. could get caught is at the hands of the Royal Cockroach himself, Christophe. He’s still basically holding Catherine as a sexual prisoner, and he senses something’s off when she returns from the dinner. He continues to pry until Catherine has no choice but to shut him up by allowing him to “do that thing he’s always wanted to do.” That thing turns out to be strangling Catherine during sex, which sounds very uncool.
Charles, on the other hand, is taking extra steps to put this Red Knights fiasco to bed. He’s hired a new court seer to help suss them out: Delphine. Yup! D is back and just as creepy as ever. On her first day alone she manages to have an awkward conversation with Bash about how his feelings for her have changed, whereas she remains just as clingy as ever, and drops the news on him that the “heart killer” is still in the castle. She feels the killer, he’s putting his hands around the neck of a woman who is protecting him. Her “feelings” have gotten oddly specific in the few months that she’s been gone.
Maybe Bash pumped the breaks on Delphine a little too soon — as the royal family scrambles to solve the Red Knight problem, Mary promptly makes sure Bash knows he’s staying in the friend zone, by which she means France. With everything going on, Catherine and Charles will need him there. He accepts her order, but he looks like the saddest puppy in all the land. He’s even sadder when Mary’s departure date gets bumped up to “immediately.” Mary’s received word from Lola that the British will be moving their ships for one week in order to make repairs. This means that for a brief time, Mary can cross over into Scotland without worry of attack from Elizabeth, but she needs to go now.
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Mary feels horrible for leaving Catherine in a lurch — and even worse after a visit from Narcisse where the two bicker about giving up on people they love — but when Catherine hears that Mary has no time to waste, she tells her surrogate daughter to get to steppin’. She has it all totally in control… except for, you know, the fact that the soldiers ride up just in time to see their generals’ heads being used as castle décor. So, on second thought, Catherine has very little under control at the moment.
NEXT: Our queens are the best queens [pagebreak]
Catherine explains the mess of a situation to Narcisse, whose only suggestion to quash the inevitable rebellion is to take Mary’s mercenary army. Catherine refuses; she knows Mary needs them in order to have any chance of making it safely to Scotland. Narcisse tells Catherine to open her eyes: By protecting Mary, she’s making herself vulnerable. Suffice it to say, Narcisse is not a fan of the Queen of Scots.
Narcisse takes his unhappiness straight to Mary and makes her feel even more guilt about putting her needs above Catherine. As Narcisse knew she would, Mary offers Catherine her assistance by both staying in France and giving her the mercenaries. Again, Catherine refuses. She wants Mary to take back her throne in Scotland. Mary’s destiny lies in Scotland, and she needs to go face it. These two, you guys. The big move to Scotland is exciting from a storytelling perspective, but losing out on scenes between Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane will be an unfortunate side effect. Sometimes destiny is really annoying.
Speaking of destiny, while Delphine is wandering around doing her best court seer-ing, she bumps into Christophe and realizes he is the killer. She makes a very poor choice to yell out “it’s you!” in his face and Christophe wastes no time in going to stab town. Delphine is dead! When Catherine hears that it was Christophe who “found the body,” she makes no effort in hiding her reaction. Bash notices something’s amiss and confronts her. When he sees the marks on her neck and hears of her and Christophe’s new sex game, he puts everything together. All that CSI training finally pays off!
And that’s when things get really interesting. Bash quietly waits in the dark for Christophe to come home and makes the guy aware that he knows Christophe is the serial killer first by telling him and then by shooting him in the leg with his crossbow. Then he shoots him in the hand for good measure. He wants to know how much Catherine was involved — the answer is “very” — and Christophe informs Bash that there is a letter outlining Catherine’s secrets that he used as leverage to keep her quiet. It’s enough to strip her of the regency. Christophe completely misreads the situation and blurts out the location of the letter, so Bash has no need for him — and he stabs Christophe through the chest. Boy, bye.
Meanwhile, the soldiers have come to demand Catherine turn herself over to appear in front of a military tribunal. They aren’t buying the Red Knights story Catherine and Charles are selling. The situation comes to a head at the castle gates. Catherine warns them that if they keep this up, the true murderers will go free — but she is willing to go with them to stop them from entering the castle walls and harming Charles. Thankfully, it will never come to that. Before the gates rise, another army of men comes galloping toward the castle, led by a woman in white. It is Mary, Queen of Scots, ready to have a moment.
Mary had been ready to set sail for Scotland when she opens a gift from Francis that Bash had promised to give Mary on the day she finally left to reclaim her throne. He had a sword made for her. The real gift, though, is Francis’ letter — his final words to his wife. We were all shoving pizza into our faces and weeping during that last line, “I love you, Mary Stuart, forever,” right? Great. In that moment, Mary knows she can’t just turn her back on France.
And so, Mary, in her white coat, on her white horse, with her shiny new sword drawn, addresses the soldiers. She tells them that if they turn against Catherine, they “turn against France.” It is full of queen swagger and the soldiers stand down. Mary gives the Regent of France a knowing nod and then rides off from whence she came. Bash isn’t the only badass in France today.
NEXT: Catherine’s neck is the real victim here [pagebreak]
Catherine may have been rescued from a terrible fate with the soldiers, but there is still one person in France who wouldn’t mind seeing her suffer: Bash. He knows what she did to steal the regency, he knows that she protected a serial killer, and after realizing the depths of her treachery, he is able to piece together some other coincidences that all lead to Catherine having murdered his mother. It’s about time, dude. That shocker was so season 2. Catherine admits to it and shows little remorse. When Bash learns that his mother’s body was tossed in the sea, he loses it. He strangles Catherine — whose poor neck is really getting abused as of late — but pulls back. He won’t kill her, but he does resign from his post with a sassy toss of his sword.
He also leaves Catherine with a parting gift: He has handed Christophe’s letter detailing her plot to have Claude beaten in order to regain the regency over to Charles and Claude. Now that they are in the know, Charles promises Catherine that she’ll pay for her actions.
Whew. As if there weren’t enough drama already packed into this hour, we still have a ship to set sail. Mary will be making her trip back to Scotland with two additional passengers: Narcisse, who wants to rescue Lola, and Bash, who has nothing left for him in France. Mary should be glad for the extra company, as it seems even the journey itself won’t be easy. The ship encounters a storm at sea, and just as Mary has finally steeled herself for her big move, a wave crashes into the ship and sweeps the queen off of her feet.
Meanwhile, in England: Gideon Blackburn has returned and earns top marks from his queen. He’s been so productive: He stopped Mary from making a marriage alliance with Spain (Don Carlos’ sex horse, never forget), he foiled an assassination plot, but most importantly, he managed to remain untouched by Mary’s feminine wiles — or so Elizabeth thinks. He goes on and on about how Elizabeth is his queen and he’ll always be loyal, but the first thing he does after being granted a position at court is to pop in and offer Lady Lola his help in escaping.
Mary made him promise that upon his return he would find a way to free Lola (#FreeLola), and he’s killed for Mary, so she should totally trust him. They agree that the moment Gideon can ensure a safe way out for Lola and John, she’ll take it. Well, that moment better be soon. After giving Elizabeth some sage advice on how to handle president of the he-man woman haters’ club, John Knox, Lola believes she is in Liz’s circle of trust. Gideon is quick to remind her that people in the Tudor’s inner circle are usually the people who end up losing their heads. Plus, once Elizabeth discovers that Mary has returned to Scotland, Lola will be even more valuable. If she and John don’t leave now, they may never get another chance. The clock is ticking.
The Queens’ Corner of Harsh Lady Truths
“Offer them bribes for their silence. If they refuse, tell them I’ll cut off their heads.” She’s just being Catherine.
“You extended Elizabeth’s invitation for me to visit England. I’ve been visiting ever since.” Lady Lola: great hostage, even better shade-thrower
“I’ll figure something out. I always do.” Catherine’s got this covered, you guys.
Outfit of the Week: Like a teenage girl with a hickey, Catherine was working those high-neck collars like they were going out of style.