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Reign recap: In a Clearing

Is Nostradamus the original Debbie Downer?

Posted on

Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW


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

Oh, my dear Royals. If you have yet to watch the November 13 episode of Reign, turn back now. I’m serious: Make like Nostradamus and say something unnerving before disappearing in a fabulous fur coat. GET!

King Francis is dead. He is dead and there are no take-backsies this time. We’ve known for some time that Reign was going to remain true to this aspect of Mary’s story, but did knowing what was coming soften the blow or just make it so much worse? It was an interesting and not-often seen creative choice that turned the dramatic tension from a question of “if” to a question of “when.” To be honest, I enjoyed (is that the right word? Probably not.) watching Toby Regbo (and Francis, really) get to play out his final episodes with a sense of knowing — they were some of his strongest.

Oh man, I’m really going to miss that guy. I’M SO SAD, YOU GUYS. All I want to do is curl up in my bed and play A Great Big World’s “Say Something” on repeat while a hose is directly aimed at my window so it looks like it’s raining, but ALAS, I know I must be strong — strong like Mary, Queen of Scots — and recap this mother.

Post-resurrection, Mary and Francis are YOLTing hard (You Only Live Twice). Francis feels reinvigorated, and Mary pays no mind to the fact that her mother died just as Francis was miraculously brought back to life. Or that her mother died at all, really. Since Marie de Guise confided in Mary that she was sick, Mary has been at peace with the whole thing. Is it me, or does she seem more relieved than anything? Now Mary needs to appoint a new regent in Scotland, and she’d like it to be her half-brother James. He may be Protestant, but he’s family, ya know?

The monarchs are in a great mood, and Nicholas sees this as the perfect time to present Mary with an intriguing (also: pretty terrible) offer from Elizabeth. Elizabeth knows the war in Scotland isn’t benefiting anyone, and she’s ready to call a truce—if Mary agrees to withdraw her claim to the English throne. Francis can’t believe Mary would even consider signing such a peace accord — Mary’s birthright is her most precious possession. Mary believes this may be the only way to have peace in Scotland, and anyway, Francis is her most precious possession. Aw. If there’s a line of 16th-century royal greeting cards, that should be on it.

Mary wants to give her brother a chance at ruling a unified Scotland, so she and Francis put quill to paper and sign the accord. They also almost immediately switch out Mary’s banners hanging in the throne room to remove the English line. Kudos to you, French court banner maker, whoever you are! That’s some quick turnaround time. Mary has no regrets — France is home.

Catherine’s also pretty psyched that Francis has a new lease on life. She celebrates like many of us do: by redecorating and talking nonstop about her son putting a baby in his wife. Seriously, Catherine hasn’t looked this happy since she had her dainty but fierce hands around Diane’s neck (btw, whatever happened with that?). The celebrating doesn’t last very long though. Guess who’s back with some horrible news? Why, Nostradamus, of course! Dude sure knows how to ruin a good resurrection high. He’s been having strange visions again — a tree in a clearing with white flowers covered in blood, etcetera — and he fears the danger is not over for Francis. Catherine must warn him.

Francis brushes the seer’s visions off, and though he appreciates his mother’s concern, she can’t keep him in a cage, “even one built with love.” To think that just a few short weeks ago, Francis was helping his wife toss Catherine in a prison with a tiger! Francis wants to enjoy this second chance he’s been given, not waste it worrying about what may or may not be fated. Before Catherine has the chance to shackle him to his bed, he and Mary are off to Paris to dance under the stars at the Louvre.

The romantic gesture is not lost on Mary, who can’t seem to keep her hands off her husband. She has the carriage pull over and suggests a little skinny-dipping pit stop. Skinny-dipping in the 1500s seems like a tall order; that’s a lot of layers to rip off! But the young monarchs are in it to win it. They get their dip on and then THEY GET THEIR DIP ON. Who needs Viagra when you can just die and be brought back to life by a witch’s blood magic? It’s so simple!

Speaking of Delphine, she feels pretty bad that she bound Bash’s soul to her’s through that blood/sex/magic ritual without asking. She offers to unbind them by covering Bash with squid ink and holding him underwater in a bathtub for a while. (Serious question: What is with these people and baths? Please discuss in the comments.) This is great for Bash — no more crosses burned into his chest! — but leaves Delphine vulnerable to an even stronger connection with the serial killer they’ve been tracking. CSI Bash uses this connection to his advantage though, and they discover the killer’s home base: a stable with a hidden door that leads to a room full of jars holding his victims’ hearts. Bring me back to the squid ink bath, maybe?

They’re closer than ever before to catching the killer, and CSI Bash has Delphine to thank for that. He thanks her with his tongue. But before we have time to even outline the four-page essay on why that hook-up is a bad idea, there’s trouble afoot in the forest (of love).

NEXT: Nostradamus does it again!