'Reign' react: Oh, Henry
So Henry is absolutely batshit crazy, and I love it. Let me give you some perspective: Humping a woman out of a window was something a sane person would do compared to the things he’s pulling now. Declaring a servant his new queen? Threatening his own sons? And, most importantly, wielding a sword while attending a wedding completely barefoot? Yep, he’s done them all. At this point, I think Henry’s a bigger monster than The Darkness, but he’s also a much more attractive one, and quite frankly, watching him lose his marbles is nothing if not incredibly entertaining. Let’s do this, shall we?
We started this week in Olivia’s nightmare as she remembered how The Darkness used to visit her in what was actually a really cool cave (minus the torture and murder that happened within). But when she woke up and claimed her back hurt, Nostradamus found an infected wound, and when he cut into it, he found a tooth. Let me just say that, “Wait, there’s something inside,” are words that no one wants to hear … ever.
Beginning his own reign of terror elsewhere in the castle, Henry was dripping hot candle wax in some poor nobleman’s ear when Catherine asked about his headaches. He said they come and go, but his mind was sharper than ever before, and it was time for the annual Queen of the Bean contest! Basically, the servants all get a slice of cake, and whoever finds a bean in their slice gets to become queen for the day, wear the crown, sleep with Henry, and all that fun stuff. At the cake cutting, we met Greer’s betrothed, the very foxy Lord Julien. The first thing I wrote in my notes was the very insightful, “He’s hot.” Second note: “Good hair.” What can I say? I’m an investigative journalist.
Greer seemed happy, and Julien was more than hot — he was also very nice. Mary blessed their engagement while the servants wasted perfectly good cake digging through their pieces. A kitchen girl named Penelope found the bean and was given Catherine’s crown. She was also given a sex talk when Catherine tried to warn her about sleeping with Henry. In my favorite scene of the episode, Catherine talked about Henry’s appetite and his “stamina of a horse.” Of course, she was trying to trick the girl into pouring an “aphrodisiac” into Henry’s wine, an “aphrodisiac” that would put him into a drug-induced coma (courtesy of Nostradamus), but we’ll get to that later.
Immediately upon Bash’s return to the castle, Henry had him taken to the dungeon. Francis asked Mary to refrain from giving his bastard brother another chance to get close to her, a request she responded to by heading straight to the dungeon. She was trying to arrange to have Bash taken to Spain, but he told her about The Darkness, a message he then tried to stress to Francis. Luckily, crazy Olivia was still around to back up Bash’s story. Francis believed his ex-lover and agreed to hunt The Darkness with Bash if he would agree to leave for Spain once they’d killed this man. And yes, I said man. Nostradamus had examined the tooth he found in Olivia’s back and said the roots were human. It had simply been filed into a fang (as you do). The brothers were off, but not without
Haymitch’s Mary’s final words of wisdom: “Remember who the real enemy is.” The Capitol, that’s who!
In Greer’s room, precious Leith snuck in with a plate of grapes and cheese — why don’t men still do that in 2014? — to see her once more. She told him that Lord Julien, her fiancé, was everything she wanted, “except he’s not you.” You guys! I can’t take this! I love them too much. They kissed, only to be caught when Lord Julien entered with a present. Damn these old lockless doors! (Do they have locks? I actually don’t know.) At this point, Leith and Julien unknowingly competed in a who’s-the-better-person contest when Leith took full blame for the kiss and then Julien ordered him not to be harmed, though he said Leith’s household “will have to know of this.” Julien was very kind when he informed Greer that he can’t have these things happen with his wife, his family can’t take the gossip. “I wish I were a better man who could marry you despite this, but I’m not. I’m sorry.” He left her present on the table and left her to break down.
Worried about Leith, Greer confided in her friends, and that’s when Lola decided to do the same. Meanwhile, Mary went to Henry to speak for Leith, but Lord Castleroy had beaten her to it. Leith was being sent to the military and would depart for training tomorrow. Then, things got real awkward. Henry tried to get Mary to tell Penelope how to please a ruler. He was all, “Go on, pretend she’s Francis,” to which Mary promptly exited the room. But luckily for Henry, Penelope was no stranger to dirty talk … or bondage. She was going to take control. P.S. This scene was amazing and hot and hilarious. Can we all start calling Henry “bad king” from here on out?
In the woods, Francis and Bash found fresh tracks, but when the tracks stopped suddenly, Francis was alone on the ice with nothing but one of poor Rowan’s severed hands. Then, he fell through the ice. Somehow, Bash tracked him through the ice — was there a current? — and was able to bust through and pull his brother out. But then he just sort of cradled him? I love you Bash, and I’m sure your hugs have healed many wounds, but I think your brother needs some CPR. One final note: The fact that The Darkness has a whistle makes me very happy for some reason.
Getting ready for the royal party of the evening, Lola had a bit of a problem. She couldn’t fit into her dress. But don’t worry, Mary had a plan. Rather, Greer had a plan. She might’ve screwed things up with Julien, but Lola could marry him instead. And I don’t know about you all, but I was going to be very bummed if that sexy man was leaving after one episode. Thanks to Greer’s plan (and her love of Leith), she is quickly becoming my favorite.
Speaking of Greer, she finally accepted Castleroy’s proposal, which was actually quite sweet. He’s such a gentle little soul, isn’t he? As is Nostradamus, who was asked to dance by Olivia before he confessed that his last dance was with his wife. Nostradamus had a family once, but they were killed by the plague, and that’s why he’s dedicated his life to saving people. One sob story later, and Olivia gave him a kiss. Let’s just hope she’s cool with someone who’s prone to hanging himself after sex.
Back at the castle, it was evident Francis had survived considering he was warming up in front of the fire. And on the inside, he was also warming up to his brother — see what I did there? When Henry busted in and was one lunge away from killing Bash, Francis stood between them and talked his mad father down. This is when we learned that Henry was the one who had ordered the castle guards to kill Bash a few episodes back. Talk about father of the year. But at this point, Henry wanted Scotland, England, and a peaceful France, and nobody was going to get in the way of that. Luckily for his sons, Henry had come up with a solution (in three seconds flat).
As Greer said goodbye to Leith — he looked back! — Henry informed Catherine that Penelope was his new queen. Oh, and also, he’d used Catherine’s own poison against her. It didn’t last long; Catherine was out of the drugged sleep quickly enough to witness Henry’s “solution” to Bash loving Mary and therefore threatening everything he wanted: Kenna would marry Bash. Standing barefoot at their wedding, Henry gave Bash the title of Master of Horse and Hunt so that Kenna would get the “someone with a title” she wanted, and then the not-so-happy couple said their vows. The only good thing that came out of the wedding for Bash was that he could now use his new title to order guards to find The Darkness. And the only good thing that came out of the wedding for fans was a Bash-Mary moment in which he told her that he had lied before. His feelings for her are not gone, and he’s not looking forward to staying there and watching her love someone else.
So what did you all think of the episode? Is that the last we’ll see of Leith? I hope not! And is anyone else sort of hoping Bash and Kenna actually do hit it off? Regardless, what’s next for crazy Henry/what’s wrong with him, and when will Lord Julien get his own episode and/or spinoff? Sound off in the comments below! If you need me, I’ll be in Hungary looking for my own Lord Julien.
Catherine: When pretty girls win Queen of the Bean, they sometimes have a special experience with the king. I must warn you that the king’s appetite in his bed chambers can be quite rough. He has the appetite of a lion and the stamina of a horse, a horse that proceeds at a steady, punishing trot. It can be a lengthy experience.
Penelope: How lengthy?
Catherine: It can feel like hours. Sometimes it is.
“This is an aphrodisiac. It will help the king gallop more quickly to the finish.” -Catherine to Penelope
“Listen to you. You have Mary, and the crown, and all of France puckering its lips to your ass, and still you’re threatened by a bastard in exile.” -Bash to Francis
“We are royals. What could ever be unwell with us?” -Henry