Mary makes a futile plan for her future.

By Maggie Fremont
February 24, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST
Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW
S4 E3
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To dream the impossible dream! This line played over and over again in my head while Queen Mary contemplated leaving behind her royal life to retire quietly into the English countryside. Dream on, girl. And that’s not just because history is life’s greatest spoiler, yada, yada. History aside, Reign’s Mary Stuart has never been destined for a tiny life with a happy ending. No amount of riverside hookups can change that.

How does Mary get it in her head that she could possibly live happily ever after? Gideon, of course. That romantic is such a dummy.

Both Mary and Elizabeth are extremely preoccupied as to the whereabouts of Lord Darnley. Mary is entertaining other suitors — what a great callback to have Prince Magnus around — to force Darnley’s hand, while Elizabeth is fuming over the fact that her money never made it to Lord White. Meanwhile, Darnley is on his way up to Scotland to appease his mother. He tells his One True Love Kira that he’ll be back in no time, and they’ll find a way to marry. Darnley is very, very wrong.

Since Elizabeth’s plan to take Darnley out of the running for Mary’s husband has failed, Gideon offers up another option: Let him marry the Queen of Scots. Gideon must think pretty highly of himself if he believes he could bring peace to two warring countries, each with power-hungry queens, simply with his prowess as a husband. Like, if I’m giving up all my worldly power to marry “for love” there best be breakfast in bed three times a week and some guarantee that said husband will remove and install my air conditioning window unit bi-annually. That’s the point of husbands, right?

Here is Gideon’s big idea: Mary loves Gideon. She could marry him, a commoner, and in doing so would have to abdicate from the Scottish throne, which would greatly decrease her claim to the English throne. A gracious Elizabeth would provide an allowance and lands in England for Mary and Gideon to live out their days and make their first-born son the heir to her throne. It’s a win-win. No more fighting between Scotland and England, Elizabeth gets people off her back for never wanting to marry and procreate, and Mary gets to live a life of love and happiness.

FAT CHANCE, PEOPLE. Once Gideon arrives in Scotland — he and Mary are so happy to see each other, it is very cute — any person who hears this plan is basically like, “um…I have notes.”

Mary, of course, is worried about the safety of her people. What if she abdicates, installs James as regent until her son one day unites the two countries, and Elizabeth swoops in and murders the hell out of everyone who opposes her? Gideon assures her peace is in Elizabeth’s best interest, and besides, Scotland would never stand for it.

That, plus Gideon reminding Mary of how hot she is for him via a surprise bedding on the river at night is enough to reassure Mary of her man’s plan. She could be into a fairy-tale ending.

NEXT: Shall we dance? 

When Mary and Gideon run it by James, James also has concerns. Even if, which is a big if, Elizabeth holds up her end of the bargain, the Scottish people really distrust the English. There’s no way they are going to believe that their queen up and left because she was in love with an English commoner. They are going to need some proof. How about a ball? At said ball, Mary and Gideon can make googly eyes at each other and hold hands and perform an impromptu dance routine. That’ll show the Scottish nobles that Mary is totally in lurve.

So, that’s what they do. And guess what? It works! It works a little too well. Who should walk in during the middle of that dance number (is it just me or would a sexier song been better to get the point across?) but Lord Darnley and Lady Lennox. They are not happy, you guys. Darnley tells his mother he’s running off to the stables, returning to England immediately, and marrying Lady Kira. Mary might be interested in getting married, but not to him. She’s made that abundantly clear. Lady Lennox lets him go without putting up any fight — which is very suspicious. She says she’ll stay back and smooth things over with Queen Mary before heading home.

Lady Lennox wants the deets about what is really going on. When Mary tells her The Plan, Lennox basically chokes. She knows all about that supposed land Elizabeth has set aside for the lovebirds: It’s been under renovations and is now pretty much akin to a prison. She warns Mary to be careful — Elizabeth is making moves to keep the Queen of Scots as her hostage.

It is devastating news — and even more devastating when she relays it to Gideon. This dream of theirs isn’t going to work out. Mary tells him about the castle prison, and if Elizabeth can’t be honest about that promise, who’s to say she’ll keep any of her others? Mary cannot risk putting Scotland in that kind of danger. Gideon is heartbroken. He worries he’s talking to a dead woman. YIKES, DUDE. As he takes off for England, saying goodbye to Mary for maybe the last time, she reminds him that we all die. All that matters is what we stand for while we live. GET YOURS, GIRL

Now with The Plan officially nixed and Darnley heading off to marry his One True Love, what will Mary do next? Don’t fret, my pet. Lady Lennox is a smart cookie, and she already has a plan in play. She knew Mary would still need Darnley, so she forges a letter, breaking things off with Kira. Kira takes the bait, marries Lord White (very quickly, no?), and leaves Darnley in confused shambles on a very pretty looking bridge. His union with Mary is inevitable.

Speaking of inevitable, how terribly is this whole James and Lady Knox thing going to end? Pretty terribly, I’d imagine. Even with a warning from Greer (can those two kiss already?) to lay off the naive girl, James is going full steam ahead with his sister’s plan. They rub fingers while sitting on a bench and talk about sin and oath-breaking in such a way that you totally know they are talking about hooking up. Ruh-roh.

NEXT: Gideon confronts his queen 

Back in England, Gideon really lets Elizabeth have it. Mary had agreed to abdicate! The Plan was working. But it all fell apart because Elizabeth is paranoid. And then Elizabeth reminds Gideon who he is talking to. She’s a queen, ya heard? As a matter of fact, those reinforcements to the castle were started way before she decided to set it aside for Mary, and they could be used for Mary’s protection as well as…you know, keeping her away from Liz’s throne. With two queens alive, there will always be some group that wants to hurt one of them. It’s basically your typical Harry Potter/Voldemort situation: Neither can live while the other survives. Only one queen is coming out of this thing alive and Elizabeth intends it to be her.

So…yeah. She probably wasn’t going to hold up her end of the bargain.

Meanwhile, in France: Miracles are happening! First, Narcisse is back. The greatest miracle of all. This is important because when Narcisse and Catherine get in a room together, especially when they are on the same side of a scheme, the scene crackles.

And he’s back just in time. Catherine is having trouble dealing with all three of her kids and the impending threat from Spain. Leesa is still pushing for a Spaniard to fill the Lord Chancellor position, regardless of if Narcisse is back or not. And both Catherine and Narcisse know this means they are only one step closer to installing a Spaniard on the throne. No, this will not do at all.

Narcisse wants to know why Leesa is so against Catherine. She replies nonchalantly that it’s because “I was a terrible mother. I mean, all my children say that, but in Leesa’s case it’s true.” Catherine keeps things real, people. So, Catherine will take on Leesa’s choice for Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Rosales. He conveniently tells us he has a bad case of gout, so you know that’s how Catherine will attempt to take him down. It doesn’t go as planned, and her poison makes the Cardinal go blind instead of just giving him a bad flare up.

Don’t worry, the Cardinal is healed by Claude’s magical tears or something…maybe don’t ask. But because he is now convinced Claude is a saint (the other miracle I was referring to), he listens to her when she tells him God says he’s needed back in Spain. It’s one of the weirder storylines on Reign. And that’s saying something.

Leesa, of course, is on to her mother. She vows to catch Catherine in her next dubious act and promises, “I will destroy you for daring to take me on.” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

So, Leesa is an on-going problem. Claude seems to get over her mourning period after the whole “Tears on a Cardinal” situation. Which just leaves Charles for Catherine to deal with. Narcisse’s advice for handling the very emo king? Throw some hot, willing ladies in his direction. Okay, what he really says is to remind him of the pleasures that come with being king, but that’s what he means and we all know it. Even Catherine.

And throw a hot lady at Charles, he does. Narcisse enlists a girl named Bianca to serve at the pleasure of the king. Only, this king is your basic teenager going through an extreme goth phase. He only wants to talk about death, especially the death he has caused. He invites Bianca to come with him to a place that helps him understand the pain he inflicts on others. Bianca never returns. How’s about we clear this whole story line up sometime soon, Reign? It’s really creeping me out.

Outfit of The Week: So many options this week! I have to go with Mary’s beaded empire waist dress that she wears during her goodbye to Gideon. The beads look gorgeous and also are there to catch Mary’s tears as they fall. A dress and a friend.

A sexy, historical fiction CW take on the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and her royal court.
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seasons
  • 4
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  • 10/17/13
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