Reign recap: 'Mercy'
Mary gets revenge on her attackers, and King Henry returns just in time for ghost sex.
Nobody knows how to make an entrance like King Henry. Honestly, what other character could return to a show as a ghost completely naked (and feeling up his wife)? The same man who once planned a war without his pants on, that’s who! But as hard as it is to believe, a lot happened before Henry’s return, and I’m not just talking about Francis’ incredibly busy winter coat. Let’s get to it!
We pick up with Bash rounding up all the men who were seen trying to flee the castle after the attack. So far, all they have is the name of the man in charge of the attack—Severin (spelling?)—and Francis is willing to do whatever it takes to find him, including chaining people up outside when the dungeons are at full capacity. Mary feels the same, but when she doesn’t identify any of the captured as her rapist, Francis promises to hunt the guilty men to the ends of the earth, literally.
Back in her old chambers, Mary starts to blame herself. She should’ve known those men weren’t her guards. But Francis quickly stops her with the truth. Finally, he tells her about killing his father, Narcisse’s blackmail, and all of the lies that happened as a result of it. But Mary remains focused on one thing: killing the people who brought them to where they are now. And after that? Francis will never let anyone hurt her again.
After rounding up everyone who could potentially know something, Francis takes things a step further. If there’s no room in the dungeons, then the others will remain outside to freeze to death. It’s true that Narcisse turned him into a king he didn’t want to be, but at this point, there’s no going back.
Inside, Mary tells her ladies the truth about the other night and asks that they hush all talk of an heir until she can know for sure that nothing will come of what happened to her. And in a moment of power, Mary admits that she’s not ashamed, but rather, she can recognize that what happened to her was nothing more than an act of war and hatred.
Speaking of hatred, Narcisse has fled. And when Lola learns of what happened to Mary, she heads straight to Francis with the location of Narcisse’s villa in the countryside. Spoiler: He’s there. But the real questions is, why is he sleeping in the hay? Perhaps he likes to get a little dirty so that he has a reason to take another bath? Okay, I digress. Before Francis can kill him, Narcisse lets it slip that, in the event of his death, all of his gold, land, etc. will go to the Protestants. So instead of murdering Scar, Simba brings Narcisse back to the castle, where he will remain as his puppet.
Elsewhere in the Castle, Leith warns Greer that all of the Protestants are being rounded up for questioning, but she and Castleroy cannot get out in time. The guards take Castleroy away. But just because Leith refuses to rely solely on his looks, he once again proves that he’s the sweetest person in all of France. Leith goes to Francis and cashes in his “I owe you” in order to grant Castleroy his freedom. The twist? Castleroy then has to get out of town, and Greer decides to stay behind. She claims that she’s doing it to be with Mary, which is probably true, and also to cover for Castleroy, but a girl can’t help but wonder if Leith’s final smirk got to her (because I know it got to me).
NEXT: Mary sets fire to the pain
But that’s enough with the castle drama. After Condé and Mary find out that the men who attacked her are set to pick up money at a peasant house, the two of them hit the road.
Sidenote: Condé wins best reaction of the night for his “good lord” when Mary pulled out a knife as if from nowhere.
Once at the house, Condé and Mary arrive just in time for her to come face-to-face with her attacker. Hiding underneath a table, Mary is able to cut her attacker’s leg while Condé takes down the other two. And when Mary comes out of hiding, Condé learns what really happened. But Mary doesn’t need his help. She tells Severin that he will suffer and die and she will live. A hundred years from now, she will be remembered as a queen and he will be forgotten, erased from history. But when he claims God will grant him mercy from the fire, she proves him wrong … by setting him on fire. Soon enough, the entire house is in flames, with all three men inside. “Let them burn with their sins,” Mary tells Condé.
On the way back to the castle, Condé promises Mary that she can trust him before ensuring her that even though she feels like she can’t find her way back to her old life with Francis that France is her home. She’s still its queen. But what kind of queen will she be? When she tells Francis the news about Severin and his men, she finally lets go of the notion that they can put the pieces of their life back together. No matter how wrong it is, she can’t change the fact that she blames Francis for what happened. It feels forever linked to him and to them. She’s not sure if things would’ve been different had she known the truth, but it doesn’t matter. He never gave them the chance. As a result, she thinks they should lead separate lives, only working together as king and queen. Of course, Francis says he can’t do that, but when he brings love into the conversation, she simply says, “look what that love has brought us.”
And while we’re talking about complicated marriages, we should probably get back around to Catherine’s drama during the hour. After Claude refuses to leave, the twin ghosts tell Catherine that she must kill Claude before they do. And because Catherine is the world’s best mother, she finally decides to apologize to Claude, all while feeding her a piping hot spoonful of poison. Yum! However, Claude doesn’t die immediately. By episode’s end, she’s only running a high fever. So either Catherine failed or something weird is happening.
Meanwhile, Catherine, too, is feeling a bit hot, but that’s less to do with poison and more to do with the hot naked ghost in her bed. With Henry sneaking up under her sheets, Catherine can’t believe he’s real. His first (classic Henry) move? Putting her hand on his penis, saying, “Don’t I feel real?” And apparently, he feels real enough to get Catherine to say the words “I want you back,” which surely mean something.
The hour’s final twist? The arrival of Condé’s older brother, who tells him that he’s worried. Condé first came here to find out where Francis is vulnerable and now, his reports have become less frequent. Has he fallen for the queen? He says no, but his recently found letter to Mary says yes … and she’s the one reading it.
King Henry’s Ranking: “I’m baaaack.”
All in all, you won’t hear me complain about an hour that brought back Henry. Plus, with Narcisse locked up, Leith feeling all noble and smirk-y, and Condé’s hot new brother, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Also, ghost sex just happened. So let that get you through the holidays, will ya?