The cracks in Mary and Francis' marriage have barely begun to heal, when Condé's men begin their Elizabeth-assisted attack.
If, as Bash tells Delphine, “Women who stick out are up to be killed,” then Mary’s in big trouble after the final minutes of this episode. But let’s rewind to the beginning, shall we? It’s what Mary desperately wants for her and Francis’ relationship anyway. It’s been four weeks since Condé disappeared, and the royal couple are still on the rocks. Francis thinks bringing back the troops in Scotland would make France look weak, but when Mary tries to smooth things over by telling him she’s to blame, he cuts deep. “Save your apologies,” he tells her. “Your words have no meaning for me anymore.”
The tension between the king and queen may be ice cold, but Kenna and Renaude are so hot for each other they can’t even find a proper hiding place to get handsy in—I’m just stepping in for Samantha Highfill’s recaps this week, but even I can imagine King Henry shaking his head in disdain at their relationship—while Leith and Greer are somewhere in the middle. Greer spots Leith and wants to apologize, but where Francis has no use for Mary’s words, Leith has no use for Greer’s money. And Claude? Well, all Claude likes is teasing Leith about his love for the woman who runs a brothel.
But the princess and the royals will soon have much more to be concerned about: Renaude is captured by Condé—or rather, Louis, the royal formerly known as Condé but I’m going to keep calling Condé anyway—and blackmailed into fighting for Elizabeth after they threaten his son’s life. That’s not all—Condé’s men have been ambushing Francis’ men successfully, and he sends one of them scampering toward the castle to warn Francis that Condé is on his way.
Amid all this action, there’s Bash and Delphine, our favorite googly eyed, bark-scraping, fur-donning loners who get a little less lonely out in the woods. After a roll in the…uh…dirt, Bash welcomes his “mysterious friend who lives in the forest,” as Kenna put it, to court. Kenna and Delphine scope each other out, and Kenna asks Bash to move forward with the annulment of their marriage. She’s certain she’s found the right man in Renaude, but she doesn’t know he’s been turned. Bash reluctantly agrees. At the same time, Delphine’s certain her future with Bash will involve children. Bash reluctantly… acknowledges her prediction. Later, Delphine tries to walk back her prediction but takes a shirt stained with his blood—from a cut he made on his hand when she startled him. So many red flags to this couple here.
Speaking of red flags… about an hour away from court, Narcisse and Catherine are on a date in the romantic and picturesque Middle of Nowhere, France, Europe, Earth. Catherine’s here to bring him a present: his favorite horse, one he thought he lost along with his land. He’s ecstatic, and she’s overjoyed to reward him for his loyalty. “While I may be cooped up in a castle, never forget my reach is far,” she lovingly tells him. Put that on a valentine.
Their outing is cut short when a messenger arrives telling them the castle will be coming under attack. Catherine arrives at a meeting with the rest of the royal family, where Francis insists they, including Lola and Mary, leave the castle as soon as possible. Lola is prepared to go—Francis even provides a royal blanket for the journey, to remind baby John he’s his father—but she first receives a visit from an apologetic Narcisse. Lola impressively Sherlock Holmes-es her way through figuring out why he publicly shared the drawings he made of her in the bath (because Catherine), and why Narcisse is still with Catherine (because Catherine). Narcisse, thinking this would be the last time he sees her, kisses her. And a servant girl sees them.
And Mary? She tries to stay behind, but Francis softens and tells her that he wouldn’t be able to stand seeing her in danger again. But despite his efforts, Mary is in danger when Renaude stops her carriage and reroutes her away from safety. Mary, however, has an impeccably good sense of direction and deduces that the men surrounding her are working for Condé. She barely escapes on horseback as her men battle Condé’s, and makes it back to the castle to warn Francis. Kenna is shocked—shocked!—that her newly beloved isn’t 100 percent good. But no time to rethink poor suitor choices, Kenna: It looks like Renaude and Condé’s men have breached the castle’s gates.
NEXT: The face that launched 900 to 1,000 trained soldiers provided by Elizabeth… launches herself
The siege begins! Quietly, at first. Francis is perched with the archers on the wall, and Bash on the ground. It’s not until men climb the castle walls—sorry, Claude, walls aren’t that good of protection, but escaping to the passageways is a good idea—that the fighting begins. And it’s fairly graphic for Reign: Francis hacks off a man’s head, his archers shoot arrows straight into men’s eyes, and Bash seals their first victory by defeating Renaude, who gets unceremoniously sent to the dungeons, repentant and resigned.
By nightfall, though, that victory is no longer sweet. About a thousand men have been sent to help with Condé’s coup, and Francis has nowhere near enough men to fend them off. Instead, Condé requests a meeting with Francis—one on one.
Meanwhile, Catherine is having a grand old Catherine-like time in her quarters. She has had a full meal prepared for her and Narcisse, complete with wine and—oh no, oh no, oh no, horse meat. Meat from a horse. Meat from Narcisse’s beloved horse. Nope nope nope nope nope. All because Catherine found out her loyal lapdog “embraced” Lola earlier that day. The evening only gets worse from there, with Catherine going full latter-half-of-Taylor-Swift’s-“Blank-Space”-video, digging her claws into Narcisse’s face and making it clear that her loving him means he will never share his heart with another (sing it with me: it’s gonna be forever/or it’s gonna go down in flaaames) and she will never “bow to a lover” like she once did to King Henry (got a long list of ex-lovers/they’ll tell you I’m insaaaane… anyone? No? C’mon, someone do a mashup, please.). Narcisse looks frightened, as he should be.
Also frightened: Claude, who narrowly escaped Condé’s men with Leith by heading into the secret passageways in the castle. When Leith tells her it’s safe to head outside again, she suddenly spots a figure in the shadows. Leith tries to calm her down, but she insists she saw a demon.
Francis looks like he just saw a demon as well—or is about to approach one. He rides to meet Condé, but when Condé tells him to surrender so he can save Mary’s life, Francis doesn’t relent. “My reign will not end without a fight,” he says. But Condé’s a step ahead of Francis, revealing he already knows the king sent messengers to ask Spain for help, but his men managed to stop each of them. Condé even has the head of the third messenger to show for it, just to drive the point home. Poor messengers… (and poor Messengers.)
While Francis contemplates his next move, Delphine is already busy with hers. She lures a servant into her room, shares wine with him, and has an otherwise pleasant evening until she lays out Bash’s bloody shirt and begins the “binding ritual,” which sort of works as a euphemism for sex but more or less just sounds like the definition of yoga. But, hey, whatever works for Delphine works for… Delphine! And it looks like whatever she’s doing is working: The servant tells her he’s not feeling like himself and starts blabbing pagan phrases while Delphine splashes wine all over herself and sees Bash in the place of the servant. Again: Red flag! Red flag!
By this time, Francis has figured out what he needs to do: surrender. He tells Mary that Condé is still in love with her, that he can’t save her, and that by this time tomorrow, they’ll both be dead because Elizabeth’s men will win. “Just know whatever happens this is not the end I dreamed for us,” she tells him.
Instead of resigning herself to moping about in the castle, though, Mary (finally!) takes matters into her own hands. She sneaks out of the castle through a secret passageway, rides to Condé herself, tells him what Francis told her, pours out her heart, begs to run away together, and… reveals she’s pregnant. “Please, save me,” she says to Condé, as he looks back, shocked.
Uh… congratulations, you two? This will totally solve everything!