Reign recap: 'The Lamb and the Slaughter'
In one hour, Mary announces she's pregnant, becomes a godmother, loses her child, and is just generally amazing. Also, the reckoning has arrived!
- TV Show
- The CW
Reign is a lot like a queen in the television world—it’s constantly juggling its many different facets and responsibilities and deciding how it will present itself to its loyal followers week after week. On the outside, its appearance is always flawless, but this week, it showed off the rarely seen underbelly that every royal feels they need to hide: emotion. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Reign really is a love story. Sure, it’s a love story filled with ghosts and politics and all kinds of accents, but a love story nonetheless. And this episode gave us those poignant lovey moments without taking away our ghosts. In fact, we got love AND some sort of Mark of the Devil. Take that, all you other television queens! (I have no idea whom I’m talking to.)
We pick up in the woods. You know, the ones where the Darkness—that adorable small man who was shockingly easy to kill—once roamed. But this season, the Darkness has been replaced with three cloaked riders with ice-cold hands who find themselves a shepherd in the woods. When Francis sends Bash and Condé—whose pants seemed perfectly acceptable this week—off to talk to the man, he claims that they wanted his soul in exchange for protection for his family. The only thing the shepherd had to do was renounce God. But he said no.
Correction: He said no… and then they held him down and gave him the “Mark of the Riders” anyway. In what feels like a fun Sleepy Hollow headless horseman-Supernatural Mark of Cain mash-up, the Mark of the Riders looks like a pitchfork of sorts, and as you can probably guess, it makes men go mad and kill their family with a pair of shears. To be fair, he did say that his kids wouldn’t go to sleep and that is pretty annoying. Alright, I’ll stop.
Back at the castle, things are less bloody. Well, for the time being. First up, Catherine is planning her grandchild’s christening, complete with a butter sculpture (but still not a golden-horned unicorn because clearly Catherine hates bastards). Despite Lola and Francis’ desire for a small event, Catherine continues to do what she does best: whatever the hell she wants. When asked about the godmother for their child, Lola and Francis are undecided. However, they do know that they don’t want Catherine, which might be my favorite thing Lola has ever done.
After Lola can’t take anymore of Catherine’s questions and judgments, she steps outside to pick a fight with Mary. Lola has decided that she wants to move out of the castle and live nearby basically because she’s waiting for the day when Mary lets her anger out and starts resenting her. But in order to move out, Lola would no longer be Mary’s lady, so in the heat of (a not-so-sexy) passion, Mary releases her lady like Lola’s Pam and Mary’s her maker or something.
With that, Lola heads off on her mission of the week, and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with her baby. Okay, so it’s sort of connected, but distantly. When Narcisse shows up at the castle with a new bride in Estelle, a.k.a. the girl who helped Lola during childbirth and then lost her family to the plague, Estelle begs Lola for help. Shockingly, Narcisse has a reputation for brutally abusing his many wives, and Estelle isn’t super excited about marrying such a charming fella, no matter how fancy his clothes are.
But when Lola asks for Mary’s help, yet another fight ensues. Remember the anger that Lola was waiting for Mary to feel? Well she’s definitely feeling it now. Mary offers no help on the matter and instead tells Lola she can move out of the castle, like, now.
Don’t worry, Lola shakes it off like it ain’t no thang and decides to use her own resources to set up a plan for Estelle to leave the castle during the banquet for her son’s christening. The good news is that by the time the banquet comes around, Mary’s calmed down and is ready to be Lola’s bestie again. And her first act as renewed bestie? Threatening one of Narcisse’s guards with torture and making up some fake story about transporting Henry’s heart in order to get Estelle out of Narcisse’s grasp.
The bad news is that Estelle might get away, but after claiming she heard her parents calling her name, she jumps off a cliff and kills herself. Also, Narcisse claims all that murder stuff was just rumor. The poor guy’s never been in love before. (Enter Catherine?!)
NEXT: Francis finds his light
Lola’s situation aside, Mary spends the episode basking in the joy of… wait for it… being pregnant! After six weeks of suspecting it, she’s confirmed it and is ready to celebrate like all royals should—with sex! And not just any sex, but the happiest sex of Francis’ life, which of course will be interrupted by Catherine, who is never better than in these comedic moments. Turns out that Mary wasn’t the only one following her own pregnancy. After barging in on the king and queen naked, Catherine continues to cross all the lines by sitting on the bed with them and informing them that she had Mary’s pee tested weeks ago. Well, we all wondered how she’d occupy herself now that she’s queen mother.
Important note: Catherine’s comment about pregnant women being more susceptible to spirits. Surely that will come into play.
Although, sadly, Mary might not have to worry about the spirits. By the time the christening rolls around, she has agreed to be the godmother to Lola’s son… but she’s also lost her own son/daughter. On her way to the christening, Mary feels pain and asks Condé to take her back to her room, where they see the blood. But instead of ruining Francis and Lola’s big moment, Mary swears Condé to secrecy, changes her dress, and endures the pain like only a queen could.
Also enduring a pain of her own is Greer, who misses the christening altogether after accidentally sharing a dance with Leith at the banquet and being reminded of their undying passion. Apparently it was enough to scare her straight, but instead of doing the smart thing of taking Leith back to her chambers—I’m a bad influence and I don’t care—she rides all night to find Castleroy and convince him that she’s finally ready to give them a real chance. She claims she’s not a good partner for Leith, and though she wants passion, how can she be sure she won’t find it with Castleroy? Well, she can’t until they try that whole sleeping-together thing. And so they do.
Part of me feels like Castleroy is secretly very sexy, but the other (slightly bigger) part of me thinks things are going to go a little something like this. P.S. You know a lady came prepared when her dress comes undone that easily in the 16th Century.
But no matter how Castleroy ranks on skill, let’s just hope those two don’t make a baby because I don’t think Mary could take it. Francis finally finds her after the christening in her bed, and it’s evident that she’s lost the baby. One comment about how she wondered if it would have his curls, and I was a goner. I’m pretty sure I cried harder than Mary, but thankfully, they turn to happy tears when Francis takes Mary out of her room to reminisce. He talks about how they used to look for fireflies as kids. Some nights, the fireflies would come. Other nights they wouldn’t. And when they wouldn’t, Mary would cry. But it wasn’t the fireflies that made Francis happy. It was the thrill of waiting for them… with Mary. Get it? It’s a metaphor for the baby! The thrill is in the waiting… with Mary! Oh, these two.
If that’s not enough, Francis uses his powers as king to launch a bunch of Japanese lanterns into the sky, giving Mary the fireflies she deserves. And then he gives us what we deserve for enduring such an emotional hour: He tells Mary, “Whatever the future brings, you are my light.” I could not love them more.
With that, we’ve experienced the joy of a pregnancy, the loss of that same pregnancy, and the
excitement fear that comes with knowing a reckoning is officially underway. Oh, and we learned Lola’s baby’s name: John Phillip. (I will henceforth call him J.P. because I can.) Also, Catherine is officially in on the seeing-ghosts business, and now, I’m dreaming of a Catherine-Henry reunion in which they clean blood off carpets and just generally bicker.
Final note: How much are we loving Condé? Both he and Narcisse have really rounded out the show this season, and despite a few issues involving leather pants along the way, they seem to have found their places (and the right tailor).
King Henry’s ranking: Henry is feeling shockingly sincere and beautifully emotional.