Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reign (Episode 2)

Reign is a 2013 TV series, airing on the CW network, on Mary, Queen of Scots stay at the French court during the 1550s. The second episode attracted an audience of 1.83 million people.

Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Alan Van Sprang as King Henry II of France
Caitlin Stasey as Keanna

As it turns out, Collin was not actually executed! He was mistaken for a prisoner set to be tortured so instead, he spends his days on the rack. That is, until he is released by a mysterious hooded figure - the same figure who saved Mary's virtue in the previous episode.

Francis's younger brother, Charles, becomes engaged to Madeleine a french noble, Mary accompanies the two princes when the girl is retrieved. That night, the court is hosting a party in honor of the betrothal. It is there that Mary meets the English ambassador, Simon Westbrook. He is incredibly hostile to Scotland's alliance with France, leading Mary to believe that it was the English, who were behind her attempted rape.

From Charles, Mary learns of the existence of a girl named Clarissa, who lives in the secret passageways of the castle. It was probably she, who saved Mary from certain doom. When Mary returns to her rooms, she notices one of her ladies in waiting wearing her dress. The lady suddenly begins to scream in pain - it is poisoned! When Mary returns with help, there is no body to be found. Mary attempts to obtain information from Clarissa through a game of die. Clarissa gives her the key to Simon's room.

In Simon's bed, Mary finds the lady-in-waiting that was supposedly poisoned. It was all just a ruse on the part of the English to scare Mary out of an alliance with France. He reminds Mary that so long as she and Francis are not married, she is weak and powerless. Mary, however, stands firm against the English threat. Mary and Francis once again talk about the possibility of them marrying.

Colin's body is found by Sebastian in the forest. When Francis arrives, so do dark figures. Basch chants a few magic words and they all disappear into the dense brush. It is a pagan language and Basch reveals that Collin was sacrificed and he warns his half-brother not to go into the woods.

Keanna's and King Henry's relationship has come to a stalemate. Keanna wants to be more than just a mistress, feeling that by giving herself to the King, she would be compromised and unable to find herself a husband. But Henry demonstrates that being the King's favorite could expand her horizons instead of limiting them.

Francis confronts his Mother regarding the many plots against Mary, warning Queen Catherine that she is to leave Mary alone. He and Mary are now united, even though it is not yet in marriage, in order to stand up against her enemies. 

I give this episode 2/5. Perhaps it's because I have grown desensitized to how horrendously wrong this series is but I thought that this episode was better than the last. Having Collin escape, only to have him killed off again was pretty useless, in my opinion. Considering the target audience that the show is intended for and the overall tone of the first episode, I did not expect to see the darker scenes that were featured in this episode and it was a little off putting. I apologize for bashing on the White Queen's use of magic because it was leagues ahead of what Reign is trying to do. I suppose one of the episode's better moments was the developing romance between Francis and Mary - the acting is still terrible though. Will the show ever get a "fresh" rating? I highly doubt it but still, it didn't completely rain on my Thursday night viewing. 

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