Friday, January 31, 2014

Reign (Episode 10)

Reign is a 2013-2014 TV series, broadcasting on the CW network, on Mary, Queen of Scots stay at the French court during the 1550s. The tenth episode of the series garnered an audience of 1.62 million people.

Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Alan Van Sprang as King Henry II of France
Torrance Coombs as Sebastian "Basch"

Henry travels to Rome in order to state Sebastian's case, leaving the man in charge of the kingdom while he is away. Basch shows no enthusiasm in the task and few nobles show any enthusiasm for the new heir. While listening to people who have come to court to have a word with the regent, Basch is almost assassinated by a woman with a poisoned knife. Thankfully, he is saved by his new body guard, Alec. It appears to be a plot on the part of Catherine and a dubious Lord Hugo.

One of the people brought up against a pregnant peasant by the name of Isobel. It turns out that Isobel is related to Basch through her traitor Father and if anyone were to discover their connection Basch would be disinherited immediately.  Mary and Sebastian managed to smuggle Isobel out of the castle but as it turns out, she is going into labor. The troop decides to spend the night in the forest to allow Isobel to give birth to her baby. Suddenly, they are surrounded by a group of pagans. The group avoids becoming fresh sacrifices when Isobel, Alec and Basch start chanting in a pagan language. Mary is clearly horrified by this display but she stays in order to help Isobel deliver her baby. It is a healthy baby girl. 

Catherine is left under the supervision of Kenna, Lola and Greer. Catherine tries to persuade Kenna to release her with promises of a secure future but Kenna is not fooled. Lola is unable to find any incriminating letters from Catherine so she decides to forge them and use them to blackmail Catherine instead.

Isobel dies soon after giving birth. The child is given to the castle's communal nurse maid and an excuse is given that Isobel tried to kill Basch but he did her in first. Basch declares his feelings for Mary and they honour Isobel with a pagan ceremony.

I give this episode a 1.5/5. The highlight of the episode was definitely when the pagans start surrounding the tent. You really get a sense of being hemmed in, with enemies at all sides. The chanting really added to the scene as well. Now for the bad side, logic. Mother flippin' logic. I know that Catherine is in a lower position than Mary but what gives Mary the right to order Catherine around. Yes, Mary is Queen of Scotland but she has as much power in France as Queen Elizabeth I of England has over Scotland. Technically, Mary has no official position to France. She's not Dauphine of France yet so I don't know why she's throwing her weight around. 

The entire time that Catherine is talking to Lola in her cell I kept thinking to myself, 'WHY DON'T YOU RUN?!" There are no guards and no one else is there. Lola is standing deeper in the cell than Catherine is so if she ran, she'd make it to the door first. Neither Basch nor Mary are on the premises, she could literally take back the palace if she wanted to (especially considering she has Lord Hugo's support). But nope, she just stands there.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reign (Episode 9)

Reign is a 2013 TV series, broadcasting on the CW network, on Mary, Queen of Scots stay at the French court during the 1550s. The series returned on January 23, 2014 after a six week hiatus.

Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Alan Van Sprang as King Henry II of France
Torrance Coombs as Sebastian "Basch"

Mary and Basch are caught by Henry's men and are taken back to the Palace. Henry refuses to allow Mary to leave as he still covets the British thrones. He insists that Mary marry Francis but Mary refuses in light of her knowledge of Nostradamus's prophecy. Henry threatens to have Sebastian executed if she continues decline his offer. Francis attempts to reason with Mary but she is adamant in her refusal, something supported by Queen Catherine. Queen Catherine suggests that Mary lie and say that she married Basch.
Mary pulls a fast one on Catherine and proposes that she will marry the heir of France...if that heir is now Sebastian; that Henry legitimize his bastard by Diane de Poitier. This enrages Catherine, as much as she wants to preserve her son's life, this act would destroy everything she had worked so hard to build. 

Kenna reveals that Aylee might have been poisoned and that the cup from which she drank was originally intended for herself. This cast doubts on whether or not Nostradamus's prediction was true or whether Catherine intended to make it true so as to convince Mary to leave Francis. Francis is dumbfounded by his sudden change in fortunes and takes out his anger on Basch. Desperate, Catherine gives order to her men to have Mary killed. 

Catherine's fortunes begin to dissipate as her plot to have Mary murdered is revealed and Henry intends to divorce her. Catherine is to be sent into exile but Henry decides instead to place her under house arrest because he wants to retain her vast network of poisons and secrets.

The episode ends with Christina, who has been held captive by Nostradamus, stabbing the prophet in the neck. 

I give this episode a 1/5. A real piss poor return if you ask me (Gosh darn, I hope the return of the fourth season of the Walking Dead is better). With the usual problems of overly dramatic lines at the wrong moment, this episode presents a  flurry of more. If Henry didn't want Mary gone, why did he just up and let her out? The ending to the last episode was literally her riding out into the sunset with Basch. Imagine how the episode could have gone if the guards had just told her 'no'. The only actions I understood in the story were Catherine's because they felt justified. The whole legitimization process was incredibly weird. I understood why they did that for Tomas because the King of Portugal didn't have an heir but Henry has (at least according to the show) TWO from Catherine. I don't know about you but if I were the King of Spain, I would not appreciate it if my wife was suddenly disinherited (Remember how they got married in the first episode?....Neither do I). Also, if I was Francis, I would say that I had sex with Mary and as such, she's soiled goods (Remember how that was important in the first episode?..... Neither do I).

I was reading my local newspaper when I saw an interview with Adelaide Kane, the actress that plays Mary in the show, and she addressed the problem of shows many inaccuracies, with something along the lines of 'I don't care about the inaccuracies, I am just making a fun show' ......... if you only wanted to make a "fun" show, then why did you need to base it of Mary, Queen of Scots' life? Why not make it about Marie, Queen of Historical-Inaccuracy-Land? The show is already so different from what actually happened that they could honestly start a new series and I would not have noticed. Now don't get me wrong, I haven't commented on the shows historical inaccuracies since the first episode but my point is still valid.