Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reign (Episode 16)

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.

Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Alan Van Sprang as King Henry II of France
Anna Popplewell as Lola
Caitlin Stasey as Kenna
Celina Sinden as Greer

Henry continues to act erratically, for example, he poured candle wax into a nobleman's ear for not doing expressly what the King asked, and Catherine continues to worry. The palace is abuzz with the coming "Queen of the Bean Day", an event where the female servants search for a bean in a cake and whoever should be so lucky as to find it becomes Queen for the day. Greer introduces to Mary her new fiance, Lord Julien, and Leith begins to have some doubts as to whether or not he wants to go to Spain and give up Greer.

A servant girl named Penelope finds the bean and is proclaimed by Catherine to be Queen of the Bean. Basch returns from exile in order to get some help for Rowan. He immediately placed under arrest by Henry for killing Francis's guard but Mary insists that her husband did not order them to murder him. Catherine walks Penelope through her experience as Queen of the Bean, even going so far as to provide the girl with an aphrodisiac. Leith and Greer steal a quick kiss but they are caught by Lord Julien who promptly breaks off their engagement.

Francis, Mary and Basch meet with Olivier to get to the heart of this monster mystery. Olivier insists that the monster is real but Nostradamus proves that the monster is actually just a man. Mary begins to notice that Henry is unwell after he asks her to introduce Penelope to sexual intercourse but Penelope doesn't need Mary as she is able to appease King Henry's bondage tendencies. Greer  and Mary encourage Lola to consider Julien as a potential suitor. While following a lead on Rowan's disappearance, Francis falls into the ice and it's up to the brother he's been so contentious with lately to save him.

Feeling down on her luck, Greer surprised that Lord Castleroy is still in pursuit of her. He admits that he is not the man of her dreams but still loves her and will provide for her. Greer accepts his proposal. The brothers reconcile and learn that it was in fact, Henry, who ordered the execution of his illegitimate son. Olivier asks Nostradamus to dance but he refuses. He later explains to her that the last person he danced with was his wife who had since died from the plague. Nostradamus is plagued with guilt over being unable to save them but Olivier reminds him that he has saved her and they kiss. Leith is sent off which causes Greer much heartache. Penelope undermines Catherine by telling Henry of the vial. It turns out that Henry had the contents of the vial poured into Catherine's drink and the actual Queen faints upon learning that she is drugged. Henry forces Kenna and Basch into a sword wedding, proclaiming Basch to be Master of Horse and Hunt. Basch admits to Mary that his feelings for her remain unchanged and he lied before when he said they did.

I give this episode a 3.5/5. Other than the ridiculously named "Queen of the Bean" event and the stereotypical depiction of bondage, this episode was one of the best of the series so far. King Henry II's madness is pretty terrifying to watch, especially seeing Kenna reduced to tears during the wedding ceremony. The tension reached by this episode was pretty high with Francis nearly dying in a frozen lake. It had a nice way of tying in all the girls to this episode which is something I criticized about show early on. I thought this episode really showed the depths to which these people had fallen and, perhaps its the sadistic side of me, I thought the show did a better job at it than its happier episodes.

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