Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reign (S2E03)

Reign is a 2013-2014 TV series, airing on the CW network, on Mary, Queen of Scots and her marriage to her first husband, King Francis II of France. The third episode of the second season garnered an audience of 1.36 million people.

Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Torrance Coombs as Sebastian "Basch"

Catherine arranges lavish ceremonies in preparation for Francis's coronation much to the dismay of Mary and Francis, who feel that such displays are distasteful after France was decimated by the plague. As Narcisse has delayed on delivering his grain, Francis and Mary try other French options, ie Lord Ducasse, but Narcisse is quick to put an end to this. They seek help from a German duke, Herr Schuler, who offers them grain in return for the freedom of Protestant prisoners imprisoned by Henry II. Herr Schuler becomes impatient with waiting for their pardon so Mary agrees to free the prisoners without Francis. Francis is angered by Mary's actions as it undermines his position at court. When Herr Schuler comes to free the prisoners, all of them have mysteriously disappeared. As it turns out, Conde was the one who had them smuggled out. With some convincing by Mary, he returns them and all is well.

Kenna becomes embarrassed by Basch's lack of formal home after the Plague especially when Lola has just been rewarded with a summer home in light of her being the mother of Francis's only son. Lady Barnard offers to help Kenna gain some land for cheap, however, it is revealed that this is in fact a bribe to get Basch to stop investigating a murder Lord Barnard has committed. Basch informs his wife that he means to pursue justice but Kenna burns the evidence as she fears retribution if Basch continues to ruffle the nobles' feathers.

Francis calls upon the aid of a summoner to confirm that the wet nurse was indeed possessed by the soul of his dead father. Henry knows that it was Francis who killed him. Francis and Mary have their coronation and are now King and Queen of France, ceremony and all.

I give this episode 2.75/5. The writers are getting SOME political nuance in there and I give them credit for that. I really liked the scene where Francis confronts Mary on weakening his position in the public eye - this show actually has brains for once? But there are still a bunch of stupid points throughout the episode. The wet nurse possessed by the soul of Henry is still ridiculous but it wasn't quite as funny as it was before. The conversation between Catherine and Narcisse was a little iffy. I'm aware of that Catherine de Medici wasn't especially fond of Mary, Queen of Scots. However, considering the main objective of the royal family is to propagate the royal dynasty, so trying to stop Mary from conceiving would be a little counter intuitive. True, if Mary were to give Francis an heir, Catherine's position would wane a little but we must always keep in mind that Catherine is Francis's mother - she is the mother of a King. The sex scene at the end was a little jarring. It came out of no where and I was just thought to myself 'Okay then...'. It was poorly done from a directing stand point as there was a point where I thought, 'She's on top of him waiting for the camera guy to say action so they can kiss...did you just reuse the same shot? . Progress is key. Still hoping for the best. 

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