Reign 1.09 Review: “For King and Country”


And we’re back!  Hello happy Reign fans, aren’t we just so excited to get back into Mary’s love triangle and the political dealings of Scotland and France?   “For King and Country” opens with Bash and Mary on horseback in the woods.  In case you forgot about the entire plot of Reign over winter hiatus, this reminds us that Mary fled the castle in order to protect Francis from his own prophecy.  Bash is also fleeing because his mother got caught in a plot to give him the throne.  And just as a reminder, Mary still wears beautiful dresses and Bash is still undeniably hot.

So Mary and Bash are fleeing the castle on horses when they come to an abrupt stop at the top of a cliff.  And since Mary had already decided she couldn’t metaphorically take the plunge with Francis, she looks and leaps with Bash instead straight into a large body of water that I’m going to decide is a lake.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Castle France, Francis is brooding for his fiancé Mary whom he bedded before the winter hiatus.  Since she left with his bastard brother without leaving a note, he’s confused and distraught as men are wont to do when you leave them.  Francis’ longing and shame for losing his fiancé transform his otherwise regular skinny boy beard into a patchy nightmare.  People, he’s sad!  Very sad.  And he can’t bring himself to shave.  His dad, King Henry, is in general angry and wants to get Mary back so she can continue to be a pawn in his political game.  King Henry suspects his wife and Queen is behind the plot but since this show runs for an entire hour, he obviously won’t put the pieces back together until the end.   At no point does it appear that Mary’s hand maidens are worried about her because they’re probably off staring at their beautiful costumes and braiding each other’s hair.

Back to Mary and Bash, our two beautiful dark-haired beauties that are hiding out at the Inn, attempting to avoid the French guards who are looking for them.  Conveniently they’re both soaking wet from their jump off the cliff and there’s only one bed which means only one solution.  Both of them must undress and keep each other warm in the same bed for (at least) the night.  It takes Mary a few short protests before she realizes that Bash might not be such a horrible bed partner so she asks him to turn around while she changes.  And not that we’re counting gentleman points but when Mary asks Bash not to look while she’s changing he TOTALLY DOES.  And not just a quick glance but a full blown stare.  But since he’s a handsome Frenchman running from the law, what were we expecting?  Oh yes, and at about this point you in the audience have forgotten poor Francis and his horrible facial hair.

So just when things are about to get into HBO territory, the guards knock at the door of the Inn.  They make a weak attempt to cut off Bash’s hands but Mary jumps out from underneath the bed to reveal herself and save Bash’s hands because how can she have a secret passion for a man without hands?

The guards take Mary and Bash back to French Court where the real conflict of the episode takes off.  Mary doesn’t want to wed Francis because of Nostradamus’ prophecies.  Francis wants to wed Mary because she did such a good job of convincing him that they were right for each other for the entirety of the series.  Queen Catherine would prefer Mary to go away because she’s been trying to kill her in every other episode.  King Henry wants to get Francis and Mary wed so he can conquer England and go back to seducing his many mistresses.  And Bash — well he’s been thrown in the dungeon for his behavior and I assume just wants to get out.

Mary takes the political reins and suggests that King Henry should legitimize his bastard son Bash and support a marriage between herself and Bash.  No one at court (including me) saw that coming.  This serves so many purposes you’d think Mary has been watching Game of Thrones.  For one — obviously she gets the benefit of saving Francis from the prophecy.  Two — this means that Queen Catherine is on the outs because she’s no longer mother of the soon to be Queen.  And three — this amps up the love triangle to level awesome.

Mary’s sneaky plot twist brings out the best in everyone.  Francis takes a break from looking like a romantic teenage vampire to punch out his brother Bash in the dungeon.  Queen Catherine tries to get Mary killed and fails.  King Henry catches his wife fleeing France for a convent and decides to imprison her instead.  Kenna talks about how awful it will be for Kenna if Bash becomes King and no one cares.  Clarissa stabs Nostradamus in the throat with a wooden stick that was hiding in her doll.  Oh yeah… who is Clarissa?  What are her motives?  Why is she killing people to prove Nostradamus’ prophecies?  We still don’t have a clue.  It’s like Reign took a page from Lost.

Anyways, this all culminates in Francis providing this week’s “drop the mic” speech.  He overhears everyone talking about Mary and Bash getting married and he decides to Kanye West style interrupt them to let everyone know that it’s all ok because he’s not bitter.  He had been groomed to be King of France his whole life but now that Bash is in his way he’ll take joy in having his own personal freedom and Bash will have all the problems that come with ruling France.  And for good measure he stares at Mary, says “long may ye reign” and walks away.  Francis gets 10 gentlemen points for staying classy and not shouting “and besides, I already tapped that.”

Then Bash and Mary meet up at the only window in the castle to talk about how Bash will be the next King of France.  Bash brings up the obvious “so … we must get married” and through the pregnant pause we see both of them shrug because it’s not such a bad idea for either of them anyways.

Bulleted observations:

-Obviously when King Henry rides to the Vatican to get the pope’s blessing on Bash, there’s going to be some differing opinions.

-If Nostradamus can see the future, why couldn’t he predict the stab in the throat?

-What is Francis going to get into while he’s off enjoying his personal freedom?  I think that he should seriously consider releasing that ambient music album he’s always been talking about.

-Wasn’t one of Mary’s ladies obsessed with Bash?

-King Henry is going to be preoccupied with the line of succession which means that Kenna will become obsessed with his lack of affection or as I call it “Kenna being Kenna.”

-This week’s winner is obviously Bash who got a long stare at a nearly naked Mary and ended up being the next in line for King of France.

[Photo via Frederick M. Brown/Stringer]



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