Lilith Luvs TV

I'm just a girl sitting in front of her TV asking it to entertain her.

Challenge Accepted - April - The A to Z Blogger Challenge


The A to Z Blogger Challenge

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 01, 2014, this blog will be participating in the A-Z blogger challenge. Since this is a blog that is all about reviewing awesome TV shows both past and present and I have a flair for alliteration, my theme for the challenge will be: Favorites, Finales and Firsts.

My favorite episodes will all come from some of my favorite shows that I am currently still watching are still currently on air. The finale episodes that I will write about will come from some of favorite shows from the past and are all currently not on air any longer. The episodes that fall under the ‘firsts’ category are reviews of a show’s pilot episode and they run the gambit from me loving it and the show is still airing to I hated every second of the episode and I'm glad they are no longer airing the show.

So be sure to check out my blog every Monday-Saturday during the month of April to read about some worthwhile TV shows both past and present.

My first post will be Arrow 1x23: Sacrifice. It falls into the category of 'favorites'. A powerful episode and arguably one of the best season finales of the 2012-2013 TV season.

ps: Every Sunday will be dedicated to posting about all the other shows I’ve shirked to do the challenge in one big (but shortened format) mega post.

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Reign – 1.16 – Monsters – Review: Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.


‘Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.’

‘A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.’
- Albert Camus

Hey Royals! The plot certainly did thicken this week on Reign, didn’t it?

Reign was all I wanted and even just a little bit more this week. So many twists, turns and jaw dropping moments. I felt like we were back at the beginning of this season when almost every episode left me panting with shock and awe and wishing it was Thursday again, already. Reign is turning into a sexy and pithy hybrid of King Lear and Game of Thrones and I for one love it.

Time to dig into this week’s episode of Reign…
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Title: Monsters | Writer: Drew Lindo & Wendy Riss Gatsiounis | Director: Jeff Renfroe
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Long Story Short

Synopsis: Henry continues to behave erratically, worrying everyone. A servant named Penelope (Kathryn Prescott) wins the Queen of the Bean contest and becomes "Queen" for a day. She is able to sexually satisfy Henry and becomes his new mistress, deliberately undermining Catherine. Bash asks Francis for help hunting "the darkness" in the woods, though they are unable to find any trace of it. The brothers reconcile when Bash saves Francis' life, and they learn that it was Henry who ordered the guards to kill Bash. Greer's new fiancé, Lord Julien (Giacomo Gianniotti), catches her kissing Leith and calls off the engagement. Castleroy intervenes when Leith is sent to prison, arranging that Leith be allowed to become a soldier. Castleroy proposes to Greer again, and she accepts. At Mary and Greer's urging, Lola approaches Julien as a potential suitor. Olivia and Nostradamus grow close and kiss. In order to ensure that Bash will no longer threaten Francis' marriage, Henry has Bash immediately wed to Kenna.
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Character Contemplations

Bash – I like Bash, it is no secret. I wanted him back in the castle where he belonged. I got my wish. I also got my other wish in the form of Bash and Francis reconciling. I do wish that Bash was able to save Rowan. But two out of three wishes ain’t so bad. Bash being forced to marry Kenna was a twist I did not see coming AT ALL. I also like how it managed to get Bash a title, a title that will help him on his quest to avenge Rowan’s death. Is it too early to dub him ‘Protector of the Realm? I enjoyed the scenes between Torrance and Adelaide immensely. They really sell the struggle of the relationship between Bash and Mary. Mary cares about him deeply but her heart and her duty is to Francis first and foremost. Bash is still obviously and desperately in love with Mary but it actually wasn’t his primary reason for returning to the castle, just an added bonus. She offered him a way out but he had unfinished business and would not rest until it was done and I really like that particular characteristic in Bash. Will Bash be able to weasel out of this marriage? Will he and Kenna fall in love eventually? Just laughing at myself and all the other Royals who were absolutely convinced that Bash was going to end up married to Lola once upon a short time ago.

Catherine – There is just something about how the lovely Megan Follows portrays Catherine. One minute I love to hate her. The next I’m absolutely smitten with Catherine and find myself actively rooting for her to succeed. The latter and not former was totally the case this week. I do just love when she and Nostradamus are together. Even better when they are hatching plans. Catherine has a genuine concern for not only Henry but her country’s well being too. That’s a drastic change from the beginning of the season and refreshing one as well. I feel sorry for Penelope because I would totally rather have Catherine as a friend than an enemy. Penelope is about to get all kinds of hell reigned down upon her and I’m going to love watching Catherine destroy her piece by piece. You know, sometimes this show does feel like Gossip Girl (and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, I was a major super fan). The best thing about Gossip Girl was when everyone came together for the big take down at the end of the season and I think that’s just what’s about to happen in this case and make no mistake about Catherine is definitely Queen B.

Francis – Another week, another point for Francis in the Win column when it comes to winning me over. I’m so happy that he and Bash are on the road to reconciliation. As I stated last week, I adore the chemistry between Toby and Torrance and I find the brothers’ relationship to be the best one on the show. I really didn’t appreciate the forced love triangle but hopefully they will gloss over that and find something else to focus on. Francis was very sweet with Mary and enjoyed the little screen time they had together. Toby really brought in the scene where he has to defend Bash from Henry, kudos all around to everyone in that scene actually. I’m very impressed he is not rushing Mary on the heir front. But it is curious that Lola got pregnant so quickly and Mary isn’t with child yet. Historically, Mary did have one child, James I, whose father was Henry Stuart. I’m still very anxious to see if they go by the history books or if they jump the shark. I know I want Toby around as long as possible so here’s to hoping they have a work-around in the works.

Greer – When it comes to Reign, I really have to be careful what I wish for. I know last week I said I wanted Greer’s storyline to be spiced up a bit but not like this. I also said she was the only one who hadn’t caused a scandal or dishonored her family in any way. I guess I spoke too soon. Truth be told, I’d rather Greer be happy than Lola since she is the most deserving, loyal and dutiful one out of all of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting. But at last we know Lord Castleroy genuinely likes Greer and will probably give her the world without her even asking.

Henry – A mad king is born. While it is super cool that Alan van Sprang gets some juicy material to work with I fear for the character’s safety and thus the actor’s season 2 status. But on the other hand if they off Henry then Francis will become king and we know how short a time his “reign” lasted. Henry has gone mad and they are really playing up this factor. I thought it was terrifyingly brilliant that they had Henry pour candle wax into a man’s ears because he hadn’t listened to him. When Henry went after Bash, I was actually afraid Bash was going to die.

Keena – At least she isn’t dead at the hands of Henry. She is married to a man with a title, even if he is a bastard. I wondered if Henry dies if can she get annulled. As long as the marriage isn’t consummated, I think that is plausible. Some might say she got just what she deserved but it’s definitely not what Bash deserves. I hate that Keena is now “settled” down because her character was getting so much more wise and interesting. I have a feeling this is not where the story ends for Kenna, it’s only the beginning.

Lola – Not too much to say on the Lola front. She is tricking the nice, sweet and kind Julien into marrying her and is basically trying to cuckold him. I know what is at stake for Lola but something about just sticks in my craw. Do I want Lola to be happy? Of course, I do. Does Julien deserve to be saddled with a woman who is in such a predicament, unbeknownst to him? I don’t think so. The only way things work for me in that relationship is if she comes clean to him and he accepts it. Maybe him blowing off Greer and seeing her happy with Lord Castleroy will make him reevaluate some things. I just don’t see Lola as the type of person who could be happy living a lie. If she can, then I have grossly misjudged her character. The biggest questions for Lola are: 1) Is she actually going to have that baby? 2) Will Francis find out that she is pregnant with his child. 3) If Francis does find out about the baby how will that affect his relationship with Mary (especially if she is not with child but the time Lola’s baby is popped out)?

Mary – Mary is still trying to juggle a lot of things. She is fretting about not being pregnant. She is trying to keep Lola’s secret as well as trying to find her a husband. Did I mention that all of her ladies have now been involved in a bit of scandal (Lola’s has yet to be discovered but still)? Mary’s future kingdom is now being run by a mad king and Bash is back in the castle and that just can’t bode well for the relationship between her and Francis. He will serve as a constant reminder whether he is married to Kenna or not.

Penelope – Penelope went from sweet and charming to manipulative in about .5 seconds flat. I feel bad for her because Henry is not the true power in the castle, Catherine is. She has now crossed Catherine and heaven help her because she is about to get torn to pieces. I do like that she came across all doe-eyed and sweet only to be revealed as a woman who was reaching to leave her station and lot in life. But she might as well have been named Icarus because her wax wings have now flown to close the sun and they are melting and she is falling to her death. Queen Penelope might have a nice ring to it but Catherine will get her crown back at all costs.

Olivia – I will never forgive her for running away when she was needed most. But I do think that this is a far more interesting storyline for her than being just another royal mistress. I like what she brings out in Nostradamus. That kiss was just utter perfection, was it not?

Nostradamus – Finally, we’re learning more and more about Nostradamus. His backstory is so tragic and compelling. But on the same token he is not above getting down and dirty with his bestie Catherine to plot and hatch schemes. The nature of Nostradamus as he is presented on the show is so dichotomous. I enjoy it thoroughly. I’m still waiting on the other shoe to drop when it comes to him. There has just got to be more to him than meets the eye. Tell me he’s a secret pagan or maybe his father is the man that is ‘The Darkness’. I’m dying for a plot twist and since Reign has been in the business of granting my wishes as of late I’m eager to see if they will oblige me on this front as well.

Awards

Character of the Night
• Grand Prize – Henry
• Runner up – Catherine
• Third place – Penelope

Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize – Bash & Francis
• Runner up – Catherine & Penelope
• Third place – Greer & Lola

Line of the Night
• Henry: Lady Greer. Well done with that kitchen boy. That nasty gossip is the first interesting thing I’ve ever heard about you.

Scene of the Night
• Bash saves Francis’s life.
• Francis pleads with Henry to not harm Bash.
• Penelope turns the tables on Catherine and ‘poisons’ her.

Favorite lady-in-waiting
• Greer (Three weeks in a row, that’s a new record)

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when Reign channels its inner Game of Thrones by having a ‘mad’ king.

The 'Woman in a Refrigerator' Award
• Rowan, oh how we hardly knew ye. Rowan was a pretty cool chick. I wanted more of her so naturally they killed her off. I never thought that Reign would become ‘THAT kind of show’ where they needlessly kill off women to add to a male character’s man-pain. If you are not familiar with the term, I highly suggest you Google it, it’s a quite interesting subject.

Highlights


Memorable Moments
1. Henry is walking around barefoot as he forces Bash and Kenna to wed.
2. Henry wants to watch Mary give Penelope pointers about how to please a ruler.
3. Nostradamus and Olivia kiss.

Laudable Lines
1. Henry: This has been the source of my fury, people refusing to listen to their king. Or are your ears full of wax?
2. Mary: It’s alright to miss him even though he angered you.
3. Nostradamus: I see your plan to keep the king out of sight has failed.
4. Mary: Well, bully for you on a speedy recovery.

Superb Scenes
1. Catherine tells Penelope that she wants to be her friend and encourages her to think long term.
2. Catherine and Nostradamus are back to being plotting, scheming, conniving besties.
3. Penelope turns into a super vixen and gives Henry everything he’s been craving sexually.

Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Henry makes Bash marry Kenna.
• Greer gets caught kissing Leith and that in turn dissolves her engagement.
• Greer and Mary push Lola to try and woo Julien into getting engaged to her.
• Penelope is a devious and manipulative little tart.

Lowlights

• The darkness is just a man, so there really isn’t much hope left for something truly creepy and supernatural, now.

Miscellaneous

Style Spotlight: I really liked the first black and gold dress we spot Mary in. I think it’s a trend. [See last week’s review]
Fun Fact: Did you know that one of King Henry II’s sons, Henri d'Angoulême was actually legitimized and became governor of Provence?

Tasty Tidbit: It is implied that Nostradamus was one of the few people who were naturally resistant to The Plague. A small number of people are naturally resistant to bubonic plague due to unusual protein structures. The bacteria's enzymes cannot interact with these proteins easily. This protein structure seems to be tied to a specific gene. Before the 1340s, only about 0.2% of the European population appeared to have had this gene when we examine DNA from their remains. Now a much larger percentage of the Europeans have the gene that makes them resistant to Yersinia Pestis. The 0.2% of people who were immune back in the 1300s survived the genetic bottleneck and then passed on this immunity to a significant number of their modern descendants. Today, if you are a Caucasian American, the odds are about 15% that you have inherited this gene.

History Lesson: Henry suffered an untimely death in a jousting tournament held to celebrate the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis at the conclusion of the Eighth Italian War. I wonder if they will work this into the plot. I’d really love to see Reign do a tournament.

Side Notes: Am I the only one shipping Nostradamus and Olivia? I really like those characters together and the two actors have really nice chemistry together. I think I like them together because it keeps Olivia out of Francis’s orbit, if I’m going to be honest.

Grade: A
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The Numbers Game aka Ratings
Our numbers are coming up slowly but surely. We scored a .6 in the demo and had about 1,400,000 viewers this week. To put that in perspective, The Vampire Diaries only scored a .8 in the demo and had about 1,730,000 viewers. But don’t expect them to come up too much more for the time being. I expect the show to go back to getting .7’s on a regular once we begin to gear up for May Sweeps and the season finale. If you really have your heart set on trending, make sure to not over use the episode title in tweets prior to 7 pm EST.

Remember, even if you don't have Nielsen's box you can still help the ratings (a little) in your own way by live tweeting with show. You can pitch in by using the show's hashtag (#Reign) and the show's episode title in every tweet you make about the show on Thursdays. Prime tweeting hours to get the show trending are usually between 7 pm EST until about 1 am EST (after the west coast airing has gone off).

If you are Canadian and you’d like to help the show on the social media front, don’t live tweet on Wednesdays; do it on Thursdays instead with the US Royals.

I’d highly suggest for you to stream the last three episodes of Reign from the CW site during this two week hiatus as well. Remember TV is a business and business is about making money. TV makes money from advertising. Click those ads when streaming, Royals!

Friendly Reminders
Reign returns with an all new episode, ‘Liege Lord’ on April 10, 2014.
Don’t forget to watch and live tweet with the show (@CWReign) & me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.

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Well, now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all interesting Reign articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work.

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Teen Wolf – 3.24 – The Divine Move – Review: Dude, it’s, Beacon Hills.


‘Dude, it’s, Beacon Hills.’

‘Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.’
- Norman Schwarzkopf


Hey packmates! Did you survive the last Moonday for the next three months? I did; but just barely.

Well, season 3B of Teen Wolf has come to a close. I don’t know about you but I’m still filled with pain, strife, chaos and especially confusion. I have to hand to Jeff, I definitely did lose my mind over the course of the season and parts of it still haven’t returned, I must confess. It’s been a long, strange, hard and emotional trip and I don’t think I will ever be over the death of Allison Argent or the fact that Kate Argent is back from the dead.

So, I guess I’ll just jump right into the recap and review…
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Title: The Divine Move |Writer: Jeff Davis |Director: Russell Mulcahy
Synopsis: With the Nogitsune in control of the Oni, Scott and Derek call upon their friends and allies to make a final stand.
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The Gist

Allison Argent Memorial
• Chris keeps it together because it’s what he does.
• Isaac breaks down in front of Chris and Chris is there to catch him, hug him and comfort him.
• Scott breaks down after the battle has been won but so much has been lost and Melissa is there to comfort him.
• Allison figured it out and her father and Isaac made sure her sacrifice did not go to waste. They defeat the Oni with her remaining arrowheads.
• I guess we couldn’t fit Lydia’s reaction in this episode for some reason…

It’s Harry Potter all over again
Another person dies in their loved one’s arms and I’m just can’t believe Jeff pulled a JK Rowling and killed one twin and let the other live. Who gave Jeff Davis the right? It certainly wasn’t me. I was never a fan of the twins but I certainly didn’t want them to exit Beacon Hills like this. I do find it a little cheap that did they recycled that particular plot point. Can Allison have nothing unique and special to herself for Pete’s sake?

New Pack Member?
I think we might not have one (Kira) but two new pack members, the second being, Malia of course. There has to be a purpose to Malia besides the Peter man pain/betrayal sub plot. Please let her be a piece of the puzzle that allows Talia Hale to be resurrected. I love Shelley Hennig and I think she deserves more than to be one third of a love triangle (again).

Surprise, bitch! I bet you thought you saw the last of me.
OK. Some people are happy Kate Argent is back. I’m not one of them. It almost feels like they are trying too hard to fill Crystal Reeds spot on so many fronts and bringing Kate back is the one that smacks me the hardest. Oh, now Chris only has Gerrad as his last family member, let’s bring back Kate. Why did they have to make her a creature to boot? It’s the thing I’m least excited about for next season. Hopefully they kill her once and for all in season 4.

Side Note: Is Peter even a werewolf? I mean the only person he bit/scratched that turned into an actual werewolf was Scott.

Awards

Character of the Night
For me, it was a tie between Chris Argent & Scott.

Best Character Interactions
Chris Argent and Scott
Melissa and Douche!Dad

Most Memorable Moment
• Derek wakes up from a dream within in dream to realize he’s been shot and falls to his knees just to see Kate Argent transform when the smoke clears.

Line of the Night
• Danny: Dude, it’s, Beacon Hills.

Scene of the Night
• The nogitsune and his oni wage war on the hospital and the sheriff’s office.

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when Teen Wolf feels like Harry Potter in the form of killing one twin and leaving the other alive.
• That awkward moment when Teen Wolf feels like Supernatural by creating a classic, shocking and unforgettable scene and incorporating the song ‘Bad Moon Rising’.

The What a Relief Award
•There was a rumor that Gerrad would be making a stop in Beacon Hills for the finale, I’m glad he didn’t.

Highlights


Memorable Moments
1. The Chris and Isaac hug.
2. Scott bites the nogitsune.
3. Lydia clings to Stiles for dear life for about 80% of the episode.
4. When Stiles tries to stab himself with the sword and realizes it’s a trick.

Notable & Quotable
•Scott: How are you doing this?
Chris: It’s what we do.

•Stiles: What is it?
Kira’s Mom: Tea.
Stiles: Like what magi tea?
Kira’s Mom: No, chamomile. Drink it.

•Stiles: OK, so is anyone feeling divinely inspired?

•Derek: You don’t fight for a leader. You fight for a leader’s cause.

•Nogitsune: Hi, there. Could you page Melissa McCall for me?


Squee Worthy Scenes
1. Scott breaks down and Melissa comforts him.
2. Chris Argent kills the remaining Oni with the arrowheads Allison made.
3. Sheriff Stilinski tells Deputy Parrish to hold on just a little longer.
4. Derek explains Scott’s motivations to the twins.
5. Chris coaches Scott on what to say to the police.

Lowlights


• Very little time for the grieving of Allison.
• Kate Argent is back.
• They are trying to make Douche!Dad more sympathetic. But why, sometimes a show just need a character that the audience can just bash guilt free. But I guess we do have our Umbridge in the form of Gerrad, so fine, Scott can have two parents who are decent and flawed human beings.

Miscellaneous

Theme
• Regression to the mean.

Grievance List
• We didn’t find out what Stiles first name is.
• We didn’t find out what Papa Stilinski’s first name was.
• I thought we were supposed to have Gerrad at the end of the season (not that I’m complaining).
• Really, silver is what destroyed the Oni? OK, whatever.
• At times this episode felt a little anti-climactic.
• Only Scott is shown literally breaking down over Allison’s death.

Burning Questions
1. What exactly is Kate? Why exactly isn’t she a regular werewolf? Is this another kanima situation?
2. Shouldn’t Kira’s mom be deteriorating or something?
3. What happened to Meredith? Head canon: Coach adopted her.
4. What exactly is Peter up to on the Malia front?
5. What are they going to do with the character of Chris Argent next season?

Wait, what?
1. Danny knows about werewolves!
2. Malia seems awfully well adjusted.
3. Kira is trying to get up in Scott’s grill (and well, probably pretty much everything else, awful quickly).

FYI: In case you missed it, Teen Wolf will be returning in a few short but painful months on June 23, 2014 for its 4th season. Mark your calendars and find something else to pass the time.

Fun Fact: Season 4 is supposed to focus a lot more on Lydia and her growing banshee powers.

Tasty Tidbit: Braeden is coming for season 4, so look forward to another BAMF chick kicking some major butt!
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Grade: B-
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Plugs & Shameless Self-Promotion
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Well, now it’s your turn to tell let me know what you thought about this episode. Go, ahead, don’t be shy, sound off in the comments.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all positive Teen Wolf articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work.

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Arrow – 2.16 – Suicide Squad – Review: It’s a complicated world, Johnny.


‘It’s a complicated world, Johnny.’

‘We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.’
- William James


Prologue
Well, Arrowheads, they finally gave us what we wanted, an episode that was truly Diggle centric, I mean even the flashbacks revolved around him. While I enjoyed episode 2x06: Keep Your Enemies Closer, which was another Diggle centric episode, it really only served to whet my appetite whereas this one satisfied me fully at the end of the hour. Do you know what an episode that is character centric is supposed to do? It’s supposed to make all the other storylines feel secondary and boy was that the case this week, more so than usual.

Kudos all around, we’ve finally got a good head start on fixing the Diggle conundrum. But now, I’m ready to see a true partnership between Diggle and Ollie as well as some more screen time between Diggle and Felicity. Felicity doesn’t really seem to have anyone outside the Arrow Cave and even if she did she doesn’t have anyone she can talk to about the vigilante stuff, so that should naturally fall to Diggle.

Well, enough squawking, time to get to the meat and potatoes of this review….
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Title: Suicide Squad |Writers: Bryan Q. Miller & Keto Shimizu| Director: Larry Teng

Synopsis: AMANDA WALLER SENDS THE SUICIDE SQUAD OUT ON THEIR FIRST MISSION — Following Slade’s (Manu Bennett) return and his promise to make good on his threat to destroy Oliver’s loved ones, Oliver focuses all his energy on preparing for battle with his former friend. Sarah tries to help but, fearing for her safety, Oliver pushes her away. Meanwhile, Diggle is recruited by Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. to stop a warlord he knew from his time in Afghanistan. Always the solider, Diggle agrees to help. However, he’s not prepared when Amanda introduces him to the rest of the team – Deadshot (guest star Michael Rowe), Bronze Tiger (guest star Michael Jai White) and Shrapnel (guest star Sean Maher), all criminals he and Arrow helped put away. Lyla defends the team and explains the world is a complicated place, but Diggle isn’t sure he agrees. When the mission takes a dangerous turn, Diggle is forced to make a difficult decision. =====================================================================
My thoughts about the writers behind this episode…
I like this writing duo. I want them to be the go to team when it comes to writing for the character of Diggle. Please make it so, Andrew, Greg and Marc. This episode had it all, action, comedy, relationship check-ins, trauma and drama. I liked all of unexpected the positive character interactions that were featured in this episode. I also like the trend of streamlining the story down to an A and B story with glimpses of the other stories in very small doses simmering in the background. I loved that the flashbacks belonged to Diggle. But at the same time I want the writers to know that it’s OK to not have flashbacks in an episode. I think for a lot of fans it would be a welcome relief. I know it would be for me. Just going to throw that thought out there…

My thoughts about the director of this episode…
All I have to say is welcome aboard, Larry Teng. I really loved this guy’s directorial aesthetic. He had a long list of interesting and unexpected shots. The scenes actually had time to breathe. This episode had really good transitions as well. The tracking shots were seamless and smooth. He pulled fantastic performances from everyone involved. Can’t wait to have the guy back.
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Yeah, for me! I said it was all connected when we got a flash of Amanda Waller’s shoes in episode 2x12: Tremors, when she offered Bronze Tiger an out and I was right. Amanda Waller is the woman in the red shoes from the last flashback scene of season 1. And Amanda and Oliver seem to have past partnership of some sort. I’m guessing Diggle doesn’t know that just yet. Also, Diggle hasn’t told Oliver that someone he doesn’t believe Oliver is aware knows about his secret, he’s been sitting on that for months. Turns out, that doesn’t matter much.
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Character Contemplations

Amanda Waller – Are we sure she wasn’t suppose the villain of this week’s episode? For a ‘good guy’ she sure was making some questionable choices. You know the old saying, ‘Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger – I guess he was just an ace in the hole to have. I hope they invite Michael Jai White back for some solo action one of these days because he is a fantastic martial artist and we have yet to see him unleashed. He does gets bonus points for saving Lyla though.

Floyd Lawton/Deadshot – Anti-heroes make the best heroes, especially when the world is becoming more grey by the day. Deadshot is honest, sassy and as Diggle mentioned showed more honor than a woman who is in charge of the saving the world. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

John Diggle – Poor Diggle! His super cool code name is not so cool or so super, it’s just Freelancer. But I love how the writers managed to give me all of things that I have been missing about Diggle, such as him being a moral compass, a strategic and tactical planner and an honorable man who still struggles with hard choices every day. I also liked that they allowed him to be funny, soft and charismatic. I really hope this character development doesn’t cease or get lost in a barrage of big action sequences and empty gestures that are sure to come during the spiral of insanity that they are pushing all the way up until the season 2 finale.

Felicity Smoak – Felicity is almost back to her old, spunky, competent self. We haven’t really been seeing a lot of her since Sara showed up and let’s not even go there with how out of character they been having Felicity acting since Sara showed up. But I must say whenever Emily Bett is called on to bring out the adorkable charm, she delivers. Though her screen time was minimal, her impact in the episode was definitely maximized.

Laurel Lance – Funny, likable and being the bigger person. I like this Laurel. Can this be the Laurel we keep? I’m not so sure that alcoholism was the culprit or root of her problems but I suppose the tenets of AA might help Laurel get a fresh perspective and cope with the crazy situation that is her life. I’ll take it if this gives me a more in control Laurel who has finally seemed to come across as relatable and likable to her haters.

Lyla Michaels – I don’t know what to make of Lyla. It seems as though she was almost a bit of honey pot to lure John into mission. I like the chemistry between Aubrey and David. I also like that Lyla and Diggle have a mature love as well as a relationship that is honest and open. But it is very obvious that they see things from two drastically different points of view and would probably best be suited for a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship over any other kind, as the line ‘when we talk we tend to get divorced’ was clearly shown to indicate. Lyla isn’t the one’, or ‘the one that got away’’, she is just a detour, a lovely, fun detour but a detour nonetheless in Diggle’s love life.

Mark Scheffer/Shrapnel – He was about as useless as his first appearance. I’m glad he’s dead and we never have to see him again. He will definitely go down in Arrow history as one of the most useless and lackluster villains in the Rogue’s Gallery.

Oliver Queen – Angry, impulsive and on a rampage. I see Oliver is regressing back to all his old ways that I absolutely hate. Not only was he pushing away the people that love him the most he was burning bridges with dangerous (but more importantly, interesting) people. Oliver has a thick skull and doesn’t appear to be learning from past mistakes. I’m losing my patient with Oliver. I want to root for him and just when I think I can do it he goes off and does something that I can’t get behind. I need Oliver to grow up and soon. I thought Oliver has learned, on more than one occasion that love is THE most powerful weapon in a hero’s arsenal so just embrace it, let it wash over you and let it make you invincible already.

Sara Lance – I’m interested and invested in Sara and Laurel reconciling. I’m not really interested in the love saga of Sara and Ollie. I’m barely interested in the crime fighting partnership between Black Canary and The Arrow. When is the last time Sara even suited up and took it to the streets and kicked a little butt? I like Sara best when she’s trying to be a hero, I don’t care much for the interpersonal mingling between her and Team Arrow. If anything she and her father and her sister should be in counseling together. She should not be in a romantic relationship with Oliver; if not out of respect for her sister then out of respect for herself. Sara is starting to look suspiciously like a user and an abuser and it’s a shame…

Awards


Character of the Night
• Diggle (like duh, how could it not be?)

Most Improved Aspect
• The writing of Deadshot as well as Michael Rowe now having something to sink his teeth into and really help audience connect and care and root for him.

Best Character Interactions
• 1st place – Diggle and Deadshot
• 2nd place – Diggle and Felicity
• 3rd place – Laurel and Oliver

Scene of the Night
• Diggle saves Deadshot

Line of the Night
• Harley Quinn: Do you two cuties need some counseling? I’m a trained therapist.

Most Memorable Moment of the Night
• Felicity in her PJ’s

The Stalker of the Week
• Slade Wilson/Deathstroke

The ‘Wait, Why Are We Supposed to Care?’Award – Any and all scenes Oliver was involved, they fell super flat for me this week. I don’t like ‘on the rampage’ Ollie or when he acts before thinking.

That awkward moment when the online fandom begins to turn on you… – This one goes to Sara Lance/Caity Lotz. Shippers going to ship and no one likes Sara and Ollie together, apparently.

Fan Girl Squee of the Night – The Harley Quinn cameo.
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The Basics

Villain – Another underwhelming, under developed baddie. If I hadn’t read the tie-in comic books I would have completely disengaged on this front. Let’s just be honest, it was basically the only way to tie Diggle into the Suicide Squad’s mission and we all just went with it.

Theme – Dangerous liaisons in a grey world.

Recurring Elements
• Oliver pushing people away.
• Oliver making not so smart decisions.
• The Moira/Oliver feud.
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Highlights


Memorable Moments
1. Deadshot blows a kiss at Diggle.
2. Deathstroke stalking an oblivious Oliver.
3. Laurel looking for a job in retail.

Notable & Quotable
1. Felicity: We are still in the
2. Deadshot: Give me a break. This ain’t no taskforce. Let’s just call it what it is. Welcome to the Suicide Squad.
3. Laurel (Filling out an application): Do you have previous experience in retail? Does shopping count?

Super Scenes
1. Laurel gives Oliver some helpful advice.
2. Diggle confronts Lyla about the team A.R.G.U.S. has put together.
3. Felicity brings Diggle some hot cocoa (without marshmallows,)
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Miscellaneous


Fun Facts: The Ostrander Suite is named for John Ostrander who is an original and well known writer for the Suicide Squad title.

Tasty Tidbits: We got our first Captain Marvel/Shazam reference of the series in the form of Khandaq. Khandaq is a fictional Middle Eastern country ruled by the Captain Marvel/Shazam villain Black Adam. Black Adam was born in Khandaq and first gained his powers while a prince of the country in ancient times.

Style Spotlight: Lyla’s blue dress (to quote Diggle: Well, damn…)

Side Notes: Don’t expect to see Harley Quinn again. The voice was provided by Tara Strong and the silhouette was provided by model/actress Cassidy Alexa.
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Grade: A
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Plugs & Shameless Self-Promotion
ArrowCast on iTunes
ArrowCast on Facebook
ArrowCast on Twitter
=====================================================================
Well, that’s all she wrote! I look forward to reading the comments and learning what my lovely readers thought about this week’s episode of Arrow.
I’m always open to making new internet friends so don’t be shy, go ahead and contact me.

ps: If you like this article, please be sure to share it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and any other social media you might be on (Reddit, TV Tag, etc).

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Reign – 1.15 –The Darkness – Review: Hello, Darkness, my old friend.


‘Hello, Darkness, my old friend.’

‘I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.’
- Og Mandino


The Numbers Game aka Ratings

Well, even though as I write this the only ratings that are up are the early ones but it looks like our demo number as well as viewership numbers are climbing right back to the average that we have been getting all season long. The early ratings are sitting at .7 but it will probably get adjusted down to .6 if 9:30 pm hour is accurate. But it's still an improvement over last week.

Remember, even if you don't have Nielsen's box you can still help the rating (a little) in your own way by live tweeting with show. You can pitch in by using the show's hashtag (#Reign) and the show's episode title in every tweet you make about the show on Thursdays. Prime tweeting hours to get the show trending are usually between 7 pm EST until about 1 am EST (after the west coast airing has gone off).

Retraction
Dear Royals,
I apologize for making an unfounded logical leap and presenting it as fact in my review last week, when I stated that Bash and Mary have had sex. Please bear in mind that my reviews are based on screeners and sometimes those screeners are rough cuts and things get changed around and/or edited out.
It has had been heavily implied in more than one episode and when Bash told Francis to ask Mary if it was true we never got resolution on it so that lead me to believe that the whole point of pushing Bash and Mary together and then having Francis and Lola sleep together was to put them on equal footing and force them to except each other’s past indiscretions as it seemed that was the underlying current and intent in what was presented on the screeners that I watched. Maybe that is the case, maybe it isn’t but at any rate, forgive me, it won’t happen again.

Well, let’s dig into this week’s episode of Reign…
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Title: The Darkness | Writer: Charlie Craig | Director: Steve DiMarco
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Long Story Short

Synopsis: Lola, Kenna and Greer search for husbands at the First Light festival. Mary fears that Lola will usurp her the way that Diane usurped Catherine, and pressures Lola to accept her first suitor. She later changes her mind and tells Lola to make her own choice even if it means waiting. Greer accepts the suit of Lord Castleroy (Michael Therriault) despite having feelings for Leith, the castle servant (Jonathan Keltz). Greer has Castleroy arrange an apprenticeship for Leith in Spain, though she later rejects Castleroy and waits for a new suitor her parents have arranged for her. Kenna has a threesome with a prostitute at Henry's request, and later finds the prostitute choked to death. Catherine helps cover up the incident, but worries that Henry is ill and killed two of his lovers on purpose. Olivia tells Nostradamus how she was sacrificed by peasants to "the darkness", a creature in the woods that fed on her blood until she escaped. The blood pagans take Rowan as their next sacrifice, and Bash and Carrick go into the woods to search for her.
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Character Contemplations

Bash – OK, quick question… Is the Bash and Rowan ship known as Rash? If so, utterly hilarious (and probably a very appropriate metaphor to the Mash shippers). If not, please make it so fandom. Reign is getting dark and we’re going to need some humor. It is so clear to everyone, even strangers that Bash is in love with Mary. I don’t even know where to start with Bash this week. I like that Bash is brave and gallant and wants to believe in the logical side of things and can be very pragmatic when need be. It’s strange how people Bash cares about keep getting marked by The Darkness. Does Bash or maybe his mother have a closer tie to all of this than we realize? Bash knows enough about the pagans and their practices to get by but Bash has been adamant about practicing the religion of his father. In truth though, it doesn’t seem as though Bash believes in much of anything. I do like how Rowan being snatched is going to force Bash to return to castle to seek help. Hopefully, it is from Nostradamus and maybe even Francis (if Sebastian cares for another woman then maybe just maybe it’ll get his mind off of Mary and it helps to facilitate a reconciliation between the brothers).

Catherine – Catherine is now Henry’s keeper. Who would have thought that was where their relationship was headed? Another even less likely event occurred in this episode as well; Kenna and Catherine had a borderline civil conversation. Even still another and most shocking thing on the Catherine front in this episode was Catherine basically saved Kenna’s life by sending her off and away from Henry. Catherine basically has two choices: 1) Go along to get along (yeah, right) 2) Conspire to kill Henry. I’m pretty sure she’ll be hatching a plan for his demise very shortly and I can’t wait to see Catherine scheming once more.

Francis – Well, Francis confessed. Color me surprised. I enjoyed Francis this week and it’s a relief because it’s been awhile. But they still have the problem of Francis only connecting with Mary. Sure he had a scene with Lola but it was totally awkward and borderline inappropriate in my eyes. We need Sebastian to come back and for those two to make up. Francis needs some bro time or just a guy to bond with in general. I suggested Henry last week but now, that’s a big fat no. I really do enjoy Francis and Lola interacting but it’s a little tainted now that he and Mary are wed and she’s pregnant with his child and he doesn’t know. Toby killed in his scenes with both Anna and Adelaide and I must say I do enjoy the differences in the interactions and situations. The cast just has wonderful chemistry together and just about any and everything is up on the board for a crack ship (kind of like Teen Wolf).

Greer – Greer surprised me this week. She did what was best for all parties involved and managed not to come across as a cold heartless witch in the process. I really enjoy the interactions between Leith and Greer. He genuinely makes her happy but unlike certain other ladies-in-waiting she has managed not to cause a scandal and/or shame her family. I just like that about Greer. She is the most ‘dutiful daughter’ on the show and I appreciate that. Her parents have found her a match so I hope that he is her Prince Charming because out of everyone she deserves it the most, in my opinion (now that Mary has gotten what she wants, of course). She handled the situation with Lord ‘Peppercorn’ like a boss as well. Although, I will say, Lord ‘Peppercorn’ tried his best and really stepped his game up in wooing Greer.

Henry – Well, I ask for them to give Alan van Sprang something to do and boy did they ever. I think every show knows needs a dark and menacing villain to up the ante and now Reign has one in the form of King Henry. I like my kings ruthless, callous and calculating and now Henry is right up my alley. He’s putting his foot down and taking charge and letting everyone know is boss. It’s about dang time and I just know Alan van Sprang is going to kill it (let’s just hope the character does get killed or kill anyone else for the time being, two girls in a row is quite enough for now).

Keena – Poor, Keena! Things are always blowing up in her face. I hope her sexual liaisons with King Henry are finally over now that he has a lust for choking the life out of his bed mates. I am not sure what direction Keena is now headed in. She has given away her virtue and I don’t think the king is in the mood to do her any favors in finding her a proper suitor. All of French court knows that she was the king’s mistress. Now what? Kenna has grown leaps and bounds but it’s all in negative and lascivious ways so I’m not sure what the point of all that was. She’s one of most ‘up in the air’ characters on the show and I’m eager to see what is next for her.

Lola – I still absolutely adore Lola and wish the best for this character. But man, Lola sure does reek of plot device, to what end, am I not sure. But we now know that she is definitely getting a husband and he makes her happy so we can all breathe a sigh of relief on that front (or can we?). Lola was kind of just there meandering from scene to scene. I did enjoy her interactions with Francis as I mentioned earlier and even enjoyed her getting a suitor’s attention at the Festival of Lights. It’s just too bad he was looking for a beard and not a wife. But I would hate for Lola to be in even more of a messed up situation than the one she is already in and everyone deserves to be loved so I’m glad things turned out the way they did. But I am worried that Lola will have that baby and Francis will find out it’s his.

Mary – My sweet Mary so full of grace and forgiveness… If you don’t love Mary, you need to reevaluate your life choices, dear. She’s concerned for her friend (who totally broke the girl code) and is keeping a very explosive secret from her husband. Not to mention, she has the pressures of two nations on her shoulders to produce an heir. I really loved how Mary changed her mind in the end and didn’t force Lola to marry a man who prefers the company of men…in his bed. While I don’t know if Mary will ever truly forgive and forget Lola or Francis for what they’ve done, I’m just happy it hasn’t made her bitter or vindictive.

Nostradamus – OK, I now I have to admit I was a tad bit smitten with the ‘Dr. Nostradamus: Medicine Man’ routine as he was caring for Olivia. I’m slowly becoming an uber Rossif Sutherland fangirl and I don’t even know why, they never give the poor man’s character much to do as of late. Heck, Catherine didn’t even come to see him during this episode. I keep expecting them to tie him to ‘The Darkness’ or make him a French court power player but I guess it’s not time for that just yet. I’m just so eager to explore what Nostradamus has to offer the story in Reign because as you guys know, I’m not a shipper and there hasn’t been a good sword fight in ages. The political aspect has stalled as well, so I’m going to need them to step their game up on other fronts besides the romantic angles and ‘The Darkness’ is just the creepy, supernatural element that I’m craving and we have a very good start on that front.

Awards

Character of the Night
• Grand Prize - Mary
• Runner up – Nostradamus
• Third place – Henry

Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize - Francis & Mary
• Runner up – Nostradamus & Olivia
• Third place – Francis & Lola

Line of the Night
Francis: He prefers the company of men.
Mary: Don’t you all?
Francis: …in his bed.

Scene of the Night
• Henry explains the cause of his discontent to Catherine.

Favorite lady-in-waiting
• Greer takes the cake, once again this week. I’m glad her story is picking back up.

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when Reign truly channeled its inner Gossip Girl by having a threesome. Well, really it was more of a girl on girl while Henry watched situation but still (at least they didn’t hype it for weeks and out it on a billboard)…

The ‘I Ship It Like Fedex’ Award

• Olivia and Nostradamus
Highlights

Memorable Moments
1. Bash goes down as he realizes there was something in the tea.
2. Mary walks into a bedroom filled with candles lit by Francis.
3. Keena wakes up tied to a dead hooker.
4. Keen goes to Catherine with her concerns about Henry.

Laudable Lines
1. Francis: I don’t make love to you because I want a baby. I want a baby because I love you.
2. Catherine: The king already knows, who else is there to tell?
3. Nostradamus: Evil is not a thing. It is not a condition. It is a choice.

Superb Scenes
1. Nostradamus “baptizes” Olivia anew.
2. Catherine and Kenna discuss what Henry has done to the prostitute.
3. Greer and Lola share a moment alone together.
4. Francis confesses his tryst with Lola to Mary.

Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Greer asked Lord Castleroy to give Leith an apprenticeship
• Lola’s suitor preferred the company of men – in his bed
• Reign gave us a medieval threesome

Lowlights

• The Pagans storyline has been very dreadful up until this point. I mean sure let’s delve into the Protestant vs. Catholic issue because it is very important and a driving force underneath a lot things in the story but throwing “pagans” into the mix as well is just a bit much. I really wish they could have brought in the supernatural elements without this plot point.

Miscellaneous

WTF
• The Darkness is real and corporeal (maybe)
• A threesome, really?
•Bash gets trussed up like a roasted pig

Burning Questions
• Is Henry mentally ill?
• Is Henry physically ill, that is causing some temporary imbalance in brain chemistry?
• Will Henry end up killing Kenna?
• Will Catherine hatch a plan to have Henry murdered to stop the beginnings of his reign of terror?
• When is Clarissa going to pop up?
• Is this story truly going mostly by the history books? If so, they are going to have to drag a lot of things out. If not, they are going to have ‘jump the shark’ and soon.
• Is ‘The Darkness’ a vampire?

Style Spotlight: Mary’s gold dress with the gold embroidery around the neck (I think I saw something similar at Urban Outfitters last season. Let me know if you get that joke or not in the comments, will you?)

Tasty Tidbit: Remember when Kenna (of all people) hit the nail on the head about what was going on with Henry? I think Henry is going through a mid-life crisis either that or he misses the balance that having Diane around afforded him. I’ve been saying to bring Diane back; so maybe, just maybe Catherine will try that option. If Diane comes back to the castle, surely, Bash won’t be far behind.

History Lesson: If the show is staying true to the history books for the most part then we know that Henry’s “accidental” death is looming. Also we should be seeing Nostradamus have visions about this because the quatrain that “predicted” King Henry II’s death is the one that made him famous.

Side Notes: I just have to say, I really love Reign because every week I watch the show, I find more and more to love and less and less that I don’t like and that is truly a spectacular feat because I tend to be the opposite with most things on The CW and well TV in general. A guilty pleasure has evolved into a fully vested fangirl pursuit and I think Royals are an amazing fandom. I’m glad I have a chance to be a part of it.

Grade: A

Friendly Reminder
Next week’s episode is entitled ‘Monsters’ and I’m pumped to be diving into the supernatural element that they have been dangling like a carrot since the start of the season…

Don’t forget to watch and live tweet with the show (@CWReign) & me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.
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Well, now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all interesting Reign articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work.

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Regin - 1.14 - Dirty Laundry - Review: Just another day at French court.


‘Just another day at French court.’

‘Politics, backstabbing, murder, just another day at French court.’
- Mary


Hey, Royals! I just want to say, don’t let the ratings get you down. We are renewed for another season already. I don’t think our demo or viewership numbers were all that bad, all things considered. Let’s just say that it was a perfect storm of low viewership.

First of all, in most places in US the weather has been pretty nice this week after a pretty hard winter coupled that fact with Daylight Savings Time and more people were bound to be out and about enjoying themselves. Next, it’s March Madness, so tons of pre-emptions for basketball games. Finally, The Vampire Diaries was a re-run and only managed a .3 in the demo, if I’m not mistaken. So, when it adjusted down to a .5 in the demo, I didn’t bat an eyelash.

I have every confidence we’ll be right back at a .7 in the demo next week.

One last thing I must say, the Frary moments were off the charts this week. Francis is seemingly making Mary very happy at the moment and since I’m here for Mary, I’m happy for the moment as well. But of course the Mash ship is not yet sunk and it seems Bash will still be around to have special moments with Mary so don’t fret just yet.

Well, let’s just jump right into this week’s episode of Reign…
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Title: Dirty Laundry | Story by: Drew Lindo/Teleplay by: Edgar Lyall | Director: Norma Bailey
=====================================================================

Long Story Short
Synopsis: Mary and Francis return to court after their two-month honeymoon, arriving while the Archduke Ferdinand of Bohemia (Jonathan Higgins) is visiting. Henry is having an affair with the Archduke's sister, and while they're having sex she accidentally falls out a window. Henry asks Catherine for help, and they work together to successfully make the Duchess' death look like a suicide. Bash is hunting in the woods when he meets Rowan (Hannah Anderson) and her brother who live there. They come across Olivia, who is traumatized and has mysterious bite marks on her arms. Bash takes Olivia to Nostradamus, and while under the throes of a nightmare she stabs and kills a priest. Bash visits Mary to tell of his suspicions that Francis tried to have him killed. Francis denies this when Mary asks. Lola thinks she's pregnant with Francis' child. Mary stops her from getting an abortion that could kill her, and, despite being heartbroken, agrees to keep her pregnancy a secret from Francis. Mary tells Bash to stop caring for her but Bash refuses. Bash goes to Rowan, who convinces him to stay in France, and they kiss.

Character Contemplations

Bash – Why did Bash not just run far, far away from France? If his brother, the crowned prince of France and future king, did indeed want him dead what would he gain from staying around and waiting for confirmation? Bash is a wild thing that lets his heart and desires control him so we know he just wanted to see Mary one more time, to talk to her one more time and to ensure she was safe because if Francis was truly willing to commit fratricide then who knows what evil he could be capable of (I’m just trying to figure out Bash’s train of thought here is all). But let’s talk about Bash’s new lady, Rowan. Rowan is a hunter and another seemingly wild thing that could be a kindred spirit. I loved how sassy Rowan was and capable. She’s definitely a BAMF because let me tell you, finger tattoos hurt and I can only imagine what getting a tattoo in medieval times would be like. I shudder to think. I hope Rowan has no ulterior motives and can take Mary off his mind for a while. At the end of the day, especially since I’m not a shipper, I just want to see my favorite characters have a little bit of happiness whenever they can because drama is always right around the corner.

Catherine – I’m sorry but Megan Follows is a scene stealer. I love the character of Catherine so much. I’m glad she is trying to put the past behind her and keep it there. I’m not sure that I trust her fully yet but at least she is reminding Mary of her duties and even trying to help her conceive. But let’s just be real, her main priority is Francis and she is and will forever be looking out for her children’s best interests, just like a good mama bear should. I was skeptical of her and Henry working together but it was a highlight of the episode. I love it when a person is willing to get their hands dirty.

Francis – Francis was not my favorite person this week but I agree that Mary is now wed to him so either she trusts him or they face the world together or be miserable and end up like his parents. I’m still firmly in the camp that Francis was not the one who put the hit on Sebastian. They are steering us towards Catherine but I hope it turns out that it was Mary of Guise (if only so that she returns to France or we head to Scotland for a confrontation). I loved the opening scenes of Francis and Mary being happy together, I knew it wouldn’t last long but it was still nice to see.

Greer – I didn’t know what to make of Greer this episode. She did not hug Mary upon her return. She was very blunt and casual with Mary as well wholly unimpressed with the fact that Mary had found her a potential suitor. But she still came off as the best lady-in-waiting this episode (of course that’s not saying much due to the low bar her competition set). Greer’s fashion game was also stepped up a notch this week as well.

Henry – Oh Henry! Whatever are we going to do with this man? Seriously, it’s either time for them to bring back Diane or make him and Catherine reconcile. Or better yet, go back to focusing on his strong suit, politics and teaching his son how to be an effective leader not beholden to his carnal lust. Maybe even show him with his younger sons sometime. Henry still feels very one dimensional right now, basically he’s caught in the ‘horny old goat’ trope right now and that’s a shame because I think Alan van Sprang would kill it if they gave him something more to work with, though I loved his comedic timing in this episode. There might even be something sinister lurking in that heart of Henry’s if we are to take that little scene with Keena at face value. I sure hope so…

Keena – I am, once again, absolutely impressed with the turnaround they have done with Keena. She is sultry, wise, manipulative and scheming. She is also practical and funny in her own way. I don’t find Keena annoying anymore but I do find her life a tad bit sad. I want something more than the scheming, social ladder climbing sex kitten from Kenna. I also want her to have more meaningful interactions with Mary. But I will give the girl credit where credit is due; she now knows how to play a man like a fiddle and that makes it seems as though she won’t be taken advantage of anymore, so at least I can be happy about that.

Lola – Do I feel for Lola? Sure, I do. But score one for Keena when she said if she didn’t know how to take precautions to not get pregnant then she shouldn’t be having sex. I know Lola was caught up in the moment and that it’s not fair for me to be placing the blame solely on Lola and I assure you I’m not but in this specific time and place that Lola is in, the world would certainly place all of the blame on her. She came to court to serve Mary, marry well and most importantly not bring shame upon her family. Well she failed on all three fronts as far as I’m concerned at the moment. Her brother is a ne'er-do-well and apparently always has been so she knew it was up to her to secure her family’s well-being. I would have preferred it if she ran away and wanted to keep the baby and ran into Bash and broke down and told him and he returned with her and married her. Sure Bash is a bastard but at least he is a royal bastard with money, land and wily mother who loves to cook up a good plot that could keep her safe.

Mary – At least Mary got to be happy for two months. Poor Mary! But in all honesty, I’m not sure who side with in all of this. Mary made a very valid point about Lola knowing that she still loved Francis and how it was wrong of her to sleep with him and made plans to come back to be in service of her and look at her every day knowing what she did. On the other hands, Mary was well on the way to be wed to Bash and even slept with him before Lola had sex with Francis. But I still say Lola broke the girl code and Mary is the better friend. Breasties before testes, case closed (women so need a better line to compete with bros before hoes). Mary is eventually going to tell Francis because she was absolutely heart broken and seething in the bed watching him sleep. I wonder if this will make her more incline to believe Bash about his theory that it was Francis who made an attempt on his life, whether the case be true or not. Should Mary keep the secret? Probably… if Catherine catches wind of this, things might not end well for Lola. The biggest thing I hope they don’t do is make Mary fake a pregnancy and raise Lola’s child as her own.

Nostradamus – Getting real tired of the ‘Dr. Nostradamus: Medicine Man’ show. I love that he is a healer and wants to help people and all but there has just got to be something more to this man. In the beginning of the season they made him very mysterious and a seemingly gray character. Now, they’re shying away from it and I haven’t a clue as to why. If any of the higher ups are reading this: give Rossif Sutherland something more to do, I beg of you.

Awards

Character of the Night – Mary
Best Character Interactions – Henry and Catherine were just priceless co-conspirators, weren’t they?


Line of the Night – Archduke Ferdinand of Bohemia (to Keena): You must meet my sister you two are cut from the same cloth.
Scene of the Night – Catherine gives Mary tips on how to get knocked up successfully.
Favorite Lady-in-Waiting – Greer, she’s about the only one I can stand at this point in the story, to be honest but she is a bore, time to spice her back up.
That Awkward Moment Award – That awkward moment when Reign channels it’s inner Game of Thrones and sends someone hurtling to their death, too bad the sister didn’t just wake up a paralyzed like Bran, that could have been very interesting.

Highlights

Memorable Moments
1. Francis and Mary being genuinely happy at the beginning of the episode.
2. The servant girl calling Lola out about being the one looking for the information
3. Bash and Mary racing off to save Lola
4. Seeing Olivia all feral
5. Francis doting on Mary in the carriage

Laudable Lines
1. Mary: Politics, backstabbing, murder, just another day at French court.
2. Mary: I hope he’s safe and that he finds happiness.
3. Rowan: Didn’t you think it was strange that there were leaves on a patch of snow surrounded by evergreens?
4. Nostradamus: Nature isn’t malignant. Nature does not care. Only humans are malignant.

Superb Scenes
1. Catherine and Henry trying to clean up the blood and wondering how their clothes get clean.
2. Mary asking Francis if they have to go back to court.
3. Mary racing to stop Lola from getting an abortion and then Lola pleading with Mary to not tell Francis.
4. Keena congratulating Lola on getting knocked up by Francis and explaining all the perks.
5. Keena and Henry discuss the list of her suitors and Henry proposes the Archduke of Bohemia.

Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Bash got a new love interest so quickly.
• Olivia killing a priest.
• I like Rowan.

Style Spotlight: Nothing really struck my fancy this week. If something struck your fancy, leave it in the comments below.
Tasty Tidbit: Henry sure does have a type, doesn’t he?

Fun Fact: Well, the writers sure did exceed my expectations for how long Bash was going to be gone. I guessed about an episode and a half and we get him in the very next episode.

Lowlights

• I hated Olivia’s “return” to court. It just felt like a plot device to help cover up Henry’s foul deed. Unless, of course, they are finally going to really get started on the creepy Supernatural elements. They keep teasing me and now it’s either time to poop or get off the chamber pot on this front. You guessed it; I’m just really ready to have Nostradamus in the forefront and not just as some healer, a major player with lots of screen time.

Burning Questions
•Does it feel a little too late to be ramping up the supernatural element of the show?
•Do you believe Francis?
•Does Nostradamus really not believe in the supernatural? He gets visions, which is pretty much reveling in blasphemy is it not?
•Will Lola actually give birth to the baby? We were introduced to our out in the form of those suspicious herbs that Catherine has…

Grade: B-

Side Notes: A little birdie told me gif recaps are all the rage. If you’d like me to give it a whirl next week, let me know in the comments below. Also, looking for fellow Royals to connect with on Twitter, so if you add your handle in the comments, I’ll follow you.

Friendly Reminder
Don’t forget to live tweet with the show (@CWReign) and me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.
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Well, now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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