Reign – 1.16 – Monsters – Review: 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…
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.
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.
• 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.
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.
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.
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.
• The darkness is just a man, so there really isn’t much hope left for something truly creepy and supernatural, now.
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.
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!
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.
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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