Reign – 1.17 – Liege Lord – Review: A crown should never sit easy on the head.
‘There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.
- Denis Waitley
Well, royals, I must say that Reign just keeps getting better and better. I’m not sure how they keep managing to exceed my expectations. I’m just glad that they do.
OK, seriously, this is getting crazy. Every single time I have a problem or concern with a plot or a character the writers of Reign have fixed it or have begun to address it by the next episode.
In the last review, I talked about how unlikeable Lola would be to me if she didn’t fully disclose her situation to Lord Julien. I also hoped that the Bash and Kenna situation would show some promise.
While I have loved and supported Mary this whole time, if I’m honest she has been a little blandly heroic. I have been craving a darker and more commanding Mary. I really want to witness her grow into the role of Queen of Scotland. This episode showed Mary being a BOSS. I liked it and I hope they keep it up.
I really loved Francis reactions to her; on the one hand he was in awe of her in the scene where the men pledge allegiance to her and on the other he seemed a little frightened by her as well when she said that if it is a choice between her Scotland and hiss France, she would choose Scotland every time.
But Mary only told Francis what he told her at the start of the season. So what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I’m very interested in how this will affect their relationship. Their relationship is starting to get interesting so I say, ‘Stow the romance and bring on the political intrigue’…
Mary discovers that her marriage contract has a secret clause stating that if she dies without an heir, Scotland will belong to France. Mary and Francis secretly meet Scottish Lord MacKenzie (Andrew Airlie) to tell him of the contract so he can return to Scotland and protest.
Catherine learns of Mary's actions and has all the Scots who know of the contract killed. Mary threatens to reveal to all the French nobles that Henry is mad, which forces Catherine to burn the original marriage contract.
Francis is disconcerted by Mary's willingness to start a French civil war to protect Scotland.
Bash and Kenna's marriage has a rocky start but Bash later saves Kenna from Henry's attentions and promises to always defend her.
Lola confesses to Julien about her pregnancy but not the father; Julien accepts this and still wants to marry her. =====================================================================
Bash cares about people and I like when they display that quality. If he isn’t dubbed ‘Protector of the Realm’ before the series ends I might riot. But what I don’t like is Bash still being at Mary’s beck and call. I was not a fan of the love triangle (a lot of Royals were in that boat with me) so please let’s all just pretend like it didn’t happen. Bash and Kenna both made some pretty solid points about the other’s past. Kenna has every reason to avoid Henry whereas Bash doesn’t have any such inclinations to avoid Mary.
At the end of the day, I want Bash to be happy and to have a healthy relationship with his brother. So, I’m rooting for him and Kenna to fall in love and one day move out of the castle and out of Mary’s hair. Kind of like why I ship Olivia with Nostradamus. I really did enjoy Torrance and Caitlin’s chemistry when Bash came to Kenna’s aid. But I also liked when they were taking shots at each other. So in short I’m all for Heroic!Bash and really loathe Lovestoned!Bash. looking forward to seeing what character growth/development comes from this forced marriage for Bash.
ps: Do you think they were forced to consummate that relationship yet? Technically if they have not, there is still hope for annulment of the marriage.
I also like seeing the darker side of Catherine. She is taking care of business and quite literally working overtime. Henry has become a bit of a handful, wouldn’t you say? Fun Fact: The real Catherine was not allowed to participate in foreign affairs and she was never able to get rid of the hold that Diane di Poitiers had on Henry. I’m glad they were liberal with those details because power hungry!Catherine and protective!Catherine is so compelling and juicy. It makes for a much better story, in my opinion.
I see a lot of the best qualities of Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones) and Regina Mills Once Upon a Time) in the fictionalization of the character for some reason and I really love it. They way Catherine is written, it reminds me of one my favorite quotes, “Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.” And in my opinion that's just what they are doing with ALL of the women on this show and I couldn't be more happy about it.
Toby and Adelaide have amazing chemistry but I just want Toby to be afforded the chance to stretch his chops because doting husband is starting to get to be a bit one note. So, I was happy to see that the writers are giving Francis something to do and worry about and in turn that should give Toby a chance to show his range. I’m very interested in Francis getting the chance to put his diplomacy lessons into action as well as contend with his wife who is a queen in her right and has demonstrated the ability to get men to fight for her cause.
Character of the Night
• Grand Prize – Mary
• Runner up – Catherine
Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize – Mary & Catherine
• Runner up – Bash & Kenna
• Third place – Julien & Lola
Line of the Night
• Catherine: Welcome to being a ruling queen, Mary. Men will trust you and die. These are the first but they won't be the last. It will go on and on until you are dead because that's the way it works. And a beautiful young queen? Men are going to throw themselves into the fire for you my dear. They'll shouldered lost causes and take on risks they should never take. In time you will get use to it.
Scene of the Night
• Mary demands that Catherine give her the marriage contract that contains her signature or she will let everyone know that Henry is ‘a mad king’ and France is ripe for the taking.
That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when your father thinks you raising his bastard would make a super awesome belated wedding present.
The “Are We Sure This Isn’t the Upper Eastside?” Award
• Once again, Reign has channeled its inner Gossip Girl by throwing a party to set a scheme in motion. – I’m not complaining. I love all the royal shindigs. I honestly wished we could see more of the more “mundane” things and people at French court.
• Kenna keeps saying Anjou. - Bash, I think she is hinting that is where she would like to honeymoon.
• Bash ties Kenna’s dress for her.
• Francis is in awe of Mary when her countrymen pledge their allegiance to her.
• Mary slaps Catherine.
• Henry’s hallucination.
• Kenna: What are you complaining about? You are now married to a beautiful woman of noble birth.
Bash: Who is notorious for sleeping with my father. I see no awkwardness there.
• Bash: I won’t pretend I love you. But we should start liking each other at least.
• Mary: France cannot be governed by a mad king.
• Greer: Maybe he just needs a push.
• Julien: You are unusually clear about what you want from others, Lady Lola. I’m not complaining. We are well matched.
• Mary: I am the queen of Scotland not the queen of Mary de Guise.
• Bash comes to Kenna’s aide when Henry forces his whims upon her, in public no less.
• Bash and Kenna bicker about each other’s exes.
• Mary tells Francis that she was not bluffing when she told Catherine that she would let the cat out of the bag about France’s mad king if she didn’t give her what she wanted.
• Francis and Mary scheme together to make the secret marriage contract null and void
• Julien proposes to Lola.
• No Nostradamus. Y’all should be firmly aware of what a huge Rossif Sutherland fangirl I am by now so I would be remissed to not to mention his absence.
• Damn, was Greer even in this episode? Blinked and you missed her. It’s no secret that Greer is my favorite lady-in-waiting so when we don’t get much of her, I get a little grumpy. But at least they are doing something to expand the character of Kenna so at least Greer’s lack of screen time was used wisely.
Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Mary did not tell Francis of her plan before hand; she did it behind his back.
• The massacre of Lord MacKenzie and all of his men at the brothel.
• Who is the boy that Henry was hallucinating about?
Theory: It's some poor lad he killed in his youth and he's had these bouts of madness before.
Fun Fact: Mary had two illegitimate half-brothers that were sent to court with her.
Tasty Tidbit: It is reported that Francis stuttered.
History Lesson: Did you know Mary’s half-brother James Stewart, Earl of Moray was a protestant who led the Lords of the Congregation in rebellion in 1559? But he then turned around and advised Mary on religion when she returned to Scotland.
Side Notes: The incident featured in this episode actually happened. The real Mary in her early years was actually a lot more naïve and trusting than the one portrayed in the show. How a mother could sell her daughter out like, I’ll never know. Please, let’s diverge from the history books and have Mary and Francis storm Scotland and behead Mary of Guise. Who’s with me?
Don’t forget to watch and live tweet with the show (@CWReign) & me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.
Do Your Part
Royals, even though we have already been renewed for season 2, we still have to make every episode count for the rest of the season. If we don't we will get put in a death slot next season to wither away and die (see Beauty and the Beast if you don't believe me). It is very important to be stream the episodes. The biggest impact is to stream it directly off of the CW site. But Hulu counts as well. The biggest difference is definitely clicking the ads when you watch from a legit streaming site.
Also, 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. If you really have your heart set on trending, make sure not to over use the episode title in tweets prior to 7 pm EDT.
Social Media Checklist:
• Do you follow Reign's official Twitter account?
• Have you liked Reign's official Facebook page?
• Do you live tweet with the show every Thursday using the show's hashtag as well as the episode tile hashtag between the hours of 7 PM EDT and 1 AM EDT?
• Are you retweeting all relevant tweets from the and crew throughout the week?
• Are you checking in and leaving comments about the show on TV Tag?
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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