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Reign – 1.19 –Toy Soldiers– Review: It’s hard out here for a dauphin.

"It’s hard out here for a dauphin"


‘Wise men look to the future.’
- Christian the Duke of Guise, Reign 1x19: Toy Soldiers


Preface
Hey, Royals! Did you love the latest episode of Reign as much as I did?

This episode started off so light and airy, at least imagery wise. I’m absolutely smitten with the opening scene of Mary and her ladies having a snowball fight. But of course it’s didn’t stay all puppies and rainbows for long.

I’m happy for Greer and feel Mary’s conflict about loving her husband and trying to do the best she can for her country without stepping on his toes. Lola’s drama took a back seat and Kenna is back to being a sexpot but this time I approve.

Well, it looks like it’s time to break down the latest episode of Reign…

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Title: Toy Soldiers| Writers: Mike Herro & David Strauss | Director: Chris Grismer

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Long Story Short


It is one month later after the events of the previous episode and news arrives that Marie de Guise's castle is under siege by Scottish Protestants. Mary asks for help from her war-mongering uncle Christian, Duke of Guise (Gil Darnell), who wants to become Francis' Lord Magistrate as reward. To Mary's disappointment, Francis decides to use Christian's army to help Henry take Calais from the English.

Penelope pretends to be pregnant but the ruse is uncovered by Catherine; Penelope agrees to be sent to Italy to be trained as one of Catherine's spies.

Castleroy meets Greer's family and disapproves of the way Greer's father treats his daughters. Castleroy gives the marriage contract to Greer to decide, and arranges for her to oversee her sister's dowries and future husbands. Greer is grateful, and the pair kiss. Bash still has feelings for Mary, but consummates his marriage with Kenna.

Francis leaves with Christian and his army to invade Calais.
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Character Contemplations


Bash – – I’m just going to say that I wanted to actually see Torrance Coombs out in the snow riding on a horse looking sexy while searching for the darkness and not just hear about it but I suppose that is what fan fiction is for. I was absolutely giddy with the seduction scenes between Bash and Kenna. But I was a little bummed out that they made it appear that Bash rushed the rest of his seduction with Kenna because he saw Francis and Mary kissing. Either way the marriage of Bash and Kenna has now officially been consummated and there is no turning back. They both seem to be trying to make the most of their forced marriage and things are looking up for them so that can only mean one thing: disaster is about to strike.

Catherine – Catherine was once again, very understated in this episode. I did like that she offer Penelope a way out. Why she did it, I’m still not sure. Catherine always has at least five schemes on the burner at once so we’ll find out her true motivations in no time, I’m sure. Henry finding out that Catherine has been wrestling power away from him went a lot smoother than I ever imagined. I’m yearning for her to spend some more time with her younger children. The screaming miserable witch routine is wearing thin and I need some more motivation as to way I’m rooting for Catherine (besides the fact the she is played by the lovely and talented Megan Follows). What I love best is that Catherine is a fierce mother bear and I just miss that personality trait being on display. If they continue to go the route of Catherine subverting Henry’s authority then we are most definitely going to need a foil for her and it as each episode passes it looks like Mary may not be up to that task right now.

Francis – Francis, my sweet little, well-meaning prince. The poor lad is just always stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel for him. The man loves his wife but his country is dire straits, it’s constantly one thing after another and to compound problems and make matters worse his father is absolutely barking mad. Francis always tries to do what he feels is best and thinks his plans are fair compromises but it just never works out the way he wants them to.

Greer – Greer gets to be happy and that is all that matters to me at the moment. I love that she gets to be the one to have a happy, healthy relationship with a man who adores her and goes above and beyond all in the name of wooing her. But the more I think about it the more I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.

Henry – Henry was more a zany king than a mad one in this episode. I'm really itching to get to the bottom of this situation. He is off his rocker and putting France in danger. I wonder if Catherine is going to put him out of his misery. If so, how and when?

Keena – We didn’t really get much out of the character of Keena this week. She was mostly just a snarky side kick in the background of most scenes that didn’t involve Bash and a sexpot in the scenes with Bash. This was however the first time that I saw some good sexual chemistry between the characters of Bash and Kenna. Kenna is much more astute and keenly aware of situation now and I like that. The character of Kenna has come a long way but there are still some things I would like to see out of the character.

Lola – Well, I guess it was her turn to be shoved out of the spotlight. Blinked and you missed her. Lola didn’t say much, she was just pretty wallpaper during this episode. That is something that I find odd because there are so many burning questions about Lola’s situation at the moment. But if less Lola means more Greer than I’m happy with that choice every time.

Mary – I like that they keep giving us both sides of Frary. They have been giving us happy moments only to dash them to pieces a few scenes later. Tis the life of rulers to constantly have to make choices and sacrifice things and break promises for the betterment of their countries. Mary loves Francis and he loves her right back. But it does seem like Mary is the one constantly having to make the biggest sarcirfices and it starting to become a frequent event. It looks like Mary is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it… I’m curious to see what she has up her sleeve and whether or not it will blow up in her face like a lot of other plans around the castle (that aren’t Catherine’s) are prone to do.

Penelope – Nice try girl. Ain’t nothing more despicable and desperate than trying to hang onto a man by telling him you’re having his child and you’re not. Now, add on to the fact that you are trying to pull off this scheme on a mad king who has a queen that has a flair for poisons and an axe to grind, things could have gone much worse for Ms. Penelope. Am I the only one who hopes she craps out of ‘secret seductresses’ program in Italy? I really don’t want to see her back in the castle.
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Lord Castleroy (Fight me about it, I dare you, lol)

Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize – Lord Castle Roy & Greer
• Runner up – Francis & Mary


Most Memorable Moment
• Lord Castleroy and Greer kiss

Line of the Night
• Greer: It wasn't that long ago that we were all talking about out first kisses and now you're all married.

Scene of the Night
• Francis makes a deal with the Duke of Guise to save Scotland for Mary.

Favorite Lady-In-Waiting
• Greer

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when your lie has been uncovered by soon to be husband. – Lord Castleroy loves Greer just as much (if not more) as most of the fandom loves her and only wants to give her the world and make her happy. [Insert goofy smile here]

Highlights


Memorable Moments

• Mary and her ladies have a snowball fight
• Catherine smirks as she leaves Penelope lock away in a tower
• Francis tells Henry not to speak to his wife 'that way'
• Catherine putting her crown back on


Laudable Lines

• Mary: I can now talk to him without screaming. Does that count as better?
• Henry: I do not need a lesson from you on geography.
• Mary: Threats don't bother me either. Losing does.
• Mary: Trust is a luxury I can no longer afford.


Superb Scenes

• Francis tells Mary that instead of saving Scotland straight away he has to go to Calais first
• Francis persuades his father to let him take The Duke of Guise's army and flank the English army from behind to ensure a victory
• Lord Castleroy has dinner with Greer's family



Lowlights


• Come on, you saw this coming… NO Nostradamus.
• Not much on the Lola front and she’s in the most interesting situation, next to Mary at the moment.

Miscellaneous


Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Bash and Kenna consummated their marriage
• It has been confirmed that the writers do indeed remember ‘The Darkness’ plot point
• Lord Castleroy shows his true colors as a knight in shining armor

Style Spotlight:I guess I'll change it up a bit and go with Greer's accessories.

Fun Fact:The Duke of Guise was married to Anna d’Este Anna was the granddaughter of the French king Louis XII which means she too was related to Henry II and his sons.

Tasty Tidbit: The Duke of Guise was a cousin to Henry II

History Lesson: The Duke of Guise had a nasty scar on his face. He was struck with a lance through the bars of his helmet. The steel head pierced both cheeks.

Grade: B+

Side Notes: I don't know why they named him Christian for the show when his name in real life was Francis (I guess to avoid confusion, kind how they renamed all Mary’s ladies-in-waiting).


Friendly Reminders
Don’t forget to watch and live tweet with the show (@CWReign) & me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.

Do Your Part
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.

Also, pre-ordering the DVD/Blu-Ray and/or ordering season passes on iTunes are other ways that can show the network higher ups that this is and can continue to be a profitable endeavor.

Social Media Checklist:
• Have you liked Reign's official Facebook page?
• Do you make sure to visit the Facebook page at least once per week and leave comments and interact with other fans?
• Do you follow Reign's official Twitter account?
• Do you follow all of the show’s cast and crew that is on Twitter?
• Are you retweeting all relevant tweets from the cast and crew throughout the week?
• Do you live tweet with the show every Thursday using the show's hashtag (#Reign) as well as the episode tile hashtag between the hours of 7 PM EDT and 1 AM EDT?
• Are you checking in and leaving comments about the show on TV Tag?
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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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