Reign – 2.01 – The Plague – Review: "Buy When There's Blood in the Streets."
Hey Royals! Did you miss me? You know I missed you. It is finally once again time to dissect and discuss a brand new episode of Reign. I know I for one am very pumped about the season 2 opener. I think my avoidance of all the spoilers over the summer really helped me enjoy it even more as it kept me guessing about was going to happen.
If I had to make a long story short here's the rundown of what I would say happened over the course of this episode: Just as Nostradamus foresaw, the Black Plague has come to France’s door once more. Francis found himself on the wrong side of the quarantined gates, on his quest to find Lola and their baby. A noble named Lord Edward got too big for his britches and tried to pressure Mary into exacting his revenge for him. Meanwhile, Kenna and Bash found themselves separated. Lastly, Greer persuaded Leith not get involved with her fiancé’s daughter.
I have to say nothing puts my mind at ease more than when an episode (especially a premiere or a finale) is written by one of a show’s most prolific writers, as was the case for the season 2 premiere of Reign. I can honestly say I have loved every single episode she has a part to play in. She wrote my favorite episode of the series to date, ‘The Consummation’ single handedly, so yeah, I’m a fan.
I think McCarthy really brought her game and knocked this one out of the park. It was an excellent way to open the season and get us all caught on what’s been going on as well as a jumping off point for the first half quarter or half of the season. This episode was well paced and enjoyed the dialog as well as a glimpse at characters motivations and growth in some cases.
In the director’s chair this week was another name often seen in the credits, Fred Gerber. Fred Gerber is one of my favorite TV directors hands down. I love his aesthetic. He really knows how to set up the ambiance and uses the surrounding environment. I love the composition of his shots and his instincts on when and when not to linger in a scene. I always notice the acting is kicked up a notch as well when he is around, too.
And this episode did not deviate from the formula. I particularly loved his use of medium shots and two shots in this episode as well as a few choice and well placed close ups that managed to somehow be subtle. The composition of every scene was also very well thought out. The scenes between Mary and Catherine as well as between Francis and Lola were fantastic. There were lots of reaction shots and Gerber was not afraid to linger in the moment for emphasis which I enjoy in general but especially for emotionally charged situations.
The soundtrack and sound design for this episode was muted, subtle but at the same time a little ominous, which was very apropos for the subject matter that was dealt with in this episode. I thought the use of 'Fight for Your Castle' by Don Brownrigg was a nice choice. I also thought the song choice for the scene where Lola finds Francis holding their child and he tells her she can't leave and also while Mary has Lord Edward locked away with the ill was quite fitting. The name of that song was 'My Lair' by Bear's Den.
"No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all." – Albert Camus
In the end I was glad to see both the mother and child doing just fine. My heart absolutely broke for Lola when Francis decided that he wasn't going to let her and the baby go. But the scenes between Francis and Lola really opened up both characters. This is the storyline that I'm most invested in at this point because it really is a game changer and might be the jumping off point where the writers decide to ditch the historical aspect and allow themselves to get a little more creative.
I don't think most rulers set out to become tyrannical dictators but there is a reason there is saying about how absolute power corrupts absolutely. We got a glimpse of how things really work in the kingdom of France and it was bleak. How Mary adjusts to these new realities now that her eyes are wide open is anyone guess but I'd venture to say she's going to the play the game and play to win. Something tells me this business with Lord Edward will definitely come back to bite her in the butt and I'm going to enjoy watching it unfold and see Mary's evolution as a ruler.
Final Thoughts: This was a lovely season opener. I was surprised that it picked up right after the events of last season's finale and didn't utilize a time jump. But I thought that was actually a good choice. This episode was well paced and had pretty good dialog. I enjoyed this episode because it was basically a character study and a really nice way to come back to the characters we know and love and see the growth from the end of last season expanded upon.
Character of the Night
Best Character Interactions
• Mary and Catherine
• Francis and Lola
Line of the Night
• Nostradamus: I am immune to the plague my queen but not fire.
Scene of the Night
• Mary locks up Lord Edward with the victims of the plague.
• Bash finds Kenna.
• Francis finally holds his child
• Mary orders Catherine as her queen to shut the hell up.
• Kenna: Catherine’s being too nice.
• Catherine: Welcome to your rule, my queen. And welcome to the real France.
• Catherine: It worked for the pope.
• Catherine tells Mary not to let Lola get between her relationship with Francis.
• Greer confronts and pleads with Leith not pursue her fiancé’s daughter.
• Bash's dream of the little girl ghost telling him there will be a reckoning.
Biggest Surprise of the Episode
• Nostradamus helping Mary pull one over on Catherine.
• Nostradamus having a clean shaven face.
• Don’t forget to live tweet with the show (@CWReign) and 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.
Powered by Blogger.