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

Reign – 2.10 – Mercy – Review: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Hey, Royals! I know I’ve been missing in action for a while but I’m back and just in time for Reign’s mid-season finale. So raise your hands and raise them high if you’re ready to dissect this episode from top to bottom. I know I am. So let’s get to it.

This week’s episode of Reign was written by Wendy Riss Gatsiounis & Drew Lindo. This is the third time in ten episodes that they have written an episode. I’m not complaining but I just hope their muses don’t get worn out too soon, they are in heavy rotation and we still have twelve more episodes this season. We had a new to the series director by the name of Rich Newey. I always find it odd when I newcomer has the privilege to direct a finale or mid-season finale but I think he a great job nonetheless. All-in-all it was a pretty solid episode on a technical level.

But I will say this episode had a lot of things to cover as well as set the stage for the second of the season and as such came of feeling unevenly paced, unnecessarily crowded and a certain someone’s subplot bordered on the ludicrous. I also found most of the dialogue to watered down and muted.

Ever since it was announced that Mary would be having a rape subplot I was tentative about how it would be handled. The situation felt even more precarious because it was stated that this rape was mainly happening to flesh the character of Francis. Rape as a subplot on TV is tiresome and worrisome trope to be sure (it’s even a few rungs below the ‘woman in a refrigerator ‘ trope). How I view the end result of this subplot will be based on a few things, namely the duration of the effects on Mary and the consequences of the act.

I think that the rape subplot was not placed in the best possible episode. Rape is a serious issue and if you choose to explore that event with one of your characters you should be prepared to have that presented as an everlasting effect on the psyche of your character in some shape or form. So the timing of this was a disservice indeed. For such an act to occur during the penultimate episode of a mid-season finale is inopportune to say the least because the next episode has a lot to wrap up as well as set the stage for the second half of the season so there would be no time to really give the story the respect it deserves. Then of course we have a time jump to deal with during the second half of the season so we will miss a lot of the emotional fallout (or maybe that was the point, I’m not sure).

But at any rate Adelaide Kane was a powerhouse (much like most of the episodes this season and last) during this episode. I know I say this, like A LOT but it’s so true, Kane breathes something magical into the character of Mary every single week. She nails whatever emotion she is supposed to be giving us. I like this frailty and vulnerability and how the vile act has sullied her idealism and brought out the vengeful side that we only got glimpses of very briefly last season.

Meanwhile, everything else just kind of floundered and meandered. Seriously, Bash’s brightest moment this season has been killing Montgomery to protect his brother. Kenna is now a lurk-about who appears to characters spouting words of wisdom and encouragement and very rarely gets to see her husband or her friends for some odd reason. Then we have Lola who got maybe two or three lines in the episodes and one of them was about trying to save Narcisse. Really, Lola? Is the D that good? They made Johnathon Keltz’s character, Leith a season regular and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. I feel like maybe they should have used Bash, Leith and now Claude to flesh Francis out. The only character I really felt was utilized to their maximum potential was Narcisse and that blackmail thing got old real fast but the point they have now brought it to was unexpected and should actually be entertaining now that the tables have turned. And lastly, we have Greer. Just when we thought one of ladies was going to be allowed to have at one good thing in their life without any strings they go and pull the rug from underneath us. I’m so exhausted with all this misery and torment.

Speaking of Greer… Shout out to my fellow Team Castleroy people. Man, we just can’t catch a freaking break. I was happy when Greer decided she wanted to marry Castleroy. I like her with his children. I liked them together. It was a refreshing change of pace to see an unpopular outcome prevail. My best guess is that Castleroy will die while in hiding and Greer will get all of his cash and then ride off into the sunset with Leith (or rather remarry and live at court with him).

Well, I was happy to learn that my instinct weren’t that far off in terms of Louis Conde. I knew he was a snake in the grass and not just because he likes to bang other men’s wives because hey it takes two tango and they have shown time and time again the male nobles for the most treat their ladies like trash. From the moment we met Conde we knew he only dealt in half truths. I feel vindicated. I want Louis to choose his brother and not Mary. You would think though that he would jump at the opportunity to marry Princess Claude being a Bourbon/prince of the blood if his treachery truly ran that deep so maybe we are going the clichéd route.

Oh yeah, while we are on the subject of Claude… Can you believe Catherine actually went through with poisoning her? I mean sure Claude seems to be seriously defective sociopath but still, it’s her own flesh and blood. The “fate” of Claude was left dangling so unimportantly that I’m just going to go ahead wager that she actually isn’t dead. Claude is the new Old!Kenna and I really don’t like this character so if she really is dead there will be no sweat off my back but Rose Williams is doing an amazing job with this bratty character so it’s a win-win situation either way.

OK, so don’t hate me for saying this but what the hell are they doing with Catherine. I really feel like they could be utilizing Megan Follows talents in a storyline that is a little more refined and dignified. I’m willing to go down this road but I’m just saying at every single turn when they have given us a “supernatural” element it has been a false alert and quite frankly I’m tired of them jerking me around on this front. I will say that Megan Follows was wickedly delicious in the scene where no hands could be accurately accounted for. I do give kudos to the writers for always making Catherine, as an older woman, viable, desirable, cunning and capable, especially since this is still a CW/M3 show. I’m curious as to what is going on with this situation and I definitely think (and mean this in a negative manner) it iswhat will be buzzed about for the next six weeks. I have a crackpot theory to share about this storyline and I’d love to hear yours as well in the comments below.

Episode Awards

Grade: B- (that’s due to me being very generous and having a wait and see attitude)

Character of the Night
• It’s a tie between Mary and Francis.

Best Character Interactions
• Francis and Narcisse

Scene of the Night
• Mary hunts down her attackers and watches as their corpses burn.

Line of the Night
Kenna: The women in this castle have it hard enough without us turning on each other.

Most Memorable Moment
• King Henry’s sexy ghost romp with Catherine.

Favorite Lady-in-Waiting
• Greer (simply because she got the most screen time and has the least frustrating storyline)

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you finally tell the truth and it blows up in your face. Poor Francis, he’s becoming the king he never wanted to be and what’s worse, is that he has basically set Mary on the path to becoming like Catherine.

Daddy’s Home Award
• I was so pleasantly surprised to see Alan van Sprang ‘s name in the credits and very surprised with what they did with his shocking return.


Biggest Surprise - Not all that much actually happened over the course of the episode when you really break it down. France is still slowly roasting itself from the inside out on all fronts.
Crackpot Theory - Clarissa has been poisoning Catherine and these are some potent, heavy duty hallucinations.
Fun Fact - Claude had a hunchback and club foot.

Friendly Reminder
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

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