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Reign 1×04 “Hearts and Minds” Recap

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Whoever it is that does that ridiculous voice over at the beginning of every episode is amazing and deserves a raise. Seriously.

“BUT. THERE ARE. FORCES. THAT CONSPIRE.” Those thirty seconds are the highlight of every week.

Anywho, recap time! After Mary accepted Tomas’ proposal in last week’s episode, Tomas and Francis have a non-literal pissing contest during an archery competition as the court (especially Mary) looks on. I guess just because Francis gave his blessing for Mary’s engagement, doesn’t mean he’s going to be happy or mature about it. And just because Tomas “won” Mary’s hand in marriage doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a sore winner.

Mary’s uncle approaches her and tells her that King Henry’s approval of her marriage to Portugal comes with conditions: she needs to beg Henry for release from her treaty with France.

Lola aka Susan from Narnia visits Nostradamus’ sick room to check up on Bash. Bash seems to be healing decently, though he’s not out of the woods yet. Lola stays to keep Bash company. Ooh, do I smell a romance afoot? If so, I’m totally down for that, because Lola needs some lovin’ and the battleground for Mary’s heart already feels way overcrowded.

Tomas ends up winning the competition and offers his favor – a rose – to Mary, who reluctantly accepts then rushes off to comfort Francis. Then King Henry gets word of the identity of the spy who warned the English troops last week. His guards cart off Lord Simon Westbrook, the English diplomat, for execution.

Later, Mary waits in the castle halls for Henry to see her. As she waits, Catherine finally confronts Mary about wanting her gone from France. Mary asks Catherine’s advice on how to convince Henry to let her go.

As Mary discovers, Henry’s approval comes at steep costs. The King only found out about Westbrook’s deception because a prostitute named Judith overheard Westbrook boasting at a tavern, and came to warn him. In order for that woman’s testimony to hold up, however, someone needs to vouch for her – and that someone is Mary. The Queen of Scots agrees.

Mary heads to her rooms to begin packing for Portugal. She tells her friends that even though she wants them with her, she won’t ask them to come; after all, when they left Scotland they thought they’d be in French court, not Portugal’s. But Mary’s friends tell her they will follow her anywhere.

Afterwards, Mary and Francis make plans to meet by the lakeside at sunset, not knowing that a Portuguese envoy has spied them embracing and has gone to tattle to an angry-looking Tomas.

Kenna and Henry continue their problematic affair set to upbeat indie music. Now that she knows she’s leaving France in two days, she wants to have sex with Henry – but more than that, she wants to stay in French court as Henry’s mistress. He denies her because he already has a mistress. “The heart needs time,” says Henry, to which Kenna replies, “Mine doesn’t. And even if it does, I have no time.”

Meanwhile, Francis stands by Bash’s bedside cursing Simon Westbrook’s name. His mother Catherine shows up to tell him it’s not his fault, but that he needs to let Mary go – but Francis refuses. His instincts were right before about the English, and now they’re telling him Tomas is bad news bears.

Francis leaves to meet Mary by the lakeside. He tries to warn her about Tomas – there are rumors that he’s scheming and cruel to his servants – and that they need to make sure Tomas is held accountable for how he treats Mary. Mary is touched by his concern but tells him she’ll be fine. The scene is actually pretty adorable, and I liked the historical shout-out to the real Francis II of France, who was as “sickly and weak and stunted” as Mart describes. That’s the cutest way to poke fun at historical inaccuracies I’ve seen thus far.

But Mary’s trip to the lakeside is not all fun and games, because Tomas knows everything that happened between her and Francis, and ambushes her in her rooms to let her know the rules she’ll be living by in Portugal. He does this by assigning her a whipping boy – man who will be punished any time Mary “misbehaves” in Tomas’ eyes – and threatening to remove the Portuguese ships that are making her country safe.

Mary’s friend Aylee, who was with her at the time, begs Mary not to marry Tomas, but Mary sees no way out. She needs his ships to save Scotland. Oh, Mary.

Elsewhere, Nostradamus proclaims Bash’s health to be much improved. So long as he doesn’t reopen his wounds, Bash should live. Francis is overjoyed to hear the news. Once Nostradamus leaves, the pair talk about Tomas and his rumored cruelty. Apparently Tomas murdered his first wife, and Francis resolves to find proof of this somehow.

They’re interrupted by Tomas himself, who taunts Francis with a “Mary is my property now” speech. What an asswipe. Furious, Francis tries to throw a punch that I wish had landed, but Bash pulls him back in time, risking his stitches in the process. Tomas marches off unscathed. Hopefully not for long, though, cause Francis and Bash are pissed OFF, and their resolve to kill the bastard only strengthens.

Mary and her friends are preparing for the costume banquet. Cute baker boy makes a reappearance, cuing Greer to urge the other girls to “use the time they have left to seek some pleasure while they still can.” Mhmm. I’m sure y’all will seek a whole lot of “pleasure” at the party.

Back in her rooms, Mary is putting some finishing touches on her costume when the Woman With The Bag Over Her Head aka Clarissa pays her a visit, leaving the royal English seal behind in her wake. Oh, I see where this is going…

Lola, dressed in a Norse goddess costume, finds Bash out in the courtyard practicing with a sword. Francis swans up shortly thereafter, and the three discuss Tomas’ drastic personality change. They figure out pretty quickly that if it hadn’t been for the ambush that nearly killed Bash, Mary wouldn’t have had to accept Tomas’ proposal at all. That there is motive, folks.

At the party, Mary goes to visit Westbrook, who’s been chained to a throne at the center of the ballroom. His head getting chopped off at midnight is to be the entertainment, which is extremely Game of Thrones-y, so I’m totally here for it. Or at least I would be if Westbrook weren’t innocent, which he is. Darn.

The English diplomat tries to convince Mary of that. She questions him about the royal seal she found in her rooms, but once again a conversation is interrupted when Tomas shows up and demands Mary’s attention. Francis and Bash rescue Mary from Tomas’ claws and accuse him of being the spy.

Tomas does what he does best and marches off in a huff, giving Francis and Mary time to make a plan: they need to gather witnesses to prove Tomas’ deception. Two of the people they need are Judith, the woman who pointed the finger at Westbrook, and Miguel, Tomas’ servant and whipping boy.

The search for Miguel doesn’t go well; Tomas has already carted him off to the woods to go “hunting,” aka silencing the servant before anyone can speak to him. Bash and Francis rush off to find them before that happens.

Meanwhile, cute baker boy (I should really be using his actual name, shouldn’t I? Alright, Leith) and Greer meet up. When they were collecting costumes, Greer had grabbed an extra one for Leith so he could show up at the party. Cuteness abounds. I really hope this dude doesn’t die, man.

Mary has much better luck locating Judith than Francis and Bash did with Miguel. Judith protests at first, then confesses that she did lie, but only because she’s scared for her life. Mary asks her if Judith could identify the man were she to see him again, and rushes her off back to the castle.

Tomas the dirtbag is just about to silence Miguel forever, but Francis and Bash are super heroic and save the day again. It takes an arrow to Miguel’s side and a sword-fight between Tomas and both men to finally bring Tomas down. They drag Tomas’ dead body and Miguel to the castle, rushing to save Westbrook.

They might be too late, though, because Henry has already signaled for the diplomat’s head to come off. In a last ditch effort, Kenna goes to ask him to wait, which he does, because he looooves her. He also tells her he wants her to stay on, no matter what it means for his wife and mistress.

The conversation buys enough time for Mary, Francis, and Bash to show up with both witnesses, and Westbrook gets to keep his head. He also gets a promotion to be the official envoy to Portugal and a whole lot of money, because Portugal needs him to keep his mouth shut about everything that happened.

Tomas’ death is also covered up with a story about him saving Francis from a stag while hunting. “The matter will be forgotten by all of us. And history too, no doubt,” says Westbrook. Hah, I see what you did there, Reign.

Mary also pulls off a badass Queen of Errythang move by interrupting Henry’s “let’s just go back to how things were, shall we?” speech and pronouncing herself in charge of negotiations. First order of business is keeping Scotland safe from England. You go, girl. You go.

Later that night, Francis pays a visit to Mary, and new mistress Kenna pays a visit to Henry. The episode ends with Mary returning the English seal to Clarissa in the secret passageway, and thanking her for saving both her life and Westbrook’s. Only Clarissa is sleeping under Mary’s bed, not in the passageway. Creeeppyyy.

Rating: A-

Memorable Quotes

Bash: Every time I look at her, I feel better. Every time I look at you, I feel worse. Prescription is clear, don’t you think?

Francis: That half-blind portrait artist didn’t realize I was sitting in a chair while my sister was standing, and now half of Europe thinks I’m a dwarf.

Nostradamus: [to Bash] I’m gonna make us both feel better and leave.

Bash: Killing isn’t supposed to be easy. If your hands weren’t shaking, you’d be him.

  • Carolina

    Great review! Made me feel better after watching the trailer for next week’s episode. Lol I love how Francis was all “I want to be with you Mary!” and in the trailer he’s like “Forget you, I’m gonna make out with this slutty blonde bitch.” He’s so inconsistent, it’s maddening. Other than that, great episode.
    P.S. Does anyone else think Lola’s acting kind of desperate? No? Just me? She seems so terrified of being alone (even though she’s only, what, 18? I mean, I know they married young but still, ya got time girl.) that she’ll have anyone who seems remotely interested in her. I don’t know, maybe I just resent her because I’m still bleakly pulling for a Mary/Bash relationship. Lol Well, ces’t la vie.

    • To be fair, feeling lonely is something a lot of people go through, regardless of age. Keep in mind Lola is far from home, and the boy she thought was the love of her life just died violently. What she expressed to Bash and the time she spent with him seemed to me to be perfectly friendly; as much as I joked about seeing ~vibes~ between her and Bash, it didn’t look like she was throwing herself at him or that she would “just have anyone.”

      As for Francis and the woman he kissed, Francis is the one who has made promises and overtures to another person, and Francis is the one who is being unfaithful to Mary. It’s uncalled for to label the woman a “slutty blonde bitch,” and it’s especially unfair when the only insult directed at Francis is for being “inconsistent.”