in Television

Reign 1×12 “Royal Blood” Recap

Oh my god, they took the voiceover out of the opening credits! NO. HOW COULD THEY DO THIS TO ME?! Those thirty seconds were the highlight of every week! How am I going to weather on in this cruel world without that overdramatic, husky voice boldly enunciating each syllable?

I suppose I’ll have to figure it out, somehow, someway. Rest in peace, cheesy voiceover. You will be missed.

This week’s episode opens with a masked Clarissa creeping around Queen Catherine’s private rooms and pawing through all her belongings. She’s forced to hide when a servant couple stumbles in and starts Doin’ The Do, but just because she’s hiding doesn’t mean she’s not going to watch. What is it with the people in this castle and voyeurism? Clarissa ends up murdering the female servant after the Do is done, and then continuing to creep her way about the secret castle passageways.

Cut to Mary and Bash in the stables, with Mary lamenting about Bash’s half brothers, Charles and Henry, feeling sad over recent events. She wants to take them out on a trip to a frost fair in the village, which is actually pretty sweet of her. The actual trip, however, ends up not being so sweet – a few villagers attack Mary and the kids’ carriage, screaming “Death to Queen Catherine and her line!” Yikes.

Once they’re safely back in the castle, Mary goes to tell a still captive Queen Catherine what happened. In an attempt to comfort Catherine, Mary tells her she will do everything she can to protect Charles and Henry and will raise them as her own after Catherine’s execution. She also intends to help Clarissa back into society, but Catherine believes it would be better for Clarissa to just die.

When Mary talks about her plans with Bash, he decides it would be safer for the boys to be sent away from France and raised in a place where they won’t get death threats every other day. The resulting argument is a fierce one, where Mary outright forbids Bash from sending the boys away. Why do I feel like Clarissa is going to slaughter these boys in their sleep and thus take away the tough decision from Bash and Mary? I’m nervous, guys. So nervous.

Over in Paris, Lola’s brother Frederick is in some serious debt with a Grade A Douchebag. Lola pays off the debt for her wayward brother, but said Douchebag wants more than just money – he wants Lola to “share her passions” with him. Eugh, no, what this guy needs is a swift kick to the balls. Lola’s rescued from her situation by none other than Francis, who offers to quadruple Lola and Frederick’s debt in order to win her away from Douchebag. I’m so pleased, you guys. Francis actually said the words, “the girl is mine.” I don’t know where my soft spot for Lola is coming from (or why, out of all Mary’s friends, she’s the one who keeps getting these big moments with Bash and Francis) but there it is.

Francis and Lola spend the night bonding over wine and cards… and in the morning, over sex. DUDE. I really wasn’t expecting that to happen so fast. Just when Lola is about to leave, though, she and Francis find out about Catherine’s upcoming execution. Despite never wanting to return to court, Francis knows he has to now, to stop his mother’s death.

Mary and Bash’s fight ends up being short-lived; Bash apologizes to her by way of bringing the frost fair to the castle so the boys can have some fun. Which they do, at least until they’re kidnapped from right under everyone’s noses. Mary is frantic, and orders a castle-wide search for the boys, when Bash pulls her away to tell her that this was his master plan all along; make it seem like an unknown entity kidnapped and killed the princes, while safely spiriting them away from the country. Mary is understandably furious with him for lying to her. Their fighting is most certainly back on.

Elsewhere, Charles and Henry are being led away to Troy by a castle guard, but it turns out Clarissa had been following them the entire time. She presumably kills the guard, then takes charge of the boys, announcing “from now on we’re going to be a family.”

Back in her prison cell, Catherine is growing weary of her imprisonment. During a supervised visit with Nostradamus, she tells him she wants to end her life on her own terms, not on King Henry’s – and then tries to hang herself. Nostradamus swoops in just in time, grabs her and carts her off to the infirmary, telling the guard to tell no one of what happened. If this whole situation seems a little fishy to you, that’s because it so obviously is – the whole thing was Catherine and Nostradamus’ plot to get her out of the cell.

When Catherine hears of Charles and Henry’s kidnapping, she chooses to stay instead of running to Italy. She comes to Mary in secret, and together they figure out that Clarissa may have prevented the boys from reaching Troy. Using Bash’s tracking skills, Mary and Catherine follow after them, and find the boys just in time to stop Clarissa from killing the princes and herself (though it’s Mary who deals the killing blow to the back of Clarissa’s head.) Catherine sacrifices her freedom and is brought back to her cell, but not before making amends with Mary.

Once everything is over, Mary asks Bash to marry her then and there, regardless of the Vatican’s decisions – reasoning that playing it safe isn’t going to get them what they want, and if the Pope wants her as a Queen, then their marriage will force him to legitimize Bash.

Rating: B-

Memorable Quotes

Catherine: You seriously intend to integrate her into society after a life in the shadows, living like vermin? That girl is broken, she is more animal than human. The greatest mercy would be to have her put down.

Bash: Very well. I’ll go double the guard around the boys. Unless that means I don’t love them enough.

Catherine: Henry intends to make a spectacle of my death, as a final insult to me, and to bring some semblance of validity to his actions. I won’t grant him the satisfaction, if I have to tear my throat out with my own hands.

Lola: Don’t be ashamed of your pain. It does you credit. You have a true heart, it will mend.

Catherine: Lying isn’t exactly your strong suit.

Clarissa: You want us to be together? We’ll be together when we’re all dead.

Mary: Safe choices don’t always make us safe. I see that now.