Mary returns from her honeymoon and, suspicious of Lola’s strange behavior, uncovers a deception that changes everything.
Bash encounters a confused and terrified Olivia, an escaped victim of the terrors of the woods, which causes him to enlist Nostradamus for help. Meanwhile, when King Henry’s odd behavior causes misfortune, he is forced to ask for Queen Catherine’s aid.
I know, I know, I’ve been slacking on my Reign-watching. But on a whim, I tuned in to “Dirty Laundry” – and holy hell, am I glad I did, because it’s a fantastically ridiculous and (probably unintentionally) hilarious watch. Here are my top six highlights from this week’s episode:
Henry fucks someone to death
Okay, so the sex wasn’t literally how the woman perished – rather, the windows in Henry’s rooms are unrealistically large and lacking a ledge on which to perch, so she fell out during the previously mentioned sex act and died – and I should feel terrible for finding this funny, but it is oh so funny. And the close up on Henry’s expression when she fell off his dick was genius.
There’s a lot more to this story, of course; the woman just so happened to be the sister of the Archduke of Bohemia. They were in the castle to negotiate terms of peace with France. Fearing a war, Henry turns to Queen of Everything Catherine to help him cover up his mistakes. She doesn’t disappoint, forging a suicide note and concocting a fantastical tale about a secret lover.
In the end, the Archduke believes the story and skedaddles. War is prevented. Henry is impressed by and, dare I say it, even interested in Catherine again – saying that there’s no one like her, that she makes other women tame.
Kenna plays at being a pious, virginal girl
As part of Henry and Kenna’s agreement, Henry continues to scope out decent marriage suitors for Kenna in return for sexual favors. This time, the suitor is none other than the Archduke himself. The problem? He’s super religious, and is only interested in a partner who is equally religious and very, very chaste.
This leads to Kenna trying her very hardest to give off Never Been Kissed vibes, though she can’t help but get her mack on once the Archduke gets the tiniest bit physical. “Beginner’s luck?” she smiles coyly when he’s surprised by her experience. The dude seems infatuated with her, and is just about to propose when news of his sister’s untimely death interrupts them. The Archduke leaves France soon after in grief, so it looks like Kenna will remain unattached for some time yet.
Francis and Mary need to get started on the baby-making
These two don’t get much of a focus in this episode (save for a separate yet related plotline that I’ll get into more later), but one major scene involves Catherine giving Mary advice and various medicines to help speed up royal pregnancies. Queen Catherine remains my favorite part of this show, and Mary’s facial expressions during this conversation are priceless.
Bash makes a random new lady friend
The guards who were supposed to accompany Bash to Spain end up dead, and Bash has gone missing. We find him traipsing about in some snowy woods, where he meets a hunter who saves him from death via boar trap. They take to each other quickly, but when Roan brings Bash home, her brother Carrick is not too happy about Bash’s general existence.
That doesn’t stop them from spending the night together at the end of the episode, though.
Also, in a quick scene with Mary while Bash is briefly back in the castle, he tells her what really happened that night he was supposed to go to Spain: his castle guard escort had attacked him, forcing him to kill them all in self-defense. He suspects it was Francis behind the assassination attempt, and wants her to look into him.
And she’s totally about to fuck some shit up. Poor girl’s been wandering around the countryside after getting booted out by Clarissa, and it looks like she’s been victim of some pretty dark stuff. “She’s been fed on,” exclaims Carrick when he, Roan, and Bash find Olivia. He refuses to let Olivia stay because she’s been “chosen”, and “touched by the darkness,” whatever the heck that means – so Bash takes Olivia back to the castle to be healed by Nostradamus.
Olivia, traumatized by whatever happened to her out there, ends up accidentally stabbing and killing a priest. Sucks for him, but very convenient for Henry and Catherine; the priest’s corpse is shown to the Archduke and claimed to be his sister’s “secret lover.”
Lola is pregnant with Francis’ baby (oh shit)
Upon realizing this, she immediately panics, not wanting to disgrace her family by being a future king’s mistress. Lola gets Kenna to introduce her to a servant who recently got an abortion, and pays the reluctant girl to tell her how to find the doctor.
Lola is seconds away from getting the procedure when Mary swoops in the room – having noticed how strangely Lola was acting – and worriedly asks her to stop, else she hurt herself. Lola tearfully tells Mary who the baby daddy is and begs her not to tell Francis.
Mary: And so the politics and backstabbing begin.
Roan: Well if you’re such a tracker, didn’t you think it strange that there were leaves on a patch of snow surrounded by evergreens?
Kenna: I love [my dress]. How utterly virginal.
Greer: And utterly ironic.
Nostradamus: Nature is not malignant, nature doesn’t care. Only humans are malignant. There is nothing evil in the woods unless it comes from us.
Catherine: Rub this on your chest ten minutes before love-making. It may burn. Ignore it. And this, on his… well, you know. When you detect interest.
Mary: [looks mortified]
Catherine: There. Now all we have to do is get back to her chambers, toss her out of the proper window. [pause] Oh, this was my favorite coverlet.
Henry: Add it to my list of debts to you.
Henry: Mention her fondness for France. Its culture and beauty.
Catherine: It’s a suicide letter, not an enticement to pilgrims.
Henry: The man she loved was someone she could never have. Describe him as ruggedly handsome with the sexual prowess of a lion.
Catherine: Ha! …Oh, you’re serious.
Catherine: As my husband will attest, I am not a judgemental person. [long pause] HENRY.
Henry: She’s really not.
Henry: I’d forgotten what it was like, working with you instead of against you.
Catherine: You’re very charming when you’re not trying to kill me.