Reign 1×09 ‘For King and Country’
By: Emily Konopka
The return of Reign brought major heartbreak and shocking moments. It was one intense moment after another in this episode. We first see Mary and Bash with the King’s guards hot on their trail. They end up trapped at the edge of a cliff and they both decide to jump to the water below to escape the guards. Guess that just proves how serious Mary is about running away.
Back at the castle Queen Catherine tries to tell the King that Mary must have been involved with Bash for months, and that is why they ran away, but we all know better. The King suspects that she might have had something to do with Mary’s departure. He tells her that if she is responsible in any way he will have grounds to execute her. Catherine better watch her back, the King doesn’t seem like he’s messing around.
When we get our first look at Francis, he is visibly heartbroken. He is convinced that Mary was lying about why she left him and he is determined to find out why. His mother tries to tell him that she isn’t worth it. He tells her that he loves Mary despite everything she’s done, and that he suspects that the Queen somehow influenced Mary to leave.
Mary and Bash find their way to a cozy little inn. This is where things start to heat up a bit (and not just because they’re in front of a fire). Bash asks Mary to take her clothes off so they can dry. Mary isn’t too comfortable with the idea but she agrees only if Bash will turn away. Bash manages to send some longing glances towards Mary while her back is turned. That ends quickly when the King’s guards arrive to bring them back to court.
When they return to the castle Bash is dragged off to the dungeons because he is accused of treason, yikes. Francis finds Mary and, being the good brother that he is, immediately asks if Bash is hurt. Francis is clearly happy to see Mary again, but he still is so confused as to why she left. He tells her that he would have gone all the way to Scotland to find her, talk about devoted. If that wasn’t painful enough for us Francis expresses his confusion over how she could be so happy with him that morning and then run away with his brother by sundown. Apparently Francis is all about breaking our hearts with his declarations of love in this episode.
Mary remains adamant that she won’t make a claim to England. The King retaliates by first threatening to ruin her reputation and accuses her of sleeping with Bash. Then he takes it an extreme step further by threatening to execute Bash for treason if she doesn’t marry Francis. Mary’s departure has definitely got everyone all worked up.
Apparently our ever-ominous friend Nostradamus has been keeping Clarissa locked up. We find out that he is the one who allowed her to wander the castle, so long as she didn’t harm anyone. Since she has now broken that order he tells her he is going to keep her locked up until she learns her lesson. Is anyone else dying to know what her deal is?
Mary asks Francis to meet with her. She tells him of the prophecy, which of course he doesn’t believe, but he realizes that his mother does. He tries to make Mary see reason, but since Aylee’s death she is extremely set in her belief that the prophecy is real. Francis vows that he will never give up on Mary. Which leads to Mary taking matters in to her own hands.
Mary confronts the King with a shocking new proposal. She will make a claim for England if Bash is made legitimate and she can marry him instead of Francis. I wonder if that cliff jump messed up her head a bit, because Mary is starting to talk a little crazy. Mary informs her ladies of her plan and Kenna reveals something that could change everything. She tells them about the cup and that she believes Aylee was poisoned to convince Mary of Nostradamus’ powers. This leads Mary to seek out the Queen. Catherine says she had no idea of his vision, but admits that she did give Diane some poison to use on Kenna. Mary decides she must go tell Francis about the situation with Bash, but Catherine may have already let it slip.
From here the drama escalated pretty quickly. An extremely upset Francis barges in to the cell Bash is being held in and starts to fight him. Mary gets there soon after and pulls them apart. She tells Francis that she was the one that proposed marrying Bash, which is news to Bash at this point. Francis is rightfully upset that Mary is throwing away their future over superstition and says he will never forgive either of them.
Just as we would expect, Queen Catherine is not about to sit around and let her crown be stripped away. She tells one of her guards to assassinate Mary and Bash, and then make it look like they ran away together. Does this woman ever stop? Luckily Mary has snuck off to meet with the King and Bash when the assassin comes to her chambers. The King agrees to Mary’s plan and says he will head to Rome to convince the Pope.
It turns out the King was on to Catherine’s plan. He thwarts her every argument and reveals every move she had planned to get Francis back on the throne. Turns out the King can be just as cunning as Catherine when he wants to be. Francis tells his mother that his first action as King would be to execute her if she were to hurt anyone he loves to get him on the throne. Francis, continuing with his emotional martyrdom, tells Mary that he would be happy to be with her for however long his life lasts after they wed. Since he knows Mary’s concern he accepts that Bash will be the new heir. He says that he always envied Bash’s freedom and now he has it. I don’t know about you, but Francis absolutely broke my heart in this episode.
Catherine is ready to leave but the King doesn’t trust her. He knows how skilled she is with poison and how much influence she has so she’ll be kept prisoner at the castle. Meanwhile Clarissa attacks Nostradamus with something she had hidden inside of a doll she kept. Could this be his end?
As the dust begins to settle Bash and Mary finally have a peaceful moment alone. Bash is very daunted by everything that is happening. I mean, I would be too if I was about to be executed by my own father one day and then promoted to future King the next. He seems to be happy that he gets to be with Mary, but you can tell he definitely doesn’t know how to process all the emotions he is feeling about the situation.
Even though I’m team Frary, I’m excited to see where things go from here. Will Bash actually be legitimized? Or will something else come along that changes things entirely?
Tune in next week to the CW at 9/8c for an all-new episode of Reign
Facebook: Variety Radio Online
Tumblr: Variety Radio Online