To all my fellow Royals, we did it! We made it through the six-week winter hiatus. It feels like just yesterday we thought we would never make it through the midseason break but here we are, satisfied by last night’s “For King and Country” episode.
Apparently they cleaned house in the new year at French Court.
Last we saw, Bash and Mary ran off together to save Francis but that didn’t last long. They both ended up back at Court within the first few minutes of the episode. It was probably for the best as I don’t think the show could have spent a lot of time with those two being off together in the woods. Fans are just as interested in the other characters at The Court, not just these two. But no need to worry about that for now.
Bash and Mary were chased by the Royal Guards for over a week and were finally caught at an inn. The old “hide under the bed so you don’t get caught” trick didn’t work so well for Mary though. When Bash’s life is threatened by the Guards, Mary volunteers to go back to Court to save Bash. Even in the short five minutes we see the two of them, there was plenty of time for Bash to be the cheeky bastard we’ve known to love: “Now, get undressed,” he tells Mary since their clothes are soaking wet from jumping in the lake. Bash, that’s inappropriate on so many levels.
This is one of the first episodes in which King Henry and Queen Catherine actually seem like a married couple; arguing and tying each other up. Before your mind goes to the gutters (which is basically where Catherine is headed), I mean that she’s being tied up as a prisoner in Court by King Henry. Everything finally gets out in the open and Henry and Catherine are forced to face each other.
In this episode it was refreshing to see that Henry really does know Catherine, no matter how dark and twisted she is. He was always one step ahead of her evil plans. I smell divorce papers! It’s a bad day all around for the Queen of France; her marriage is on the rocks and she has to work with her nemesis, Mary, to save Francis, again — episode seven come to mind, anyone? Not only that, Catherine confesses to Mary that she is the one who provided Diane with the poison that killed Aylee. As we know, Diane didn’t actually use it and Clarissa was the one who poisoned Aylee and pushed her down the stairs.
Now, Bash is down in the dungeon waiting to be executed for treason (because the King can make any orders he wants) and Francis finally knows that Mary left because of Nostradamus’s prophecy. No matter how bad it is, the general rule in life is to always tell the truth and things will work out in the end. Too bad TV writers don’t feel the same way because even with the truth out in the open, everything’s still a mess.
For a 15th century Queen, Mary is pretty modern, proposing to Bash and all. I mean, maybe she should have actually asked him first but she’s so strong-willed she just tells the King to legitimize Bash and she will marry him and together they will rule England, Scotland and France. Oh how quickly things change when the King approves this arrangement. There’s nothing like an engagement party down in a cellar with one person who’s in it for the power, one who’s in it to save the love of her life and another who’s given no choice — what a love fest.
Besides the Royal family drama in this episode, we finally learn more about Clarissa. Nostradamus has taken care of her, providing her with food and keeping her hidden in the castle. There was something about the way he spoke to her that sounded paternal; he cares for her, brought her a stuffed doll, scolded her for breaking the rules. I’m speculating that she’s actually his daughter, but because she was born disfigured (which in that day and age would not fly), he resents her for that and has kept her a secret from everyone. My theory seemed to fit until she stabbed him in the neck with the dagger that was hidden in the doll he left her. Apparently she has daddy issues — but who wouldn’t after being kept in a stone cave for all their life?
Finally, a round of applause for Toby Regbo. He portrayed so many emotions in this episode you could feel the weight of this acting. First you can 100 per cent believe he still loves Mary even after she ran off with his brother. He was also determined to make Mary understand logic to keep her from believing in the prophecy. Like a colour wheel of emotions he moves right into anger, beating up his brother in the dungeon for his engagement to Mary (the first Bash learns of this by the way, something he’s not too happy about). As a viewer you can feel the sting of Francis’s words when he yells at Mary for destroying his family by asking for Bash to be legitimized and telling her he will never forgive her, no matter how much he loves her. If that wasn’t a powerful enough performance, Regbo does it again when he shows his character has freedom. Even though Francis says he is free and is going to take advantage of that, it is the performance that makes you feel the sad realization that Francis is leaving Court and we don’t know when we’ll see him again.
Bye, Bye Francis.