This week’s episode of Reign was titled “Inquisition” but I think the writers made a mistake because episode 11 should have been called “Plot Twist.” Bear with me through this recap because so much happened in 40 minutes I don’t know how it was possible to fit it all.
It seems that there is a trend going on in this second half of the season as each episode focuses on one character. The first half of the season developed the overall setting and story while this half is developing each character and how they fit into the whole we’ve seen.
Queen Catherine de Médicis was this week’s focus. Catherine has always been vindictive with a heart of stone, only caring about herself and her children. “Inquisition” brings light to why the Queen is the way she is and brings in facts you would have never guessed.
This episode showed a beautiful contrast in the sides of Catherine, from her being a prisoner and eating disgusting looking porridge to her dressing herself up in Queen attire — jewels, crown and all.
The first side of Catherine we see is her sexual side.
We finally got to hear about King Henry and Queen Catherine’s past. Though I still want to know about when they first met and their arrangement, it was great to hear that they really loved each other and how their young, foolish selves built their hatred toward each other over the years. There was so much sexual tension between the two of them when they were reminiscing about the start of their marriage, I was physically cheering for them to kiss. I know, you probably think I’m crazy for saying that, because I mean, it’s Catherine we’re talking about, but there was just this spark between them that made you want them to work it out and be husband and wife again. It seems they wanted that too since they ended up sleeping together.
Here comes one of the MAJOR plot twists. Turns out, Catherine is quite the lover. In this episode, King Henry’s old friend Richard (who was exiled from Court by the Queen long ago) has returned to find reason to sentence the Queen to death. It all seems to be going according to plan, oh that is until Richard is in Catherine’s prison chambers waiting for her. Beyond even my ability to predict the plot, I was shocked to learn that Catherine and Richard are lovers and have been since they were both first in Court.
You only have a moment to process that before we move on to Catherine’s emotional side. (I know, I didn’t think Catherine had the ability to cry either).
Remember last week when I said I wouldn’t want to be the one to find Nostradamus’s stabbed body two weeks later? That incident was completely overlooked and Nostradamus is now chained up as a prisoner (since he’s being accused of sleeping with Catherine. Too bad Henry was looking at the wrong man). But this does lead to FINALLY learning about Clarissa. No, she’s not Nostradamus’s daughter as I had speculated; she was actually under the care of his father when she was a baby and he feels responsible for her. She was born deformed, with a birthmark on her face, which was seen as a sign of begin kissed by the devil. Nostradamus’s father performed physical and medicinal experiments on Clarissa to try and rid her of the mark. Unfortunately, this resulted in her face being more deformed than before. So what does all this have to do with Catherine and her emotions? Two things: one, she was crying when she heard this story, so clearly it moved her stone heart in some way, and two, (are you ready for this?) it turns out Clarissa is her daughter! There was a string of profanity out of my mouth after that revelation. Though it had crossed my mind a few months ago when we saw a bit of Clarissa and saw her red hair, I just likened that to the actor not the character.
But how was this kept a secret for so long? Well guess who the baby daddy is? It’s Richard (King Henry’s friend she’s been having the affair with). When Clarissa was born, she was disowned by Catherine and was sent to a convent. But this begs the question of how did they keep this all from Henry? Did they tell him Catherine had a miscarriage? He clearly would have known she was pregnant but then never saw the child.
It’s a lot to take in in such a short time, but hopefully you handle this better than King Henry; he beheaded Richard and a guard without a second thought — the dude’s got a lot of anger.
But in the end, Catherine goes back to her malicious ways by poising Mary while she’s in the tub and holding a knife to her throat so she can’t escape. Clarissa, who considers herself Mary’s saviour, saves her from drowning and even tries to save her mother. After months of waiting, we finally get to see Clarissa’s full face. Fortunately, the guards break into the room and Bash gets Mary out of the poisonous bath water and Mary’s okay.
Throughout the episode Bash and Mary were trying to protect Isobel’s baby (read last week’s recap) by sending her with a wet-nurse to her home, to then be moved to a convent.
Unsurprisingly, Catherine won’t go down without a fight and for all those shipping Bash and Mary, this episode was a pretty cute one. Bash protected Mary from being stabbed when they were hiding at the wet-nurses’s home and he saved her from Catherine’s poison. As many times as Bash offers Mary an out, she tells him her heart is open to him and that they are in this together.
Just when you think this show can’t get any more twisted, it does. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us the rest of season one.