Reign Recap: “The Darkness”

Posted on March 20, 2014 by
Mary and Lola at the feast in 1x15 still

It’s funny this week’s episode of Reign is called “The Darkness” when, at face value, it wasn’t a very dark episode and we didn’t really learn about the darkness until the end. However, there isn’t always just one darkness, and that’s what I’m going to explore.

Beyond an actual being (as the Darkness is a thing in this episode), King Henry is being consumed by darkness — though madness is more like it. It was just the beginning when he pushed a duchess out the window while having sex with her last week. This week he’s gone completely psychotic. First we learn he was overly rough with Kenna, then he gets kinky and forces Kenna to have sex with a random female (who I’m assuming is a prostitute since he said he “paid good money for her”).

Starting off the episode like that was risky on the part of the creators of the show. It was unexpected and uncalled for and frankly made me think less of the show. It seemed that Reign was getting sexual just for the sake of seeing how far they could push the limits (especially after they had to censor episode 13). However, I was happy to find out the scene did have a purpose: Kenna wakes up with a dead body next to her; the prostitute was strangled while Kenna was sleeping.

This leads to a surprising alliance as Kenna turns to Catherine for help. Catherine helps cover up another of the King’s murders and begins to keep a watchful eye on him. I don’t know how much that is going to help given that he’s gone crazy. As the episode plays out, we could see a growing darkness inside of Henry. He was acting as if he were either drunk or suffering from a mental disorder (note: I am not suggesting those two are one in the same). From him lashing out in anger to walking with a cane and even rambling about the political conditions of Europe, it even has Catherine scared and concerned. Something is seriously wrong with King Henry and I can’t wait to find out what it is!

While that Darkness grew in secret, there are many other secrets within the castle’s stone walls. Nostradamus has been hiding Olivia and helping heal her for months. Fearing that evil had spread through her body, Nostradamus performs a type of “ceremonial baptism,” if you will, to clear Olivia from the evil. I think now Olivia is going to attach herself to Nostradamus as she sees him as “her Saviour.”

Lola, pregnant with Francis’s child, has been hiding it from everyone, including Francis. In this episode, Mary spends her time trying to find an appropriate suitor for Lola so she can get married and have Francis’s baby but pretend it’s her husband’s. (From miles away we can see that’s not going to work out as planned). Lord Philip was courting Lola but it turns out he’s gay so that didn’t work out for her — which is too bad, he was quite sweet. Mary finally lashes out at Lola, showing some reaction to the fact that her best friend is having her husband’s baby. Though she later apologizes, I think she has every right to share that the situation is hurting her. Mary had been far too relaxed about the whole thing until now.

Remember last week when I said it won’t be so easy for Mary and Francis to have a kid? In 1×13, Mary is starting to realize that. She shares those concerns with Francis and Lola (separately) and it results in a very cute Frary sex scene. Lighting dozens of candles for Mary, Francis tells her, “I don’t make love to you because I want a baby. I want a baby because I love you.” How cute is this prince?!

I was overly excited to see Leith back in the show. (Leith is one of the kitchen servants and Lady Greer is “in a relationship” with him, but since he’s a peasant she can’t be with him. They have a monopoly on the “forbidden love” storyline.) And as if all those other secrets weren’t enough, we find out Leith is leaving for Spain to work for Greer’s suitor, Lord Castleroy. Leith sees it as an honour, but we discover Greer set up the job position for him so they would breakup. We just get Leith back (and our Greith couple) and now he’s leaving again. They are the cutest couple, I hope they find a way to be together. That may be a problem though, as last we see, a carriage pulls up to the castle with Greer’s new fiancé (arranged by her parents).

Favourite Look of the episode:

While those stories play out on in the castle, Bash is still out in the woods hanging out with the huntress, Rownan, whom he met in the previous episode. Unfortunately, for helping Olivia, Rownan and her family (pagans as it were) are now marked — meaning “the Darkness” or “Beast” is coming for them. (WARNING to animal lovers, turn away during this scene). The Beast does come for her family and Bash is there to witness it. His plan was to fight but Rownan and her family tied Bash up to prevent him from doing so, believing the legends that say there is no way to fight the Darkness. But Rownan made the mistake of looking the Beast in the eyes and gets dragged away into the night. What will happen to her? We shall find out as Bash has made it his mission to save her, and to do that, he’s going back to the castle for help.

With many forms of Darkness in the area, it’s never a dull moment at French Court.

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