Reign
Thursday 21:00 on CW
2 Seasons, 27 Episodes

Genre: History / Drama

In Season

Hidden between the lines of the history books is the story of Mary Stuart, the young woman the world would come to know as Mary, Queen of Scots. Queen of Scotland since she was six days old, the teenage Mary is already a headstrong monarch - beautiful, passionate, and poised at the very beginning of her tumultuous rise to power. Arriving in France with four close friends as her more
... ladies-in-waiting, Mary has been sent to secure Scotland's strategic alliance by formalizing her arranged engagement to the French king's dashing son, Prince Francis. But the match isn't signed and sealed, it depends more on politics, religion and secret agendas than affairs of the heart. Prince Francis is intrigued by the fiery Scot, but like most young men, he resists the idea of settling down into marriage, especially when he has a history with a lady of the court and his own point of view on the wisdom of an alliance with Scotland. Still, an attraction between Mary and Francis is ignited. Further complicating things is Bash, Francis' roguish half-brother, who has a history of his own - despite his illegitimate birth, Bash is his father's favorite. And now that Bash has caught Mary's eye, a royal triangle may be forming. While at French Court, fierce foes and dark forces conspire to sabotage Mary's marriage to Francis and even threaten her life, until a mysterious shrouded guide becomes her ally. With danger and sexual intrigue around every dark castle corner, Mary rallies her ladies-in-waiting and steels herself, ready to rule the new land and balance the demands of her country and her heart.
 
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Reign RECAP and REVIEWS (46)

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  • Showdown Between Mary and Lola

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    Showdown Between Mary and Lola This week on Reign, a million things happen at once because everyone in the French court is crazy good at multitasking. There's a fight, a christening, a pregnancy announcement, a miscarriage, a sexy dance, a sexy sex scene, a murder, a suicide, and ghosts. The real mystery of this episode doesn't revolve around whether the riders are men or demons from the underworld, but how in the world everyone manages to fit so much into their day.
    It's to the show's credit that the hour zips by without feeling overloaded and overstuffed. Several episodes worth of developments are introduced and just as quickly discarded. By the halfway point Mary and Lola have already had a friendship-ending fight, made up, and ferried Narcisse's new bride out of the castle and, presumably, to safety. I looked at the clock and back up to the television in confusion, because how was there still half an episode left?

    I'm always impressed with shows that don't hold anything back, that throw themselves...
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  • Long Live the King

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    Long Live the King This week on Reign, Francis and Mary bicker like an old married couple over how best to handle the grain shortage, Kenna realizes she's never getting a chateau, and Francis has a heart-to-heart with the pissed off spirit of his murdered father.

    All in a day's work for a king! Thankfully after a long day of communing with spirits and bickering with his wife, Francis at least has a coronation party to look forward to. And it looks like Catherine de Medici throws one killer royal kegger.

    The theme of this season so far has revolved around the question of what kind of rulers Mary and Francis are going to be. Will they be manipulative and crazy like the former King and Queen of France? Or will they put the people's welfare above all?

    Embedded in this fight is the fluctuating roles of the show's two most powerful women, and arguably the show's most dynamic characters. What will Catherine's role look like now that she's Queen Mother instead of just the Queen? And how wil...
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  • Revenge Is a Two Sided Sword

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    Revenge Is a Two Sided Sword France may never be the same on Reign! Not only is the plague in the castle, but Mary is taking vengeance to a crazy level. The saying goes, it's an eye for an eye, right? Francis has fallen in love with his and Lola's illegitimate son. Add to that, Bash and Kenna are in the plague-ridden town with Pascal at death's door. Reign has set up the story for the dark forces that control the plague to get Pascal. Now that he may have died is there another one they need? Let's see where Reign takes us tonight.
    The Castle and the Dead
    The castle yard is full of corpses as the court counts their dead. Francis arrives with Lola and her child. Did he have to rub this in Mary's face? Of course the baby had to come to the castle, but why so visibly? Oh, hello plot device...We know that the illegitimate can't inherit a throne!
    Francis has an offer for Bash. He wants Bash to serve on the council but Bash refuses. Next, Francis in...
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  • Season 2 Premiere The Plague Hits France Hard

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    Season 2 Premiere  The Plague Hits France Hard Last season Reign's Mary, Queen of Scotland, became Queen of France and declared herself Queen of England. Her poor husband, Francis, had just become King of France after fighting against his father in a tournament. While only wounding Louis, the wound led to Louis' death and Francis becoming king. Both are facing the Plague on different sides of the castle gate. Is this a soap opera? Nope. Just another day in France during what most consider the Elizabethan age.
    Mary Duty at the Castle
    Mary and Catherine decide to show they truly reign by calling the court together so they can assure them that the castle is safe. Last time I heard this on a historic drama: the monster is among them. Both assure the crowd that no one is sick but Nostradamus does warn them of the symptoms. Bain has arranged an isolation area where the sick will be kept. I forgot that he was a physician first and a prophet second. Yvette does have a sweet scene with Pierre about it be...
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  • Season 1 Finale Long Live the Queen

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    Season 1 Finale  Long Live the Queen This week on the season finale of Reign, Mary puts on her big girl crown while Francis takes part in a full metal joust. Outside of royal maneuvering, Bash fights the darkness, Lola is maybe dying, and Greer has boy troubles.
    "This finale has crazy Batman-esque villains with vampire teeth, black plagues, exploding ships, ghost tennis players, and Mary making a power move with only the might of her wardrobe. So basically, it's a fairly normal episode of Reign


    I think once you've had "sexed to death" as an actual method of murder, the bar has been raised pretty high on what constitutes a crazy episode of this show. 


    A Queen Rises


    This puts an ellipsis on the end of what started out as my favorite show of the season, went through a bit of a stumbling period, and righted itself to remain one of the most ambitious and insane shows airing on prime time. The only other show I can think of as cr...
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  • I Believe In a Thing Called Love

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    I Believe In a Thing Called Love

    Fratricide! Patricide! Murderous-guy-with-pointy-teeth-icide! Reign Season 1 Episode 22 ended the show's premiere season with a bang -- by loading up on wall-to-wall murders.

    Okay, only two of those murders actually happened up close and on camera --and two murders in an hour only usually counts as "light cardio" on Reign.

    But what murders these ones were! Though I was sad that we never quite found out the source of Henry's madness (the ghost of his brother who looked like Mischa Barton in The Sixth Sense?), his death scene was spectacular -- particularly Catherine's role in it.

    Poor, poor Catherine. That sick bastard was the only person she actually liked, huh?

    Catherine's turn on Henry's death bed was pathetic, beautiful, and beautifully pathetic -- so if you had any qualms about declaring her this show's secret weapon, throw them away now. Girl is amazing.

    But what will she -- or we -- do now that that leather-pants'...
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  • We Can Make It If We Run

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    We Can Make It If We Run

    Love -- romantic, familial, and otherwise -- was certainly a battlefield on Reign Season 1 Episode 21; why, it even had a body count!

    But as much as I enjoyed Lola's sudden transformation from passive victim into Lady Macbeth, the real star of this show was the man who never showed his face.

    Yes, kids, we are back on the trail of the Darkness! Glad to know Bash didn't just forget about it after he started getting laid.

    So who is the Darkness? Well, we know from Pascal that he has pointy teeth, and he murdered Pascal's parents...except we now know that Bash murdered Pascal's father. I don't know, I wouldn't call Bash's teeth "pointy," exactly...geez, you're pretty judgmental for a 10-year-old covered in blood, Pascal!

    And is Kenna's trip with Pascal somehow a trap? Was Pascal himself some kind of trap, sent to draw Bash and his family into unsafe places? Is Bash, with his pagan bloodline, somehow responsible for all of thi...
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  • Long Kill The King

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    Long Kill The King

    Reign benefits and suffers from a selective memory. It chooses what it likes about history and what it doesn't. It takes creative liberties to a new threshold, creating an unpredictable atmosphere. Who would have guessed Bash would have been named 'king-to-be' for a short while? Of course, the problem with its selective memory is that selective memory includes storylines. I had hoped Reign had long forgotten the Darkness storyline, but alas. It's back. Yay.


    One of the other problems of picking and choosing history is what is chosen. Or maybe what hasn't been. There are a LOT of missing things I wished we could see. Mary taking power and control while Francis is gone. Catherine at court. Too much time passes in between episodes -- Francis has come back, Mary Tudor is dead (according to King Henry), Kenna and Bash are close now. All this stuff happened since last week and we didn't get to see it. 

    And we're stuck with the Darkness ...
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  • Off With Your Head

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    Off With Your Head

    You never forget your first time. The first time you have an enemy beheaded for your personal gain, I mean. Ewww, what did you think I was talking about?

    Aside from including the best surprise beheading this side of Seven, Reign Season 1 Episode 20 was noteworthy for showing Mary's other first time -- her first abuse of power.

    Mary has served as a moral barometer of sorts for all of Reign Season 1 -- expecting absolute fairness in all situations, as everyone around her, from Francis to Kenna, becomes corrupted by little tastes of power.

    And yet here we are, having just seen Mary abuse her own power more intensely than anyone this side of Queen Catherine.

    Is this a commentary on how all power inevitably corrupts? The impossibility of a royal retaining a moral compass? A set-up to help TV recappers make beheading puns? Hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves here (sorry, had to).

    In Greek mythology, if you cut off one of th...
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  • A Means to an End

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    A Means to an End

    A little battlefield action, some plotting at court and the test of true love. Another episode of Reign.

    "If the end of your story's a happy one, does the end really matter?" Greer offers this advice to Lola. It really applies to everything on the show, doesn't it? Catherine believes in a means to an end. Same with Francis and Henry.


    But Mary's not so sure. Maybe it's because she was a royal raised by nuns or because she's the lead of a CW show where we are supposed to relate to Mary. Once upon a time, we were meant to relate to Elena Gilbert. This did not end well. However, Reign has what The Vampire Diaries does not: Mary, Queen of Scots. It's only when Francis and Bash step out of picture that Mary really shines. She's a grownup queen making her own decisions and risking it all for her love of Scotland. 


    It's another Mary episode, ladies and gentleman. For better or wor...
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