Reign Recapped: 3.14 To the Death
Written by: Lily Sparks
Directed by: Michael McGowen
I wanted to start this week a little differently by talking about history, historical accuracy and historical fantasy. Reign is based on the life and reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. With any fictional show they embellish the truth, twist reality and generally bend real historical accuracy to meet their needs.
This week the show touched on Anne Boleyn and here lies my problem. Where as most people know the show is historical fantasy there was so much Tudor propaganda and then later historical fiction such as The Other Boleyn Girl that the line between fantasy and reality has become blurred for many regular tv viewers. For this reason and because Anne had her reputation so wrongly blackened I feel it only right to state for the record that Anne Boleyn was more than likely innocent of the allegations made against her. Historically there is evidence that the timelines of her so called affairs do not add up and the lack of any other female accomplices is odd considering Anne would have gone nowhere without at least one lady.
With that said on with the recap.
With the Red Knights threatening her destruction Catherine needs forces rallying by her side more than ever. Things are complicated by a lack of funds to pay the men for the services. France still owes it’s soldiers for their intervention in Scotland and are now threatening that unless they are paid they will take their men elsewhere. Desperate for support Catherine turns to the Vatican but they refuse her plea for support. It seems Catherine is still on the naughty step for letting Gideon get away. Turning to Narcisse to find a source of income he in turn raises taxes for the common folk. Asking the poor to pay more is never a good move so when the taxes are once again raised the villagers are ready to revolt.
So now everyone is angry at the royal family and still they do not have the money to pay the generals. So what do you do when you are desperate need of money, you go to the casino of course
So the young King Charles and Narcisse hop off to the high class gambling den where things go as well as expected. Instead of solving the problem it just digs a much bigger hole.
Good thing Narcisse came along then because not only does the casino have a basement fight club but Narcisse is up for a good old fight to gain France some gold.
Thanks to a scary looking weapon and the power if Craig Parker with his top off, Narcisse comes out on top.
Charles and Catherine are both relieved to have acquired the required gold and to thank Narcisse in his role in saving France Catherine awards Narcisse his old position as Lord Chancellor.
Catherine arranges a dinner for all the generals to provide them with their owed wages and toast the new army ready to fight the Red Knights. All is going Catherine’s way until she is pulled aside to receive a gift left for her. The gift, the Red Knights mask and a chilling note ‘history repeats itself’. Sensing the danger Catherine immediately returns to the dinner party only to find poor Charles in a state of despair surrounded by his now dead generals, all poisoned to death.
Once news of their deaths spreads it is only a matter of time before Catherine is blamed for their deaths and now the soldiers with their weapons and training will stand side by side with the angry common folk. Red Knights 2 Catherine 0
Mary’s been having better luck. The Vatican keen to see Mary and more importantly a Catholic on both the Scottish and English throne are all too keen to provide Mary with whatever they wish. When Mary asks for money to provide an army they eagly provide her with gold. Now equipped with the gold to purchase an army, Mary must find and recruit the right men. Helpfully Bash introduces her to an available group of mercenaries. Before recruiting them to return to Scotland with her Mary must be sure of their skill but how to test them?
Mary who recently discovered Greer’s secret pregnancy uses the situation to try and provide her friend with the dignity and safety that she so clearly longs for. As it is Greer’s child would be a bastard and stained for life. All is not lost for Greer, indeed she does have a husband albeit one locked up for treason. To test the mercenaries Mary sets them the task of recovering Lord Castleroy from his prison cell. Successfully returning from their task Castleroy is in a bit of a state and so Mary has him made more presentable before he is taken to Greer’s tavern to be reunited with his wife. Castleroy seemingly forgetting how dodgy he looked until very recently wants to see his wife before deciding whether to do the honourable thing by her. Things are a little tense between the couple until Mary reminds Castleroy how passionately he once loved Greer. Love does not completely leave you, deep down there is always embers waiting to be rekindled.
Newly reconciled Mary provides the pair with papers so they can safely get far away from France and start a new life together. I’m not quite sure why they didn’t just go to Scotland but I am assuming the show is shedding cast ahead of Mary’s return to Scotland.
Upset at the departure of the last if the original ladies in waiting Mary needs some time to cry it out. Lucky then that Bash is around to not only hold her but to promise be will always be by her side no matter what she faces or where. He is to travel with Mary to Scotland and has no plans to leave the woman he loves. Yes guys Bash still has feelings for Mary(but no one has seen or spoken to his wife in months)
Over in England Elizabeth is being plagued by a reoccurring dream where is unable to save her mother from execution. She was only three when Anne Boleyn was killed at the orders of her own father so honestly it’s no surprise the woman had a few issues.
It would appear the upcoming jubilee is bringing back uncomfortable memories for the queen. Whilst England prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Henry VIII’s coronation Elizabeth had her mother of her mind.
Elizabeth is clever enough to know she never publically clear her mother’s name without causing potential trouble for herself however she is out for more private revenge.
Her eyes are set on her mother’s best friend,Beatrice Somerset(Sarah Mennell) who testified that Anne committees incest with her brother George Boleyn. She is due to be at court to celebrate the jubilee and Elizabeth plots to have her thrown in jail and to confiscate Boleyn land that Henry VII granted her in return for her testimony. Enlisting Lola to frame Beatrice she is to plant one of Elizabeth’s pearl necklaces into her belongings however the plan fails and Elizabeth is forced to have both Beatrice and Lola arrested. Whilst in jail Lola informs Beatrice that she was bribed by a man to plant the necklace and in return Beatrice opens up about how she was coerced to testify against her friend. The original testimony came from a chambermaid however Henry forced Beatrice to testify instead as her word would carry more merit.
Tracking the maid down Elizabeth demands she confess that she made up the lies against her mother however the maid insists she told the truth. She tells Elizabeth how her mother was so desperate to provide a male heir and so afraid of her husband that she turned to her own brother however she could not go through with the deed. This news understandably turns Elizabeth’s stomach. On a personal level this storyline disappointed me and led to Reign getting a timeout from me. For those who know me you will know I’m a history nerd and whilst I enjoy Reign’s lighthearted view of history I believe they could have told a much more bold version of Anne Boleyn.
Elizabeth goes on to pardon both the ladies she had thrown in jail. Somerset gives the queen back the Boleyn lands she was granted as a peace offering whilst Lola raised herself up a few notches in Elizabeth’s eyes.
Lola remained loyal to Elizabeth even when thrown in jail and in return Elizabeth grants Lola permission to have visitation with her son John.
Now Mary has the men and money to fight off John Knox in Scotland she is scheduled to return to Scotland in the very near future. Tension is about to rise between the two queens.
Written by Lisa