Reign Recapped: 4.02 A Grain of Deception
Written by: Patricia Care and Lara Olsen
Directed by: Fred Gerber
Three queens, three problems. All surrounding men
In France, Catherine is struggling to regain power as Charles is as keen to go about his kingly duties as a teenager is to go to school.
Keeping with the teenage theme Charles appears to be going through his emo stage, he is pale, in need of a good shower and covered in blood. Whatever Charles has been getting up to instead of running France will surely not stay secret for too long.
Catherine is too involved to allow the Valois name to be tarnished, not even by her own son.
Meanwhile Leesa continues to be annoying as hell whilst Claude sulks some more. In fairness if my sister showed up, steam rolled my emotions and refused to listen to anything but their own voice I’d be mighty pissed too.
I’m still holding out on Leith, poor Claude has been through enough.
Meanwhile in Scotland, Mary is having troubles of her own.
Still feeling isolated and unable to trust those around her Mary asks Greer to return to court, she only has one remaining lady and she needs her now more than ever.
Greer is taken back by Mary’s offer but is troubled, the birth of her daughter Rose presented its own difficulties. Whilst Lord Castleroy is happy to claim the child as his own, Rose’s skin betrays her true parentage. Worried about protecting her child from gossips she still accepts Mary’s offer to return to court.
A queen without supporters is dancing on thin ice, Mary is all too aware of the vulnerable situation she is. She is caught between conflict between catholics and protestants and is in desperate need of strengthening her position.
A village on the Scottish/English border is bearing the brunt of the dispute between the two queens and Mary is frustrated by foiled efforts to get food and relief to the village.
English guards always seem to be one step. It comes to a brutal head when two Scottish guards dressed as villagers are intercepted on route to the village and one is sent back to Edinburgh Castle with one less hand.
The English guards are savage but effective in their message. The land on the border is disputed and Scots are very much not welcome.
The attacks are no coincidence, there is a mole in the Scottish court. Unable to know who to trust Mary knows it couldn’t have been any of the Lord’s as they have alibis, instead the suspicion turns to their wives.
Arranging a get together with all the Lord’s wives it is the perfect time to bait a spy. Mary lets slip that the grain being sent to the village is poisoned.
All the women getting together is also an opportunity to introduce Emily Knox, the beautiful and young wife of John Knox.
Sensing an opportunity, Mary instructs James to seduce Emily though he is not keen. Nonetheless Mary has a letter and gift sent to Emily, James is not impressed but Mary cares not. James loyalty should be to no one but her. Seducing Emily could bring down Knox and Knox getting a whiff of James around his wife should put a confident wedge between that relationship as well.
When the grain arrives safely in the village Mary is given the proof she needed, someone at her court had betrayed her to the English guards. But who? All the wives had albis, after doing some more digging one of the wives made a suspicious visit to a blacksmith.
In true Reign spirit the wife is found having a literal roll in the hay with a rather hunky looking spy/blacksmith.
In an English palace Elizabeth is still dealing with her two problems, John Knox and Narcisse.
Despite writing to Catherine directly she has heard nothing back, for now Narcisse will remain in England.
Whilst he is there he can at least be useful, Gideon offers Narcisse an opportunity to earn his own way back to France, prove Knox was behind the plot to kill Elizabeth and then he can take care of Knox however he wishes.
Elizabeth has invited Knox to court, he may be a slimeball but he betrays his ignorance of Elizabeth by accepting her invitation. He is unaware that his involvement in the assassination plot has been rumbled, all Elizabeth needs is some proof, with the nanny dead she is stuck unable to make a move.
Arriving at court Knox comes across young John and his nursemaid lets slip his nanny died of a quick illness, sensing all is not as it seems Knox makes a hasty retreat.
Keen to not let the rat escape Elizabeth orders her guards find Knox and bring him before her. Whilst hunting Knox Gideon and the guards stumble across a worrying sight, fifty men meeting in secret.
The men who were plotting against Elizabeth are the real reason Knox came to England.
Unwilling to let the men speak publicly against her Elizabeth orders the men are quietly killed. There are a few things wrong in this scenario.
One, Elizabeth seems to think she is in a castle. This is my pet peeve of Reign. A little of research goes a long way. A castle such as Edinburgh or Windsor is a fortified building, built to defend.
A palace such as Holyrood and Greenwich are grand buildings, built to be royal residences.
Two, the idea that fifty men would meet inside the queen’s court to plot against her is ridiculous. This isn’t Game of Thrones.
Elizabeth had her fair share of enemies but she was a popular queen with both Catholic and Protestant lords and more importantly her people.
Anyway back to Reign.
Knox is aware of the men’s disappearance and is arrogant in his knowledge that Elizabeth can not strike against him without drawing attention to herself. Instead of sending Knox to a short stay in the Tower of London she sends him and his poisonous sermons back to Scotland, at least there he may be of some use to her.
Angry that Elizabeth let Knox return to Scotland Narcisse takes another step towards getting his ass thrown in a dungeon again when he seems out Lady Lennox.
Trying to strike back at Elizabeth in revenge for her killing Lola he lets Lady Lennox know that Elizabeth has had Lord Darnley’s lovers engagement broken. Darnley is free to marry and it isn’t Mary he wishes this with.
Three queens, three problems. Will Mary ever trust her own court?
Will Catherine battle back control from Charles without taking fatal actions?
And will Reign ever show Elizabeth as the popular, badass she really was? Probably not
Written by Lisa