Reign on Prime – 1×03: Kissed

MaryWell, guess who remembered what day Reign airs on Prime? Not this guy, I thought it was Fridays! I was mistaken, Prime Underclass, but hey at least I realised a lot earlier than I did last week! And on that high note let’s get right to it. The English are coming! Well, actually they’re here at the Scottish border and they politely request you get some more eggs, kid. First of all the kid had A SCOTTISH ACCENT! A rarity in a show about the Queen of Scots but what can ya do? Secondly, cook the men some eggs! (NZ joke there, don’t mind us.)

This week there is a little less of the supernatural, unfortunately, but the political interplay is pulled forward into the foray. While I enjoy the watching Mary run around in secret passageways trying to talk to a girl with a sack on her head- the political web of (al)lies is rather intriguing. Especially if it means we get to see Kane exercise them acting chops as Mary finally starts to acquire, how shall I say, some agency- granted it’s with the news from her mum that the English soldiers are amassing outside Scottish borders (thanks Unc Claude De Guise, who also has an English accent).

Uncle Claude asks Mary what’s up with their allies dragging their feet with everything, namely military aid and the small matter of Mary’s marriage to Francis. And Mary’s like ‘I can’t just hit Francis over the head with a forget-me-stick and drag his ass up the alter’. She may not have said those words, but her eyes projected them. The thing is, France aren’t too keen to hitch their wagon onto a weak donkey that isn’t going to get them far and Mary, who was looking pretty eeyore-ish of late, understands that they’re being politicians. Unc Claude however ends their convo with “As Queen you must do something,” gee whizz, thanks for the most obvious piece of advice of the episode, but he’s right. So Mary barges into a meeting to ask, nay demand, that Henry send military aid but she gets bounced.

So what’s a Queen to do but find other avenues? After nearly killing the visiting Prince Tomas (Manolo Cardona) of Portugal by chucking a ball at his head and then using him to break her fall from a tree, Mary tries to negotiate a deal for troops. Tomas doesn’t take the deal, instead choosing to propose to Mary- like really dude? He promises military aid and an immediate wedding which Francis isn’t giving her. Mary’s a bit weirded out by this, understandably; not only does her lady-in-waiting Greer (weird name, Greer, it rhymes with leer, cheer, fear, here, hear, deer, dear- I’ll stop now) think she’s got a shot with Tomas because he’s a bastard like Sebastian, he is nothing like Bash, but Mary’s also just not that into him. However, she’s a royal and her people are in trouble and this guy’s offering what she needs. Mary tells Francis of Tomas’ proposal, which seems to jolt Francis into action and in what looks like the first time Francis has ever done anything of import he interrupts King Henry and Bash’s fencing sesh to ask he send the companies Scotland needs.

I like that the King can be so open about which son he likes spending time with, “Francis are you mental? Get outta here with your crazy talk. Can’t you see I’m having bonding time with my favourite bastard- I wish he was legitimate.” Okay he doesn’t say that, but he does bounce him, basically explaining that it’s too dangerous for France to come to Scotland’s aid. Francis doesn’t like it but he can’t do shit about it- which may or may not be true. He needs to get creative, c’mon Francis!

While at a ball, where Mary’s dress looks slightly- only slightly due to an Elizabethanish-style collar- of the time, Francis and Mary are dancing and he relays the bad news. I like that they’re still kinda dancing when Tomas goes all ‘it’s Mr Steal-Your-Girl’ and cuts in. This buster’s got to go! They do some kind of sexy-dance thing which I’m sure wouldn’t have been well received in the 1500s, and looks more uncomfortable than arousing for Mary, and has everyone staring- leave it to Bash to ask Francis ‘Why can’t you dance like that?’ Oh Bash, you may not have existed in history but may you live forever on Reign.

Francis finally has a ‘light-bulb’ moment and seeks out his pops- because by George he’s got it! He blackmails Henry, threatening to tell Queen Catherine and Mistress Diane of the king’s new affair with Kenna (ew) and make the King’s life just a little bit rough. Henry, just short of exclaiming ‘I’m glad your balls have finally grown’, is pleased by Francis’ initiative and finally agrees to send six companies of troops to Scotland.

Speaking of Kenna, she happens across Bash who’s drinking alone, and she sits with him- her eyes on the King who’s playing the ‘make her jealous by hanging out with this pretty lady’ card and she asks if the King’s always such a womanizing douchenozzle. “Hard to image a more uncomfortable conversation about one’s father.” Bash comments, which is so true but he does offer Kenna some info and sage advice, “He’s playing you, he likes to play and he likes to win. But know this about him: a victory without effort is worse than defeat.” Basically, Kenna, make that old man work for it. Seriously, I don’t think I can ever ship that. Ever.

Francis, having got his way seeks out their best rider- Bash to go out and deliver the orders to the troops. Francis is all like ‘you sure you’re alright to ride, bro?’ when Bash is already trying to sober himself up. Like he’s gonna say no, he wants Mary to stay more than Francis does! (According to my sister, who also believes Bash deserves her more.)

I don’t know how careful he was because he returns gravely wounded, as they were ambushed by the English before they could set sail. Henry and Catherine realize this means the English were warned by a spy at court. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN. Francis, uber distraught by the fact that his brother’s been wounded and is super guilty about it, kisses Mary for the first time and tells her to marry Tomas for the sake of Scotland. And so, Mary accepts Tomas’ proposal, and Tomas sends a ship of his men immediately to Scotland. I find it exceedingly suspicious that everything seemed to work out so well for Tomas, who to me seems way too smarmy with his Portugese accent and pantene pro-v hair.

Honourable Mentions:

– Paranormal corner: Nostrodamus tells the girls their futures. All I know is it looks like he’s trying to remember whether he forgot to carry the two in a maths test from the day before and the marks count towards his NCEA level 2 Maths grade. Noz, can I call him Noz, offers cryptic pieces that make them look for the weirdest shit. Like Greer, she’s told her true love will have a white mark on his face- so Greer stares at Tomas’ face for a bit, weirding him out.

– Are we supposed to care about Greer’s romance? I think I do, but only because that cook is WAY hotter than Tomas. Oh and TE WHITE MARK IS FLOUR ON HIS FACE BUT OF COURSE SHE DOESN’T SEE IT CURRSE YOU NOZ!

– See you next week? Because [que dramatics] we’ve got to know whether Bash is okay, if he dies….the fandom dies with him! [Annnnd scene.]

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