Reign 1.04 “Hearts and Minds” Recap - Ksitetv.com
Francis and Tomás are on the archery field competing against one another while the crowd of Frenchmen watches on, with Nostradamus nervous about the Clarissa-shaped target and Mary's ladies mentioning how much bolder Tomas has been in recent days. As Tomas oversteps his bounds by using a second arrow when the event normally doesn't allow it, causing Francis to retaliate with another arrow of his own, Mary gets pulled away by Claude and informed that she's yet to be released from her engagement with Francis. It's been several days, though, and she's begun to grow antsy, even with Claude telling her that getting out of this isn't as easy as she might think. Henry doesn't want anyone to think that France is willing to walk away from an alliance empty-handed and the only way she gets the full brunt of Portugal's support is by appeasing Henry, so for now, Mary is in marital limbo.
Meanwhile, Bash's wounds from the ambush have healed thanks to Nostradamus, though his blood disease is spreading quickly, quickly enough to where his life is in danger. Lola comes looking for an update on Bash's condition and ends up being pulled to his bedside, as he tells her that he wants to see more f her worried frown and she begins helping him drink some water. After blurting out that she's known loss in her life and is only afraid of being alone, not of death himself, Lola is instructed to grab a book of Norse mythology from the shelf and read to Bash, something that will comfort him. Outside, Tomas ends up winning the competition and takes the pink rose over to Mary where he publicly asks her for her favor. She quickly tries to apologize to Francis for the thoughtless faux pas and he responds by lamenting the fact that they were a single spy away from still being together. But before either of them can linger on what might have been, King Henry announces that Lord Westbrook is the spy that caused the slaughter of the six companies of men.
Mary paces in one of the hallways and has a run-in with Queen Catherine, eager to get rid of the girl who promises to bring death to the castle. However, Mary isn't able to get out of the engagement quite yet, as Henry feels like Scotland was poached; she learns, though, that there is the possibility of her union with Francis being dissolved. Catherine and Henry need someone with an unassailable reputation to put their name to the words of a prostitute named Judith who claims to have seen Simon boasting about his involvement in the slaughter. Judith describes the man as having a fine face, posh clothes, and wearing the English seal around his neck, a heartless man who played games with others. Should Mary agree to put her name along with Judith's words, she will get out of her engagement, though when she does, Simon is sentenced to be beheaded at an upcoming banquet. After the meeting, Nostradamus walks along with Catherine and hears that she's willing to accept what happened with the ambush, even Bash's potentially fatal injuries, because of the fact that it could push Mary out of the castle once and for all. For her, the ends of the slaughter certainly justified the means, even though she learns that Nostradamus' dreams have only become more vivid in recent days.
Only engaged for about an hour, Mary has begun packing for Portugal. She is set to leave in two days and tells her ladies that they have the choice whether or not they'll be coming with her, since they didn't sign up knowing they would be going to Portugal. However, they all agree to stick with her and hope to give her the chance to be with someone that she likes, which Kings and Queens don't have the luxury of considering. Mary then goes outside and finds Francis practicing his archery and it's not long before the two have their hands on each other, Mary kissing his hand after it begins touching her face. But rather than risk being caught in front of the palace, they agree to meet by the lakeside at sunset, a plan that finds its way back to Tomas. Elsewhere, Kenna visits Henry with the intention of losing her virginity to him, only she again crosses the line between the physical and the emotional by suggesting that she stay in France and become his Mistress. Henry tells her that his heart needs time, but she doesn't have any to give him.
Francis is beside himself with thoughts of how the ambush and the broken engagement could have happened, though he blames Simon more than he blames himself. In fact, he knows that he did the right thing because England stopped attacking Scotland after France sent their companies of men, meaning that as much as Henry tried to steer him from this line of thinking, he knows that he can trust his instincts. He does so by going to the lakeside and trying to convince Mary that he heard Tomas was scheming and cruel to his servants; in turn, she says that all Royals have rumors spread about them, with people saying that Bash got all the good looks in the royal family and that Francis looks sickly and weak. The two end up passionately kissing again, stopping before things get too heated. Mary makes it back to her room to find Tomas waiting for her, only this time, he's not the charming rogue who swept her off her feet with a box of jewels and promises of military protection. He wants to discuss the rules that he has for her, including that everything in her possession is his and that she has neither freedom of thought nor action while married to him. He also brings out whipping boy Miguel, who he beats on when she questions him and interrupts him. Once he leaves, Aylee tries to convince her that she can't marry this man, but Mary knows that she must because she's a queen.
Bash's fever has broken, yet he's not permitted to leave his bed due to fear of tearing his wound open. Nostradamus leaves him alone with Francis who knows that Tomas is a monster and doesn't know how to prove it. He has heard that the prince killed his first wife, though, but before he can go further, Tomas enters the room, having heard the entire conversation about him. He reminds Francis, who he describes as a powerless princeling that couldn't even send a few men to Scotland, that Mary is his property now, no matter how many times he tries to make that otherwise. Bash pulls Francis away when he tries to attack Tomas and pledges to kill the prince if need be. Meanwhile, Mary and her ladies are preparing for that night's costume banquet, the event whose culminating will be the beheading of Lord Westbrook. But Mary is the only one seemingly excited for the event, as Kenna can't get her mind off of Henry, and Greer puts on a façade of optimism to shield her feelings toward Leith. When she gets back to her room, Mary sees that her chest had fallen from where she left it. She sees that Simon's royal seal was left in there, likely by Clarissa, meaning that there's only a limited amount of time for her to investigate the ambush and determine whether Simon was innocent or not.
reignAs Lola watches Bash practice with his sword, Francis arrives and has an epiphany when he realizes that had there been no ambush, Mary would not have had to accept the proposal from Tomas. Since the prince was rumored to be quite desperate to find a wife, having scoured the entire continent for a willing and able woman to help him gain legitimacy (and the Portuguese throne), they think that it was him that tipped off the English about the coming companies of men. Mary goes up to Simon at the banquet and discovers that his red seal is slightly different from the official white English seal before Tomas brusquely calls her over and roughly handles her; he lets go when Francis and Bash make their presence known in the room. Mary, Bash, and Francis then decide to go after Miguel, who hates his master, and Judith to see if they can't get either to turn against Tomas, because if they don't and Simon gets wrongly killed by Henry, France will have a heck of a war on its hands with England.
They get a shot in the arm when they find out that Tomas has taken Miguel to the game fields, possibly to kill him before anyone can talk to him about the slaughter. While Bash and Francis ride out to see if they can't intervene, Mary goes after Judith, who she manages to run down while leaving town with a new cloak. Though skittish around Mary, likely as the result of being abused by the man she's trying to escape, Judith confirms that the seal of the man who tipped off the English is white, not red like Simon's, and that she would be able to recognize him if she saw him in person. Bash and Francis get to the game fields just in time to stop Tomas from executing Miguel, though the whipping boy takes an arrow in the back when he tries to run away. After comforting Miguel and pledging to get the arrow out, only to see the man run out of fear of Tomas, Francis rushes to relieve Bash, who was busy having a swordfight with Tomas that leaves him bleeding from the stomach. The prince gets sent into a tree, yet Bash distracts Tomas long enough for Francis to get a dagger to his throat. Tomas offers peace for France in exchange for Mary's hand and Francis decides against it, stabbing Tomas in the heart after a struggle. His hands shaking, Francis helps Bash begin dragging Tomas' body back to the castle.
With Simon's execution approaching, Kenna tries her hand at negotiating with the king, begging him to wait for the additional evidence to be presented. However, he claims that justice cannot always wait and that Catherine tells him waiting makes him look like less of a king, even though Kenna thinks that kind of patience and grace is extremely what good Kings are made of. Talk then turns to how Henry couldn't keep him mind off of her when he saw her in her wood sprite costume and how he admires the fact that she doesn't hide her heart, something that is all too prevalent in his kingdom. When Kenna tries to leave him by telling him that she would think of him while in Portugal, Henry goes on to say that maybe it's foolish that he's still with Diane even though she mostly shops in Paris and maybe it's foolish that he's still with Catherine even though she constantly undermines him. He decides that he wants her to stay and act as his mistress, just as Francis, Bash, and Mary bring Miguel, Judith, and Tomas' body into the room.
Simon gets freed and a position as English envoy to Portugal for his silence on Tomas' role in the ambush. While the prince's death is blamed on a stag's horns while hunting, Simon thanks Mary for acknowledging the mistake, an action that not many Royals would be willing to take for fear of retribution/embarrassment. Mary's treaty and engagement will be reinstated, but instead of going along with the previous terms, she uses the fact that Scotland just saved France a lot of embarrassment and staved off war with the increasingly strong English to get France to begin holding up their side of the alliance with Scotland. She manages to get all types of military goods, including men, for her country, in addition to timber and farm land. She receives a visit from Francis that night, later thanking him for all that he did to help prove Simon's innocence. Mary alludes to the fact that maybe his heart is right more often than he knows, as he was the one who pulled back during their lakeside encounter. He tells her that she will make for a true queen one day, though his head and heart still differ on where they stand as of today. Now alone, Mary leaves the seal for Clarissa and tells the "castle ghost" that she hopes she doesn't feel alone any longer.
Mary gets into bed and goes to sleep, not knowing that Clarissa is laying underneath the bed and not in the stone passageways.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-"I'm going to make us both feel better and leave."
-Good for Francis for getting a win. The first four episodes of Reign have been a touch emasculating for him - constantly held down by Henry, feeling like he's in the shadow of Bash, losing his fiancée to Tomas - and it was nice to see him not only using his intelligence to secure himself a victory, but being able to use force against Tomas when he needed to. I still think that he's a bit outmatched when dealing with Mary, but maybe that feeling is due to him being sheltered as much as he has been, unable to develop the type of strength he needs to be with a queen like her. Deliberate coddling by Henry to keep his lone heir from being ready/able to replace him for quite a while? Probably.
-It felt like more plot happened in this episode than in the first three episodes combined. That was ultimately a good thing because this had the type of excitement, gray morality, and shifting allegiances that I wanted from this show, but I had much more notes on what was happening that I expected. Also, props on this being essentially a reset episode and still feeling like it was going somewhere. We all knew where it was going; I thought the journey was pretty strong nonetheless and telling for the next few episodes.
-Part of the reason this worked as well as I thought it did was because it put the love triangle between the two brothers and Mary in the backseat, instead giving us a picture of how they relate to one another in a non-romantic situation. Love and angst and all that are well and good; this is exactly the type of groundwork that the show has to lay in order to make the romance-centric plots with the core trio hit that much harder. If we don't know who these people are or how they interact with each other, why should we invest in who ends up with whom?
-Lola/Bash: are we pro or against? I think they're cute and Lord knows they both deserve some happiness, but I just hope that if the show goes this direction, they slow play it. Because a show like this has to be careful to not become too reliant on romance in lieu of other storylines and Lola/Bash is the least essential/riveting of the other pairings.
-Sexy Nostradamus Watch: He doesn't want people to shoot arrows into replicas of his friend's head, so he's sensitive. He can take care of someone when they're ill, a sign of a caring soul. And he has a sarcastic side - 16th century bad boy? I think so.
-Favorite dress: Mary's yellow and gray outfit was lovely.
-I like how the show brought in elements from Tudor history, mostly because I really enjoyed The Tudors and The White Queen.
-That ending! Reign, God bless it, has this weirdness to it that I am into quite a bit. That was a striking visual to end on and makes Clarissa more of a tangible presence on the show, hopefully setting up a future meeting between the two this season. Thus far, she's lurked in the shadows, rolled some marbles, and sat with Nostradamus; I'm very curious how they would play her character if she became more visible around the castle instead of the guardian angel-type figure she's been thus far.
-Kenna telling Henry to be gentle and him replying "I will. The first time.": super hot? Or super not?
-One character I'm missing right now is Diane. I know we've barely seen her thus far, Henry lampshaded the fact that she isn't around much anyway, and the central conflict of the show is Mary/Catherine, but I'd be interested to see the castle's dynamics with Diane thrown into the mix, especially now that Kenna has been taken on as a mistress.
-So, Greer isn't all the way done with Leith, as she meets him at the costume banquet and uses the masquerade element of the party to spend time with him. How far do you expect their romance to go?
-Next week on Reign: Bash consoles Mary when an ex-lover of Francis' arrives at the castle, while Catherine blackmails Aylee into snooping on Mary and the heretics accuse Bash of disrupting a sacred ritual.
By: Shilo Adams