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The following are reviews write by TV.com's writer Lily Sparks

<----- TV.com Reviews Season One

TV.com Reviews Season Two ----->

Three Queens, Two TigersEdit

Reign 3 x 01: Play Ruff

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First of all, if you’re reading this thank you for taking the time & clicking on the link and checking out my indie recapping effort. This is a much more casual affair than tv.com, tumblr is a place where you can put on your pink velour leisure suit with “babygirl” on the back in cursive and crystals and just RELAX you know what I mean? Put on a face mask and come talk to me about the 16th century since it’s the only thing I think about anyway.

As you probz know, Reign is one of my favorite shows: it’s a weirdly smart show about political machinations, 16thcentury history, and teenage-level love, which is about as intoxicating a cocktail as you can sip. Plus prom dresses and side braids and a cast that is insanely amazing. The first season of Reign was a gift from the gods, the second season had legit horror movie vibes that I was super into, and now third season is packing HBIC Elizabeth I, daughter of my #1 life hero Anne Boleyn.

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When we left Season Two, Frances had learned from old Nosty that he was certainly dying. When we came back for the Season 3 premiere (here is where I’d look up the official title for tv.com for SEO purposes but I don’t have to know because tumblr works via hashtags insert maniacal laughter!) Mary and Frances were on each other like cheese powder on Doritos. After last season saw them very much apart, it was just straight-up refreshing to see these two canoodling. And don’t give me any of that “But she had an affair with Coooonde” because she stabbed Condé straight in the abdomen and Francis has a kid with her best friend but she put that past her and also she like, asked permission to sleep with Conde so, let’s all build a bridge and get over it. Mary and Frances have transcended the turmoil of the early months of their marriage and are LIVING THE DREAM: being teen monarchs living and loving in a big-ass castle.

And building boats outside a big ass castle? I guess it was on the bucket list for Frances.

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Also on Frances’ bucket list: calling his tween brother to court so he can school him in the ways of being the Dauphin, and also staring deeply into Mary’s eyes.

Meanwhile, across the sea and over the white cliffs of Dover, we have Elizabeth I facing down a privy counsel of misogynistic velveteen-wearing creeps. This moment was torn from the pages of history, we have the receipts, because every time Elizabeth I met with her privy counselor or indeed Parliament in the first years of their Reign everybody was like “GET MARRIED ALREADY. Make us some royal babies. Tick tick tick. Do you know how embarrassing it is for us to have just a lady in charge? It is like so embarrassing.”

Elizabeth went straight from counsel to the understanding girl talk of Catherine de Medici who was like “Girl these motherfuckers do not want a lady in charge.” Which, you know, true then and apparently true now as we are going on almost three hundred years of America being led by of all-male Presidents.

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Back to the subject at hand: Catherine was like “Who runs the world/girls” and then went straight from there to “Lets disempower Mary by slut-shaming her to The Vatican. All these people saw her getting loose with Condé

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Catherine then suggested Elizabeth marry her tween son so she could have a few years with her beloved, Robert Dudley, which if you DON’T KNOW then please understand IRL Elizabeth and Robert Dudley are one of the great romantic friend-couple romance/bromances in history. Long before Elizabeth was Queen, when she was in fact very close to being marched up to a stump and getting her head cut off, Robert Dudley was paying for her out of his own pocket and supporting her and they were childhood sweethearts and I’m going to start crying into my keyboard, but basically these two actors made it happen portraying these legendary lovers and I got chills.

His wife was cracking me up tho trolling Elizabeth with that “gift” of embroidery.

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Also I am FEELING the neck ruff. I don’t know if I could pull it off but hell, worth a try. I’ve seen crazier shit on the LA Metro, let me tell you. But most importantly, Narcisse in HOT PURSUIT of Lola.

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I’m not sure when it happened but these two are the only thing that matter to me. Narcisse wants to (bites fist) formally court Lola so she knows his intentions are pure, which, like…

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but apparently she’s sort of scared of him, or how she feels for him, even though he risked his life to save her and her baby boy. Also Francis is all like “Do not bring that man around my baby.”

So Mary has really no money to continue defending Scotland, but then she was like “What if I hired a Dothraki pirate to steal me some money to continue funding troops?” and the next thing you know a hottie was marching through court and making eyes at Greer.

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Mary I wish you had had this idea a long time ago this guy needed to be a regular yesterday. Greer knows what I’m talking about. All he wanted in exchange for his services was half the money, a castle, and Greer and Greer was like “Deal.”

With pirate negotiations underway, Catherine and Elizabeth sent the request that Elizabeth marry Francis’ bro Prince Charles. Elizabeth promised she would then cease aggressions in Scotland. Mary was like “Done and done” but Francis was like “She’ll be in charge of France tho! It’s a trap!” and Mary was like “Um no she won’t, I’m married to the King of France, she’d be married to a Prince, do the math” And then Francis told her she would not have her King for long and giiiirl…

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Toby Regbo & Adelaide Kane both absolutely shone in this scene, based on how harrowed up my soul got, I mean. Adelaide legit teared up and Toby’s face was seriously a master class in restrained despair. Their interactions for the rest of the episode were absolutely charged with this grief-stricken sweetness that was pretty much perfect.

Meanwhile Bash was on this whole other trip hunting down Delphine. He is still soul linked to this witchy girl on the run and she is NOT properly lotioning her wrists.

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Then Lola put the moves on Narcisse by letting herself into his chambers, putting on a flowy night dress and hopping into the tub. Maybe if she’d skipped the neck-to-ankles chemise Narcisse would have taken her up on her Friends With Benefits offer, as it was he was like “We are going to be married because we are right for each other just you wait and see.” These words lobbed a lush bath bomb of emotions into my coal black icy cold pool of a heart.

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Meanwhile Greer and her pirate hit it off, but ultimately he told her that he was considering several applicants for the role of Mrs. Pirate, he’d only seized her booty when he had the chance (I feel like, contractually obligated to make that pun…apologies.)

Also, LOL, remember all those courtiers so eager to tattle on Mary? When they went to The Vatican to throw shade and slut shame the Queen of Scots the Vatican just straight up had them killed. The Vatican has a no tolerance policy when it comes to haters.

Also Elizabeth went all the way with Dudley which in history is a hotly debated point: the actual Elizabeth I had Dudley’s rooms next to hers and was frequently running out and hugging him and kissing people in basically her underwear, but swore on her deathbed nothing untoward had gone down between them. Reign’s Elizabeth I slept with Dudley as both an act of love and an act of autonomy: why not ruin the chances of a marriage she didn’t want to a Prince who would take her job?

So then Mary heard that Catherine de Medici had hung herself after making weet love to a monk in an old mill, but then when the mill went all Saw-crazy and lopped his dick off, Catherine hung herself out of guilt. Mary was like “Are we talking about the same person? Guilt?” and she and Francis realized Catherine had left a decoy behind on the continent and was advising Elizabeth. Because you can trust and believe Catherine has seen far, far worse than a weenie lopped off by a giant mill blade. Like, in her world that is what we call a Wednesday.

Anyway, Elizabeth went down to the coast to meet with Mary and Charles and even wore her biggest broadest ruff for the occasion, but then was completely stood up by Scottish forces,because they were too busy capturing Catherine from English protection.

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Megan Follows is truly the best for this whole scene. I don’t know if the tiger was toothless or CGI or just loopy on benzos or if it was actually a deadly great cat, so convincing were her reactions. Mary claimed she couldn’t take on two queens at once but she managed two Queens and a tiger and a tragedy quite nicely.

The point is this premiere hearkened back to the lightness of Season One while sort of breaking our hearts at the same time? I’m kinda psyched to be back at Fronch Court guys. It’s been far too long and I am ready for gowns, beaux, and betrayal.

Thank you for finding my tumblr, my biggest hugs to each of you for seeking this out. Week to week I might change format a little since I can, maybe just do photos or just text depending. Anyway, I’d love to see any thoughts you had on the episode & please have a tremendous rager of a weekend. <3 <3 <3 Lily Lily Sparks


BetrothedEdit

Reign 3 x 02 Poor Little Rich Girl

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Oh man guys. Come on in, sit down, kick your shoes off, grab a spot on the couch. I got dark chocolate in the fridge and a bottle of red if you want some. It’s been a long week. Man, they aren’t kidding with Francis, are they? He is getting sick, sick to the point that he’s trying to play matchmaker with Mary and his teenage brother? That’ll get you deep in your feels. Your sad feels, and your uncomfortable “Wait how old is this kid again?” feels. Seriously though, how old IS Charles?

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Kid’s looking tweeny. Mary at this point in her life would be right around eighteen, and the jump from eighteen to twelve is a senior in high school going steady with a, uh, seventh grader? Yeah, no, bad times girl. Francis made the point that this wouldn’t be a love match, obviously, but a an arrangement where Mary could kind of help him rule and he could keep sending whatever troops Scotland needed her way. Frankly, it’s a pretty good deal for Mary politically but there is precious little in it for Charles, as he was quick to point out. “What has Scotland ever done for us?!” Whoof. An endless supply of tartan blankets? Not even. Kid was making points.

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Charles also poured some tea about the fact that Catherine is basically the John McClane-as-played-by-Bruce Willis of the exploding skyscraper of 16th century politics, so why was she in a jail cell instead of running shit? Catherine was asking the same questions.

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Her hair is actually looking very Bardot-y there.

Meanwhile Lola was taking yet another milky-looking bath when she reached for the bath plug and pulled out a rat.

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Then apparently she realized there was a secret message in its mouth? Girl I do now know why you were rooting around there in the first place, generally speaking no prize is coming out of a rat’s mouth dead or otherwise. But since she HAD found a note rolled up and tucked down this little vermin’s gullet (maybe it flew out when it hit the floor?) she went straight to Narcisse to lay the blame at his door: Catherine de Medici was targeting her because Catherine was still into Narcisse and Narcisse was publicly courting Lola and Lola just wanted to be friends with benefits on the down low but noooo, he had to go labeling things and now Catherine was back and antagonizing her via nasty rats.

Narcisse was like “Wait how did you realize this message was in the rat’s mouth? You didn’t try to resuscitate it mouth-to-mouth, did you?”

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Meanwhile, in the spacious and airy apartments of England, Elizabeth’s privy council was turning on her like a bunch of corny-ass bitches about sheltering Catherine de’ Medici. Surely her majesty hadn’t KNOWN she was sheltering a seditious Queen? The Pope wanted answers so she better come up with them. Also they wanted to send her married boyfriend away to France. It was no wonder she was out in the garden for girl talk and wine moments later at straight-up eleven AM.

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Elizabeth asked her Italian friend Lady Donatella to claim that she’d invited Catherine to court. Donatella was like “I won’t get in trouble will I?” Elizabeth was like “Your best friend is the Queen what do you think” and then it was time for shots.

Meanwhile, Narcisse surprised Lola while she was raspberry picking in a legitimate ball gown, like you do if you’ve had the King’s baby I guess, and suggested she forage in his undergrowth for far juicier delights. Wow, I’m sorry, that was inappropriate and factually incorrect, he actually made the case that she should stop being scared of Catherine and start getting married to him because he wants her for forever which, like,

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ola suggested that instead of being OCD about being the future Mr. Lola he just shut his face and do all the sex instead. Non-Prince John can hang tight on those raspberries a little bit longer.

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Back inside the castle walls, Claude had lost a fur shrug and found a ton of sass.

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Also, Francis broke the news to Catherine about his fears that he was dying, and she expertly guilt-tripped him as only a royal mother can.

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Meanwhile, if you thought the raspberry picking got wild, then you might have gasped your throat hoarse at the role playing going on betwixt Elizabeth and Robert. Famously these two were in the Tower together while Mary Tudor was still Queen, and apparently they had some steamy nostalgia for close quarters, rattling chains, and squeaky cots. In the midst of their passion, Elizabeth promised Dudley was not getting an ambassadorship to anywhere other than her erogenous zones.

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William was not having it. He sat Elizabeth down and reminded her that she has to watch her reputation so she can make a great alliance. “I feel like a prisoner!” Elizabeth cried, “And not a sexy role-playing prisoner.” William took a glance around her stately suite and then got out the world’s smallest violin. It’s one of the largest themes in Reign, this idea that being royalty is sort of the worst and incredibly heart (smash cut to Kate Middleton just like “You would not even believe the shit I go through.”)

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But then it’s not necessarily a secure or happy life being a peasant, either, is it? As these people could tell you if their insides were not on their outsides.

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Yes, sing clues from Delphine Bash had hunted down a kitchen girl off on a date and guess what, she and her date had had their hearts literally ripped out by a killer. Sort of puts everybody else’s probz in perspective, doesn’t it?

Charles finally got to see his mom and his first order of business was complaining about having to marry a hot lady. Catherine was like “No, no, you don’t have the marry the hot lady. Just tell her and Francis you’re cool with marrying her then when he’s dead we’ll do what we damn well please. Also send a really specific message to this old advisor of mine. Make sure the wording is exact. ‘Total Reckoning’ tell him you want a 'total reckoning.’”

Obviously Catherine, like a boss, was pulling a multi-generational assassination of her enemies from behind bars because she is just that savvy and frankly she should DEFINITELY be Regent, hello, who has more experience than Catherine? Yes she went a little crazy last season and made love to a ghost but she has a solid track record of getting the job done. she will do what it takes to keep France on top. Francis and Mary revealed to Charles later that Catherine had used him to try and extinguish the Bourbon line of the royal family, in my opinion this clinched her for the job of 100% ideal successor to the French throne, but Charles felt differently.

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Also Leith overheard Claude and Charles discussing Francis’ imminent doom. (Mostly in the context of Claude asking her little brother to please not sell her off in marriage.) He realized her fur coat was actually a symbol of feeling shielded by her family, a family that was rapidly diminishing in size and protections afforded to Claude, and offered to hang out in her room until she fell asleep.

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Man, I have to say, if a cute guy had made me the offer as a teenager to hang out in my room until I fell asleep my answer would be “not a chance in hell” because my bedtime routine involved clearasil, frantic journalling, a ratty nightshirt, listening to “Smashing Pumpkins” until I fell asleep and then windmill arms and sheet kicking when i finally lost consciousness. Yeah, it wasn’t cute. Luckily Claude sleeps in a ball gown and an updo like you do when you’re the daughter of the King of Fronce.

Meanwhile, Donatella was in trouble.

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HAHAHAHA Elizabeth sold Donatella down the river. Donatella was like “Wait I’m poor now? Can I just tell everyone the truth?” and Elizabeth was like “Sure…sure…Pssst Put her in the tower for treason” HAHAHAHA. Elizabeth doesn’t play.

Later, when her privy asked if she’d be promoting Dudley out the door she read him for filth.

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In their ensuing argument the real issue between them surfaced: they can’t be together because Dudley went and married someone else even though he loved Elizabeth. Dudley mentioned Elizabeth refusing him again and again, which is sort of interesting. IRL Robert and Elizabeth knew each other from early childhood. Robert did marry well before Elizabeth became Queen, but considering how marriages were contracted this might have had much more to do with the fact he was a fifth son and it was either get married or get a real job, and real jobs were considered super gross. IRL Robert also went on the record saying that Elizabeth decided at the age of eight that she would never marry anyone. Maybe he understood Elizabeth that marriage and disaster were inextricably linked in her mind because of the death of her mother Anne Boleyn. Or, if we follow that thought, maybe Elizabeth was actually more comfortable with Dudley BECAUSE he was married. He was “safe”, there was no pressure.

AHHH SORRY went deep into my Tudor feels there for a moment. Anyway, Charles ended the episode seeing the error (disagree) of trusting Catherine and agreeing to marry Mary. Like, YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY FOOL!

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Of course this is a bitter victory, because Francis’ end is looming, and also Catherine responded to the news by pounding her forehead against the door of her cell which, easy lady, you’re going to need those brains! They’re your best and only weapon!

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Can Mary and Catherine stop fighting soon? I sort of love it when they’re friends and my world doesn’t feel right when they’re at odds.

Although counteracting all the sadness this episode: Nola is happening y'all.

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Okay so maybe he tricked her with the rat. Is it weird I find that vaguely romantic? Look, if some guy wanted me to marry him so badly he put a rat in my bathtub with a secret message in its mouth…okay that’s ganked up. Still weirdly 100% behind these two being together now and always though, for what it’s worth.

So yes thank you for finding this review, for making it through this long rant and ramble of mine and my weird little tangents into Tudor history, I am really just sort of thrilled to have an excuse to talk about Elizabeth I and Mary of Scots every week on top of which the cast is legit slaying it right now and Catherine is seriously making my life. What are you loving? What are you into? Should I try more of a list format? Should I embed more vines? Ugh I don’t even know internet anymore. But have a really great weekend and a big old curtsey to all of y'all & let’s talk about Reign again next week.

Lily Sparks


Extreme MeasuresEdit

Reign 3 x 03: Your Ride or Die

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HELLO. Thank you for checking out these Reign recaps here on my humble tumblr, it makes my life when people like and comment these, so thank you so much for the encouragement & your time in reading these. How are you doing? Are you all up in your feels yet? No one is going to blame you if you are up in your feels. It’s all well and good for Francis to claim he’s dying when he looks fit as a handsome blonde fiddle, but now that he’s looking gaunt and having fainting spells, well, the feels start to creep up on you. Just about every scene of Reign’s “Extreme Measures” was charged with Francis’ visible decline.

But just when I thought nothing could put a smile on my face, here came Catherine biting flesh out of her cheek so she could be pulled out of jail for medical treatment and get in a few jabs at Mary.

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You’ll notice Mary’s voice and demeanor was completely assertive across from Catherine. She was holding her own and refusing to back down in the face of threats about Elizabeth. She was not shook, even when Catherine called her a “vampire bitch” which, coming from your semi-surrogate mom, cannot feel great.

Also, did they have Bowflexes in the 16th century because it looks like Leith has been working out.

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So Claude is showering Leith with gifts like you or I would shower Channing Tatum with dollar bills and all the ladies are noticing or at least this one was:

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But suddenly Antoine is here and he wants to see Francis because somehow Condé managed to get himself trapped in a snowy mountain surrounded by the Frenchmen he was trying to start a civil war with last season. Because Francis does not want Antoine to see that he is extremely weak he had Mary put on her boldest trenchcoat and negotiate with Antoine alone, but when she pushed Antoine to surrender his claim on the throne in exchange for Luis’ life, Antoine lost his shit.

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Man, ain’t that always the way. You break up with a guy and suddenly all his friends, people who you have been nothing but nice to, are just shit talking you left front and center. Suddenly people who you sort of considered your friends are proving their loyalty to your ex by snickering inside jokes about your chest size when it’s your turn to speak during Model UN meetings, but let’s not make this about me. Yes, Mary stabbed Luis in the chest and then threw him in jail, but Luis started it by staging a freaking coup so stay in your lane Antoine.

Francis decided that he would deal with Antoine himself, got all dressed up in a super heavy coat and crown, and then proceeded to almost fall down a thirty-foot flight of stairs.

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Hey, Guards? Get it together. Mary was calling for y'all three or four times. The first time Francis looks so much as even dizzy one of you should be leaping behind him with a pillow. There aren’t even phones yet, so what else could you possibly be doing? Get it together guys.

Meanwhile Narcisse was bringing in the fruit tray of my wildest dreams to Lola after a night spent in a two person fur sleeping bag beside a crackling fire. Narcisse was going full Edward Cullen on Lola like “Just because you are willing to have sex all day every day doesn’t mean that’s enough for me I need spiritually and legally binding vows, missy, I want to lock this down.” Lola knows Francis hates Narcisse like I hate math, but she also knows he’s dying, but obviously that’s literally a national secret. So she can’t tell Narcisse why he should just chill but she does advise him quite firmly to chill. And to his credit, Narcisse is like “Okay. Love you but okay.”

Meanwhile Francis was offered some opium to deal with his increasing illness and pain but he was like “I just say no to drugs” and then troubled tween Charles pocketed the opium enjoy later with Constance, another rich troubled tween whose life is basically living a 16th century version of Skins. More on them later. First Lola and Francis had to have an awkward talk about how his spies caught her doing the walk of shame out of Narcisse’s chambers

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Francis made a fair point: he didn’t want a dastardly dude raising his son. Like, that’s a very simple request that would break anyone’s heart, “please raise our kid right since I cannot be there to teach him right from wrong.”

Then at the ball Mary and Francis made a bee line for a stool to prop Francis up on next to Antoine, since he is like literally too sick to walk down the stairs, but then this jerk popped up and yelled at them to dance:

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And Francis was like “YOLO.” And then it was the saddest guys, this dance was sort of heartbreaking and gorgeous and charged with the bittersweet tension of Mary and Francis being back together but also, you know, he’s struggling.

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Mary was leading, which was low key the theme of this episode, and while Mary and Francis and Lola were just trying to maintain and not break down in tears, Narcisse was getting super horny. Which like, do you not hear the heart breaking violin, Narcisse? Inappropriate.

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Lola shot him down, hard, and Narcisse took off.

Meanwhile Charles and Constance were doing what troubled rich tweens do: getting high as eff out of, like, ennui, except they were getting high by CHUGGING OPIUM. Kids do not try this at home. Do not get distilled opium and mix it in a jug of wine and then drink it because you will at the very least drop a glass bottle and think it’s hilarious but also you might possibly fall into a coma.

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Yeah, chugging opium is not great for your body. Basically Lady Constance appeared to drop dead, so Charles hurried off to find Claude, the partyingest girl he knows, and Claude was like “Um, y'all chugged opium?! And you thought I would know what to do? Rude. We need Narcisse for his level of fuckery.” Narcisse, hilariously, knew exactly what to do.

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Soooo many questions here: how many ODs has Narcisse dealt with before? Where? Why? Narcisse started expertly staging a stomach pumping with random household objects like he was the manager of the Sex Pistols or something. Plus he made Charles help out because duh, Charles, you gave her the drugs. Be a gentleman and help her puke them up. Luckily Constance did puke everything up and if this wasn’t a PSA for how drugs can make a date go wrong I don’t know what is.

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Then Charles told Francis about the drug shenanigans and Francis called in Narcisse and was like “Actually your take charge alpha male mentality is great for shaping young dudes. Please marry Lola immediately.” So Narcisse’s hilariously shady secret opium den past ended up winning him Lola’s hand in marriage and I really hope we hear more about it in future episodes.

Also Claude hurried to Leith to brag about how she’d saved a tween from ODing on opium juice and found him making sweet love to one of her ladies. When she confronted him about it, he blurted something about never letting himself have feelings for a high born woman again, but it was hard for Claude to hear him over ALL THOSE GUNS.

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During his time in the kitchens Leith may have invented protein powder? Or maybe drop sets? Again, Claude was feeling it.

Meanwhile English Ambassador Nicholas had a proposition for Antoine: don’t abdicate your right to the French throne. In fact, why don’t you take some money and soldiers and march on France with England backing you? And okay yes your brother will die up in a mountain but, come on. You will be a double king. Nicholas gave Antoine til dawn to decide if he was cool with being way more rich and powerful than he was now, but then Mary and Francis found out about the deal, and Mary pulled a bold move: she sic’d Catherine on Nicholas like a mad dog.

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This scene was amazing. Catherine, with a conspicuously hollow-looking cheek, really laid it out for the English ambassador: if he encouraged a revolution against the Valois, she would drag Elizabeth for filth. And sure, she could then be prosecuted for treason but not before she’d smeared Elizabeth’s name on the international stage, so do you really want to fuck with a Queen who has no fucks left to give? Do you feel that confident? I mean, she was terrifying in the best way, all that madness from last week focused perfectly on the task at hand.

So instead of the ambassador going to meet Antoine, Mary and Francis showed up like “Nice try” and when Antoine was still resistant about abdicating his claim to the French throne Francis straight up killed his huge bodyguard.

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Francis said in this scene he was his father’s son but this felt like a page out of Catherine’s playbook: the IDGAF Francis hellbent on not leaving this earth until his Mary is okay.

However this desperately romantic act (of, okay, murder) also woke Mary up to a political reality: Francis was protecting Scotland because he loves Mary. It certainly is not benefitting France in any way. Charles would not feel the same way about Mary and would certainly not risk his own country’s security to defend Scotland, the way Francis clearly was doing.

So Mary sort of put all of this in front of Francis and then was like “so basically I can’t be Regent. Your mom should be regent. Real talk, she’s crazy but she’s as loyal as she is crazy.” Mary had decided she would try to marry the Prince of Spain, because Spain, though we associate it now primarily with football, bulls, and zesty rice dishes, was at that point a major superpower. Mary talked Francis into bringing Catherine out of the jail and into Charles’ life, and then Mary and Catherine had one of their moments…

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Can I just say that Mary and Catherine’s friendship is what I ship on this show? This was sort of the most emotionally satisfying moment for me this season, to see the two of them mending fences and Mary giving Catherine credit for what she is: a ruthlessly efficient political fixer, a 16th century Olivia Pope with no moral compass and a trunk of exotic poisons.

However as awesome as Catherine’s return to favor was for me and other Matherine fans (do BroTPs name squish? IDK) it was not so great for the newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Narcisse.

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Yeah. Then we ended things with Catherine returning to her throne room and a veritable SYMPHONY playing across her face, like…

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So there’s triumph there, and relish to be on the throne, and then the agony of understanding it’s because Francis is dying, and then like her triumph is tempered with grief. It all washes over her face in like thirty seconds. I mean, it’s like a master class in facial acting. So many feels. So many feels in just those two damn gifs. I can barely handle it. Like, history tells us Francis has gotz to go but man, what it’s going to do to Catherine and Mary it’s like…

Lily Sparks


The PriceEdit

Reign 3 x 04: Live Through This

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How are you? A little light-headed? Eyes puffy from crying? I heard that. Come here and give me a hug. The Price was heavy, babies, it was heavy! And then BAM TWIST! Whoof. We went THROUGH it last night, I understand, get a goblet full of the finest beverage and let’s talk about it here in tumblr land.

So we started things off with Francis doing great. Mary had him on some alternative medicine herbs kick and it was doing him wonders, even if he didn’t particularly like his medicinal pastilles.

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But geo-politics are not going to pause for Francis to pull it all back together. Life was ready to come crashing down in the form of Marie de Guise sending a very coded message about needing more troops, stat. I love this kind of ancient high tech stuff, a Cypher, I mean the time before technology is so interesting, it’s like kids playing in their back yards but forever.

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Meanwhile across the channel we finally met Elizabeth’s dog!

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Look at that adorable bulldog! As usual, William was like “Get married, tick tick tick, where is our male baby, it is embarassing everybody to tears that a Queen is in charge, also the King of Spain wants to marry you.” Elizabeth was like “Sheesh I’ll meet him chill out.”

Meanwhile Lola and Narcisse were heading off to their honeymoon when Catherine started throwing shade on Lola for “marrying her lover” and Lola was like “For your grandson’s sake please stop putting rats in my bathtub.” Which made me cackle out loud because that does NOT affect baby John. Nice try Lola, unless you’re taking that baby in the bathtub with you don’t try to play the baby card. Also Catherine’s necklace was rad.

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Catherine was like “Rats in your bath? Nasty” and Narcisse overheard and was like “Shit Catherine’s about to tip my hand about planting rats in Lola’s bath” and intercepted Lola. Don’t worry about the man behind the curtain, girl, it’s honeymoon time.

Meanwhile Don Carlos was being smooth as hell.

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I loved how the show hit on Elizabeth’s “Stay in Your Lane” policy re: religion. Wanna be Catholic? Wanna be Protestant? Do you thing, mind your own. Few people I think really appreciate how revolutionary that approach was and is. Basically one of the first examples of a chill ruler separating Church and State. AAAAGH Elizabeth was like perfect as rulers go and if I start talking about how amazing and brilliant she was (she used to translate greek TO RELAX) I will literally never stop.

You know who also loves Elizabeth? Dudley. He was like “How about you just be single forever?” and Elizabeth was like “…I’m listening.” But he has selfish reasons for wanting to preserve her anatomy i.e. being her side piece. (I legitimately got chills when Elizabeth was like “this is over” and he was like “You are my Queen but in this I will not obey you.”)

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Dudley also sent Amy home from court and Amy looked pretty miffed about it. You could tell by the fact she was wearing an orange dress that she was at her wit’s end trying to keep this man happy.

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Oooph. No happy woman reaches for an orange dress.

So war council time: Francis was like “SEND SOLDIERS!” and then Charles came in and was like “SEND WARSHIPS!” but then immediately the war ships got sunk by England’s super speedy frigates and Catherine was like “Why are you not asking me about England’s navy I was literally just over there.”

Anyway, Francis was like “MORE SHIPS! KEEP THROWING SHIPS AT THIS PROBLEM!” but Mary was like “I think I can solve this by using my brain” and then totally duped Nicholas, showing off her Cypher, then leaving out a letter to her mom with misinformation in it. It’s called statecraft, guys.Mary saved hundreds of lives. After losing hundreds of lives? Look it’s hard to be a ruler when you’re a teenager and also you can’t be un-elected.

I did love when she told off Nicholas. I am not generally a “Yaas Queen!” kind of lady but I did actually say the words “YAAAAS QUEEN” after she was like “I hope you have strong wings vulture!” I’m going to remember that line the next time someone cuts in front of me at the seven eleven.

So also Catherine was throwing a dinner for the last guy she needed a vote from to become regent, and he was being a real d-bag.

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There was this horrible story he told her about how his daughter had gotten her foot crushed by Catherine’s carriage and then been rejected by suitors so many times she’d killed herself and was now dead. Catherine was like “Of course she is.” and then basically was like “Well, fuck it.” and took off with Claude, and it was genuinely a charming little interlude.

Meanwhile Don Carlos wanted to see Elizabeth’s lady parts.

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OKAY. Batten down the hatches, but like a year and a half ago some idiot published a whole book about their theory that Elizabeth I was actually a man in drag, and let me just say:

1) all of these “Elizabeth was a man” arguments boil down to the sexist disbelief that one of the greatest politicians of all time was a woman. Elizabeth was a genius and some people can’t wrap their brains around the fact a woman founded England’s greatness as a superpower.

2) Elizabeth was seen unclothed or in sheer undergarments a ton and never at any point did anyone claim she was a man. She was sort of kind of sexually abused by her stepfather Thomas Seymour who ripped her nightshift into a thousand pieces. She was seen running after Dudley just in a transparent shift more than once. Lady was a lady.

3) Political bodies were endlessly handled by nobles, physicians, and attendants. During a poison attempt early in her reign, Elizabeth was given multiple enemas before recovering by a physician whose doings were very public. Guess what he didn’t find when he was down below the royal petticoat? Balls. That’s what.

Anyway, Elizabeth channeled my rage nicely. Don Carlos was trying to shade her, shame her and degrade her and she wasn’t having it.

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Mmmm, red flag girl, red flag. She should have asked him to show his first.

Meanwhile Narcisse was being shady as shit on the honeymoon.

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That having been said Narcisse’s villa and village and what not was legit adorable. I know, he’s shady Lola but like shhhhhh. Also this whole episode was shot really beautifully. There were all these dope tracking shots and zooms and it was really gorgeous. Except for this part, this was PAINFUL LOOKING…

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Bash’s horribly scalded chest! Hahahaha this happened in the middle of Greer’s new tavern and he’s was not even phased. He was all"Ugh annoying Delphine is in trouble" but looking at the size of that beaut I have to say, if I got a burn that severe I would literally collapse and quite possibly pass away. Bash has got some stamina! He was also sick of going through Vaseline by the fistful so he questioned a man in a fabulous cassock…

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Then rescued Delphine from the Sisters of St. Agatha, who were purifying her soul by laying a BURNING IRON CROSS on her flesh! Um, I smell spin off.

Anyway, when Dudley found out Amy had started the rumor about Elizabeth maybe having a dick, he responded reasonably.

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JK that is spousal abuse. My Good Lord. Here I was liking Dudley and now I’m like “nope. Take that trash back to the dump.” Let me tell you, a guy hits a woman once and I am done. I have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of fuckery. Elizabeth is way better off single than with Sir Chris Brown over here.

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Nope nope nope. Oh boy. Run Amy run. Run Elizabeth run! This dude is bad news.

Also, after Lola called Narcisse out for being shady and they had a little bicker about it, Catherine reminded Narcisse that being shady was his essence and she loved it and then she reminded him she was a lot more fun and then slinked down the hallway in an extremely sexy fashion and basically what I’m saying is I want to grow up to be Catherine. All young women should want in their hearts to grow up to be Catherine.

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Anyway, so Mary’s Cypher caper tricked Nicholas into feeding Elizabeth misinformation that cleared the way for Mary de Guise’s supply route. Mary had used her head to save lives and solve a problem. Season One Mary did a lot of this, Season Two Mary was just trying to maintain, so it’s good to see her back to optimal scheming mode. Charles and Francis were talking about how awesome she was politically and then the FEELS began with Francis falling off his horse…

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So like I’m a grown ass woman, I’ve seen fire I’ve seen rain, I was like, I can deal with a little angst. Francis is not doing so great and Mary is at what is possibly his deathbed, but I can handle it. I understand these are all actors and there’s a camera and everything is going to be fine.

And then Mary started talking about their imaginary kids.

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Done. I was done. I really didn’t expect to be gotten but I was got. There is nothing more humiliating than crying while wearing headphones but that was me, in front of my computer, watching this, sobbing like a thrice-slapped bitch. This scene was legit amazing. And then damn, there came that ear blood.

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BUT THEN HERE CAME DELPHINE THE HEALER! Bash was like “She can save a life but hte price is like, another life” and Mary was like “DO IT I will die for Francis if need be” and I was like “OMG do tears break keyboards because I may need a new keyboard.”

Delphine though, she had to be tired. I mean, Bash had JUST rescued her and CHarles had JUST showed up and forced him to bring her back to Court and in all of this had Delphine gotten any sleep? A snack? A chance to change out of the dress that some crazy nuns had tortured her in? No. Girl was exhausted and she had a royal life to save.

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But she did it. Francis has made it through. Delphine was like “Sometimes you take a nap, and sometimes a nap takes you” and passed out. I have never related to a TV character so deeply in my life.

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But then….Marie de Guise died. WHUT. Shit dudes. Mary’s mom’s life was the price! Shit. And then that promo?! That promo guys…that promo might as well have said “stock up on kleenex, prepare yourself mentally, next week something intense is going down.” Granted something intense is always going down, it’s Reign, but I need to be held. Hold me!

Thanks again for looking up my review here on my very Twin Peaks heavy tumblr. You likes and notes and comments are everything, I read them all and they make my life. Have an amazing week & let’s talk again next Friday! - Lily Sparks


In A ClearingEdit

3 x 05 France Without Francis

Please forgive any typos. My eyes are swollen to the size of bao buns right now. To be fully transparent guys, I had had the chance to read the script for this episode before I saw it, so I was like “I can handle this. I know what’s coming. I’m a grown ass lady. I might tear up but then I’ll be okay.”

NOPE.

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From basically the moment Catherine called Francis her golden child my nose tickles started. And then when Mary and Francis started talking about the feathers. And then God help me when Francis told her he needed her to love again. AND THEN CATHERINE SAID LET GO OF HIM AND HOLD ONTO ME.

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AND THEN MARY SCREAMING.

AND THEN MARY FOLLOWING THE COFFIN ON FOOT.

Like I don’t know where to start. I am floating in a sea of feels right now. WHOOO. It’s a lot guys, it’s a lot, let’s try to process it.

First of all,I know a lot of Frary fans are like “Eff it I’m out what just happened.” I get it guys, I get that angst. But to be clear, let’s all take a moment to appreciate three things:

1. Francis’ death was built into the series from the pilot. The sense of doomed love was always a huge part of the hook of Mary and Francis’ relationship in Romeo & Julietesque ways, and the show was always destined to pay off that set up.

2. What this show is counting on is their viewers to care about Mary. And a CW romantic drama betting on girls to support girls is akin to astronauts taking the first steps on the moon. It’s revolutionary, its beautiful, it’s a moment in history I think we all need to sort of appreciate. This show is firmly 100% about Mary, Queen of Scots, actual teen queen. They are honoring her life, her history. It’s super sad to lose Toby Regbo, who is so talented and charismatic. By all means, let’s have a mourning period. But how amazing is it that this show asks us to care about a three dimensional girl in and of herself, outside the proxy romance of a love interest? Do you understand what this means? Do you understand the commitment to creating a world in which women MATTER that thrums through this very concept? There was NO SUCH THING in my world when I was 16, kids. Hell, when I was in my early twenties Bella Swan was a scoop of vanilla pudding next to the glittery golden-eyed Edward Cullen.

To make a series that follows a teen Queen developing into a political figure, independent of how the men in her life come in and out of frame, is truly a step forward for all girls everywhere. And I beg of you, Frary fans, for the sake of your daughters, for the sake of yourselves in another ten years, support Reign now. Tune in next week and the week after. Because guys, when you try to pitch a show with a female main character, 40% of that pitch is apologizing for asking viewers to care about a female. Guys, this is some real talk. Girls and dudes will watch a guy character, but only girls will watch a girl character, that is taken as Gospel fact all over Hollywoodland. So if you care about YOUR story being told as a female human being, please get behind a show that wants to tell a young woman’s story. Hold hands with me and tune in and show this industry that women give a fuck about women, because right now that’s not what they believe.

3. (ahahah bet you thought I was done with 2) Look. If you really love a couple that a series had cooked up, have some faith they can do it again. Historically, the Great Loves and Romantic Dramas of Mary’s life are still ahead of her. Give the show a little credit, if they made you fall in love with Frary, wait until you meet Darnley and Bothwell. There is tantalizing drama on the horizons.

Okay. Now, let’s get into it.

Francis was experiencing hyper life since his resurrection. He was seeing everything in hyper-saturated colors. And look, this whole season has been particularly gorgeous, but this episode cinematography and direction was out of control. I mean, this episode really looked like a movie, and this moment called it out but honestly the whole hour was truly gorgeous to see. Just 100% a treat for the eyes.

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Anyway. Francis wanted to climb the mountains and drink the wine and eat the honey. He wanted to live live live! Catherine was like “Cool, also have babies.”

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Then Nostradamus walked out of the shadows. It’s hard to miss a man who is eight feet tall and wearing a bear coat, but apparently he’d slunk into court almost unnoticed to make good on his pilot prophesy: Francis was NOT safe. Petals. Blood drippin’s. Blood visions. Catherine was like “Could we not?” but Nostradamus was like “I got a hunch you should stock up on Kleenex.”

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Meanwhile, Elizabeth offered Mary peace with England, if she gave up any claim to the English throne. On the one hand, Mary seems busy enough with Scotland and France. On the other hand, it IS Mary’s birthright. But Mary was like, hey, it would be pretty cool if hundreds of French dudes didn’t have to die defending my country and decided to sign away her right to the English throne.

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Francis’ handwriting, by the way, was amazing.

Then Francis was like “ROAD TRIP! Let’s go to Paris!” and commence fifteen minutes of all the Frary feels. As a sort of send off, I guess, the show gave the young couple all these heart-breakingly meaningful moments. Like Mary flashing back to the pilot and being like “You were totally into me” and Francis was like “uh YEAH I was totally into you.”

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Then Mary was like “Skinny dip time?” and Francis was like “Hell to the yes.”

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Already this was starting to feel suspiciously conflict free.

Back in the castle, Delphine was swearing up and down she wasn’t a witch and then proceeding to do a million witchy things: rituals, chanting spells, sensing emotions, pointing out a witch house…

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Meanwhile, Mary was like “Shall I get our picnic lunch?” and Francis was like “Awesome yes.” And then horror struck. Assassins sprang out of nowhere.

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Francis, hearing Mary’s cries, sprang into action, and before he even got to her saw the tree in the glen that Nostradamus had warned him about.

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So like, Francis made a choice here, basically, that he would die to save Mary, he was cool with that. He dove right into the action and was carving up dudes like Thanksgiving turkeys. Mary was yelling for the guards, and once again: THESE GUARDS ARE THE WORST. They let Francis fall down the stairs and now here they are letting a bunch of idiots take on the King four at a time or whatever. Disgraceful.

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So basically Francis laid down his life to save Mary, which, you know, worth it. These buttholes had slammed his head against the ground a ton and it was clear he was not going to make it and Mary was teeing herself up for a lifetime of solitude and he was like “No our life together was awesome. Also life is for the living, find someone else, you brought so much beauty into my life.”

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Obviously by now we were all crying for forever.

Bash broke the news to Catherine, and they and Nosty came out to the woods. You know sad as he was, Nosty had to be professionally congratulating himself on this moment (“Called it.”) and yet when Catherine had to practically drag Mary away from Francis’ corpse this is where my throat got sore from crying.

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Then Mary went back to the castle and honestly this scene is maybe the best acted moment I’ve ever seen on Reign. Her confrontation of Nicholas, the pain in her voice was incredible. She told him she’d been left with nothing and by God Elizabeth wasn’t going to get her to throw away her birthright that easily and then she tore down all her new banners and there was SO MUCH PAIN.

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Then this…oh guys. Mary walked behind Francis’ coffin instead of riding in the carriage. Like, help me. Help me back up onto the sofa children. This was deeply stirring and upsetting.

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And then, weeks later, she got back in the boat to try and commune with Francis, and remembered the lessons he taught her, and her face was this incredible conflict of sadness and futility and just like move over Meryl Streep there is a new Queen in town.

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So look. A couple things: Toby Regbo has brought so much to this show. His charisma and vitality and range have been so key. He is going to be so greatly, greatly missed. Yes his character was doomed from day one, but Reign really honored his impact on the show with this send off episode.

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Plot-wise, Francis’ death is the most dramatic twist the show has put in Mary’s fortunes so far, just as Francis’ death was the most dramatic twist IRL Mary, Queen of Scots faced until she went to Scotland. What the hell does she do now? She’s not Queen of France. She’s never really been to her native land. She promised Francis to stay until his brother was secure, but let me tell you, if the history books are what we’re judging by it’s not ‘til Mary gets to Scotland that shit starts getting real.

I really want to see Mary in Scotland. Maybe it’s just this fan promo…

But chills down my spine every time.

Anyway. Look, to be real my eyes are pretty swollen. This was a big juicy episode and the cast really made it shine. Even being fully mentally prepared it knocked me backwards and I can only imagine what it was like to see it without mental preparation. I hope you’ll all join me again next week for the first post-Francis episode. Girls to the front for the rest of Season Three, guys.

How are you doing?

- Lily Sparks


Fight or FlightEdit

3 x 06 Melancholia & the Infinite Sadness

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YO. Guys. We’ve had a long week. It’s Friday, I now, and normally on a Friday we’re out raging, vaping, eating craisins, burning down a barn. Except this week all we want is for Reign to take away our problems. And guess what? This week, it does.

uys, this was one of the soapiest episodes of Reign ever, which is honestly the highest of compliments. Real talk, my favorite TV series of all time, Twin Peaks: essentially a surrealist soap opera. Homeland: a gritty soap opera. Game of Thrones: medieval fantasy-wave soap opera. Real talk, soap operas equals stories that won’t let you go. The episode after Francis died, we needed the show to re-define itself, to show us what it could be without that central romance on which we have moored our feels so long, and the series rose to the challenge, presenting us with several promising and intriguing new story threads that will compose the rest of the season, i.e.: Mary and Catherine being ride or die, Catherine making moves on Narcisse AND pretty young things, Mary having to seduce the King of Spain, Claude and Leith in a John Hughes movie, the perfidious machinations of Amy Dudley, and New Hotness Gideon.

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So I’m psyched. But let’s start at the top.

So All the councilmen are trying to buy their way into being Regent, Charles’ Royal Guidance Counselor, so they can low key rule France. Catherine obviously should be Regent, but she’s still reeling from Francis’ death.

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Who isn’t. Mary is laying out his wedding suit on her bed and smelling it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all smelled clothes. I’m sorry, this is my tumblr and sometimes I get real. I have smelled an ex’s shirt and burst into tears. Not going to lie. That was the level of emotional that Mary was on. But also a total war is being fought in her country, and with the King dead the soldiers and generals are basically paralyzed. She promised Francis she would stay in France until Catherine was regent, but also Catherine doesn’t want to keep sending soldiers to France. But also the Privy Council is trying to get Catherine out of power in weaselly little ways and even though Catherine will do shit for Mary Mary is obligated to help her via Francis'dying wish. Mary’s life is hard guys

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is like “Oh Mary is recently widowed and paralyzed with pain? Let’s take over her hometown. Just because you think she’s pretty.”

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LOL. You have to love Elizabeth’s ruthless spirit. IRL, Elizabeth I was EXTREMELY JEALOUS of Mary, Queen of Scots. Though famously the two cousins never met face to face, anyone who had met Mary would be interrogated by Elizabeth afterwards, peppered with such salty-as-hell questions as: “Was she fairer than me? Prettier? Taller? I hear she smells nice. Did she smell nicer than me?” In all honesty, Elizabeth was extremely jealous of Mary’s reputation as being beautiful and enchanting.

Of course, Reign’s Elizabeth is also extremely worried about absentee Robert. Remember that time he tried to choke his wife out and then she was like “Let’s ‘Take Two’ this whole marriage”? Well, they’ve been avoiding court down in the country and Elizabeth is like Please Bitch No. Since she can’t order Robert back to court, she instead makes Amy Keeper of the Swans, which, LOL.

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When Amy was like “What kind of bullshit job is that” Elizabeth laid all her cards on the table: YES OKAY FINE. I just want your sweet hot husband back at my court. Deal with it,bitch. It is not fun being Amy Dudley, but it doesn’t seem very fun being Elizabeth either right now.

When she told Dudley later he would die unloved and alone, it was very apparent she was talking about her fears for her own future.

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Guys, what you need to understand about me is I am low key obsessed with Anne Boleym and therefore also Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s essential loneliness and brilliance as a person is like my favorite dramatic dynamic of all time. And Skarsden is just making it come to life. She shines and then she cries and is so vulnerable and then she’s all scheming and devious. And the way costumes has solved the problem of Awkward Neck Ruff…I love Reign's Elizabeth so much.

So anyway, Narcisse and Lola have done ALL the positions.

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I know they’re newly married but they’ve been busy. Narcisse is like “So tell me your dirty fantasies. Get kinky with me girl. Be, be aggressive” and Lola is like “Uhhhh can I not be the passively adored sex object I was raised to be?” Yes girl. All us pillow queens out there HEAR THAT SHIT.

Meanwhile guys, no joke, we had a mini John Hughes movie starring Claude and Leith. It all started when one of Claude’s ladies left the room in huff because she’s salty about Leith liking another girl. Another girl who is CLaude. And Claude is like “Granted we can never be together but I know this lady coming to court you could marry, except I should teach you manners first.” Cut to a Some Kind of Wonderful-esque makeover montage where Claude is teaching Leith how to eat dinner and dance.

Not that Leith doesn’t have moves.

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LEITH YOU GOOFBALL. Ugh these two are so effing cute. Claude glows around him and he glows around her and suddenly I just want to cry because life is so beautiful. Also HOW ACCURATE is it that when straight girls can’t be with a guy they kind of like they try to set him up with a friend? I can TESTIFY THAT I DID THIS SHIT IN COLLEGE SO HARDCORE. There was this guy friend I was 100% crushing on but I had a year-strong boyfriend so I strong armed the crush into going out with my roommate at the time, oh Lord the drama. Long story short me and the crush are now married. This shit is real guys. This shit is real. I don’t know why we all have this urge but we do: if you can’t have him you want to at least decide who does. Or maybe I’m just a masochist? Holla at me in comments.

Meanwhile Dudley told Elizabeth he was back with Amy because he felt bad about that time he tried to kill her.

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GIRL RUN.

Also Catherine decided to cheer herself up by practicing virginals and heard something very un-viriginal: people fucking in the music conservatoire. LOL.


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Also Amy Dudley decided to fight fire with fire by sexing up the oldest doctor in England so he would tell Dudley she had a tumor made out of stress? This bitch is dialbolical!

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Also back inFrance: Lord Grenier, the guy creeping on Charles’ favor, was selling vineyards left and right, and Mary and Charles were sleuthing it out, and eventually Mary figured out this dude was war profiteering.

And YES that profiteering benefitted her but Mary is just too good for this world. TBH I was cackling when she and Catherine confronted Grenier and he was like “Yeah, I was going to send double the troops to Scotland but girl, I was going to send DOUBLE THE TROOPS TO SCOTLAND to help your ass, excusez-moi !” But and yet and still Mary was angry,and I guess she has a point that the nihilistic slaughter of troops for profit is not okay even if it “benefits” your state.

But I think we could all agree that Queen’s Club was officially back on like Donkey Kong as of this confrontation. And then Catherine was like “Mary you are just so good for this world that I am going to continue to defend our Scottish Alliance because that’s what Francis would have wanted” and then Mary was like “Get this: I am so too good and pure for this world that I am going to formally end our alliance and give you all the credit so you get landslide votes into becoming Regent,basically.”

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Look, I’m sorry, can you think of any other series with this kind of positive relationship between an aspiring young Queen and a Queen who has held the ropes of power for a long, hard time? The alliance, the empathy between Catherine and Mary onscreen is one of those very rare glimpses of something so true and so rarely seen, the kind of hand women at the top of their game can extend to the women starting off. I love these two, and this episode cemented their relationship so beautifully. Their connection is based in Francis’ mutual love, but more than that, it’s based in knowing how much bullshit they both face individually in a world run by Privy Counsel type bros, who want to take everything they have.

Also in a moment of extreme cuddly adorableness, Leith was like “This girl you’re teaching me how to date…doesn’t exist. Does she?” and Claude was like “Yeah okay you got me.I just wanted to hang” and Leith was like “But we can’t ever marry.YOu’re as bad as Greer” and Claude was like “Actually no Greer needed to make her fortune. I’m a Princess, I’m set, I don’t need anything from you but pure human connection. So actually it’s my heart that’s going to get broken.” and babies, I basically broke down in tears. I was a little bit on the fence about these two but that concept alone, that Claude as a poor little rich girl knows that this will end with her in tears but she still wants it so bad, I don’t know, it kind of broke my heart. I am on board for Cleith. Chugga-chugga choo CHOO.

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Then also Elizabeth introduced this dude with sort of Heath Ledger vibes? I DO NOT say that lightly. Heath Ledger changed what I felt feelings could be when I was young and impressionable and in high school. But Exhibit A:

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I mean, top notes of Ledger there guys. Apparently this new character Gideon, he almost seduced Elizabeth at Mary Tudor’s behest, and now she wants him to go break Mary’s heart? I mean, Mary’s heart is already broken dude, so good luck. But snaps to casting. Good eye for the Ledgeriness. I’m interested.

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Although for about four seconds, the way it was cut, I thought Craig Parker would ALSO be playing Gideon and I got very excited. Dual Craig Parkers, hello. Show me. But it was just Narcisse hanging out in a night shirt talking politics to Catherine who, um, like, grabbed his member?

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And then when she found out he woudl have the deciding vote about the Privy Council and she was all…

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LOLOLOLOLOL. Seriously guys, this is so painful. As you know I’m die hard Nola. On the other hand, this was just such a gutsy move by Catherine you have to just enjoy her sheer audacity. On the third hand and or foot, I love Narcisse as a man who is dedicated heart and soul to Lola, so the idea that he can be easily seduced away from her hurts a part of my heart. And then he went home and Lola was like trying to be sexy in a very naive kind of way.

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Oh girl. You can’t compete with Catherine when it comes to peak freakness. Narcisse don’t make me choose between Nola and Catherine. Don’t do it.

Then Catherine put the moves on the chamber valet guy? Damn,we all handle grieving differentlyI guess but damn. Even Catherine’s lady was like “Queen Motha!!!! Tell me all the details.”

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Basically by the end of the episode Mary had decided that for the good of her country it was time to start dating again. Yes, it is hella early, not even a month has passed since the love of her life died.But for Mary, courtship is not about love. It never has been. And that’s what her heartbreak is about. The show gave us levity and romance and brightness and promise and a soupconne of sort of Heath Ledger this episode. Basically, a thousand good reasons to keep watching, even though our hearts are breaking. So I’m excited. This was exactly the episode i needed after last week’s lacerating episode. What did you think? - Lily Sparks


The Hound and the HareEdit

Reign 3x07: Prince on the Streets Freak in the Sheets

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Reign’s “The Hound and The Hare” had a lot to teach us, such as 1) Kings of the Valois got a bonus mini funeral for their organs, apparently 2) you should always throw down a foam mat under your sex horse and last but not least 3) don’t take it personally when a guy is not into you. Sometimes it’s not you it’s him and the fact he’s being blackmailed by the new annoyingly sexy English ambassador.

But what this episode really tried to get across most of all is that Mary seriously has to start dating. It may seem very soon to us, still deep in our Francis feels, but there’s been a time jump since the last episode (enough time to get her portrait to Don Carlos and for him to travel to her from at least Austria) and again: courtship for Mary is not about love anymore. It’s for funding her military, defending her borders, making powerful allies.

And if it also involves hearing a handsome prince shade Elizabeth that’s cool too.

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Mary had a nice long laugh about Carlos demanding to see Queen Elizabeth’s vadge, and then he was like “Hey how about a game of chase in the woods for kisses?” and Mary was like “No thanks creeper.”

Then she met Heath Ledger lookalike Gideon, and a flash of chemistry was registered on elite chemistry-monitoring equipment at American’s Center of Chemistry Studies, almost 500 miles away.

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Gideon’s first order of business is to chase off Don Carlos, and was able to scare him off pretty good with a single vague note about secrets:

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Mary, of course, immediately blamed it all on herself.

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Meanwhile Catherine was pressing the Privy Council to hurry up and make her regent already so the country didn’t look like it couldn’t get its pants on. Sensing her Privy Council was stalling to keep her off the throne, she approached Narcisse and made him an offer: elect me to the Privy Council and I’ll promote you to Lord Chancellor. Then her boy toy Christophe appeared and they made sweet love in a breezeway.

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A couple things about this: who knew Catherine wore such sexy underwear!!! I want that corset type top. And secondly, guys: you appear to be in a HALLWAY. Sure, even the best of us have made out in the shower stall of an Ikea display bathroom, but we’re not royalty, the most we risk is getting ejected from the premises without eating any swedish meatballs . You are running for regent, Catherine! And thus must remember that the best erections come with discretion. (Motto of the round table.)

When Catherine noticed Don Carlos’ lackeys hauling boxes of his shit out of the court, she asked Mary what had happened and Mary was like “I missed up. He doesn’t love me. Probably because I refused to play his creeper games.” Catherine was like “So play his creeper games. Yes it’s a physical and emotional violation of your boundaries but welcome to gender dynamics in the 16th century girl.” and Mary was like “UGH FINE. I’ll go hide his luggage so he can’t leave until he falls in love with me.”

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Determined to show Don Carlos she could handle a nightmarish chase through a woods, Mary told him while he waited for his luggage to show up (LOL) they could try his little Hounds and Hare game, which is when he told her she would be chasing him. Mary was like “Okay I guess that’s slightly less creepy. Slightly.”

Meanwhile Lola was trying to talk Narcisse out of a high powered Lord Chancellor job and also why did his junk smell like strawberry chapstick? Clearly her arguments about how his job was good enough, couldn’t he just focus on being satisfied and suddenly I’m humming “That Would Be Enough” from Hamilton… hold on brb.

Okay! Had to listen to that track real quick. Anyway: despite the fact they keep me breathing, Narcisse and Lola’s marriage is already showing cracks. Maybe due to Narcisse’s deception infidelity? If I could be mad at Catherine I would be but sorry, between Lola and Catherine I will always be #TeamCatherine.

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Meanwhile Bash woke up next to Delphine looking *thrilled*.

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Hahahaha Bash is so miserable! Sorry you wake up on top of a supermodel, seems like a real ordeal. Granted he’s just lost his brother and tipped into a relationship with a very witchy woman who has a mind-heart link to a serial killer. I guess that could be kind of stressful.

Speaking of which, Delphine sort of but not quite trailed the killer to a village/Greer’s tavern. Bash wanted to close the tavern to protect the working ladies, but Greer pointed out that the serial killer would just find another victim, why not lay a trap for him and spring when he went for the bait?

Annnnnd speaking of hunting metaphors, all the ladies of the French Court were trading their dainty heels for riding boots so they could chase the guys through the woods and honestly this looked very fun. Is it sexist of me if I insist on doing this on my next birthday? There doesn’t have to be kissing. A woodland girls vs. guys chase just seems like a good time.

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Of course I would probably do exactly what Mary did: immediately turn my ankle. Yes, Mary “pulled a Lily” by severely spraining her ankle while trying to ford a stream within like fifteen minutes of the race starting. I feel you girl.

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With no other players in sight and dark falling on the woods, Mary was facing a real Bear Grylls situation when Gideon popped up through the trees and offered to carry her home.

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Since Romancing the Stone I have been a sucker for Begrudging Chivalry so I really enjoyed this moment.

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And the human horse ride came with a prize: Gideon spilled a little tea about Don Carlos being rumored as a “real freak in the bed”, but still generously carried Mary within reach of Don Carlos so she could make her own choices. Mary ran straight down to the basement to see what exactly was in Don Carlos’ luggage and Don Carlos turned up again to yell at her for a) not catching him during his creeper game b) stealing his luggage (fair) and c) trying to crack it open like a Prohibition detective (very fair. Shame on you Mary.)

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Mary made the point that he should find her schemes flattering: she is just, after all, trying to marry him. That’s when Don Carlos threw a plot twist/steamy ultimatum into the mix: love me, love my sex horse.

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Apparently Don Carlos is a masochist. He is looking for a Queen with a little streak of dominatrix to her. Mary was like “Thank you but no thank you.”

Meanwhile Catherine was looking sexy as hell in her nightdress and didn’t she know it.

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Yes when Narcisse marched into her bedroom like he owned the place (!!!) to confront her about having sex with her boy toy in the wide open woods (!!!!) Catherine was like “Don’t act like you don’t love it. Sorry I’m not boring like your wife. You want power? You want excitement? Get in this bed.”

And as much as I have rooted for Narcisse and Lola and need them to be together, I just love watching Megan Follows turn Catherine into a femme fatale so much I’m not even mad.

Across town, Leith showed up at the Tavern and he and Greer had a little “we are so over our relationship we can give each other relationship advice” talk. They teased each other about how Leith clearly has a thing for poor little rich girls and Greer likes slummin’ it sea dog style.

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Then Leith left, forgetting his cloak and Greer was like “Hold on Leith! You forgot your cloak! Let me run into this foggy alleyway where a serial killer is literally expected to appear any minute!” And then she was roughly pushed by a drunk. Bash came throwing punches in her defense but false alert, drunky was just being drunk. Meanwhile Delphine was getting spirit-choked by the real deal killer!

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Watch out Delphine!

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Luckily Delphine made it out okay, except for has she even ever been okay?! Delphine is juggling a lot what with sensing a killer’s intentions and dark magic and resurrection powers and I think maybe she should back-burner a relationship until she sorts some things out that she personally has going on. But that’s just me.

Meanwhile, Catherine went to attend the Privy Council’s vote for Regent, which was rudely interrupted by the LIVER OF HER DECEASED SON.

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YOOOOO. Reign is going there with the dis-embodied pieces of its former love interest literally on screen!! That has to be a first?!! I mean we are living in amazing times, basically, although clearly not as amazing as the 16th century. Basically Francis’ liver had turned black, a sure sign of poisoning, and we all know Catherine is to poison what Betty Crocker is to cake mixes. After she was accused of murdering her own son Narcisse was like “I guess I’ll step in and act as Regent then until this is sorted out.” A SHAMELESS power grab!

Catherine just about bit a pillow in half she was so angry. Mary was like “If you think you have problems, listen to this shit: Don Carlos wants me to smack him with a whip.” Catherine was like “You call that a problem?! Marry that freak. Sounds like a good time. Does he do threesomes?”

So then we had this incredibly hilarious scene where Mary kinda sorta experimented with light BDSM. Don Carlos got in his leather pants, strapped himself to a sex horse, Mary blindfolded him, and then Catherine tip-toed in and started whipping him SUPER HARD.

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Despite the fact Catherine was giving herself tennis elbow smacking his naked torso Don Carlos was like “Is this McDonald’s? Because I am loving it” Still, Mary (who is it turns out a bit of a kink-shamer) got freaked out and told Catherine to stop and Don Carlos slipped off his blindfold and saw that she had called in a friend for their BDSM sesh. This threw him into such a rage he tipped over the sex horse and brained himself on the stone floor.

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While Catherine and Mary were trying to figure out how to hide his body, he then disappeared and ran down the hall like a bloody mess!

Cue “Oh boy” Tango & Cash buddy movie look from Catherine and Mary.

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The Queen’s Club in a Quagmire, basically, which is my favorite kind of cliffhanger because there’s literally nothing I love more than Mary and Catherine working together against impossible odds and these odds just got super impossible. Will Spain attack France? Will Don Carlos be disinherited? Can the sex horse be repaired? (It looks custom-made, you just know it’s expensive.)

Also Greer is PREGNANT WITH A PIRATE BABY!!!

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So yeah, an extremely entertaining episode. I will admit my skin crawled at the idea of Francis’ liver being hauled around in a lovely shoe box and waved threateningly at his mother, but props for showing me something I never in all my days imagined I would ever see on TV…AND a sex horse. We are living in a golden age for The CW.

As you might know The CW has announced an indefinite hiatus for Reign while it shuffles around its winter/spring schedule. The next new episode won’t pop up until after the holidays, January 8th. Then regular episodes should continue until January 22nd, when the show will go into a hiatus with return date TBD. Nothing makes a cold night crackle for me like pearlescent gowns, hair jewelry and brandished goblets, so I’m hoping hard that it comes back within the winter. Until then I’m just going to get my holiday on.

Thank you so much for stopping by my Tumblr and having a read. Your comments, likes & reblogs are the air I breathe (too thirsty? still true.)I will be back when Reign resumes & will post news about the winter hiatus as I hear about it!

- Lily Sparks


Our UndoingEdit

Reign 3 x 08: That Girl is Poison

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How was your holiday? Did you see friends and family? Did you eat? Did you drink? Did you get some new slippers? I hope all of the above.

And now our TV’s are giving us another gift: a new episode of Reign, precious as an hour of pearls, and this episode started with Mary and Catherine fleeing the scene of a sexy murder and burning their bloody clothes!

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Mary’s hem and Catherine’s over-kirtle or whathaveyou went in the fire and then Catherine was like “Well while we’re burning shit let’s get rid of some of my exotic and deadly poisons” but knock knock knock someone was at the door and the two women had to hastily pretend they were just whiling away the evening playing chess. (Before TV, radio, and internet, chess was heart-pounding excitement and fantasy adventure akin to Game of Thrones. )

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Yes, Narcisse had come to officially accuse Catherine of killing her own son and to reveal a key piece of evidence he was planning to use during the inquest was the dead rat Lola had found in her bathtub, allegedly planted by Catherine, then skipped off all pleased with himself like a little asshole. Mary’s face during this whole exchange was perfect on every level.

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Catherine was like “YOU HAVE TO TELL LOLA” and Mary was like don’t drag me into this.

This is a real moral quandry most of us will face at one time or another. If your friend is in a happy relationship, and you learn their partner did some questionable shit, is the moral thing to tell them or not to tell them? Obviously if it’s sex outside the relationship without conset, because of STD’s, you have a moral obligation. But slightly-shady shit? That’s a pickle of a different color.

And then Catherine was like “Also I’ve been fucking Narcisse.”

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Hahahaha. Of course when Mary went to tell Lola, Lola immediately handwaved her off, as if Mary didn’t full distrust Catherine at all times and knew her better than anyone and is at this point the last person Catherine can fool. As we know Lola has always been dicks before chicks in her heart, throughout this whole series. We have the receipts. From defending her piece-of-trash fiancee in Episode One to right here and now helping her son’s grandma get framed for the murder of Francis, we have the receipts. I see you Lola.

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Meanwhile the Spanish Ambassador was heading up an extremely slut-shamey investigation into HOW exactly the Future King of Spain ended up tied to a sex horse with his head caved in. His answer? French people.

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Mary gave Greer the head’s up to clear her girls out of court before they could get slut shamed, then was like “Hmmm you look different.” And Greer was like “I am wearing 18 braids on my head for some reason?” and Mary was like “Oh okay that must be it.”

Meanwhile Catherine and Claude were having a heartwarming mother daughter talk.

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Proving she’s Catherine’s daughter after all, Claude struck a canny deal: she wouldn’t mention that time Catherine tried to kill her if she could choose her husband.

Meanwhile, Don Carlos had woken up, with Catherine poised to terminate him if he started pointing fingers.

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The good news: he didn’t remember that Catherine and Mary had tipped him over in a BDSM scene gone awry! The bad news: that was because his brain was very badly injured. Very badly.

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We’ve all been there Don Carlos. Oooof, there are days and there are days.

Meanwhile, Bash then intercepted Catherine in what seemed like him policing her but was actually him asking her how he could help. When the actual scene was happening I just kept thinking about how there’s a small but loyal set of fans who ship Bash and Catherine really hard and how much they were enjoying this scene.

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Meanwhile, Lola was dutifully testifying about the rat. And then she got word her brother and father had been kidnapped by the English and were being held hostages, not to be released until Lola had joined Elizabeth at her court. Narcisse was like “That will never happen” but I was like “Wow I really hope that happens. Lola at English court? Yes, hell to the yes.”

Then Mary kind of got into with Narcisse because both of them wanted to keep Lola safe for slightly different reasons? IDK. People give Narcisse a real tough time when he’s so cool and charismatic and awesome and oh whoops he killed his scribe so Lola wouldn’t find out he left the rat in the bathtub.

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Hahahaha wow Narcisse turned a corner this episode! To explain how it happened: Lola was dictating a letter back to her mother, and the scribe was writing it, and then she noticed his handwriting, and I thought to myself: can Lola write? I am not sure if Lola can write.

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I see your reading-but-not-writing shenanigans, Lola.

Meanwhile Mary was confronted by the growing famine in Scotland by ambassadors who had smuggled over some ACTUAL STARVING CHILDREN to guilt her with. In an age before smartphones, “pics or it didn’t happen” could get very weird.

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Mary offered to sell all her jewels but Mary you can’t eat jewels girl.

Meanwhile Claude was trying to white-knuckle it through the inquest acting like her mom didn’t kill her when they confronted her with a book of painful teenage secrets.

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I can imagine nothing more embarassing and heartbreaking than having to explain to a court that you lied about how your mom tried to kill you, to protect her. I mean. I need a hug after that confession.

Clearly Catherine is going to make Narcisse pay for this. But first she had to dress up like a Dickensian urchin and sneak out of the castle!

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Lol. Megan Follows looks 16 in that hat. What in the world. Is she part Merlin? Why is she aging backwards? Please someone figure out the creams she is using because I need to stock tf up.

In the carriage, on the way to a safe house, Catherine was like “Marry that Spanish himbo. Take him back to Scotland. Spend his money and eat as much as you want. It’s the best life you could ask for.” then she made a break for the safe house and ran straight into Bash. It was BASHERINE MAGIC.

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Also he dropped a bit of a bomb: the embalmer paid to embalm Francis kinda never did. Silver lining? If they dug up Francis he would still have his liver, disproving the murder charge Catherine had been convicted of.

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Dear Lord. Not even on Game of Thrones has someone had to do something this darkly hardcore. This was Lady Stark levels of awful to contemplate.

Anyway, back at the castle the worst day of Narcisse’s life was dawning. The night before he’d killed his scribe and then when Lola confronted him about possibly bribing the scribe he totally choked, lost his shit, and she put it all together. Lola was like “Fuck you butthead, I’m going to England and while I’m gone you just think about what you did.”

Then she turned around to Mary and was like “Still very much into him.”

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Yes, Catherine returned with Francis’ body to give Narcisse the tongue-lashing of a century and make us all miss Francis all over again.

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Narcisse had lost his case, probably he regency,and his wife, for selfishly overreaching and trying to frame Catherine for the most despicable of crimes. And also he had bummed us all out.

And worst of all, he had cost me my Nola.

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Seeing Lola do what had to be done to help her family, ie go off to England and become Queen Elizabeth’s hostage, inspired Mary to do the unthinkable: agree to marry Don Carlos. It would mean the wealth and security and most importantly oatmeal packets all those adorable dying moppets needed. Of course it would mean a lifetime of gently mopping up drool from Don Carlos’ chin, but Mary is a Queen damn it.

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And, let’s be real, we just know something will come along and save her.

So. A great return! An honestly stunning red gown! I don’t know what to think about Nola except that I would probably have instantly forgiven him, but I am excited about one of our core cast showing up in England. What did you think?

- Lily Sparks


WedlockEdit

Reign 3x09: The Marriage Plot

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HEY Y'ALL. Welcome back to Tudor England, it has been far, far, far too long. Back in the dark days before Reign came out, I had no one to talk to about Elizabeth Tudor. There was only 90’s Cate Blanchette and my dozens of audio books, all somehow narrated by the same lady, and my weird websites (that often involved midi files of recorder toodling) to engage with when I wanted to “Liz Out” on some E.Regina I goodness. Now thanks to Reign we can talk about it for maybe forever, because Reign is going through all the most controversial Elizabeth I conspiracy theories and gossip and I am loving it. Like remember when Don Carlos demanded to see her lady bits? Much like that shout-out to an old rumor that Elizabeth was secretly a boy changeling, this week we got knee-deep into a popular rumour (within Elizabeth’s own time!)- namely that she carried or birthed Robert Dudley’s baby.

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OHmigosh. Personally I would like to think that Elizabeth and Robert Dudley totally made sweet love, but that’s more hope than conviction, Elizabeth seems way too dedicated to self-preservation to take that risk. I’ve certainly never credited any rumor that Liz got pregnant, though at least one dude came forward after her death and pretended to be her and Dudley’s bastard son. And if you really want the epitome of Tudor baby rumors watch Anonymous and LOL.

For the purposes of Reign AU Tudor fiction, Elizabeth was carrying Robert’s baby! Carrying a married man’s child is political suicide in 2016, nevermind the 16th century.

Meanwhile the grain in Spain was falling mainly on the shores of Scotland, and by that I mean Mary was basically robbing Don Carlos blind of grain to feed her starving people, like an extremely glamorous lady Robin Hood.

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Narcisse came in to grab a little extra cash and Mary was like “Immoral!” but Narcisse pointed out French soldiers had just risked their lives for Scotland and were expecting to be like, you know, paid for that? Mary was like “Shit. Fine. Let’s share my brain-damaged fiancee’s ridiculous wealth then.”

But she was so discomfited by taking advantage of her betrothed she headed out to the balcony where she bumped right into Gideon, who was looking extremely Ledgery. LOL , poor Mary no longer has a private balcony.

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This was an incredibly personal question that sent Mary into a justified rage because the answer was “nope.” Mary blustered about how Gideon was just trying to sabotage a Scottish-Spanish alliance, and Gideon was like no, I’m trying to help you, this marriage is a mistake.

And then the next day…

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Hahahaha. He pretended Elizabeth now wanted to marry Damaged Goods Carlos, and Carlos’ handlers decided they might as well take a little time and weigh their options, much to Mary’s chagrin.

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Meanwhile, remember Christophe? He’d found the sex horse and glued it back together or something so he and Catherine could take a romp on it. Catherine was like “I’m crazy but not that crazy” and fled the room, as really any of us should probably do when faced with used BDSM equipment that has not been thoroughly windexed.

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Meanwhile a pregnant Elizabeth cornered Dudley: how fast could she push a divorce through Parliament so they could marry? Dudley was like “Amy is dying!” Elizabeth was like “Oh man but I really need a King for this heir” and Dudley was like “Okay twist my arm I’ll be King go ahead and get that divorce for me at great personal sacrifice.” Hahaha Reign’s Dudley is kind of an asshole? Just me?

To be fair, almost all cinematic depictions of Robert Dudley paint him as some variety of asshole, though in every biography I read I find his loyalty super charming, and I trust Elizabeth so absolutely that if SHE thought he was a good egg, well, that’s endorsement enough for me.

William is very much of the opposite opinion.

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Meanwhile Leith and his muscles returned to brighten up Claude’s life. Swooping in under the pretense of a Latin lesson, Leith swept Claude off for an impromptu session of self defense tips and “the condom talk.”

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We never saw the actual lambskin prophylactic, which I’d love to believe looked not unlike a gossamer wizard’s cap, but kudos to Reign for being more chill and upfront about protection than a lot of teen shows set 100 years in the future.

Still, despite having precautions in hand (perhaps because he had precautions in hand) Claude had a bit of a freak out: was she ready to get that emotionally attached to a man she really couldn’t have a future with? Point well raised; the emotional risks of a new partner are not as easily mitigated as the physical ones, there is no condom for your heart, needlepoint that shit onto a pillow.

Also remember Delphine?

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Hahaha oh Delphine. She is sort of gorgeous, she looks like Madeleine Stowe except Frencher somehow. Unfortunately she’s currently got like depression or common sense and doesn’t want to go hunting for serial murderers with Bash. Bash then got an interesting letter from that killer who’s been snatching everybody’s hearts that basically read “Whoops sorry for killing so much but I super swear I am dunzo now kthankzbai.” Comforting! Delphine was like “Maybe I healed him of his urge to murder?” and Bash was like “Maybe? But he’s still guilty of serial murder so I’m still going to, you know, bring him to justice.”

And then the GIANT WOLFHOUND CAME BACK!

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This creature is more beautiful than any dreams my mind could fashion or my heart devise. A canine straight off of a tapestry or out of a fairy tale! Oh also Mary was having real buyer’s remorse about marrying Don Carlos.

And then someone played a game of whippin’ tops!

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Hahahaha that is a rather inappropriately violent child’s game if you don’t mind me saying. Violent enough to send Carlos spiraling into flashbacks from that time Catherine and Mary pranked him to death on a sex horse and pull him out of his mental stupor.

TV.comReview - Wedlock 18

Don Carlos was recovering his memories and his mental faculties and he did not like what he was remembering. The next time he met with Mary, his handlers demanded she grant him the Crown Matrimonial.

This is a real thing, a legal clause that allows the man who marries the Queen to keep the throne if she dies before bearing an heir. And it’s kind of a shady thing to ask for, sort of like a fiancee suggesting you get a million dollars in life insurance benefitting them before you get married.Mary was like, wellllll okaaaaay…but only if you stop flirting about with Elizabeth and just marry me already.

Meanwhile, across the channel, Robert Dudley let Amy know he was leaving their marriage and she reacted with surprise.

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Nothing makes a case for staying together like suddenly revealing to your partner that you are psychotic. It worked great for Mrs. Rochester.

Dudley was like “I’ve got bad news I’ve got good news… the bad news is Amy went crazy when I told her I was leaving her, the good news is this means we can institutionalize her and get married?"and Elizabeth was like "Best day ever!”

Meanwhile Amy figured out the one way to keep them apart forever: killing herself, thereby casting suspicion on both of them.

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So okay first off: obviously this was an over-the-top example that no one would take personally in a million years, but because it cannot be said enough, suicide is the worst, it’s always a dumb idea, and just don’t do it.

Secondly, the death of Amy Dudley is one of the great historical mysteries, a sort of strange Tudor Agatha Christie classic english country house murder mystery of sorts. Amy was, indeed, dying of cancer (they didn’t know it was cancer then, they would have called it like humours or something) she was very close to death. Her husband had been away from the house for a long time, and then the morning of her death she sent all her servants out of the house, as though anticipating a private visitor.

Later that evening she was found at the bottom of a staircase with her neck broken. However the steps were very broad and shallow, and there were a “pair” of them- which can be taken to mean two flights of stairs, though the number is hotly debated. While her death was judged at an inquest to be an accident, there are all sorts of theories:

1. It was suicide by a dying woman who felt herself to be unwanted by her husband (unlikely, Amy would have probably belived herself to be risking her soul by suicide)

2. It was murder, by Dudley, so he would be free to marry the Queen. He would have had to be incredibly stupid though, to not just wait for his wife to die, as she was dying already, and the doubt the murder cast on him was enough to keep him and Elizabeth from marrying for the rest of their long lives. He also, to his credit, made every effort to see Amy’s murder was investigated by impartial third parties who could creditably assert his innocence.

3. It was murder by a third party who knew once Amy was dying and that once she did Robert would be free to marry Elizabeth and become King. They knew killing Amy before she died of natural causes was the only way to tarnish Robert’s reputation and effectively separate him from Elizabeth forever, because the Queen, for reasons of state security, could never marry a man suspected of killing his wife.

I mean as a topic it’s endlessly fascinating to me, and Reign’s solution to the murder of Amy Dudley is one I’ve actually never seen proposed before: a malicious revenge suicide?! Delightfully gothic, if probably not the case.

You can read more about it here if you’re into this stuff.

Elizabeth and Dudley of course had much the same reaction as their real life counterparts: they recognized immediately that their hopes of being together died with Amy.

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Meanwhile Claude, after a good talk with Greer, apologized to Leith in the cutest way possible, assuring him she loved Latin, and then got herself some phallus erectus if you know what I mean.

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Meanwhile Mary had chosen a Spanish-inspired red lace veil for her hasty marriage to Don Carlos, a very thoughtful gesture considering Don Carlos was already plotting how to kill her.

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Mary had only a few hours before her wedding ceremony in which to end an international alliance and reveal a regicidal murder plot without causing a scandal. And because she’s our Mary, she pulled it off without breaking a sweat, by drafting a new marriage contract that left out the Crown Matrimonial.

When Don Carlos refused to sign it, the jig was up.

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Hahaha. They were both trying to take gross advantage of each other and then got called out on it. This is actually way more in keeping with how royal marriages went back in the day.

Luckily Catherine had Mary’s back.

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You have got to love Catherine.

At the end of the episode, Mary revealed that a) she had been reading Gideon’s mail this whole time and b) she realized now Elizabeth was holding his daughter captive so maybe his loyalties to the English Queen were not absolute? “Tell her you blew up my marriage scheme, get those brownie points.” Mary suggested. “Also thanks for not letting me get killed.”

The pros of male roommates, or balcony-mates, I guess.

Also mere hours after getting down on a heaping helping of Leith, Claude learned Narcisse had decided to auction her off in marriage to the highest bidder in order to pay the French army. Looks like those heavy emotional consequences of physical intimacy were immediately in play!

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Also Delphine took off and Bash was like “Okay fine bye” but before she headed out of the castle she mentioned feeling warm, like she was sitting in front of a fire…

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and the next thing you know a guy sitting in front of a fire turned around a killed a lady! The killer is in the castle!

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Uh oh guys. The game is afoot! Everyone is a suspect!

Hahaha this recap is so long. Thanks for staying with me through the whole thing! What are your IRL Amy Dudley theories? Do you think IRL Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley ever got to consummate their romantic relationship? And finally, Gideon: on a scale of zero to Heath, how Ledgery?

- Lily Sparks


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