Reign – S01E04 – Hearts and Minds
Aaaaand, we’re back! In case you don’t remember where we left off in Episode 3, lots of people made out, Mary stole a prince without quite giving up the other and is now super secret engaged to two different people (for Scotland!), and Bash is near death. Whoo!
The show opens with Tomas and Francis having a
pissing archery contest while everyone watches. This was the kind of thing people did for entertainment at court. They hadn’t invented things like anachronistic teen melodramas to watch on tv yet. One of the targets is a dummy whose head is wrapped in a burlap sack. Nostradamus is very concerned; what if Burlap Sack finds out and goes on a ghost rampage? Tomas keeps making eyes at Mary, who seems annoyed, especially when Horse Hair won’t shut up about the super secret engagement.
Looks like someone fixed their roots since last episode. From some angles that front swoop bang looks kind of cool; it sticks out like Ariel’s bangs from The Little Mermaid. I loved that look as a kid. You don’t know how often I was in front of a mirror in my youth trying to figure out how to make my bangs into a heavy swoop that floated off my forehead. The rest of this is a monstrosity, especially compared to everyone else’s hair here.
Mary’s uncle comes to retrieve her and explain why it’s taking so long for him to convince King Henry to release her from her engagement to Francis. Henry has to work the situation to his advantage so he doesn’t look weak, because he’s a king. Mary points out that she’s a queen and they all expect her to just go begging. Her uncle points out that it’s because Mary doesn’t have a leg to stand on and that she’s at the mercy of everyone.
Lola was missing from the hair lineup because she’s been sent by Mary to check on Bash. His wound is closing, but the disease in his blood is spreading (in modern terms, he probably has an infection). Nostradamus warns that if his fever doesn’t break by tonight, he could die. Bash is well enough to joke that having a pretty lady near him is better than a grizzly Nostradamus (speak for yourself dude). She decides to stay and keep him company instead of returning to the tournament. Unlike all the other ladies who check on him and dash, Lola has buried several of her brothers and isn’t put off by death. Because of Scarlet Fever, not because she killed them or something. Anyway, now she’s only afraid of, “being alone.” And there’s a moment where she reaches to touch him and pulls back at the last moment. Bash is, of course, a continuous flirt. This won’t end badly at all, nope.
Tomas wins the tournament and gives his “favor”, which is a pink rose, to Mary. That’s flower speak for “admiration.” Everyone is taken aback, but Francis shrugs it off and says it’s fine. Mary tries to apologize to Francis, but he knows that Tomas is showboating. He’s taking the whole thing as well as can be expected for someone who only recently realized he might have feelings for someone he was going to be forced to marry and now can’t. Stupid spy! Then there’s even more commotion as Lord Simon Westbrook, the
Evil English envoy, is arrested for being said stupid spy. How dare you deny the shippers Westbrook! Frary FOREVER*. He denies it of course.
Catherine confronts Mary in the hall, the same one from episode 3 where I gushed about the windows. Except somehow now the windows have yellow glass which is striking and lovely. Do they change to match Mary’s dress? We probably weren’t supposed to notice. I do love that you can see the wooden beams in the ceiling here. Anyway, Catherine lets Mary know that all she sees when looking at Mary is death and that she’d love to see her leave. It’s a really disturbing thing to say to someone actually. Mary asks why she isn’t set free if that’s the case, and naturally that’s because Henry must have all the things.
Henry and Catherine do tell her that they’ll release Mary from her engagement if she agrees to sign testimony that Westbrook was involved in the ambush. Only a prostitute overheard this supposed boasting, and they can’t condemn a noble person with that. They’re not even people! Mary questions the witness, Judith, who is wearing a lot of blush (that’s how you know she’s a prostitute) and looks scared. She says that she saw his medallion (the royal English seal), and risked his wrath because he seemed like a horrible person. Mary agrees to sign the testimony, and Henry decides Westbrook will be beheaded at the Michaelmas banquet. Festive!
In case you were wondering, Michaelmas, aka the Feast of Saint Michael and the Archangels, is a holiday that takes place on September 29. It was a Holy Day of Obligation, which basically means, “pretend it’s Sunday, go to mass, don’t work.” I’m not really sure where beheading falls in “joy proper to the Lord’s day“. The good news is that we have an idea of the timeframe again.
Nostradamus congratulates Catherine on her victory in getting rid of Mary. She’s unhappy that it involved her people dying. Nostradamus reminds her that Westbrook is kind of her cohort, but that doesn’t seem to be helping him now. Sorry dude, Catherine has what she wants and you’ve also offended her. No help over here! Unless… oh, nope. Nostradamus says Mary will still kill everyone if she stays. Too bad.
Mary is packing when all four ladies come to comment on how quickly she’s moving with Tomas. It seems Mary is moving to Portugal in two days. Tomas works fast! The girls are offended that Mary doesn’t want them to come, but Mary was just afraid to force them. Kenna is suspiciously quiet during this interchange, and doesn’t agree to leave when everyone else speaks up. Mary doesn’t seem to notice. What is Kenna supposed to do, start from scratch with a new king to be a third mistress? NONSENSE.
Francis is practicing his archery by himself when Mary comes to speak with him. There is a lot of melodrama sap here. They want to make out, but they can’t in case someone sees. Francis says
I don’t know who’s lucky anymore. I used to think that we were, the years that we had as children, the time we’ve had since you’ve been back at court. Now I feel those days like something sharp in my heart.
I will help you feel something sharp in your heart, good lord. Stab stab. They decide to meet somewhere private after dark so they can smooch without worry. Unfortunately, they’re overheard by one of Tomas’ servants, who promptly tells on them.
Guess where Kenna is? She’s shown up at the King’s bedroom door with a glint in her eye. We are not surprised at all! She’s decided that she’d rather throw all that talk of saving herself and maintaining her reputation out the window, because now she doesn’t have time to play out her game of chicken with him. The king actually shows some restraint when he hears her explanation. “Is that supposed to convince you or me?” She wants him to name her his mistress so she’ll have a place at court and not have to leave. “And perhaps in time, I could have more.” Hi, I heard about this Anne Boleyn chick in England, what do you think? The king says, sorry, I have a mistress. In case you forgot, you’re third in line here. She leaves disappointed.
Francis is yelling about Westbrook over a sleeping Bash, because apparently this won’t hurt his recovery the way Lola checking on him supposedly did. Be super quiet when he’s awake, scream all you want when he’s sleeping! Catherine speaks of Francis’ soft heart, mentioning his love of Bash, his “bastard brother”, which is said not so much as a word describing the act of being born out of wedlock, but more in the angry, derogatory way it’s more commonly used today. Francis is also worried about what will happen to Mary if she leaves. Catherine encourages him to let Mary go, but Francis decides to trust his instincts, which don’t trust Tomas.
Mary and Francis meet in the grove for their make out session. He’s late because he’s been asking questions about Tomas all over the castle and not being secretive about it at all. He’s heard that Tomas is cruel to his servants, but Mary brushes him off and says that she can take care of herself. She counters, “There are rumors about all royals. You know what they say about you? Half of Europe thinks that you’re sickly and weak and stunted.” This was probably true, but the show has obviously decided it was not. A love triangle doesn’t play out quite so well if one of the them is sick and stuttering all the time. Mary keeps talking, and Francis kisses her to shut her up. Or maybe his passion just overwhelmed him. It’s hard to tell with these two.
She returns to her room, happy and giggling with Horse Hair, to find Tomas waiting for her. He wants to set down some rules for her, maybe something along the lines of “don’t make out with other people when we’re engaged.” As it turns out though, Tomas is a complete ass. Are you surprised? Because somehow I’m not. Mary is told to get in line, which means shut up, look pretty, give all of your power to your husband. Oh, and don’t forget that every time you displease him in any way, this random dude will be whipped. Can’t wait for our wedding! <3 <3
For some good news, Bash isn’t going to die, though he still looks like death. His fever has finally broken, but he’s still weak as a kitten. He’s been told to stay in bed and let the whole in his stomach heal, but does he do that? Of course not! Francis and Bash are talking about Tomas might be a monster when Tomas actually barges in to say I AM A MONSTER! SURPRISE! He calls Mary his property, and insults Francis who then tries to take a swing at Tomas. Bash stops him, further injuring himself.
The girls are all picking things out of a costume chest for the upcoming party, and everyone is wearing their sourpuss faces. Kenna is being a spoiled brat, pouting about her missed chance to bed a king. Greer decides to make the best of it, and takes two costumes while making eyes at the kitchen boy. Kenna decides to join in and takes the sexiest costume she can find, because desperate is the only language she speaks.
Back in her room, Mary is getting ready in a dress with the craziest peplums I’ve ever seen (Beth called them fins) when Burlap Sack drops off the royal English seal. What could this possibly be related to?? Mary ponders this allowed because she forgot the plot of the episode.
Out in the garden, Bash is practicing some swordplay, because he fully understands “rest or you’ll die.” Lola comes up dressed in wings and a gold helmet with wings on it, which I’m told makes her a Valkyrie. My knowledge of Norse mythology is pure crap, so I’m taking Beth’s word for it. Any flirting Lola came to do is interrupted by the arrival of Francis. They complain about Tomas some, and Bash offhandedly mentions how convenient it was that the French troops were ambushed so that Tomas could come to Mary’s rescue, which is when Francis realizes that’s exactly how Tomas planned it.
At the party, Westbrook is chained to a chair that looks suspiciously like a throne. Mary, dressed as “Forever 21’s Artemis” as Beth put it. Is that a giant jeweled newt in her hair? She’s come to ask him about the similarities between Westbrook’s seal and the royal English seal. Turns out he’s related to the queen is a cousin, and her rose is white but Westbrook’s is red. Should have put suspenseful music in there.
Tomas calls Mary to him, remarking on her costume. She says she knew the bow was his favorite weapon, but he says it’s his second favorite. While looking down. At his crouch. Also, there are rooster feathers in his cap. I kind of wish they’d just forget the whole historical thing all together so that Tomas could have come dressed as Captain Hammer. He’s being very forward in public, and actually squeezing Mary until she hurts. He obliquely accuses her of messing around with Francis, and threatens her when she plays innocent.
Francis comes to her rescue, and counters Tomas’ posturing with some vague accusations regarding planning the ambush. Bash is there as backup, even though he looks like he’ll fall over at any minute. They’d better get proof quick, or this whole show might have to change it’s arc. Miguel, his valet and Mary’s whipping boy, is their key witness. They also realize the prostitute, Judith, must be found as well. Too bad Miguel is off hunting with Tomas suddenly! That’s not suspicious.
The kitchen boy surprises Greer in the livery costume she took. She’s nervous about him being caught, but he explains that Michaelmas is celebrated by pretending everyone is equal, even the servants. I must have overlooked that part when I was researching it, but it earns him a kiss and he seems sweet, so I’ll go with it.
Mary catches Judith as she’s fleeing town. Her face is bruised and she’s terrified, but tells Mary that the rose on the seal she saw was white. That means someone got their details mixed when they were pretending to be Westbrook. Mary gets her to agree to help.
Meanwhile, Tomas is taunting Miguel, and is ready to shoot him with his
penis bow. Francis and Bash show up just in time. Well, almost. Miguel is still shot, but it’s not fatal. Bash has a sword to Tomas’ throat, though I’m not sure what kind of protection that’s meant to be considering he can barely hold the thing. Tomas takes advantage and fights back. Bash ends up tearing open his wound and Francis has to rescue him. These two should consider helping less, because they sure do screw it up a lot. Francis ends up killing Tomas, which probably means war with Portugal. Geez Francis! Can’t you do anything right?
Back in the castle, it’s time to execute Westbrook. Gather round everyone! The real spectacle is Horse Hair, who looks like a clown rising up out of the mists. That neck ruff wouldn’t even be invented for a few more years. Maybe Nostradamus tipped her off. I’m starting to think that her hair dresser doesn’t know how to do anything else but multitudes of braids, but at least they look a little less unkempt when they’re worn up like this.
Kenna runs to the king to convince him to delay the execution. He resists at first, saying it would make him look weak, but she tells him it would make him a better king. He calls her brave for baring her heart, and decides he’s had enough of Catherine belittling him and Diane running off to shop in Paris. Though really, it’s not Diane’s fault this supposed French castle is in the middle of nowhere. So he says to hell with a mistress old enough to be my mother, and a wife that is the mother of my children. It’s time for a mistress young enough to be my daughter! BASES COVERED.
Just then, Francis and Mary show up with a dead Tomas and their two witnesses. We’re spared their revelations and skip straight to Westbrook’s reappointment as Portugal’s new envoy. It’s too bad, he was nice on the eyes and old enough to not make me feel like a creeper. I enjoyed his cocky banter with Mary. The new story is that Tomas died trying to protect Francis from a stag’s horns while hunting.
King Henry: The matter will be forgotten by all of us.
Lord Westbrook: And history too no doubt.
Hahaha, I see what you did there!
Mary gets reinstated as Francis’ fiance wearing a crocheted horror literally from the 70’s topped by some kind of harness torture device. Before the king and mention negotiations with her uncle, she swoops in and announces herself the negotiator. Suck it uncle! Mary publicly reminds the king of the embarrassment and war she helped France avoid, and gets him to agree to better terms. So now Scotland finally has the troops she initially asked for protecting the border. In only cost them the death of a bunch of French soldiers, a broken engagement, an injured Bash, a dead diplomat, and an almost war with two different countries.
Back in Mary’s bedroom the girls are chatting when Francis shows up. So Kenna runs off to Henry. Now that he’s decided to name her his mistress, she’s ready to do whatever he wants. “Be gentle.” “I will. The first time.” BARF.
Mary is flattered that Francis killed for her. “You’re a true queen. A queen any king would kill for.” I just don’t even know what to say to that. Assume it’s negative. But even though Francis now realizes he wants to be with Mary, he still has to wait and see if the wedding will be good for France. They are just the sweetest, most romantic couple EVER.
Mary yells down the secret corridor to Burlap Sack, thanking her for her role in solving the mystery of the secret spy. “I used to feel so alone here. I don’t anymore. And I hope you don’t either.” She needn’t have bothered though, because Burlap Sack is nestled right there under Mary’s bed. That’s not creepy at all! I love how they just slip that in there quick before the credit role. I actually missed it the first time through.
*I do hope you know that’s in jest. Frary is a horrible name and the shippers must be stopped.