'Reign' react: For the love of Scotland

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Image Credit: Sven Frenzel/The CW

Dearest Reign devotees, your usual recapper Samantha Highfill is on a plane right now so I’m filling in to fill you in on how cute Lord Julien looks tonight (very cute) and what kind of sass Queen Catherine has to give us (a lot). So let’s get started!

Some Bash-and-Kenna trouble starts off the episode: Kenna feels insecure about Bash’s past with Mary, which Bash responds to by saying, “She’s married; it’s in the past.” Not convinced, Bash. Not convinced.

Lola is having better luck on the love front — except for the whole being secretly pregnant thing. Oops! She’s afraid she’s about to start showing, so she pushes the beautiful (really, so, so beautiful) Lord Julien to propose. “I fear I’m not the husband most women would want,” Julien says matter-of-factly as the two dance. Uh, what women are you talking about, Julien?

He goes on to confess that he’s been married twice before, and both wives died in childbirth — causing a decision to never have children. “I can’t lose anyone else, I refuse!” Poor Julien! But this doesn’t mean he’s abstinent. Oh, no. “There are ways to prevent conception,” he tells Lola with a winky look. Then, as is natural after talking about birth control, Julien gets down on one knee and proposes. And Lola says yes.

“The beautiful creature standing beside me has agreed to be my wife!” Julien announces to the room as everyone cheers. But alas, because this is Reign (or, just as accurate, because this is the CW), the happiness doesn’t last for long.

Charlotte pulls Mary aside to tell her some bad news about a clause in her marriage contract with Francis that says if she doesn’t produce a heir to the throne before her death, Scotland will belong to France. As if putting an entire country’s fate onto one woman’s ability (or desire!) to have a child isn’t already uncool enough, we already know Mary has some fertility issues so she may not even be physically able to fulfill that obligation.

Francis is not pleased. His family deceived them! Her mother deceived them! So many wrongs! But they decide to be reasonable and make sure the contract does indeed contain the clause and that Charlotte isn’t just spreading some crazy rumors. That would be so Charlotte, wouldn’t it? (I actually have no idea.)

Roadblock though: The contract is in the king’s chambers, which are highly guarded, but still accessible to Kenna. Mary asks Kenna to sneak in and grab the contract, and Kenna obliges despite her sexy past with king and her not-as-sexy marriage with the king’s son now. It’s for her country, guys. For the country!

As Kenna’s about to leave his chambers with the contract though, Henry pops in. “I know why you’re here,” Henry says seductively. “You miss me.” Then he grabs Kenna and forcibly kisses her and it is all very unattractive. Cool it, Henry, geez.

Once Mary has the contract in her hands, she and Francis start scheming and it’s kind of adorable — and Mary starts to get her queen on, planning a way to get Scotland involved to help her get out of the contract. The best part? After finalizing the plans, Francis declares, “I think the next step is to have a party.” Ah, yes, a party — the logical next step for any situation.

And indeed, they throw a party full of Scots, including Lord Mackenzie. At one point, Mary summons the lord into a room with the rest of his men and asks him to do a favor for her. “I may live in France, but I have the heart of a Scot,” Mary tells him. She asks if he and his men will deliver the news to their country — especially the Protestants, to anger her mother and force her to burn the contract to protect her country — that France betrayed them. They put down their swords and say yes.

Mary’s feelin’ the power: “No one’s ever looked at me like that before,” she says to Francis after the successful meeting. “All my life I’ve been a chess piece in other people’s courts, but now I have the responsibility.” This is just about the point when the plan seems to be working out suspiciously well.

Meanwhile, Lola admits to Julien that she’s pregnant with another man’s baby. Julien is super cool about it though – too cool. The guy was just telling her earlier that he never wants more children because he can’t afford to lose anyone else. Like, his past two wives died in child labor. Maybe he thinks third time’s a charm?

Then this is where the bad stuff begins. We find Queen Catherine, who earlier had gone along with a Scot’s impression that she was a lady-in-waiting, in bed with one of the Scots. The Scot wonders aloud where the queen is after they have a romp in her bed, and Catherine oh-so-slyly comments, “Wherever the queen is, I assure you she’s already quite satisfied.”

The Scot soon finds out that this woman is indeed the queen after observing that the robe she puts on post-activities fits her perfectly. My question is, aren’t robes a one-size-fits-all deal? This is all funny and delightful, until the Scot reveals that he and the men are heading back to Scotland early. This tips off Catherine, who goes into the chambers and finds the contract missing. She knows what’s going on, and she’s not having any of it.

We soon see some men busting into a brothel to slit Lord MacKenzie and company’s throats… and then as if that isn’t enough, to set the whole place on fire. Talk about Mary’s plan backfiring, am I right?

Afterward, one of the killers confirms to Catherine that the deed is done. Her sass may be great, but man, Catherine, that move was cold. So cold that Mary later slaps Catherine across the face. “I simply don’t have the time to calm down two countries,” Catherine reasons as to why she ordered the murders. “Welcome to being a ruling queen, Mary.”

In Henryland, the king spots a boy with a tennis racket who then disappears. Because it’s a ghost. King Henry is seeing ghosts. He saunters up to a couch where Kenna is sitting and kicks the other girl off. “I get headaches,” Henry confesses to Kenna, who awkwardly apologizes to him in response. He lazily puts his head on her lap as Bash watches on from a distance before coming over and suggesting he leave. He does, and Bash and Kenna walk off together. “I will always defend you, because you’re my wife,” Bash tells her. They may be able to love each other one day after all!

Mary isn’t done with Catherine though. She demands the contract, and threatens that she will tell the world that France is “open for the taking” if she doesn’t get it. This scares Catherine, so she retrieves the contract and burns it over a candlestick. You go, Mary! Oh, and R.I.P. to the 12 Scotsmen (and various prostitutes) who were lost in the process.

Francis compliments Mary later, calling it a great bluff. Plot twist: Mary wasn’t bluffing. “If it ever becomes a choice between our two countries, I will choose mine.” This could get ugly.

Thoughts? How do you think Mary handled the crisis? Will Kenna and Bash ever truly hit it off? What are your why-Henry-is-seeing-ghosts theories? And, most importantly, how rude was it that Queen Catherine had her fling killed right after their fun-times? Let us know in the comments below!

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