Reign Review: Introduce Yourself

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Before we discuss the poisoned dresses, hanging corpses and heretical Bloodwoods that made up so much of "Snakes in the Garden," I have to ask the most pressing Reign question of all:

Do you think Renaissance-style hair braids with little beads and pearls and stuff in them are going to be a big look for winter?

Francis Plays It Up

Kidding, kidding: the big question (to me, at least) in this episode was the identity of the mysterious, masked, marble-rolling lady named Clarissa. She's feeding information to Mary, she tried to save Colin, her identity is known to Nostradamus, she secretly lives in the castle, and, most importantly, she wears a bag on her head!

Who is this mystery woman, and what does she care about the fate of an alliance with Scotland (and the sexy teenaged royal who represents it)?

The reasons behind Catherine's plotting and her alliance with England are extremely straight-forward, if not a pretty concerning; but why is this masked semi-wraith so invested in the outcome? I mean, I'm sure we'll find out soon, but I want to know nowwwwww!

Moving on: Even without any insight into the identity of Clarissa, the second episode of Reign rollicked along, revealing the plot against Mary to be twice as complicated as it seemed last week. I thought this was a stronger episode in every way, including offering a stronger and more engaged performance from Adelaide Kane - even if her Mary remains sometimes so much kinder and so much more sensible than any of the doofs surrounding her in the court that it kind of beggars belief.

This episode turned down the sex and turned up the violence, leaving us with torture dungeons and men being hung to death from trees. The genius of Reign so far is that it imports modern emotional enlightenment, but sets it alongside Renaissance terror; Mary's self-help-style demands for genuine love and the king's extremely civil (and sexy!) negotiations with his new mistress look all the sharper when set against a wooded area forbidden because it is full of murderous heretics and a queen driven for blood by the predictions of a psychic. I mean, I'm excited that I even got to write that sentence.

This show is truly turning something old into something new, skipping (or so it seems) the standard supernatural thrills of teen soaps for something more terrifying--actual day-to-day life in the Renaissance.

Though we're barely into the season, Reign feels solid already - it's sumptuously shot, the Reign quotes are soapily over-the-top and the warming up between Mary and Francis in this episode was, dare I say, believable? That was some pretty serious emoting for a guy in doublet.

Who painted the "x" in Catherine's bed? Who is Clarissa, and why does she care about Mary's fate? Does anyone else inadvertently think "Franklin & Bash!" when they see Francis and Bash together?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (108 Votes)

lol, i accidently think Franklin & Bash too!! lol thought i was the only one


I love this show already, Its interesting and very twisted. I am also concerned for Francis, If he marries Mary he dies and that is not what i want, but i do want him with Mary. Bash is great too, he is a good brother and friend, but chemistry between Francis and Mary is amazing. I hope Nostradamus is plotting something and Mary will not bring death of Francis and history will be ignored and changed.:)


I am so obsessed with this show already and it's only two episodes in. I can't wait to find out more about the mysterious Clarissa's and her backstory


I actually really like this show. I know it is not historically accurate, but it uses a base of reality to launch into a fantasy of enchantment and excitement. I love the relationship dynamics being formed and I look forward to the show each week now.


Great episode. I'm really interested in the story involving Clarissa and why she wants to save Mary. I think Bash is much cuter than Francis. I was suprized that Colin was till alive atleast until his throat was cut and he was hung from a tree by his feet to bleed out I thought he was beheaded which would of been a much nicer way to die. This show is really good and had an amazing story. I can't wait till the next episode.


So far this is the stupidest,badly acted and historically inaccurate show ever. Worse than the Tudors! Costumes are bad as well. The time periods are mixed up with the costumes and hair styles.Hope the show gets canceled soon.


I LOVE Bash and Francis. They are both great. What a wonderful episode. It was even better than the pilot. I can't wait until next week. The love triangle is brilliantly done.


This is how you do a triangle!


1st show where I'm actively torn between the two ships!

Spindae 2o

A great episode! Better than the Pilot for sure.
Really surprised by the great amount of development. Love how Francis is all in love with Mary and gets jealous. #_# I was really surprised by the poison dress and how it goes along. The "X" on Catherine´s bed was nice touch of torment.

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Reign Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Treat them as friends until they prove themselves foes.

King Henry

She was more afraid of meeting her future husband than of pirates! But I guess that's to be expected at age seven.

Queen Catherine