Reign Review: Just a Girl

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Let's talk about sex, shall we?

Francis Former Lover

It was all over the place in Reign Season 1 Episode 5, as the show finally realized the full potential of its high-school-is-royal-court-is-high-school concept. The episode's whirling, interlocking plots about virginity, compulsive shoplifting, and your boyfriend's bitch ex were gossipy, girly and utterly delightful.

Despite the episode's cuddly beginnings - Mary is just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her (and also to let her be the queen of France) - by the end, French court had been thoroughly torn apart. Mary's kissing Bash! Greer is kissing that bakery guy! Everyone is kissing everyone, even though everyone else knows that none of them should be kissing each other because of sexism and stuff! Chaos!

But Renaissance silliness aside: the episode's tension between who we're supposed to want and who we actually end up wanting was very genuinely felt. More so than in any other episode of Reign Season 1, I felt these characters as the overwhelmed teenagers that they are.

Will Olivia actually derail Mary's marriage? There's an obvious answer to that, which keeps this situation from getting too high stakes.

But even though Mary's eventual union with Francis is a historical inevitability that the show can't sidestep, the episode's examination of the loveless royal marriage casts an intriguing possibility; that their union won't necessarily lead to happiness ever after. The drama's clear and clever parallels between young women's issues with reputations, then and now, was also particularly cutting.

And, of course, in the end, the whole thing was a big Catherine de Medici plot. New rule of thumb for this show: everything, including dinner, is considered a sinister plot by Catherine de Medici to unseat Mary, until it is proven otherwise.

Wait, before we're done... let's talk about the Blood Woods! They're full of blood pagans, who serve a blood monster! Who needs to be fed with...something, I can't quite remember what. But I love the Blood Woods, and I love that sad, sorry boy with too much Sun-In in his hair who spoke with Bash about them.

But I'm not just goofing around here - the Blood Woods subplot provides a nice serving of the unexpected and that chaotic on a show where the major plot points are all fairly set in stone.

Between the romantic intrigue of Mary and Co., the historical shenanigans of the various heads of state, the horrors of the forest, and the steady flow of nicely crafted Reign quotes, the show achieves a tricky and enviable balance, turning what could be a goofy, campy mess into one of the most watchable shows to debut in fall 2013.

Here's my official endorsement: "The most compelling monster-forest on television! - -Gabrielle Moss

Official Reign FashionWatch: 9/10. That dress Olivia wore when she was being chased through the murder-forest was perfection! Very Stevie Nicks-at-the-ren-faire.

Also: did you know that the real, historical Mary, Queen of Scots, was actually supposedly famous for her refusal to wear a corset? The things that I learn recapping this show! It almost makes me wish I hadn't dropped out of grad school to go work at that Hot Dog on a Stick.

How do you think Mary and Francis will reconcile? Will they reconcile? Will Bash make his move now? Can you think of a more compelling monster-forest on television?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (94 Votes)

This show is absolutely phenomenal! The historical ties to the drama just makes it so different than most of the shows out there! It is such a nail-biting show! I am all for mary and francis. I like how her love with francis and her love with bash isn't boring at all, it stays interesting and utterly hot


Oh my goodness...another awesome episode. When Mary was talking to Sebastian..I was like don't do it, don't do it...then bang they kissed and there's Francis watching. I knew right then Francis was going to ignore Mary again and go to Olivia. Francis was looking for her to apologize. If Sebastian was a good brother he would have pushed Mary away from him cause he knew she was buzzed! Man!! Looking forward to the next episode!


I think Francis and Mary go better together. Mary might turn off the engagement with Francis.


The Israeli Ella Rae Peck is the only character with a French accent on Renaissance Gossip Girl. Kane's Mary continues to be great. It'd be better if Aylee had agency and had confessed to Mary who then decided to employ her as a double agent. Coombs and Kane have no chemistry but I don't like Francis so can we wrap up this love triangle? NB I despise love triangles.


this show is amazing! i love this epp..totally prefer mary/bash


How can you give this show a higher rating than the vampire diaries? WEIRD

Spindae 2o

A beautiful episode, I like the pace and development we get in each episode. And every episode teaches us Allegiance shift and break, nothing is forever.
Olivia. Yael is a beautiful actress and acts solidly loved her interaction with Mary. Watching then reminded me to some GGirl scene including Serena and Blair. I'm the one who never compared the shows but it was a mena girl fight from prime GG.
Blood Forest. I love them introducing something strange to the show.
Greer and her boy are really sweet. Their chemistry is so really and loveable you just want to rute for them all along.
I hope Keena gets killed off and gets her own show. That girl is a real SCENE STEALLER! She could be the lead in The Flash. Catherine plotting with Marry's Ladies is a nice way to mess with Marry. And how scandolous was the Mary-Keena fight, what a DILF can do to you!!
The drunken Bash scene was really powerful, and after losing the initial spark created in the Pilot this was a nice comeback.
Fary is far away from the Fairytale ending, and Francis and Mary are really showing off the pressure and unstability that gets put onto their backs.
But who knew Mary found her inner Blair W. by playing Catherine with that Blonde girl. I like they choose the girl we know the least of to explore her deeper.


Another solid episode :)


I love this run down you wrote about this show.. spot on. Bash is a good guy, sun in told him he would have to choose someone as a sacrifice. Due to his secret love for Mary and nice-guy need to please her, I'm thinking he may decide to send Olivia on a mission out into the forest so Mary can have Francis without his baggage. Who knows, this show takes so many turns it makes my head spin and I love it.

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Reign Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Bash: To see you smile is to feel the sun, your grace.
Mary: Do you flirt with everyone?
Bash: Absolutely everyone.

Francis: And once I did that, I'd probably invite you to the harvest festival.
Mary: I'd probably say yes.
Francis: And I'd probably try to kiss you.
Mary: And I probably wouldn't let first.

Reign Season 1 Episode 5 Music

  Song Artist
Milo greene dont you give up on me Don't You Give Up On Me Milo Greene iTunes
Dan gautreau and wolfgang black with you With You Dan Gautreau & Wolfgang Black iTunes
Jim davies and martin jackson fingers n thumbs Fingers N Thumbs Jim Davies & Martin Jackson iTunes