Reign Review: Clarissa Explained

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There have been a lot of theories about exactly who Clarissa might be - but Reign Season 1 Episode 11 put them all to rest:

She's an illegitimate daughter of Queen Catherine's with her lover Viscount Richard Delacroix. Whoops!

Some heads are gonna roll! 

Well, to be technical, one already rolled, and the Viscount's might have rolled by now. Catherine's was already on the schedule before Henry knew about her bastard daughter... or her attempt on Mary's life. Catherine really wants to test the limits of Henry's patience.

Henry came back to court in a foul mood tugging along Delacroix with him to help take care of his pesky Catherine business. A couple members of her family made the journey as well to let her know they were successful in stopping his attempt to get an annulment granted by the Pope. However, and this is where it gets sticky, we're-really-sorry-but-he's-going-to-chop-off-your-head. 

You see, they spit that out without breathing because as they were saying it they were interrupted by to fellows bringing in the stump where she'll place her head so they can whack it off. Why? The treasonable offense of adultery -- with her good friend Nostradamus.  

Catherine: Hello old friend. Too bad you didn't see this one coming.
Nostradamus: Somehow I never see anything coming that could help me.

Speaking with her old friend was when Catherine learned the identity of the house ghost. She knew for certain who it was before we did as she was brought to tears by the tale. A baby was given to his father with a birthmark on its face. In trying to remove it, he instead mutilated her. Nostradamus felt responsible for the girl and cared for her. 

I don't know if this spurred such emotion in Catherine that she decided she'd try use them on Henry or what, but it worked. She paid him a visit and we learned what happened to them. She was unable to give birth for years and afraid that Henry, like other kings, would have her beheaded for not producing an heir. He said that was ludicrous and was appalled to learn that she never realized how deeply in love with her he was at the time.

Like in all good romantic movies, when Catherine let her hair down, Henry realized what he had been missing for the past 15 years or so and they wound up in bed. Still, killing her was on the calendar for the next day. She's apparently not that good in bed. It seemed like he was mulling it around though; the idea of not killing her.

Mary and Bash were off on another adventure trying to save themselves from the nefarious deeds of Catherine and their trip included learning about the story of Catherine taking a lover and giving birth to a baby. They decided to bring the witness to court and use it to wrap things up with Catherine.

Henry remembered Delacroix's port wine stain, realized what had happened, all of the sweet lovemaking from earlier in the day was wasted and Catherine was even lower than before, plus the one man she had loved and who loved her completely throughout her life was losing his head.

Ironically, things only got worse from there. Catherine's family left disgraced, but not after giving her poison to spare the pain of a beheading. She used the poison on Mary and Clarissa saved them both. We can only imagine what this will mean for Catherine's future. I don't think she'll be having sex again any time soon.

Clarissa isn't nearly so horrid that she should me made to wear a bag over her head, but every generation has its own tolerance issues. Catherine screaming that she should be dead couldn't have done much for her self confidence.

As for Mary and Bash (were you worried I wasn't going to go there?), it's really difficult not to fall for Bash. I know he has a dark side. He did unabashedly (see what I did there?)  push a man over a cliff, after all.  But tonight he took his father's suggestion to cut down threats like weeds quickly and interpreted it to mean that he would kill his own father if he ever threatened Mary. 

Bash appears to be doing everything right. He is giving Mary space, but reminding her often of his position. He loves her. He puts love above politics. He will think of her first, country second. If she decides she wants to do something other than what his father commands, he will ensure that she gets her wish. 

So what's the catch? There has to be one. This guy is written into the story. He's not real. Mary marries Francis. Then he dies. If that's a spoiler, then you need to read more. This is based on a real girl, even if it's fictionalized. It's not fantasy to the point that they're going to write an alternate future (if a future is in the cards for Reign).

History lessons be damned, right? Francis was actually two years younger than Mary when the were wed, so some of the details have to be changed or we'd be skeeved out! Bash and Francis are going to have to duke (or prince or dauphin) it out over Mary. They both have good points and apparently Catherine doesn't want either one to wed Mary. What fun!

Were you surprised to learn Clarissa is Catherine's bastard daughter?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I hated this episode I wanted Mary 2 marry Bash but no she had 2 marry Frances now I never want 2 watch the show ever again and I'm going 2 tell everyone not 2 watch this show also I hope this show gets cancelled and I won't be upset


Where is Francis? I want him back. I like Bash but I like Francis more with Mary. But it is strange that Mary says she loves Francis but is already moving on.. I don't like that about her. I am wondering whats gonna happen with Catherine. Because they won't kill her..

@ M

Same! I like Bash but I definitely prefer Francis and Mary...I don't think Francis will be too happy when he sees how quickly she has moved on now =/


Although I far prefer Francis and Mary I do like Bash and I can see the chemistry between them, but i think their relationship is a little the last episodes Mary was sacrificing everything including the man she *supposedly* truly loves [Francis] to keep Francis alive, even though it clearly broke her heart because that meant she couldn't be with him, but all of a sudden she seems to have forgotten about the 'love of her life' and is now all over his brother. I thought she'd spend her time moping about for about, or at the very most the sparks between her and Bash would result in a few lingering looks but WOW Mary has moved on fast! :/ Bring back Francis!


the episode was actually quite good, however Bash and Maru just don't do it for me. I find no chemistry in them and it's just all very dull and a wee bit forced. also how can Mary be totally giving herself to Francis one episode then just forgetting about all of that in the next, it's odd.
also, isn't Clarissa Catherine's first born? that means Nostradamus' prophecy was for Clarissa not Francis.
So Mary and Francis can get married now.
And honestly, Francis brings character to the show. Missed him so much in the last 2 episodes.

@ letitgo

*Bash and Mary


team bash and mary. they are a powerful couple together.


So are we not going to talk about the pagan soul ball filled with hair that Queen Catherine pulled out from her underskirts? Sometimes this show can be so weird but in a good way.
Also the two people who played Catherine's family were perfectly cast. They were otherwordly and creepy.
This is probably my second favourite episode behind Left Behind, episode 7.


Bash all the way! I find Francis a little too whiny and indecisive: France, no Mary, Yes Mary! What? no France..... It's all too annoying, and even though they had sex, I find their relationship too PG. Whereas Bash is 100% Mary. He hates politics, has his own moral agenda, is badass and sort of wild, and he's just all around passionate and intense. He may not be perfect for Mary, but that just makes their relationship even more realistic. I loved Catherine in this episode; she's just so evil and demented in her quest for self preservation (ITS AWESOME!). I predict she wont die just because she makes such a wonderful opposition and antagonist at court. Who could they possibly find that's better to torment Mary? The king was amazing too in this episode; the way he claimed you had to "cut down any obstacle"... positively ruthless. By far though my favorite scene was when Bash pulled Mary out of the bathtub. Yes it was his first time seeing her naked (and all he cared about was making sure she was safe), and the way he held her... it was very touching the level of devotion. Plus, he looked like he wanted to flay Catherine alive which was a major bonus. The sheer aggression in his eyes... Bravo


l love this show, I loved Henry and Katherine love scene. I thought I like Mary and Bash but their kisses lack passion and Bash constantly declaring his love is kind of too much. Where were Mary's ladies and Francis? He's gone for two episodes now.
Please don't kill Katherine! I need


I am completely over this show. the whole Mary / bash thing is just so corny really. I mean one day she is totally in love with Francis and says she will marry someone else to save his life. That is suppose to be the reason that she is marrying bash. But now she says she is "open" to loving him, which means she has all but forgotten that she was ever with Sebastian. I mean really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mary belongs with Francis end of story she can't fall for Bash even if he is kinda cute.


Does Nostradomus know that Clariisa is Catherine's duagther?Catherine & Nostradomus seem soo close.How did Nostradomus suddenly be fine after Clarrisa stabbed him,left him to i diee /dying n the tunnels at the end of 1.9?I had no clue was/would be Catherine illegitimate daughter.I felt bad for Catherine when Henry killed the guards who were her witnesses in front of her cause she seemed so scared,with blod on her face.

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Reign Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

When the ax falls on your neck, I will be there. With Bash. The next king of France.


Off with you child. You've killed me enough for one day.