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+.


Wow! I agree with the eithers this was the best episode so far. I love Henry and Catherine together. I have loved Megan Follows since her Ann with an E days. She is a great actress and she "kills" as Catherine. Yes i went back and read the history of Francis and Mary so no this show is really following history but it did get me to go and look it up. I have been wondering where is Francis? How many children do Catherine and Henry have: Three boys? The only reason Clarissa was said to be ugly was to hide the port wine birthmark on her face. If Henry would have seen the mark he would have know the baby wasn't his. She was not ugly they made her ulgy trying to remove the birthmark. Catherine's lover never said anything about being picked on when he as kid about his birthmark even thought it seemed like his was a lot smaller and Henry did say he grew his beard first out of all the guys. They can't kill Catherine off she makes the show. Am I crazy to find Henry sexy?! Seems like Henry just wants people to be honest with him. Nobody is perfect just be honest and don't do things behind his back. Fashion for the week: interesting that Catherine wore the same ugly multi print dress again this week. Mary always wears something cool but nothing stuck out to me this week.


Best episode so far. I love Catherine, and the Henry & Catherine scenes were amazing. Bash and Mary OMG they are THE couple of this show IMO. Love love love the way he loves her. #TeamBash They are just perfect together and I think mary is falling for him. #Mash

Spindae 2o

Best Reign episode to date. I just loved every part of the episode except one thing. Why did they exale Francis!??? I mean it's to easy for Mary and Bash to bound while he is absent. I mean I know he is coming back in the next episode but this was to easy. Every Kudo for to Megan for this not amazing I mean extraordinary episode. I was thrilled with every scenes she was in. I really can't wait for Amy Brenneman to appear as Mary's mother. March th can't come soon enough.


Clarissa being Catherine's daughter was so surprising I never saw that coming I actually didn't know who to think Clarissa was. King Henry making up things so he could behead Catherine then Mary and Bash finding evidence and now Henry really wants to chop off her head. When I Henry asked the guards if he saw anything and the guard told the truth and Henry killed him and then he asked he other guard if he saw anything and he said no I would have done the samething. I was actually surprised when Henry killed the guard and told Catherine he already knew about Diane's past. Catherine trying to kill herself and Mary but Clarissa saving them both was interesting and now Henry will want Catherine dead even more. I loved Mary and Bash together he's so cute and I love the adventures they've been having they're so exciting. Can't wait till the next episode it looks good.


Hey, where's reign fashion watch??


...whar kat said...


I loved Megan Follows in this episode and the Henry/Catherine scenes were fantastic. The Clarissa reveal I never suspected though I had a feeling there was a lot more to her! I don't like how they're playing the Mary/Bash relationship; it's pretty clear that Bash is not interested in being king, yet Mary has no qualms about it, even though she herself said she puts duty above love. And she destroyed Francis's life, said she loved him, now she's off kissing Bash and basically just forgetting that Francis ever was. At this point, I'm glad that she was pushed off to the side in this episode.

@ kat

I agree how can she be this way with Francis? I love her and Francis. I find bash bleh.. I liked the chemistry between him and Mary 's maid or friend. Her and Francis belong together and it's cruel they took away his crown. Especially over what Nostradamus saw..

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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.