Reign Review: Strange Days

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Yes, I'm cranky, too.

I know we were all primed to finally have whatever man, woman, child, or manimal that is the 'darkness' revealed in this hour. That's certainly where I had thought Reign Season 1 Episode 16 was going, and I was a little bummed to see the whole thing dispensed with so quickly, and with so little explanation.

If the whistle that signals the arrival of the 'darkness' was blown, where was, you know, the darkness? Why didn't it devour Bash and Francis while they were struggling on the frozen pond?

But if the episode lacked for mystical answers about the inhabitants of the woods, it certainly wasn't light on domestic terror. King Henry has gone full-on American Psycho - French Psycho, if you prefer - losing his hold on reality and killing anyone who looks at him funny.

What the hell is going on with this king? While I know nothing about... well, anything... but especially mercury poisoning, my vote is for some kind of accidental poisoning inducing his madness. He's always been a dick, but there's quite a line between being a dick and being insane, no?

And murders and mutilations aside, I hate the effect his madness is having on Queen Catherine - it's making her miserable and depriving her of her joie de vivre, which has the end result of depriving me of her traditionally excellent Reign quotes.

Won't someone think of the children/ recappers?!

The only thing I am sure of is that this is all going to end poorly for tricky little Penelope. Do you honestly think there's any chance that she'll make it out of this plot arc with her head still functionally attached to her body?

The only other thing I'm sure of is that Kenna and Bash's wedding, as funny as it was, will be annulled the second King Henry comes to his senses and/ or dies.

Official Reign Fashion Watch: 8/10. More like Official Reign CapeWatch this week, am I right? But capery aside, Mary's dresses were particularly striking and Versace-ish - which I now understand, after having interviewed wardrobe designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack, is totally intentional.

And Kenna's wedding gown was almost mod, the perfect look for any Lady weeping her way down the aisle on her big day.

Official Reign CakeWatch: 10/10! Oh my god, that cake looked delicious. (Yes, I'm on a juice cleanse, why do you ask?)

We'll meet the darkness in the woods soon enough, I'm sure, but until then, let's discuss the darkness at home:

What is the source of King Henry's madness?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (30 Votes)
Priestess of apollo

King Henry has syphilis, an STD. Catherine said he has black water, ie. urine, and it was a very frequent mode of death, particularly in the waning days of the Roman Empire. All that sex, was causing it to become an epidemic. It causes insanity, and a god complex, paranoia amongst other things. King Henry will die, but how long that will take? I am not a Dr, but it can take a while. And when you are a powerful man like the King? It can lead to almost killing loved ones, ie.Bash, threatening powerful people around him, even Catherine, as in the end,he is King. it can lead to wars, even purges, and many crazy, insane rulers over the centuries became that way due to syphilis. But Kenna most likely has it, and she will give it to Bash, unless they use some kind of condom, which I don't think existed? But the King can be murdered, and the all of the power grabbing, and intrigue that will happen as a result of that act. So, It can also be great fun for these period dramas, but this is not following history, and who cares! We can watch the Tudors for the more serous stuff. always

@ Priestess of Apollo

The King could have syphilis, but the Romans did not. It was not known in Europe until after Columbus returned from his voyage to the new world:

@ John M.

lol ... wikipedia!! ...the source of all knowledge!
I have a Masters in Roman Archaeology and can confirm that syphilis was known during those times and in fact even earlier with the Greeks and Egyptians.
Basing 'facts' on wikipedia or modern history will guarantee that you will not have a good time! ;)


Good episode. Henry is definitely becoming crazier and that means scarier. I'm not sure if it's a poison or not but whatever it is it's making him scary. I'm glad the others are starting to notice something's wrong with Henry and it's not just Catherine anymore. Kenna and Bash are married didn't see that one coming and am pretty sure that wouln't last neither of them wanted it and don't really like each other it seems so their relationship should be interesting to watch. Can't wait till the next episode.


While i agree this was great episode Iam growing real tired of the love triangle. Francis has been pretty striaght with Mary and his love for her yet Mary continues to play both of the brothers. I wonder what it is that her and Bash are hiding from Francis that she refered to in the dungon "he can't find out about us" . Then after all the brother bonding after the lake incident, two faced Bash tell Mary he will struggle being back in castle with her because he still loves her. Mary's reaction? A look of bliss. For all her good will towards others on this show,when it comes to her marriage to Francis I find her an unlikeable hypocrit. But I love the show.


Another top episode, lots of story advancement and packed with great drama! I'm thinking the darkness could be vampire related due to that awful tooth.....anyway awesome show, love the writing, I'm hooked and can't wait for each episode

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Reign Season 1 Episode 16 Quotes

What's wrong with you isn't any poison I delivered, I swear to you, but you are ill.

Queen Catherine

This has been the source of my fury. People who refuse to listen to their king. Or are your ears full of wax?

King Henry

Reign Season 1 Episode 16 Music

  Song Artist
Vance joy riptide Riptide Vance Joy iTunes
Roman remains influence and atlas Influence & Atlas Roman Remains iTunes
Sleeping at last you are enough You Are Enough Sleeping At Last iTunes