Are you a fan of detailed discussions of military strategy?
Aggressive Renaissance sex? Or the way Lord Castleroy kind of looks like a blond version of Cousin Larry Appleton from Perfect Strangers?
If you said "yes," to any of these questions, then mazel tov: Reign Season 1 Episode 19 had each of those elements in spades.
However, if you're more into, say, the show's supernaturally-inclined plot elements, or love triangles, or suitcase vipers, then you were pretty much out of luck, as the show maintained its recent focus on France's political and military future.
Reign has a few different modes - dreamy, intense romance; camp spectacular; spooky ghost/ murder/ demon (?) situations - but recently, the show's been all business.
This episode intensified that focus, even examining King Henry's ongoing (and still unexplained) madness primarily from the position of it's impact on France's national policy.
Which, yes, is probably the most realistic thing to ever happen on this show.
I mean, I get it. In actual history, these people would all probably devote 99% of their time to military strategizing and deal - making, with a scant 1% of their day allotted to both pantaloon-clad sex romps AND locking people up in towers.
But I found the hour's political deal-making so confusing, I had to watch all the non-sex parts of this episode more than once (a real reversal of habit for me! Ewww, gross, sorry) - just to get a handle on who was trading what military favor for what end goal.
But perhaps that's just a personal weaknesses. The show within Reign that I love the most is the campy tragi-comedy about the life and times of Queen Catherine - who is also, incidentally, queen of Reign quotes and queen of my heart.
Though Catherine certainly made the most of her brief appearance, her turn offering to recruit Penelope as a courtesan-spy just whetted my palate for more of what Catherine brings to the table.
Reign works with some of the most delightful, fun, soapy characters and plots of any show on the air today.
But I do just wish it could integrate them a little more evenly, so that we're not so frequently jumping from fully focusing on one plot point to another, then abandoning both for the next few weeks, only to pick them up again full speed, several episodes later.
Speaking of which, ahem, ahem: that was quite a tossed-off explanation from Bash about the 'darkness' tonight; he might as well have said "We're going to deal with that one on the season finale, honey."
But I mean, I am excited to see them deal with it on the season finale (honey).
Official Reign FashionWatch: 7.5/10, with a 10/10 for that opening snowball scene where everyone looked perfect and beautiful and like Liv Tyler in the first Lord of the Rings movie.
But there's more at stake here than beautiful velvet cloaks. So tell me, after all of this lying, betrayal, and tower-imprisonment:
Will Mary and Francis's marriage ever be the same again?
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