Yes, the pun is intended. Even today disagreements over religious beliefs cause wars, so it's no surprise seeing it referenced historically. It's also as unpleasant as you imagine it to be. Protestants killing their own to suit their cause and the Vatican sawing the lips off of those who lie about being Catholic.
Can anyone really win in these situations? Certainly not Francis. His decision to sign that edict not only brought increased terror to those under his reign, but further distanced him from his wife and Queen, Mary, as well.
Ironically, that's not the only depressing news that Reign Season 2 Episode 8 has to offer. Even what, in another hour, might pass as comic relief, was instead creepy beyond belief.
With the passing of the edict, Francis unwittingly set into motion a series of events that threatens his rule and his marriage. Sending Bash and Conde out to chat with Protestants about their wishes does pretty much nothing to help the case, as Conde arrives back at the castle with a minister intent on retribution.
Conde: A minister much beloved by his flock. The people know nothing of the dire threat he has made. If the minister is killed, the people can use his death as justification for almost any bad act. They would create...
Mary: A martyr.
Conde: And his death would inflame even the most pacifist of Protestants.
At one point, Mary and Conde think they understand the goal of the of the Protestants, but they are not up to thinking as deviously as the plan is unfolding. Intent on returning the minister to his people unharmed sounds like a fabulous idea; except he's not welcomed back with open arms.
The plan to create a martyr runs too deep to imagine and they receive quite a shock when he's found hanging upside down in the town square after being killed by his own flock.
You did this to us, to France. For all that you claim you're trying to protect us, I have lost all faith in you and the man I thought you were.Mary
Mary isn't any closer to Conde as a result of her dwindling respect for Francis, but it's hard not to imagine there may come a time when she considers Conde more than a friend.
After all, Francis has the ear of Lola, the mother of his child, as well as her hand on her shoulder for comfort and support. After first encouraging Francis to share the truth with Mary, Lola later stops pushing, offering only her support that he is a good man.
What's difficult to swallow is how casually Francis accepts Lola's knowledge of what he did, as well as Narcisse's involvement. That makes for a pretty keen setup between Lola and Francis should they desire more than an ear and a tender touch. Lola being on the inside of Francis' secret adds an extra layer of deception between the two and Mary. How can that turn out well?
Discovering the reason Catherine has been seeing her dead daughters, fraternal twins who died shortly after birth, is heartbreaking. I suppose we must assume Claude has created a barrier between what she did as a child and her mother sending her away to protect herself.
She's plucky and rebellious, but eagerly reaching out to her mother in spite of it.
Oh the things I have done for you, how I have protected you. You think that I don't love you. You don't see! In my way I have mothered you more than any of my children.Catherine
The flashbacks to Catherine learning Claude put her twins in danger, ultimately smothering them to death, puts a whole new light on why Claude has not been at court. If she remains at the castle, how long before she recalls what she did?
Isn't revisiting the place where you lost a memory a good form of treatment in it's recollection? Bless Bash for trying to protect his half sister. Witnessing Catherine's actions when she confesses to having too many libations could be cause for concern. Here's hoping he doesn't decide to make an issue out of it.
The most disturbing moment, above all the terrorist tactics by Catholics and Protestants, and even Catherine's horrific memories of Claude and her twins, is what went down with Narcisse and Claude.
Narcisse might seem like a sexy rogue, but intimating the need for a cape for his lap after Claude sat on it is simply disgusting. There is nothing sexy about that. He claims to love women and have a respect for them when he speaks with Lola. We now know for certain he's nothing more than a pig.
Who knows what's coming next? How broken will Mary and Francis become? Will they find themselves in the arms of others again? Can they resist that desire for bodily comfort in the face of their true love for one another?
Will Claude marry the Bavarian, William, and have a chance at true happiness? Can she ever be happy living with the suppressed memory from childhood?
It's difficult to care so much for the characters, seeing them grow increasingly unhappy. Francis has to let Mary in. He must remember how much better they are together before it's too late.
Hit the comments with your thoughts and watch Reign online via TV Fanatic if you've missed any of the season so far.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.