Talk about a mixed bag.
There have been more ups and downs than an elevator during Reign Season 2. The Relationship between Mary and Francis rose to great heights and then plummeted alarmingly. New characters have sucked up the screen time of former favorites.
Essentially, for all of the good moments, we can counter with a bad. Thus the TV Fanatic Report Card is here!. Read on, Reign Fanatics and then weigh in with your own thoughts on the season so far in the comments and/or grading yourself via the poll.
Best Episode: The season premiere was full of promise. To quote my review of Reign Season 2 Episode 1, "While the tone was somber, we were still treated to sparking dialog delivered with the appropriate intensity to match every scene. In short, Reign is back and better than ever." The plague came and the soon-to-be crowned Queen was on her own as Francis looked for Lola. Ghosts came back to the castle. Despite it all, the writing and performances were stellar.
Worst Episode: This isn't even a contest. Reign Season 2 Episode 9 decided to put the fantasy back into the series in the worst way possible. While there was a religious uprising, Mary was raped. Already reeling after losing a baby earlier in the run, torn away from Francis because of blackmail, she was subjected to the worst life has to offer a woman. It felt tawdry and completely unnecessary.
Best Relationship: Mary and Catherine have been the shining light this season. Catherine really warmed up when Mary was pregnant, and Reign Season 2 Episode 6 featured them on a road trip leading not only to incredibly comic moments, but some deep bonding between the two strong women. Their scenes together are the most cherished.
Worst Relationship: Mary and Conde. Yes, many of you love their friendship, but it has come at the cost of Mary's relationship with Francis. In Reign Season 2 Episode 4, even after losing their child, the love of Mary and Francis was beautiful. He calmed her by recalling their shared childhood watching fireflies by lighting up the courtyard. Now they're separated and Conde has declared his love for Mary. Instead of fixing what is broken, Mary will lean on Conde and his words. No thank you.
Most Interesting Development: The return of Princess Claude in Reign Season 2 Episode 7 brought about some stories that must take flight in the remainder of the season. We discovered she and Bash were more than siblings and Catherine, the poor Queen Mother, started to see her dead (grown up) twin baby girls everywhere. What kind of girl is Claude, at the core, that she murdered her twin sisters as infants? I don't want Catherine to suffer, but I do want to know more about Claude.
Most Terrible Development: Francis' decision to keep the truth about Narcisse from Mary has caused a boatload of trouble for the Kingdom and the Royals. He would have done better to remember they are always stronger together, and now it's worrisome to imagine how much more things will falter with them apart. Lying is bad, mmmkay?
WTF Moment: Admit it, you were surprised, just a little, that Narcisse pulled off such a con with the nanny and her portrayal of dead, sexy King Henry, right? Considering the number of ghosts within the castle walls, Francis could very well have been seeing the man he killed. Instead it was a long-con courtesy of Narcisse and it worked too well.
Most Underutilized Characters: Note to self: Never, ever accept the position of King's Deputy. It means you're heading off canvas to take care of all of the things that can't be done within the walls of the castle. Yes, Bash has virtually disappeared. Considering how close he came to being King, it's unacceptable. He's taken with him his happy marriage and we're missing out on potentially great love scenes between him and Kenna. Scrap the Mary/Conde titillation and give us Bash and Kenna. They can carry the weight of the sexy time, I'm sure of it!
Hopes for 2015: Conde's true intentions need to be unveiled. Hopefully, Mary won't be as tken when she discovers why he really came to the castle. Francis and Mary need to work together again and find their true love. We desperately need more Bash and Kenna and any remaining free time should sit securely with Mary and Catherine. Considering how Catherine offered a hand to Mary after her rape, let's see Mary lend hers to Catherine as she struggles with visions of a dreadful past. More drama and fewer cheap shots. They don't work as well as what has already been established and given the many characters and stories of the times, there are plenty of opportunities to entertain and educate.
Overall Grade: B-
You're turn! If you don't feel you have a good enough basis to judge, watch Reign online and get back on board.
What Midseason Grade Would You Give Reign Season 2?
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.