Reign Season 3 Episode 5 Review: In a Clearing

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Never has there ever felt like a bigger middle finger to a fandom than what just transpired on Reign Season 3 Episode 5.

Okay, so sure, there have been bigger middle fingers given, but the feels, you guys. They're real and very, very heavy right now. Think of any metaphor you can for "really terrible turn of events" and insert it here because that's what just happened during "In a Clearing."

Last week we watched as Francis died and Delphine saved his life with the universe taking Marie de Guise in exchange. Mary, ever the practical realist, didn't feel sad over her mother's passing. Marie was, after all, in poor health. Losing her mother to save her husband? Meh. Easy choice for Mary.

We all should have known that Francis' second chance would be short lived, and I know I can't speak for everyone, but I totally held out hope that we wouldn't watch him die tonight and then we did and now I'm incredibly sad and angry and whatever the rest of the seven stages of grief are all at once.

Watching his final moments in the woods, and then thinking about all the happiness between him and Mary just moments earlier, just about gutted me (metaphorically speaking). My jaw dropped, my eyes welled up, and I thought "this isn't...this isn't happening, is it?"

Until his last breath I thought we were watching another close call, one where he'd been knocked around a bit and needed rest in order to heal and then he'd be right back to ruling France and romancing Mary. 

And then he was just...gone. 

I held out hope and then Laurie McCarthy crushed my spirit and my dreams of Mary and Francis' happily ever after.

Reign is historical fiction. Emphasis on the fiction. While Francis' death was moving and the performances from everyone surrounding it top notch, HE DIDN'T HAVE TO DIE! Just take creative license and rewrite history! Creating this love story in the first place already did that!

The real Mary and Francis weren't some epic love like this! Why choose NOW as the time to follow history? 

Damn you and your prophecies, Nostradamus!

Getting over this death is going to take some time. Luckily, time is exactly what we have since there are another 18 episodes left to go in Reign Season 3. Whether or not we all want to watch without the love story between Mary and Francis at the center is complicated. 

On the one hand, I'm in love with the time period and the court intrigue and scheming. On the other hand, I was (and am) really in love with the love between the king and queen of France. Will Reign be the same without them together? (No.)

Sure, there's still Lola and Narcisse. Catherine will have to fight to become Regent. Elizabeth will not back down, especially now that Mary has gone back on the peace accord with her cousin and could easily step in to rule Scotland from home. Plus, Sir Nicholas is already scheming to make a move on behalf of his queen.

We still have Bash and Leith and their questionable taste in women. Seriously, Delphine. You had ONE JOB!. Greer is still a madame, and a damn good one. There's still whatever's going on with Charles.

Reign has a lot of stories left to tell, but right now, in this moment, none of them matter more than the heartbreak of losing Francis.

What did you think about tonight's episode of Reign? How do you feel about losing Francis for good tonight? What will Mary do now that she's no longer queen of France? Sound off in the comments below and remember you can watch Reign online while we wait for Reign Season 3 Episode 6.

In a Clearing Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.5 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Reign Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

Francis: Your birthright is your most precious possession. Think twice before trading it.
Mary: You are my most precious possession.

Francis: You are so beautiful. If you could see what I see...
Mary: I am quite happy with my view.