Reign Season 3 Episode 18 Review: Spiders in a Jar

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At one point this season, it seemed quite possible there would be no Reign Season 4.

After this season finale, Reign Season 3 Episode 18, I am gutted, heartbroken, and then gutted again. 

And I'm also totally ready for Reign Season 4 and finding out exactly where this series is going now that Mary is all alone.

If you've read just about any of my other reviews, particularly of CW shows, you know that I have beef with the fact that literally no one ever gets to be happy. Someone is always breaking up with someone else, running away, being, I don't know, kidnapped, or dying. 

Tonight we got not one, but TWO gut-wrenching deaths, and I don't even know what life is right now.

Lola is dead. Lola is dead, and I cannot even.

I clasped my hands over my mouth and right now I sort of feel tears welling up in my eyes over a completely fictional character. I want to cry for her, for John, for her renewed relationship with Narcisse, for her friendship with Mary, and for all the many ways I came to love the character over the past three seasons.

And now she's gone. Just...poof. Dead. 

It was inevitable that she wouldn't be successful in the assassination attempt because hi, historical fiction here. But the previews for this episode definitely made it seem like Narcisse would be taking the blame for Lola and that he would be the one losing his head. 

Nope. Elizabeth didn't just kill Lola. She moved the execution up so that there would be no time for this to turn into a diplomatic issue. She circumvented politics and killed the wife of the Chancellor of France. 

I wish that meant there would be some sort of repercussions for Elizabeth, but I think we're supposed to feel like Robert Dudley marrying someone else was her comeuppance. 

Boo. Try again. 

Lola was right. Elizabeth is alone and will always be alone. Given the way she goes about killing people I love, meh. Good for her. 


How brave and heartbreaking was her final scene though? She has one final thing to say and she just tells Stephan not to watch because she doesn't want him to see that, and she's thinking of John, and now I feel tears brewing again. 

Ugh. So sad. So, so sad. 

Mary was masterful in her speech to those who gathered at the priest's fake execution and really found a way to unite people under her leadership. I'm glad she's back in her country and seated upon her own throne, but she's still in a pretty rock place and surrounded by people she doesn't know and probably shouldn't trust.

I feel like I should brush up on my history here, but I wouldn't hate it if Mary found a way to blame the attempted assassination on John Knox so that she and Elizabeth could team up to take him out. He's a snake. An evil, misogynistic snake.

In fact, that's exactly what I want to see next season: a temporary lapse in their hatred of one another so that Mary and Elizabeth can unite to take down the man who wants them both dead. 

I would love for James to tell her the truth about Knox's plot, but Knox is right. There's no proof other than Mary's word that she didn't send the letter, and unless the Nanny confesses to handing Lola the letter and knowing that Lola thought Mary asked her to assassinate Elizabeth, there's no way this plot unfolds.

So now Mary's all alone, too. 

She has Gideon, but she's asking him to be a double agent. To share beds with both her and Elizabeth. I'm not sure how well that's going to play out since Elizabeth is the one who has previously asked Gideon to get close to other women. She seems smart enough to expect he's double dealing once he starts putting the moves on her.

Anyway. Things in Scotland and England are a mess. France isn't much better.

Right now, it looks like Leith died with Claude's name on his lips thanks to the traitorous Martel de Guise. After Leith killed the two remaining Red Knights in the King's Guard, Catherine gave Leith and Claude her blessing to marry. Right in front of Martel de Guise.

His ego being what it is, he couldn't let that stand, so when Martel saw an opportunity to take out his opposition (because he can't just LOSE, right?), he went for it. 

The possibility that Leith is also dead is devastating, particularly when his death was interspersed with scenes of Claude laying out a wedding dress and planning for her future with the love of her life. I mean, talk about a kick in the face!

Lola? Most definitely completely dead. Leith? MAYBE he's not. Maybe. There's always a chance.

Elsewhere in the finale, we saw Charles return to the castle and declare that he no longer wants to be king. He's watched his friends die thanks to his mother's mistakes, and he wants no part of it. After having himself declared of age by the Privy Council, Charles ousts Catherine vowing he won't be a pawn in her power schemes any longer.

So she brings in his little brother and threatens Charles' life because nothing says "I love you" like subtle threats to kill the ones you care about. 

And that's the thing with Catherine. That's the duality of her that has always sat funny with me. 

She loves her children fiercely, of that I'm certain. It was in her face as she rushed out to greet Charles upon his return. It was clear in the way she threatened the Red Knight to get him to give over information about her son. 

But then there's always a part of her who will cross lines normal parents shouldn't cross, and it's probably because I'm a parent that those times just don't sit well with me. I don't know. Give me that shrug emoji, okay? I just don't know.

And finally, Bash bowed out. 

We knew he was leaving because Torrance Coombs has a gig on a new show this fall, and all I can think is "at least they didn't kill him, too." 

Bash will be living among the Druids, learning their ways, finally embracing his Pagan roots so that he can return exactly when Mary needs him and act as her seer. 

Too bad he can't go ahead and look into the future and tell us if Leith lives.

What did you think of the Reign Season 3 finale? Let's all take a minute and say goodbye to Lola in the comments. Don't forget that if you missed a single minute, you can watch Reign online in the off-season.

Spiders in a Jar Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

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

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Reign Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

There can only be one Queen, and I had to choose mine.

Lola [to Elizabeth]

I am Scottish. This country is in my blood as I know it is yours.