Reign: The Plague (02×01)
Synopsis: The Black Plague is back and the French Court is on lock down. Mary faces political pressure inside the castle, while Francis must make a decision on Lola and her baby.
So with the gates closed, and the palace on lockdown, Mary must rule without a king until Francis returns from finding Lola. She and Catherine announce the arrival of the plague, and tell the courtiers that they are all safe. This would be great if there weren’t already a ton of people who have clearly been sick all week. Less than a day into the announcement and suddenly the catacombs are filled with dead or dying servants, people are being barred into their rooms, and generally people are freaking out.
I’m not really sure how much time has passed since we found out that the Plague has come, but the surrounding lands are being burned and roads are being closed off quicker than you can say Bubonic. The episode wastes no time in reminding us how insane Reign can be. So let’s just go over the main points.
With the plague descending, some courtiers see this as an advantageous time to kill enemies, including Lord Edward, who seeks to kill his enemy, Pierre Valond, who is sleeping with his wife. He essentially blackmails Mary to kill him for the grain and meat that his family supplies the kingdom. Unwilling to kowtow to Lord Edward’s request, Pierre and his family lock themselves within their quarters. This not only makes it hard for Edward to get to him, but also means he must kill Pierre’s entire family.
Edward suggests this, but of course Mary is even more adamant than ever. Catherine, who has supported Edward’s decision, willing to sacrifice few for the many continues to fight Mary’s choices. She decides to take control, and honor Edward’s request in order to “protect the country” though it feels a little more like a desperate grab for power.
Seeing that she is willing to kill an entire family for her own devices, a cleanly shaven Nostradamus sides with Mary and secretly gives Catherine a concoction that will give her cold symptoms for a few days to make her think she has the plague as well. Unable to go through with her plan given her sickness, Mary wins this argument. Too bad someone conveniently left the poison hanging around, it takes Edward less than an hour to go through with his plan and the family still bites the dust.
Finding the family murdered, he takes Edward and drags him into the catacombs with the other plague victims and leaves him there for his crimes. Originally I wanted to say I agreed with Catherine’s argument, that sometimes it is a necessary evil. But I don’t believe that this guy wanted to kill an entire family just because the father of the family was sleeping with his new wife. If that was his real intention, then the guy is a vindictive psychopath, if it wasn’t then he had an ulterior motive that should have been found out.
Just saying, if I’m killing someone to save my country, I better know the real reason why I’m killing him. Also, don’t really see how this could fall back on Mary, since she could easily say that Edward suffered from the plague and still get her grain and meat.
Bash spends most of the episode missing, taking care of the guards in his new position as Captain of the Guard. He tells Kenna to take Pascal and hide in their quarters since he has stocked it up with food for them to wait out the plague. However, in the search for Pascal, Kenna finds him being used as a servant by some douchebag. He insults Kenna and disregards her, and it seems like trouble, but Pascal chooses to go with him in order to keep from anything happening to Kenna.
Sadly this is at his own risk as the douchebag is infected and dies while infecting Pascal. When Kenna finally finds him, he is also close to death. They are found by the guards who nail Kenna shut in the room with the dead douchebag and a dying Pascal. I am really sad by the way Pascal died. I liked his character, and it sucked not see him get any final moments with Bash or even a final hug from Kenna.
While searching for Kenna, Bash finds himself hallucinating, and hallucinates the young daughter of Pierre Valond. She tells him he’ll live, but that she is dead, she also tells him that, “We’re not leaving. Not till we’re done. There will be a reckoning.” Creepy. Ultimately Bash finds Kenna again. They have both been exposed directly to the plague, but seem to be ok… for now.
Want another short lived relationship? You got it. Yvette, Lord Castleroy’s daughter, faced a bitter death indadvertedly from the hands of Edward as she drank some of the poison that was fed to the Valond family while waiting for a romantic getaway with Leith. Once finding out that they are all connected, Greer begs Leith not to continue his relationship with Yvette since she knows that she will be tempted with Leith around. Leith agrees not to see Yvette, and Yvette is left waiting and soon dead.
And of course, who can forget Lola and her baby in the woods. Francis finds her safe with the baby, who is a boy. Leaving the miller’s house that Lola stopped at, they take to the road to go back to the castle with the baby. They stop along the way and meet Louis Conde, Francis’s distant cousin. Louis is escorting his married mistress to safety away from the plague and offers Lola a spot on the ship. He tells Francis that if he loves his wife, he will send Lola away.
Francis seems to agree with this sentiment until he holds his son for the first time. Unable to leave his child, he orders Lola back, because he can’t live without his son. Oh Francis, you foolish summer child. You continue to make horrible decisions. Obviously Remy will be back for Lola, and now you all have to deal with Lola’s baby. Including your wife.