Synopsis: Conde gets captured and becomes the face of an English coup. Kenna’s relationship with Renaud starts, while Greer’s relationship with Laith dissolves. Catherine forces Narcisse to give up Lola, and Claude’s hookup-du-jour leaves her lonely and vengeful.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

This episode enforced exactly how irritating the male characters on this show are getting.

Laith’s entire character has been reduced to mansplaining. Narcisse gets himself into a twisted revenge-porn plot. Francis has been dead to me for a while now (to his credit, he is getting better). Bash is purely duty-bound, arrogant, and selfish. Conde’s a helpless bunny rabbit caught in the headlights. They’re all exhausting.

As for the story, it’s weirdly disjointed this week. The political and the personal collide in Mary/Conde’s storyline, but the rest of the women are purely romantically-involved.

Claude spends the episode running Laith ragged with her request to see her lover/mentor who moseyed into town. When she catches him in the act of stealing the scabbard of Charlemagne to sell for an annulment to marry Greer, Claude forces him to escort her to her friend.

Turns out that Claude’s taste in men is about as good as we’d expect it to be. I had to double take because he looks like a young Ezra from Pretty Little Liars. She and the guy hook up and he unceremonious boots her out of his room and ruins her plans right afterward.

Hurt, Claude orders Laith to break things off with Greer. After he refuses and he gives an impassioned speech (a mansplanation which no one really pays attention to, because he’s being a huge hypocrite, more on that later), Claude gives Laith her diamond earrings to sell for his annulment.

When he goes to Greer to propose, he makes her choose between her success as an independent woman and a life with him. So much for love conquering all*, huh?

Ditch the boy, Greer. []
Ditch the boy, Greer. []
*Here, ‘all’ is construed to mean the antiquated idea of women as property expected to do whatever their husbands please.

After Greer explains that she can’t leave her independence and security for a life with him, Laith breaks up with her. Rude. You’re better off, chica.

Stone cold, Catherine.[]
Stone cold, Catherine.[]
Next in male power trips, Catherine orders Narcisse to prove his loyalty to her by doing something ‘unforgivable’ to Lola. Turns out Narcisse is quite the artist. He drew a picture of Lola indulging his bath fetish; he then spread it around to all the nobles in the castle. Jerk. Lola confronts him and Narcisse burns the bridge. He says she should have never trusted her; she promises she won’t make the same mistake twice.

In the last of the romantic subplots, Kenna decides it’s time to move on from Bash. She pursues General Renaud and the two get together at the end of the episode.

In the political/romantic plot, Louis is fleeing the countryside after his marriage to Elizabeth went up in flames (literally). Mary tries to help him escape by arranging French papers with a new identity as a tanner.

Francis decides that he cannot let Conde live if he’s captured. Honestly, he’s right. An English king-consort on French soil is too dangerous to his reign.

As with all of Mary’s plans, this one goes horribly awry and General Renaud and his men capture Conde. Luckily for him, Elizabeth’s men rescue him. Elizabeth agrees to make Conde her husband if he becomes king of France by taking Francis’ throne.

At the end of the episode, Mary tries to reconcile with Francis, saying they’ll both be miserable if they continue to hate each other. Francis isn’t having it as long as there’s a threat to the throne on the loose.

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