TV Review: Reign 3×05 “In a Clearing”

Well, I almost skipped reviewing this episode because I was out of town when it aired, but in watching the last episode in order to prepare for tonight… well, there’s no skipping this episode, even if all I can manage is a quick review since the next episode is airing any minute now and there’s no way I’m waiting to watch it. The big event the show had been counting down to all season finally happened, just when we thought we might have escaped it. The king is dead and Mary’s heart is broken… but we’ll get to that soon.reign1

A good chunk of this episode was basically dedicated to Mary and Francis being adorable, and these two really turned on the charm for this final hurrah. There was sailing, skinny dipping, kissing, swooning, a planned trip to Paris. Basically, the show wanted to rub in our faces just how in love the King and Queen are before promptly ripping our hearts out.

Another minor focus, but fair sized shock was the return of Nostradamus. He hadn’t been a part of the show for a good long while, but his presence had been heavily felt all season as we seemed to be getting closer and closer to his vision of Francis’ death. When he turned up in Catherine’s bedroom unannounced, I doubt anyone thought this was a good sign. Of course, he wasn’t convinced Francis was actually going to live and had a new vision to add on to the old one,

Reign -- "In A Clearing" -- Image Number: RE305a_0308.jpg -- Pictured: Rossif Sutherland as Nostradamus -- Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserve

though we couldn’t be sure how much stock to put in it. Even giving what happened, his return seemed kind of pointless, but we didn’t spend that much time on him initially, so I’m happy to move on.

In other news, Bash and Delphine do some ritual to unconnect themselves, then go into the woods to solve crimes. Great. I was kind of hoping her reviving Francis would have been the whole point of having here to begin with and we’d be done with this now, finding something new for Bash to do. Like, you know, go off in search of Kenna. I don’t even know if I’m hoping this storyline will intersect with the main plot, or if I’m going to be content to  just continue ignoring it. Oh, they’re also established makeout buddies now, in case that was something you were rooting for.

Which brings us back to the most important plotline of the episode. While on their way to Paris for a romantic getaway, bandits kidnapped Mary in the woods, leading Francis to see the tree that had been featured in Nostradamus’ newest vision. Even knowing the risk, Francis of course lept to rescue Mary (who I’m sure must have been having some pretty awful flashbacks to her assault in the castle). In the course of the fight, he had his head pretty solidly smacked on the ground a few times, and we already knew he was having headaches. For a second it looked like everything was going to be fine, but it wasn’t long before Francis collapsed. Of course, even though he was dying, he still had time for a pretty thorough goodbye speech as we all watched Mary’s heart break in front of us. And of course, Francis’ final words were in hopes that Mary would find love again… because the plot must go on!

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Watching Bash brace himself to tell Catherine that her son had died certainly didn’t make this episode any easier. The both acted the short scene wonderfully, and I so wish we’d gotten a few final scenes with Bash and Francis as brothers instead of Bash P.I. From there we got to see Mary lose her cool with the English ambassador. She’d been all set to sign away her right to England in exchange for peace, but not any more. Another really well acted segment, but it wasn’t long before we learned that English had nothing to do with the assassination attempt (it was driven by Scottish politics).

Which leaves us with the funeral. It was all less lavish than I suspect the funeral for an actual king would have been, but right on track for a CW budgeted show. It didn’t offer up a lot of hints about how the show will move forward, which I’m still really curious to see how they’ll pull off. From here, it makes sense for Mary to move to Scotland, but that would mean a whole lot of upheaval for the show. Even in the “2 Weeks Later” clip at the end of the episode, where Mary apologizes to Catherine for Francis’ death, which the semi-crazy queen took pretty well, we don’t even get so much as a hint.

Now to go watch the next episode and find out what happens next!


  • Lola and Greer weren’t even worth mentioning this episode, they both had about one line
  • Doesn’t look like Nostradamus won’t be sticking around, but he told Catherine that she’ll need Mary’s help in order to rule France

Kellie Sheridan may as well live on the internet or in a library. She is a Young Adult author, spending her time writing and watching far too much Netflix near Toronto, Canada. You can find Kellie on Twitter (@Kellie_Sheridan) or contact her by email at kellie@theyoungfolks.com