TV Review: Reign 3×01 “Three Queens, Two Tigers”

For all of the great shows that are currently airing, nothing has impressed me as consistently as The CW’s Reign. While calling it historical fiction is probably a bit of a stretch, okay a huge stretch, it never talks down to its audience, is never boring, and has fantastically dynamic characters across both genders. If you have any interest at all in CW’s style of drama, or historically set (if not accurate) pieces, you’ll enjoy this show. And now it’s back for its third season.

At the end of last season, we learned that Francis is more than likely dying. He certainly believes he is, and one look at the Wikipedia page of the historical figure he’s based off will tell you he’ll probably die young. What did surprise me is that the show didn’t hold off on the big reveal, waiting until the most dramatic moment to tell Mary that she would soon be widowed. In between scenes of day-to-day court life, we got to see both Francis and Mary slowly dealing with the fact that their time together is limited. From Francis enthusiastically trying to give Mary an heir, to calling back Francis’ younger brother to court as he may become King sooner than he’d ever have thought, this is clearly going to be a driving force of this season.

mary

There wasn’t much for Lola to do this episode, besides maybe try to start up an affair with Lord Narcisse, despite telling him that she could never trust him enough to marry him. Francis has forbidden their relationship anyways as he knows he won’t be around to help raise their son, and doesn’t want Narcisse (who I still like way more than I should) to have that honor. I hope Lola is given more to do this season than continue to flit around Narcisse though.

reignGreer however had way more fun this episode. In an attempt to shore up funds for her coming war against England, Mary brought in a rather dashing pirate, Martin de Lambert, who insisted on having Greer as his wife as part of their deal. Greer agreed to go along with it temporarily, planning to back out once everything was set in stone, but then actually ended up liking him (I honestly don’t remember how things left off with all of Greer’s many relationships… is she not still married?). Too bad for her, as it turns out Martin just enjoys flirting with high born ladies and never had any intention of marrying anyone, let alone Greer. But it looks like he may be sticking around this season so that may end up developing more later in the season. Here’s hoping!

The best and worst plotlines of the episode came from Catherine’s new alliance with Queen Elizabeth. It looks like Queen Elizabeth is going to become a major character this season, which could be setting up Francis’ death, and the storyline’s eventual move to Scotland. But for now, the writers are trying hard to make us care about Elizabeth but she isn’t particularly likeable yet, and I have no vested interest on where things go with the affair she’s been having.

What was way more fun was Mary and Francis eventually figuring out where Catherine was and setting up something of a trap in order to drag her back to France. Don’t get me wrong, Catherine is a fantastic character who has always proven herself as a great match for Mary, but seeing her caged next to a tiger to be brought back to court to pay for her betrayal… well, it was a lot of fun. Things may get more complicated once she learns that her son and king are dying, but if the show is going to follow Mary away from France after Francis’ death, Catherine may not get to be a character much longer anyway, so here’s hoping they’ll continue to utilize her for as long as they can.

And no, I’m not going to talk about Bash and his witch-y girlfriend. I really want that storyline to go away. Really, all of the Bash vs. paganism storylines can go away. I want Kenna to come back.

Overall, a great start to the season, and I can honestly say I have no idea where the storyline will be a month from now, let alone at the end of the season. I can’t wait to find out!

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
  • Zoe Emiko

    Of all that was said about this first episode of season 3 the part about Bash and paganism I agree with the most. It had already gotten old last season. He started out a decent sort of character and now has become the crazy obsessed with the underworld brother. The Bash character has become a complete bore.

  • One thing that really bums me out is knowing the real history. I really like the character of Francis in this show, but I know he didn’t make it in real life and was dead by 16 :(

    I really did like the scene where Francis apologizes to Mary for not telling her about his illness sooner, and I also really liked the song they used (“The Highest Tide” by The Wealthy West and Valen). That scene almost made me cry thinking about it.