TV Review: Reign 3×11 “Succession”

Reign has returned, and now on Monday nights! Combine the change of schedule with the CW’s surprise pickup of the show for a fourth season and who knows what the network has in mind for this show even so far as the end of this season. But despite a dip in quality in the first chunk of season three, many of us are still eager to see what drama Mary, Elizabeth and Catherine have in store for the rest of the season. None of the three main monarchs of the show were in a great position by the end of “Succession,” so let’s jump in.


It looks like we have a new bad guy to contend with for the rest of the season, in the form of Protestant leader John Knox. He’s likely someone that both Mary and Elizabeth will have to deal with eventually, but for now there are more pressing issues to deal with. Charles is being crowned this week and as usual is being incredibly sweet to his brother’s widow, inviting Mary to participate in the ceremony as a way to show France’s support for her. This all goes over fairly smoothly, leaving Mary some free time to spend with Gideon and his daughter, helping the two figure out how to get to know one another after so much time apart.

Remember back when Mary had four ladies in waiting? Then one was killed and another shipped off to hide a pregnancy? That left us with two, or at least there seemed to be two left. But kicking off the second half of the season there was no mention of Greer, her pregnancy or her pirate baby-daddy. Has she been disappeared indefinitely as well? Only time will tell. At least Lola had a lot to do in this week’s episode. She’s still a forced house guest of Queen Elizabeth but is refusing to give up any info about Mary or her plans. Instead, she managed to get her hands on some creepy information about Elizabeth’s main adviser and uses it to work her way into the Queen’s inner circle.

It turns out that Elizabeth’s chief adviser Lord William is not only the one that poisoned her, causing a miscarriage, but has been in love with her this whole time. He’s been having women dressed as Elizabeth brought to his bed chamber and, well, you can imagine the rest. Thankfully, Elizabeth dismisses him out of hand. Hopefully this will leave room for Elizabeth to branch out into more politically minded stories since it seems clear that she’ll be sticking around as a main character, potentially for the rest of the series.

Back in France, a good chunk of the episode was dedicated to the serial killer hunt that has been prominent for most of the season, except this week we managed to get answers. There was a brief fake out where a random butcher was framed by the real culprit … who ended up being the very same guard that Catherine has been sleeping with for a while now. It feels great to finally have this mystery resolved, especially as it puts Catherine into a dangerous situation that may not be as easy for her to overcome as some of her past trials. Catherine is at her very best when she feels threatened and if it’s possible that we’ll be moving away from the France stories soon I hope she has a real opportunity to do her best work before her time on Reign is done.

The episode ended with Mary needing to take the John Knox problem face on. She won’t be able to return to Scotland until she can do so, and it’s looking more and more likely that that’s where the show is headed by the end of this season so she needs to get on it. But rather than giving in to demands and converting to Protestantism, Mary is going to fight fire with fire. She’s headed to the Vatican to ask the Pope for an army of her own, one that can stand against, well, pretty much everyone. The only problem here is that this isn’t going to mend any fences between Mary and Elizabeth. It will likely make for good TV, but does mean that the growing relationship between Mary and Gideon could be in serious risk. Surprising no one, it’s a surprise that Mary is willing to take.

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