Reign Season 1 Review “Fated”


Is Reign the biggest surprise of the season? Far from being the vapid mess of CW clichés we all thought it would be, the show has gone from strength to strength in its first season (and we’re only half way!) and come to its Christmas break with enough intrigue, salaciousness and fan-pleasing moments to delight even the harshest of critics. Those who checked out of this one before the season even began are missing out big time, and ‘Fated’ was a fantastic example of why Reign has become the one guilty pleasure to rule them all.

Starting with all of the romantic entanglements which, like in all good teen dramas, were the catalyst for everything else that happened, it looks as though Mary/Francis shippers are going to have to wait a little while longer for their ‘epic’ romance to pan out. We begin the hour just as we left the last – with Mary and Francis enjoying some quality time with each other before learning of Mary Tudor’s imminent death. As there are those who believe Mary to be the rightful heir to the English throne, Henry leaps into action and declares that Francis and Mary are to be married as quickly as possible.

This should be good news for everyone, since Mary and Francis are loves young dream and England would grant absolutely everyone more power, but we can always count on Catherine to put a dampener on things. It turns out that she hasn’t just been trying to prevent her son’s union with Mary for kick – she’s been trying to avoid an ominous prophecy from Nostradamus from coming true. He believes, along with a lot of other cryptic things, that Francis will meet his demise shortly after the wedding, and the only way to evade death would be not to marry Mary. I’m not sure how that last bit was worked out, but it certainly offers added drama.

Kenna, meanwhile, was having an equally bad week (though maybe not as bad as her previous one) with Henry finally ‘fessing up about where his heart actually lies. It turns out that Kenna is simply his new plaything and barely more than a passing phase, with Catherine suiting him for royal duties and Diane offering more satisfactory bedroom action. Poor Kenna – didn’t she know she was part of that classic older man/young girl storyline of high school dramas past? It didn’t help that she was still a bit beaten up from her adventures last week, and spent the entire hour in cuddly cardigans.

Despite Diane’s schemes to make Bash legitimate coming to nought, an unfortunate case of mistaken identity meant that Kenna quickly discovered details of the plot and went running straight to Catherine. There was poison passed around but never used, but it’s safe to say that, while Diane is the most moralistic of the trio and Kenna is the most idiotic, not one of them are actually willing to actively resort to murder over the affections of the king. Anyway, it was eventually Aylee, not Kenna, who fell foul to Nostradamus’ prophecy, and the littlest lady was pushed down the stairs by a creeping Clarissa.

She did this to stop Mary’s wedding to Francis, but I guess we’re supposed to believe that fates can be changed by wilful kings and queens if they wish. Mary, with the understanding that if she marries Francis then he will die, does a runner and takes Bash with her. Poor Francis couldn’t look more heartbroken (with a dramatic drop to his knees just to confirm his feelings to us), and I love how the show still managed to shoe-horn in the love triangle even when so much else was going on. When we return it’s safe to say that all but one union between the three central characters will be broken, and Mary and Bash will have some serious explaining to do.

What did you think of the episode? What do you think Clarissa’s motives were? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.