‘Reign’ (Season 1): A Tangled Web


In every good soap opera there are so many twists and turns that it makes one’s head spin. The new CW period piece Reign is no different even if it doesn’t necessarily follow true historical fact. After all Mary, Queen of Scots, as portrayed in the show by series lead Adelaide Kane, married the Dauphin of France, Francis, as portrayed in the show by series regular Toby Regbo, in 1559.

But, in this TV version Mary is, well, pig-headed and believing in the visions of Nostradamus (recurring guest star Rossif Sutherland), forces Francis out of the castle and replaces him with his bastard brother Sebastian (aka Bash), as portrayed by series regular Torrance Coombs. The only historical problem there is that Bash never existed.

So, that fact alone makes this soap opera – and that is exactly what this series is – into a story that is turning viewers’ heads around, making them question everything they ever learned about Mary and Francis.

There is even more questionable historical accuracy in the recent affair between one of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting, Lola, as portrayed by series regular Anna Popplewell, [did Mary even have a lady-in-waiting by that name?!] and Francis. Whether this one-night stand actually happened or not is a question for historical scholars (which I definitely am not!), but it just adds to the tangled web for which ‘Reign’ has become a master of spinning.

Oh, and what can be said about Mary’s other lady-in-waiting Kenna [was there even really a Kenna in the 1500’s?], as portrayed by series regular Caitlin Stasey, who – in the show – is openly the latest mistress of King Henry, as portrayed by series regular Alan Van Sprang. Sure the real King Henry had mistresses – that seems to be a given in the annals of history – but was it one of Mary’s ladies?

Is your head spinning yet?

One more thing, Mary’s other lady-in-waiting Greer, as portrayed by series regular Celina Sinden, needs to marry someone of rank in order to save her family; but what did she do? She fell in love with one of the servants, the lowly – albeit handsome – assistant cook Leith (recurring guest star Jonathan Keltz). Greer is perhaps the only character in the entire show whose storyline isn’t apeshit crazy and thankfully the one sane person out of the whole lot.

And don’t even get me started on Queen Catherine, as portrayed by series regular Megan Follows, as my head starts to spin all over again. But, again, that is what makes watching ‘Reign’ so much fun because it does what every good soap opera does – it tangles that web around nearly every single character and keeps us coming back for more. History be damned, right?!

What do you think? Would you prefer more historical accuracy in the show or are you enjoying the twists and turns of ‘Reign’. Or maybe you are just watching it for the love and romance; or perhaps, like many, for the fashions. Please share your thoughts on ‘Reign’ below.

And mark your calendars for the next new episode of the first season of ‘Reign’ which will air on Thursday, March 6 at 9/8c on The CW, making sure you are there to get tangled up in all of the delectable stories.