Reign Season 1 Review “Higher Ground”

Higher Ground

It’s been brewing for a while, but this episode of Reign, ‘Higher Ground’, was the indisputable moment that Mary crossed the line between innocence and darkness, doing things for her country that the girl who arrived in France in the pilot could never have imagined. One thing Reign has smartly done is allow the passage of time, making it believable that Mary’s moral compass would have shifted so far within just 20-episodes.

Though she didn’t chop the head off herself, Mary has now essentially taken a life in her efforts to save her mother with Catherine’s escape fund and, as Bash warns, that’s going to haunt her for the rest of time. It’s probably foreshadowing that Bash is currently the only one who knows how far Mary has gone, with even Catherine disbelieving of her ability to commit murder, and the separation of Mary and Francis has afforded the couple a lot more room to interact. But they shared only one scene in this episode, signifying that, yes, Kenna and Bash’s union is now a legitimate rival for shippers to invest in.

It was actually nice to see them be the calm center in the middle of so much chaos, and seeing Bash investigate Lola’s husband just because his wife asked him to was pretty charming. As it stands, everyone except Mary and Francis are set for a happy ending, love-wise, as Julian’s shiftiness was resolved and Leith promised a title should he return from war. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with Greer’s current bumbling beau, of course, but marrying the heroic, appropriately titled kitchen boy is definitely the best case scenario for her. Then again, the paternity of Lola’s baby will certainly play a role before the seasons over.

The unconvincing, CW-budget war scenes didn’t really do it for me and, as always, the best action was back at French court. Despite Tahmoh Penikett’s wholly distracting accent (seriously, what region of the UK was he going for there?!), watching the interplay between him, Mary and Catherine was very entertaining and, with the result of the storyline being so monumental for Mary’s character development, our way to that conclusion feels all the more satisfying. Now, using the same treacherous men that slaughtered her own countrymen, Mary plans to save her mother back in Scotland. She’s all grown up.

What did you think of the episode? Do you like this darker, more ruthless Mary? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.