Reign Season 1 Review “Long Live the King”

Long Live the King

Since the very beginning of Reign, it’s not the love triangle or soap opera antics of Mary Queen of Scots that have been the show’s primary strength, but the relationship between the female characters – most notably Mary and Catherine – and how these ultimately disregarded figureheads can maneuver and manipulate for their own ends, dodging all the things that come along with being a woman in French Court at that time. Even Queen’s have to resort to murder and deception sometimes, if they are determined enough to get their way.

Seeing this episode, ‘Long Live the King’, bring this focus back immediately before next week’s finale, then, was great, and Mary and Catherine’s attempts to take Mad King Henry out of the equation are just so much fun to watch. Really, by transposing the grand romantic plot onto Bash and Kenna’s flourishing marriage, it has freed up Mary and Francis’ time and made lots of room for conflict, something a show like Reign desperately needs, and allows them to be completely involved in next week’s showdown without too much invested in whether their marriage works out or not (unless you’re a hard-core shipper, that is).

Where the much-teased darkness fits into this, I have no idea, as it looks as though it’ll be Henry’s dastardly, and quite hilarious, scheme to kill Francis and marry Mary that our gang of royals are going to be dealing with next week. The show has done a good job of gradually hardening its heroine to the point where we have no idea where things might go next week but, with a mythical creature/psychopath wandering the woods as well as the loose ends of Clarissa, Lola’s pregnancy, Remy’s secret identity, Greer and her man troubles and probably a whole other list of unfinished business I’m forgetting, the finale was never going to be boring.

What did you think of the episode? How long before Lola and Remy/Julian’s cover-up comes back to haunt them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.