Reign 1×14 Review: Dirty Laundry

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I enjoyed this episode.  Ever since the second half of the season started back up, there’s been this neck-breakingly fast pace that has had me wondering when things will finally slow down.  With this episode, we finally got that.  The focus was broadened to include other characters, and there were some moments that even made me laugh.  Yes, there was drama, but that wasn’t the overall focus of the episode.  Let’s hope that these more light-hearted moments will continue, but first…my thoughts on “Dirty Laundry”.

And so the love triangle continues.  Mary and Francis returned to court to find that things 1003219_763865636958993_1655530231_nwere exactly how they left them.  Bash told Mary his theories about Francis trying to kill him and told her to think carefully about who she married.  When Mary questioned Francis’ guards and he confronted her about it, Francis made an interesting point that when she had her suspicions about his mother, Mary had no proof but Francis believed her regardless.  I still don’t believe Francis was the one that ordered the hit on Bash, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand why people are finding his behavior suspicious.  Francis said things that could make one believe that he had something to do with it, but on the same token, when he spoke with his mother, he seemed genuinely confused when she told him that Bash was not in Spain.  If anyone could understand why he would want Bash dead, it would be Catherine.  So why keep up the charade with her?  That’s why I can’t fully believe it was Francis.  If anything, I think it was Henry.  In the second half of this season, he’s grown darker and more power-hungry and, like Francis, stood to lose something due to Mary and Bash’s manipulations: the throne of England.  Henry may love Bash, but his number one priority has always been himself.  To be honest, from a story-telling perspective, Francis being the one who ordered the hit is a bit obvious and cliché.  Furthermore I think that Bash’s judgment is clouded by the fact Francis has what he wants.  Even though I don’t ship Mash, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him when Mary pushed him away again.  If he truly cares for her, he needs to respect her decision and believe that she can take care of herself.  She has shown great strength and courage during many a dark time, showing she is more than just a damsel to be saved by some big, strapping man.  I still don’t like how the writers seem to be building Bash up while at the same time tearing Francis down.  I thought Bash’s interactions with Rowan, the girl in the woods, were interesting.  I don’t think he is over Mary by a long shot, but as we’ve seen with Francis, it isn’t entirely unheard of to seek the comfort of another when you’re hurting.  It will be interesting to find out if Bash will stick around with the brother/sister duo in order to be closer to Mary.

1509928_763865733625650_414346957_nHenry and Catherine had me rolling in this episode!  Henry was fooling around with the sister of a visiting foreign nobleman, and the woman accidentally fell out of the window to her death.  So who does Henry go to for help?  My lady love Catherine!  During this entire episode, she really demonstrated why she is a force to be reckoned with at court.  She took control of the situation and later kept her cool when it was revealed that the woman was illiterate, therefore unable to write a suicide note.  She even killed two birds with one stone by pinning the girl’s suicide on the dead priest (when we the audience know very well who was actually responsible for that) in order to help maintain ties with this man and his country.  It was a real treat seeing Catherine back in her element when for the past few episodes her fate has been so uncertain.  She is much more of a diplomat than Henry and showed off her political savvy time and time again.  The scenes between her and Henry scheming to keep this under wraps provided some much needed levity after so much drama and danger.  Who else laughed when they both wondered how the servants kept their clothes clean?  “They take them to the laundry, and they dip them in something.”  Way to go, Sherlock!  You’ve solved the case!  The pair working on the suicide note was another moment of bizarre humor; Henry going from wanting to praise France’s beauty and culture (really, H?  It’s a suicide note not a postcard) to wanting to praise himself.  I loved how Catherine turned that against him later, saying to the deceased woman’s brother that all that fluff was just the man talking himself up.  They had another one of those moments where we saw the people they used to be and that there was a time when they used to care about one another.  But those people have changed into the people we know today, and Catherine was not interested in revisiting the past.  Henry’s look at the end when he was with Kenna was very creepy and troubling.  Could Kenna be in danger of suffering a similar fate?10014609_763865920292298_828464210_n

Speaking of Kenna, she and Lola had their own melodramas in this episode.  Kenna is husband hunting, this week’s suitor being the foreign nobleman whose sister Henry killed.  Lola was revealed to be pregnant with Francis’ child, which seems a bit cliché and makes me worry about her safety.  If she’s trying to keep her pregnancy a secret, she didn’t do a very good job, as that shawl and her constantly crossing her arms over her stomach practically screamed, “I’m trying to hide a growing baby bump!”  But if this storyline means Lola (and by association Anna) don’t get pushed into the background, I’m game.  I guess Kenna helping Lola was supposed to make Kenna a bit more likeable, but that attempt fell flat with me as Kenna practically waltzed into Lola’s room, saying, “We need to talk about your liaison with Francis.”  It almost seemed like Kenna was reminding Lola the information she had on her while trying to be a friend.  When Lola confirmed Kenna’s theory, Kenna must have been completely self-involved to not notice how Lola was against the idea of just being the mother to a king’s bastard.  I know this will come off as a touch judgmental, but seriously Kenna, not everyone is happy with just being a king’s plaything.  I was so worried for Lola’s safety when she went to the woman in the woods about getting rid of her baby.  Anna Popplewell did such an amazing job in this episode and was truly the stand out performance.  Mary came into the cabin to stop her, being so supportive and reassuring Lola that this wasn’t the end of the world, to which Lola could only cry, “If you only knew the whole truth.”  When the gravity of those words finally hit Mary, you could see her whole demeanor change.  I understand that Mary is upset, but it takes two to tango so Francis is just as responsible as Lola in this situation.  I really hope she doesn’t take all of her anger and hurt out on Lola in future episodes.  I’m curious about where exactly the writers are going with this storyline.  Will Lola have the baby or will some horrible “accident” befall her, causing her to lose it?  How will this affect her friendship with Mary in the long run?  It was only one night, and Mary was with Bash at the time.  Only time will tell, but I will remain hopeful that this relationship will be able to recover.

Last but certainly not least, this episode delivered quite the bombshell in the form of Olivia being alive!  Yes, it would appear she survived her encounter with Clarissa, but her time in the woods was not a positive experience.  Bash took her back to the castle for Nostradamus to treat her, and I found myself agreeing with the seer for once.  When Bash wondered if the beast the blood cult worshiped was responsible for the savagery done to Olivia, Nostradamus dismissed that, saying that people, not nature, are the malignant force to worry about.  These people just use their religion as a means to justify the cruelty they inflect on their fellow man.  As we all saw, Olivia stabbed the priest in the chest and, when questioned by Nostradamus, warned of an impending darkness.  What form that darkness will take remains to be seen, but perhaps it will be a supernatural one.

Next week’s episode sees Henry taking another step into this darkness.  Perhaps this will be leading up to his possible demise?  Thanks to the promotional photos released, we can look forward to our favorite kitchen man, Leith’s, return.  Huzzah, my fellow Greith fans!  Tensions between Mary and Lola appear to be rising, and I can’t help but wonder if Francis will find out about Lola’s pregnancy.  But for now, give me your thoughts on “Dirty Laundry”?  What were your favorite and least favorite moments?  Comment below and thank you for reading!

Author: Sarah Sue



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