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Reign – 1.15 –The Darkness – Review: Hello, Darkness, my old friend.



‘Hello, Darkness, my old friend.’

‘I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.’
- Og Mandino


The Numbers Game aka Ratings

Well, even though as I write this the only ratings that are up are the early ones but it looks like our demo number as well as viewership numbers are climbing right back to the average that we have been getting all season long. The early ratings are sitting at .7 but it will probably get adjusted down to .6 if 9:30 pm hour is accurate. But it's still an improvement over last week.

Remember, even if you don't have Nielsen's box you can still help the rating (a little) in your own way by live tweeting with show. You can pitch in by using the show's hashtag (#Reign) and the show's episode title in every tweet you make about the show on Thursdays. Prime tweeting hours to get the show trending are usually between 7 pm EST until about 1 am EST (after the west coast airing has gone off).

Retraction
Dear Royals,
I apologize for making an unfounded logical leap and presenting it as fact in my review last week, when I stated that Bash and Mary have had sex. Please bear in mind that my reviews are based on screeners and sometimes those screeners are rough cuts and things get changed around and/or edited out.
It has had been heavily implied in more than one episode and when Bash told Francis to ask Mary if it was true we never got resolution on it so that lead me to believe that the whole point of pushing Bash and Mary together and then having Francis and Lola sleep together was to put them on equal footing and force them to except each other’s past indiscretions as it seemed that was the underlying current and intent in what was presented on the screeners that I watched. Maybe that is the case, maybe it isn’t but at any rate, forgive me, it won’t happen again.

Well, let’s dig into this week’s episode of Reign…
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Title: The Darkness | Writer: Charlie Craig | Director: Steve DiMarco
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Long Story Short

Synopsis: Lola, Kenna and Greer search for husbands at the First Light festival. Mary fears that Lola will usurp her the way that Diane usurped Catherine, and pressures Lola to accept her first suitor. She later changes her mind and tells Lola to make her own choice even if it means waiting. Greer accepts the suit of Lord Castleroy (Michael Therriault) despite having feelings for Leith, the castle servant (Jonathan Keltz). Greer has Castleroy arrange an apprenticeship for Leith in Spain, though she later rejects Castleroy and waits for a new suitor her parents have arranged for her. Kenna has a threesome with a prostitute at Henry's request, and later finds the prostitute choked to death. Catherine helps cover up the incident, but worries that Henry is ill and killed two of his lovers on purpose. Olivia tells Nostradamus how she was sacrificed by peasants to "the darkness", a creature in the woods that fed on her blood until she escaped. The blood pagans take Rowan as their next sacrifice, and Bash and Carrick go into the woods to search for her.
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Character Contemplations

Bash – OK, quick question… Is the Bash and Rowan ship known as Rash? If so, utterly hilarious (and probably a very appropriate metaphor to the Mash shippers). If not, please make it so fandom. Reign is getting dark and we’re going to need some humor. It is so clear to everyone, even strangers that Bash is in love with Mary. I don’t even know where to start with Bash this week. I like that Bash is brave and gallant and wants to believe in the logical side of things and can be very pragmatic when need be. It’s strange how people Bash cares about keep getting marked by The Darkness. Does Bash or maybe his mother have a closer tie to all of this than we realize? Bash knows enough about the pagans and their practices to get by but Bash has been adamant about practicing the religion of his father. In truth though, it doesn’t seem as though Bash believes in much of anything. I do like how Rowan being snatched is going to force Bash to return to castle to seek help. Hopefully, it is from Nostradamus and maybe even Francis (if Sebastian cares for another woman then maybe just maybe it’ll get his mind off of Mary and it helps to facilitate a reconciliation between the brothers).

Catherine – Catherine is now Henry’s keeper. Who would have thought that was where their relationship was headed? Another even less likely event occurred in this episode as well; Kenna and Catherine had a borderline civil conversation. Even still another and most shocking thing on the Catherine front in this episode was Catherine basically saved Kenna’s life by sending her off and away from Henry. Catherine basically has two choices: 1) Go along to get along (yeah, right) 2) Conspire to kill Henry. I’m pretty sure she’ll be hatching a plan for his demise very shortly and I can’t wait to see Catherine scheming once more.

Francis – Well, Francis confessed. Color me surprised. I enjoyed Francis this week and it’s a relief because it’s been awhile. But they still have the problem of Francis only connecting with Mary. Sure he had a scene with Lola but it was totally awkward and borderline inappropriate in my eyes. We need Sebastian to come back and for those two to make up. Francis needs some bro time or just a guy to bond with in general. I suggested Henry last week but now, that’s a big fat no. I really do enjoy Francis and Lola interacting but it’s a little tainted now that he and Mary are wed and she’s pregnant with his child and he doesn’t know. Toby killed in his scenes with both Anna and Adelaide and I must say I do enjoy the differences in the interactions and situations. The cast just has wonderful chemistry together and just about any and everything is up on the board for a crack ship (kind of like Teen Wolf).

Greer – Greer surprised me this week. She did what was best for all parties involved and managed not to come across as a cold heartless witch in the process. I really enjoy the interactions between Leith and Greer. He genuinely makes her happy but unlike certain other ladies-in-waiting she has managed not to cause a scandal and/or shame her family. I just like that about Greer. She is the most ‘dutiful daughter’ on the show and I appreciate that. Her parents have found her a match so I hope that he is her Prince Charming because out of everyone she deserves it the most, in my opinion (now that Mary has gotten what she wants, of course). She handled the situation with Lord ‘Peppercorn’ like a boss as well. Although, I will say, Lord ‘Peppercorn’ tried his best and really stepped his game up in wooing Greer.

Henry – Well, I ask for them to give Alan van Sprang something to do and boy did they ever. I think every show knows needs a dark and menacing villain to up the ante and now Reign has one in the form of King Henry. I like my kings ruthless, callous and calculating and now Henry is right up my alley. He’s putting his foot down and taking charge and letting everyone know is boss. It’s about dang time and I just know Alan van Sprang is going to kill it (let’s just hope the character does get killed or kill anyone else for the time being, two girls in a row is quite enough for now).

Keena – Poor, Keena! Things are always blowing up in her face. I hope her sexual liaisons with King Henry are finally over now that he has a lust for choking the life out of his bed mates. I am not sure what direction Keena is now headed in. She has given away her virtue and I don’t think the king is in the mood to do her any favors in finding her a proper suitor. All of French court knows that she was the king’s mistress. Now what? Kenna has grown leaps and bounds but it’s all in negative and lascivious ways so I’m not sure what the point of all that was. She’s one of most ‘up in the air’ characters on the show and I’m eager to see what is next for her.

Lola – I still absolutely adore Lola and wish the best for this character. But man, Lola sure does reek of plot device, to what end, am I not sure. But we now know that she is definitely getting a husband and he makes her happy so we can all breathe a sigh of relief on that front (or can we?). Lola was kind of just there meandering from scene to scene. I did enjoy her interactions with Francis as I mentioned earlier and even enjoyed her getting a suitor’s attention at the Festival of Lights. It’s just too bad he was looking for a beard and not a wife. But I would hate for Lola to be in even more of a messed up situation than the one she is already in and everyone deserves to be loved so I’m glad things turned out the way they did. But I am worried that Lola will have that baby and Francis will find out it’s his.

Mary – My sweet Mary so full of grace and forgiveness… If you don’t love Mary, you need to reevaluate your life choices, dear. She’s concerned for her friend (who totally broke the girl code) and is keeping a very explosive secret from her husband. Not to mention, she has the pressures of two nations on her shoulders to produce an heir. I really loved how Mary changed her mind in the end and didn’t force Lola to marry a man who prefers the company of men…in his bed. While I don’t know if Mary will ever truly forgive and forget Lola or Francis for what they’ve done, I’m just happy it hasn’t made her bitter or vindictive.

Nostradamus – OK, I now I have to admit I was a tad bit smitten with the ‘Dr. Nostradamus: Medicine Man’ routine as he was caring for Olivia. I’m slowly becoming an uber Rossif Sutherland fangirl and I don’t even know why, they never give the poor man’s character much to do as of late. Heck, Catherine didn’t even come to see him during this episode. I keep expecting them to tie him to ‘The Darkness’ or make him a French court power player but I guess it’s not time for that just yet. I’m just so eager to explore what Nostradamus has to offer the story in Reign because as you guys know, I’m not a shipper and there hasn’t been a good sword fight in ages. The political aspect has stalled as well, so I’m going to need them to step their game up on other fronts besides the romantic angles and ‘The Darkness’ is just the creepy, supernatural element that I’m craving and we have a very good start on that front.

Awards

Character of the Night
• Grand Prize - Mary
• Runner up – Nostradamus
• Third place – Henry

Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize - Francis & Mary
• Runner up – Nostradamus & Olivia
• Third place – Francis & Lola

Line of the Night
Francis: He prefers the company of men.
Mary: Don’t you all?
Francis: …in his bed.

Scene of the Night
• Henry explains the cause of his discontent to Catherine.

Favorite lady-in-waiting
• Greer takes the cake, once again this week. I’m glad her story is picking back up.

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when Reign truly channeled its inner Gossip Girl by having a threesome. Well, really it was more of a girl on girl while Henry watched situation but still (at least they didn’t hype it for weeks and out it on a billboard)…

The ‘I Ship It Like Fedex’ Award

• Olivia and Nostradamus
Highlights

Memorable Moments
1. Bash goes down as he realizes there was something in the tea.
2. Mary walks into a bedroom filled with candles lit by Francis.
3. Keena wakes up tied to a dead hooker.
4. Keen goes to Catherine with her concerns about Henry.

Laudable Lines
1. Francis: I don’t make love to you because I want a baby. I want a baby because I love you.
2. Catherine: The king already knows, who else is there to tell?
3. Nostradamus: Evil is not a thing. It is not a condition. It is a choice.

Superb Scenes
1. Nostradamus “baptizes” Olivia anew.
2. Catherine and Kenna discuss what Henry has done to the prostitute.
3. Greer and Lola share a moment alone together.
4. Francis confesses his tryst with Lola to Mary.

Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Greer asked Lord Castleroy to give Leith an apprenticeship
• Lola’s suitor preferred the company of men – in his bed
• Reign gave us a medieval threesome

Lowlights

• The Pagans storyline has been very dreadful up until this point. I mean sure let’s delve into the Protestant vs. Catholic issue because it is very important and a driving force underneath a lot things in the story but throwing “pagans” into the mix as well is just a bit much. I really wish they could have brought in the supernatural elements without this plot point.

Miscellaneous

WTF
• The Darkness is real and corporeal (maybe)
• A threesome, really?
•Bash gets trussed up like a roasted pig

Burning Questions
• Is Henry mentally ill?
• Is Henry physically ill, that is causing some temporary imbalance in brain chemistry?
• Will Henry end up killing Kenna?
• Will Catherine hatch a plan to have Henry murdered to stop the beginnings of his reign of terror?
• When is Clarissa going to pop up?
• Is this story truly going mostly by the history books? If so, they are going to have to drag a lot of things out. If not, they are going to have ‘jump the shark’ and soon.
• Is ‘The Darkness’ a vampire?

Style Spotlight: Mary’s gold dress with the gold embroidery around the neck (I think I saw something similar at Urban Outfitters last season. Let me know if you get that joke or not in the comments, will you?)

Tasty Tidbit: Remember when Kenna (of all people) hit the nail on the head about what was going on with Henry? I think Henry is going through a mid-life crisis either that or he misses the balance that having Diane around afforded him. I’ve been saying to bring Diane back; so maybe, just maybe Catherine will try that option. If Diane comes back to the castle, surely, Bash won’t be far behind.

History Lesson: If the show is staying true to the history books for the most part then we know that Henry’s “accidental” death is looming. Also we should be seeing Nostradamus have visions about this because the quatrain that “predicted” King Henry II’s death is the one that made him famous.

Side Notes: I just have to say, I really love Reign because every week I watch the show, I find more and more to love and less and less that I don’t like and that is truly a spectacular feat because I tend to be the opposite with most things on The CW and well TV in general. A guilty pleasure has evolved into a fully vested fangirl pursuit and I think Royals are an amazing fandom. I’m glad I have a chance to be a part of it.

Grade: A

Friendly Reminder
Next week’s episode is entitled ‘Monsters’ and I’m pumped to be diving into the supernatural element that they have been dangling like a carrot since the start of the season…

Don’t forget to watch and live tweet with the show (@CWReign) & me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.

Shameless Plugs & Self-Promotion
If you like Arrow, Awkward, Beauty and the Beast, Bitten, Continuum, Drop Dead Diva, House of Cards and/or Teen Wolf be sure to check out my blog.
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Well, now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all interesting Reign articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work.

About the Author
Lilith Hellfire is a 27 year old female who currently resides in NYC, NY. She spends her nights either blogging, DJing or podcasting. She's a rabid fangirl of the following shows: Arrow, Beauty and The Beast, The Originals, Justified, Sons of Anarchy and Revenge. She writes about Beauty and the Beast and Reign for Spoiler TV.

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