Reign – Blood in the Water
By: Stacy Miller
The episode opens with the return of Queen Leesa of Spain (Anastasia Phillips) who has arrived in France because of the engagement of her brother King Charles (Spencer MacPherson) and Nicole (Ann Pirvu). Leesa says that if Charles intends to go through with the marriage against Spain’s wishes then she has no choice but to stay for the king’s wedding. This makes Claude (Rose Williams) angry as she was almost sent to a nunnery for following her heart when she wanted to marry Leith. Leesa says she has brought France a present: A wagon attached to the royal carriage full of heretics. The Queen of Spain tells Catherine (Megan Follows) that she thinks the trials will be good for France. As they stroll through the hall, Catherine questions her daughter about her sudden change of tactics in her seemingly support of Charles’s choice in a bride. Leesa says that she realized that France is not worth her effort, she’ll leave it to her mother. Leesa will just enjoy her holiday there. Henry (Nick Slater) and Nicole (Ann Pirvu) talk about her engagement. He wants her to call it off, but Nicole tells him that she can’t as Charles can make her queen of France someday so she can’t be free to love him (Henry).
In Scotland, Mary (Adelaide Kane) tells Greer (Celina Sinden) that she has lifted James’ (Dan Jeannotte) banishment so he can return to court. Although the Privy Council has vacant seats, Mary is not calling her brother back to fill one. She wants to make him regent so James can look after her son’s interests in case something happens to her during childbirth. Although she knows that her friend is trying to keep the peace with Darnley (Will Kemp), Greer thinks there’s something Mary needs to know.
After speaking with Greer, Mary goes to see Darnley. Greer told her about the whoring, drunken spectacle he made by stumbling the halls last night. Darnley doesn’t even remember drinking. He tells Mary that he hasn’t been feeling well and has been itchy. When he removes his shirt, Mary notices the legions on her husband’s back. She recalls seeing something like them when she was a child at the convent: Darnley has syphilis. Mary urges her husband to seek treatment if he wants to be in their son’s life. Darnley agrees to get medical help, but Bothwell (Adam Croasdale) is less than sympathetic for Darnley and his illness, especially after all he’s done against Mary. “I have nothing to offer you as a woman,” Mary says, telling Bothwell that it’s dangerous for them to be together. She knows that her enemies will be watching her closely so she can’t give them reason for gossip. All Bothwell can be to her is her bodyguard and trusted friend.
Back in France, Claude is angry that Charles has gone back on his word when he tells her and Luc (Steve Lund) that he can’t grant their annulment. Charles explains that as his fiancée is a Protestant, he can’t be asking both Spain and the Vatican for a favor. Luc encourages Claude to go to Leith, for as much as he loves her, he knows her heart belongs to another.
Lady Lennox (Nola Augustson) is furious that Mary sent Darnley to a hospital to be treated for a ghastly disease…what if someone gets wind of it? While Mary is explaining herself, she suddenly doubles over in pain. Lady Lennox orders a servant to fetch the midwife “The child is coming!”
Meanwhile over in England, Jane’s (Megan Hutchings) parents question her about the jewels and French cheese she shows them. Jane tells them that they are gifts from Queen Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) as she and the queen have grown quite close. Jane then leaves for work. Elizabeth is sitting in her bed chamber still grieving Gideon’s death. It has been forty-seven days since Gideon was poisoned. Elizabeth comments how the only people who knew about her (Elizabeth) feelings for Gideon were the archduke and Jane. The Queen of England has ruled Jane out since her servant knew what Elizabeth would do to her family. So, that leaves the archduke. As revenge, Elizabeth plans to steal the archduke’s Portuguese ship so he’ll lose the treasures he needs for his family’s fortune.
In Scotland, Mary is having a hard labor. Greer is by her side and Lady Lennox is watching in the distance. Mary says that she can feel that there is something wrong. The doctor tells her that she is losing too much blood. “What happens to me doesn’t matter, if it comes down to a choice between me and the baby, you chose the baby. Do you understand?” Mary demands the doctor.
Back in France, Leesa seeks out Henry and tells him the real reason she came is to hand him the throne. Leesa has arranged for a fleet of Spanish ships in the harbor to force Charles to stand down. Henry goes to Nicole and asks her to run away with him. Nicole is torn. When Henry tells her that he loves her, she finally agrees. Henry reminds Nicole to pack the corset he likes.
In England, Jane returns home from work to find Narcisse (Craig Parker) waiting but her parents gone. It seems that Lord Narcisse has sent them away (a/k/a kidnapped them) to get Jane to continue to do his bidding. He wants the servant to convince Elizabeth that the archduke is guilty of Gideon’s murder so Elizabeth will then order the archduke’s assassination. That way, suspicion will shift from the real culprits…them. You see, Narcisse gave Jane the poison and she was the one who killed Gideon.
Lady Lennox goes to see Darnley and tells him that Mary is in a difficult labor. She urges him to get the Privy Council on his side and get them to support him as regent. Darnley tells his mother how he’s been seeing Keira (Sara Garcia). Lady Lennox says that if seeing Keira makes him happy, it’s okay. She just wants him fight for the power who’s owed.
In France, Charles learns of the Spanish ships in the harbor and confronts his sister Leesa. He knows that Nicole is not in her room and reasons that Henry has kidnapped her. Calling Leesa a traitor to France, King Charles orders her taken to the dungeon and thrown in with the heretics.
Mary’s labor continues and she orders the doctor to save her child. She wants Greer to look after her son, but Bothwell tells her not to give up; she has to fight. “Your fate is our fate,” Bothwell whispers to an unconscious Mary, “Come back to me. Mary, come back and meet your child.” With his words, Mary awakens and gives birth to her son. Cradling her son, Mary tells Bothwell that even though she felt herself slipping away, she heard his voice and it brought her back. As there will be gossip no matter what she does, Mary has decided that she wants to spend her life with the ones she loves. And with that, Mary and Bothwell kiss. Their kiss is interrupted by Greer. She tells Mary that while she was giving birth, Lady Lennox arranged for the remaining seats of the Privy Council to be filled. As she could only do that with a royal signature, Mary realizes that Lady Lennox convinced Darnley to sign the document. She hopes that maybe if she talks with Darnley, she can reach him.
In England, Elizabeth tells Jane she had books delivered to her (Jane) family but no one was home. When Sir Francis Drake (Richard Fleeshman) enters, Jane leaves the room so he and the queen can talk in private. Elizabeth tells Sir Drake about the archduke’s Portuguese ships as she’s aware he has experience in these matters. Sir Drake tells Elizabeth he can steal the cargo, but his price is ten percent of the haul.
As Lady Lennox is addressing the Privy Council members elect urging their support for their king; they must make sure that the well-being of the heir of Scotland is in his father’s hands and not Queen Mary’s. Mary enters and Lady Lennox asks the men to leave. Mary wants to speak with her husband alone, but Darnley refuses. He tells Mary of the motion that will be passed tomorrow granting him stewardship over the child. He vows to cut her out of their son’s life as she tried to do to him. Mary asks Darnley to be reasonable. He reminds that she wasn’t reasonable when he wanted his fair share. And Lady Lennox says that if Mary tells the world that Darnley has syphilis, they’ll say the king got it from her, which will call every move she’s made into question. Mary pleads with Darnley to reconsider but doubles over in pain. “It looks like you’re the one who needs help Mary, you don’t look well,” Darnley says before he leaves the room.
Claude cries to Catherine that she wrote Leith a letter and found out that he is getting married.
In England, Sir Francis Drake has good and bad news for Queen Elizabeth about the seizing of the archduke’s ship. The good news is he got the cargo. The bad news is that he ran afoul of Spanish warships in the attempt and had to sink two when they began firing on him. Now, Elizabeth faces a possible war with Spain! Later, Elizabeth confronts Jane about working with the person who killed Gideon. She orders her interrogators to take Jane to the tower for further questioning.
In France, Catherine visits Leesa in the dungeon and tells her that King Philip of Spain, Leesa’s husband, is using the Spanish ships she hoped to use to overthrow Charles in a war against England. Leesa begs her mother to get her out of there. Catherine tells Leesa she can get her out, but Leesa will owe France a long list of favors.
Mary writes Elizabeth a letter asking her cousin to protect her son if something happens to her. Mary promises that Elizabeth’s throne won’t be in danger by her and if Elizabeth decides to remain a virgin queen, all Mary asks is that she leave her (Elizabeth) throne to Mary’s son. After she finishes the letter, Mary gets some rest. Darnley arrives and orders the servant to leave the nursery so he can spend time alone with his son. Darnley tells the baby that they (he and Keira) will take good care of him. We see Keira by Darnley’s side.
In France at the dungeon, Catherine asks one of the heretics, Emanuelle (Catherine Berube), to use a spell from the dark magic book against Nicole.
As the episode closes, Mary is horrified to discover Darnley took her son!