Reign – The Shakedown
By: Stacy Miller
The episode opens with a family sitting down to dinner. As the father is saying grace, an earthquake hits. Mary (Adelaide Kane) talks with a lord about getting the Privy Council’s support in obtaining relief funds for the families in the region who suffered from the earthquake. The lord hints that the crown (Mary) has squandered the funds already set up for such efforts. Mary insists on the contrary. John Knox (Jonathan Goad) appears to taunt Mary. “Reverend Knox, are you here to bring comfort to the suffering or suffering to me?” Mary asks sarcastically. Knox gloats that it’s just a matter of time before the people of Scotland realize how incapable she is of running the country.
In France, Charles (Spencer MacPherson) and Henry (Nick Slater) continue their competition of superiority. This time Charles, an expert at archery, shoots his brother in the hand with an arrow.
Mary comes to visit Darnley (Will Kemp), who is keeping busy with a Russian whore. Mary tells Darnley that she needs to talk with him alone so the woman leaves the room. Mary confronts Darnley about taking the Scottish funds from the treasury when the Scottish people are suffering. Darnley tells Mary that he has the money and will return it to her. But on one condition, he wants to return to court. “People can’t bow to a king they can’t see,” Darnley says, wanting the respect the visibility of being king gives. If she doesn’t agree to his terms, she might as well be murdering her own people. “The fate of the nation lies in your hands,” Darnley tells his wife. Mary tells Greer (Celina Sinden), Bothwell (Adam Croasdell) and David Rizzio (Andrew Shaver) about her plan to throw Darnley a party and then take the money back from him while he’s occupied. A supportive Greer tells Mary that she’ll talk to the kitchen staff about the menu, she thinks roast pig is appropriate. Bothwell knows that Mary has no choice but to bring Darnley back to court. He just hopes she can get him out of her life.
Gideon (Ben Geurens) invites Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) to his getaway in the country away from prying eyes. King Charles takes a meeting in which he’s told about English nobles that are refusing to pay taxes. His solution? To round up all the tax offenders and put them in debtor’s prison. Catherine (Megan Follows) and Narcisse (Craig Parker) hear Charles’ order and Henry tells them that Charles is out of control.
Claude (Rose Williams) finds the spell book in Catherine’s bedchamber and questions her mother about it. Catherine assures her daughter that she will take care of it. They then talk about how Claude appears to be developing an attraction to her husband Luc (Steve Lund). Catherine reminds that she promised Luc that she would give him an heir to help carry on his family name. So, Claude goes to her husband’s bed chamber and they begin to make love.
It’s the party from Hell, let the discomfort begin! Darnley delivers a rousing speech about how when he heard of the tragedy in the Highlands he cut short his vacation at his family’s home to rush to his wife’s side. “It is our duty to act quickly,” Darnley tells those gathered. “I’m proud to be king to this beautiful country as I am husband to my beautiful queen.” Darnley then surprises Mary with a kiss. “Was that really necessary?” Mary asks afterwards. Darnley told her it was as she announced she was pregnant they must show that they are a loving couple in order for the people to believe that the child is his. Plus, if Lord Bothwell didn’t like it so much the better. Mary and Bothwell then sneak off to get the Scottish funds while Greer is to keep Darnley occupied with drink.
Taking on the personas of an ordinary couple, Gideon and Elizabeth enjoy a stroll along the coast. Unfortunately, their playful moment is witnessed by servant Jane (Megan Hutchings). Jane explains she had some time off so she went to visit family. She begs them to let her go and swears on her life that she will say nothing. But Elizabeth clobbers Jane over the head with a boat oar. “She saw too much,” Elizabeth tells Gideon.
Darnley notices that both Mary and Bothwell seems to be absent from the party and questions Greer. Meanwhile, Gideon urges Elizabeth not to have an innocent girl killed because Jane happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Elizabeth tells Gideon she can’t risk losing everything.
Bothwell tells Mary to get the money safely away from Darnley and he’ll deal with her husband. Mary worries about the danger he’ll be in if Darnley finds him alone in the room and the money gone, but leaves at his urging. Darnley arrives and tells Bothwell that he put him in a difficult situation: Go after Mary or deal with him (Bothwell). Darnley thinks killing Bothwell will be sweeter knowing that he is willing to die because he loves Mary. “Give him a beat,” Darnley orders his guards.
Gideon reminds Elizabeth that even if Jane is killed, she won’t feel any safer as there is danger around every corner. Elizabeth hides in another room with a gagged Jane when men arrive and question Gideon about a missing girl (Jane) they are searching for. They tell him that they noticed a scuffle on the beach, but Gideon insists there’s no missing girl there. Elizabeth warns Jane that if she thinks of breathing a word about what she saw she (Elizabeth) will hunt her down.
In Scotland, Darnely tells Mary that he beat Bothwell within an inch of his life (liar, you had your guards do it). He adds that Bothwell admitted to his face that he is in love with Mary and can tell by the look on her face when she heard Bothwell was hurt that she feels the same. Mary assures Darnley that the child is his, nothing ever happened with Bothwell. In fact, the only reason he returned to court was to protect her from him. In that case, Darnley snips that he wishes Bothwell luck.
Narcisse gives his son a letter that his men intercepted. It is a correspondence in which Claude is telling Leith that once she gives Luc an heir, she will go off and meet him. Narcisse tells Luc that this isn’t the kind of marriage that he wanted for him.
Catherine is shocked when Charles returns from negotiations with the non-tax paying nobles with their heads on a pike! Instead of peaceful negotiations, Charles proved to be a violent king. Luc confronts Claude about her letter to Leith in which she vowed to another man that she’d never love her husband. Claude admits to writing the letter, but states that she feels guilty about it now because she realizes she has feelings for him, too. Luc assures Claude that she’ll be able to keep her promise to Leith because from now on their marriage will be a political statement. Charles tells Catherine that he had the nobles killed because he didn’t want to appear a weak king.
In England, Elizabeth is surprised to see Jane at the castle. The girl tells her queen that she had nowhere else to go and continues to assure Elizabeth that she can trust her to keep her secret. However, we then see Jane writing a mysterious letter in which tells someone that now that she has Elizabeth’s trust, they can learn so much more.
In France, Henry tells Nicole (Ann Pirvu) that she’s wasting her time with the wrong man and he’s not talking about Charles, he’s talking about Narcisse. Nicole asks Henry who the right man is. Mary visits Bothwell in the prison cell in which Darnley had him imprisoned. Bothwell tells Mary that she has to get rid of Darnley. Mary is not ready to talk about assassinating the king, but she knows that she’ll figure out a solution as long as she has Bothwell by her side.
As the episode closes, it appears that Darnley has formed an unholy alliance with John Knox to take down Mary.