Reign Report: "Long Live the King"
That return? A Lola with two brain cells to rub together. After a normal morning of her husband inexplicably loving to chop wood and hanging his axe blade-out right at neck level on the mantel, like you do, there's a sudden revelation! Julien runs in and explains breathlessly that he's actually Remy, Julien's personal secretary, and Julien died in a fire that Remy completely didn't set, he just took Julien's identity because why wouldn't you if it was right there, you know, so don't even think about how it sounds really like I murdered him, okay, just help me get through this unexpected visit from Julien's uncle who arrived looking for answers, all right, snookums?
Heeeeey, there's the Lola who blackmailed Queen Catherine, the only character in a lesser position of power ever to successfully do so! There's the Lola who replies that actually, given this wealth of new and extremely murdery-sounding information, she isn't sure she wants Uncle Suspicious to go anywhere and leave her alone with such an extremely sketchy guy!
And there's the Lola who ends up impaling Uncle Suspicious on the axe in self-defense, because this show is honestly the most amazing show. ("We'll need to make sure she just accidentally shoves him onto that super convenient axe blade, because it will have it be something where she didn't ACTUALLY kill him, that would be weird." "Greer actually killed somebody. Also Mary stabbed that guy. Plus Kenna probably got at least one man killed indirectly through her general ineptitude." "That's true. Huh. Are these women killing too many people?" "...Nah.")
The best part of this is that she spares not a moment on the What Have I Done panic. Instead, good old Lola is really back, and as she looks down at the corpse her first thought is, "This guy would make a decent corpse of you if we just burned the whole house down and left Julien's signet ring on the body and pretended he never made it to the house to begin with." Lola, your pregnancy bullshit has been the pits, I have really missed you, welcome back.
This also neatly solves that question I've been asking about how we're going to handle the usual CW relationship carousels given that Greer is the only unmarried handmaiden left. In the most amazingly soapy way possible, Lola is single and ready to mingle all over again.
In other, less interesting subplots, Bash rescues the child of the priest he killed in "Chosen", which is a subplot I do not care about at all, whoops.
Here, Kenna tries to get information out of the child, as Bash sidles quietly backwards, suitably humiliated for trying to enter a room where Detective Kenna's conducting an investigation. (She and the kid end up leaving town for plot reasons, while Bash stays behind to find the Darkness for real this time, about which we have no indicators he is close to doing, except that Nostradamus has joined him, which means his quest is now both grimmer and more inaccurate.)
Pictured: Nostradamus, still not having talked to Catherine since she put a snake in Olivia's luggage. I would just really like for them to have a fight about that or a tensely calm conversation about that or really just indicate that they occupy the same dimension. I know this show gets amnesia about people's characters and relationships, but it feels really weird not to have them dealing with any of this – Catherine's communion poison must have come from somewhere, and she said she's already tried her collection – and I miss them hanging out.)
Meanwhile, Henry is all over the place. Alan Van Sprang actually gets in a really nice scene discussing the time his dad traded him as a hostage (rude), and you can see here that 1) Henry is very upset and 2) that turtleneck sweater is paying off in cozy comfort.
But his real plan is more twisted, as he tells his ghostly tennis partner that he plans to kill Francis and marry Mary for himself and take England that way.
Ghostly Tennis Guy speaks for all of us.
Francis is trying to solve Dad with a little father-son bonding, which is not working, but I capped this welcome-home speech purely for what's going on with the lady behind him:
That tissue-paper collar is amazing. (Every time I see an extra I think about how it was probably for the best that nobody on the costume team was aiming for historical accuracy, because the costumes as they are have become Free People/ready-to-wear white noise to me in a way I would just not be able to achieve if anybody was dressed like this.)
Catherine is hardly here this week, except to be smarter than everyone and completely right about poisoning King Henry despite being overruled, but she still walks away with the entire episode in a brief scene where she sets the Duke of Guise up with a Flying Squad Lieutenant with an amazing profile, and he dismisses her in favor of the kitchen maid serving him. Of course, she's also working for Catherine because the Duke must be new. She reports back to Catherine with glorious specifics – the Duke didn't give up much, but she bedded one of his underlings in the morning to get the details, which frankly shows excellent initiative and I think we're looking at a new Lieutenant whenever promotions roll around. Catherine must agree with me, as for a moment she's perhaps happier than we have ever seen her:
"Men," she sighs in an actual line. "It always works."
Next Week: Honestly, I'm not particularly bothered; the show giveth and the show taketh away. Catherine will be the best at whatever is happening whenever she is present and usually when she's not present, and that is all I need.