TV Rundown: Feb 8 - 13 | Part 2: Power Struggles on 'Reign', 'Blacklist' Stalls & 'Vampire Diaries' Loses Again

Reign | Narcisse was a busy man in “The End of Mourning” as he made huge inroads into reclaiming his status by finagling a save for Antoine and an unwitting Conde, as the brothers stood accused of poisoning the king. It deserves reiterating that Craig Parker (Narcisse) is an absolute delight as the machinating Narcisse. He and Toby Regbo (Francis) played especially well off each other in the episode’s opening; as Francis entertainingly conveyed his irritation with his adversary.

Francis’ romantic rival, Conde, needs to back off on the love proclamations. Not only is he jeopardizing Mary’s reputation by his continued flirtation with her, he is also taking advantage of her vulnerability to do so. He feigned sadness over Frary’s recent troubles and still continues to pursue her, rendering his protest a falsehood. The Conde/Mary connection is heavily reminiscent of hers and Bash’s. Why she could let go of him and not Conde is a strange query.

Despite some major dramas in the past, her yearning for Francis has always superseded any interest she’s had in other suitors. Why not now? Given the fragile state of the Frary union, one would think that Catherine would’ve stepped in by now. While it’s understandable she’s been sidetracked by her poisoning, the meddlesome mom should be sensing something is amiss with her favorite son’s marriage. At this point, a heart to heart talk between the two queens is a must.

In an unexpected and humorous twist, Greer became an incidental Madame. Whether she embraces this role as a possible route back to court should be interesting. The one glaring omission in all of this, were the whereabouts of Castleroy. Shouldn’t they be leaning on each other now? We don’t even know how he feels in the aftermath of his entire life being upended. Plus, Greer shouldn’t be running around all by her lonesome. She is a married woman and one would think it’d invite further scandal on her name to be cavorting around alone. One can hope a Greer/Castleroy reunion is not far off.
The Blacklist | “Ruslan Denisov” was one of the most convoluted and hard to follow episodes of the series. After making some headway with the overarching storyline in the two-part Super Bowl special, any progress made into the mystery of the Liz/Red connection and the fulcrum was relegated to the back burner. Lately, "The Blacklist" seems to have become too consumed in its procedural component.

Taking down the bad guy of the week has its appeal but what made season 1 so compelling was that it all took a back seat to the character driven stories surrounding Red, Liz, Tom and fellow team members. This episode felt like “Captain Planet” on steroids and not in a good way. Red is starting to give off the vibe that he’s a fringe political radical as opposed to a government rogue. Something about it rings hollow to the character audiences were introduced to last season.

The Vampire Diaries | Full disclosure, I could’ve watched last week’s episode and chose not too after getting spoiled online about the fate of Mama Forbes. All interest in seeing the episode was subsequently vanquished. Why TVD? Why? What purpose does this storyline serve? Are TPTB satisfied now that 99% of the show’s characters are orphans?

Instead of killing off the latest super villain nuisance (Kai) or pointless hanger-on (Enzo), the show has went above and beyond to kill off every character’s parental unit. It’s revolting. Calling it now, Liv’s dad will be the next and last to go, for a while. Have never been more tempted to stop watching this show.