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TV Rundown: Special Edition: Hiatus Refresher | 'Reign'

Major Episode Developments: Mary sealed her betrayal of Francis by sleeping with Conde, Catherine learned of her daughter-in-law’s affair, Francis’ emotional turmoil manifested in a physical ailment, Bash was brutally injured and Leith worked to have Greer’s marriage annulled so they could wed.

The Cliffhanger: Francis collapsed, bleeding from his ears, as was foreseen in Nostradamus’ lethal prophecy. 

The Rundown: Mary’s character has been taken to the bounds of redemption. When she cheated on Francis she murmured about this being her “choice”. Wasn’t it her choice when she chose to be with Francis? How is being with Conde a sign of independent strength? Her behavior has become so flagrantly irrational that it speaks to an unsound mind, along the lines of Catherine’s spell earlier in the season.

If the thought of Francis’ impending doom isn’t enough to jolt her to reality and she doesn’t so much as offer him an apology for her betrayal, her remaining virtue will be in tatters. If Francis dies she played a role in exacerbating the condition that led to his demise. Her root-ability factor has already been severely damaged and without a strong show of remorse, her place as a heroine will have a dark shadow cast over it, from here out.

The Potential Outcome: “Reign” is in a bind when it comes to the fate of Francis. As a historical drama, they are bound to a certain level of accuracy, though they’ve played rather liberally with the historical record so far. In real life, Francis died at the age of 16 (an age he’s already well surpassed on the series). As a result of his untimely death; he was only king for a year. In the series’ mythos they’ve been dangling his fate as a part of the integral prophecy plot during the first season. 

The chances of the series going through with his death at this particular juncture are iffy. Francis and his portrayer Toby Regbo are fan favorites to the nth degree. Parting with him sooner than is necessary could throw a series that is already juggling a potential shake-up, into premature fan upheaval. There seems to be two schools of thought coming into Thursday’s episode.

The first is that Francis will parish in the upcoming episode and the other is that he will die in the season finale. Unfortunately, history dictates an inevitably sad end for the king will have to play out at some point. The latter timetable would grant “Reign” the time necessary for a believable Frary reunion, thus rehabbing a lead heroine in desperate need of redemption and give fans a little longer with a very popular tent pole of the series.