TV Rundown: Oct 18 - 23 | Francis Makes Plans on 'Reign' & Tom Rushes to the Rescue on 'The Blacklist'

Reign The best episode of the season so far, also felt like a defining one for the entire series. Focused entirely on French court, the action mainly revolved around Francis' attempts to resolve the issues that will be facing his loved ones when he dies. When Mary failed to negotiate a deal with Conde’s brother King Antoine, she had to call upon her greatest frenemy to get the job done. Catherine found redemption (or as close as she can get to it) by putting her own life on the line to secure her son’s thrown.


The episode gave Mary and Catherine an opportunity to showcase why they’re one of the best female duos on TV. At each other’s throats one minute and then showing each other a begrudging gesture of respect the next, their dynamic keeps viewers on their toes. The final moments saw them reach a truce of sorts as they made peace for the sake of Francis’ final days and the country.

Mary realized her faults more in this episode, an improvement over her haughtier attitude last week. Antoine intimating that Conde was hurt as much as Francis in Mary’s ill-advised affair was laughable. The only person Mary owed her allegiance to was her husband and Conde knew that when he tried to break her marriage up. He got what he deserved.

The heavy mood of Francis’ impending death colored “Extreme Measures” without overshadowing it and the result was a somber and poignant episode that brought a lot of genuine emotion. Most of that emotion came with Francis making arrangements for his and Lola’s son, whilst discussing the fatherly figure he wanted for Jean. Francis let her know, Narcisse wasn’t to be a part of the picture and he gave sound reasons for why. Lola’s response was staggeringly mature, as was Narcisse’s who didn’t put up a big fuss when she broke things off between them.

Thankfully, the setback in their relationship was only temporary. The show came up with an inventive way to change Francis’ mind without either Lola or Narcisse throwing a fit to get their way. An organic demonstration of Narcisse’s inner good side was enough to win Francis over and a wedding between the rogue and the lady, quickly followed. It was a happy ending and well handled resolution to a storyline that brewed for the perfect amount of time.

Side Notes/Burning Questions:
Where’s Kenna? Will Bash sacrifice another life to save Francis? Did anyone miss English court? The ending scene of Catherine taking the king’s throne was an electrifying moment that changed the entire momentum of the show, bringing it full circle. One step forward, two steps back for Leith and Claude.


The Blacklist 
The NBC series continued its streak of high octane episodes in an explosive hour that included a compelling blacklister, Red and Liz bonding, Dembe finally escaping his captors and Tom assuming a new identity to find Karakurt and save Liz. While there were quite a few surprising developments in “The Djinn (No. 43)”, it was the last minute twist concerning the Djinn’s true identity that earned the episode’s biggest shocker. Liz not allowing them onto the helicopter was a bit harsh, given what she’d just found out. It’s not the first time her judgment against a blacklister has been brutal, so it certainly wasn’t out of character.

Early in the first season she wouldn’t allow a vaccine to be used on a child because his mad scientist father had killed people to procure it. The child presumably died as a result. If he didn’t, no follow-up indicated otherwise. The writers kind of left that one up to viewers’ imaginations. Punishing a kid for the evil actions of their father really didn’t win Liz a lot of brownie points. Similarly her judgment against the Djinn, who’d suffered because of their father’s evil doings hit with a familiar punch of distaste.

Elsewhere, Dembe made his great escape alongside Mr. Vargas, only to be double crossed when he thought he’d made it to freedom. There was an inkling of suspicion when Vargas conveniently showed up without much physical harm and there turned out to be a reason for it. That being said, it was really surprising when he was revealed to be a turncoat. Something about Paul Reubens’ performance makes one willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The unfettered highlight of the episode came with Tom taking action, donning his new alias and vowing to save Liz. How about that phone call between the estranged spouses? It was everything this viewer has been waiting for; romantic, bold and seasons in the making. Liz broke Red’s command to ignore Tom and there will undoubtedly be fallout for that. As previously stated, Tom is Red’s biggest threat when it comes to influencing Liz and it won’t be long before Red fully realizes that.

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Did Liz do the right thing by not allowing the Djinn on board the helicopter? How was Tom able to afford all of his alias’ new threads? Did Liz’s greatest fantasy foreshadow the closing moments of the series? The opening scene which found Aram helping Liz and Red was terrific. Harold’s expression when Tom started conjuring his alter ego was priceless. Did anyone else catch the picture hanging in Aram’s apartment of him and Samar? They’re official!

Photo Credit: "Reign"/CW

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