'Reign' Fav's Fate Hangs in the Balance, Tom Continues his Mission on 'The Blacklist'

Reign returned with “The Price” and made quite a few waves in the process. While the previous episode focused solely on French court, the follow up returned to the third season’s splintered focus between England and France. The result was a pretty even episode which featured Elizabeth considering a new suitor/potential husband, her continued fixation on Sir Robert Dudley and the revelation of a shocking rumor that’d been making the rounds.

Back in French court, Mary’s mother beckoned for reinforcements in Scotland to which Francis consented, Catherine began her quest to secure the vote as regent and newlyweds Lola and Narcisse happily honeymooned until a deception threatened to ruin their bliss. All in all, there was a lot of activity.

You’re not alone if you felt like you might’ve missed something when the episode opened with a rather vigorous Francis. After being near death in “Extreme Measures” he’d rebounded between episodes thanks to an off-screen Austrian physician whose regiment of herbal supplements had apparently worked wonders.

When it appeared he was on his way to a miraculous recovery, he relapsed and at one point seemed to have died; only to be “saved by the spell” after Bash (at the request of Charles) brought in his ex-girlfriend/possible crazy witch to perform some magic and bring Francis back to life. The good news is that it worked.

The bad news is that it obviously won’t last long. “Reign” is making a bold move, lengthening the storyline of Francis’ demise. On one side of the coin, it’s giving a fan favorite more time to remain on the show. On the flip side, it’s risking a major loss of emotional impact when the actual moment, eventually arrives. It may not hit with the same resonance.

As for the supernatural portion of the episode, “Reign” has always been good about giving viewers two explanations for events that could be taken as preternatural and the case of Francis’ “resurrection”, proved to be no exception. While it appeared Francis had died, he might’ve just lapsed into unconsciousness.

No one was seen checking for a pulse or confirming his death and when Bash thought Delphine had died trading her life for Francis’, she was quickly revealed to be alive. The timing of Mary’s mother’s death can be chalked up to sheer coincidence.

She had already revealed she was dying last season and why would Delphine target her for a death swap? She never even knew the woman. In closing, it makes sense it was all an incident of magical timing and not intervention.

Burning Questions/Side Notes: Mary saying that she’d trade her life for Francis’, went a long way in redeeming her. When Mary and Francis were discussing their children, they mentioned the name of their son would be James.

In real life, Mary Queen of Scots would go on to have a son (by Henry Stuart) named James and *historical spoiler alert* he became the King of England following Elizabeth I's death. Narcisse needs to come clean about the rat.

The ramifications of his trickery will only escalate out of proportion as more time goes by. Surely, he’s smart enough to realize this. How on earth will Catherine overcome the awful deed, a crucial voter is justly holding against her? Perhaps, she will call on some of Delphine’s “magic”.

One dead giveaway that Francis’ time hadn’t come to pass was that Catherine was nowhere near him and it’s hard to believe that will be the case when he actually dies. Elizabeth needs to grow past her tired obsession with the rather unlikable Sir Dudley. Move on already! 

The Blacklist featured one of its most outlandish Blacklister plots yet, with a sci-fi leaning storyline about cryogenic freezing, brain harvesting and a bunch of other stuff that was hard to decipher. As cockamamie and off the wall as that plot was; Tom’s storyline found coherent footing as he was forced into a heinous corner that caused him to take another innocent life to save Liz.

Tom seems stuck in a pattern of taking two redemptive steps forward and three back. It’s a problem that seems primed to come back and haunt him.

The teaser of Asher’s fiancรฉ telling him how much Asher meant to her wasn’t accidental. One should expect to her to show up in the future ready to wreak havoc and claim revenge. On a performance note, Ryan Eggold portrayed Tom’s conflicted pathos and bitter resignation at having to do another unconscionable act with tremendous conviction. Were it not for his performance, Tom could easily be perceived as a full blown psychopath and thanks to Eggold, he's someone far more complex and amiable.

The writers have made it clear that Tom’s main goal is survival and thus far, the only person he’s been willing to supplant that goal for is Liz. The question posed in the teaser for the next episode is whether Liz returns his fealty. She’s already broken her word to Red by contacting him so all indications seem to point to “yes”.

Another question is what exactly Tom knows about Red. There was a hint during last season’s returning episode from winter hiatus, “Leonard Caul (No. 62)” that indicated he knew a lot more about Red than he’s been willing to say. So what’s been holding him back?

Burning Questions/Side Notes: The end scene with Tom calling his takedown of Karakurt’s men like a pool game, marked another stellar action sequence. It could’ve lasted a bit longer though. Was “brain drain” last week’s television phrase of the week? Should “The Blacklist” continue experimenting with more science-fiction inspired storylines or was once more than enough?

[Featured Image by The CW]