TV Rundown: Week of Jan 10 | 'Reign' Holds Court & 'The Blacklist' Amazes - Plus, Thoughts on 'Teen Wolf' S6B

Reign kept the plates of intrigue spinning with another dazzling installment. English and French court shared the hour and each location was entertaining in its own right. First up: English court, where Queen Elizabeth ruthlessly schemed to finally unite herself and Robert Dudley in matrimony following a shocking discovery; only to be thwarted by Dudley’s crazed wife, Amy.

Hopefully she delivered the death blow to this coupling. There is just nothing to root for where Elizabeth and Dudley are concerned. If they wanted to be together, he should’ve been patient and never married another.

Elizabeth should be smart enough to see through the shallowness of his devotion. Both come off as terrible people, not tragically star-crossed lovers. Everything that’s foiled their union has been by the extension of their own hand and they really got what they deserved by the time this episode finished. 

Over in France, Mary was mulling over her decision to wed Don Carlos. Conflicted by the moral implications of her marriage and the fact she didn’t love him. Well Don Carlos ended up making her decision a lot easier when it was revealed he’d been faking the impact of his injuries. Turns out he was plotting to be named King of Scotland and remain so, even if Mary died without an heir. His ambitious grab for power was eventually upset by Gideon.

The best moment of Don Carlos’ downfall came when Catherine banished him from court, in the deliciously dismissive manner only she can deliver. After last week’s episode found Narcisse’s plans completely derailed, one would’ve expected a similar action to be taken with him. However, he remained at his post as regent. One can most likely chalk this up to him not actually being the mastermind behind Catherine’s frame job. The investigation into who was actually behind the setup seemed to stall in “Wedlock”, which was a bit surprising.

Speaking of surprising, Claude and Leith’s blossoming relationship continues to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Claude’s amusing spoiled princess routine was yet again stopped in its tracks by the dignified Leith, who made it clear he wasn’t going to take any belittling guff from the lady. The pair’s eventual reunion was positively splendid, as was the stunning gown Claude wore throughout the first half of the episode.

The costume department at “Reign” never ceases to amaze! Claude’s character as a whole has been highly engaging since her introduction and that is thanks in large part to actress Rose Williams’ fantastically feisty performance as the uppity royal. She and Leith’s portrayer Jonathan Keltz have a natural chemistry that shines whenever they share a scene and that was no more evident than in “Wedlock”. Hopefully the next episode sees them end on a happy note.

That’s right folks; the time has already come to say goodbye to "Reign" again. The season's tenth episode, "Bruises That Lie" will serve as the series' winter finale and as it stands now, an indefinite one because the network has yet to announce a return date for the series. The show is in limbo, neither renewed nor cancelled so now is the time to act. If you want to see “Reign” continue ruling a slot on CW’s schedule, you can support the show by clicking here and signing the petition. Every signature matters! On a musical side note the song in the promo for 3x10 is "Black Sea" by Natasha Blume.

The Blacklist carried off its most gratifying two-part episode since its season one effort, “Anslo Garrick (No. 16)” and the result was sheer perfection. Everything about “The Director (No. 24): Conclusion” was flawless. The opening sequence that saw Red’s team uniting with Liz’s former task force colleagues was especially chill-inducing in all of its awesomeness.

The area Red had been seen working on in previous episodes finally came into play and like stepping away from an intricate tapestry, seeing how everything tied together gave every single thread a clear purpose. Showrunner Jon Bokenkamp proved to his critics that the series’ phenomenal freshman season was no fluke. He has given fans a stellar third season and for those wondering if the show is back in season one shape, the answer is a resounding; yes!

With Liz exonerated, the Cabal outed and Red asserting a new power base, the show is set to take its next evolutionary step. As part of her plea deal, Liz has been reassigned as an asset; just like Red. She’ll remain a part of the task force’s activity and continue hunting down Blacklisters. The manner in which this whole deal was struck was pure gold to watch unfold. Red’s aggressive negotiation with Laurel Hitchin was like watching two world class fencers go at it; sharply pointed and never dull.

With the conflict now over, Liz left prison and hugged a waiting Red. There was an unmistakable father/daughter vibe in that scene, which pretty much confirmed the parental link theory for this viewer. When The Director taunted Red with his knowledge of how the two are connected, he was promptly ejected from Red’s plane. Why Red is so desperate to keep Liz from knowing he’s her father is really the big mystery. Whatever his reasons, they all sensibly add up to her being his daughter.

[Image by MTV]
Teen Wolf continued the second half of its fifth season with one of its more coherent episodes: “Damnatio Memoriae”. Thank goodness Sheriff Stilinski made it out of alive in the season premiere. He’s one of the few adults in a teen-centric supernatural series to live past the third season mark. His relationship with Stiles is one of the core reasons to stay tuned. The father/son moments between them continue to fuel the heartfelt cornerstone of the series.

The only frustrating thing about their interaction in this particular episode was how Stiles was continuing to beat himself up for killing a guy in self-defense and his dad sort of let him. Why should Stiles have to atone for protecting himself? The Stiles/Malia breakup was also confusing because I wasn’t aware it even happened. Did this occur psychically or something? It’s not worth getting too bent out of shape over because the anvils seem to point to a Lydia/Stiles endgame, which is perfectly alright with this long suffering fan. 

The bad news is that Lydia is currently incapacitated and only slightly closer to mastering her Banshee-ness. After five seasons, she is still in a rut of fearful vulnerability and it’s about time for it to end. It would be great if all of the characters could be at the top of their game for once. Bad news continued…the Dread Doctors (aka the worst villains in the show’s history) are still around.

The good news is that Theo has turned out to be a pretty decent solo villain and his efforts have been enough to keep the show from going completely stale. If there were one more thing this show desperately needs it’s to streamline the bazillion subplots it has going on. Let’s have one umbrella story and stick to it.

[Featured Image by The CW]

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