Reign, S3 E4- The Price

Reign S3E04- "The Price"
Reign S3E04- "The Price"

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” -Lao Tzu.

If you had the option to save someone’s life, would you? But it would come with a price: someone else would have to die in their place. That’s exactly the decision that Mary, Bash, and Charles have to make towards the end of this episode, “The Price”.

The episode begins well for our royal couple, Mary and Francis. As they walk hand-in-hand through the woods, just from seeing Francis, you can tell he’s feeling a little better. Could it be from the good care Mary has bestowed upon him, or the medicinal supplements he’s recently been taking daily?

Amidst the gooey mush of love, Mary receives a letter from her mother, Marie de Guise. English soldiers have found their way onto Scottish soil, resulting in very little supply. Francis is almost positive it’s to do with of his illness. Elizabeth knows the King of France is dying and she wants to see how far she can push him. While I still haven’t entirely warmed up to Elizabeth just yet (though she makes for a great antagonist), I appreciate the girl’s motivation.

Francis refuses to back down and appear weak to his enemies. He’ll fight lying down if he has to! Taking his kid brother Charles’ advice and his instincts, he decides to send two of his best warships over to England. The plan ends up backfiring, ending hundreds of French lives, as Catherine gloats to her two sons later. Yes, Catherine’s main reason for being out of prison is to secure the spot of regent for Charles’ reign, but take your mother’s advice, Francis! At the end of the day, I doubt Catherine wants France or even Scotland to fail.

Reign S2E4

“When we’re not trying to kill each other, we’re charming the pants off of some diplomat together.”

Alas, Catherine’s main duty throughout “The Price” is gaining Lord Clavelle’s vote for regent. With Claude’s help, Catherine tries to win Clavelle’s heart (or his son’s in Claude’s case). It doesn’t go over well. But, seeing Claude and Catherine’s charming split-second smile could brighten anyone’s day. These two need to set aside their differences and work together more often. Long story short: Lord Clavelle will never vote for Catherine no matter how much she tempts him. She was the main cause of his daughter’s suicide years prior. With myriad other people in court having issues with Catherine, it’s no surprise that she isn’t exactly winning the polls for regent. Whoever is running against Catherine would be a shoo-in. That would be Narcisse, which I will mention shortly.

After successfully fooling Elizabeth’s spy, Nicholas, into giving Elizabeth wrong information about Francis’ plan, the King and soon-to-be-King Charles enjoy a nice horseback ride through the forest. Charles shares his doubts about being king to Francis, to which Francis responds, “Confidence is key.” This is a very good life lesson in general, folks – take note. Unfortunately, Charles has little time to take his big brother’s advice to heart. For the next thing he knows, Francis falls unconscious off his horse! Francis’ time draws near and I couldn’t be any more nervous.

I'm sure these two would love to tell everyone that their engagement occurred because of a dead rat in a bath.

I’m sure these two would love to tell everyone that their engagement occurred because of a dead rat in a bath.

Taking a step back from the dreary news with Francis, let’s see how the newlyweds, Narcisse and Lola, are doing! The two are having a splendid honeymoon. They’re away from the French court, Catherine despises their marriage and can’t do a thing about it, and John has a stepfather for when Francis passes! All seems well, until a woman shouts at Narcisse, claiming he stole all of her family’s land. Oh Narcisse, what are we going to do with you? The land stealing is true, but he had good intentions. If Narcisse can acquire enough land, he’ll be eligible to take baby John’s seat on the council for the time being. Doing this would give him a say on whether or not Catherine gets voted as regent. Frankly, I don’t know who I trust more: Narcisse or Catherine.

It’s the moment we’ve all been dreading: Francis is near the brink of death. He lies in his bed, pale, barely speaking, and only wanting to spend his last few hours with his wife, Mary. Mary’s crying, I’m crying, and Francis is saying his final words. His recent energy was just his body’s final burst before his passing, he reveals. Mary cuddles up next to Francis and the pair dream up the perfect future for themselves. Mary would have born Francis children: Anne and James. The children would be the spitting image of each other; they’d play around the castle and the King and Queen would reign for years and years to come. But that isn’t reality. What’s real is the blood that drips out of Francis’ ear. The soft breathing from his lungs until he takes his last. It isn’t until the moment he closes his eyes do these words seem final. Francis is dead.

Before Mary can alert everyone in the castle of the now fallen King, in walk Bash, Charles, and newly rescued Delphine. Delphine can save Francis! (We all saw this coming, right? Or was it just me?) The faux nun’s powers work wonders, but at a price. As mentioned above, the saving of someone’s life, kills another. Mary is willing to sacrifice her own life to save her husband’s, whatever it takes. Unfortunately, Delphine’s powers don’t offer anyone a choice; it’s completely random. So as Delphine works her magic on Francis, resurrecting him back to life, another one falls.

It’s there in Scotland, with Mary’s mother, Marie, writing a letter to Mary herself, does she suddenly fall. Unbeknownst to her, she’s taken her last breath of life in exchange for Francis’.

With the promised notion that Francis will die this season, we’re left with the question: when? Francis survived this obstacle of illness. It’s only a matter of time before the King falls for real this time.

My guess, in tonight’s (Friday 11/13) Reign episode, 3.05: “In a Clearing”.

Mary and Francis think they have a second chance; Nostradamus is back to tell them, a prophecy still stands. Get your tissues ready, this episode might be a tearjerker.

Credit goes to Reign Screen Caps for the two photos used above.

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