Reign is one of the plot-churniest shows I have ever regularly watched, but every so often even this show hits an episode that leaves you feeling like you’re watching 42 minutes of Previously On, or possibly four episodes of a regular show. “Banished” was busy by Reign standards – the dog even makes another appearance! – and it was Catherine-heavy, which means I have pictures, because I missed her so much every second she was gone.
The thing I want to start with, though, is costumes, because I have noticed that of late, Mary is wearing a lot more costumes courtesy of the Reign costume department rather than designers, which is occasionally fine, but definitely tends to look odd when set beside ladies in designer stuff. Take the Ice Festival outfits:
Kenna and Lola look fabulous and true to costume-character – Kenna in floaty layers, Lola in a strong silhouette with some glitz. Greer looks like she’s going to prom, but her look swings so wildly between fabulous and terrible that we’ll just put this in the “new money can’t dress sometimes” category. Mary? What can you say about this dress that the dress doesn’t tell you. The top looks a bit awkward but could be passable, even if with her whole McQueen and Marchesa closet it seems odd this is the one they’d go with; by the time you hit the skirt, it’s all over.
Here’s the rest of the party:
A moment to congratulate the background choreographer for the loose circle in the center and then the corner clumps to draw the eye. By now, we’re all comfortable with the Bill & Ted history report feeling of the eras in question (15th century Italy top right, late 17th century England top left, Sarah Plain and Tall bottom left), but the boldest fashion move is the lady bottom center who decided to out-Queen the Queen by wearing her Arwen cape. Best watch it, Madam.
But I am actually getting excited by the increasingly-speculative things this show keeps sneaking in without ever admitting there’s just ghosts doing shit everywhere. Last week at the orgy, a lady was ALL OUT, and I thought that was a weird but interesting touch, perhaps to indicate how different the courts were. But this week:
That’s some Star Trek: TNG action right there, and I’m really excited to see if they keep this up. There’s a mandatory party every week, they might as well!
Also continuing from last week: Caitlin Stasey making the most of her screen time.
Greer’s face isn’t great here, but she gets in a couple of good ones despite her TOTALLY out of character plot. I get why you’d like to keep the whole accidental-terrorist-funding thing under wraps, I do, but that ledger should have IMMEDIATELY been taken and burned, what the fuck was this wait, and when Mary asked her she would have confessed to the school thing and thrown herself on Mary’s mercy, because that’s what you do when you accidentally treason a friend. As things fell out, I actually think Mary was astonishingly lenient and understanding, given that somehow Greer has gone from the most communicative and forthright of the ladies to a plot device in questionable clothes. The question now is: is Greer smart and savvy enough to force her way out of this hole?
The plot may yet say otherwise, but Celina Sinden thinks so:
(That cap has more soft focus than Dynasty. This show knows its roots.)
This is an episode featuring banishment (Diane banished by Bash, Greer banished by Mary, Conde effectively banished from Francis’ affections by a setup with Lola, which oh my god, can Lola please stop getting all these shitty setups, this is awful). But this episode is about Catherine.
Over the course of this episode alone, she gets some smugface in about the returned Diane, which is pretty rich given that she spends a not-insignificant part of this episode occupying a four-person frame as the only alive person in it:
And though they lay it on a little thick this episode, since the ghostdaughters have “forgiven” her for incredibly handwavey reasons, there is some actual sadness how hard Catherine is embracing this idea of a loving family that no longer has ulterior motives. They go out running in the snow as Henry maaaaaybe tries to freeze her to death, and Catherine’s happier than she’s ever been, and sad bastard music is playing, and you really do realize she’s a broken person who’s so new to happiness she barely minds freezing to death in Narnia so long as she’s smiling.
This show is a bunch of nonsense, but I felt for her here.
I felt for Megan Follows and Alan Van Sprang here; they have the kissing down pat, but there was sexy stuff and it didn’t quite work and I just imagine that was an awkward day, is all.
Not nearly as awkward as when she has to banish her ghost family! The daughters go fine (Megan Follows delivers her best line of the ep by making it utterly compelling to tell your murderous ghost daugthers: “I will be with you one day, I promise. To you, it will seem very soon”), but then she has to go all-caps on Henry so it looks like he’s being driven back to hell through the power of her yelling, and she makes it all work, of course, but the blocking is less effective than it could be.
Doesn’t stop her from looking great, though! Dig the Phantom of the Opera candelabras. :muffled Dallas theme in background:
But how did she survive the cold? Well, Bash rescued her! I remain convinced 80% of any Bash and Catherine interaction is because Torrance Coombs made jokes about Basherine on Twitter and they took, but I like any chance Catherine has to talk to alive people, so I’m down. Plus, this had a plot reason, as they sit with the synchronicity of old cop partners to talk about who could have killed Catherine’s babies.
Turns out it was Diane! Bash figures it out instantly and banishes Diane. Catherine figures it out shortly after, and shows up and cracks her on the head with a shovel and then strangles her to death.
And that, kids, is how you end up holding on to the crown for so long!
(Also, yes, this cap looks like it could be something entirely different, that is not my idea, that was someone else’s idea, we’re all just here now stuck with it.)
And of course, my favorite slow-burn never-acknowledged subplot is that while Mary is the queen, Catherine will find her inheritance in Lola.
Catherine, trying to seduce her husband:
Lola, after Conde saying that after listening to her smack him around a little, he’s suddenly into the idea of marrying her for political reasons:
Catherine’s only real daughter, right here. If they ever actually acknowledge this, I will be shocked, but I’m loving it anyway.