Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Reign' - Mary Tries to Find a Husband for Lola & King Henry Goes Crazy with Power in 'The Darkness'

The CW's Reign - Episode 1.15 The Darkness

The castle is abuzz with First Light, where the women of the castle mingle with potential suitors. Much to Mary's dismay, Lola is reluctant to participate in the tradition. After another violent incident with the increasingly erratic King Henry, Kenna fears for her safety and confides in Queen Catherine, while Bash experiences the terrors of the woods and vows to uncover the truth behind the Darkness.

When Reign first premiered, the ladies-in-waiting were such superfluous characters. They didn't seem that connected to the main stories of the show. They were all defined through their relationship with Mary and not from any kind of character based decision they made. Lastly, there was just too much of them. Since then, one of them has died. I'm not even gonna try and remember her name. While another, Lola, has gotten herself tangled up interestingly in the Mary-Francis story. This episode also tries to better distinguish and give importance to these three girls. They all are given their stories here. The show is committed to having them stick around. So they might as well try out different things with them.

In regards to Lola, that experimentation is working. Her pregnancy with Francis' baby adds a very nice wrinkle for Mary. It's a betrayal to her and she's living in this constant fear of her being able to produce an heir for him. That capability could also mean he could love Lola more. That's not what Lola wants. But it's that knowledge that fuels every single one of their interactions. They have to act quickly to make sure that this won't be an issue longterm. But that lends itself to more arguing. Francis does confess to their encounter but the show is very much keeping the pregnancy bomb up in the air. Time is ticking and soon that thing will explode. And I can't wait to see how everyone reacts when it does.

Elsewhere, King Henry is going crazy with power. Now, that detail has always been a part of that character since the start. But it grows more grandiose and godly here. He believes that God chose him to be king and thusly is entitled to exert his power over the women trying to control him. Kenna is tangentially tied into this story because of his desire to have a threesome which leads to the death of the other girl. When he killed the girl last week, I thought it was played for levity and growth in the Henry-Catherine dynamic. Now, it's seen as much more important and part of a growing trend with him. Earlier this year, everyone was talking about killing Catherine. Now I fully believe that Henry is gonna wind up dead by season's end. This latest development has to be a part of tragic trajectory, right? And if Kenna continues to go along with his sexual demands, she'll just be the next girl to die on his path.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Darkness" was written by Charlie Craig and directed by Steve DiMarco.
  • This felt like a plot heavy episode. There was stuff with Lola and her servant friend, Nostradamus and Olivia, and Bash and the forrest mystery. None of those three stories interested me all that much.
  • It's also really odd that in an episode called "The Darkness" we learn basically nothing about the mysterious being in the woods.
  • And yet, I'm intrigued by the prospect of Greer's upcoming arranged marriage. Finding a husband and producing an heir is so important in this society. And these next few episodes aren't going to shy away from that.
  • But if all the ladies-in-waiting get married, they'll have to move away right? I guess that's one way to get them off the show.