Thursday, May 8, 2014

REVIEW: 'Reign' - Henry Fights Off an Assassination Attempt & Bash and Kenna Rescue a Boy in 'Long Live the King'

The CW's Reign - Episode 1.21 "Long Live the King"

Mary and Catherine form an unlikely alliance when deciding how to deal with the increasingly manic King Henry. Bash finds a boy who lived to tell about his encounter with the Darkness. Lord Julien reveals the truth about his motives, and Lola finds herself in a dire situation after she attempts to protect him.

The trajectory as of late on Reign has been Henry's madness causing those around him to conspire to kill him leading to Francis' rise to the throne. His death is on the horizon. But the show is carefully saving that moment until the season finale. So, we are left with people conspiring to do the deed. We are given slight glimpses of hope that maybe Henry's death isn't in the cards - only to be reaffirmed of that stance by hour's end. He does have that tender moment with Francis when they're off hunting. But in the end, he's still the mad king hellbent on conquering France, England and Scotland. And now, he's under the delusion that he must kill his son in order for his plan to continue. That's just crazy. And yet, that's exactly how we are suppose to feel. King Henry is crazy. That is his sole characteristic right now. I'm at the point where I want some conclusion action to be taken with this plot. End it and let's move on.

And then, there are the other plots on the show that are just sort of happening but I don't really care about. And here, they are making everything so much more complicated so the season finale can be very dramatic. Bash's quest to destroy The Darkness has been a flimsy plot at best - coming in and out whenever the show needed story. I respect what the show is trying to do in regards to paganism and religion in general. This plot simply is not serving those ideals well. It's literally Bash going after a monster to slay. It's a fantastical story on a show that's better when its a historical drama. The added twist that Bash was the man who killed Pascal's father just put everything way over the top.

Lastly, there's Lola who is literally off in her own little universe. There was a point in the middle of the season when the show was using that character really well. And then, it shipped her off with a practical solution to her problem of being pregnant with Francis child. The show always treated her husband "Lord Julien" as a mystery that we were supposed to be wary and curious about. I felt neither of those feelings towards him. So when we get some actual concrete answers to who he really is here, it's mostly just a way to uproot everything with Lola and get her back to French court as quickly as possible. All the ladies talk about moving away to their own cabins to be with their husbands. And yet, the show is at its best when all the characters are at French Court and interacting with one another.

Nevertheless, everything is building to a busy season finale. A lot of stuff is gonna go down. So, I guess I'm excited to see how the chips will fall.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Long Live the King" was written by Wendy Riss Gatsiounis & Drew Lindo and directed by Jeremiah Chechik.
  • How much time has gone by throughout this first season?
  • I'm just so glad Francis is back at Court and not off fighting bigger and badder battles with his motley crew. Those sequences were pretty bad in the last episode.
  • I'm surprised I haven't mentioned Mary or Catherine at all during this review even though I really like what the show continues to do with their characters.