Friday, May 2, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 20: "Higher Ground"

I'm actually getting my review up the day after the episode aired. When was the last time I managed that? Today's actually reading day, the day my school gives us off before finals to study, and I figured writing this would be a good break between all of that studying.

I feel like this episode had so much that I want to talk about, and almost all of it has to do with the relationships on the show. I'm really happy with how the relationship are at the moment overall, and I'm hopeful that all the couples will end the season on a positive note. I don't want something sad to happen and then have to wait the entire season break to find out if it's resolved.

Funnily enough, Mary and Francis, the main couple of the show, seemed to be the only couple who didn't have something significant happen as a couple in this episode. Instead, they were doing important things as individuals, which is just as great, but it kind of stood out to me amongst everything else. This episode really showed how Mary has changed over the season, and while I don't necessarily think it's for the better, I do think that in many ways she's becoming a stronger ruler who's more sure of herself.

I've also believed for a long time that Catherine really does care about Mary, and this episode cemented that for me. Whenever she reminds people of the fact that she raised Mary for a good part of her life, I feel like that's Catherine getting a bit sentimental and giving in a bit to her fondness for her. Of course Catherine is also a rather hard-hearted person, and she's really good at pushing her own feelings aside to do what she feels needs to be done, which is often terrible things. However, I do think the love for Mary is there. She just tries to suppress it the majority of the time. After all, when she realized that Mary and Francis could marry without Francis dying, she seemed ecstatic. She also seemed a bit upset when she realized that Mary might be starting to become more like her, which I thought was a bit heart-breaking, and I really think that shows that Catherine really does wish she could protect Mary.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, but I have to mention Catherine going to confession. It was one of the best moments in the show. I just love how she starts off with taking the Lord's name in vain and then rushes through a ton of much more horrible sins before eagerly asking for her penance. The priest's face was just fantastic. He looks so exasperated with her, and I wonder how many times this particular priest has had to listen to her confess before. That scene was just great.

Francis, on the other hand, was at war in this episode. I do like that they didn't shy away from showing blood, but also, as a person with a blood phobia, that bit was hard to watch. I did like the bit about soldiers as chess pieces though and how Francis worked to show them that he didn't view them that way. It was nice.

But the crowning moment of all of that was, of course, Leith showing up again! As soon as he saved Francis's life and Francis said he was in his debt, I got a good idea of what's going to happen. Obviously, Francis knows there's a girl now, although he doesn't know it's Greer, and he plans to give Leith a title. That's all good news. However, there's also the problem that Greer is engaged, and while I don't want her married to Lord Castleroy, I will feel bad for the guy if the engagement falls threw. Still, he's been such a good guy to Greer that I could see him allowing her out of the engagement in order to marry Leith. I'm looking forward to seeing how that develops.

I don't think anyone was surprised by Julian in this episode. He was clearly hiding something, and I honestly expected that to go much worse than it did. I had no hopes that he would turn out to be a decent guy, and I really didn't think he loved Lola at all until he started hesitating in front of the carriage. That was nice though, and I'm glad that their marriage seems like it's going to be good. I'm still not sure how he's going to react when he finds out Lola's baby is Francis's because I'm sure he'll find out, and I'm still a bit worried that his greediness will come back and he'll try and use the child to increase his wealth. Still, I'm more optimistic about him than I was in the past, so here's hoping he keeps being a decent human being.

Sebastian and Kenna were also adorable in this episode, and I loved Sebastian looking into Julian for Kenna. I really do love them together, and while neither one of them did anything hugely significant in this episode, I had to throw that in here.

Henry wasn't in this episode, so we didn't get any development as far as his craziness goes. However, it seems like that will play a huge role in next week's episode, and I'm hoping we actually learn something. It looks like it's going to be intense, but I don't know if we're going to actually learn the cause, which is the main thing I want at this point. We'll see I suppose.

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