Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reign Review: Season 2 Episodes 9 and 10: "Acts of War" and "Mercy"

I know I'm incredibly behind on this. Episode eight was reviewed over on Youtube, but even then it's taken me two weeks two review episode nine and a week to review episode ten. I'm slowly getting caught up on these sorts of things now that it's winter break though.

Having this long gap in between seeing the episodes and writing a review might have been a good thing though considering the subject matter. I thought that it might kind of seem like I was avoiding the reviews in order to not write about the rape scene, but while I wasn't, I do think this had the nice effect of giving me time to process everything that happened.

Normally I would write about everything more or less in the order it happened (except for my frequent sidetracks). In this case, however, I want to talk about the rape scene before anything else, because otherwise it's just going to be looming over this review. I just need to finally get out all of my thoughts in a way that isn't a few tweets in the couple of days after the episode aired.

I was extremely worried about the rape scene from the moment we found out there was going to be one. I didn't know if it would be portrayed in a realistic manner, and I was really worried about how it would play out. Two weeks after the scene aired, and I still don't know entirely what to think. The biggest positive for me is that they seem to be trying to keep the aftermath of the rape realistic for Mary. I give them props for that. (And for having Adelaide Kane provide a hotline at the end of the episode.) They didn't just shove the rape under a rug and have Mary easily capable of pretending like it didn't happen. I also like that Catherine has mentioned her own rape because that provides a more realistic treatment of what happened to her as well. I know I had seen some criticism in the past about them throwing out that Catherine had been raped and then just never mentioning it again, but now it is being mentioned.

The scene itself really shook me up. I had a hard time thinking about anything else for a couple of days afterwards. It was very difficult to watch. I really don't know what else to say about it. It's one of those things that's so terrible that I just don't really have words. The biggest thing I want to say is that I thought Adelaide Kane's acting of the immediate aftermath for Mary was amazing.

I guess that overall I'm still not sure if I really think the scene was a good idea. I'm going to hold off judgement on that until the entire season airs and we get more of how it affects Mary, but so far I'm more on the optimistic side of how they seem to be handling it. We'll see.

I'm also not sure what to do about the fact that she killed all the men who attacked her. Like, there's wanting revenge, but wow... Of course, I keep reminding myself that everyone kills people in this show. I guess thinking about that makes it a bit less shocking.

Now, let's try to talk about the other things that happened in these episodes. The things that are harder for me to recall because they more or less got overshadowed.

The next biggest thing in these two episodes for me was all of the Castleroy/Greer and some Leith stuff. I've made it no secret that I ship Greer and Leith, and I'm not all that into Castleroy and Greer being married. As soon as the Protestant stuff popped up and we found out Castleroy was Protestant, I thought it could very well be hinting at an end to their marriage. Now, they're still married, but they're going to be living a part for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Greer and Leith are in the same castle. I'm definitely sensing this going down a similar path to one I was envisioning all along. That being said, I'm not thrilled by the idea of Greer possibly cheating on Castleroy. I do like the guy even if I don't want him married to Greer, and I don't condone cheating of course. Still, I do want this concluded with Greer and Leith together somehow. I'm kind of expecting Castleroy to get killed for being Protestant, but we'll see.

Claude is really growing on me. I quite like her. She's so much like Catherine, and we all know that Catherine is my absolute favorite character. At first I just couldn't get behind Claude as a character. I think it had a lot to do with her seducing her half-brother. That's a bit off putting. Oh, and killing your younger sisters as a young child. That's downright terrifying. I'm starting to pick up on a lot of aspects of her character that I like though. I hope she sticks around for a while.

Conde being in love with Mary wasn't surprising, but I'm also dreading this story line. Conde seriously needs to work on this "falling in love with married women" thing he has going on. Has he ever been in a relationship where the woman wasn't already married? This is especially coming at the worst possible time as far as Mary's concerned. I don't know what they're possibly planning to do with that because Mary can't even sleep in the same room as Francis anymore. What do they expect her to be able to do about Conde's feelings for her? That's just shaping up to be the biggest mess imaginable, and I don't like it. I don't think that's a story line that's at all needed after what Mary just went through.

Narcisse breaks and agrees to do whatever Francis wants. That's cool and all, but I just see it backfiring at some point.

And the last thing I'll mention is Henry's "return." This show really has a thing for ghosts. I don't get it. I still don't know if the twins or Henry are supposed to be real ghosts or figments of Catherine's imagination. I'm leaning towards the later as this show has yet to actually show a ghost that was real. However, I also don't want this to be a sign that Catherine's going crazy. As has been well established, I love Catherine, and I just don't want to see that.

I know I've definitely skimmed over some things without mentioning them. Since this is a review of two episodes instead of just one, I feel like it's impossible to get everything in. I think I covered all of the biggest things I wanted to mention though. Now we get the mid-season break. I guess to continue processing what all just happened. I think I might really need this month.

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