Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reign Review: 4x12 "The Shakedown"

I know, I know. When was the last time I wrote one of these without starting it off by complaining about Darnley? To be fair, though, it's difficult to talk about anything else when the majority of my thoughts while watching Reign recently have been about how angry Darnley makes me.

There's no doubting that Darnley wants glory and power for his own sake. There's very little he wouldn't sacrifice for it, and he's shown a level of recklessness to get that power that make him a terrible king. He's the type of person who might manage to get power but who would lose it easily due to his own mistakes. At this point, he's proven to Mary that, if she gave him power, he'd ruin Scotland. Maybe, just maybe, actually proving himself to be a good ruler would have done more to convince her to give him the crown matrimonial. Just an idea.

Actually, Darnley should embrace the idea of getting to be king while leaving all the hard work to Mary. He can still get the praise (which seems to be what he really wants) but not have to do much (which also seems to be what he enjoys).

Another frustration during this episode: that Lord making it clear to Mary that she would be blamed should the privy council discover that the crown's money had been mismanaged. It's hard not to be angry that she couldn't place public blame on Darnley. The fact that, even if she did, she would still be wrapped up in the blame is frustrating.

Knox and Darnley becoming allies is something that I feel I should have anticipated, but I hadn't given much thought to them meeting prior to this episode.

The following paragraph has "spoilers" from history, though I have no idea what the show itself is going to do.

I'm starting to think that the show is going to end the season with Darnley's murder, which is condensed compared to the real timeline. I've brought up my dislike for Bothwell before. I know there are two camps of thought in regards to his motivations historically, and I very much feel that Reign is going to make Mary his co-conspirator, not his victim. However, I can't say I particularly like Reign going that direction when there are many who believe that he may have raped Mary to achieve power. The show will likely, at any rate, use that suspected rape in the show as the reasoning for why Mary marries Bothwell, and I'm dreading it. I don't want to watch Mary and Bothwell fake a rape to allow themselves to be together.

As far as Charles goes, I don't feel as if I have anything to say after this episode that I haven't said before. He would be better off without the pressure of being king, but that being said, I don't want to give Henry the satisfaction of being king either (and I'm not convinced that he would do a better job).

I had a feeling that Claude and Luc would fall in love, and now I believe even more that that's how their stories will end. That's fine and all, but I'm rather upset that we seem to have seen the last of Leith. The fact that he had such a sad ending when I believe that he, more than possibly anyone else, deserved a happy one upsets me.

Elizabeth's paranoia is new, as far as I can tell. It has never seemed this bad before. While she seemed bothered by Lola's death and betrayal, that hadn't been dealt with in a long time. I think it would have been nice if we'd had reminders of it more frequently before suddenly getting thrown this episode where it comes up again out of the blue.

I was hoping Jane would prove herself to be a friend, but she's seems to be a spy. I'd like to know who she's working for because I don't have any good guesses at this point. I don't feel as if it's for Mary or any of Mary's allies because I feel as if we'd have more hints at this point that they had a spy directly in England's court. The only other possibility that's coming to mind is Knox, though I'm hesitant to believe that this is his doing, and I have no other ideas.

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