Reign ‘Dirty Laundry’ Review

We finally found Olivia! 

In her months (months!!) of absence she’s been wandering the woods, accidentally crossing paths with Bash. The hunters he was with immediately saw bite marks on Olivia’s arm and announced she’d been marked by “the darkness”. Whatever that is, it made a semi-delirious Olivia stab a priest to death with his cross when he tried to bless her, effectively making her more interesting than her weird accent and being Francis’ maybe-mistress ever did. There was no mention of Olivia getting lost in the castle and presumably being found by Clarissa (whose name was kept oddly quiet considering her survival was confirmed last week), and maybe Reign‘s going to pretend that particular something never happened and Olivia just…ended up in the woods. Even with her return, Olivia was hardly seen, though her declaration of “the darkness” coming to take them all will probably mean more for her to do in later episodes.

After bringing Olivia back to the castle for Nostradamus to treat, Bash sought out Mary to confront her about Francis maybe trying to have him killed. Considering the guards last week never actually attacked Bash, and Francis told even Catherine that they were supposed to take Bash to France, it’s probably true that they weren’t there to kill him. But seeing as how Francis has been threatening Bash left and right (including tonight after he convinced Mary he hadn’t sent guards to kill his brother when he said Bash still wasn’t safe from him. Because that sounds benign) I don’t blame Bash for thinking he did. That being said, Francis and Bash have one thing in common: being annoying. Once they start harping on something they really just don’t stop, and now that they both hate each other, it’s one tiring cycle of fraternal hatred, and like Mary, I’m exhausted by it.

Olivia’s return was actually quite coincidental considering Lola and Francis’ onetime roll in the hay came back into play with Kenna figuring out Lola’s pregnant. When we last saw Olivia she was there to split up Francis and Mary on Catherine’s orders and trying to get pregnant herself, and an angry Francis was more than happy to wave his and Olivia’s sexual relationship under Mary’s nose. Mary and Francis got over that, but Lola’s pregnancy won’t be as easy to move past. It’s disappointing that this is the route Reign‘s taking since Lola’s pregnancy looks to have only been manufactured for drama’s sake with no thought to character. Anything else they could have done with Lola has been tossed out the window by making her pregnant with Francis’ baby (as Kenna pointed out this means Lola can now be Francis’ mistress) which has a huge effect on a variety of things going forward and really does change everything but doesn’t have the adequate background to make it feel anything less than contrived.

When exactly did Mary’s friends stop caring about her? Somehow Lola thinks she can avoid her pregnancy having an effect on Mary’s life (as if knowing about it doesn’t affect Mary at all) by keeping it a secret, and she didn’t really mind having sex with Francis despite knowing that Mary’s feelings for him still remained. Kenna didn’t bat an eye at what it would mean to Mary to find out about the pregnancy, even being gleeful about Lola’s prospects now that she’s pregnant by their supposed best friend’s husband. These actions just don’t gel with what we’ve seen of Mary and her ladies so far, who have been just as loyal to Mary as she’s been to them, and it’s very CW (and not in a good way) of Reign to forego character, however limited their development may have been, in favor of dramatics.

Sloppy storytelling aside, “Dirty Laundry” was easily the funniest episode Reign‘s had so far, largely due to Catherine and Henry teaming up to cover up an accidental death. The missteps plaguing other plots were easily overlooked when an Archduke and his sister visited the castle to iron out some issues of a French ship attacking another nation’s, and Henry messed everything up by literally thrusting the Duchess to her death when they were having sex at an open window. If “Dirty Laundry” proved anything, it’s that Reign is completely committed to being as ridiculous as possible at any given moment because only on this show would the king of France kill a woman in the middle of sex and ask his wife to help solve the problem.

Though Catherine and Henry’s interactions this time around weren’t on the level of their onetime romantic resolution a few episodes back, it’s still nice to see them on the same side rather than feuding. Both were hilarious as they cleaned up the bloodstain, carried the body, penned a suicide letter, and were later forced to amend their story, after the Archduke identified the letter as a forgery, by blaming the dead priest, saying he was the Duchess’ lover. After being so intense for weeks on end, Catherine and Henry being silly, despite the morbid circumstances, was a nice break, and like last time, there’s a lot of chemistry to be seen among the two when one of them isn’t trying to kill the other. Henry apparently agreed since he tried to woo Catherine only to be rebuffed, and when Kenna came to his room later Henry was eager to sleep with her, at the same window where the Duchess died. He appears to be on the way to losing his mind, if the weird look in his eyes is any indication, and I thought he might “accidentally” push Kenna out the window just so he could clean it all up with Catherine again.

Stray Observations

  • I laughed when the Duchess fell out of the window because of course she fell out of the window. It was open
  • This week in badly developed Reign romances: Bash and hunter girl Roan (Hannah Anderson) are now a thing. It’s hard to tell if it’s supposed to be poorly developed or not. Surely Bash isn’t into Roan because he’s into her (not after professing his love to Mary again) but why is Roan into Bash? I like Bash just fine, but the dude’s not particularly charismatic, and it takes a while for him to start looking attractive so…
  • At least Greer’s still tolerable, even if she’s never onscreen.
  • On servants getting things clean: “They take them to the laundry and dip them in something.” Soap and water perhaps?
  • Henry: “She deserved a better end.”
    Catherine: “Don’t we all?”

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