Reign Recap S1E20: Higher Ground

Francis looks over a French Outpost. There’s death all around. Francis addresses a small group that has been holding the outpost. Francis tells them that they’re in danger of losing the war, and rather than getting picked off one by one, he wishes to advance to the English castle. Francis’s guards warn that if he’s recognized as a noble, he will be targeted first by the English. Francis rips off his identifying sash, and introduces himself as the new commander.

Greer is happy to have Mary join her for breakfast. Mary has been spending a lot of time alone, worried over Francis, and she’s a little miffed that he took men that were to help her mother to save French soldiers. Mary spots a guard with a scar, that she wants to gouge the eyes out of. Greer asks why, but Mary doesn’t get a chance to answer when a letter arrives.

Catherine greets her cousins Roman and Hortencia. That’s all the castle needs, more Medici’s. Catherine’s greetings to Roman is much warmer than hers to Hortencia. There’s a little bitter exchange between the women. Hortencia may be fond of Henry, and have a colored past with him, but ultimately he chose Catherine. Hortencia cuts to the chase, Roman has come to trade, but she’s come to take back the men she loaned Catherine. Mary is introduced to Catherine’s cousins. Mary wishes a private word with Catherine, Catherine grants her the audience, and has Beatrice take the cousins away. Mary tells Catherine that her mother’s situation is dire. The people want blood, and she needs to escape in secret, and to do so she needs a large some of money. Catherine once asked Mary’s mother for help, and she gave it. Mary is asking for the same help now. Catherine tells her that the court’s money is tied up in the Calais war, but Mary is talking about Catherine’s own personal money. Catherine tries to deny it, but Mary cuts her short, telling her that there is no hidden money. Mary begs for her help, and Catherine snaps at her weakness and what it implies.

Mary hears a noise, and sends away her servants. John has arrived, unseen. He’s a known mercenary, and one very good at his job. He came at an urgent calling. Mary tells him about Catherine’s secret stash that she wants him to find. She gave Catherine the option to be a decent person and help out a friend, but she refused. John doesn’t think that was a wise choice. Mary thinks that if he does it right then Catherine won’t know its missing for some time. Mary wants details, but John cannot give her more insight to his methods. She wants to make sure that no innocent blood is spilled. He promises to try to heed her wishes, but promises results in two days, and then disappears.

Catherine goes to confession. She tells the priest about her many indiscretions, including taking the Lord’s name in vain, massacres, slapping her servant, and even worse coming as she loathes her cousin, Hortencia. She asks for her penance, but the priest passes out. When Catherine steps out of the confessional she is swiftly grabbed.

Keena tries to cheer Bash up, but he’s worried about his brother off at war. She distracts him with a little soccer, and Julien joins in. Lola starts cramping, something that has been happening. They take her in to lie down.

Francis and his men walk through the woods, when the English attack. Ther are men being slaughtered all around him, he nearly gets slaughtered himself when Leith saves him, he’s in his debt.

Catherine sits blindfolded in shackles. Her captor, John, doesn’t say a word as she tries to analyze him. She doesn’t think that he wishes to kill her, and she tries to determine who wanted her taken. She thinks that it may be Mary, and she offers him double for the head of the person responsible. He toys with her earring.

Lola gets checked out, she and the baby are well Agnes reports. Julien tends to her, offer to sleep in his own bed to give her more room. That is not what Lola could ever want, she’s been happy in her marriage, far happier than she expected. She asks Julien if he would be there for the birth, but he declines. He thinks that she’s far stronger than she knows.

Hortencia tells Mary that Catherine has been kidnapped. There is a ransom note, but the Medici’s have a long standing policy not to deal with this sort of things. Mary knows there’s no way to get to Henry in time. Hortencia refuses to give into the demands even after Catherine’s ear and earring are delivered.

Francis has noticed that there is a frequency of the same men sent after them. The castle isn’t well manned, they have to strike now before reinforcements arrive. The English engage them in another battle.

Greer comes to see Lola, and although she looks fine, she isn’t. Her family has sent Julien the dowry that he’s been after. She’s worried. Julien married her before they loved eachother, and that concerns her. Greer tells her that she married him because she was pregnant with another man’s baby, so they both may have ulterior motives, and if there’s a happy ending in long run, what does the original motivations matter. Lola hopes that Lord Casselroy is Greer’s happy ending, but she asks if she still thinks about Leith. She does, and she hopes he’s alive and well.

Francis strategizes to take the cannon, and save the day. Leith wants him prove that he thinks of the men as more than just chess pieces. Francis intends to do just that, but if they’re going to stand a chance they have to capture the cannon and take it out.

Kenna asks Bash to get close to Julien to figure out his motives. Bash refuses, telling her to leave it alone. He knows that Lola was pregnant with someone else’s baby, but doesn’t know whos. He asks his wife to give them a chance, because Lola does love Julien, and he doesn’t want his meddling to ruin their marriage.

Mary meets with John, upset that he cut off Catherine’s ear. He didn’t. He got an ear from a grave digger. She wanted him to steal the money, knowing that the Medici’s would never pay it. He tells Mary that the Queen offered him double, but he doesn’t plan to double cross Mary, instead he suggests that she chooses someone else for him to deliver the head of, and once she pays him, he gives her her money minus his cut.

Bash cannot believe that Mary hired a mercenary, and now she has to have an innocent die in her stead. Mary isn’t sure what she’s capable of anymore. She’s been looking into the men responsible for the massacre of her countrymen. Bash knows that Mary came to him because he’s been in this position. Bash tells her that she has to be sure of her choice because otherwise her conscious will never rest.

Mary notices Hortencia speaking with Catherine’s guard, she tells her that he is actually her guard. She deduces that Mary is trying to get information about the massacre, but she thinks that Mary is trying to pin the massacre on her. She threatens Mary, but makes it clear that Catherine must be taught to stay out of her affairs.

Kenna lies in bed waiting. Bash has been looking into Julien. So far he’s found that Julien is planning a hunting trip, he’s just not bringing anything he needs to hunt. Bash knows that Julien is up to something, he’s just not sure what yet.

John brings Catherine a head, the one of the person who asked for her to be kidnapped he tells her. She thinks it’s Mary’s, but he tells her that when she returns she will find out the proof she needs. Catherine tells him where he can find his gold, and he gives her the key to unlock herself as he slips away. The head belongs to Hortencia.

Francis sends his men out for a disctraction, as he readies himself. He lights his arrow, aiming at the stored powder. His arrow flies true, and the cannon is taken out, but Leith is missing.

Kenna tells Lola what Bash has found out. Lola thinks that Julien is going to leave her, but Kenna tells her that if she loves him, then she should talk to him about it. Kenna makes excuses to leave when Julien arrives. Lola wants to chat. She pours her heart out to him. He tries to make excuses, reasons that he can’t stay, but she tells him that he can keep her for much less than he could imagine. She is everything that he ever wanted, and yet he doesn’t believe her words, but he wishes he did.

Catherine makes a splashy return. She isn’t fully buying the Hortencia story, she was vile but she doesn’t think it was her, when Mary is a more obvious suspect. She wants to find out who is really behind her kidnapping.

Leith is found, but he’s badly injured. Francis orders the men to secure the position, to get word to de Guise. Francis tries to pull Leith to safety, but Leith tells him to just leave him. Francis gives him a pep talk, asking him what is worth living for. Leith tells him that the girl he can’t live without is marrying another, because her station is above his own. Good for him that he’s just befreiended and saved the future king of france who can just so happen to bestow titles and lands. Leith gets an incentive to live, and Francis helps him to his feet as the horns of France sound. The road to Calais is now open.

Julien’s carriage awaits, and he hesitates.

Roman reports to Catherine. Hortencia  was completely broke. There are instructions for the delivery of money instead of actual money. She’d been paying vast sums of money for years to cover it up. Catherine thought it had been Mary this entire time, and she had been such a good role model in the subjects of lying, cheating, stealing, and killing. Mary is still an innocent though, and Catherine wonders how long that can last for her.

Julien  comes and confesses to Lola that he did plan to leave her. He had a falling out with his family, and they aren’t good people. He planned to live off her money, the amount he could get his hands on, which is why he didn’t care that she was pregnant with another man’s baby. He feared that he has nothing but himself to offer her. She can live a simple life, she wants to forgive him, but she isn’t sure she can trust him. He’s willing to be there, to make her trust him, and he promises her no more lies.

John delivers Mary a small portion of the money, he will bring more with her instructions. She’s not done with his services. She needs a man she can trust to deliver the gold to rescue her mother. He tells her that good men like him are hard to find. She has the men, Hortencia’s men, and they’re sent to prepare to set sail. John reminds her that these are the same men that killed her countrymen. She knows they’re monsters, but now they’re her monsters.


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