Wow! So many things happened In "Playing with Fire" that I don't know whether to start in France, England, or Scotland!
France, I think as that is where the episode begins. Two boys playing in the woods stumble upon Erica, the missing girl last seen with Charles. Clearly traumatized but alive. As the truth of what happened to the girl spreads, Catherine and Narcisse are desperate to squelch the rumors and from Leeza. Catherine and Narcisse confront Charles, trying but it is clear that Charles is lost and Catherine fears the destruction of the Valois. Enter Leeza whom I dislike more and more each week. Leeza's focus is currently on Claude having learned that Claude is "seeing" a married man. When Claude is caught in the act, Leeza is prepared to ship her off to a convent. In steps Lord Chancellor Narcisse, who offers to speak with Leeza (I would love to have seen that conversation). He returns to Catherine with an alternative solution for Claude. She is to marry Narcisse's son, Luc! Privately, Catherine convinces Claude to marry Luc (played by Steve Lund) telling her that all Claude has to do is say the word and Catherine will make Claude a widow. Claude agrees and she and Luc marry. Luc assures Claude that he will be good to her and it appears that they will consummate their marriage. After the ceremony, Catherine encounters Charles walking through the halls with blood all over his face! For a moment, it looks like a scene from Twilight. Catherine confronts him again but Charles has heard enough from his mother and pushes Catherine to the ground. Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for is he or isn't he? Someone has entered the great hall just after the wedding. He appears to be struggling to walk and is clearly in pain. LEITH! He is alive and in a scene ripped right out of a soap opera, he arrives just a moment too late! Unfortunately for Leith, It is Narcisse who first sees him enter the castle. Narcisse tells him that Claude is married. Hopeful that he still has time to find Claude before the marriage is "official" Leith heads off to find Claude. But Narcisse will not let that happen so his men grab Leith and take him away. Poor Leith just can't catch a break!
In Scotland, Mary is on holiday with Greer. When their conversation moves to Castleroy and Rose returning to Scotland, Greer admits that Castleroy has changed since his time spent in prison and that they live separate lives. It seems uncertain whether Castleroy and Rose will return to Scotland. Next we see Mary running with her dog enjoying her time alone. But she's not alone, someone is standing there. It's Lord Darnley! He has interrupted her holiday but she finds herself enjoying his company. Just then, James approaches them and tells them of John Knox's plan to turn her catholic supporters against her by speaking to their village during a harvest festival. James, Mary and Darnley head off to the festival to thwart Knox's plan. They arrive bringing food for the entire village and Knox loses his control over the crowd. A victory for Mary is not acceptable to Knox and his men start a fire in the village to turn their attention away from Mary. It is Darnley's intention to flee with Mary, but Mary will stay to fight the fire as does James. Darnley doesn't like it when the fire is out and the crowd praises Mary. Suddenly a second fire starts and this time it is Darnley who is the hero when he saves a child trapped inside. Already suspicious of Darnley, James suspects that Darnley set the fire but Mary is unaware. After returning to the castle, Mary and Darnley discuss the terms of their marriage. She is surprised when Darnley requests the crown matrimonial. That's a deal breaker for Mary so Darnley must back down. I already don't like him. Later, Greer and Mary are in her chambers and Mary tells Greer that there might be a chance at a real marriage for her and Darnley, not one made soley out of duty. They move to her desk where she finds an anonymous note. James perhaps? The note accuses Darnley of starting the second fire. Hopeful just moments ago, Mary is now concerned about the man she has agreed to marry.
Finally to England, Elizabeth is not happy when Gideon is late to meet with her. Gideon explains that his daughter, Agatha, is very ill. Elizabeth is unsympathetic. She needs Gideon's help to prevent the Vatican from convincing England's catholic nobles to back the marriage of Mary and Darnley. It is Elizabeth's first instinct to murder them but Gideon convinces Elizabeth to work with the nobleman, not kill them. Elizabeth agrees and arranges a meeting with Lord Maxford, who once hunted with her father, King Henry the VIII. The meeting does not go well until Elizabeth invites Maxford and all the nobles on a hunt. While on hunt, the party approaches a stag and when Maxford steps on a twig startling the animal, Elizabeth kills it. Back at court, Elizabeth has won their respect but she goes one better. She tells the men of her plan to expand England's navy. She wants to purchase lumber from Lord Maxford if the catholic nobles will swear their loyalty to her and refuse to meet with the Vatican. The men agree. Elizabeth has the victory! But, when Elizabeth shares the news with Gideon, he is clearly angry and upset with her. It seems that while he was doing his queen's bidding, Agatha's condition worsened and she may not live. Elizabeth promises Gideon she will do all she can to save Agatha.
So, I give this episode a great big fat 10! Please note that Reign does not return until March 17th because of the 2-hour series finale of The Vampire Diaries. I'm a huge TVD fan as well and I'm sad that both my favorite shows are ending this year. Anyway, don't miss my Reign news and scoops leading up the March 17th and make sure to subscribe to www.sueboohscorner.com for your updates on The Vampire DIaries and all your favorite shows.
Until next time #Reigniacs!