"Hanging Swords" season 4, episode 7 was one of my favorites. I give this episode a 10. In case you're wondering, it's impossible for me to give Reign anything lower than a 10. Lots going on in Scotland, England, and France, so let us get started.
Queen Elizabeth is so intent on stopping the marriage of Lord Darnley and Queen Mary that she commands her general to find a reason for her troops to invade Scotland - any reason. Though he tries to make Elizabeth see the danger in this plan, it's a little girl who makes her reconsider her decision. As Elizabeth turns from politics to Gideon and Agatha, we see her softer side. Gideon has come to terms with his daughter's death, and Elizabeth pulls out all the stops to make sure Agatha's last days are magical. She makes Agatha queen for the day, complete with beautiful gowns and free reign of the castle. She and Elizabeth play all day. They play in the fountain and jump on beds. As their day ends, Agatha reveals that she knows she is going to die and wonders what happens when she does. Elizabeth paints a wonderful glimpse of heaven for the little girl. The next morning, Elizabeth heads to see Agatha with a blueberry pie (something that Agatha wished for but couldn't have because blueberries were out of season). Elizabeth is so excited to surprise Agatha with the pie, but when she reaches her room, she learns that Agatha passed away in the night. But, touched by the little girl's view of what a queen can do, Elizabeth rescinds her command to invade Scotland.
In France, as Leesa tells Catherine that she wants Charles to abdicate the throne and for Spain to take over rule of France which makes it more important than ever that Charles is found. Thankfully, Catherine and Narcisse find Charles living with a farmer and his family. Charles seems to be happy and healthy once again and has no intention to return to the castle. However, for the future of France, Catherine must persuade Charles to come home. When they realize that Charles has fallen for the farmer's daughter, they ask her to convince Charles to return by inviting her to return with him.
As soon as Charles returns, Leesa confronts him with her demands. To everyone's shock, Charles reveals that he is protestant! Catherine, still reeling from Charles' announcement begs Leesa to leave France and let her take care of France. As Leesa leaves, Catherine reveals that in order for Leesa to agree to return to Spain, she had to promise to remove Charles from the throne and make her youngest son, Henry, the King of France.
Finally in Scotland, James has made no secret of his feelings about Lord Darnley. He doesn't trust him and believes that if he and Mary wed, it will be an epic mistake. Mary, however, believes in Darnley and plans to reward him by returning land which once belonged to his family. Problem is that this land now belongs to James and he is not happy about to lose it to Darnley. It seems Darnley has also taken James' favorite horse as his own. Mary feels terrible about taking her brother's land and promises that she will replace what he lost. Indeed she does finds land that is comparable but it is owned by Lord Bothwell. She and James head off to find Bothwell. They find him in a tavern but as they are about to go in, something catches James' eye and Mary goes into the tavern to meet Bothwell while James does some investigating of his own. Mary meets Bothwell and the negotiations do not go well. Mary leaves with land for James but it was no bargain. So, what is it that James' is looking for? As they entered the village, James saw Darnley's horse (rather James' horse) at the inn next door. He bursts into the room and finds Darnley in bed with Kiera, Darnley's former lover. Darnley tried to convince Kiera that he no longer loved her but he couldn't deny his love for her. Now, having been found by James, Darnley knows that this will ruin his chance to be king and rushes after James. Somehow, Darnley convinces James not to tell Mary.
Back at the castle, we find Mary with a note from her anonymous letter writer telling her about Darnley and Kiera. I still don't think James is the note writer, it's too easy. But who is it? Anyway, Mary now knows the truth about Darnley and she confronts him. Darnley tries to explain but an emotional Mary, who believed that she and Darnley could have had a happy life together, informs him that the wedding is still on but that it will be in name only.
That's it for this episode. There is a lot that has to happen in the 10 episodes remaining to the series finale so don't miss it!