#Reign S4 EP 14 - "A Bride. A Box. A Body" Recap & Review

This week, we'll start in France because things are getting interesting. Narcisse is off to Scotland to deal with John Knox. Before he leaves, Catherine tells him about the deal she made with Spain.  If Charles will agree to wed a woman of Spain's choosing, Spain will go away. Charles seems to be on board and the Spanish ambassador has already shown Charles the portraits of the women Spain has chosen.  He is displeased with all of them especially the one that looks like a horse. 

The affair between Nicole and Henri is on and they sneak away to their secret hide-a-way in the village. Unfortunately, Luc Narcisse is also in town today and sees them.  But their romance is not the only secret that will be revealed that day. Nicole is about to learn another side to her prince. Thinking that Nicole is sleeping, Henri is drawn to the dressing table and Nicole's earrings. A fact about Henri that is based on fact, actually.  Unbeknownst to Henri, Nicole is awake and sees him. But she already has her suspicions about him and she admits to Henri that she knows.  Henri says that wearing women's clothing makes him feel powerful, more like himself and if she's bothered by it, there's the door. Nicole is not bothered at all.  She's actually quite intrigued which pleases Henri and they profess their love for one another. 

Back at court however, Luc returns and tells Catherine and Claude about the affair. Catherine knows that this will crush Charles if he finds out and she worries that it will send him back to the dark place. If Charles goes wonky again, the deal with Spain is in serious jeopardy. 

Claude and Luc share a brief moment and they seem drawn to each other. Claude tells her husband that she's missed him. Luc reaches for Claude but she pulls away. She has feelings for Luc but will not betray her promise to Leith.  This is the final straw for Luc, who finally asks Charles for an annulment. He will no longer stand in the way of Claude being with her true love. Perhaps Claude and Leith will be reunited in the finale???  

Later, everyone gathers in the throne room for Charles' announcement and it's a shocker! After his conversation with Luc, Charles has decided that he will not wed someone chosen for him. He will follow his heart and marry the woman he loves...And that woman is Nicole!  A very angry Spanish ambassador storms out and Catherine knows that this means the deal is off with Spain. Nicole takes her place beside Charles. 

On to Scotland, where once again Mary is fighting for her life and her throne. She is also out for blood. Mary, along with Bothwell and his army, return to the castle and arrest the Lord Treasurer, the one member of the privy council who has not fled. The traitor is strung up outside the castle and hung.  Mary takes back her crown. 

Fast forward two months, Knox is standing before Mary.  She knows Knox is behind the coup but without the privy council, she can't prove it. Knox knows that too. The men must be found and punished, of course, but Mary also intends to force the council to testify that John Knox was the mastermind behind the coup.  Knox tells Mary that the person she should be most concerned about - who also has much to gain by her demise as Knox - is her husband, Lord Darnley. Mary doesn't know where he is either and he could very well be gathering support for another coup. 

Knox is right. Mary and Bothwell know it too. The search begins and strangely, the first councilman is found on a tip from Darnley himself. Mary and Bothwell confront Darnley who tells his wife that he regrets what he's done and how he's behaved. He no longer wants more power.  All he wants is to be able to be a father to his child.  He promises to find the rest of the privy council to show her that he's serious. Do we trust him? Uh...not! 

True to his word (this time), Darnley does manage to find one council member. He convinces the man that Queen Elizabeth wants to reward them by offering them refuge in England. The dude agrees and Darnley arranges for all the men to meet in an abandoned barn. Darnley lets Bothwell where the men will be but when he arrives to arrest the men all he finds is the barn burned to the ground and all the men dead. Darnley accuses John Knox but Bothwell thinks its more likely that Darnley set the fire. He does have a history. Both men have the same motive for setting the fire - with the men gone, there is no one to implicate either Darnley or Knox of orchestrating the coup. Darnley is brought back to the castle but is kept under guard. 

Meanwhile, Narcisse has arrived in Scotland intent on getting his revenge on John Knox for Lola's death. Mary wants justice for Lola, of course, but Narcisse wants it to be brutal and bloody and it is Mary's decision to have Knox stand trial and be convicted through the court. 

But Narcisse has his own plan for revenge and it is brutal and bloody!  Knox begs for his life. He says it was Elizabeth who ordered Lola's death not him!  Narcisse tells Knox not to worry, he has plans for everyone who was responsible for his wife's death, Elizabeth included. She will indeed pay dearly. 

In England, Elizabeth's relationship with the Archduke is moving forward.  She has honored her fiance's wishes that Gideon not return to court by sending him on diplomatic missions.  But Elizabeth is still queen and if she wants Gideon Blackburn, she will have him.  Gideon returns to England feeling unwell and clearly frustrated about the missions he's been given.  He knows it's because Elizabeth's husband to be has discovered their affair.  Gideon will never do anything to endanger Elizabeth's life or her throne but he also will not share her with another man. Sadly, Gideon ends their relationship. 

But Elizabeth loves Gideon and she is not prepared to let him go.  Gideon meets her in seclusion at an abandoned church. She professes her love for Gideon and says that if there was any way she could ditch her crown and marry him she would.  Inside the church, Elizabeth and Gideon have their own ceremony - as close to a wedding as they will ever get. The "newlyweds" take a stroll after the ceremony and suddenly Gideon stops, Elizabeth turns to see Gideon bleeding from his nose.  He collapses and Elizabeth rushes to his side. GIDEON DIES IN HER ARMS!  Elizabeth's servant, Jane, finds Elizabeth sitting alongside Gideon, holding his hand.  It's a scene that looks much like when Francis died and Mary did not want to let him go. Now Elizabeth has lost the love of her life. 

Mary learns of Gideon's death. Narcisse has returned and presented Mary with a box.  Inside the box, much to Mary's horror is John Knox's testicles!  Mary quickly realizes that Narcisse is responsible for Gideon's death as well.  He makes no effort to deny what he's done nor does he feel remorse.  Elizabeth took Lola away from him, and now he has taken someone precious away from her. Mary screams at Narcisse to leave Scotland and never return. But Narcisse's actions and the cold-blooded murder of Gideon cause Mary to reconsider her recent actions and her need for retribution at any cost. She tells Bothwell that she does not want to become a monster like Narcisse. There will be no more bloodshed at her hand or in her defense. She wants peace and tells Bothwell that it must start with her.  She will begin by freeing her husband and trying to make their marriage work.  It means that she and Bothwell can never be together.  

Lady Lennox, Darnley's mother, visits her newly freed son in his chambers.  He looks a little loopy and when Lady Lennox asks her son if he set the fire that killed the privy council, he tells her that he didn't want to do it, but that Kiera told him he must.  Yes, that would be Kiera, who is dead but is still able to communicate the Darnley. So does this mean that Lord Darnley is nuts or cold Kiera really be alive?  We have two episodes to find out! 

Reign returns on Friday, June 10th at 9:00 pm on The CW.  Check back after for my recap!