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#Reign - S4, Ep 15 - "Blood in the Water" Recap

#Reigniacs, it's almost over.  This wonderful story of Mary, Queen of Scots, Catherine de Medici and Queen Elizabeth comes to an end on Friday, June 16th. So many questions. Will Bash return? Will Mary die? WILL FRANCIS RETURN SOMEHOW?  

But we still have "Blood in the Water" to recap and so we begin in Scotland and the birth of an heir. Determined to the bloodshed at her hands, Mary is trying to find common ground with her husband.  She walks into Darnley's chambers and sees that he is visibly ill.  Mary notices a rash on his back and realizes that her husband has syphilis! This would explain his hallucinations and bizarre behavior. Mary is genuinely concerned and convinces her husband to go to hospital for treatment.  

Lord Bothwell is not happy that Mary is still giving Darnley a chance. Mary tells Bothwell that she values him as her trusted protector, that is all there will ever be between them. Darnley's mother, Lady Lennox, isn't happy about Mary sending her son away either.  Mary tries to reassure her mother-in-law that she only wants what's best for Darnley. He is sick and needed help. Instead, it's Mary who needs help. She goes into labor!  Mary cries out and Lady Lennox rushes to get help!  

Mary's labor is not going well.  Greer is by her side. The doctor is worried because the baby is not coming. Mary is losing too much blood and he fears for the life of Mary and the baby. When it looks like Mary is not going to survive, Lady Lennox slinks out of the room. Mary send for Bothwell. She tells the doctor that if it is a choice between she and her baby, save the baby! Mary says her goodbyes to Greer and Bothwell and slips into unconsciousness.  Bothwell and Greer try desperately to wake Mary and just when it looks like she is gone, Mary wakes!  She rallies and gives birth to a healthy baby boy!  A son and heir!  

Where did Lady Lennox go?  Not sure whether Mary will live or die, Lady Lennox sees this as the perfect opportunity to get Darnley back into power. She finds him in the hospital being treated for syphilis. When Darnley tells his mother that he's ill and seeing Kiera, she tells him its okay if it makes him happy. She convinces him to go back to the castle. Because Mary's fate is unknown, Lennox wants Darnley to staff the privy council with men of his own choosing. If Mary dies, he'll have no power. If they are going to do this, it has to be now! 

It seems that there is no maternity leave for a queen when Greer tells Mary that Darnley has returned to court.  She and Greer make their way to see what's up and they find Darnley along with his mother and the new privy council seated at the table.  Darnley informs Mary that he has asked the privy council to name is as steward of their child. When Mary threatens to tell everyone that her husband has syphilis, he says that he'll just say he got it from her!  Is there anything Mary can do to stop him?  

Mary, still weak from giving birth, makes a bold decision. She writes a heartfelt letter to her cousin, Elizabeth. In it she explains her situation in Scotland and asks that if anything happen to her she would take care of her son. That's not all...if Elizabeth never has children of her own, Mary asks her to raise her son as an heir to both England and Scotland. In return, Mary promises to end the rivalry between them and leave England alone. 

Unfortunately, while Mary is in her chambers, Darnley enters the nursery and convinces the nanny to leave the room so he can be alone with his son.  When Mary returns to the nursery with Greer, she finds the crib empty!  What has Darnley done with their son? 

In England, Elizabeth has not yet received Mary's letter but the English queen has troubles of her own. Still grieving the loss of Gideon, she is determined to find his killer.  She confides in her servant, Jane, that she believes it is her fiance, the Archduke, though she has no proof. Jane worries that Elizabeth suspects her but Liz reassures Jane that she knows the girl would never do anything to endanger the life of her family by turning on her queen.  As for the Archduke, Elizabeth will get revenge another way. There is a Portuguese ship full of gold heading to Austria. Elizabeth hires Sir Francis Drake to pillage the ship and bring the gold to her. But England's participation in this mission must be secret and Sir Drake says its no problem. He's an experienced pillager!  

It seems though, that Jane is not as loyal to Elizabeth as she would have her believe. Even when Jane is gifting her family with treasures from France.  We know that Narcisse is the one one who murdered Gideon but it turns out Jane is helping him!  I am ashamed to say that I didn't see that coming!  Poor Elizabeth...it seems that Gideon was the only person that was 100% on her side.  Narcisse is not done with Jane just yet. He wants Jane to convince Elizabeth that the Archduke must be killed to avenge Gideon.  When Jane refuses, Narcisse threatens her family.  

Sir Francis Drake returns to court with news about the Portuguese ship. He has completed the mission but there's been a bit of a mishap. On their return to England they happened upon a Spanish Armada.  Drake raises the English flag thinking that the Spanish will let them pass in peace. The plan fails and he fired upon and took down two of the Spanish ships. Elizabeth is furious!  King Philip of Spain has been looking for reason to attack England and because of what Drake has done, England has now provoked the most powerful army in Europe! 

Jane returns to court with Narcisse's orders and suggests that Elizabeth kill the Archduke. But what Jane doesn't know is that Sir Francis Drake reminded Liz that because she is queen, everyone will always want something from her and anyone who says otherwise is a lying. When Jane suggests murder out of loyalty to her queen, Elizabeth no longer trusts her motives. She's figured out that Jane was involved in Gideon's death but not that Narcisse was responsible (at least not yet). Jane is terrified when she opens the door to find her guards waiting to take Jane to the Tower.  

In France, evil Queen Leesa is back and is once again stirring up trouble for the Valois. She has arrived unannounced and with a wagon full of French heretics, including a witch. This time though Leesa tries to convince her mother that Spain is no longer going to fight Charles and Nicole's marriage. Catherine is suspicious, with good reason. Henri is confused by the change of plans but Leesa tells him privately to head to the Spanish warship that's been loitering since Henri's return to France. The entire Spanish Armada (yes THAT Spanish Armada) will follow and together they will force Charles to abdicate. 

But Henri has his own plan. He and Nicole meet and he tells her of Leesa's plan. Since he will soon be king instead of Charles, he convinces her to run away to the ship with him. They love each other. When Henri promises that Charles will not be hurt, she agrees. Henri tells her to bring his favorite corset. 

It doesn't take Charles long to notice that discover Nicole is gone and that Henri and Leesa have been conspiring against him.  Charles orders Leesa to be imprisoned next to the heretics and the witch. Leesa is dragged kicking and screaming to the dungeon. Catherine is loving this! She visits her daughter in the slammer and Leesa is as indignant as ever. That is, until Catherine tells her that the Spanish Armada isn't coming (they're busy with England).  Leesa begs her mother for help and Catherine agrees.  She will help Leesa in return for a laundry list of favors to France from the King and Queen of Spain.  I think we've seen the last of Queen Leesa! 

The Leesa problem may be solved but that still leaves Catherine with the matter of Nicole and her two sons. Charles believes that Henri has kidnapped his fiance and Nicole is being held against her will. Catherine knows that Henri and Nicole are lovers but does not tell Charles. Charles wants to attack Henri but Catherine fears the civil war that will break out over two brothers in love with the same girl.  Catherine's problem-solving skills are epic and this time it's no different.  She simply heads to the witch in the dungeon and hands her the book of dark magic. She asks the witch to take care of Nicole. 

Then there's Claude and Luc. I feel like this could have been a nice little love story if there had been more time. 

When Luc first approached Charles about an annulment for he and Claude, the King agreed. But now that he is going to marry a Protestant, Charles doesn't want to provoke the Vatican by asking for an annulment.  Luc won't be responsible for Claude's unhappiness and sends her to Leith.  Later, a tearful Claude tells Catherine that she went to Leith but that Leith is getting married!  Catherine tells Claude if Leith has moved on, she should too. Give Luc a chance, Claude! 

So this is it. All that's left is the series finale "All it Cost Her."  I wish we had one more season so that there was no rush to complete any of these story lines.  I started to cry when they showed the preview.  I am going to be devastated when the final credits roll.  

Stay tuned next weekend when I recap the final Reign episode.  It's been a pleasure!