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#Reign - S4, Ep 2 "A Grain of Deception" Recap

Life in Scotland has not been easy for Mary, and she is desperate to have someone with whom she can completely trust besides her. The rift between Mary and James widens as Mary confronts James about her plans to marry Lord Darnley.  James is very much against the marriage and Mary tries to force James to be loyal only to her.  She questions James' loyalty again when word comes that supplies being delivered to a village close to the English border were ambushed for the 3rd time.  Clearly, there is a traitor in her inner circle and if it is not James, who is it?  She enlists the help of Greer, a reluctant James, the latest French fashions and a party to flush out the traitor.  The plan succeeds, and the traitor is the wife of one of the Scottish generals, who inadvertently gives away information to her lover!  Solving the mystery with Greer by her side has been wonderful for Mary, and she asks Greer to move back to Scotland with Castleroy and baby, Rose, and once again be one of Mary's ladies. Greer is concerned however because as it turns out, her child is darker in complexion that either she or Castleroy and there have been questions about her parentage. Greer and Castleroy have been forced to say that she is an orphan they are caring for.  Mary promises that should they return to Scotland; they will find only love and acceptance at Scottish court.

In England, Elizabeth invites John Knox to court in an attempt to find proof that he was responsible for the attempt on her life.  By asking for his help to plot her revenge against Mary, she hopes Knox will incriminate himself and give her proof to have his head. She enlists the help of Lord Narcisse who is still in England waiting for France to pay for his return home.  Elizabeth promises that Narcisse can return home with Jean if he helps her with Knox. Knox and Narcisse speak. Narcisse asks for his help to destroy Elizabeth for killing Lola.  The plan seems to be working but for a chance encounter with Jean and the nanny. The plan falls apart, Elizabeth is forced to kill English nobleman to protect herself and Knox leaves a defeated Queen Elizabeth who will never have another opportunity to touch John Knox.

In France, it still seems that Leith is gone and Claude fights for the right to mourn him, much to the dismay of her sister, Leesa. The delay in France's response to the terms of Narcisse release is revealed as King Charles makes an appearance. He is disheveled, bloody and vacant.  It is clear that Catherine is desperate to have Narcisse return as Lord Chancellor because she cannot save France from Spain or take care of Charles alone.  But Charles refuses to speak with Catherine or sign the release.  The end of the episode finds Catherine entering Charles' chambers where he is seated at his desk. His condition is unchanged and Catherine cannot reach him. He promises Catherine that he will sign the release if she will leave him alone. As Catherine leaves Charles, he raises his hands to the inkwell, they are covered in blood! What on earth? What happened to him when he was kidnapped? I would rate this episode a 9.

Season 4 continues it's final season with episode 3, "Leaps of Faith" on Friday, February 27th!