#Reign S4 Ep 9 "Pulling Strings" Recap

This week's episode is all about the marriage of Queen Mary to Lord Darnley.  It's no secret to those close to Mary that she doesn't want to marry Darnley. She even begged Catherine to help her get out of it.  Catherine does have a plan if Mary chooses not stop the wedding by placating the Scottish nobles with gold and jewels so that Mary will not lose their support. Mary likes the idea but tells Catherine to hold off. Later Mary confides in Catherine that she is pregnant with Darnley's child so there is no question now that Mary must wed Darnley. This is the heir that Bash's prophesy foretold - the child that will one day unite England and Scotland and bring peace to both nations. As such, it is important that no one can know that the child was conceived out of wedlock for even though she was going to marry the father, a child born out of wedlock would still be declared illegitimate and therefore could never rule.  

Scottish court is abuzz with all the fun and games in celebration of the wedding, But, where is the groom and what is he up to?  James looks for answers with Emily Knox and finds out that John Knox has been in contact with Keira's widowed husband, Lord White, and that they are planning on murdering Darnley in retribution for Keira's death.  James is able to stop Lord White at the border but can't find Darnley.  Catherine believes that she can get the information from Darnley's mother and the two women have quite a verbal sparring match. Catherine is victorious and learns that Darnley is meeting with a Cardinal from the Vatican who is given Darnley advice on how to build his power in Scotland.  Darnley's mom doesn't know where the meeting is taking place, but David Rizzo thinks he can find out.  Rizzo is the man that delivered Bash's prophesy and Mary has given him a place at court. David Rizzo has professed his loyalty to Mary and will become a very important figure in Mary's life moving forward.  The location revealed, Mary arrives just in time.  She removes her groom from the room and gives the Cardinal a reminder of who it is that rules Scotland. The Cardinal warns of retaliation from the Vatican which comes immediately when Mary gets word that the Vatican will not help sway English border towns to Mary's side when she moves to take England. It's bad news for Mary. 

As if Mary's plate isn't already full, Bothwell shows up at Court to profess his love for Mary. He believes that he is the great love that the prophesy spoke of.  He and Mary kiss and there's definitely chemistry there but it's too late, Mary has to let him go. 

Meanwhile, our handsome pirate returns.  Marteen shocks Greer when he arrives to attend the wedding. Marteen wants to see baby Rose but Greer is concerned that if they are seen publicly, people will figure out that he is the baby's father and that the adoption story is false.  But it's James who has figured out that Marteen is the baby's father, convinces Greer to let Marteen be a part of Rose's life. Greer agrees to let Marteen babysit while Greer is at the wedding.  Greer returns to Rose after the wedding and sees that Marteen had Rose's ears pierced!  Greer is less than pleased!  

The Wedding day is here and Mary is preparing for the ceremony when David Rizzo tells Mary that Darnley is crazy drunk.  Rizzo and Mary head off to sober up Lord Darnley. After a gallon of coffee and buckets of cold water, Darnley is at least able to stand and the wedding begins. It's a somber occasion and so very different than her wedding to Francis.  In what is my favorite moment in the whole episode, Mary turns to find Catherine just as she looked back for her mother, Marie de Guise when she married Francis.  

Mary and Lord Darnley are wed.  As Catherine prepares to go home, she tells Mary that she has used the gold and jewels that she was going to use for the Scottish nobles to convince the English border towns to align with Scotland and it worked!  At least there is some good news on this very sad day. 

It's the wedding night and fortunately for Mary because she is Queen she can forego the "consummation" ceremony but she still must be seen in Darnley's chambers. Fortunately for Mary, Darnley is passed out cold.  Just then Mary hears a noise and opens the window to find Lord Bothwell standing below. Yes, Mary may indeed have feelings for the man but has too much at stake to risk an affair. Bothwell must stay away from Mary.  

Unfortunately for Emily Knox, her husband has learned of her affair with James. He brings Emily to a town where a woman is being publicly humiliated and punished for committing adultery. Though her husband will not make her be shamed publicly, he does order her to take off her clothes and sends her away with no money or place to live. She turns up at Scottish court presumably in search of James and spies him flirting with Greer.  

In England, a frantic Elizabeth learns of the wedding and the loss of the border towns. Gideon promises that he will be at her side and Elizabeth takes comfort in Gideon.  

There's so much that still has to happen to complete Mary's story in the remaining episodes and I am so not ready to see the end.  I wish that the network had given them one more year so that they wouldn't have to rush the story. 

Reign returns with new episode 10, "A Better Man" on April 28th at 9:00 pm.