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#Reign - S4 Ep6 - Love and Death Recap

"Love and Death" begins on a beautiful, sunny day in Scotland.  Darnley and Mary are in the midst of a horse race when they happen upon the English ambassador who has crossed the border into Scotland with orders to return Lord Darnley to English court.  Mary reminds Ambassador Richards that Scotland and England are at peace and that Darnley is a guest of at Scottish court. They send the ambassador back to England empty-handed.  Mary and Darnley return to the castle. More flirting, playing and kissing for the couple. As their feelings intensify, though, Mary pulls away from Darnley and escapes back to the castle. Later, Mary confides in Greer that whenever she begins to get close to Lord Darnley, she is filled with a sense of panic that she can't explain. (Perhaps Mary should listen to that little voice inside).  

In England, Elizabeth is not happy when the Ambassador returns without Darnley. She tells him that Darnley can not marry her cousin and that if they are wed, she will hold him personally responsible. Just then, Elizabeth learns that the physician she has brought to court to examine Agatha, Gideon's daughter, has arrived.  The doctor examines Agatha and tells Gideon that there is a special blue rose that he needs to prepare a potion that may save Agatha - If he can find it.  Gideon is grateful when Elizabeth tells the doctor that no expense is to be spared for Agatha.  

In Scotland, preparations for the engagement party are underway when James brings Mary an urgent letter that just arrived from England.  The letter states that English troops will return to Scotland to take Darnley back to England, forcibly if need be.  The letter does not state how many soldiers there will be but James and Mary realize how quickly this could escalate into war and Scotland is not prepared for war.  So, they decide that even though the party is to celebrate their engagement, it is safer for Darnley to be at the safe house so that when the English arrive, they can simply say that Darnley isn't at court.  Darnley argues that he will look like a coward if he retreats. James reminds Darnley that this is not about him, it's about the future of Scotland.  Darnley tells James that he and Mary are the future of France and that James is just redundant.  The two men are about to come to blows when Mary steps in and asks James to leave she and Darnley alone.  Darnley is determined not to leave, and Mary puts an end to the argument by commanding Darnley to go to the safe house.  

In France, Claude and Leith wake up in the morning. Claude is Luc's wife by day but Leith's at night. Still in bed, Claude is reminded of Tuscany and she promises to take Leith there one day. Leith says let's go now but this is the night that she must stay with Luc to conceive an heir. Leith tries his best to understand.  Just then, Luc barges in to report that Leesa is back at court and that he and Claude must appear together to greet her.  As they wait for Leesa, Claude tells Catherine about the arrangement between she, Luc and Leith. Catherine warns Claude about what how this arrangement will poison Leith who must share the woman he loves with another man. 

Leesa returns.  Again, I must say how much I hate Leesa and can't wait to see her return to Spain.  Anyway, Leesa is disturbed when she returns to court but Charles is not present.  Catherine tells her that Charles is away for prayer and rest. It seems that Mary has requested help from Spain to protect Scotland from England.  Spain is willing but only if Charles signs off on it.  This is a problem because Catherine has no idea where Charles is.  She lies and tells Leesa that she will go to Charles and have him sign whatever is necessary.  She later tells Narcisse that she will forge a letter from Charles.  Leesa appears to be satisfied. For now. 

Later that night as Luc and Claude start to get intimate, Claude can't go through with it.  Leith is eavesdropping at the door and hears what he thinks is Claude and Luc producing an heir but doesn't stay long enough to hear that nothing happens. Luc is very understanding when Claude refuses him. It makes me wonder if Luc is really just that nice of a guy or will he turn out to be more like his father in the episodes to come?  

In the midst of the love triangle angst, Narcisse learns that Charles has been spotted and sends Luc to find him before Leesa finds out that they have been lying. Claude asks Leith to go with Luc. Reluctantly he goes and finds Luc bleeding out from a stab wound by thieves. At first Leith is tempted to let Luc bleed to death but brings Luc back to the castle. Narcisse is impressed with Leith and tells him so.  Realizing that sharing Claude is not going to work, Leith has a proposal for Narcisse. Leith asks for gold and the land that Francis took from him and gave back to Narcisse. Narcisse agrees to his terms. 

It looks like Gideon's daughter, Agatha, will live as the physician tells Elizabeth that the cure worked.  Elizabeth is suspicious though and pressures the doctor into telling the truth, the cure was a fake and that Agatha will die.  Elizabeth sends the doctor to the tower for defrauding a queen! Elizabeth takes Gideon aside and gives him the terrible news. 

Returning to Scotland the party is in full swing when James tells Mary that the English troops have arrived but there are only 15. Mary and James are informed that Elizabeth has also sent an assassin. Knowing that Elizabeth would never attempt to assassinate Mary out in the open, they realize that it is Darnley who is the intended victim and they race to warn him.  At the safe house, Darnley discovers that too when his guard is killed.  Darnley kills the assassin.  An emotional Mary sees that Darnley is alive. She rushes to his side and tells him that the reason she pulls back from him is because she had a husband that she loved deeply and he was murdered in front of her eyes and she can't go through that again.  She won't let herself fall for him. They return to the castle and confront the English with their assassin's dead body. Mary says she knows that they were ordered not to return to England without a body and she has given them one.  The Englishmen take the body and leave.  Darnley asks a shaken Mary to continue the party and dance with him but she tells him she's had enough excitement and excuses herself.  Darnley takes off after her and this time Mary does not pull away. 

We end the episode back in France as Claude catches Leith as he is leaving the castle. He tells Claude how close he came to letting Leith die and that he feels something changing inside him and fears that if he stays at court watching she and Luc, that he will turn into someone he doesn't want to be. Claude desperately tries to keep Leith from going.  She wants them to meet in Tuscany in a year.  Leith lets Claude go. 

Having failed to find Charles, Narcisse enters the throne room to find Leesa who reveals a young boy wearing Charles' crown! It seems Leesa had her guards conduct their own search for Charles.  The boys tells them that Charles gave him the crown and told him that he no longer wants it. Just then Catherine enters with the forged letter.  Leesa tells Narcisse and Catherine that enough is enough and it is time for the Valois to step down and Spain to take over ruling France. 

I give this episode a 10!