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#Reign - S4 Episode 12 - "The Shakedown" Recap & Review

So Darnley is a first-class jerk; we know this. Mary was warned not to marry Darnley but politically she felt Darnley was her best option to secure her rule in Scotland and to take England. Their marriage has been a disaster from the start but now Darnley has become a danger to Mary and to Scotland.  Then, as her husband beds countless women and drinks his way through town, an earthquake rocks Scotland.

As Mary tries to secure funds to aid the people, Mary learns that her husband has been stealing money from the country's emergency fund.  Mary must find Darnley and the money so that she can help her people rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the quake. She can't ask the privy council for funds because the council will see her inability to manage the money as a weakness.  Mary's search finds Darnley with yet another woman and when confronted about the missing money, Darnley agrees to return it IF Mary will welcome him back to court.  

Mary knows she has no other option but no one is happy about Darnley's return to court. Mary also knows that Darnley can't be trusted so she and Bothwell come up with a plan to make sure the money is returned to the crown.  They will welcome Darnley back to court with a big party, complete with lots and lots of wine. Rizzio and Greer will make sure Darnley stays liquored up and occupied while she and Bothwell head to Darnley's house and take the money somewhere where Darnley can't touch it. 

All is going according to plan. Darnley is reveling in his triumphant return and packs on the PDA with his wife to prove it.  Darnley is seemingly distracted by the hoopla, so Mary and Bothwell leave the castle to retrieve the money.  What they find, however, is that the chest is only half full! Darnley has spent nearly half the money!  Back at the party, Darnley isn't quite drunk enough not to notice that his wife and Bothwell are missing. Greer and Rizzio try to redirect him but he's figured out what's going on.  At the house, Mary and Bothwell hear the guards coming and Mary leaves with the little money they recovered.  The King's guard find Bothwell and beat snot out of him. Darnley returns with Bothwell and throws him in jail. 

Mary is though with Darnley when she and Rizzio determine what Darnley has done with the money. Still hungry for power of his own, Darnley is trying to turn the Scottish nobles against his wife by purchasing property to "court" the nobles.  Mary and Darnley once again come to blows and Darnley realizes that she has feelings for Bothwell. Mary realizes it too.  She visits Bothwell in prison and fills him in on the details of her husband's deception. They agree...Darnley must go.  Yet, Mary isn't quite ready to order the murder of her husband but she doesn't know that Darnley's new best friend is the hated, Sir John Knox. 

There's disaster in France as well.  Catherine's decision to use a spell to make Charles a stronger king has backfired.  He's become aggressive with Henri and is reckless in his decision-making. Charles learns that English nobles living in France are refusing to pay taxes. Charles wants them arrested and put in prison but these nobles are Protestant and the privy council worries that putting them in prison could result in an uprising against the crown.  It is clear to Catherine that she must reverse the spell and destroy the evil book. In true Catherine form, she sends a friend to secretly negotiate with the nobles to hopefully reach a peaceful resolution. The plan seems to work - or so she thinks. But, as Charles sets off to meet with the nobles himself, the peaceful resolution has fallen apart when he returns with the nobles' heads on spikes!  Catherine and Narcisse are horrified and terrified of the repercussions will follow. Catherine and Narcisse know that this could spark an international incident but right now, Catherine's biggest concern is for Charles' well-being.  She confronts Charles who tells her that he murdered the nobles so that the French will never see how week he feels inside. 

So Claude and Luc... Claude is starting to have real feelings for her husband.  I loved Claude and Leith, don't get me wrong, but I really like Claude with Luc too.  I think that's how Claude feels too because she's feeling guilty about her attraction to Luc. But she promised Leith that she would never fall in love with her husband. But before she can go to Leith, she must give Luc an heir. She seduces Luc and he begins to feel that a real relationship is growing. Papa Stephan trashes that idea when he shows Luc a confiscated letter from Claude to Leith telling him of her plan to come to him after she has produced Luc's heir. Luc tells Claude that he knows of her plan.  He believed they could have been happy but now their marriage will be political, nothing more.  Claude realizes that she is in love with two men.  Love never runs smooth for the Valois women. 

In England, Elizabeth is scared.  Every day brings an assassination attempt or coup and the Queen is afraid.  Who wouldn't be?  Gideon thinks his girl needs a vaca so he suggests they hide away at his secluded waterfront cottage.  Elizabeth dons a disguise and an alibi and heads to Gideon for some PTO.  With Gideon, on this beach, Elizabeth forgets for a moment that she is Queen.  Their vacation is going great right up until the moment that Jane, Elizabeth's servant happens upon the couple. Poor Jane is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Jane is tied up in the cottage, begging for her life and promising Elizabeth that she will never tell a soul about what she's seen.  Elizabeth believes that Jane must die but Gideon disagrees. In the end, Elizabeth is unable to kill Jane and frees her with the threat that if she ever tells anyone, she'll hunt her down and kill her and her entire family.  I believe her. So does Jane. 

Elizabeth returns to the castle and as she enters her bed chamber, there's little miss Jane, making her bed!  Jane tells the queen that she has no where else to go and promises her loyalty. Elizabeth lets her stay. 

Reign Season 4, Episode 13 - "Coup de Grace" airs tomorrow at 9:00 pm on The CW.  Without giving away too much, here's a little scoop of what's ahead.  Darnley and John Knox try to strip Mary of her throne; Elizabeth must banish Gideon from court at the request of her future husband; Charles takes a bold stance against his brother Henri. 

Check back next week for my recap and subscribe to www.sueboohscorner.com for news, scoops, and spoilers for all your favorite shows!