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#Reign - Season 4 Ep. 13 - "Coup de Grace" Recap & Review

Yes, there's news in France and England but in Scotland, Mary's enemies are closing in!  John Knox has Darnley wrapped around his little finger with the promise of power and has paid off the privy council to Darnley's side as well.  The pieces are almost in place to strip Mary of her power and grant Lord Darnley the crown matrimonial.  Knox tells Darnley that once he has the crown matrimonial and Mary is gone, Darnley will be Scotland's king.  

But, as the men plot and plan, they have forgotten one important thing - you should never underestimate Mary.  She learns of the alliance between her husband and John Knox and has a plan of her own.  It's time to announce her pregnancy and, much to Darnley's surprise, she proclaims it to the entire Scottish court!  It's an ingenious plan and it works perfectly!  An heir with a legitimate blood claim to the throne in Scotland and England! The nobles are thrilled about an heir and Darnley loves the attention that comes with impending fatherhood.  But Knox is livid!  He has to make Darnley see that, now more than ever, their plan has to move forward! 

Rizzio informs Mary that the announcement of an heir was a success and she has won the nobles' allegiance. Well, all except one, the Lord Treasurer. Mary asks him to check the books to see if there is anything that they can use to "convince" him to support Mary. Rizzio agrees, of course.  Mary tells Rizzio how much his friendship means to her and that she treasures him. Rizzio's investigation proves that the Treasurer has indeed been skimming funds but when confronted by Mary, he refuses to be intimidated.  Rizzio has another trick up his sleeve. He confronts the Lord Treasurer and threatens to "out" him.  You see, Rizzio knows that the Lord Treasurer prefers men because Rizzio does too.  The threat of being out is enough to force the treasurer to side with Mary.  

Knox is enraged that Mary has, once again, outwitted he and Darnley.  He tells Darnley that Mary must die.  Lord Darnley doesn't want her dead and suggests that all they need to do is accuse Mary of having an affair with Lord Bothwell.  All they need to do is catch the two of them together. Mary will have no choice to abdicate her throne.  She'll be imprisoned or banished and Darnley will be king.  

Bothwell and Rizzio have gotten wind of the plan and rush to Mary's chambers.  Darnley is coming to destroy her. Mary pushes Bothwell out of her chambers through a secret passage and she and Rizzio sit by the fire as if they have been playing cards all evening.  Darnley and his mob, including the Lord Treasurer, are not pleased to find only Rizzio and Darnley demands to see Bothwell.  Mary accuses the men of treason but the men won't be stopped. Mary may not have been found with Bothwell, but she is alone in her chambers with Rizzio and that will have to do. Mary is restrained by Darnley as she is forced to watch the mob murder Rizzio - her best friend!  

Mary is devastated by Rizzio's death but she can't afford to let her grief control her.  She must keep a clear head and come up with a plan.  She will not let anyone take her throne!  Feigning a problem with the baby, she calls for Lord Darnley.  Darnley rushes to Mary's side. Mary convinces her not-so-bright King Consort that he is not safe from the nobles. Does he really believe that the Scottish Lords will let an Englishman stay on the throne in Scotland?  No, they will kill him.  Darnley believes her and the pair flee the castle on horseback.  Halfway into their journey, Darnley knows that he's also a dead man if Bothwell finds him.  He rides off to hide and leaves Mary to continue on her own. Seriously, he leaves his pregnant wife alone in the woods? Of course, Mary can take care of herself and reaches Bothwell at a safe house.  Bothwell has men at the ready to take back the castle. Mary is furious and intends to kill all of the men in her home who think they can take her crown!  Go, Mary!!! 

In France, Henri overhears a conversation between Catherine and Narcisse in which Narcisse tells Catherine how annoying it is spending time with Nicole and how he hates pretending to be in love with her.  Henri heads right to Nicole and he manages to plant a seed of doubt in Nicole's mind whether Narcisse truly loves her.  She places a gift for Narcisse in his chambers and she and Henri hide and wait for Narcisse to return to his room.  

Moments later, Catherine and Narcisse enter the room and Stephan finds the gift from Nicole. He is annoyed by yet another gift and Nicole overhears him telling Catherine that it is exactly as Henri said, Narcisse does not love her.  To make matters worse, Nicole sees Catherine and Narcisse rekindling their romance!  Henri is right there to comfort her and they end up in bed together.  Good thing Henri has a pretty face, cuz he ain't got no scruples! 

Breaking Nicole's heart isn't the only thing keeping Henri busy.  He's commandeered a British ship docked in France and confiscated the ships cargo when he learns that its salt peter, one of the main ingredients in gunpowder. Henri intends to sent it to Spain but when Narcisse hears of this, he is quick to remind Henri that he is supposed to be supporting France not Spain  When England hears of this, Elizabeth sends Gideon to get the ships back, cash for the Englishmen that were beheaded and a big, fat apology from France!  When Gideon arrives in France, Narcisse tells Gideon he will get none of those things.  Gideon realizes that for Narcisse, this is personal. Gideon tells Stephan that he knows loss and that the bitterness inside will destroy him.  His words get through to Narcisse and he shares the whole story of Henri's ambition and the France/Spain situation. He suggests that Gideon have a word with King Charles. Narcisse thinks that Charles will very likely work with Gideon to resolve the issue and indeed he is; the ships are returned to England. 

A seemingly strong King Charles confronts his brother and informs him about the ships and reminds Henri that he IS king and intends for it to stay that way!  Go, Charles! 

Finally in England, as Elizabeth send Gideon to France, he tells her to write down her thoughts and desires and he will do his best to accommodate her when he returns.  She does but unfortunately her fiance, happens upon the letters and Elizabeth tells him that she was writing of her desires for him.  The fiance buys it and he tells Elizabeth that there is no reason for them to wait until their wedding night to "consummate" their marriage. The Queen has to through with it and she does. 

Later, she and her the Archduke are having lunch and he tells her that he knows that she wrote those letters for Gideon, not him.  He tells Elizabeth that he believes that the two of them could have a good life together and when Elizabeth does not deny it.  He says that the only way he will stay with Elizabeth is if she banishes Gideon from court.  Because Elizabeth knows that now that Mary is pregnant, she must marry. Elizabeth agrees to send Gideon away. 

Three episodes to go...

Reign returns on June 2nd and from this point forward, I am going to stay away from any scoops and spoilers because I want to be a total fan geek until the end.  

#Reign - "A Queen, A Box and a Body" airs on Friday, June 2nd at 9 pm on The CW.