In France, King Charles is well, strong and ready to rule France. Certain that his strength is coming from the peace he has found in his protestant faith, he refuses to return to Catholicism for fear that his demons will return. But, Leesa's terms for leaving France were that Charles abdicate the throne for Henry to rule so Catherine and Narcisse know they must find a way to change Charles' mind. Charles will be convinced to return to the Catholic faith from a surprise confidant, Luc.
Even though she knows that Leith is lost to her, Claude still loves him and will not open her heart to Luc. Claude confides in Luc that, yes, she misses Leith but that her biggest concern right now is the life of her brother, Charles. So, Luc seeks out Charles to ask his advice on the best way to reach Claude. Charles tells Luc of Claude's love of the stars so Luc creates a starry sky in their chambers and the newlyweds bond under the stars. Luc has also bonded with Charles and this is how he will convince the king to return to the Catholic church. During a friendly game of archery, Charles confides in Luc of his fears the pressure of the Vatican will be too much for him. Luc reminds him that he will face pressure of the protestants as well. He tells Charles that whether he rules France as a protestant or a catholic, there will always be pressure. Later, Catherine tells Narcisse that Charles has asked to meet with a catholic noble and she assumes this means that they have won! However, Luc runs into Charles in a dark hallway and already is it clear that crazy Charles has returned!
In England, we meet an "explorer" named Captain Hawkins, who has made an enemy of Spain by stealing gold and other treasures from the new world which Spain has claimed. King Phillip wants Elizabeth to arrest and punish Hawkins and return their stolen property. Captain Hawkins is a charmer though and he and Elizabeth get a tipsy playing a drunken party game. After the game, Hawkins tells her that his men were attacked by Spain and that is why they stole from them. When the Spanish Ambassador comes to court, Elizabeth is intimidated by him as he threatens the consequences of a war with Spain. When the ambassador tells Elizabeth that England should know its place, this threat has the opposite effect on Elizabeth. She has Hawkins' freed and tells Hawkins to go explore the New World in the name of England. Go Liz!
Now to France, where so much is happening. Things are not going well for Lord Darnley and Mary. Darnley has tried to tell apologize for his affair with Kiera but Mary refuses to trust him ever again. She makes it clear to her future husband that their marriage will happen but only to get her England, and in name only. Mary also tells Darnley that Lucrezia de Medici will be attending the wedding. She explains that Lucrezia is a strong catholic ally whose support Scotland needs if and when Mary goes for England. Unfortunately the Medici's arrive just in time to hear Darnley mouthing off to an old friend about being more of a man than Francis. Mary arrives to greet her friend but finds an irate Lucrezia storming out of the castle! Before Mary heads off to try and make amends, she tells Darnley that Francis was more of a man than he will ever be! True that!
Lucrezia agrees to forget the whole incident if Mary gives her more land in Scotland. So, for the second time Mary sets off on a mission to acquire land and once again, it is Lord Bothwell that she must deal with. It seems that the land Mary would like to purchase has just been won in a card game by Bothwell. He agrees to sell her the land just as soon as he surveys the property so that he knows what the land is worth. Mary agrees to accompany him and off they go on a canoe ride.
Surprise, surprise, surprise...there's a flash flood and the two must jump ship. Bothwell and the Queen make is safely to shore, soaked but otherwise unharmed. As Mary gets out of her wet clothes, Bothwell questions her about her marriage to Darnley. Mary explains why she must marry him and realizes that Lord Bothwell is her "loyal watchman." Bothwell tells Mary that he promised Mary's mother that he would watch over Mary but when James became Regent, he was banished from court. Mary is still trying to convince Bothwell that her marriage is not a mistake when a strange man appears with a prophesy. The man tells her that she can either marry to have an heir or marry for love, but not both. If she does choose an heir, she’ll have a son who will rule both Scotland and England in peace. Mary and Bothwell do not take the man seriously until he tells them that a group of Druids recently saved his life and they asked him to deliver the message to Mary. Slowly Mary realizes that it was Bash who sent the message! After hearing the message, Mary is more convinced than ever that she must marry Darnley. It will be a loveless marriage but she will have an heir which is more important. Bothwell gives Mary the signed deed to the land and she quiets things with the Medici's.
As things seems to be falling into place, James tells Mary that Kiera is still in Scotland. This infuriates Mary and she sends James to find her and get her out of Scotland at once. James finds her, there's a scuffle and Kiera is injured by a horse and later dies in Darnley's arms. A distraught Darnley tells Mary that he was telling the truth about ending things with Kiera. He says that the only reason she was still in Scotland is that she was ill. Now, Darnley tells Mary that he will hate her for the rest of her life for causing Kiera's death.
As Mary weeps alone in her chambers, someone enters her room. It's Catherine! It's Catherine! Mary runs to her, and as they embrace, Mary asks Catherine to get her out of this marriage! I am so excited to see Mary and Catherine reunited! The dynamic between these two queens has always been one of my favorite things about Reign!
Mary and Darnley wed on Friday night's episode, "Pulling Strings," There is still so much that has to happen in the remaining episodes. Reigniacs, I think this has been a great season, and I am so sorry it is the last! Be back soon with the recap from episode 9.