#Reign 4x01 "With Friends Like These" Recap & Review

                                                                                                 "I need power"

                                                                                                 "I need power"

Season 4, Episode 1 opens with James teaching Mary how to fight with a sword and right out of the gate we see that our Mary is fierce!  The fight to keep her throne has made her tougher, smarter and stronger. Though James remains at Mary's side and has pledged his loyalty to her, she knows that he is also greatly influenced by John Knox. Mary will soon learn that it was John Knox who is responsible for Lola's death. However, she still talks to James about her need to remarry.  Several Scottish clansmen have requested her hand, but it is Mary's intention to wed Lord Darnley, a cousin of both queens.  Mary and Darnley have a legitimate blood claim to the throne of England which would give Mary the power to take Elizabeth's throne.

Greer arrives to attend Lola's funeral, and with so many new faces this season, it was great to see an old friend. Mary confides in Greer about her future and her fears about James' loyalty.  As they say goodbye to Lola, Mary feels ill and returns to her carriage.  Mary realizes too late that she has been drugged!  She wakes to find that she is a prisoner of one of the northern clans who demand she marry the son of the clan lord.  In typical Mary fashion, she uses her charm to overwhelm the intended groom who passes out when she asks him to help her dress.  As Mary escapes, she comes upon James, who is acting on Knox's order, plans to rescue Mary and then kill the clan. Mary recognizes this and confronts James.  Fierce Mary appears again and forces James to show his loyalty to Mary by heading the clan lord.  He does.

 On to France!  So you can call me crazy or a hopeless romantic, but I still feel like Leith may be alive!  I know he's been missing for weeks, and everyone but Claude has lost hope, but if he's dead, why not just say so? Why drag it out? I may be setting myself up for another heartbreak, but I can't give up hope just yet. Oh, and I already don't like Catherine's oldest daughter, Lizzy, Queen of Spain.  As a ruling queen, she trumps Catherine, and she demands that Claude marries Marcel de Guise.  Catherine promises Claude that she will take care of the problem and she does...with Marcel's suicide!  I love Catherine de Medici!  

England. Narcisse. Jean.  What happens to Lola's son with Lola gone and Narcisse jailed.  Gideon has returned to England who refuses to spy for Mary. He still cares for Mary though and is able to convince Elizabeth that Mary would never have put Lola's life at risk to kill Elizabeth.  Gideon learns that Jean has been taken from the court by Lola's nanny.  Gideon visits Narcisse who is demands he find Jean.  When found, Gideon learns that it was John Knox who was behind the attempt on the queen's life.  He returns Jean to court, convinces Elizabeth that it was not Mary. Remorseful, Elizabeth frees Narcisse and allows him to find his way back to France with Jean.  Lord Darnley arrives at English court at the request of the Queen who means to prevent the marriage between him and Mary at all costs.

I thought it was a really great episode. I was surprised that there was no mention made or sign of Charles. I love fierce Mary, but I really miss the Mary that was with Francis. I miss the love/hate relationship between Mary and Catherine and I really, really want Leith to be alive! I would this episode 10/10 perfect.

Stay tuned next week!