‘Reign’ Season 4 Recap: 5 Top Events from ‘Pulling Strings’


Photo Credit: Reign/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

It’s not a good week for Mary, Queen of Scots. Not only does she have to get married to save her country in Reign Season 4, but also to save her dignity and life.

Despite knowing the real history, there have been parts of me that wondered if Reign Season 4 would slightly change history. There have been some slight changes, as history states that Mary and Darnley were madly in love (well, Mary was madly in love with him) but that isn’t the case here. She’s marrying out of duty than out of love.

Mary does consider calling the whole marriage off, but soon realizes that she needs to marry for her own dignity and reputation as well as to win the English throne.  Here are the top moments from “Pulling Strings.”

Mary Learns She HAS to Marry Darnley

More from Hidden Remote

Catherine believes she may have a way to get Mary out of this loveless marriage. Her plan is to shower the nobles and leaders from around the world with jewels and money, placating them for coming for what turns out to be no wedding at all. However, Mary realizes that she can’t call it off after all.

Remember last week when a man told her that she and Darnley would have a child to unite Scotland and England? Well, that child is on his way. Yes, Mary is pregnant out of wedlock! She can’t be a queen with an illegitimate child. She and her child wouldn’t survive and certainly wouldn’t take the English throne. So, she has no choice but to marry Darnley.

The dress is absolutely beautiful, but it doesn’t take away from the sombre music and despair on Mary’s face. This isn’t a wedding, and more like a walk to someone’s execution. They don’t consummate their marriage, as Darnley passes out drunk, but that doesn’t matter. Mary has the child that she needs to join the two countries.

Bothwell Professes His Love for Mary

Well, part of me didn’t expect Bothwell to fall for Mary so quickly, but the show has to push forward quickly. There are just a handful of episodes left of the series and Bothwell needs to come up at some point. So, he decides just after Mary finds out she’s pregnant.

If only he did it sooner. Mary may have been able to work out Darnley and the nobles and marry for her heart. But she just can’t do it. She has herself and now her child to think about.

Bothwell sticks around, as much as Mary doesn’t want him to. She knows that her heart will fall for him hard, and she needs him out of the way to avoid temptations of an affair. Will Bothwell be her undoing?

Darnley Has Gone Missing

While all this happens, Darnley is nowhere to be seen. Mary isn’t going to start the festivities without him, but she’s encouraged otherwise.

That man who was in the woods, is David Rizzio. This is a name many history fans will know (and I was wondering who he would be), and adores court life. He won’t do after a while, I’m sure, but for now he’s totally into eating cake and loves Catherine de Medici. He also tells Mary that none of the guests care about Darnley. They’re here to see her—and probably her wedding dress, right? This shouldn’t be that surprising. Mary is the one with all the contacts.

Only one person finds out where Darnley is: James. Thanks to Emily Knox (it’s been a while), James learns that Darnley is at some top-secret meeting but it’s not good news. Kira’s husband Lord White is working with John Knox to murder Darnley for the death of Kira. That is going to take place at the meeting.

Mary knows that Darnley’s mother Lady Lennox likely knows her son’s location, so sends someone to find out. Of course, it’s the one and only Catherine. Through the mud-slinging, Catherine learns that Darnley is meeting with the Vatican’s representative.

It’s now time for Rizzio to become useful again. He has a relationship with Father Julian, the cardinal’s secretary, and can get Mary to the location of Darnley. It doesn’t take long for Mary to get in there and make the Vatican aware of who the boss is in Scotland. Unfortunately, that leads to the Vatican pulling support from Mary’s bid for the English throne by pulling support for getting some of the English border towns.

While it initially seems like bad news, Catherine is here with a silver lining. The money and jewels she did gain to bribe the guests is available for the English border towns. They’ve been bribed to join Team Mary.

James Makes a Move on Greer

There’s been some buildup and I wondered if this would happen. James starts making a move on Greer, only for Emily Knox to see.

Poor Emily has just been humiliated after her husband learned of her affair with James. He forces Emily to watch a women humiliated in public for adultery, but swears that he wouldn’t do that. Instead, he takes her dress and shoes and leaves her to find her own way home. That home is the court, where she looks for James.

On Greer’s side is Pirate Marteen, who shows up to be a part of Rose’s life. He realizes there is something between Greer and James, but just wants to be a part of his daughter’s life. James even suggests that Marteen gets this chance. Emily sees James wipe a tear from Greer’s face, as she admits her lack of luck in the love department. That is just as good as a kiss, and the envy in Emily’s eyes is evident.

Elizabeth Blames Her Father

We’ve seen Elizabeth’s inner thoughts before, when she wanted to learn the full truth about her mother’s potential night with her own brother. She wants to understand the reasons for her illegitimacy, but doesn’t blame her mother. It’s clear this week that it’s her father she blames, and that anger finally comes out.

After learning that the border towns are deflecting, Elizabeth destroys a portrait of Henry VIII. Cursing his name, she makes it clear that these current problems of people not viewing her as legitimate started with him and his decision to annul his marriage to Anne Boleyn, execute her, and then put her back in the line of success as Lady Elizabeth.

To make matters worse, Mary and Darnley are marrying. They have a stronger claim to the English throne together and both are viewed as legitimate.

As a way to help calm Elizabeth down, he offers himself to her—every bit of himself. The strangest storyline yet on Reign Season 4 takes place, as Elizabeth and Gideon end up in bed with each other. I’m not convinced of a love affair, but can get on board with a night of passion to ease their lonely hearts.

Next: 'Reign' Season 4, Episode 8 Recap

Poor Mary, now married to a man she hates and can’t trust. She hasn’t told him yet about the child, but that will likely happen next episode. Just how will Darnley take the news of having a son?

Reign Season 4 will take a break next week but return a week later with an all new episode at 9/8 on the CW.