‘Reign’ Season 4, Episode 15 recap: Prince James finally arrives


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

It’s taken 15 episodes for Mary’s son James to finally arrive. Just what does this mean for Reign’s series finale next week?

Reign this week is one of the episodes we’ve all been waiting for. The birth of Prince James. Of course, it doesn’t go as smoothly as anyone would hope and there are talks of performing a c-section (something that would have instantly killed a woman in Mary’s time period).

While Mary goes through labour with Greer and Bothwell by her side, Darnley plots to overthrow her. England and France aren’t fairing well either, with war declared and a queen imprisoned.

England: Elizabeth learns some of the truth about Gideon’s death

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It doesn’t take too long for Elizabeth to learn the truth about Gideon’s death this week. There are only two people who knew about Elizabeth and Gideon’s affair, the archduke and Jane. It’s clear to viewers quickly that Jane has worked with Narcisse, but Elizabeth blames her fiance first.

To get back at the archduke, Elizabeth decides to have gold stolen from one of his Portuguese ships. She needs it don’t quietly, which means getting the one and only Sir Francis Drake involved. Drake makes it very clear that if she wants to do this in secret then he needs a better share of the hoard.

It’s this conversation with Drake that makes Elizabeth think carefully about the people around her. Elizabeth can’t help but comment about Jane’s family not being at their home (little does she know that Narcisse has taken them to France) so has Jane followed. This isn’t the first time Elizabeth has dealt with a spy close to her (RIP Lola), and this time she’s going to get all the answers she needs. Jane is sent off for interrogation.

Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she has more to contend with. Drake declared war on Spain accidentally, by sinking two of the warships. Elizabeth now has to deal with the Spanish Armada. Is that really going to happen in the Reign series finale? With so much else going on, it didn’t even make our 11 things that need to happen before next week’s episode!

France: A queen is arrested

Leeza clearly isn’t happy that Charles has chosen to marry Nicole. She’s a commoner and a Protestant. However, for the sake of appearances, Leeza decides to support the marriage. Behind closed doors, she is still supporting Henri’s claim to the throne.

The Spanish warships that Drake runs into later in the episode are actually to help Henri take the throne from Charles. They’re supposed to cause enough of a threat to convince Charles to abdicate.

Deciding that he can’t live without Nicole, Henri decides to convince her to leave for one of the Spanish ships with him. That alerts Charles to the ships on the water and he decides to arrest his big sister for treason. As Catherine points out, she may be a queen but she’s in France.

Luckily for Leeza (who is surrounded by heretics and witches in the dungeon), Catherine has a way out of France but it’s for a price. We don’t quite find out what that is, but it’s enough to make Catherine risk the wrath of the king. That wrath is quickly subdued, when Charles realizes that Henri no longer has Spain backing him. It’s now time for Charles to kill Henri to win Nicole’s affections.

Catherine can’t let that happen, so turns to one of the witches in the dungeons with the occult book in hand. What is Catherine up to now?

Meanwhile, Luke and Claude find out that they’re not getting their annulment. Luke decides that Claude should leave for Leith anyway, but there’s a catch to this. Leith has already moved on and has married someone else. She has no choice but to find happiness with Luke. It’s about time really, as those two want to be happy with each other.

Scotland: The birth and disappearance of the prince

There’s a lot happening for Mary this week. She fears something will happen to her during childbirth, so shares a secret with Greer that she’s invited her brother James back to court. It will be good to see him back next week.

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

But before we can discuss anything, we finally learn the reason for Darnley’s madness. He has lesions on his back that Mary recognizes as syphilis lesions. There isn’t much time to save him from this.

I just want to point out that there’s no evidence that Darnley had syphilis. He had smallpox and was recovering from that before his murder, but it’s Henry VIII of England who is rumored to have syphilis. But it’s a good storyline for the show and a reason to make Darnley mad.

While Darnley leaves for treatment, Mary goes into labor and it’s not good. She’s losing a lot of blood and it looks like she might die. This is the perfect chance for Lady Lennox to go to Darnley and convince him to fill all the seats on the Privy Council with men who will put him in charge. Luckily Mary pulls through (thanks to a beautiful moment with Bothwell shouting at her to wake up and pulling her back to consciousness) but it’s all too late. Lady Lennox will throw Mary under the cart if there is any word of Darnley having syphilis. It would ruin Mary’s reputation and risk James’ right to the throne.

So, what does Mary do? The only thing she can: write to Elizabeth. She wants to make sure her son is safe and becomes the heir to both thrones. There’s also happiness with Bothwell that she wants, but right now James and his birthright are her main priorities.

While she does that, Darnley (with an imaginary Kira) decides to make sure his son isn’t taken away from him. After Mary’s nap, she learns that Darnley has taken her son.

Next: 'Reign' Season 4, Episode 14 recap

Tensions are high for the Reign series finale. Darnley is still alive, Mary hasn’t married Bothwell, there’s no sign of the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, and it looks like England is focusing on the Spanish Armada. Just what is going to happen in the final 40 minutes of Reign next week?

The Reign series finale airs on Friday, June 16 at 9/8c on The CW.