‘Reign’ Series Finale recap: How does Mary’s story end?


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

It’s the Reign series finale. Get ready for your tissues.

I hope you did have your tissues ready. Throughout the whole episode I wondered how they were going to wrap it up. There were moments it felt rushed and there were instances that I felt disappointed. But the final moments made up for that. How couldn’t they have?

Before I spoil just how the final moments went—one of two of the only ways I could see the show ending—let’s take a look at what happened in the episode.

Elizabeth Is England

Let’s make one thing clear. Elizabeth truly is England. This was something the real Virgin Queen believed—she wouldn’t marry a man because she was married to her country—and something Reign’s Elizabeth figured during the episode.

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After getting a new contract of marriage from the archduke, Elizabeth has to decide whether it’s worth it. Of course it’s not, but she and Drake are worried about an attack from Scotland after they go up against Spain. If they beat the Spanish Armada, their supplies will be so depleted that Mary could easily win.

That’s nothing to worry about, though. Elizabeth gets Mary’s letter from last week and Elizabeth is finally certain that the English throne is her.

Nicole Eats a Nut

I know what that sounds like, but she eats a real nut. Well, she eats ground nuts in a soup because the chef has run out of flour. It turns out that Nicole’s allergic to nuts and dies. Henri believes she’s been poisoned by someone Charles sent and it’s nearly brother against brother again.

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

Catherine manages to turn it all around on Spain. This is after she also learns that Leeza isn’t going to survive her third pregnancy, but nobody seems to care about that. It turns out that Emmanuel has the “gift” of sight. She knew Nicole was going to die and it looks like she never orchestrated it.

But Catherine and Narcisse believe she did and now the witch wants something in return: a kinky night with Catcisse. It doesn’t take long for Catherine to realize Emmanuel is calling for the devil. She wants to get pregnant by Narcisse, which sends him running and Catherine in a rage to kill the witch in the bed. Only no matter how much she stabs Emmanuel, the witch doesn’t die.

In shock and scared, Catherine learns that her sons plan against Spain will fail. There are initially only two options: she becomes their scapegoat and hangs or she lets her sons fail and be destroyed. Luckily there’s a third option and it involves her daughter Margot.

What that plan was, we’ll never know. With no more episodes, we don’t quite get to find out what Reign had in mind for this storyline.

“Kill my husband, Lord Darnley”

This has to be the best line of the night. For a moment, Mary is back…

But before we get to that, we have to remember that Darnley was last seen stealing the baby from his crib. What happened to the baby? Well, he leaves the poor thing by the roadside in the freezing cold. Mary and Darnley are lucky that a farmer came by and found the baby, getting him to a church for protection.

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

With the baby safely back at court thanks to half-brother James’ involvement, Mary is finally able to give the boy a name. James, in honor of her half-brother.

Yet there’s trouble. The Privy Council still wants to make Darnley the child’s steward, despite the madness. While there are some who will support Mary, she needs to get rid of her husband. Bothwell does have a plan, and one that will avoid all blame on either of them. Mary doesn’t want her half-brother James involved and sets up a public alibi for herself: a reception for the new Privy Council.

With Darnley’s death order, Bothwell makes his way to where Darnley is hiding out. Unfortunately, the idea to blow up the whole building doesn’t work out and Bothwell has to kill Darnley with his own hands.

It comes to the understatement of the night, “I have a bad feeling…”

You should, Bothwell. John Knox is there to arrest him thanks to the two men that Bothwell had helping him. Mary is also arrested for her part in killing Darnley.

A Time Jump: 21 Years Later

I got through this whole episode wondering when this final moment was going to arise. Mary in prison in England. It’s the day of her execution and her only regret is not seeing her son.

King James, who is now an adult and able to make his own decisions, is visiting Elizabeth initially begging for his mother’s life. Elizabeth isn’t having any of it. When she first offered refuge to Mary, she didn’t expect murder charges or plots against her.

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

James is given an offer: be named Elizabeth’s heir or choose to save Mary’s life. If he chooses the latter, Mary will remain in captivity forever.

Are we meant to feel like James acted out of kindness so his mother wouldn’t be locked away for the rest of her life? Or are we meant to feel like he acted out of the need for power? Mary had already talked about how both she and Darnley saw James as power. Could it be that he was a true product of his parents without ever knowing or realizing?

One thing I will say is I’m grateful that the Reign writers made a point of Mary and Elizabeth never meeting. There has always been something sad about that fact in real life. Mary never met the cousin who would sign her death warrant.

As for Mary’s death, I wondered whether that would be the final moment. Would the screen go black as the ax swung?

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This was where the tissues were needed. Rather than blackness, Mary wakes up to, “Mary, I’ve been waiting for you.” Yes, she is in bed with Francis, as they discuss whether where she is really is really. It’s almost like a Titanic moment, as the two join after years of separation. And as they run in the meadow, we have flashes of the good, bad, sad, and scary times throughout Mary’s life with Francis, Catherine, Bash, and her ladies.

It appears the Reign series finale was as good as it could be with the little time the writers had. The final episode did feel rushed and it’s such a shame that so many of the 11 things we should have seen weren’t included, but the final moments tonight certainly made up for it. Frary are reunited. That’s all that matters.

What did you think of the Reign series finale? How did you find the final season? Share in the comments below.