Make way for the return of our new TV obsession.
Reign, the CW's breakout drama, finally comes back from its winter hiatus tonight, and picks up a week after the epic finale, which found Mary (Adelaide Kane) and Bash (Torrance Coombs) leaving French Court, and a devastated Francis (Toby Regbo), behind. 'Twas thrilling. 'Twas heartbreaking. 'Twas epic.
To help you prepare for your return to French Court, we chatted with showrunner Laurie McCarthy about what's ahead for Mary and her two suitors, Francis and Bash, as well as how the writers' room is working around historical events, like Francis' death. Plus, she teased the mysterious Clarissa's backstory and the king's reaction to Mary and Bash's little adventure. (They're so grounded.)
We imagine you guys have a lot of fun playing with history in the writers' room, but you do have major events, such as Mary and Francis' wedding and Francis' death, that fans know are coming. Do you guys have a timeline for all of those yet?
We know we're going to get to them. We have a timeline set for the marriage. We don't have a timeline for Francis' death yet, but I've said a bunch of times to everybody, really, we're not going to shy away from it. But you know, we're not going to get there too soon either. There are people who need to die before Francis dies, so we're going to stick to the major signposts of her life, because they're great dramatic signposts. There's a lot that's coming down the pike for her before her husband dies. There's a lot of unrest in Scotland, there's her mother's fall from grace…there are other things that kind of need to happen, and there will be shakeups in French Court as well.
Speaking of French Court, we know Mary and Bash won't be on their road trip too long because of being brought back. What can you say about the backlash they'll face when they return?
They get brought back to court and Mary has to face really three very strong personalities. One is the king, who is furious that she took off and jilted his son, not because he cares so much about his son, but because he sees her as the key to his domination over England; because in his mind, she's the rightful heir to the throne for when Mary Tudor dies. So he's enraged about that and he's determined to have her marry Francis.
She has to deal with Catherine…the two of them were finally aligned in saving Francis, once Catherine was honest with her about why she's been doing all these terrible things to her and why she was so opposed to the marriage. But if she's looking for a friend in Catherine, she does not find one, because Mary's solution to the problem of Henry's pressure will be something that costs Catherine everything.
And then she has to face Francis, who she really loves, and the reason she fled the castle wasn't because they could have forced her to marry Francis with the wave of a hand, it was because she was afraid she was going to crumble, that under his pressure and questioning, she would crumble and she would marry him and disregard the prophecy.
How does Francis feel about the prophecy?
When Francis learns of the prophecy in this episode, he doesn't believe in magic, he doesn't believe that anyone can see the future, and he's determined to wed Mary. It's the first time in the series that I think that you see that he's Catherine's son; he really has a little bit of Catherine in him. When he wants something, he's relentless, and he wants her.
Bash made a pretty bold move in running away with Mary. What's his mind-set in this next episode?
I think he's had to kind of live by the whims of others for a really long time, and I think the way he's survived that and been able to kind of find strength and joy and happiness is that he's a really heroic guy. He's a great brother, he finds that he has some feelings toward Mary that he really tries to clamp down as much as he can, but he likes being a help to her and her protector, and when they go back to court, she's going to ask something of him that will cost him his relationship with his brother. It's going to be incredibly painful, but it's going to offer him a life that he never in a million years thought he would have, and I think that over the next handful of episodes, we're going to see that he surprisingly is drawn to it, not just that he will have free reign, so to speak, to let his feelings for Mary bubble to the surface, but I think he will realize that he himself has aspirations that go beyond just being somebody's helper.
And can you tease the Nostradamus and Clarissa fallout from the last episode? He wasn't too happy with her killing Aylee. (RIP!)
Oh yeah, he was really mad at her. You know, I like to do mysteries that have reveals along the way, and in the next handful of episodes, you'll learn about Nostradamus' connection to Clarissa, you'll learn about Clarissa's connection to the castle, and she'll learn about it, too. And part of the reason we'll come to find out that we haven't learned about it yet, who she is and where she came from and how she wound up essentially horribly disfigured, is because she didn't really know her origin story either. But we will shortly, and she won't like it. She won't like how the story ends, and she's going to turn violent…even more violent.
Reign airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.