Spoiler alert: This article contains information from the episode “Extreme Measures” which may not have aired yet in some regions.
Francis’ fight to save his kingdom upon his death forced him to forge unlikely alliances in the Reign episode titled “Extreme Measures”.
As his condition worsens, Francis attempted to keep up appearances in court with a fake facade of strength. He showed a love for kingdom and his royal legacy that was the true mark of real king. His dance with Mary was both beautiful and poignant. Additionally, Francis sought to guarantee that his son with Lola would be raised by a man of honor, which he deemed Narcisse was not. So, when Lola came to him asking for his blessing after accepting Narcisse’s marriage proposal, Francis refused to grant to it.
His younger brother Charles, however, wasn’t as gung-ho to fall into line and follow his royal responsibilities. He reluctantly agreed to marry Mary upon Francis’ death and to help provide an heir. But he’s still a teenager, which means making bad decisions. And regardless of the time period, that often means partying with drinking and drugs. Charles steals the opium prescribed to Francis for pain management. Then, he and a young noble girl, Constance, mix the drug with wine leading to deadly consequences for her. Thankfully, Narcisse’s quick actions help to save Constance’s life.
One of the great things about Reign is that even the most villainous character shows shades of honor and integrity. Francis rewards Narcisse with his blessing so he and Lola marry. Catherine proves that above all else she loves Francis when she risks her life by threatening to reveal what she knows about Elizabeth in order to get Nicholas to withdraw his support of Antoine.
Reign took what viewers expected of the characters and flipped their motivations in “Extreme Measures”. What we were left with was a sense that both France and in turn, Scotland would survive Francis’ death. Season 3 is shaping up to be a game changing one for both the characters and the show.
Reign airs Fridays 8/7c on the CW.