THE CW UPFRONTS 2013Reign, episode 2, opens up with an exposition fairy telling us, briefly, about how Mary, Queen of Scots fled to France to escape the English. Then, previously on “Reign” teen girls wore Urban Outfitters dresses and everyone talked in a British accent. Cue credits.

Colin, surprise, is on the rack, being tortured. His torturer steps out to get a latte, and the rack is loosened, and a female voice tells him to run. Since he’s lying there, either recovering or being stupid, she pokes him with a hot stick to get him to perk up and take off.

Teen Girl Squad comes to Mary’s bedroom, presumably the next morning. Everyone is wearing some form of fancy “sleepwear” that, on more than one person, looks like the underwear in the Roxanne Tango scene in “Moulin Rouge.” They all wander down to breakfast, which is being held in a tiny hallway, together. Oh, and they’re all still in their sleepwear.

Cut to court. A little boy, whom it turns out Is Charles, Francis’ brother, is being engaged to a young noble? Princess? Named Madeleine. Wikipedia doesn’t really give us an answer as to who this is supposed to be. There’s a lot of talk about where Charles will meet this girl and who will attend to her. Charles wants Sebastian, his brother, to go. Catherine bristles at the idea that the two boys are related and chastises Charles. Mary offers to go, at which point, Catherine starts singing a tune about maybe the little princess should come here, instead. Henri overrides her.

Francis, Mary, and Charles are in the carriage, and Charles points out that Mary smells nice when she sleeps. Francis agrees and HE REALLY DOES LOVE HER AFTER ALL!!! They stop in the middle of no-where. Why? I have no idea. There’s some natural harbor and instead of going to town or somewhere sane, we need to recreate the scene in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where Kevin Costner kisses the ground. Mary notices there are too many dinghies coming to shore, but doesn’t notice the GIANT St. George’s Cross on the ship. Or maybe she does but doesn’t know what it means (hint: it means England).  The archers line up to make a last stand, but Sebastian rides up at the last minute saying that it’s cool. They’re English, but they’re NICE English and they sent an envoy ahead to the palace to say “Hey, we’re helping out this princess we found floating in the water, so don’t freak out.” The two children shyly stare at each other until Mary breaks the ice.

There’s a big ball for the two children, because, why not? The kids are running around while everyone does some stylized dancing. There are random generic CW sexy guys at this ball. Henri and Catherine talk about the implications of, well, everything. Nostradamus and Catherine also talk about the implications of everything. Apparently, the English want Everything. A sexy guy comes up and talks to Mary and it turns out that he’s English! I certainly couldn’t tell!! Oh, but he lives in France, for unspecified reasons. He asks Mary how’s that little engagement thing going and gets really forward about what it means that Mary’s not yet wed. He then asks her about the porridge she was about to eat when the nun died. Simon implies that he had a hand in that and Mary starts to freak. Francis steps in and tells her to not show her fear. Let’s dance and be strong.

Someone whispers to Nostradamus and he and Catherine descend into the dungeon to check out the torture chambers. It turns out that someone switched the marks on the doors so that they beheaded the wrong boy and Colin escaped. Catherine freaks out.

Henri and Catherine then cut this information off at the pass and tell Mary about it. Henri promises to protect her, but Catherine keeps spinning a story in which Colin is pretty much dead because he may or may not attack a guard and they might just have to fight back and who knows and accidents happen all the time. Later, Henri chews her out about not telling him and she jabs back about him being busy with Diane. He, basically, tells her to shut up.

Outside, everyone’s dancing some more, in costumes that would make a Renn Faire goer squeal and a SCA member scream in terror. We get another parade of boringly attractive guys and Teen Girl Squad chatters about them. Francis and Mary talk while watching a game where a bunch of women and girls surround a blindfolded Charles and he has to pick out Madeleine from the din. It’s a total metaphor for everything. Mary finally fesses up to suspecting Catherine and Francis is taken aback by this. Madeleine gets upset that Charles couldn’t pick her out, since she was whispering, and stops the game. Mary goes to talk to Sebastian about her fears. There are flower petals on the wind. Not that that’s important, but I just wanted to point that out. It’s very anime. Sebastian knows his way around the dungeons and goes to look for Colin. Mary finds Charles talking to someone in the walls. Or himself, but since Mary’s been talking to walls, she has an idea of who it is. He tells her the Mysterious Figure’s name and that she likes to play games and get gifts. Mary says that she’s been visited by this Angel of Music as well and steps into the spooky hallway to find a marble.

Mary comes back from her lawn party to find some random blonde maid trying on one of her dresses. The maid starts screaming and, oh, this is taken straight from the movie “Elizabeth.” Mary goes to get help for the poisoned maid, but when she gets back, the body is gone. Mary points out the secret passage to Francis, who already knew they existed.

“Teresa” and Henri chat. Henri wants seconds and “Teresa” is discretely non discrete about saying she liked it. You know what makes this creepier? The fact that I’ve been thinking about all these kids being 14, since they were around 14 in real life. I get that the CW aged them up, but I figured 16 at best. Later, Francis approaches Henri with the marvelous idea of torturing the English envoy to prove that the English poisoned the maid. Mary’s life is at risk, and while Francis wants to do something Henri isn’t about to seal the alliance with a formal wedding. Francis is “I totally love her, but in a mostly platonic way!!” Francis doesn’t care.

Bastian is out in the woods and finds blood. I think. It might be petals. No, it’s petals. Oh, and blood. Someone’s been hung. Upside-down. It looks like it’s Colin, but I’ve already been fooled once.

Back at the Girl Squad, it turns out that the English Envoy has been questioned. Francis is there being nice, and proactive and just a touch jealous. The girl squad is no help getting more information and Mary “Nancy Drews” her way into the “secret” passage. She has a marble. Mary throws the marble and it comes back. She tries to make a guessing game, but forgets the “Fun” part of the game. Clarissa smashes the marble, leaves a key and disappears.

Bastian is in the woods with the body. Francis almost rides him down and they both seemed to have subclassed in ranger, the way they’re talking about tracking each other. We know that Colin wasn’t killed by the guards because OUR guards hang men differently. Besides, he was bled out. This revelation is interrupted by some noises in the forest and Bastian starts chanting in a different language before cutting his palm and letting the blood drip into the woods. The shadow people leave.

Mary’s going around trying keys and it seems the first one that her clever little brain went for is Catherine’s room. A guard asks her what she’s doing and she has some stupid excuse that the guard accepts. She moves on and the next room she tries turns out to be the Sexy English Envoy who’s got nice abs and is having sex with the “poisoned” maid. He needs to be around and shirtless, more. He tries to frighten Mary with talk about English politics, and there’s a lot of “England will leave Scotland alone if Scotland doesn’t marry France and scare us.” “Well, then, leave Scotland alone.” “You first!!” Someone has to instill trust, and it’s certainly not the sexy, scary envoy.

“Teresa” is playing chess with a random cute guy, while Henri broods over her. “Teresa” says that she needs to keep her freshness seal intact if she wants to make a good marriage. Henri “understands.”

Bastian and Francis are in a place that looks like the dungeon, but a lot nicer. They talk about vagrants in the forest, but Franics is all “Those aren’t your typical vagrants so let’s not banter.” You’d think more people would know about the weird blood forest people living RIGHT OUTSIDE THE PALACE. Francis ends up telling Mary about Colin and Mary decides she wants to go back to Scotland.

Henri goes to “Teresa’s” room and brings along the bland guy she was chessing with earlier. He more or less orders him to marry “Teresa” and with that, he gets to sleep with her. Well, not just yet.

Francis is brooding over the thrones when Catherine interrupts him. He talks about how two boys have been killed for no reason and Catherine goes “Well, mistakes happen.” We don’t know who Catherine is loyal to. Mary came in good faith, and Francis feels they are destroying that. Also, there’s a LOT of Vaseline smeared on the camera. Anyway, if anything happens to Mary, then Francis will blame Catherine, guilty or not.

Catherine dismisses her servants and she and the guard talk about the “blood wood.” Catherine finds a giant X in her bed, just like on the dungeon doors. Nostradamus is cleaning up the dungeon, talking to Clarissa who steps in and out of the frame. Mary’s staring at the water, and Francis promises to keep her safe and will be at her side. As a friend. Mary is all, “Gee thanks!” and Francis points out that maybe, someday, he might want to actually marry her. Mary takes what she’s given and decides to stay. Credits.

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