THE SHOW: Reign
THE PAIRING: Francis and Mary
THE EPISODE: “All it Cost Her” (Season 4, episode 16)
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT: After Mary dies, she reunites with Francis in the afterlife.
From the start of the series, Reign never claimed to be historically accurate or serious art. However, it was an entertaining historical drama with gorgeous costumes, a catchy soundtrack, witty one-liners, wonderful female characters, and, of course, quite a bit of romance! Perhaps the most prevalent romance of the series is that of Queen Mary of Scots and King Francis II played wonderfully by Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo. And while Francis died in season 3, and Mary went on to have a few more romances, it was always Francis who stayed in Mary’s heart.
Now, if you’re at all familiar with history, then you know how the story of Mary Stuart ends. Still, the writers chose to end in a less gruesome fashion. Sure, Mary still dies with her head cut off by Queen Elizabeth. But, instead of ending on a heavy note, the series went out in a romantic way – a choice true to the voice of the series as a whole. With the cancellation of Reign (a real shame since the series really needed one more season to feel complete), the writers filmed a brief finale that included a few scenes 21 years later in a flash-forward. At the least, the scene gives the fans of the series an ending with some closure.
THE LEAD IN
It’s now 1587 with Mary hoping for a reprieve from execution. A reprieve only her son, James, can grant. James, now King of Scotland, finds himself with a difficult choice thanks to an ultimatum from Queen Elizabeth. Either he saves his mother and Mary rots in captivity. Or he lets Mary die, officially becoming Elizabeth’s heir to the English throne. Therefore, fulfilling his mother’s dream to unite England and Scotland.
With James’s choice decided, Mary does not receive the pardon she hoped for. Instead, she faces the axe. And even in the approaching horror, she faces death with dignity, putting her trust in the Lord. It’s a sad moment – but not unexpected. Even though we all knew the ending, it was hard not to root for the unstoppable Mary Queen of Scots. Mary never had an easy life – having to make impossible decisions time and time again. However, her one constant was her love for Francis, her long deceased husband. He gave her temporary peace in a frightening world. So, it was only fitting as to what came next…
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT – REIGN – A HAPPY ENDING IN THE AFTERLIFE
Moments later, Mary hears Francis whispering her name to wake her up. She awakens to find herself lying in bed next to Francis. Both of them young once again.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he tells her with a sweet smile.
“Is this real?” Mary asks.
“Nothing is more real,” Francis reassures her. The two then exchange heartfelt “I love yous.”
“Were we ever this young?” she asks. “It seems like so long ago!…It’s been so difficult, Francis. So, difficult,” Mary cries. And we feel her burden, her heartache, for have we not all felt the same at one point or another?
Francis “shhs” her and tells her that it’s over now. The two exchange a loving kiss.
Francis then offers her his hand, so as to show them their new life together.
She smiles and takes his hand. And in this moment, it’s as if the heavy burdens from her life finally lifts. She’s free!
Together, the two run hand in hand through the grass and trees, once and for all free to love each other without worry or duty. This afterlife is beautiful with soft, bright colors – echoing back to their carefree moments of youth!
As they run together, a montage of Mary’s life plays on screen – mostly focusing on her love with Francis. In between the moments of her mortal life, there are quick glimpses of her time now in the afterlife.
Francis and Mary kiss and dance and run.
In the afterlife, Mary finally finds the happy ending she always longed for.
Were you happy to see Mary and Francis reunite in the end? How much did you love Reign? Are you sad to see this show go? Let me know in the comments!
Photos: CW Network