Reign "Higher Ground" Review: Mama Monster

Reign S01E20: "Higher Ground"


Guys “Higher Ground” was like the opposite of my student loans because everything got PAID OFF! We finally saw Leith again, Lola confronted Julian, and Mary got one over on Catherine in a milestone that signals a definite sea change for her character. “Higher Ground” was one of the highest points of the season to date, and maneuvered all our characters into place for what is sure to be a devastating finale.

So we’re back at the castle with Mary, Francis has taken her army to win Calais back from two centuries of English rule, and it’s no time like the present for a little soccer, which Kenna was game enough to play in platform heels.

Seriously I am impressed with her dexterity, and also this scene looked completely effing freezing.


These dudes were legit frolicking around in a five-alarm blizzard, and for that I salute them. Finally the baby used his little heels to drum out “Dudes I’m freezing!” in Morse code in Lola’s tummy and she was hustled back inside for some bed rest and real talk.

Meanwhile on the field of glorious battle/a little wooded area, Frances was attempting to conquer a castle with five guys. Commanding men for presumably the first time in his life, he and a handful of soldiers were headed toward a key stronghold they'd need in order to secure the path to Calais. The lack of horses felt a little Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but before I could even so much as pretend to clack two coconut halves together, another legion of soldiers came through and carved their handful of men into a mere pinch of soldiers. And in the heat of bloody battle, Leith totes saved Francis’s life.




I want to seriously applaud Reign for using strategic writing here in place of bloating the production budget for a full-on battle scene. A strategically critical skirmish between 12 soldiers and a cannon is a realistic-enough premise, and keeping the action small kept the scene purposeful and clear, while the cannonballs tearing down at their meager forces splashed enough gore around to keep the tension high. 







Back at Fronch court, more of Catherine’s relatives had arrived. Once again, she seemed thrilled to see her family, despite the fact that once again, one of them acted like an A+ #1 buttmunch toward her. And then Mary made a beeline for Catherine and begged her for a loan because her mom was very close to getting beheaded by the Scottish Protestant faction. Catherine not only refused, she gave Mary a harsh lesson in what it means to be a queen: Don’t beg. This is just a great rule in general, but it’s especially true when projecting self-possession and confidence is literally the only power you have. 



Mary mentally rolled her eyes right through the condescending lesson in Queenliness because she was already planning to steal Catherine’s nest egg anyway; she’d hired no less a mercenary than Battlestar Galactica’s Tahmoh Penikett, one of the handsomest men in any time, be it the 1600s or the very early dawn of humanity on planet Earth. (BSG ref, don’t sweat it.)

When Catherine disappeared halfway through a jaw-dropping confession and Mary received a Van Gogh Love Letter (dismembered ear), we knew this guy was legit and that Mary had done something far more sinister than any of her previous attempts to gain leverage at court.



Lola, meanwhile, had learned that her husband had successfully deposited her dowry, and he did not sound at all interested in attending the birth of their child—maybe because it was a radically progressive notion for the 16th century, maybe because he was intending to be somewhere else!? Lola feared the latter, and Kenna begged Bash to go sort out what Lord Julian’s deal was. (“IS HE A MURDERER?! My friend wants to know.”) Bash was appalled that he was being asked to stoop to court gossip and gave Kenna the old “least meddled soonest mended,” but she pulled the Wife card, and we all know how Bash feels about his husbandly obligations. He’s maybe the only truly chivalrous character on this show. Also, Queen Catherine was chained up in a farmhouse. The Mercenary had SKILLZ.




One of my favorite parts of this entire episode was how Catherine immediately knew it was Mary who'd kidnapped her. Reign’s characters always play at the height of their intelligence, they’re never conveniently dumb to make a plot unfold more easily, and that’s something you honestly don’t see a lot of on network TV. Catherine sussing out Mary was characteristic of Catherine’s intelligence and it raised the stakes: Now Mary didn’t just need money, she needed a fall guy to frame for Catherine’s kidnapping. Catherine was willing to pay twice her own ransom to the mercenary for the head of her kidnapper, and the mercenary suggested that Mary pick a head and put it in a bag so they could take the money and run.





And so Mary was faced with this watershed moment. Sure, men have died in her service before, and yes, she bashed Clarissa’s head in with a piece of shale, but that was to protect a child. She’d never contemplated taking a life because it was politically convenient to do so, and now it was her only option. In a quick alcove meet-up with Bash, he told her to be really really super-duper sure, and I’d say it’s significant that Mary turned to Bash in a crisis except I don’t want to emotionally cheat on Kenna and Bash, who are important to me. Anyway, wouldn’t you know, on the same night that Mary had to take a hard look around her and figure out who the world would be better off without, this bitch put her snazziest beaded hula hoop around her neck, marched up to Mary, and threw more shade than a beach umbrella during an eclipse:





Oh Hortensa was not long for this world, children. Sure enough, the mercenary showed up back at the farmhouse with Hortensa’s head. He also doubled down on being great at his job by planting a blackmail note in Hortensa’s room, because obviously Catherine had Mary and Hortensa’s rooms searched in case her suspicions that Mary had been behind her little ordeal were correct. The fake blackmail note assauged her fears that Mary was reading ahead in her HQIC (Head Queen Hn Charge) textbook. But in fact, Mary had totally absorbed all the toxic behavior of court and was allowing herself to be as ruthless as she needed to be: She hired the mercenary to go even further and take the same soliders who had slaughtered her countrymen to go rout out the Protestants who were threatening her mom. “They’re monsters, but they’re my monsters,” she said, implying that she no longer holds individuals entirely accountable for what the grinding gears of international politics compel them to do—including herself.




Also Bash came back all, “Word on the street is that Lord Julian is taking a ‘hunting trip’ for the rest of his life and leaving Lola behind,” so Lola laid all her cards on the table: She suspected that Lord Julian might leave her, but she didn’t need a lot of money, she genuinely just wanted him to be beside her. Lord Julian was also totally feeling it, and he let her know he was virtually penniless, despite his very tight goatee game. The fact that two people in a marriage of convenience fell very much in love is endearing, and what I’m hoping is that Julian’s finances are just the tip of the iceberg. During a screening of this episode that I attended earlier this week, it was hinted that Lord Julian might have some more secrets up his sleeve; let's hope that means some very, very kinky Christian Grey vibes. Fingers crossed!



Also with Frances essentially promising Leith that he will pave the way for Leith to marry Greer if Leith just LIIIIIIVES, perhaps the storyline I’m most interested in is how Greer will reconcile the excellent start with Castleroy and her feelings for Leith. I love that Castleroy is not being made into some jerk who she can cast aside, he’s a great, forgiving, amazing person. There are no bad guys in this scenario, it’s two right choices and Greer has to figure out which one is more right, and that’s actually quite an honest take on how relationships play out. Can’t wait to see what she does! Meet you back in the 16th century next Thursday.


QUESTIONS:

... Will Lola reveal the father of her child?

... Aare you like, “Hell yeah!” about Mary getting all hard and tough, or are you like, “Oh no!”?

... Bash and Kenna: Are you fully on board or... ?

... Leith vs. Castleroy, Greer obviously loves Leith, but will Castleroy lose his chill when Greer actually uses the agency he’s allowed her against him?


Comments (96)
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Feb 01, 2016
Damn! Standing ovation for Tahmoh and the writers. That dude is the most ruthless mercenary ever! I love how he tricked Catherine into handing over the gold by making her think she was bribing her way out of kidnapping, and the way he framed Hortensa? Genius! 'Hell yeah' to see this Mary become so ruthless. I freakin' love this show!
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May 08, 2014
Wasn't Leith supposed to be going to train as something or other...doesn't this possibly mean that Lord Castleroy wasn't good to his word and sold him out to the army? Just a thought!
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Feb 01, 2016
Nope. Lord Julien (who was originally supposed to be Greer's husband) caught Leith and Greer in a compromising situation. As punishment Leith was sent away to be soldier. Nothing to do with Castleroy. In fact I think Castleroy pleaded on his behalf as the punishment could've been a lot worse.
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May 06, 2014
Very much rooting for Bash and Kenna. Happy to see their relationship grow and develop. As for Leith-Greer-Castleroy, I'm so conflicted!
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May 04, 2014
I wonder what is in that marriage contract Castleroy gave to Greer. I find myself rooting for Leith but I feel like a heel for it as C is so worthy. I don't even want to call him by Pepper names anymore.

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May 04, 2014
Lola will reveal who the father of her child is, cause this is a teenage drama duh
... Mary all hard and tough it is realistic she is a queen and she has had Catherine as a rival an mentor need to say more?
... Bash and Kenna, ahh I want them to work out but it feels like Bash can't and will not forget Mary

... I really like Castleroy so I don't want to see him hurt and let's be realistic Greer really doesn't know the guy she knows he is this nice guy but doesn't really know him so of course she would prefer Leith if becomes suddenly lord of something.

Catherine is awesome, how quickly she knew who the real kidnapper was.
Mercenary is like smoking hot and I just melted every time he spoke *sigh* I
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May 04, 2014
I think Bash and Kenna can work out even though Bash has residual feelings for Mary. Many happy couples have others in their pasts they are never 100% over. I was horrified when B & K got married but I got over it in 10 seconds, well ok maybe 1 episode. Besides if the series moves to Scotland it takes Bash from Fronce to Scotland in a very natural way.
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May 03, 2014
Another brilliant episode of the best damn show on network television. Tahmoh got a great part here and was an interesting addition. 'Helo' had one of the greatest stories in 'Battlestar Galactica'. Sharon/Athena/Number 8 and Helo was one of the few love stories that lasted until Earth that survived countless dire straits. Aside from his struggle selecting an accent for his character he was good.

Nice having Mary and Catherine and Francis all carrying their stories well. Sudz Sutherland made a great choice on how to shoot Francis and his band of merry men approaching Calais. Shooting it with the enemy at the top of the cliff and the men huddled and planning at the base must have kept costs down and it looked great all the way to the cannon falling off the cliff after the explosion. Toby was awesome as Francis in that ridiculous helmet. Stuff with Francis and Leith good stuff. I kept waiting for Leith to reveal his love was one of Mary's Court. Things have been going so well for Greer. I love the scenes with her and Lola, she just wants everybody to be happy - things are looking up for Greer and for the writers to make Leith now everything she could have dreamed of when she came to Court - a hero on the Court whom she loves. The sad part is Castleroy wanted it for Leith as well. Yeah, we love all three of them in this D story. I'm all about Castleroy cause he loves that Lady so much. He'll accept whatever choice she makes and it is going to break our collective hearts.

How awesome was Catherine's confession?!?!? She reveals her part in the brothel massacre and then tells the priest, with bitchy Hortense at Court, And she closes it out with 'I used the lords name in vein many times and I took part in the slaughter of a group of Scots.' And when she gets to Hortenza .. 'Expect worse from me... I loathe her.' I love her. The fact that Mary chose her as her victim because she threatened Beatrice spying in Florence.. Wow everything story coming together organically - Are we sure this is the CW? Mary hiring the same sell swords that slaughtered her countrymen was big move. Can't wait to see where that ends up. Hopefully she can trust 'Helo' but Mary is getting as savvy as Catherine at Court and this is just getting so good.

Favorite small part of the episode was Bash returning to his bedroom after getting information on Julien and trying to help Mary and he tells Kenna - whose clearly been waiting for him a while - that he got her the information she wanted and then he adds, 'among other things.' Leaving out the part about helping Mary with her problems. He can't quit Mary. He and Kenna should be busy producing their heirs.

Hell yeah about Mary getting tough. Every scene Addie seem to get taller. She bought muscle this week and she looked good doing it.

'Bash/Kenna' you want these two beautiful people to make beautiful babies together and become the strongest couple this show has but that would be too easy for these writers. The fact that he seems to be trying too hard to forget who he really loves can only end badly for both of them. I want them to work but it really can't.

Leith v. Castleroy? They both truly love her so this one is too frustrating to call. I've made my feelings about Castleroy clear. Even though Leith is the man - Castleroy is THE MAN.

MIA - Henry, Nostradamus, and still Clarissa.
Applause for the men behind the scenes this week. Sudz made every scene work and look awesome. David Babcock, Daniel Sinclair, and Alan McCullough wrote a great script. They took very good care of their women this week. I regret only that we only have two more weeks of this pleasure.

Until next week - Vive LaFrance!
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May 03, 2014
I wonder which video streaming services will be picking up Reign. I can definitely see it gaining a large number of new fans in binge watching.
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May 03, 2014
Netflix picks up the CW shows.
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May 03, 2014
Cool. Thanks.
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May 03, 2014
Wait so Clarissa is really dead?! I was convinced she would pop back up at some point lol
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May 03, 2014
I have been totally surprised that she hasn't returened yet.
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May 03, 2014
No, she's not dead. The body was gone and she bribed a servant who bribed another servant to sing that lullaby near Nostradamus so he would know for sure. Maybe she'll pop up in the finale.
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May 03, 2014
I loved this episode it was great fun. I'm still getting used to bash and Kenna but hey he's kinda happy I hope. I loved the look on the mercenarys face when Mary said their my monsters he was almost proud and impressed by her strength. Mary is growing as a queen and is making the hard desisions for her country which is good. So leith yes I'm happy with that I liked him and he's best buds with Francis :).
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May 03, 2014
I know the writers are playing fast and loose with history but I think they're just cramming too much into these episodes. I'm pretty sure we'll see Henry's death in the season finale and it's just coming too quickly.

The Battle at Calais actually happened in January 1558, and Mary and Francis didn't marry until April 1558. Mary Tudor died in November 1558 and then King Henry in July 1559. Francis was King until he died in December 1560, and Mary returned to Scotland in August 1561. I wish they would stick to the basic timeline at least instead of rushing through the entire first season at breakneck speed.
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May 04, 2014
Probably at the time this was written, the writers didn't know there would be a second season so they were trying to tie up the loose ends. I think that has added dynamism to the show's pacing - I love it that there is so much story progression each episode! I will miss Henry when he croaks, though. I like the idea of the series continuing to Scotland because Mary's life continued to be very interesting after Fronce. Hard to imagine new Scot characters as good as Catherine and Nostradamus tho.
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May 04, 2014
Originally, the pilot was picked up for 13 episodes and that's why the writers had Mary & Francis' wedding in that episode thinking it would be the season finale. However, I read that they learned of the full season pickup (22 episodes) in plenty of time to change that episode but the writers chose to keep it as is.

I still feel it's moving too quickly. I'm not ready to have Henry and then Francis die! Also, there are plot points that are just left blowing in the wind at times. Their continuity could use some work in certain episodes. Sometimes, storylines wrap up too quickly as well.
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May 03, 2014
I laughed during the blizzard soccer scene because it reminded me of how much snow Toronto got this winter. Something tells me that the 16th century French winter is going to last a lot longer than the writers planned.

also Leith! Yay!
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May 03, 2014
I was thinking the same thing. There's been snow since before The Consummation I believe and probably before that. It's getting ridiculous considering how much time is supposed to have elapsed between some episodes.
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May 02, 2014
loved Catherine's reaction when she thought the mercenary killed Mary and that she had her head haha
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May 03, 2014
I think she feared how Francis would react to Mary's death.
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May 03, 2014
I think she was in disbelief half horrified at the prospect that Mary is dead and the other not knowing whether she should be happy she killed her nemesis or upset because francis wife is dead.
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May 03, 2014
Which would be ironic since she offered to pay double for the person who had her kidnapped for ransom and she suspected Mary in the first place.
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May 03, 2014
Of course, she tried to bribe him but did she really believe that he would follow through? I don't think so or she wouldn't have reacted with such shock. After all, trying to bribe the Count and his men in 1.7 sure didn't work.
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May 04, 2014
  • Keep in mind, trying to bribe a Count who is out for revenge and bribing a mercenary are two different things. Mercenaries can certainly be bought by the "enemy" and screw over their former employer, or they can try to get paid by both parties. Mary was lucky that this one was loyal enough not to screw her over.
  • I think she may not have wanted it to be Mary, but that does not mean that she did not think it could not have been her. I saw the shock more as ok, it's not Mary who did this, its my cousin. But then she made sure that Mary was not involved and had her dead cousin's things looked through to find out why.
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May 02, 2014
Greer's silver dress was THE BEST, amazing.

Also, I'm totally team Leith. Sorry, I love that couple so much, I'm glad he's back
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May 03, 2014
I'm also Team Leith even though I do like Lord Castleroy a lot. I totally predicted this would happen last week. I guess the writers figured since the old love triangle was finished, they needed a new one! lol

And can I just say that I thoroughly loved the bromance between Francis and Leith, especially Francis' speech to motivate Leith to want to fight to live.
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May 02, 2014
PS. I was also thinking about Monty Python and the Holy Grail the whole time
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May 02, 2014
Part of the reason I'm not one the Kenna/Bash train is I feel that they progressed too quickly. Obviously the marriage being rushed isn't their fault but still. I feel a lot of Kenna's spark has gone away since she got married, maybe part of that is because she is no longer chasing after the king, but it seems she has been demoted to dutiful wife. Also, while I believe Bash would be chivalrous and protective of Kenna immediately I don't buy that he would be quite this romantic with her given how he wanted to marry Mary. THe writers have also completely dropped the idea of how him trying to work things out with Kenna was only to distract him from Mary. Obviously I still love the show, I just wish that they'd put more effort into this if I am supposed to support that pairing.
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May 03, 2014
Also they can be into the marriage since this still the honeymoon phase after they somewhat got over the fact who each other's past lover were. So I hope they start to have a bumpy road ahead at least.

Hopefully Bash will get to have more secretive meetings with Mary as her only true confidant. I would think this would put a strain on the marriage.

And yes, Bash and Kenna as a couple still skive me out.

But I don't think Ive seen them romantic toward each other. They care for each other as spouses and are trying not make their marriage a failure since they are stuck with each other for life (unless they go join the English and become Protestant or embrace the Paganism) and are bedding each other.
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May 03, 2014
I agree. I don't dislike them as a couple, but I was looking forward to a bigger buildup, a lot more love/hate push-and-pull between them. I'm already getting a bit bored of them now because it was so rushed.
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May 03, 2014
Apparently, the writers wanted to get away from the Bash/Mary/Francis triangle, that is why it seems a little rushed. Besides, Mary and Francis are together and him and Kenna can't necessarily get a divorce/annulment. So obviously, he is going to have to do something to make the marriage work and Bash & Kenna want to make this marriage work instead of cheating on each other all the time and being unhappy. So upping the romance makes sense to me. They have now shown more sides to Kenna and Bash is seeing this and he doesn;t mind what he see's.
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May 02, 2014
And Ladies and Gentlemen, Megan Follows steals the show again.
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May 02, 2014
LOL at "We have names"
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May 02, 2014
I can't wait to see how things develop for Greer. I love Lord Castleroy, but Leith is cute and young. And may possibly still die, before Greer has to make a choice. Or he might just hang on long enough for her to ruin her life by choosing him and THEN dying. Seeing how this show just loves to ruin young girls lifes, that might make for an interesting development. I wonder if Lord Castleroy would be able to forgive being cast aside twice...

I don't doubt that Julian will prove himself to be a coward and a lier, with a lot of (possibly actual?) skeletons in his closet. I can totally see him using Lola's baby to extort money out of Frances. I don't question that Lola will tell him the secret. If she can forgive Julian for using her for her money, she will most certainly tell him the paternity of the baby. She hasn't been known for making smart life decisions so far.
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May 03, 2014
I agree with Lola and Julian. There is still too much about him that does not completely add up. Sometimes Lola can be intelligent, and other times she can be a complete idiot/gullible.
As for Greer, her choice will be interesting. I mean Castleroy has gone out of his way to make sure that not only will she have a good life but so will her sisters. Leith on the other hand seems like a first love. I like both.
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May 02, 2014
... Will Lola reveal the father of her child?
I think Mary will make use of that child.

... Aare you like, “Hell yeah!” about Mary getting all hard and tough, or are you like, “Oh no!”?
Oh no. Cause she is learning to be like Catherine more and more.
... Bash and Kenna: Are you fully on board or... ?
Never... Never like it since the wedding... Never like it when they made out... Never like it now...]

... Leith vs. Castleroy, Greer obviously loves Leith, but will Castleroy lose his chill when Greer actually uses the agency he’s allowed her against him?

Honestly, Castleroy seems to have better groomed himself lately.. Whoever Greer choose.. I am ok with it...

Julien seems very suspicious.. He is like that pretty bad dumb boy u meet in high school...
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May 02, 2014
Hmm.. It's been a very long time since I could say this since Reign has gotten so good but I did not enjoy that episode.

Huge parts of it felt ham-fisted (Hortensa's huge, over-sharing speech to Mary. If she was that dim, I highly doubt she'd still be alive yet alone alive and somebody Catherine considered a credible rival). Leith's return was a bit - meh. I don't mind them using cliches but previously this show's been good at at least making those cliches interesting. I just did not enjoy any of the Francis/Leith storyline at all. It didn't feel high stakes to me. I was kind of bored :/ I also would have appreciated an actual reason for why Bash hadn't gone to war too. Wasn't he the more soldier-type of the two brothers? And is definitely more expendable. (To them. Not to me. Love you Bash!)

I feel like there has to be more to Julien. The fact he said his parents are bad people - 'I don't want to go into it.' Anytime somebody says they 'don't want to go into it' on a TV show, there are more juicy secrets to be unearthed.

There were things I liked though because this is still Reign, so is therefore still great:
1. Kenna's: 'Is he penniless? Did he murder his wives?' It's good to know they've all been debating the same questions as us.
2. Mary wondering if everybody has these same problems in their marriage.. No luv, that's just you.
3. Catherine's confession. Show highlight.

I'm on the fence about Mary becoming so ruthless. It's something I've been looking forward to seeing unfold but it felt a little rushed. It feels like there ought to at least have been a scene with her struggling re her decision about Hortensa. Up until now, all of Mary's actions I've felt have been completely understanding and in keeping with her character. So from that perspective, this episode felt a little jarring. Hmm.. I guess we'll see. I do like her gathering together her own little band of soldiers though. For a queen in a foreign land, that feels overdue.





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May 02, 2014
Am I alone in thinking "all is fair in love and war"? Seems to be a fitting tagline to this episode given the cohesive mix of emotions and strategic warfare chaos.
Mary oh sweet Mary. I bow to your impressive stride through puberty into pure badass royalism. You are the reason this show was created and this episode finally took her out of the hands of others and placed herself into her own. She is no longer a pawn. She has learned the hard way that if you can't beat them might as well join them. What I do appreciate is that she still holds her morals when asked Catherine for the money tugging at the Queen's 0.000001% compassion to save a life, but when thats shut down faster than Taylor Swift at the Grammy's, Mary Queen of Scots steps into the spotlight
I cannot and will not call her ruthless because i love her too much and because I was getting tired of her as a doormat. She's the QUEEN of SCOTLAND for crying out loud. It's about time she did something about it.

As much as i love Mary with Bash and its always ooey and gooey when she confides in him, this time i was a bit disappointed. i can't decide it if was because the whole situation is just not as exciting given the Kenna and Bash marriage or the fact that i finally saw Mary only going to Bash for reassurance (i understand and always supported her going to him as a friend for support and guidance) but this time i feel she just wanted to vent and receive some form of thumbs up from Bash that what she was willing to do was okay when in reality Bash is not the sort of counsel Mary should be seeking. Bash has nver delved into politics at court and his instincts are purely to survive (with a little emotional push here and there). I'm not going to lie i have no idea how to feel about it. I'm hoping fellow fans can shed some light on this

Francis was all kinds of heroic!! Freith is definitely a contender for the many ships in this show! but my hearts with Castleroy! i really won't be able to hold back tears if this ends with his heart being broken! I CAN'T DO IT. i WONT! I DON'T WANNAAAA

following a full day of sexcapades the scenes between Bash and Kenna this week left me longing for WAY WAY more *sigh* they gave us and inch and we're expecting a mile *SIGH* it honestly took me a couple minutes to put into perspective that these last episodes are progressing through time a lot quicker. this episode and the last are at least 4 months apart? Lola was barely showing in the last and in last nights episode Baby Mama had a basketball belly resembling twins!
while it wasnt shown, my Kennash heart is hoping that in this time between last weeks episode and this week, Kenna and Bash have spent a LOT *hint hint* of QUALITY TIME *hint hint* TO-GE-THER *sigh*
regardless it TOTS ADORBS (don't ask)

Drum Roll Please! here is the promo for 1x21 Long Live the King (Not going to lie as soon as i read the title for this episode I'm like yup Henry's gunna die. Irony oh Irony!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOios7f81PA&sns=sms

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May 03, 2014
  • No, Bash is not the person you want to go to when it comes to politics. Even when he was almost going to be heir to the throne (pre-Frary marriage), he was bored with the politics, and although some of his decisions were sound at the same time he made it clear that he would rather be a bad king if it meant being a good husband.
  • She went to Bash because she did not let anyone in on her plan to get the money and she figured Bash would be the person who would judge her the least.
    • It would have been one thing if she was getting money from someone else, maybe she could have confided in Catherine, I'm pretty sure she has some experience in that field. But there would still be trust issues anyway with a possibility of Catherine using it as leverage one day.
  • I don't think the issue was because of the fact that now Kenna and Bash are married, it was just that she needed reassurance from someone who would not judge her decision as much as someone else might. Even though Bash killed for survival, he does have some regret over what he did.
    • I kind of took from the conversation that he was trying to say that whatever decisions he made, whether she had someone killed or not whoever it was, that she was going to have to live with it. Luckily, she found someone who threatened her and others so the decision to kill might not have been as hard.
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May 03, 2014
Yes, Lola was hiding beneath capes in the last episode, and now she has a beachball under her dress! lol I think they're rushing too many storylines and Lola's probably because she'll give birth in the finale and Francis will find out it's his child.

I agree with a lot of your post, especially the Freith part!
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May 02, 2014
This wasn't my favorite episode of recent, but I definitely think "Chosen" is the worst episode of Reign. Yet they repeatedly like to remind us that Bash killed someone in the woods for Mary. Firstly, Bash killed 2 people in the woods, one for Mary, one for himself. Until he openly acknowledges that, he's really not being honest with anyone. Secondly, he is not unique in this. Francis also killed someone in the woods for Mary, his name was Tomas. Thirdly, Bash killing someone in the woods has nothing to do with Mary's situation. His counsel was basically explaining what a conscience was. I respect Bash's opinion on all things except politics. He doesn't know how to play that game, and he is the last person Mary should be going to for advice on politics.

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May 02, 2014
THIS IS NOT A PLACE FOR ADVERTISING. PLEASE STOP.
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May 03, 2014
I agree, I can only hit 'flag' so may times it's getting ridiculous.
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May 02, 2014
I vote Castleroy!

Also how bad is Helo Tamoh Penikett's accent? It was distracting me so much, and only 'cause I know how he talks normally and he's usually more commanding, but he just sounded really silly like he was concentrating too hard on getting the accent right than focussing on his acting.
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May 02, 2014
I know what u mean. the accent was really bad I think he was trying too hard
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Staff
May 02, 2014
No yeah the accent was genuinely hampering him from getting through scenes, poor dude.
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May 02, 2014
I was also quite distracted by Tahmoh's accent! I was thrilled to see Helo on my screen again but his voice sounded weird the whole time.

I can see Castleroy getting heartbroken and I'm going to be so sad for him but at the same time, I can't see Greer choosing him out of pity/gratitude when the way is clear for her and Leith.
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May 02, 2014
I'm totally loving Kenna/Bash. They seem to have such an easy rapport and they just click, I think. I used to like Mary/Bash, but he's so angsty and broody with her and I feel like he is much better as a non-royal when he's with the normal nobles. Mary/Francis on the other hand deal with their royal problems. They have enough of them anyways, so I hope they let the triangle rest for now.

Greer/Leith/Peppercorn is actually a triangle I wouldn't mind, because it evolved so organically. I don't even know who I'm rooting for there, which is always the best. Both men are great in their own right.
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May 02, 2014
I really didn't like this episode. Leith being conveniently in the tiny group of soldiers just so we can have yet another love triangle was maddening. The change in Mary's character was way too quick and totally unjustified. And the 'my monsters' line should definitely win worst line of the year in all the polls.

I love Tahmoh but what was with that atrocious accent?

Still it's the first bad episode Reign's had so maybe I'm being too harsh.
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May 02, 2014
I love that Bash is such a multi-tasker. Secret murder meetings with Mary and he still managed to get the scoop about Julian for Kenna. Love it! Also I really like Kenna with Bash, she has so much more pizzazz.
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May 02, 2014
I never would have guessed but Kenna/Bash are fast becoming the only relatively drama free couple on the show and such my new favourites. I need some light hearted banter to balance out all the annnngggst.
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May 02, 2014
Does anyone know why Bash didn't go to war with Francis? Did I miss something? He himself seemed annoyed that he couldn't go. If it is because he suddenly became Master of Horse and Hunt then why the hell would a prince (Francis) go to war? And from what I have understood, King Henry is in Paris enjoying himself, so basically only Francis went.


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May 03, 2014
It was strange that Bash didn't go but I guess he's still supposed to be looking for The Darkness. Also, it gave the writers the opportunity for the Francis/Leith bromance and Leith's return to the Castle.
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May 02, 2014
Catherine's face when she thought that Mary's head had been dropped into her lap, ugh, she looked horrified. I kind of love the relationship that they have, messed up as it is.

I also greatly appreciate the many attractive men on the show, this episode sure was overflowing with them.
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May 03, 2014
I think she looked horrified because she was dreading Francis' reaction.
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Staff
May 02, 2014
That was a very cool moment, she definitely looked horrified at the idea she'd lost Mary. That along with her comments at the end of the episode about how she hoped Mary hadn't become hardened so fast in her court showed a sense of responsibility to her that was touching. (If rather late in the game)
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May 02, 2014
The back and forth power play between Mary and Catherine was great as usual. It was good to see Mary starting to get her hands dirty and it definitely seems like she's been learning from Catherine on how to get a job done. Reign isn't sticking to the stereotypical heroines usually portrayed on tv which is refreshing and something that a lot of shows could learn from when writing a strong female lead (cough TVD).

When I saw the promotional pictures for this episode I couldn't help but laugh about how small Francis looked in his armour and his awful helmet hair. I mean there was no way he could've realistically overpowered that huge English soldier but it didn't matter. I really enjoyed the scenes of him actually being a leader and fighting for his country because he's recently taken a bit of a back seat on that front compared to Mary.
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May 03, 2014
LOL I actually thought the armor made him look a little bigger. I did like how Francis was portrayed as a natural leader and how he showed true concern for his men, especially Leith.
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May 02, 2014
Mary is definitely heading into very interesting directions and I love it. I'm happy we'll get another season of this because like you said, getting their heroines to make very questionable moral choices isn't something CW likes doing.

At the same time, I feel like the show is emphasizing Mary's darkness while Francis is the golden boy who can do no wrong. His locking Mary in the tower didn't have major consequences and all his actions so far have been justified by his love for his wife. I'd like to see him also make difficult moral choices and live with the consequences like Mary.
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May 03, 2014
I agree with MaryRegina below regarding Francis being a golden boy. in the majority of the comments I've read online, he gets slammed for anything and everything! Sometimes, there is such hatred I find it hard to believe like when they say he is abusive. These people need to look up the definition if they think he's abusive. lol

Regarding your comment about his actions not having major consequences, one instance comes to mind off the top of my head. In episode 1.3 (I think) Francis blackmailed Henry to send troops to Scotland and Tomas warned the English resulting in the death of those six companies of men as well as Bash getting stabbed/nearly dying. Francis most definitely had to live with those consequences and it tore him apart that Bash could possibly die. He even told Mary that she should marry Tomas since he couldn't help protect Scotland by sending more men.
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May 02, 2014
It is funny that you should say that about Francis because I have read a lot of comments about him being the worst character, the worst husband etc but honestly sometimes I have a feeling that he simply cannot win. If he is too nice he is the 'golden boy', if he protects France he is the worst character on earth.

And yes sometimes people do crazy things in the name of love, I truly believe that if Francis had let Mary go to Scotland (or had gone with her) hence be "a good husband" they both would be dead by now. So I am choosing to believe that Francis made the right choice. I don't think he particularly enjoyed locking her up (in fact that was morally difficult for him), but he knew did if he didn't she would have escaped. By the way, Mary did the exact same thing to him with the prophecy story in the name of love.
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May 02, 2014
I was taken aback by the contrast between Mary's and Francis's paths to power in this episode. On one front, Francis, like some embattled angel, is advancing in the sunlight and snow, armour glistening, with the fraternal support of his soldiers, firing a flaming arrow into the sky, emerging victorious and heroic. It was all "Once more unto the breach" and "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." Meanwhile, back at the castle, Mary resorts to conspiracy and making deals in dungeons in the dark. It's an interesting juxtaposition.
Catherine is one of my favourites, but I really wish she would have helped Mary here. This episode highlights Mary's isolation amongst the women in her life. Marie de Guise abandoned Mary as a child and has lied to her time and time again, Catherine has turned her back on Mary, and Mary's ladies are either too invested in their own dramas and/or too pregnant with her husband's child. I wish Mary had some better female support during crisis. But I can understand that once her mercenary kidnapped Catherine and Catherine immediately deduced who was behind it, Mary had to do what she had to do. It's not so much "Yay, Mary, you're so fierce", it's more "I'm sorry you had to make such a ruthless choice so young, but I'm glad you found a way to survive."
Reign kind of breaks the mold on the traditional notions of being a heroine: self-effacing, self-sacrificing, flawlessly ethical and moral, and saying all the right things. Mary hardly ever says the right thing. Words of affection and compliments do not flow freely from her lips. She is self-preserving and patriotic. She operates within the moral and ethical influences of her surroundings. We have also seen Catherine commit atrocities in the name of self-preservation and motherhood. We root for Mary. We root for Catherine. But we sometimes cringe at how they get their results. It's a little harder to process their actions, and you know what, that's a sign of a good show, with complicated, fully-realized characters. There's really no villain on Reign (the Darkness doesn't count), and where there is no villain, it's hard to define an outright hero. The show gets to pick its battles, and we, as the audience, get to pick our heroes.
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May 02, 2014
I adore your insightful comments. I love that the show is contrasting Mary and Francis' rise to power and their ruling decisions.

I loved this episode- Francis won the heart of his people here just like Mary did in previous episodes. When he sacrificed his safety to fight along side them.. it was wonderful.

I love his bromance with Leith. I have not been digging Francis and Bash that much as a duo since everything occurred but I can get behind Francis and Leith being friends. Imagine it- Leith giving Francis shit, Francis mocking Leith- amazing.

My favourite storyline was Mary's growth as ruler and the how she is increasingly making hard and dark choices. Is she going struggle with her conscious? What lengths will she go to?

I absolutely love your wonderful comments of the complex way these female characters are being written. They are doing a terrific job.
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May 03, 2014
You're sweet to say that. Thank you! I love your comments as well. You bring up a really good point when you say we're seeing "Mary's growth as a ruler". She's not just losing her innocence, but gaining knowledge and power, and growing. And yes I agree, I'm so glad Francis and Leith are allies, too. Francis's actions in battle are undeniable evidence that Francis is a greathearted, unselfish, noble leader, and Mary has those some attributes as well. I just hope they can figure out a way to work together and play to each other's strengths and balance out each other's weaknesses, not only as man and woman, but also as sovereigns of two countries. But that may take a few seasons.
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May 03, 2014
I liked the relationship between Francis and Bash in The Darkness when they basically saved each other's lives. Both those awkward conversations since, not so much. Totally on Team Freith though!
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May 03, 2014
I did like them in the Darkness but I can't really get over Bash accusing Francis of attempted murder. It was so not cool and if you go back and watch all the episodes, even when he hates Bash, Francis is usually worried about his welfare. I really don't feel like Bash loves Francis as much as he loves his brother which is why I am totally down with Francis bonding with Leith.
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May 03, 2014
That's how I feel also but it was nice to see them looking out for each other in The Darkness. I'm still not over Bash accusing Francis with no proof whatsoever and basically stalking Mary in her bedroom to make his point.
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May 02, 2014
Totally hope that Greer sticks with Peppercorn. He not only is providing her a happy a life, but one for each of her many sisters. Leith can not support all that. Also I can see them resenting each other in the long run, with Greer always feeling he is not what she is suppose to marry and he thinking he doesn't deserve a person of her station. Plus Peppercorn deserves the best.

I think Leith should just end up married to Lola after we find out what ever misdeeds her husband is up to which leads to his (not Leith's) death. Why not continue that circle?

Or for Leiths sake, he should marry someone who has no relation to the castle, so they don't forever picture him as the kitchen boy despite the lands/titles he'll get.

And of course glad to see Bash still as Mary's consel.
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May 03, 2014
I love Leith but I am so down with Peppercorn. I want Greer to fall in love with Peppercorn.
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May 02, 2014
  • Mary
    • You know how they say that men tend to marry women like their mothers? Well, won't Francis be surprised when he gets home should he learn what Mary has been up to?
      • This week, she actually managed to get one over on Catherine. She hired a mercenary who kidnapped Catherine and not only got some of her money, but also killed Cortenza de Medici (no loss for Catherine), and now has her own little group of men (formerly employed by Cortenza) to get the money to Mary de Guise (and to do whatever else she wants with them) and she did it all without Catherine believing it was her in the end. Granted, she suspected it was Mary but she changed her mind thinking that Mary would not go that far.
  • Francis
    • He gained some respect back from me, along with gaining respect from those soldiers including Leith. He fought as hard as the other soldiers instead of hanging back like most nobles would do. He actually cared about the men he was fighting with, saying that they were not chess pieces but people. He actually showed intelligence on the field. Plus, he gave Leith a will to live, promising to give him a title and lands if he lived, allowing him to hope that maybe he could have Greer after all. Its just too bad that he (Leith) does not know that she is engaged to Castleroy.
  • Kenna
    • I have warmed up to her in the past few weeks. She definitely showed concern this week for both Bash (in the beginning) and then Lola. She made sure Julian was investigated and it turned out to be a good thing. She even pushed Lola to make sure she talked to Julian about the money situation which helped a lot.
  • Lola/Julian
    • Julian actually went through a change this week. Hopefully this is not another con. In the beginning up until almost the end he was ready to leave Lola and run with the dowry. At the end, instead he admitted the truth about having very little money and promised Lola that he would not lie to her anymore. Hopefully he is telling the truth because he could have potential as a character.
      • Now I have to wonder how her father is going to feel about him? He is already losing money because of his son's gambling, now he learns that Julian is actually poor?
      • One thing I do know is that Greer's father will be happier knowing that his eldest did not marry Julian, provided Julian is telling the truth.
      • Now we just need to find out why he is so destitute. Did he do something that caused him to be cut off, or is this just a matter of, "I have __ sons, and as the youngest you really are not going to get anything so you have to figure out what you are going to do yourself."
    • Lola acted smart this week. She made sure that she did not just let her love for Julian override her sensibilities and she talked to him about money (she skirted around it a bit, but it was done tastefully). She admitted her fears to Greer and Kenna (Kenna I think proving to be the most help) and she at least knows now that Julian will not be leaving her for the time being. She told Julian that she is willing to live a simple life, the question is how simple will that life be.
  • Greer/Leith
    • Greer admitted that she still thought of Leith. The question is who will she choose if Leith comes back before she is married, Leith: the former kitchen boy turned soldier, possibly turned some sort of titled nobility who she fell in love with, or Castleroy: the sweet man who has given her control over the marriage contract, is putting up dowry money for her sisters, and loves her well enough where he expects others to treat her with respect. I honestly don't know which of the two I want to see her with.
    • Leith acted as a good soldier and now is an ally of Francis. He saved Francis' life and then Francis is now helping to return the favor by willing him to hold on so he can get medical attention and live.
  • Catherine
    • Her confessions were hilarious especially seeing the look of the priest's face as she stated some of the things she had done recently.
    • She showed her intelligence when dealing with the mercenary correctly guessing why she was kidnapped, whom ordered the kidnapping, why the mercenary did not talk to her at first, and even that he was a mercenary in the first place.
    • She did prove however to be wrong about Mary, she did not think her daughter in-law would not go as far as Mary actually did. Sure she was so sure that it was Mary, but luckily she assumed wrong that Mary was not willing to kill someone to get what she wanted. I doubt that she was upset that Cortenza died, she admitted more than once that she hated her.
  • Cortenza
    • Well, I knew she would end up dead. After all, Mary had to deal with her and much like the dead priest that Olivia killed served Catherine/Henry's purposes, Cortenza's death served Mary's purpose. Cortenza was not someone who was innocent, she was certainly a threat to both Mary and Catherine so it was not much of a loss.
  • Bash
    • Oh Bash, being wonderful as usual. He admitted this week to Mary that he does feel some guilt over killing someone to protect her. He also did some sleuthing for Kenna on Lola's behalf and it helped Lola in the end. He also proved that he was smart, knowing why Lola married so quickly, and knowing that Kenna knew who the father of the child was. The only thing he doesn't know is that the kid is his niece/nephew.
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May 02, 2014
At Mary's core, I don't think she's like Catherine. Catherine is a survivor. She is shrewd and she's a realist. Mary is still a dreamer, and I think she will always be. Mary will always weigh the costs of power against the lives lost, and choose to save more people over expedience. We've already seen that Catherine will not consider how many have to die to attain her goals. Catherine at her core is deeply broken because of her childhood trauma, and has trouble trusting people, especially men. Mary has abandonment issues, but that girl can love and is loved.
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May 03, 2014
I'm not saying that she has completely turned into Catherine. What I mean is that this Mary is not the same woman that he started to fall for when she first came to the castle, nor is she even the same woman that she was when they married-not completely. She has changed, would the old Mary have hired mercenaries to steal money from Catherine and get it to Scotland? Would the old Mary have ordered a hit on someone-no. Now next week Catherine actually comes to Mary saying they need to kill Henry, we'll see what she does.
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Staff
May 02, 2014
I LOVE your point Re men marrying their mothers! So accurate vis a vis Mary and Francis, ALSO: Bash with Kenna (his mom was royal mistress) fits this bill- has Diane learned Bash is married yet? I want to see her and Kenna have that talk.
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May 03, 2014
Oh, that talk between Kenna and Diane would definately be interesting.
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May 02, 2014
Between this and the100...the CW went dark this week.
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