Mary and Francis’ love story has faced many of the challenges that comes with being a young couple in love, including a disapproving mother-in-law. But being a young king and queen came with additional responsibilities as they not only had their futures to worry about but the future of two kingdoms, France and Scotland. Additionally, mistrust and dalliances with other people further complicated matters.
In the episode “In the Clearing”, after Francis’ death and subsequent resurrection at the hands of Delphine, Mary and Francis were stronger, both as husband and wife and as king and queen, than they had been in a long time. They had signed Elizabeth’s peace agreement to ensure peaceful coexistence between their two kingdoms and even had a passionate moment in which the heavens witnessed and more than likely cheered their renewed commitment. But alas, it would soon come to an end.
Both Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo deserve the highest kudos for their scenes as Mary and Francis in the episode. Viewers were reminded of why and how much they loved each other with every spoken word, look and touch. They truly displayed all the attributes of a royal couple. Francis’ bravery as he battled Mary’s attackers even though he was clearly outnumbered showed he was a man who would fight to the death (which he did) for the woman he loved. He died a hero protecting his queen and wife.
Catherine and Mary’s relationship seemed to reach a turning point as well. Instead of lashing out and blaming Mary for Francis’ death, Catherine provided motherly comfort and understanding. She recalled Mary and Francis as children and acknowledged the happiness Mary brought to her son.
The scene in which Francis instructed Mary on sailing seemed to be a metaphor. He was showing her how to navigate her life as a queen and to sail through the rule alone.
Although Francis didn’t start out as a king that was capable of running a kingdom, he grew and showed that he was up to the task. It’s sad to know that his and Mary’s love story is over and I wonder what might have been. I’m sure many viewers will agree with me when I say that Francis will be missed.
Reign airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW.