When we last left Reign, King Henry had nearly lost his mind (and quite literally lost his shoes) when he forced Sebastian and Kenna to get married. And, of course, we can’t forget that he appointed a servant named Penelope as his new rightful queen. But believe it or not, this week, Henry is not Mary’s greatest concern. Instead, Mary discovers a new clause in her marriage contract and decides to dip a toe in the blackmail pool that Catherine knows all too well.
We chatted with Adelaide Kane about Mary’s first taste of royal power, her upcoming visitors, and what Bash’s marriage could mean for our favorite love triangle (love square?):
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell me about the clause in Mary’s marriage contract?
ADELAIDE KANE: Well this clause has kind of been snuck in under her nose. It’s an agreement between her mother, Marie de Guise, and Queen Catherine where essentially the marriage contract places Scotland’s freedom in jeopardy if Mary doesn’t produce an heir to the throne, so it’s the whole heir, baby business that was such a big deal back in those days. If she doesn’t produce an heir, there’s a chance that Scotland may become a sovereign country and will lose freedom, so it’s very under-handed, very sneaky. And her mother, for reasons that will be revealed in the episode, has essentially sold the country out from under her if she doesn’t produce an heir, and of course, that’s an ongoing issue this season is Mary’s ability to get pregnant. She doesn’t seem to be particularly fertile unfortunately, as of yet.
From what we’ve seen, it seems like Mary really takes charge when she discovers this and sort of gets her first taste of power, which intrigues me, because she’s always been strong but she hasn’t really explored…
She hasn’t had a lot of power of her own to wield.
She’s kind of dependent on other people lending her favors. She’s essentially a figurehead in the French court. She doesn’t have any power in the French court, no real usable power. So she kind of takes matters into her own hands in a far more aggressive and proactive way than she has before, and uses slightly underhanded methods to get ahold of some information that she can use to blackmail the various parties into nulling the contract, getting her out of it. She needs to find a way to make the contract null and void that doesn’t involve getting pregnant, because there’s nothing she can do about that. So I think she does take a turn for the underhanded with her dealings with both French court and Scottish court in that she threatens to reveal some really damning information to the public and really sort of steps up the game a little and tries her best to orchestrate a situation where they’re forced to capitulate on the contract. It’s very interesting. It’s like her first attempt at blackmail really.
She’s falling into the life of a royal.
She does. She puts a lot on the line. It’s a very strong position to be in when you could potentially topple a nation or a government with the information that you have. And knowledge is power, very much so.
And I know that in upcoming episodes, we’re getting more of Mary’s family.
Yes we are!
We’re meeting her brother and her uncle, so what can you say about those characters? Are we going to see another side of Mary?
Yeah, definitely. We see Mary’s half-brother James, who is guest star Joe Doyle, who’s a London boy and was a pleasure to work with. He arrives in France bearing bad tidings from Scotland and entreats Mary to return to her homeland to deal with civil unrest. But Francis is suspicious of both her half-brother’s motives and of whether or not there’s a plot to end her life. Her political troubles don’t just end at England. If Mary were to die without an heir, there’d be a good chance that her half-brother would be nominated to step in. There’s also some religious tension between the two. It’s a religious-civil issue between the Protestants and the Catholics. [James] is a very powerful lord and political figure, a member of government back in Scotland, but she [Mary] a lot of affection for him. She loves him and trusts him but Francis is suspicious of his motives and they end up having a bit of a tiff about it, which causes a rift between Mary and Francis. He’ll be around for a little while.
And then her uncle …
We have Mary’s French uncle, her mother’s brother, The Duke of Guise. He’ll be around for a couple of episodes, but he arrives with some bad news about her mother, Marie, and the civil unrest in Scotland, and she sort of entreats him to help her save her mother and help put down some of the civil unrest in Scotland. But there’s discord in Scotland but there’s also discord in France, so [Mary and Francis] are torn between putting their own countries first or putting their marriage first. There’s a particularly hard decision in that episode for Francis, whether or not to do what’s right for his country or do what’s right for Mary, so there’s a conflict of interest governmentally-speaking in that episode. Drama, drama, drama. [Laughs]
We wouldn’t have it any other way. But you’re mentioning a lot of potential rifts with Francis and Mary, and Bash had that lovely little confession at the end of the last episode. So what’s coming up for the love triangle, and particularly Bash and Kenna’s marriage, which really interests me.
I think that Bash and Kenna’s relationship will have more focus in the upcoming episodes, adjusting to married life. Kenna is actually one of my favorite characters. She’s headstrong; she’s [a] very determined character, and she’s also incredibly adaptable, far more than I think a lot of the other characters in the show are. So I think she begins adapting to her situation as a married woman quite quickly. She could certainly be married to worse. She could be married to a terrible old abusive 60-year-old lord and instead, she’s married to a young, healthy, handsome son of a king. He may be a bastard but he still has a certain amount of status, and I think that perhaps he becomes a more attractive option as the episodes go by, not just physically but also [she gets] a good hard look at him as a man as opposed to someone who’s sort of just been on the periphery for her. And he starts to sort of resign himself to the fact that he’s with Kenna, and they have some really lovely bonding moments coming up. He and Mary aren’t particularly involved in upcoming episodes, but their involvement does cause some tension between not only Francis and Mary because of Mary and Bash’s past, but also between Kenna and Bash, so there will be some interesting marital tension in both relationships due to some of the interaction in upcoming episodes.
I want to touch on The Darkness. So far, Mary has been able to steer clear of this …
Well Mary doesn’t leave the castle. Mary doesn’t go anywhere or do anything, she just kind of chills in the castle all day. That’s all she really does, unless there’s a party on the lawn. [Laughs]
So true. But that’s my question: Are we going to see more of it moving into Mary’s world and therefore the castle?
The Darkness certainly does yet again intrude into the castle later in the season. It is an ever-present threat, and the whole situation with The Darkness becomes more Sebastian’s domain, but it certainly does start to intrude on castle life, again, later in the season. Frankly, we have so much going on in the last five episodes. I’ve been doing each episode for weeks and weeks and weeks, and I have trouble keeping track of everything that’s happening. But yeah, The Darkness is going to be a pretty prevalent threat in the upcoming episodes, so we’ll definitely see more of that and more fun Bash-being-manly-in-the-woods stuff, which I know everybody loves to see.
Reign airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.