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Moment of Goodness

Three Moments of Goodness: Catherine’s Truths Revealed, Reign “Inquisition” 

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

Megan Follows has been a raging girl crush for me for years and years; she was one of my main draws for Reign, and tonight she just KILLED IT. For the most part, Queen Catherine’s been running on fear, jealousy, and rage, and we’ve had a few glimpses of her sacrifices, most recently in “Left Behind,” when she revealed to Mary and her ladies that she did not escape unscathed from an attack on her as a young girl.

That was a mere warmup. In “Inquisition,” we got a few more pieces of her backstory, and they were whoppers, and my Moments of Goodness.

Catherine and Henry

We’ve only witnessed the venom in their marriage, and now with Henry gunning for Catherine’s head, she comes to him to plead for reason, and they both drop their walls. Catherine calls him out on the fact that they did love each other in the early years of their marriage, and he agrees, and he admits that he was heartbroken when their marriage was reduced to a perfunctory, passionless quest to produce an heir after a barren decade. He asks her to let her hair down, and she does, and for a moment they rekindle that missing passion.

Catherine and Richard

Henry’s old friend, Richard (Bitten‘s Greg Bryk) is brought to court to help indict Catherine. After she leaves Henry’s bed, she returns to her cell to find Richard waiting. He tells her Henry has had a change of heart, that the proceedings will be postponed, and then the energy in the scene shifts and she rushes into his arms and we discover that they were lovers and Catherine cast him out of court years earlier to protect him. She tells him he is her best love and that she’s never lied to him and he laughs that she is probably lying to him now.

Catherine and Nostradamus

Clarissa has been the ghost in the shadows of the castle, presumably a disfigured maid formerly in the service of the court. When she confronts Catherine and condemns her and Nostradamus, Catherine goes to see him and demands the truth about the “ghost” now made very real flesh and blood. Nostradamus tells her Clarissa was abandoned as an infant because she carried a red birthmark called a “devil’s kiss.” He confesses that years of mad science at his father’s hand had horribly disfigured her and other children had demonized her for her appearance, so he brought her to refuge at court. The story wounds Catherine gravely and we get the sense there is something more untold.

Separately, Bash and Mary hear from an elder chambermaid that Catherine concealed the birth of a child years earlier–a girl with a birthmark. This is then revealed in front of the King, and Richard is shaved to reveal the same birthmark under his beard. Henry sends him off to be killed as the pieces fall into place that Clarissa is Richard and Catherine’s abandoned daughter.

Later, after Catherine fails at an attempt to murder Mary, Clarissa saves them both, calling Catherine “Mother,” and Catherine rages at her that she should have died, that she didn’t want her. Clarissa disappears as the guards enter and Catherine is carted away as an assassin. We are unsure how much of it Mary heard.

Megan Follows owned all of it–from Catherine’s plotting to her joy to her affection to her yearning to her fear and unbridled, rage-fueled determination to save Francis and herself. For a few moments there, it looked like Catherine might suicide, and I’m so glad that was a fakeout.

Follows is a joy to watch and I couldn’t imagine them writing out Catherine so soon. I loved the two brief moments where Catherine let her hair down and “unqueened” herself, and we saw who she had once been, who she was when both Henry and Richard had loved her, before she pulled her hair back and put on the mask again.

So SO good. Reign is on a short break for the Olympics, and will return in three weeks. You can watch “Inquisition” tomorrow on The CW.

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  1. Teri

    “Inquisition” was REALLY good! I liked Reign from the beginning, but I find myself more and more intrigued every week. The hour flies by and always leaves me wondering what is next.

    Agreed about the suicide fake out. Catherine is a love to hate character for me, and the show would not be the same without her. Every emotion she portrays can be seen on her face and in her actions. She is great!

    I’m glad we finally got the backstory on Clarissa. Although, I am a bit confused about the timeline. When did Catherine have this child? Before Francis? Before being married to Henry? What about the 10 years without providing an heir? Was it before that? (Apologies if I totally missed that in the episode. I need to watch it again and see if I pick up on anything I didn’t the first time through.)

  2. Heather M

    Thanks for reading, Teri!

    *If* I understood correctly, Clarissa was born during Henry and Catherine’s marriage because the chambermaid was at court, and Catherine banished Richard from court, so she was already Queen at that point. I’m assuming Clarissa is older than Francis and that Henry never realized Catherine was pregnant because they were already estranged or he was off at a war somewhere, which doesn’t jive with the timeline Henry gave of when they were estranged but I think we have to sort of roll with what they tell us sometimes. 😉

    1. Teri

      Thanks, Heather! That makes sense! I couldn’t get past how could Henry not know she had a baby while they were married?! haha But the way you explained it, it could’ve totally happened. When you take into account everyone else that knew and that the other man was kicked out of court by Catherine, things add up better. Thanks again!

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