Francis and Lola are back in French court with their love child. Francis wants to claim Lola's baby, but Mary is NOT having it. Seriously, their conversation is so cold, it'll give you chills. Mary is 100 percent not having it and Francis goes into dutiful husband mode and drops it. Of course, it wouldn't be an episode of Reign without Catherine jumping in to mess with Mary's wishes, and she encourages Francis to claim the baby. There's her baseline hatred for Mary at play, and then of course there's the issue of Mary's fertility. She's been trying to get pregnant for months which is like, a million years in old-timey queen time. In the last moments of the episode, Mary finally agrees that Francis should claim the baby because she's trying really hard not to be terrible, but not being terrible is only one of the reasons Francis NEEDS to claim that kid as his own.
- The drama: If Lola and the baby had quietly disappeared at the beginning of the season, it would have been a relief for the Francis/Mary shipper in me, but a major blow to the Reign drama lover in me. This baby turns the drama up to an 11 this season. Mary is becoming a worse and worse person (and better and better character) and she's losing some of the goodness that attracted Francis in the first place. Having sweet little Lola around who also happens to be the mother of his child? Well, that's pretty much guaranteed to lead to a relapse (and probably a cliffhanger during sweeps).
- History (schmistory?): Reign has made it quite clear that it gives approximately zero effs about history. If it decides to follow history at all, then Francis will be dead by next season and he and Mary will never, ever have a child together. It seems a little (a lot) unlikely that Reign will start following the history books now, but either way, this is kind of perfect. If the show does decide to kill Francis off and pretend it cares about things that really happened, a claimed baby with Lola will give him a post-life presence on the series as Mary tries to move on. If they ignore history entirely and he sticks around, Mary will either have to contend with his illegitimate heir just as Catherine had to deal with Bash or, even worse still, if she remains childless, it could Lola in a position to threaten her relationship with Francis and her rule.
- It's the right thing to do: Yes, I know I was really dismissive of Mary's attempts to not be terrible, but Francis is growing into the most standup guy on this show and it's completely in character for him to want to do right by this child. I don't think he's even (consciously at least) considering the possibility that it might be his only son. He saw what only being halfway acknowledged did to Bash and he doesn't want that fate for his son with Lola.
- Mary is going to struggle with this so hard: I love Mary, but this show hinges on things not going great for her. Reign thrives when everything is horrible for our heroine. And Mary might be trying to be the sweet, understanding wife and co-ruler here, but to paraphrase Lola, it's a painful situation. She's trying so hard, but the cracks are already showing and once Francis claims the baby, there's no going back. It's going to be a long, uphill road for Mary – and that's when things really get interesting in the world of Reign so bring it on.