Mary Queen of Scots, feminist icon?
Early into the series premiere of the CW's "Reign" we are given a few factoids: This is France, 1557. Mary Queen of Scots has been secluded away in a convent since she was nine years old, safely awaiting her marriage to the future king. But the pilot moves too briskly, its tone too lusty and fanciful, to be any sort of serviceable history lesson. After a brief but gruesome assassination attempt warns Mary that her life is in danger even here, the young queen is whisked away back to court to await her impending marriage to Francis under the watchful gaze of his overprotective mother Queen Catherine and her surly King Henry.
Prior to her departure, farewells are exchanged, the beginnings of intrigue are illuminated, and Mary's destiny is elaborated upon. A freckled child who has no cause to know anything of life outside roughly a mile radius instructs Mary to be wary of ghosts within the castle walls. These forebodings, as well as an early appearance by none other than Nostradamus, hip us to the fact that -- while there may not be vampires -- there will be blood, treachery, teary romance and all that we have come to expect from CW fare. The beautiful Adelaide Kane ("The Purge") resembles Anne Hathaway with broader features. Her Mary Stuart holds no emotion back, receiving all this information with quivering lips, furrowed brow, and heavily-lidded eyes.