“Reign” Season 1 ended on quite the cliffhanger, with Francis riding out of the castle’s safe walls into the plague-ridden countryside to get to Lola’s side as she went into labor with his child, leaving Mary heartbroken as she watched the castle doors seal with her husband on the opposite side.
The plague arrives
After watching a clip reel with select scenes from early Season 2 episodes, it became apparent that the Black Death will find itself inside the castle walls despite everyone’s protective measures.
“The Darkness was killed [in Season 1] and now the plague is coming,” executive producer Laurie McCarthy says. “It will land at the castle with a vengeance. It will change the dynamics at court and in this section of France. Not everyone will survive it. Tune into the first episode to see [who dies vs. who lives].”
Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary, Queen of Scots, adds, “Everyone dies. That’s the plot twist of Season 2. We all die.”
She’s joking … at least, we hope.
But how long will the plague attack the castle? Not for too long, McCarthy reveals.
“The plague is going to pass and really, what Season 2 is about is what rises from the ashes of the plague,” McCarthy says. “There is going to be a famine. It’s about [Francis and Mary] inheriting a nation that is in fact burning.”
A new era at court
In the wake of King Henry’s death, McCarthy says that while ghosts have been known to pop up on the show, they’re looking forward, not back. “We’re very sad to lose our king but it’s a new era,” McCarthy says. “Francis is king, Mary is Queen and Catherine is Queen Mother — which is a title she hates.”
Dealing with her new position at court won’t sit well with Catherine. “Catherine is at her best when she is scrappy and dangerous,” McCarthy says. “I think she is, by definition, marginalized because she’s no longer the queen. She’s the Queen Mother. That makes for some crunchy and dangerous encounters.”
And as for Catherine’s love life, things are going to heat up this season. “Future lovers [for Catherine]?” McCarthy says. “Yes. Absolutely.”
A haunted season
There have been many supernatural elements on the show so far, and McCarthy says that will continue in Season 2.
“This is the haunted season,” McCarthy says. “People are haunted by the things they’ve done and they are haunted by surviving. We’ll see some very scary and personal ramifications of that.”
After playing his part in taking out his own father, Toby Regbo, who plays Francis, reveals that Francis will not soon forget what he did or the secret he’s keeping.
“I will be haunted by what I did to my dad,” Regbo says. “That’ll be one of the major struggles for my character this season. I really want to get this off my chest and I can’t tell anyone. That’s going to eat at me, as I would imagine.”
And be on the lookout for new faces in Season 2. “We have new characters coming to court,” McCarthy says. “Season 2 is about what goes on outside the castle walls. Nobles have been waiting for their chance to get involved with court. New power players are coming to court, new romantic intrigue and we’ll meet new members of the Medici family.”
Despite their best efforts, Francis and Mary have yet to produce an heir, a fact that is glaringly apparent to their entire nation, as well as enemy nations.
“I’m trying my best!” Regbo jokes.
“Everyone’s very interested in my ovaries,” Kane adds with a laugh.
So is there a baby in their future? “There’s a chance for anything,” McCarthy says. “They’re certainly going to try and make it happen.”
Francis’ impending death
Everyone knows that in history, Francis dies young. So does that mean that Regbo has an expiration date on the show?
“We definitely take advantage of history but I’m team ‘Frary’ myself,” McCarthy admits of her shipping Francis and Mary together. “So I’m in no rush to say goodbye to Toby or Francis.”
And what about team “Mash,” referring to Francis’ half-brother Bash and his short-lived but passionate relationship with Mary? Sorry, “Mash” fans: Kane reveals that relationship is going to be strictly platonic going forward.
“We don’t rely on love triangles as a plot device, we actually have storylines,” Kane quips. “They’ll always have a special relationship, but I just don’t think they’ll bang.”