What a journey it’s been watching this show. We’ve recapped every episode other than three (the first two episodes of season 1, because we didn’t know how great the show was yet; and season 2, episode 9, because that isht was SAD), cataloguing all of the top WTF moments through all four seasons. And the thing is, going through our past recaps to compile this list, Reign knew fully what it was going to be from basically moment one. It is a wild ride, filled with spectacular fashion, consistently excellent performances, non-stop bonkers plot twists, a heck of a lot of stabbing, and a constant feminist message as we watched Mary, Cathy and everyone deal with misogyny along with sexy pagans, The Darkness, The Red Knights, et al.
So we’re here to pay tribute in the best we know how: with this rundown of the top, most bananapants WTF moments through all four seasons. It was tough to limit this list as much as we did. Rest assured so many amazing things happened on a weekly basis that this list is just scratching the surface.
WTF #1: Creepy people over and under Mary’s bed (namely, Clarissa in season 1, episode 4 and the dead stag in season 1, episode 6)
OK, this is some Pretty Little Liars shit right here. Does Clarissa also wear a hoodie and drink brandy while wearing black leather gloves? Is she secretly making creepy crafts to send to Mary’s enemies? YOU GUYS, WHAT IF CLARISSA IS REDCOAT?
And then we have Mary’s special wake-up call:
The reveal of the dead deer head did bring some Twin Peaks realness to this show. I’m surprised Clarissa wasn’t there to fend off the pagan head-delivery service. Apparently she wasn’t sleeping under Mary’s bed this week.
WTF #2: Fork you, Neopolitans! (season 1, episode 7)
OK, so the show pulled out the Downton/Mad Men special this week when Francis was like, “They call it a… f-uhork. You’re supposed to use it to eat. Oh, this modern world we live in!”
But like the old saying goes, the fork you see in the first act must go off in the third act as Mary saves the day (and her virtue!) by forking this guy like a plate of spaghetti and meatballs:
This castle will be sticking to chocolate from now on, Neopolitan.
WTF #3: Cathy’s Dungeon Bordello (season 1, episode 10)
Or: Nobody puts Cathy in a corner. Or: Run The World (Girls), Renaissance Style.
I mean, EVEN HER TARTS MATCH THE DRAPES! And what is with this red disco ball crown?
WTF #4: MURDER BUBBLE BATH (season 1, episode 11)
OH MY DRAMZ. So, Cathy waltzes right into Mary’s bathroom (at this point the WTF level is so high the show doesn’t even bother explaining why Mary’s frequent attempted murderer is allowed in here unescorted) and pulls a knife on Mary, right in her hot tub.
But we all know blades are Henry’s weapon on choice, not Cathy’s. And true to form, she’s administered a slow-acting poison on herself, and brought along a POISON BATH BOMB to finish off the Scottish Queen. BUBBLE BATH MURDER-SUICIDE!!!
Do you think the bubbles are part of the poison, or did she just add them for effect?
WTF #5: Francis and Lola hook up in a secret sex den (season 1, episode 12)
It’s tricky to choose just one moment from the episode that broke our brains and made us recap it in doge memes, but in terms of unexpected WTF-ness, nothing beats Francis and Lola’s RANDOM HOOK UP OF RANDOMNESS, while hanging out in some kind of sex club.
WTF #6: Do not have sex. You will fall out a window and die (season 1, episode 14)
Oh, we remember this moment like it was yesterday.Henry literally THRUST HER OUT THE WINDOW WITH HIS D. This was the moment we know this show was our one and only true love forever.
WTF #7: Nostro finds a sharpened tooth embedded in Olivia’s back (season 1, episode 16)
So, before Yael Grobglas was Petra on Jane the Virgin, she was Francis’s ex/The Darkness’s feral blood slave, who fell in lurrrve with Hot Nostradamus as he treated her PTSD.
Not sure which is creepier: a monster leaving its tooth in your back or a human who sharpened his own tooth, then left it in your back. #shudder
WTF #8: Penelope The Bean Queen/Secret Dominatrix (season 1, episode 16)
According to Reign, every June-uary, the servants get to eat from this big-ass cake, and whoever gets the piece with the bean inside gets to be Queen For The Day. This year’s winner is Penelope, the kitchen maid! Get it, gurl!
Unfortch, being Queen of the Bean means you have to put up with all those other Queenly things like, for instance, being possibly sexed to death by the crazypants King.
Penny’s a quick study, though, as she quickly graduates to kicking the real Queen out of her throne. This was when King Henry was poison-Bible-bananas, killing mistresses left and right, but Penny lives to see another day by leaning into the cray. Turns out she’s actually Penelope, Kitchen Maid/Faux Queen/Dominatrix! And the King is IN.TO.IT.
Later on, Cathy recruits Penny for her Flying Slut Squadron so it’s sort of win/win all around.
WTF #9: Lola marries a guy who is secretly the secretary (?) of the guy she thinks she married, then accidentally impales another guy, and then burns down a house to hide the crime (season 1, episode 21)
This all happened in like one episode, and it was EVERYTHING.
WTF #10: A secret sex diary becomes required reading at French court (season 2, episode 5)
So, Kenna spends an AMAZING side plotline trying to suss out the subject of a sexy Tom Riddle-esque diary detailing the sexual prowess of everyone at court, because whoever the stud is, she wants to set him up with her pal Lola.
Guess who the star attraction is? Not “Lord Aris,” the beardy fellow in the top shot. No, it’s the more scruffy-looking and, at that time, just recurring new character NARCISSE.
It’s ironic Lord Aris wanted to take her sailing before Narcisse cut in, because we shipped it right away.
WTF #11: A poisoned Bible makes Cathy hallucinate dead relatives, culminating with almost dying in Evil Sex Narnia during a Frozen themed party (season 2, episode 12)
This happened back when Cathy also fell victim to the same poisoned Bible madness that drove her husband crazy, causing her to hallucinate her dead husband and daughters AND the hallucination of her dead husband is trying to kill her AND have outdoor snow sex with her.
But he’s a hallucination so she’s really wanting to kill and have sex with HERSELF. That’s intense.
WTF #12: Delphine is a nun who is also a legit witch whose magic power is saving one person’s life but someone else has to die (…? we think?) (season 2, episode 18)
Supposedly, Delphine can’t tell whether she used her hoodoo to bring someone back from the dead, or just her mad doctoring skills. There may be a price to pay, or there may not be. There may be a reason she was pretending to be a nun, or there may not be.
She may have been watching braid tutorials on YouTube, or she may not have.
Delphine stuck around on this show for quite awhile (not like #StillOnTheShowGuys level, but longer than one may have expected initially) and later she did a blood sex ritual that made her sort of mind-meld with Bash (?) so that they could communicate via a Spidey symbol/Dark Mark tattoo (??) which helped them find a serial killer (…?).
It was, as they say, A LOT.
WTF #13: Greer accidentally becomes the most successful pimp in Paris (season 2, episode 19)
Back when Greer was briefly kicked out of Court for being married to Pepperpot back when he was a heretic (is he still?? #notsure) she drank beer for breakfast and lived in a boarding house with a very fun sex worker. And after innocently recommending that a visiting pub patron may want to sleep with her neighbour, BAM, she’s a madame. And suddenly owns a humongous establishment and is the lady to go to for all your sexytime needs.
When you remember all these girls are meant to be like, 17 years old, her sudden success is even more amazing. Girl knows how to hustle.
WTF #14: Don Carlos (almost) dies on his sex chair (season 3, episode 7)
For a hot second, it looked a lot like Don Carlos had died after Mary and Cathy blindfolded him in his dungeon sex chair, like — a HUGE piece of wood lodged itself in his skull.
But then the story got even more amazing when, in the middle of scheming to hide the body of this visiting sex-dead nobleman, the gals turn their backs for five seconds… and he disappears! IT. WAS. AMA.ZING.
WTF #15: Amazing Amy Dudley is the next level Gone Girl
After pulling a series of Rachel Skarsten-worthy crazy faces…
Girlfriend busts up the room to make it look like a struggle happened, and then throws herself down the stairs, killing herself AND screwing over Robert and Elizabeth in the process. This is COMMITMENT to REVENGE.
WTF #16: Liz burns dresses to make a point (season 3, episode 11)
Lola was sort-of kidnapped and living like a hostage/BFF in England, and Liz is like, “Won’t spill the tea on Mary, eh? Well you really shouldn’t keep your dresses on headless mannequins when there are Queens and LIT CANDLESTICKS AROUND!!!”
I think I speak for all of us when I say ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????
WTF #17: Mary straight-up murders John Barrowman (season 3, episode 17)
OK now hold onto your tits because this next sequence is one of the finest things I have ever seen on the glorious medium known as TV. Barrowman is like, “Och aye lassie, this verrra pointy necklace looks good on your white neeeck.” (Note: he is doing a “Scottish” “accent” in this episode, for context)
And then she STABS HIM IN THE NECK WITH THE POINTY NECKLACE HE JUST GAVE HER
Then she fully shish kabobs him with the sword Francis gave her! Now he’s double-dead! You guys!
And then she struts outside, where Bash has been busy making a diversion by effectively burning down the entire village and is like, “Get in loser, we’re going shopping. FOR THE CROWN OF SCOTLAND!”
YAS. QUEEN. YAS.
WTF #18: Lola tries to assassinate Liz due to a misunderstanding and then gets BEHEADED (season 3, episode 17)
Lola, who’s been the second-smartest person throughout this show (Cathy being #1, naturally), suddenly loses her mind and believes an obvious lie that Mary wants her to kill Liz. And so, she buys a gun…
Tries to kill Liz in front of a zillion witnesses, on Liz’s maybe worst hair day ever…
AND THEN GETS HER DAMN HEAD CUT OFF!!!!!
She was SO CLOSE to being in season four, you guys. #RIP forever
WTF #19: Mary is poisoned via communion wine and then gets abducted to marry a Scottish clansman’s son, who panicks at the sight of her bare back, so she kills a guard with a nearby ax (season 4, episode 1)
And then this:
And then she plants an ax in a dude’s belly but there’s already enough gore in this post, so let’s leave that to your imagination.
WTF #20: Davey Rizzio emerges from the forest with a message from Bash from the astral plane (season 4, episode 7)
The first appearance of our One True Love, Davey “#rizzioshair” Rizzio is with his trademark hair ASKEW, when he found Mary in the woods randomly, all,“Hey girl hey, just stopping by to deliver you a message from a Druid I met who has eyes like sea glass and who would totally be here himself, but he’s just really busy on the astral plane or whatever.”
Some sort of webisode that’s just Davey and Bash chillaxing in the astral plane would be something we could VERY MUCH GET BEHIND.
WTF #21: Keira is killed by a horse but Darnley wasn’t cheating, he was getting Mary BESPOKE EARRINGS!!! (season 4, episode 7)
Basically, Mary sent James to run Darnley’s lover Keira out of town, because she thought that’s where Darnley was running off to. In so doing, Keira got in the way of the DEATH HORSE and that was kind of that.
And Darnley’s like, “GODDAMMIT I WASN’T CHEATING ON YOU FOR ONCE, I WAS MAKING YOU A SURPRISE JEWELLERY GIFT OF TUDOR ROSE EARRINGS!!!!”
WTF #22: CATHY DOES DARK MAGIC (season 4, episode 11)
AND LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.
WTF #23: Liz knocks out Totally Not Evil Servant Jane with an oar while cosplaying peasant sex games with Gideon (season 4, episode 12)
After TNESJ “accidentally” runs into LizGid on the beach in their peasant costumes, Liz’s adrenaline spikes and, operating on pure self-preservation instinct, wallops TNESJ on the head with an oar. CUT TO COMMERCIAL.
For the duration of that break, we were convinced TNESJ was dead, but at this point like: if only.
WTF #24: Davey Rizzio is stabbed FIFTY SIX MOTHER LOVING TIMES (season 4, episode 13)
We are still not over this. Yes, Wikipedia told us this was going to happen, and yes, the death of Rizzio is a seminal event in the life of Mary Q of S but like… did he have to die?
WTF #25: It’s a Knox in a Box (season 4, episode 14)
AKA, Narcisse brings the least-appropriate, yes awesomest, baby shower gift of all time.
Yes, it was GJK’s testicles in a box. Mary was part like, “LOL” but mostly like, “HARD NO” and booted Narcisse from her sight forever.