While Henry is away, petitioning the pope to legitimize Bash, Evil Anne schemes from her tower room to have Bash murdered. After her first plot (a villager with a poisoned knife) fails, her agent, Lord Hugo, has a pregnant girl, Isabelle, brought in on trumped-up theft charges. It turns out Isabelle is Bash's secret pagan cousin, whose father was executed for heresy, and if anyone finds out they're related to Bash, he can't be king. (And I guess the no-being-a-pagan rule is still kind of in effect for your major European monarchies. You don't see Prince William going all "Hail Satan" on weekends. Those Grimaldis, though…)
So Bash and Mary need to sneak Isabelle out of the castle before anyone finds out she and her pagan father are related to Bash. They assign the ladies-in-waiting to run interference on Evil Anne while they and Bash's bodyguard, Alec, hit the road with Isabelle—who's now in labor. A little ways down the road, they have to stop so Isabelle can deliver the baby. They're set upon by the Blood Wood's recurring group of shrieky, sacrifice-happy pagans, who kill one of the horses, but leave the royals and the laboring lady alone because Bash, Isabelle, and Alec were chanting pagan prayers.
Mary figures out that her companions are pagans and spends the next twenty minutes screaming like a lunatic. Bash manages to convince her he's really a Catholic, he swears, but before they can get on their way, Isabelle dies. So they hide her baby in the castle's nursery (that seems smart and foolproof) and return to their stultifyingly boring days of listening to the people of the kingdom gripe about how their neighbors sold them faulty goats. But first they make out, and it is pretty hot.
Evil Anne gets so bored in her tower room that she confesses to Kenna that she was behind the plot to assassinate Bash. Since recording devices haven't been invented yet, the girls take that confession and have Greer forge a letter in Evil Anne's handwriting, ordering the plot, which she says they'll show to Henry if any harm comes to Bash, Mary, or the ladies. Evil Anne screams and shakes her fists at the sky and swears to strangle all three ladies-in-waiting with their own miserable entrails.
Previously on Reign: Mary tried to flee the castle with Bash so she wouldn't have to marry Francis and bring about his death as Sexy Nostradamus foresaw, but King Henry's men caught them and made them come back. So Mary agreed to wed the next king of France and claim the English throne (the Franglish Plan), but only if Henry legitimizes Bash and makes him the heir. Evil Anne freaked the fuck out, even more so when Henry had her locked up awaiting their annulment. Francis cried and flailed. Oh, and Bash is a pagan, so since the pope's whole objection to Elizabeth I being queen of England is that she's a bastard and a Protestant, I'm sure he'll be thrilled about pagan bastard Bash being king of France. The next king of Spain will be a Pastafarian!
We open in medias swordfight. Bash and some dude come over a balcony railing and continue swashbuckling all over a mostly empty chamber. Bash is holding his own until his opponent pulls a dagger and holds it to his throat, but doesn't stab him. The opponent is Bash's instructor, Alec, and he tells him to learn to anticipate the blade he can't see. I bet that's going to be super relevant later, y'all. Mary interrupts them to summon Bash to the throne room, where he was supposed to greet some nobles while Henry's traveling to Rome, but he blew it off to mess around with Alec. Mary's all, why aren't you as good at being dauphin as Francis?
Bash gripes about how their new Franglish Plan was supposed to be a secret, but now everyone in the castle knows, and he's worried about what his possible legitimacy will mean for "every legitimate son in the kingdom." I'm guessing it might mean royal men will be even less careful about siring bastards since they know they can just go legitimize them if their legitimate sons turn out to be pasty larval whiners. Mary tries to buck him up, reminding him that plenty of kings come to the throne under clouds of suspicion and noble infighting. He's not soothed, and tells Mary that Alec isn't just his teacher, he's also his bodyguard, hired by Diane, since Bash now has a target on his back.
Throne room. A farmer brings the regent—that would be Bash—his complaint: his neighbor screwed him on a chickens-for-goat trade. Bash, looking incredibly uncomfortable in velvet and heavy jewels, only half listens. Lord Hugo, one of Henry's councilors, sharply tells Bash that the farmer seeks his judgment. Bash tells the grouchy farmer he can't really help him unless he wants to eat the unsatisfactory goat, a verdict that pleases no one in the room (especially the goat. Who's not in the room. But wouldn't it be more fun if it were?). Mary counsels Bash to treat the people's concerns more seriously.