Reign Francis Dies Recap

Reign Recap: Long Live the King

Oh, Nostradamus, why did you have to be right for once?

Friday’s episode of Reign — as predicted by the aforementioned hipster soothsayer in TVLine’s sneak peek and previously announced by showrunner Laurie McCarthy — snuffed out King Francis’ light once and for all.

“I will never love anyone the way I love you,” a sobbing Mary told her husband as he lay dying in the episode’s titular clearing. (No, really, the episode was titled “In a Clearing.”)

“I pray to God that you do,” Francis replied, before drawing his final breath and sending his little Francis ghost up to heaven to see Clarissa and Aylee. (Is anyone surprised that the last words out of Francis’ mouth are noble and selfless? Because I’m not.)

One Canadian viewer — because, let’s never forget, this show airs on Thursdays in the Great White North — captured the tragic moment for all the world to see:

In case you haven’t realized it by now, this isn’t a full recap, but rather a safe space to reflect on the loss of Francis and discuss what’s to come — both in the world of the show and in our own. Does killing Francis also kill Reign? Will you stick around to watch the grief unfold, or has your interest gone the way of Mary’s husband?

Whatever you’re feeling now, drop it in a comment below.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. shaz says:

    Yup killing Francis has killed reign! I understand they want to go with history but they made it into a love story. A lot of things they put in the story didn’t happen in history. The writers couldve made a really good show but no point watching it anymore. R.I.P Francis R.I.P Reign

    • Belle says:

      Where is Kenna???

      • ninergrl6 says:

        She left with some rich dude at the end of season 2. She and Bash decided that they couldn’t give each other the lives they both wanted.

        • Jennifer B says:

          Until Kenna is dead, Bash is still married to her. Divorce was not an option in France only England. Kennard and bash did not end their marriage, Bash wanted to end it but until his wife is dead they are still legally married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

      • Aj says:

        She found out she was pregnant and left court until after she has the baby

    • I for one am now more excited than ever for what happens on this show now that no one is really safe going into the Elizabeth’s feud with Mary!

      • prish says:

        And no one ever was, in history, until they both passed from the mortal coil they had wrought, a gift that keeps giving to all dramatists of all ages.

    • Jackie says:

      I agree 100% I’m done watching

    • Sally says:

      Totally 100% agree. So disappointed. Life has enough tragedies without killing great entertainment.

    • Ambur Young says:

      History hasn’t even told this story right to begin with. Fracis was a sickly man that was incapable of producing heirs. He died from and absess. He died bleeding from his ears nose and mouth when it burst. Bash never even existed. He only had half sisters. I might be wrong, but I don’t think he lived past his teens.

      • Charlotte says:

        As I remember, he died of an abscess in his ears at the age of 16 – therefore he only reigned for 17 months.

  2. Joy says:

    The ratings are already killing Reign.

  3. Kim Jones says:

    Reign was a really good show…but they should have not killed King Francis off the show..I am very sure that ratings will be dropping and I will not be watching anymore…

    • Seriously says:

      History killed Francis, his death was telegraphed from the beginning. They stretched it out as long as they could, but it was inevitable. This show may play with the boundaries of historical fact but this one was bound to happen eventually.

      • ? says:

        This show treats history with all the respect of a wet fart and, in my opinion, is all the better for it. Not to mention ACTUAL SUPERNATURAL STUFF happens all the time. The writers could have done whatever they wanted here and I promise you no one who watches, absolutely no one, would have been angry that Francis lived because of “history.”

        • But it gives the show and characters so much more depth and stakes to know that there is no real escape from death!

          • Lynn says:

            Sorry but this show doesn’t have much depth. Any show that will have its lead female raped in order to set up a love triangle is just awful.

        • AlphaDog says:

          100% agree. The first thing I thought when they killed Francis off is I’m done with this show! Really bad idea! Not cool! Historical argument lame! This is t.v.! Writers already changed history and created fiction and fantasy! What a dumb move! A character like Francis, if he is going to die at all deserves a glorious death at the end of the series, not the bs they pulled. I’M DONE! DISRESPECT TO FANS NEVER WORKS!!! CW fckd off a good show!

      • I totally agree. When Francis first fell ill, they accurately described his illness. Francis died from an assessment in his ear. They couldn’t keep him alive. He should have been dead the first time around. The show will survive his death bcuz the history of it is intriguing stuff

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Yup I’m done

  5. MFL says:

    Well I was never a Frary fan but this episode was real sad! Mary & Catherine had me tearing up. I love that Catherine and Francis had made up before he died, their scene together was just the perfect goodbye. Reign won’t be the same for sure but then again I thought the same when Henry died so…
    Anyway I can’t wait for Mary & Catherine’s next chapters. Is Kenna ever coming back & hope they bring back that hot pirate for Greer.

  6. victoria says:

    please bring Francis back there’s no show without Francis

    • James says:

      This is Mary’s show.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        Agreed! This is Mary’s story. Francis was a piece of it but there’s much more for her to come.

      • Lynn says:

        After last season, a ton of people dislike or hate Mary so the writers clearly did not do a great job if we’re supposed to be rooting for Mary.

        • James says:

          It’s part of character development as is being human. We’ve all experienced falling to our lowest and darkest point, before rising up from the shadows.

          Francis lied to Mary and his actions in the first half of season 2 led to her being attacked by rebels who stormed the castle. Conde, who had strong feelings for Mary, took advantage of her vulnerability and presented himself as a shoulder to lean on.

          It proved to be ill-fated as Conde’s intentions turned out to be initially political and Mary realized that her feelings towards him was merely pity mistaken for love.

          Mary and Francis have hurt each other last season that they are on even grounds. Francis was sorry for his deception and Mary was sorry for her extra-marital affair.

          In essence, they both saved each other in the end as they were both each other’s source of strength, the same strength that will help Mary pushed through living her life as she enters the next chapter.

          • Lynn says:

            I’m not rehashing everything Mary did but she was responsible for killing Narcisse’s son which is what started the blackmail and eventually ended with Mary being raped. Treating your husband like a doormat & going behind his back most of the season and committing adultery & treason to heal yourself from rape is not character development. Willing to throw away the alliance and run off to Scotland with Conde is far greater than anything Francis has ever done.

          • James says:

            Narcisse’s son massacred an entire family which left Mary no choice but to do what she did. Narcisse was a conniving man from the start and would likely still manipulate events to gain power and title, whether his son lived or not.

            Besides, he would still have Francis tied to a leesh as he would blackmail him in exchange of hiding the truth about Henry’s death and the assassination attempt by the queen and queen mother if the nobility and clergy found out, would have destabilize the monarchy, which would just lead to a weakened alliance between France and Scotland anyway.

          • Lynn says:

            @James, like I said I’m not rehashing everything but my point was that they were not on even grounds and I stand by that.

        • prish says:

          I have such a hard time starting to watch the show because Mary’s life was one of bad decisions and faith in the wrong people. The only way one could root for her would be as a victim determined to jump off a cliff as a shortcut. Kudos to the writers. From what I pick up on this board, it sounds like they are keeping it from being the non-stop downward spiraling, mack-truck smash up of history. After watching that reality, one would become frozen like during a dentist visit. With this mix of fantasy and history, I might take a peek.

          • Lynn says:

            Her life was a mess later on for sure but her time in France was said to be the happiest of her life judging by her own letters.

  7. Rita says:

    On the contrary! I’ve always loved the show, I keep doing so, and I’m more excited than ever to see what’s to come! The show is centered around Mary Queen of Scots, not Francis or solely their relationship. So, the way I see it, this is just the beggining! There’s a lot more history to explore :)

  8. Pamela says:

    With all the crazy storylines that obviously never really happened I’m surprised the writers wanted to stick with history.

  9. Samantha says:

    This episode was beautifully done! We all knew that Francis’ death was coming, and I love how the writers were able to go back and use pieces from the beginning of the series and prove to the viewers that Nostradamus predictions from the pilot came true. We all knew from the day Reign first graced our TV screens that Francis was going to die, and I believe that the show will survive and cannot wait to see what comes next for Mary, Queen of Scots.

  10. Dani says:

    Officially took Reign off DVR….I know it was inevitable but still disappointing. Guess I’m just a hopeless romantic always hoping for that happy ending. Here’s to a turn around….

  11. Laurac says:

    I know it’s a show but nonetheless a show based on “Queen Mary of Scots” an actual monarch that existed! I am saddened by the show killing Francis! I literally cried like a child would when they are heartbroken:-(( but I must say that for me it’s not the end of the show but the beginning! Remember that if they are truly trying to base the show on mere true historical twists, than the end of the show will be “spoiler alert” when Queen Elizabeth has Mary executed. Do not worry though that is still about 15 years from happening!

    Writers have done such a nice job at keep it modernize yet historic.

  12. Royal Blood says:

    I am NOT watching this show anymore !!!!! Francis and Mary were an item and worth watching the show. Now its a bunch of soap opera junk! Who cares about an adultress desperate queen in England that cant get her own man, but yet covets someone else’s and is so insecure she wants to outst Queen Mary. Who cares about the feud. The core and heart of the show was Francis and Mary. The writers could have just wrapped up the show with a good ending and call it a night. Because they just destroyed the show with eliminating Francis.

  13. Phoenix5634 says:

    Hmm, well that’s disappointing, I was kind of hoping after Francis was healed that the writers would deviate from history and start a “what if” Francis lived storyline. But I will still watch the show.

  14. Phoenix5634 says:

    I understand why the writers decided to stick to history with Francis dying, if he lived it would change so many things in history. And so far for a tv show Reign has been pretty accurate. So it’s understandable why they did this. But a lot of people are right, killing Francis was a bad idea. He’s basically as much the main character as Mary, without him it changes the whole show. The writers should have let him live for the sake of the show, and it would have gave them so many new storylines to explore, and how history may have unfolded if he lived, because quite honestly Mary’s storyline get kind of boring historically now. And it sound like they might deviate from history anyway, because the new prediction is that Mary must remain in France for the new Rule to be successful, which isn’t accurate by history. With saying all that I will still watch, it is a good show.

  15. This is Mary’s story. There has to be some accuracy to it. Francis’ death is a HUGE part of her story and they had to write it in at some point. I’ve loved watching their love story and the plot twists, but I’m just as interested to see the focus of the next chapter. I will still watch.

  16. Phoenix5634 says:

    I’m wondering if Mary isn’t pregnant now. And the baby will be their second chance. I know it’s not part of history, but still maybe?

    • Lou says:

      I was hoping for that too. Honestly I didn’t watch this show for a history lesson and there is already so much that didn’t happen in history in the show, I doubt anyone really cares about the history so they shouldn’t have killed Francis. Or they should have waited, like they just revived him for one more episode, that is stupid. at least keep him on for a couple more, they were happy and in love and WHY?????????

    • Amy says:

      Francis should have left Mary with the gift of a child, that would make the show better now.

  17. Jaxie says:

    Francis’s death makes me sad Mary and Francis were my favorite couple my other is Bash and Kenna can someone please tell me that Kenna is coming back!!!!

  18. Phoenix5634 says:

    You know what, I actually kind of like how the show has stayed pretty true to history. It’s a great show, and its interesting to watch since it is for the most part real history.

  19. Mendez says:

    I will say this. I want this show to focus more on these women, Elizabeth included, overcoming a patriarchal society. But I am very heart broken not because of Francis historically but the character this actor created. A compassionate, loyal, amazing King and man that I respected. I am sad to see him go but hope that fans like me stick with the show to see the three queens stand on their own and create their own destinies. As long as they continue to be portrayed as strong (Conde affair excluded) then I will remain a loyal fan.

    • Mendez says:

      Side note: anyone else not car about Bash’s random story with Delphine?! It seems so unattached. Greer and her (awesome) whorehouse have a more involved story.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        Biggest disappointment this season has been the disconnect between Bash and everything else on the show. So much watsted potential! Torrance Coombs is a fan favorite. I don’t understand why the writers don’t know what to do with him.

        • Mendez says:

          Agreed. He’s a great actor and was amazing in the beginning. With Francis and Phillip dead I have no clue how he is relevant anymore which makes me worry greatly.

      • Lynn says:

        Honestly, Bash seems to be starring in his own side show which is not interesting to me in the least.

  20. Reign is over for me now that they’ve killed off Francis. No interested in the English court or Mary being with someone else. Should have kept Francis around for at least most of Season 3.

  21. Sharon says:

    Writers ruined the series by killing Francis!! This series is a “fairy tale” so writers didn’t have to kill him off. He could have lived and continued to reign with a lot of good stories to come.

  22. I was never a big Frary shipper, so I always hoped they would have killed Francis at the end of S1. That way this epic romance (that wasn’t that epic in reality) would have been curtailed sooner. For a show that was built around Mary AND Francis, despite supposedly being about Mary, I am intrigued to see how the writers are going to continue this season. I wish they would stop relying so heavily on love triangles as an obstacle every single character has to overcome. I’m still here. But I’m not sure for how much longer.

  23. Reese says:

    I’m surprised by the outrage. I think they stretched the Francis part out a lot and am looking forward to the new dynamic. I’d love to see Mary in Scotland, yet doubt they’re going to go there.

  24. Morgan says:

    I, for one, applaud the showrunners. The Francis/Mary love story had played its course, and now history brought it to an end. I hope people are smart enough to appreciate the show’s intelligent writing and stick with it, rather than stop watching because they can’t ‘ship’ (oh, how I hate this word) Frary or Mrancis, or however you want to call them. Also, judging by this season of The Vampire Diaries, a shake up of love-triangles and other such modern nonsense is a great way of breathing new life and energy into a show of this kind!
    Then again, maybe I don’t watch these shows for the same reasons that ‘shippers’ (*cringe*) do…

  25. Alex says:

    I just really hope that Mary finds love once again.

    • ? says:

      Spoilers: hers is one of the saddest lives in history.

      • Katie says:

        Got that right. After Francis died, Catherine shipped Mary back to Scotland, where she married a second time (an abusive jerk, too) and had a lover on the side. The lover killed her second husband and Mary was accused of being the driving force of the plot but it was never proven. Into all this mess, baby James V of Scotland was born-later became King James I of England after Queen Bess died-and never knew his mother because she ran to England, “looking for help” from Elizabeth. (If I remember correctly she married her lover and that caused even more problems.) Elizabeth put her ass under house arrest and for the next fifteen years Mary plotted to bring down her English cousin, so SHE could be the Queen. She had a legitimate claim to the English throne. She ended up being caught by none other than one of the spies that worked for Francis Walshingham, Elizabeth’s spymaster and greatest ally. She was executed for treason. Sorry, I just love history, especially the Tudors. And I don’t even watch the show! It’s just as “?” said..her life was full of heartache, tragedy, and loss, although she did bring some of it on to herself. Pretty epic life in the short forty-odd years she lived. Again, sorry for being so long-winded!

  26. John says:

    This show went south last season mid season. I lost all interest in it now so who cares.

  27. Ella says:

    I’m torn, to be honest. Francis was my favourite and I am devastated that he’s gone. I appreciate they want to stay true to history but yes, without a doubt, this is the end of Reign for me. That being said, I lost interest in the show last season when all the dark magic came to the forefront and Mary became a character I didn’t recognise anymore, let alone like. All of her tears this episode were tainted by the stunts she pulled with Conde last year, destroying a pairing and a show I really loved. Now I’m just sad we didn’t get a final scene between Francis and Bash.

  28. Jeri says:

    All the relationships seem doomed on this show. No one has a lasting love relationship. It’s sad, no use in getting invested in anyones love story as it will not last.

    • prish says:

      Wow, what a great description of Mary’s life, “…doomed…” Can you imagine someone being raised in refined France to be the Queen of France, then dumped and isolated in the rough and tumble highlander world? That kind of adjustment is too tough. Pocahontas comes to mind, going from the woods to the courts, then losing heart at being forced back to the woods, dying just before the ship was to set sail. I might check into the show to see how the writers are going to deal with that kind of emotional reality.

  29. Dwayne says:

    I will continue to watch. The show is about Mary not Francis, she lives for about 20 years after Francis died, so there’s a lot of history they can still draw from to keep the story going. It was definitely very sad. Well done to the cast and the crew

  30. Amy says:

    Francis should have left Mary with the gift of a child, that would make the show better now.

  31. Kathy says:

    I know he died in history but this show has never been historically on the correct side. Except for the names maybe. I really wish they hadn’t done this but I will continue to watch to see it to its finale.
    Fan from the start

  32. Vickie says:

    I will never watched rain again 😩

  33. A Fan of TV says:

    The female humanist in me is dying inside at the notion that shows about female leads would or should be cancelled once their leading men die because fans would stop watching. This is Grey’s backlash revisited, on a smaller scale, but offends me even more because it’s not like history didn’t prepare viewers for this inevitable death. Sure they took some artistic licences with the romance, but Francis was always a dead man walking. I mean honestly, this is a show about a point in British history where two of the most powerful people on the island were women. These women actually shaped the future of GB for centuries, and people want to give up because her hubby died young?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Well said. I’m with you 100%

    • Lynn says:

      Do you think this is a feminist show? A show that has its female lead raped so they can set up a love triangle? I would have stopped watching right there had it not been for how likable Francis character had become and Toby’s fantastic acting. Once he’s gone, there’s no point watching a show when you come to actively dislike the lead and root against her.

    • Destiny says:

      Yeah but if we’re focusing on the history fact no one should ever watch the show to begin with because if you want to be honest who wants to watch a show all the way to the inevitable brutal death of Mary only reason I watched was to c if it followed history I was happy it took a spin with francis and Mary’s love story I love seeing anything about the great women of history but I agree Francis surviving would have been perfect and we as fans have to remember the reign fan bases consist of mostly teen age girls who don’t give a damn about history

      • A fan of TV says:

        I said female humanist so does your question best a response? I will anyway: I believe that history did exactly that sort of crap to women (still happens today in too many parts of the world, where women’s bodies are ‘owned’ by men), so while it is about an empowering era for women in Britain, no one said it was a cosmopolitan utopia five hundred years ahead of its time…

  34. Long Live King Francis says:

    I will still be watching Reign, but it’s going to die soon because the best love story that they had in it died. It will be such a sad show now because of this event. They made a big mistake and should have changed the history of Francis II actually dying. This show did follow Mary Stuart, but now it’s going to be really hard to watch for all of the Frary Hearts out there. If they make her marry the other Lords that she did in real life 500 years ago, then I’m done.

  35. Belle says:

    I am sad to say this may be the beginning of the end of Reign..I think they rushed through the 1st season too fast…killing Henry (let’s face it, he was rather fun to watch) so early on was the first nail in the coffin. I guess the show runners weren’t certain they’d get a second season, and by making the decision to speed through the story it caused major problems with how to proceed. Too bad this last season wasn’t a delusion of Henry’s psychosis and he would awaken and life could start over again :) I hope they can at least give them a full season order of shows and show how things really happened after Francis’ death in the 1500’s France.

  36. Julieta says:


  37. rene' says:

    having the love story between Francis and Mary made the show. why kill off the king? i doubt it if i watch the show as much. i was a big fan too. the writers have made a serious mistake.

    • kim says:

      I agree Mary and Francis together made the show. i also was a big fan never missed an episode. Not sure what im going to do now that Francis is gone. Loved Toby Regbo. Will watch next week see what happens

  38. qweenperky says:

    There is plenty more story to play out.

    They can take that show on the road to Scotland and show her blowing up hubby #2, running off with hubby #3 three and generally making incredibly poor/stupid decisions 1 after another for the rest of her life.

    All accurate , just saying.

  39. Suzee says:

    I am so saddened. I loved this show!! But it will be hard to keep watching. The actors have been incredible.

  40. ninergrl6 says:

    I will watch regardless. I love this show SO MUCH. As much as I adore the current cast, it’s only logical for the location to shift to Scotland/England now that Mary no longer has a claim in France. In my perfect Reign world, Bash would accompany Mary to Scotland and stay by her side through all of her subsequent relationships and conflicts with Elizabeth. I’m disappointed in how the show dropped the Mary/Bash friendship when she “chose” Francis. I think they would’ve continued to be confidants regardless of their romantic relationships, and I hope that’s what happens now.

  41. Lizzy1618 says:

    I hate that Francis is dead I hope the show gets canceled I don’t think I would watch it any more I get to attached to characters and with out Francis the show is dead to me

  42. SJR says:

    I fully intend to cease watching my favorite show if and or when the really kill off Francis.
    FYI Shondraland it’s okay for at least one of your shows to have an ongoing long term marriage!

  43. ? says:

    Okay seriously though, where’s Kenna? Her forced-marriage-turns-to-actual-love dynamic with Bash was the second most interesting part of this show . . . sure, the writers messed it up in season 2, but they messed everything up in season 2, they can fix it now! Bring her back already!

  44. I applaud the show for doing something that many shows (not runned by Shonda Rhimes) would never dream of doing!

  45. Not watching nomore when you kill off main characters its basically meaning it will get canceled always has on every series that does it

  46. I just began watching Reign..I am somewhat of an amateur historian, particularly interested in European history during Mary lifetime. Initially I was a bit put off with the creative license regarding the true facts BUT after watching the first few episodes in was HOOKED..this is a HUGELY entertaining series. Megan Follows is worth watching it alone, but the entire cast is great. I can see this appealing to teenage girls but I am 50 and love the show just as much. The use of modern music gives it that Knights Tale feeling and the costumes are almost as gorgeous as Joan Bergins. So..just wanted to say I am desperately hoping for season 4. The casting of Elizabeth was dreadful, and sometimes the history is really off but who cares. If u want real history watch a documentary to all u snobs. I love my history but I love Reign just as much.

  47. Nessa says:

    I’m still gonna watch but I don’t see why he had to die 😭I hope the series doesn’t end I love it

  48. skaddadle says:

    Killing Francis deff killed Reign. They could have at least waited until the end of the season. They have already changed history so much on here that I don’t even see what the point was of it so soon to be honest. I know it was stretched out but they made some pretty big changes to the show before this. So I honestly don’t see what waiting until at least the end of the season would have hurt. I think most people watched for the Frary relationship. Which was awesome.

  49. Joanie says:

    I am truly saddened this is how you chose to go with this story line. As for me, there is too much sadness in reality. I truly was hoping for a 1% chance of happiness for Mary & Francis. For me, this is end of Reign.

    • Carma Sanchez says:

      Its sad to see King Francis death after all that he and Mary have endured. It would of been nice for the writers to give Mary and Francis a shot of happiness just for a little longer. The show could have derailed a bit from what really happened in history and see the love story of Francis and Mary as a what if scenario with happiness and a family.