TV Club: A great start to Reign’s last season gives us three betrothals and a funeral

“I had no choice.”

It’s sometimes tricky to champion Reign. It burns plot at an incredible and sometimes exhausting rate; its handling of serious character beats has been uneven; its cast rotates perhaps more often than is wise. However, when it’s firing on all cylinders, this show is fun as hell, and “With Friends Like These” is Reign at its best—a checklist of murders, some broken engagements, some convenient lapses of institutional memory, a little camp, and some earnest reworking of history that draws the new playing field for its queens.

The episode crackles with politics; there’s so much discussion of murder and marriages that things like the kidnapping are clearly trying to make up the slack and end up a bit shortchanged. Honestly, though, no chase through the Scottish forests is as interesting as two people casually threatening one another as countries hang in the …

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