In a few days, The CW’s Reign will air its series finale. And in Season 4, the series upped its game determined to go out with a bang and not a whimper.
Viewers were introduced to several new characters who interacted with the established ones adding excitement to their story lines. One of these new characters was Lord Darnley (played by Will Kemp). Darnley was introduced in the Season 4 Premiere episode titled “With Friends Like These.” Queen Mary of Scotland (Adelaide Kane) vowed to take the English throne away from her cousin Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) after the English queen ordered the execution of Mary’s friend Lola. Mary realized that in order to achieve her goal, she’d need to gain power through the support of the Vatican. And what better way then to marry an English Catholic with a claim to the English throne. However, Lord Darnley wasn’t exactly jumping up and down to marry the Scottish queen. He already had a woman he loved, Keira (Sara Garcia). Too bad Keira was engaged to be married to another man. Lord Darnley offered Queen Elizabeth a deal: If she paid to get Keira out of her upcoming marriage, he’d stay out of Scotland and away from Queen Mary. Elizabeth agreed. But interference from Darnley’s mother Lady Lennox (Nola Augustson) helped to sabotage both Darnley and Elizabeth’s plans. You see, Lady Lennox wanted her son to marry the Queen of Scotland and not Keira. Believing the fake ‘Dear John’ letter was from Darnley that Lady Lennox had forged, Keira went through with her marriage. So, Darnley resigned himself to courting Mary and was surprised when he discovered he had feelings for her. Mary realized she had growing feelings for him too.
But everyone wasn’t supportive of the match, especially Mary’s brother James (Dan Jeannotte) who developed a mistrust of Darnley, especially after suspecting the fire in which Darnley rescued a child was actually started by Darnley himself (it was). However, he helped Darnley prepare for a boxing match with Lord Taylor in order to prove Darnley’s worthiness to marry Mary to the people of Scotland.
It seemed for Mary that marriage to Darnley was going to be more than a political arrangement. That is, until Darnley discovered his mother’s manipulation in his sabotaging relationship with Keira which caused her subsequent marriage. He embarked on a secret affair with his lost love right after the announcement of his engagement to Mary. Once Mary discovered the truth, things went downhill for the couple (but by then, Mary was carrying his child). Darnley was bitterly angry with Mary when her actions inadvertently caused Keira’s death. Mary and Darnley still ended up marrying. But by now, Mary had fallen in love with Lord Bothwell (Adam Croasdale). Darnley tried to pressure Mary into granting him the crown matrimonial, even resorting to scheming with the sleazy John Knox (Jonathan Goad). Threats and blackmail aimed at Mary followed.
As Reign draws to a close, Mary gave birth to their son but Darnley kidnapped the baby to raise with Keira. Yes, it appears poor Darnley has gone bonkers and has been seeing his dead love. Darnley’s done some terrible things, can he be redeemed before Reign ends? I like to hope so as Darnley is my favorite new addition to Reign in Season 4. I’ve made no secret that in my opinion, Darnley is the lovable rogue along the lines of Hollywood movie icon Errol Flynn. I want to forgive him for his mistakes and for him to be a good man. But only the Reign writers know whether their version of Darnley (the real Darnley was murdered) will take a walk down redemption road. Nonetheless, I extend my thanks to Will Kemp for his portrayal and the Reign writers for fleshing out the character.
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