Why do you dismiss me? Because I'm a woman? I have a mind of my own.
Catherine's views on not being taken seriously because she is a woman
In the season premiere Three Queens, Two Tigers, Having been exiled from French Court by her own son; Queen Catherine finds herself in England at the palace of Queen Elizabeth I. Catherine has come with a plan to destroy her daughter in law Mary, Queen of Scotland; Catherine tells Elizabeth that men don't even like speaking to women let alone take orders from them, and she is not even their first choice yet there she is. Elizabeth tells Catherine that half of England wants her gone, to which Catherine replies that it's only the Catholic half that wants to see her gone. Catherine notices that Elizabeth is quite tense, ever since Mary's half brother James refused to push for her to abdicate the throne of Scotland; Elizabeth is quite annoyed with this plan which came to nothing; however Catherine says that if Mary can't keep her own throne, then how can she be a good candidate for the throne of England? Certainly not for stability. Catherine then mentions that there is another way to dispose of Mary: to send French delegates to the Vatican in Rome in order to inform the Pope of Mary's affair with Prince Louis Conde, which is adultery and treason and could lead to Mary being removed from her power as Queen of Scotland and France. Elizabeth comments that she won't kill Mary, and Catherine would do no such thing either since she is Elizabeth's cousin and Catherine's daughter in law; the killing of a monarch is not really a precedent that they want to set. Elizabeth seems a bit shocked that Catherine would call Mary a whore, Catherine says that Mary will be disgraced, forced off her throne by her own countrymen, and most importantly; she won't be able to reach for the throne of England.
The next night, Elizabeth finds Catherine dressed in a beautiful red gown, sitting in a garden somewhere on the palace grounds, and mentions that Catherine is careful not to walk the grounds during the day; to which she replies "I'm careful in all things." The two women discuss how: the witnesses have reached the continent by going through Bavaria and avoiding France, and Elizabeth finally says that whether they succeed or fail; no one can know that she was behind such a personal campaign or that Catherine is in England. The clever Catherine says that as far as anyone knows Catherine de Medici is in Tuscany, Italy at an estate owned by her family that is rarely used, that she has a decoy there who looks so much like her that the servants actually believe that it actually is her, that the only neighbors are monks, that the house is by an abandoned lumber mill, and that reports that she rages, weeps, and prays drift back to French court.
Later, Catherine is with Elizabeth in her chambers and they discuss Elizabeth's relationship with Lord Robert Dudley: how Elizabeth cares for him like a brother, and how they were locked up in a shelter when she was nothing. Catherine says that their relationship is enough of a threat to be considered in a plot of treason, that they spent many days together and formed a bond, then Catherine asks if this is when they became close. Elizabeth takes great offence to this and jumps up exclaiming "I am a virgin Queen!" Catherine agrees saying that she must remain so; since she is unwed and Robert is already married, also the fact that Robert was to lowborn for Elizabeth given that she is the daughter of the powerful King Henry VIII; whether or not she is illegitimate. Catherine further points out that royal blood flows through her veins and that she must find a suitable husband; however Catherine mentions marrying a monarch, and brings up her young son Charles as a possible match for Elizabeth. This match would possibly be an alliance between England and France, however Elizabeth is not very eager about Catherine's idea.
The next day, back at French Court, Francis and Mary are having a discussion when a messenger enters with news that Queen Catherine de Medici is dead: at the estate in Tuscany where Catherine is apparently staying; the decoy and her lover are having a romantic wild romp in an lumber mill suddenly the couple trigger a lever in the mill which releases a large piece of metal which castrates the lover leaving "Catherine" stunned and in such grief that she hanged herself. Mary laughs at the idea of Catherine being dead, and Francis pieces together the puzzle that the dead "Catherine" is actually a decoy, and that his mother has to be in England, because if she is then everything that has happened: the envoys in Rome and the plots to destroy Mary all make perfect sense.
Later Catherine is seen being dragged through the woods in the dark by guards as she is gagged to silence her piercing screams. Early the next day, Catherine is seen meeting Mary and her son Francis for the first time in many months; however Francis nor Mary is happy to see her as she has betrayed France and her son yet again. Francis tells the guards to take his mother and watches as Mary has Catherine tossed into a large cage...on the other side of which is a large, very real, live tiger...Catherine is only separated from this man eating cat by the bars of her cage...which unfortunately for her is right next to the tiger's cage on a moving cart. Catherine screams in terror and when she tries to get Mary through the bars, Mary hits her with a whip sending her crashing into the bars and the tiger almost rips her leg off. Catherine is last seen as the cart drives off with her trying to stay as far away from the tiger as she can possibly.
In Betrothed, Catherine visits with her son Charles while she is in the dungeon. Catherine talks to him about his studies, and tells him that as the future King of France he should be familiar with the country's finances; however later Charles learns that the message his mother gave him contained instructions to have the entire family of the House of Bourbon murdered such as to eliminate any chance of there being any type of takeover. Charles is horrified to learn this, and he and Mary confront her; however Catherine says that the Bourbons will take advantage of the situation and try to take over French Court again, and she won't let that happen to her children. Later when Francis visits her he admits his illness and it's severity to his mother, who all but falls to pieces and talks about nursing him as a baby to keep him healthy, and how the nurses made fun of her for doing so. This unfortunately falls on Francis' deaf ears as he leaves. Later that night, Mary enters Catherine's cell and tells her that she and Charles will become engaged when Francis dies, the Queen doesn't take this news too well as she begins banging on the door demanding to see her son; Catherine then bangs her head into the door until she passes out and falls on the floor.
In Extreme Measures, Catherine is removed from the dungeon and taken to the castle infirmary after she injured her head by hitting it against the door, and biting out a piece of her own face. Mary has Catherine tied to her cot to keep her from hurting herself again; Mary also orders that the nurse put a bit in Catherine's mouth if she tries to bite anything else.
Later Antoine shows up wanting to bargain for the life of his brother, and winds up making a deal with Nicholas who is the English Ambassador to take France by force with Francis being ill. Mary hears of this and goes to Catherine's cell and tells her that since she says she would do anything to protect her children, now she has the chance to prove it. Nicholas later encounters Catherine and she tells him that he will immediately reverse the deal he made with Antoine, or else she will bury his Queen regarding the plots to destroy Mary which Elizabeth went to great lengths to keep quiet. The Ambassador tells Catherine that if she does that then her own son will have grounds to execute her; however Catherine tells him that in case he hasn't heard, she doesn't have much to live for these days, but England tried to take the throne from her sons once and she will not let that happen again as she will do whatever she must to protect her children. Catherine gives the Ambassador one final warning: to cancel the deal he made with Antoine or else she will burn Elizabeth's name into the ground.
Later that day, Catherine is in Francis' bedchamber beautifully dressed and thanking him for her release, but he tells her that she has Mary to thank for that. Catherine then has a tender moment with her son when she promises him that she will look after Mary, Charles and the rest of her children, she next apologizes to him for not being the mother he needed her to be, and though she knows that she has done horrible things she always tried her best to be a good mother. Francis tells his mother that he knows that in her own way she has done her best; Mary returns and Francis tells her that he needs rest, so Catherine kisses him and goes to leave the room.
Mary stops her and asks if it was Catherine who arranged a match between her and Don Carlos of Spain, and Catherine admits that she did indeed because she had to make sure Mary was taken care of.
After leaving Francis' room, Catherine comes across a newly married Lord and Lady Narcisse. The pair are shocked to see Catherine who tells them that they misplaced her invitation, she then wishes them health and a happy life. Lord Narcisse puts a protective arm around his bride and leads her away; Catherine then goes into the throne room and sits on the throne.
In The Price, When Catherine hears about the ships that France sent to rescue Scotland's supply routes; she wonders why Francis and Charles didn't seek her advice, because she could have advised them and avoided defeat. Francis tells his mother that if she doesn't get enough votes from the Privy Council then he will throw her back into the dungeon.
Later that evening , Catherine enlists the help of her daughter to please Lord Clavell, who is a high ranking member of the Privy Council, so that she will get his vote. Claude thinks that her mother plans to marry her off to Lord Clavell's son; however Catherine tells her daughter that she is trying to do nothing of the kind unless of course Claude takes a liking to him. Catherine also tells her daughter that she will need to support her spending habits when she is running things. When the Princess hears this she agrees to help her mother.
During the dinner, Lord Clavell tells Catherine that he will never grant her his vote to be Regent, because of an incident that happened many years ago when Catherine was Queen and she and Henry visited his home: apparently the Queen insulted him, and then ran over his daughter's foot with their carriage. Lord Clavell then says that his daughter's prospects for marriage were ruined forever; however when Catherine apologizes and offers to help his daughter find a suitable marriage match, Lord Clavell reveals that his daughter is dead as she committed suicide after being rejected by another suitor. Lord Clavell then insults Catherine by calling her daughter a common whore for flirting with his son to help her mother; Catherine and her daughter then get up and leave the dinner together.
In In a Clearing, Francis enters his chambers to find his mother, a very happy Queen Catherine hard at work ordering servants about as she redecorates her son's chambers complete with: new window dressings, redone furniture, new paintings etc. in order to remove the odious spirits that made him sick. When she asks him what he thinks; Francis tells his mother that she is being excessive and he wants her to stop; however Catherine says that her son's chambers need to be bright, cheery and romantic the perfect environment for a King and Queen to make future Princes and Princesses. Catherine walks up to her son and plays with his collar as she says that Francis was thought lost forever, then that remarkable woman Delphine saved his life and she is so grateful that she plans on having her chambers redone next. Francis asks his mother to be honest with him as he wants to know if some small part of her coveted the Regency.
Catherine replies that: it's a good job for someone who is always right, but as it turns out some people despise her, and that she would never want to ascend to power if it meant losing him. She puts a loving hand on her son's face and finally says "What's France without my Francis?" The Queen then turns to scold a worker who is putting a portrait of St. Anthony in the wrong place as it should be facing the bed not the door, and Francis looks at his mother curious as a kitten as she explains that St. Anthony is the patron Saint of pregnant women.
A short time later while in her chambers happily going over decorations for her son's room, Catherine runs into an old friend Nostradamus; Catherine says that she heard he was back and while decorum dictates that her visitors be announced even an old friend, but he never said goodbye. Nostradamus counters by saying that he quietly left from the courtyard after she left him to be drawn and quartered. Catherine changes the subject by saying that she knows that he has been helping Francis get well, and since she is grateful for this there is no reason to hold grudges.
Nostradamus says that he has heard about her battle to become Regent and that it has not been easy for her since many despise her, but Catherine says that this battle is a thing of the past since her son's health has miraculously improved; however Nostradamus has news for her and he cares about her children not her aspirations. He tells her that her battle to become Regent may not be over, but Catherine can see no reason why she would fight to be regent since her son the King is alive; Nostradamus tells her that he spoke with Francis and has learned that the moments Francis saw before he died match a vision Nostradamus has always had about his death. Catherine says that his vision is true but incomplete as he didn't know that Delphine would heal him; however Nostradamus says that he has seen other images about Francis' fate which were more strange and dreamlike.
Catherine stops what she is doing as she listens to Nostradamus tell her of: a tree in a glade with white snow about the bottom which reveals itself to be white flower petals, these petals have blood dripping on them from above; Catherine pauses him to ask if he's referring to blood raining from the sky, and he says that he's not sure as he wakes up at that moment. Catherine asks if this dream returns to him, and when he says that is does; she mentions the first prophecy was fulfilled, and how often does he have this dream; Nostradamus admits that he awoke from this dream that very morning and that the threat has not passed.
The Queen looks worried and asks if he is sure the vision is about Francis, Nostradamus admits that he is positive as Catherine asks what can be done to keep him safe, and what dangers he should avoid; however Nostradamus apologizes that he cannot tell her what there is to fear. Catherine tells him that since Francis trusts him then he must warn him, but Nostradamus asks exactly what is he supposed to say to a King who is basking in his sudden return to life? He then suggests that Catherine tell him, and that she may have a better chance of getting him to listen to her since she is his mother. But Catherine is afraid that her son won't listen, and Nostradamus tells her that he hopes Francis does listen for if he doesn't he is afraid that Francis will die. Catherine says nothing but has a look of worry and fear in her eyes.
That afternoon, in Francis undone chamber, Catherine is talking with her son about the conversation she had with Nostradamus. Francis is curious as to just what his mother is talking about, however Catherine can only explain what Nostradamus told her, and she is not sure what it all means as she says the specifics don't matter since she now believes her son is in danger. Francis asks exactly how this foretells his death, and did Nostradamus see him in this vision, but Catherine says that sometimes the visions aren't so black and white, and sometimes they are symbolic but the point is that there is something ominous in his future.
Catherine then says that her son's brain fever has only recently subsided, and she knows that his health is not fully recovered and since she is his mother how can he think that she cannot tell. Francis doesn't believe a word of it as a very worried Catherine gets up and urges her son to be safe, and when he asks how she tells him to surround himself with guards and not leave the castle only until Nostradamus learns more; however Francis will not be confined and tells his mother that he will not hide waiting for a dream of his death, that he is living his life, and not being reckless and if only his mother could see what he sees.
Catherine realizes that the illness and everything Francis has been through has changed him, but Francis says maybe he has changed but he wants to: visit the Matterhorn, sail everyday with Mary until the snow comes, visit the Verdon Gorge, and he promises to take every precaution if only for the sake of the people he loves including his mother. Catherine sighs and has worry and love on her face as Francis tells his mother that he knows she means well as her actions have always been motivated by her devotion to him and her other children. Catherine kisses her son's hands and tells him that it's mostly her devotion to him, and that while she shouldn't play favorites, as she puts her hands on her son's head and face she tells Francis that he is her golden child and that she can't and won't lose him. Francis looks into his mother's eyes, seeing her love for him and tells her that she can't keep him in a cage not even one made from love. He then kisses his mother and leaves the room as she sighs and begins to have tears in her eyes.
A short time later, Catherine watches out of a window probably from her chambers, as Francis and Mary prepare to get into a carriage and leave the castle complete with plenty of guards. She sees a little servant girl give Mary flowers, and she notices that as Mary and Francis get into the carriage white flower petals fall on the ground. As the carriage and it's escorts leave, Catherine watches and has a look of worry on her face as if she is thinking about Nostradamus' prophecy.
Later that afternoon while working in her private study, there is a knock at the door. Catherine grants entry, and as the door opens Bash and several guards enter and from the look on his face she knows that something is horribly wrong. Catherine asks Bash what's wrong but he can say nothing, then she bids him to please talk to her, and with tears in his eyes he tells her that it's Francis. Moments later, Queen Catherine along with Bash, the guards and Nostradamus enter the glade and she gasps in the shock of seeing her beloved son on the ground dead with Mary over his body. One of the guards tries to stop her; however Catherine holds up her hand to silence him and walks over to Mary who says that she can't let him go. Catherine says that this isn't Francis as he is gone, and tells Mary to let him go and hold on to her; Catherine then gently takes Mary's hands off Francis' body and while holding back tears of her own comforts her daughter in law who sobs in her arms. The grieving Queens watch as Bash, Nostradamus and the guards pick up Francis to bring him back home.
The next day, the whole French Court comes together to bid farewell to King Francis. Catherine cries over the loss of her son
as she tells Nostradamus that when she comes back perhaps they can discuss his return to French Court; however Nostradamus has no intention to stay. Catherine says that she needs him, because now with Francis gone she will have to put all of her energy into the fight for the regency and that she cannot do that alone; however her old friend gives her one last vision to help her: Only with the help of Mary will she be able to rule. He then bids her a long life God willing and departs from the castle.
Only 2 weeks after burying her beloved son; Queen Catherine is in her chambers dressed in a black gown, and sitting on her bed which is also draped in black. Catherine is clearly feeling the pain of losing yet another one of her children. Servants and her Ladies are hard at work in her room when Mary enters with a velvet case in her hands; Catherine orders everyone to leave her and Mary alone and they all move to obey. When they are finally alone Mary gives Catherine the case saying "This no longer belongs to me.", she opens it and pulls out the beautiful gold bejeweled crown that Mary was crowned with during hers and Francis' coronation. Catherine says that she thought she wanted the crown back, but then Mary says that maybe Catherine was right to hate her since she caused Francis' death just as Nostradamus predicted. Catherine listens as Mary further says that her son died saving her, and if she could go back and do it all over again she would give anything so that he might live she then says "I'm so sorry Catherine."
To Mary's surprise, Catherine says that she doesn't blame her for what happened to her son, because Francis was his own man who made his own choices, and long ago he chose to love Mary. Catherine further says that she can see Francis and Mary as children so clearly as if it was only yesterday, and a flashback occurs with Francis and Mary as children playing in the castle halls. When the flashback ends, Catherine gets up from her bed and tells Mary that her love for Francis gave him so much joy, and that is what she must remember as she moves ahead in this life; however Mary says that she doesn't even know how she will do that. The Queen says that she is confident that Mary will find a way maybe not today or tomorrow but she will, because she is so strong.
In Fight or Flight, Bash and Mary find Queen Catherine in her chambers, in the middle of the afternoon with the curtains drawn in total darkness. The Queen is still clearly feeling the pain of burying her son Francis only 3 weeks ago, and Bash and Mary are worried since Catherine is still not acting like herself especially when she needs to be the most. When they check on her Mary comments that Helene said that the Queen has not left her chambers; however Catherine comments that everyday she wakes with the sun, washes and gets dressed. Mary replies that perhaps her mother in law might find comfort in the music room practicing on the virginals or in the castle chapel, but Catherine asks how she can pray to a God when she is certain He does not hear her? Mary replies that while they are lost right now, Francis saw a future for all of them and hers was bright and powerful as Regent. Bash then says that while Catherine has been distracted by her grief, the privy council has met without her three times...the Queen is surprised to hear this and listens as Mary continues saying that Charles is too young to rule or fend for himself, and as Queen Mother until the council elects a new Regent; it's important that Catherine attend all of the meetings. Catherine asks if there's another candidate; however Bash says that with the vote only weeks away Lord Grenier has been cozening up to Charles, wooing him with gifts and knows that a King and his Regent can't work together without established trust then Mary says that she thinks Lord Grenier is angling himself for the position.
Catherine cuts Mary off by asking why she wants to help her? Since the very first thing she would to as Regent is to pull French troops out of Scotland, and end the reckless war that Francis sustained purely out of his love for Mary, also that her election could mean the end of Mary's nation...which she well knows. Mary, however says that while she has no power in France, she is widowed and alone, but she is staying to help Catherine fight for her future, because she made her husband a promise. Mary further adds that Francis forgave his mother, because he knew that she was the only one who could secure his brother's reign, and the only choice for Regent. Catherine is still not very hopeful as she says that there isn't a single Noble on the council who would be willing to vote for her; however Mary sets her mother in law straight by saying that she cannot lose this battle, that no one is more focused than she is on keeping Charles on the throne, and she must reclaim what is hers for the sake of her sons.
Later that day, Catherine fresh out of her chambers and dressed in a black and silver gown, enters a privy council meeting with Mary by her side. The men stop and bow in respect as Lord Grenier offers her the council's condolences; however the Queen seems to be back to her old self as she says that she doesn't need their condolences but cooperation since her son while still a child is still their King and should be represented at the council meetings. Lord Grenier says that this meeting is informal since the council can't make political decisions until a new Regent is elected. Mary then steps in and asks why are they meeting at all then? The two Queens enter Catherine's chambers as she says that either she is a wilting female meant only to mourn or a power grabbing harpy. Mary comments how Lord Grenier seemed very confident as if he had already won though the vote is still weeks away and asks why. Catherine replies that Lord Grenier recently sold off one of his most profitable vineyards, and perhaps he's using the money to bribe the council; she also says that Grenier wants to see that she has no power at court and right now the Nobles have the upper hand, and that Francis was wrong to burden her with her future. Mary then says that failing Francis is not an option and if Catherine won't fight, then she will fight them for her.
That afternoon, Catherine enters the music room and sits down at a Harpsichord to practice when she is interrupted by the sounds of moaning. The Queen gets up to investigate and finds two servants having sex; she asks them to kindly untangle themselves reminding them that the music room is off limits to all servants. The girl runs out of the room; however she blocks the man's way and asks his name: Christophe who is a valet de chambre who tends the castle fires; Catherine advises him to exercise discretion and says that she prefers to practice her scales without the accompaniment of lecherous moans. The servant asks her if she is sure, then bows and leaves the room.
Early that evening, in Catherine's chambers, she is sitting at her dressing table while Mary tells her of her chat with Lady Grenier, and that there may finally be a way to take him down that will make Catherine feel more alive than ever. A short time later the two Queens enter Lord Grenier's chambers and he comments that the Queen Mother looks well as Mary orders the guards to leave them. Catherine says that Grenier's plot against the crown is an affront to France and she found it all too easy to rally her spirits; however Mary then says that she and Catherine know about the emergency vote to which Lord Grenier replies that if he wins than it's by popular vote of his peers and he can't think of anything more fair than that.
Queen Catherine however counters by saying that his peers don't know the truth about what he would to as Regent of France, Mary adds that he's been selling off vineyards which Grenier says is his business which is ever evolving, but Mary continues saying that the Crown has been struggling to provide Scotland with more troops and that a mercenary army is a valuable commodity. Catherine then says that Grenier has quietly become the largest most secretive owner of mercenary armies in the entire country, but Grenier says that if this were true it's not a crime; however Mary says that while it may not be a crime he has turned a legal business practice into an illegal more profitable crime: taking pay from dead soldiers and under reporting their numbers and profiting from each life lost. Mary then asks how long it would be before he turned on the council to double down the military presence in Scotland for personal gain; however Grenier says that Scotland has something to gain also but Mary says that not even she would condone deceiving the council into taking an action that could harm France. Grenier tells Mary that she is being shortsighted as she explodes saying how dare he call himself a loyal patriot and take advantage of the death of the King her husband, and Grenier says that they have no proof.
Catherine stops him before he wastes his breath insulting her, and says that they have proof also while the paper trail was hard to follow Mary managed to do it. The Queen further threatens that if Grenier does not resign then she and Mary will expose him for what he is...as Mary says a war profiteer, and a traitor to France. Lord Grener asks what will happen next when they get rid of him, and then insults Catherine by saying that she has an endless line of enemies who will do whatever they can to stop her from gaining power. He further says that a weakened grieving woman should never hold the reigns of a nation. Mary calls for the guards who escort him out as she sarcastically thanks him for his service to the King.
Once she and Mary are alone, Catherine says that Grenier was right, and Mary says that they will get her those votes; however Catherine says that a Regent must honor the will of the people, and bring the troops home from Scotland which would leave Mary's country defenseless. Mary knows this; however she says that is was Francis' dying wish that she stick by his mother and she will but Catherine can't ask her to do that and she won't, instead she says that if she is Regent then the troops will remain in Scotland because that is what Francis would want and what her heart would force her to do, she also says that: she must protect the alliance and keep Scotland safe, that unlike Grenier the council will know of her intentions. Mary stop her by saying that if she doesn't withdraw the troops then she could lose the Regency. Catherine continues saying that: she has watched Mary rally for Francis' cause and honoring her promise to help her at great cost to her own country, that she always thought that her son was wrong to take on Scotland's burden but it was his promise to his wife and his deceleration of love, that she owes it to her son to take care of Mary the same way he asked her to take care of his mother. Mary says that this is not a sacrifice she can ask Catherine to make, however Catherine says that it's a sacrifice that her son would ask her to make, and it will be her last act of mourning. Mary finally says that if this is the case then there is only 1 person who can make this right even if it costs her Scotland.
That night in the throne room, Mary announces to the council and Nobles that until a new Regent is elected the word of the late King Francis remains law since France has always protected Scotland. However she says that Catherine has convinced her to allow France to move into the future, and therefore as the other half of the alliance she relieves France and her armies of their duty to Scotland. This news brings cheers and applause from the council. Catherine is informed of the next council meeting, and how they owe her an audience; a council member asks Charles how he would feel about his mother ruling at his side, and he remarks that it would be a great comfort. Catherine smiles at her son and comments that he is learning.
Later still that night, in Mary's new chambers she is in tears as she talks with Catherine about: being only six when she came to France, that she barely remembers Scotland which is a romanticized picture in her mind, how the truth is that France has always been her home, that she threw herself into helping Catherine because it meant she could stay, and now there is nothing but Scotland and a new alliance. Mary further says that Catherine was right to suggest Don Carlos as a new alliance, but how can she wed another, the Queen says that she can because she must. Mary says that she doesn't even know who she is without Francis, Catherine says that she is still a Queen, but Mary breaks down as she tells her mother in law that she loved Francis, but now it's done and she loved him. Catherine then takes her daughter in law into her arms and comforts her as she cries.
The next day, it's early evening as Catherine dressed in a gown with a black and gold bodice, enters Lord Narcisse's chambers where he is in the middle of changing clothes. Narcisse says that he would like to put on his trousers, but it's nothing Catherine hasn't seen before; Catherine then says that she was reminded of something recently: even at the lowest of her lows she is still stronger than her enemies. Narcisse admires this quality since she has so many enemies, Catherine then says that she hopes he has enjoyed his union with Lola because she plans on reeking havoc on all he holds dear once she becomes Regent of France. Narcisse tells her that her grandson John was gifted land by Francis which he spent his honeymoon acquiring and received the final deed earlier that day; Catherine realizes that Narcisse has a seat on the privy council as John's guardian and proxy. The Queen then grabs Narcisse by his balls tightening her grip as she warns him that she will get the votes all of them; however Narcisse says that he is friendly with Nobles on both sides and that he has the deciding vote. He then asks her to either stop her threats or finish the job...so the Queen decides to finish the job.
Later, it's quite late at night as Catherine who is apparently heading for bed walks with one of her Ladies who comments that she was seen leaving Lord Narcisse's chambers, as the Lady says that she put an end to servant's chatter. Catherine says that she only gave Narcisse the pleasure she doubts he has experienced since marrying Lady Lola, the devious Queen then says that Narcisse doesn't understand that she has found his weakness, a crack in his marriage, that she will use him to become Regent and then lay waste to his happiness. The Queen's Lady calls her devious and brilliant as Catherine says that in the meantime Narcisse gets to share his bed with a pretty young thing while she is expected to retire alone, but something can be done about that.
Catherine is lastly seen entering her chambers to find Christophe tending to her fireplace, she comments on how lovely the fire is as he asks if there is anything else he can do for her. Catherine then begins untying the front of her gown and as she says that she has another fire that needs lighting, and asks to be brought back to life; Christophe then unties Catherine's gown as the two begin undressing each other, kissing and proceed into making love.
In The Hound and the Hare, Wearing a beautiful black and gold gown, Queen Catherine is in the castle hall finishing a chat with Lord Bertram who is a high member of the Privy Council. Mary comes up as Bertram bows and leaves, she comments on how well Catherine and Lord Bertram seem to be getting along and it seems that she may now have the votes she needs to become Regent; Catherine replies that she's close but the matter is not quite settled yet. The Queen thanks Mary for her sacrifice of removing French troops from Scotland and giving her a political victory , also that as long as she is in power Mary will have an ally in France. However, Catherine reminds Mary that she won't need French allies if she weds Don Carlos, Prince of Spain; Mary tells Catherine that while things go well the Prince is a bit eccentric...and not Francis.
In Our Undoing, After the accident with Prince Don Carlos and the sex horse, Queen Catherine and Mary are hurrying through the underground passages of the castle. Mary is worried that they should not have left the Prince alone, but Catherine tells her to keep moving and that she had better pray that Don Carlos dies because he could convince his father who is the most powerful, pious monarch in the world that the sex chair was something that she and Francis used and that Mary introduced it to the Prince and invited Catherine as a participant. Mary then says that nothing would save them from the wrath of Spain.
The two Queens make it to Catherine's chambers and agree that until they know the fate of the Prince, they need to come up with a cover story for their whereabouts during the evening; as they hurry to burn their blood stained clothes their cover story is that they were in the Queen's chambers playing a game of chess...which Catherine won. Since no one knew Mary was visiting the Prince, her servants can back the story up; Catherine soon begins going through her chest of potions and poisons looking for ones to burn since she has been accused of murdering her own son and a stockpile of toxins along with her extensive knowledge of them will not help her cause. Mary tells Catherine that her son died a hero and not a victim, and asks how she can help her beat these charges?
There is knocking at the door as Catherine hurries to put on a robe, and Mary sits down at the chess table with her; the Queen grants entry and Lord Narcisse enters the room asking if he may enter and Catherine asks if she has a choice since he is Regent. Narcisse says that with his new position he has decided to order an inquest to see if there is enough evidence for her to stand trial; Catherine interrupts this as she says that Narcisse stole the regency from her when he decided not to defend her when she was accused of regicide. Lord Narcisse however, says that he's not the one who made the accusation, but rather it's the Cardinal who is accusing her; Catherine tells him to look no further than her son King Charles who will gladly testify that she would never do anything to harm Francis.
Unfortunately for Catherine, and much to her shock; Narcisse tells her that the Privy Council has sent Charles away to some secret location; Mary says that without her son she's as good as convicted. However, Narcisse says that it is neither his nor the King's job to try her as that job goes to the High Court of France; he further says that since Francis had her locked in the dungeon when he was ill then she had motive to kill her son to become Regent. Catherine asks how she could possibly poison her son from behind bars with no access to them...Narcisse stops to ask her what she said and Catherine realizes her misuse of words as she reminds him that they were once friends and lovers as he agrees that her incarceration would suggest a lack of means. Narcisse further says that were it not for the rat and threatening not she left his wife in her bath then he would believe that she could do noting from behind bars. Catherine insists on her innocence and that Narcisse knows that she did no such thing. Mary comments that Narcisse is trying to put Catherine away forever; however Narcisse says that he's trying to protect France, but the Queen says that he is trying to protect his role as Regent of France.
Catherine then gets up from her chair and grabs Narcisse as she begs him not to do this; however Narcisse says that he cannot ignore what happened to Lola, but Catherine knows that if Lola testifies that she planted that rat it would show that she is capable of poisoning her son from prison when he did it himself to scare Lola into his arms. Narcisse then orders the guards to search the Queen's chest where she keeps her poisons, then orders Catherine and Mary to leave the room; Mary and Catherine walk down the hall as she denies putting the rat in Lola's bath. Mary says that she knows Catherine didn't do it, as she knows the glint Narcisse has in his eyes when he lies as well as the fact that he seemed strangely conflicted with the charges against her. Catherine replies that Narcisse may not have framed her for Francis' death, but he'd be happy to see her hang by the tail of a rat; she also asks if there is no poisoning conspiracy then what does she make of a mysterious bottle she found and hid before Narcisse arrived.
The bottle contains Oil of Vitriol which darkens the liver, and does not belong to her; Mary looks at her with suspicion at first but the Queen insists that it's not hers. Mary asks Catherine if she thinks that Narcisse planted, but the Queen replies that she doesn't know; Mary says that it would be difficult since there are guards outside Catherine's doors at all times and it's not like he's welcome in her chambers. Catherine pauses before admitting that she and Narcisse rekindled their love affair...a liaison that is clearly over now; Mary is shocked as she asks exactly what she is expected to do with this information since Lola is like a sister to her. Catherine says that she understands if Mary is no longer her ally but it won't be long before news of Don Carlos's accident spreads through the castle, and that the nobles and delegations from Spain will be looking for someone to blame and it cannot be them. Mary agrees to talk to Lola and try and convince her that the rat was not Catherine's doing, which won't be easy unless Mary mentions the infidelity of Narcisse; however Mary doesn't want to inflict unnecessary pain and insists on doing it her way...she then walks away leaving Catherine alone.
That same night, Catherine visits the chambers of her daughter Princess Claude who is getting ready for bed. Catherine says that she came to say good night; however Claude shows her mother the summons she received to be at the inquest, and asks if it will occur to them to ask point blank of she poisoned any of her other children. Catherine takes the summons and says that she wasn't in her right mind when that happened as she was being poisoned herself, but Claude says that this comforts her little as her mother replies that she must know that she would never raise a finger against Francis. The Princess say that of course her mother wouldn't harm Francis, because he was her favorite but her...Claude sits on her bed as Catherine says that from the moment her daughter was born their relationship has been complicated, since they live in a world that undervalues women. The Queen sits next to her daughter, and further says that while she may be guilty of favoring her sons over her daughters; Claude interrupts her to say that she is nothing more than an annoyance to her mother, a problem, and a thing to be given away in marriage. Catherine admits that while her daughter is a handful, she swears that she truly does love her; she further says that when Claude marries that she'll break her heart and beg for a letter and a visit just as she is begging for her forgiveness now. Claude looks at her mother and agrees not to tell the council of how she poisoned her...if Catherine convinces Charles to allow her to choose her own husband; Catherine is curious and asks since when does she want to get married however Claude says that she doesn't want to get married now but when she does then she wants to choose the man. Catherine agrees and asks if she has someone in mind, but Claude doesn't answer and bids her mother good night.
The next day, Catherine is dressed in a gown and a black cloak as she exits a door and heads for the gates. However there are guards at the gates and two ladies distract the guards as the Queen makes for the gate; Catherine doesn't make it though because she is soon caught by Bash who says that as an accused murderer she can't leave the castle. Catherine insists that she was trying to do nothing of the kind as Bash grabs her, and she demands that he unhand her; however luckily for Catherine Bash is on her side since Mary wanted him to offer his assistance.
Bash asks how he can help, and Catherine says she has a theory that requires travel from the castle...something she clearly cannot do. Bash offers to go in her stead and Catherine proceeds to tell him about Saint Denis where Francs is buried: she wants him to find the embalmer who removed the King's organs and find out if Francis' liver was already black when it was removed...if it wasn't then it would prove that she was innocent and that Francis wasn't murdered. Catherine asks Bash why he is showing her kindness and compassion that she has rarely shown him over the years; Bash replies that he feels love for his dead brother, and anger that someone could think that she would harm Francis, and those feeling have lead him to be with her. Catherine thanks him and turns to leave, when she is suddenly met face to face with a messenger who has news about Don Carlos' condition and had orders to inform Catherine immediately.
In No Way Out, Queen Catherine emerges from her chambers dressed in a black and gold gown, and welcomes Mary home from her trip to Rome which was to gain funds to help her get an army so that she can return to Scotland and reclaim her throne. Catherine apologizes for not being there to greet Mary as she was planning her tour of the provinces in the spring; Mary comments that the regency suits her; however the Queen further states that she saw Mary arrive and talking to the English Ambassador at length. Mary explains that she was lying to him saying that her plea to the Vatican was refused when actually it was received happily with an agreement to help gather any forces she may need. Catherine comments that her daughter in law is playing possum while building a Catholic army, but Mary comments that her enemies in England and Scotland can't stop her if they don't know her plans. The Queen says that the element of surprise will help Mary greatly since she has many Protestants against her like the zealot John Knox, and the Highland Tribes who have a detest for any type of monarchy; Mary comments that Gideon must be kept in the dark since Elizabeth cannot know her plans either. Catherine then asks if it was difficult for Mary to lie to Gideon to which she replies that it wasn't; The Queen further says that the reason she asked is because she noticed that they were spending lots of time together and Mary asks if she is suggesting that she take an English spy as her lover but Catherine replies that she is doing nothing of the sort; however as Francis' mother if Mary wants permission then she has it. Catherine further says that Mary should take some comfort but remember to enjoy him but never trust him as in the end if Gideon is forced to choose sides he will always choose Elizabeth.
Later that afternoon, Queen Catherine dressed now in a beautiful red gown has just finished having a meeting with the Privy Council; when in walks Lord Narcisse saying that he has news to share with her, and the Queen asks if it was important enough for him to miss the meeting; she further says that she hopes that Narcisse isn't still trying pining for the regency. Narcisse says that it's water under the bridge, to which she replies that she's sure it is and suggests that his news has to do with his dear wife because she knows that Lola has not answered any of his letters and adds that it must be difficult to know that his wife would rather be in enemy territory than in his bedchambers.
Catherine sits down as Narcisse repeats that he has news, he then says that he told her that he did not frame her when she was accused of poisoning Francis and he has proof; Catherine looks like she doesn't believe him until...Narcisse pulls a paper from his pocket, sets it in front of her face saying that it's a signed confession from the Royal Embalmer who admitted that: he fled without removing Francis' organs, and that he'd been bribed by Cardinal Morel who was the very man driving the inquest against her. Catherine is shocked and asks if Narcisse is trying to make her believe that the Vatican has turned against her...as Catholic Royal; however Narcisse suggests what if it were simply the Cardinal who was turned not the entire Vatican as any man can be turned for a purpose even a man of the cloth. The Queen asks by whom and Narcisse answers that it was someone who doesn't want her to rule France; Catherine looks at him in disbelief as he says it was someone other than him and swears that he only stepped in once the job became open. The Queen then stands up and tells Narcisse that if he wants to earn back her favor, then he is to find Cardinal Morel and bring him to her; she further commands that he not disturb her until he has completed his task since she is Regent and quite busy.
A short time later, Queen Catherine is back in her chambers and sitting at her dressing table when she drops her earring; however when she bends down and gets back up...she sees the reflection of Christophe in her mirror, she then turns around and is shocked to see him standing in her room with a smug grin on his face. The Queen comments that he can't be in her chambers and says something about having her secret passageway sealed tomorrow; Christophe picks up the earring and gives it to her as he says that he needs to talk to her but Catherine snatches the earring back as she says that they have nothing to talk about, however Christophe thinks differently as he says that he thought they had reached an understanding...he doesn't tell anyone about what she did to Claude and she gets to keep the regency. Christophe further says that Bash has assigned him to the Chateau du Chambord to take care of a wolf infestation on the grounds; Catherine comments that she knows that this is a nasty pack, but Christophe knows that she had a hand in this assignment because she is afraid he will kill again and with him gone she won't have to see it happening under the roof of her own home. Catherine then asks if there is no way he can stop and he admits that there is not; however he declares that though he will enjoy hunting in Chambord...he will miss Catherine, and the Queen looks to be quite afraid as she watches him leave.
A few days later, Queen Catherine dressed in a black gown embellished with gold, enters a room where a theater performance is being set up to celebrate her son as the new King of France and talks with Bash as he tells her that Christophe is gone and it will be months before she sees him at court again; however as she thanks him, Bash says that he'd appreciate it if she'd stop using him to clean up her personal affairs. The Queen gives him a look when she is interrupted by her son King Charles; Catherine introduces him to Arturo who is a family friend and leader of the finest theater troupe in Italy and met Charles when he was just a child. Arturo mentions that now he meets Charles as King of France, and what an honor it is to perform for his court; Charles mentions that his mother told him about the troupes performances all over Europe to which Arturo replies that this is thanks to the generous patronage of the Medici family, he also says that the performance they will see is an Italian comedy. Catherine comments that this is wonderful as they could use a happy ending at French Court and what better way to celebrate the joint rule of Charles and his mother; the Queen then goes into mother mode as she says that she expects both him and his sister to be there, Charles nods and promises obedience. Suddenly a messenger appears and tells Catherine that Queen Mary wishes to speak with her privately.
Moments later, Catherine is in Mary's chambers listening as she says that: she did not misunderstand the fact that Rome plans Elizabeth's death after her cousin names her as her successor. Catherine scoffs as she says that while she spent time with Elizabeth and liked her...she is Mary's foe; Mary reminds her mother in law that Elizabeth is her cousin, but Catherine says that her death would mean the end of their rivalry, and she would have the chance to unite Scotland and England under her rule. However, Mary reminds Catherine that she spoke of how it was not important to set a precedent for killing monarchs, but Catherine counters by saying that the Vatican would be doing the killing...not Mary. Mary, however asks how veiled is the idea that she takes Elizabeth's throne after a bitter rivalry, benefits from her death, and then she is blamed for this and would likely be struck down in retaliation and how the Vatican must know this. Catherine is clearly turning an unexpected thought over in her mind as Mary realizes that she is just a pawn and if she were to be killed they would just replace her with the next Catholic in line; Catherine finishes Mary's thought by saying that a man would be their preference and she believes that her daughter in law's thinking is right and the present question is what is she going to do about it. The Queen further explains that this is the Vatican and Mary can't simply say "No thank you" and walk away because if she declines the advice of Rome she will lose its gold, armies...Mary finishes by saying that she would be powerless to take back Scotland from the Protestants. Catherine then asks Mary what she plans to do? Save Elizabeth or save Scotland?
That evening, Queen Catherine wearing a beautiful silver gown and matching cape, joins her children, Bash and the rest of French Court as they watch the play and Claude asks what the play is about. Bash answers that it's a comedy about the love lives of royals and Charles comments that he's heard that the Princess is worth looking at; Catherine silences her children as the play begins and they are quite amused by the story line of a King and Queen enjoying a dance...then worrying about who their daughter will marry.
During the performance, a horn blows and a figure in a black costume wearing a mask of the devil appears on the stage speaking about: how an evil Queen and King built their kingdom on the blood of their subjects, how 13 Red Knights valiantly served the royals and were falsely accused of worshiping a demon known as the Baphomet, he says they were all executed by their evil Queen and points to Catherine who is terrified by what she is seeing and hearing as her children and Bash look at her expression and are more than confused; he further says for the kingdom to heed his warning that these 13 knights shall rise again and the debt shall be paid. The other actors on stage are just as frightened as the audience, as Arturo looks out from behind the curtain highly confused by what is going on. Catherine whispers to Arturo to stop him, and he runs after the figure as the curtain drops and the audience applauds; however backstage Catherine meets with Arturo and demands to know what on earth was that, but he swears that: he has no idea what happened, that this was not part of the play, and that the figure was not one of his players. The Queen further demands to know what happened and who was that; however the only clue they find is the mask the figure wore, and Catherine picks it up as Arturo swears that he has never seen is before and that the figure could have been anyone. Catherine is left with quite the terrified look on her face.
Later that same evening, Lord Narcisse is in his chambers working at his desk when a furious Queen Catherine bursts into his room; it's quite clear that she is very angry and she asks "What the hell was that play Stephan?!" and if he's trying to terrorize her. Narcisse asks what she's talking about, and her fury rises as she slams her hands on the desk and accuses him of dredging up the past and putting it on stage for everyone to see...including her son Charles; however Narcisse has no idea what her son saw...because he wasn't at the play but tracking down Cardinal Morel...who body washed up on a riverbank with his throat slit and it was apparent that he had been dead for several weeks. Catherine comments that this is convenient for someone, as Narcisse continues saying that Morel was clearly murdered to tie up some sort of loose end.
The Queen stops and asks to get this thing straight...that Cardinal Morel was killed by someone with a penchant for loose ends, who uses terror tactics and wouldn't hesitate to kill a Cardinal...Narcisse knows that she suspects him, but he swears that he's not behind the incident and warns her that someone else is responsible for killing the Cardinal and what happened onstage. Narcisse swears that he is her ally, but Catherine then says that: she will never trust him again, that she's not his wife, and won't be frightened into his arms by a dead rat or a dead Cardinal...she then takes his goblet, downs the wine, gives him the goblet and leaves the room.
The next day, Queen Catherine is dressed in a black gown and working in her chambers; when Bash enters the room saying that since the play last night he was been wanting to speak with her. Catherine says "I didn't write the damn thing. If you didn't like it.", but Bash cuts her off saying that he didn't come to critique the play, but instead that he saw her reaction to the figure in the black costume. Bash asks if the Queen the man was referring to was her, but Catherine says that it was theater.
Bash then tells her of a time when he was a child, and: Henry woke him up and took him to the parapet to show him something...a field of pikes with a severed head on each one...13 to be precise, that Henry told him they were soldiers accused of devil worship, and their faces painted with a red cross. Bash further says that he learned that some of the stories he heard as a child were lies and demands to know why these men were killed as he suspects it had nothing to do with devil worship, but Catherine admits nothing and says that he must have had a dream as she remembers nothing; however Catherine then says that: she's surprised Bash remembers as he was very young and it was a long time ago, that she and Henry owed them money and could not pay it back, how it was Henry's idea and as his wife she went along with it, and she said that they should be executed quietly but Henry insisted the heads be out on pikes since if they struck fear then no one would dare question their actions, and that she had the heads removed before sunrise.
Catherine further says that these are the sins she lives with: the dead who haunt her, the Queen then says that whoever took control of the play must be found because she is worried about this person coming after her, and if she dies who will look after her son as the realm will be thrown into chaos. Bash says that he understands and turns to leave as Catherine says that it seems so strange since these soldiers are long dead and so much time has passed. Bash asks her if she is sure and leaves the room.
Late the next night, Mary talks with Catherine about a way she has come up with to save both Scotland and Elizabeth; she further says that she thought it impossible to keep the Vatican on her side without sacrificing her cousin but she has found an ally. Mary continues as she says that what lies ahead is daunting but together we will get through this; Catherine questions if she means together with the Englishman and asks if she slept with him. Mary admits that: she did indeed sleep with Gideon, and that she didn't think she was capable of such a thing; Catherine says that apparently she is and now Gideon is on Mary's side as a result then asks if Mary did it to either; get out of this alive, she gave in to temptation, or because her feelings were real. Mary replies that she doesn't know.
Finally, after talking with Mary; Queen Catherine is walking when she rubs into Christophe who is supposed to be in Chambord. Christophe says that he is worse when he is away from Catherine; however they soon hear the sounds of a horn blowing and head to the balcony and see a group called the Red Knights on the castle lawn. The two then hear a sound and see a Red Knight who hurls a spear at Catherine...Christophe saves her life by knocking her to the ground; Catherine is uninjured however she gets up and reads the sash that was tied to the spear which says "Your debt will be paid." The Queen then realizes that her life is indeed in great danger.
In To The Death, Queen Catherine is beautifully dressed and in her chambers talking with General Gaghan about the threat against her and her family. The Queen says that the threat is very grave, and therefore she needs the help of the French soldiers to secure the throne; however General Gaghan says that the men have not been paid for their service in Scotland so they cannot help France. Catherine says that the soldiers will receive partial payment immediately, and speaks of paying them in interim; but Gaghan cuts her off saying that payment must be made in full not interim or partial and though he was godfather to Francis and would give his life freely; Catherine understands that his soldiers will desert if they are not paid.
The Queen then suggests having a feast in the soldiers' honor to show just how much their service is appreciated; however Gaghan says that while that is a very kind offer he reminds her that in 2 weeks time a wealthy German Prince will arrive in France seeking to raise an army with gold in hand. Catherine's son King Charles enters his mother's chambers and listens to the rest of the conversation. Catherine finishes the thought by saying that the French would join Germany as mercenaries; the Queen sits as she tells Gaghan to inform his men that they will receive the money they are owed at the feast in two weeks time. The general is much pleased to hear this and comments that his soldiers will be pleased as well; he turns to leave as he and Charles greet each other.
After the general leaves Charles talks with his mother and asks her why she didn't tell General Gaghan that the anarchists threatening their family are the Red Knights; Catherine replies that she wasn't going to remind him that they killed the last soldiers they couldn't pay; she then says that first they pay the army then they crush the Red Knights. Charles comments that they don't have the money, but Catherine tells hr son that they will have the money and if he looks hard enough there is an answer to everything.
Immediately after, Catherine is with Mary talking to Archbishop Ridolfe about getting the money she needs to pay these soldiers. Archbishop Ridolfe has told her no, and the Queen asks him what does he mean by telling her no as France needs the help of the Vatican. Catherine thinks that this is either punishment or that the Archbishop is angry with her for trading Gideon Blackburn to the English Queen in return for a vital French General; however Ridolfe says that he is not angry but Rome simply does not have the resources to help France. Catherine doesn't believe this for a minute as she says that he wanted the English Ambassador dead because he foiled the plot to put a Catholic King on the English throne in place of Mary. Ridolfe then says that this was never his goal and that Mary has always been the true Queen of Scotland and England; however Mary cuts him off as she says that she would like less words of encouragement and a few more soldiers so she can actually take her country back from rebel Protestants like John Knox. Ridolfe says that his forces are in Turkey, but Rome can her buy and army and asks if 100,000 livres would meet her needs, Mary says that the money would be quite useful. However Catherine looks at Ridolfe and asks what the King of France is supposed to do? Light a candle and pray for manna from heaven?
Immediately after talking with the Archbishop in Catherine's chambers; she and Mary enter with Mary saying that she is more than happy to share the Vatican's gold of France needs it, because after what Catherine did for Gideon she can't help but feel responsible. However the Queen thanks Mary and says that she didn't make the trade out of the goodness of her heart and that she needs her very best military men around her and they cost a lot more than the mercenaries Mary will require. Catherine directs men who are bringing trunks into her chambers, and as she goes through the trunks asks Mary if she has heard from Gideon; Mary says that he was going to his sister's to find a safe place for his daughter and from there he'd report to Elizabeth to which Catherine comments that Elizabeth should thank Gideon for saving her life and rule.
The Queen further says that Mary must do the same by returning home to Scotland; Mary asks what it will be like when she returns and the answer is that it will be cold like she has never known. Catherine than says that Mary will need this: she pulls out a beautiful white winter coat; Mary is touched by the new winter wardrobe and comments that it must have cost a fortune, Catherine then tells Mary to try the coat on. As Mary changes, the two further discuss: using Catherine's Medici ties to get the money, but there was a look alike cousin of Catherine's who hanged herself after her lover had a sexual mishap, that unfortunately this cousin was a favorite of Catherine's uncle Alfonso...keeper of the family purse strings...from which she was cut off. Mary says that she is sorry but Catherine says that it's better to have purse strings cut, and doesn't finish as Mary comes out in her new coat and asks her mother in law how she looks and Catherine says that she looks like a Queen men would die for. Mary replies that she wishes she knew where to look for such men, and Catherine suggests that she talk with Bash who recruits the very best for the King's guard.
A short time later, Queen Catherine is with her son Charles in his chambers talking with Lord Narcisse who mentions the half million livre needed in only two weeks time with no help from either the Vatican or the Medici family. Charles comments that the half million is necessary or else their soldiers will desert them for Greece. Lord Narcisse says that he has an idea but it might not be a good thing for a young King to authorize so early in his reign; Catherine jumps in and says that he won't authorize it, that Narcisse will do whatever it is and tell them after, but Charles tells his mother that he doesn't like the sound of this; however she interrupts and asks Narcisse of he can get them the money. Narcisse replies that he thinks he can do this; Catherine then tells him to do it whatever it takes and as soon as possible as she puts a comforting hand on her son's shoulder.
Later that afternoon, Catherine and Charles are riding in a carriage as they talk about meeting these generals in person to deliver good news. Catherine tells her son that good news must always be delivered in person and bad news via messenger; however Charles asks his mother how they can be sure it's good news since Narcisse wasn't sure he could get the money in whatever unseemly way possible. As the carriage continues on the angry shouts of peasants can be heard as they recognize the Royals, and begin to pelt the carriage with fruit and objects. The Queen realizes that Narcisse has tithed the peasants, and when Charles asks what on earth this is; his mother replies that it's an emergency tax...which he knows and he comments that it's no wonder they're so angry as they can't afford to pay anymore since they've been tithed once already this year. Catherine then orders the carriage back to the castle at once.
Meanwhile back at the castle, Catherine has changed into a blue floral print gown; she is in her chambers with a protective arm around Charles as both of them confront Lord Narcisse about the mob of angry filth hurling peasants who tried to attack them. Narcisse apologizes and says that had he known they were riding out he would've warned them as he knows how they like to stay inside during tax season. Catherine comments that at least the money was raised, Narcisse doesn't say much as the Queen asks him again if the money was raised. Narcisse replies that with the peasants revolting then the military is needed to force them to pay, and Catherine knows that they can't do this until they are paid; the Queen is feeling a bit discouraged as Charles asks his mother what is to be done now since she told him that if he looks hard enough there is always an answer, but she replies that her last answer was to think she could trust Narcisse.
The Queen apologizes and says that she needs to think as she leaves the room; Charles then says that his mother was right as there is an answer to everything. The King then tells Narcisse they are leaving the castle tonight, but he doesn't think this is a good idea with the peasants revolting; Charles interrupts as he tells Narcisse to pack warmly for a days travel since the Alps are especially cold.
A few days later, Queen Catherine wearing a beautiful red and black gown visits Lord Narcisse in his chambers where he is recovering from his injuries after fighting the gladiator to get the money. Narcisse asks her if she's come to punish him for letting Charles sneak out of the castle on such a dangerous mission; Catherine replies that her son told her all about it, and that Narcisse risked his life to save her son and France. The Queen further says that if he was foolish enough to fight a gladiator then she hopes he may be foolish enough to back a hated regent in turbulent times; she then says that she wants Lord Narcisse as her Lord Chancellor. Lord Narcisse asks her if she is serious and she asks if he's going to make her ask twice; he says no and replies that he is just the fool she is looking for.
Late that same evening, two weeks after promising to have the money; King Charles tells the soldiers present including General Gaghan that the Valois are pleased to present them with the payment of all wages due to the brave soldiers who served in Scotland. Catherine says that the threat comes from anarchists today and tomorrow's abroad, but with them in their service France shall feel no fear. General Gaghan says that they will dedicate their lives to defending their realm and then proposes a toast to King Charles; Charles then calls for more wine to be brought out and for the men to continue enjoying the feast.
A messenger soon comes to tell Catherine that a tribute was just left in her chambers and that the person who sent it requested that she wear it to the banquet; the Queen wonders if maybe it's a gift from Mary or Lord Narcisse, as she excuses herself from the table. Upon entering her room, Catherine discovers a box on her desk with a note that reads "History repeats itself."; the Queen opens the box and is shocked to see the mask of the Red Knights she first saw during the play. Catherine is immediately filled with fear as she realizes that the Red Knights are in the castle and her very first thought is her son Charles; she immediately runs back to the banquet praying to find her son alive. However, when she gets back she finds Charles crying over General Gaghan's lifeless body and that everyone at the table is dead.
Catherine gently goes to her son and gets him to let go of the general as he is dead and tells him that he's been poisoned; Charles moves away from his mother and asks her if she did this; however Catherine says that it was the Red Knights who just left their calling card in her chambers. Charles comments that he drank the same wine the generals did, prompting Catherine to inspect a glass and she concludes that the glasses were poisoned...all except hers and her son. The Queen further concludes that this means that the Red Knights are inside the castle meaning they are free to pick and choose whom they will kill next; however Charles asks his mother why the Knights would spare them and she says: that they want the world to think that they killed the generals to get out of paying them, that people will believe it as history repeats itself, Charles says that they had the money to pay them, Catherine explains to her son that everyone who knows this is dead, and when word of this gets out the army will rise up with the people and she and her son will burn. Catherine holds her son as both of them have tears in their eyes and worry and fear on their faces.