The episode opens with Queen Catherine and Mary on the castle balcony watching Henry ride off with his army to a small battle involving peasants, talking about Olivia and Francis sleeping together, and how she is handling this so well; Mary walks away and Catherine is seen talking with Olivia about keeping Francis in bed if she wants to be Queen of France, Olivia says that she only wanted Francis back, and Catherine is the one who wants to her to be Queen.
Later Francis is seen spending time with his brother Charles when Mary enters the room, and Francis tells her about the Italian Count coming to visit and that he must be greeted by a King or a Dauphin or else it's an insult. Mary tells Francis that he'll have more time to spend with Olivia in bed, and she is quite furious that Francis is parading Olivia around court while Catherine crows over her; Francis tells her that he just needed to forget that he can't have her.
Queen Catherine and Francis are seen in the front hall preparing to greet the Count as he is arriving; Catherine attempts to straighten Francis' hair, as the Count arrives Catherine and her son greet him, and soon Mary joins them a they have wine and the Count's motive for visiting becomes apparent that he intends to hold the castle and everyone in it hostage until he receives satisfaction after he reveals that his son was held hostage by France, released but died on the journey home. he then tells Catherine that they will negotiate: one Italian to another.
Later Queen Catherine and Francis are seen negotiating with the Count by offering him 10 times the money he paid to have his son released, but the Count is not interested, Catherine offers up Mary, saying that she would be ruined and nobody else would want her but Francis refuses. Francis then offers himself as ransom by saying that the Count and his men can leave that night with the heir to France as their hostage; Catherine tries to discourage her son, but the Count accepts his offer.
Mary is seen wandering the tunnels under the castle looking for Clarissa and asks her if she will show them the way out, and a short time later she enters Catherine's chambers and the Queen tells Mary that the Italians plan to take Francis as he offered himself to save everyone. The two Queens agree that they need a plan to get everyone out safely, Mary tells Catherine of her plan, but Catherine knows that the tunnels are full of pitfalls, loose stones, etc. and are a death trap to anyone who does not know a safe way out; however Mary reveals that she does. Then Catherine does the unthinkable when she offers herself as a sacrifice by saying that she will be the last one out of the feast as Mary and Francis lead the others to safety; since she is the Queen of France no one would be the wiser and suspect anything out of the ordinary. Mary doubts her future mother in law, by questioning her ability to trust her. Catherine stands right in Mary's face and tells her that whatever has happened between them, no mistake is to be made that she loves her son so much that she would go into hell for him. The Queen then asks Mary how far she would go for Francis? Catherine and Mary agree that if the Count takes Francis that he will kill him, and Mary tells Catherine that it seem as if they will go into hell together.
Later that evening in Mary's chambers the ladies: Kenna, Greer, Ayle and Lola are reluctant to help Catherine with her plan as they don't trust her, but then Catherine tells them a story of how she was kidnapped as an 8 year old child, because the extreme wealth of her family made her a target. She reveals that she was held hostage for years until she was finally rescued by Pope Clement VII after she prayed. The ladies are moved to tears and they agree to help.
Catherine and Mary are seen walking with Olivia to the secret door in the hall that leads to the tunnels. Mary tells her that she must close the door completely or be discovered, and that she will open it first for Francis and later for her. Olivia is quite reluctant to obey; Catherine tells her that the Count won't miss her as Mary's ladies were invited to the feast not her. Olivia is then warned that if she fails in her duties in any way that she will meet with the Queen's extreme displeasure. Catherine then shoves Olivia into the doorway and commands her to close the door.
Everyone is enjoying the feast, the men are playing with the gold, Mary makes an excuse to get away with her ladies, and get to the secret door in the front hall, unfortunately Olivia is not at her post as she was when Francis took the others down earlier. Mary and her ladies are soon caught by one of the Count's men and they return to the feast. Catherine is shocked to see them come back, and gets up telling the Count that Henry will go to war for his heirs; she then begs the count not to take her children; and offers them Mary and her ladies instead. The Count cuts the Queen off by telling her "to give him her heart, to cut it out of her chest so that they might understand each other...that is diplomacy: to carry the weight of your dead heart with you until you find your grave".
The Count then says that if Catherine gives him Roberto then he will let her children live. The men then begin to manhandle the ladies, then the Count tries to rape Mary, as Catherine tosses an hourglass silencing the room she tells the Count that the reason his son is dead is because of him, because he wasn't willing to pay the necessary price, so she makes him a new offer: to take his hands off of Mary, and she will let him leave the castle with his life. As she says this the men begin to bleed from their mouths & ears, and one by one drop dead from touching the poison gold, the Count didn't touch the gold and tries to kill Catherine with a knife but Mary kills him as Francis comes in and cuts off his arm. Francis takes Kenna and the girls to the infirmary for treatment leaving Mary and Catherine alone to talk about the hostage story, and Catherine tells Mary that history is written by the survivors, and she is indeed a survivor.
Later Francis and Mary argue about why Francis stayed behind as the Italians could have killed him; Francis grabs Mary, tells her that he did it because he loves her and that they need to be together to stay sane, and the episode ends as they make love.