may be wrapping up its final chapter tonight (The CW, 9/8c), but fans will be pleased to know that Mary Queen of Scots is
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Even though the show was already “about halfway” through production when word came that Season 4 would be its last, series creator Laurie McCarthy tells TVLine that enough groundwork had been laid to result in a satisfying ending.
“We got as far as we needed to go to set up a paradigm that we’d been hinting at from the very beginning of the show, which was how incredibly unheard of and difficult it was for women to hold power in this day and age,” she explains, adding that some of the political frustrations were “definitely influenced” by the 2016 presidential election. “It was an incredibly painful season if you were rooting for women in power.”
McCarthy admits there are “so many things” she wishes she could have included in the already packed finale, most of which stem from stories she wishes she could have devoted more time to throughout the season.
“There were three characters who I felt were really under-serviced this season,” she says. “For Claude, we had really wanted to show the interesting dynamic of her giving up this first passion, her first love with Leith, and where she would go moving forward. Greer and James were also characters where every day there were just pages in and pages out. It was excruciating not to service those characters more.”
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These storylines, among others, would have been explored in a potential fifth season, one McCarthy admits she “really wanted.”
“You could just go on and on, particularly with Elizabeth and Catherine,” she says. “And there could have been a very strong fifth season with Mary, following the trajectory of her third marriage, which was to Bothwell. In Scotland, we would have told a tale that was as much as a western as a political drama; she’d be on the run, there would be sieges, there would be a falling out with her brother — there’s a lot that we would have loved to have gotten our arms around. And with Catherine, there was a daughter we had yet to meet whose wedding left Paris running with blood. There was truly a lot.”
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Ultimately, no matter how the show ends nor how close it stuck to history along the way, McCarthy knows exactly how she wants
“She was resourceful and she was a fighter. She made choices we could look back on centuries later and think, ‘Well, that was foolish.’ But you would realize in the moment that she was a capable, thoughtful, compassionate person who couldn’t make any other choice.”
hopes for tonight’s finale? Thoughts on the final season, or the series as a whole? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.
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God, I will really miss this show. So special and underrated…
I wish the show had gotten a 5th season, I liked what they had planned for it. I totally agree about Claude, Greer, and James being under serviced this season and in the finale. I really wanted Claude and Luc and Greer and James to be together and happy and we got no resolutions with them. I also wish we had gotten Mary’s marriage to Bothwell and it’s repercussions.
There is so much good historic events in Mary’s life that they could have explored, it’s really sad we won’t see it.
And I really want a happy ending for Greer and Claude. Hope they manage to do it in the finale.
If anyone is interested in the story of mary there are many films about her life, including Elizabeth the Golden Age with Samantha Morton as Mary.
For those who care about the plot that was mentioned above about Catherine i recommend 1994’s La Reine Margot which won almost everything that year at Cannes, including best actress for the fenomenal Virna Lisa as Caterina de Medici.
Thank you for that movie. I look forward to finding it and watching. I took a class in college and we studied Mary, I found her entire life completely fascinating and tragic.
I’m commenting from Canada, where the finale aired last night. Such a lovely and satisfying ending! (or as satisfying as you can get when the title character loses her head) Tissues may be required, especially at the end. I’ll definitely be missing this show.
I watch it from Canada too and started to watch it for Megan Follows and kept watching for the story, the settings and the modern twist telling of history.
You can’t say mary Queen of Scotts without mentioning the beheading!
I wish we would have gotten a season 5 but I’m so grateful that we even got 4 seasons. This show made me love Mary, change my mind about who she was back in high school I always prefer Elizabeth until this show it truly showed me who Mary was and explain her way better then history books make her out to be
I wonder where they end the show? Is it with her killing her husband? Or does it flash forward to her being captured and beheaded?
I watched it last night (Canada), and it’s like they wrote and filmed the entire episode as a season finale, then found out they were cancelled and just cut off the last ten minutes to tack on a hastily filmed flash-forward to the end of Mary’s story instead. If you were expecting any kind of closure for any other character, at all, you won’t get it. All their storylines just end in the middle. And there’s so much in the finale that you won’t believe they’re spending time on and that is obviously set-up for stories that won’t be told. Oh well. That said, the very very end did make me emotional and remind me why I once really liked this series so much.
I’m glad that it sounds like the series finale doesn’t fast forward to the end of Mary’s life. That would be too sad. I’m going to miss this show so much! It has truly changed the way I think about history. I visited Edinburgh last year and still get chills thinking about walking in Mary’s footsteps. Thank you Laurie & everyone involved with Reign, and thank you CW for giving the show 4 seasons.
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