Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW
Samantha Highfill
February 27, 2014 AT 04:00 PM EST

It’s just about time to return to France, and therefore, the complicated lives of our favorite royals (and not-so-royals). When we last visited Reign, Francis was no where to be found, Clarissa was outed as Catherine’s daughter, and Mary was taking a bath. Well, that was before her bath was poisoned by Queen Catherine, who was quickly reprimanded and taken to chambers as Bash rescued his beloved.

So what does the rest of the season hold for the doomed Catherine, her disfigured daughter, and the always evolving love triangle? We caught up, separately, with Megan Follows (Catherine) and Torrance Coombs (Bash) to talk about Catherine’s future, Mary’s decision, and Francis’ surprising new relationship:

On Francis: Although we do know that Francis is returning in tonight’s episode, Coombs explained that “he’s not back at the castle yet.” However, he will still find some time to bond with a familiar face. Sorry, Bash and Lola fans, but it looks like someone other than Mary could have a connection with both brothers. “What’s interesting about Francis’ journey is that, for a moment, he is allowed a type of freedom that his bastard brother has had, and the rules change for him all of a sudden,” Follows said. “Anna Popplewell [Lola] is such a beautiful and incredibly talented actress. I really love her and I love watching her work, and we’re going to get more into her journey. That’s what’s exciting about the show because there’s so many almost tributaries off of this river that we get to follow, and I know there’s interesting twists and turns and surprises coming up.”

But when Francis does return to the castle, Follows teased an “interesting reunion” for Catherine and her son. Perhaps an even more interesting reunion? Francis and Mary. Now that Mary has opened her heart to Bash, is there room for Francis? “Well that’s really what we’re building toward, because there’s a lot going on there,” Coombs said. “Bash has always claimed that this has been to save Francis’ life. Obviously the bonus prize is that he gets the girl that he wants, but is it really about that? He’s forced to question himself: What was it all about? And Mary is forced to make a decision obviously, because at this point, it’s out of sight, out of mind. She’s able to really fall for Sebastian, but when Francis comes back, where does her heart really lie? And that’s where we get to.”

On Catherine’s odds of survival: It sounds like Clarissa kidnapping the young princes might save Catherine’s life for another week. “My head, so to speak, is back on the block,” Follows teased. “Though a greater threat requires my skills to help. My skills are needed to find what’s happened to my younger sons.” And looking past this week, Follows still didn’t seem all that worried. “[Catherine] is incredibly adept at surviving, so that is my primary goal, and I think they recognize that they need my particular skill set in this, which gives me the opportunity to get back into some good graces.” And yes, Follows claimed that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to Catherine returning to her poisons.

On what’s next for Clarissa: The bad news for poor Clarissa is that it doesn’t seem like her mother is going to change her mind about rejecting her daughter. “I think what we saw from the last one is my horror, my rejection of her. She frightens me, and I think it’s not something where I afford myself much empathy towards her,” Follows said. But the mystery of the girl in the walls is still unsolved. “There’s still the question of why is she helping Mary? What’s her connection to Mary? So that’s coming up,” Coombs said.

On Olivia’s return: “She’s coming back,” Coombs said. “There was originally a scene that I believe got cut from the episode that was a little bit less of a cliffhanger as far as what happened to her, so viewers are missing that. But yes, Olivia is coming back. She’s not done yet.”

On the introduction of Mary’s mother: “There’s a great scene between the two of us because you have these women who have won their power,” Follows said. “They have a complexity and experience that is different than what Mary has yet. But they each have their own agendas, and that’s what’s interesting — when they actually serve the same purpose and when they’re at odds.”

On Catherine’s men: Believe it or not, Follows believes that Catherine really does love Henry. The same goes for Richard — whose fate she said hasn’t been “sealed” — even though Follows is pretty sure the only man Catherine’s never lied to is Nostradamus. Speaking of whom, Nostradamus is going to get his own “interesting journey” coming up. And Follows would like us all to remember that Nostradamus has used poison before, so “I’m not the only one that dabbles in the art of herbs,” Follows said.

On Francis and Bash’s relationship: “We don’t have any flashbacks with them just yet,” Coombs said. “We allude to their childhoods, but we haven’t done any flashbacks at this point. We’re far from done with Francis and Bash, though. There’s obviously a lot of hurt there, but there’s also a deep love that I think is never really going to go away.”

On the castle: Coombs teased: “If there’s some factions that are loyal to Sebastian and some that are still loyal to Francis and his line, what might that do to the realm?”

Reign airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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