'Reign': Torrance Coombs Previews Plague-Filled Season 2 Return

Reign S02E01 Still - H 2014
Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

Reign S02E01 Still - H 2014

The Black Death is hitting Reign.

Season two of The CW's period drama picks up right where the finale left off, with the plague striking the castle and the newly appointed king and queen, Francis (Toby Regbo) and Mary (Adelaide Kane), facing a nearly impossible royal task. Bash, meanwhile, finds himself separated from Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) as the plague consumes all.

"When disaster strikes, powerful and corrupt people slide crimes under the radar," Reign star Torrance Coombs, who plays Francis' deputy and half-brother, Bash, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It becomes difficult to keep a lid on all of that." 

Ahead of the Thursday turn, Coombs talks to THR about what to expect in the coming sophomore season.

What can viewers expect for the new season?

This season very much deals with how Francis learns how to be king. How is he like his father [the late King Henry]? How is he different than his father? How does life harden him? Kings have to make very tough decisions, so he comes in with a very strong moral compass. He says he is going to do things differently than his dad, but then quickly realizes all the various push and pulls of running a kingdom.

What about Bash specifically?

Bash gets appointed Francis' deputy, doing all the dirty work that needs to be done, which has been fun. I get to ride around on the horse and play musketeer a little bit.

Now that Bash and Francis have a more official relationship in the royal court, how has their dynamic changed?

We've been playing around with that a little. Toby [Regbo] and I, we've had a fair bit to do. When your little brother is now actually your king, it's a changed relationship. Not only is Francis his king, but Bash works for him and sometimes he has to tell him what he really thinks, and sometimes he treats him like a little brother, which could get Bash in trouble. It's been a fun dynamic to play with for sure. There may be hard feelings about what happened in the first season but they are working to bury that. Ultimately, Francis trusts Bash with his life.

It took Bash and Kenna a while to fall in love, and when they finally did, they find themselves pulled apart. What obstacles do they face with their marriage?

There is still a lot of love there. At the end of the day, you can't keep Bash out of the woods and he'll disappear for weeks at a time. Especially now, Francis will give him secret business to go to so Bash can't tell Kenna where he is going. Meanwhile, she still very much has a taste for the finer things in life and has tremendous ambitions for material possessions and wealth and status. As much as they love each other, there are some potential incompatibilities there. At the end of the day, there is still tremendous love and respect between them.

What's the likelihood that Bash and Kenna make it through the season?

They are giving it a good go. One of our new characters may potentially throw a wrench in it. Speaking in terms of TV land, marriages tend not to last — or at least happy marriages tend not to last — because that push, pull or that squeeze is where drama comes from. Let's say there is no plague and the kingdom is happy and it's a happy marriage, then that's a very different show and that's not our show. I would expect there will be some strife there. I don't know if they will make it or not.

Are there any particular scenes you've shot that you can tease?

This question comes at a good time, as I did just shoot a scene. I can't say too much, but I'll say it's a scene with Bash and Francis, and it's a scene I've been waiting for to happen since episode one. I love it and I hope it has the impact it should.

Any way you can describe that moment between Francis and Bash?

I wouldn't dare! Sometimes when you're doing a scene, you just feel it and there were so many moments [like that] in this scene that I got goose bumps while doing it. It's amazing what that can do for your performance, so we'll see. Maybe it comes out. 

Is there a surprising relationship or interaction Bash has?

There is something that I think will surprise people very much. That's all I can say.

Are there any moments from the first few episodes you've shot that you're looking forward to seeing?

There was an episode last season where Henry shagged a woman out a window and Katherine spent the episode hiding the body and covering it up. There is a nice sense of humor to that. We shot an episode this season that is reminiscent of that humor.

Reign returns Oct. 2 on The CW.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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