Synopsis: When Grimaud kidnaps Aramis during peace negotiations with the Spanish, The Musketeers are given an ultimatum to release Spanish Prisoners of war in exchange for Aramis.
Review: This episode sees the Musketeers having to fight on two fronts. On the one hand they have to try and save Aramis, but on the other they have to try and protect the good name of the Queen from being sullied. The latter of which proves difficult.
When the Queen tasks Aramis with a mission to get a letter to her brother the King. He is captured by Grimaud. The court is then issued an ultimatum – the return of Aramis in exchange for captured Spanish soldiers, a ploy engineered by Grimaud, Gaston and the Duke of Lorraine to discredit the Queen.
Meanwhile the Queen is beginning to exercise her newfound position as King Louie’s regent. Louie is devilishly sick to the point where he is unable to govern. This allows Queen Anne the opportunity to implement some social reforms to help educate the poor in Paris. These reforms include a school, which is to be run by Sylvie with some help from Constance.
For their part the Musketeers have been given orders to get the Spanish Prisoners who are about to be hung. They arrive just in the nick of time to a baying mob that wants its pound of Spanish flesh. Things get very complicated when one of the people being hung is D’Artagnan’s cousin who is being hung for stealing a loaf of bread. The mob already resentful that these prisoners are being better looked after than they are riot, which forces the Musketeer’s hand to take the prisoners by force. D’Artagnan manages to take his cousin along as part of the deal and pleads with Athos and Porthos to let his cousin come along.
Back at the French Court Milady has returned and is wanting to reconcile with Athos. She meets with Treville who tells her that Athos has moved on and that she should steer clear. Milady is understandably not to happy about this and pushes for more information. She has heard about Sylvie, but knows very little. In order to keep Milady at arms length, but make use of her talents Treville offers her work as an assassin for the crown. An offer, which she takes some time to consider while tracking down and trying to find out more about Sylvie.
While Milady investigates to find Sylvie and learn more about her. The Musketeers along with their cadets and D’Artagnan’s cousin plan a raid on Grimaud’s encampment and after some impressive action managed to wrest Aramis from Grimuad and his men, but once again Grimaud gets away. During the skirmish D’Artagnan’s cousin earns his freedom by saving the life of Athos who is so consumed with his rage against Grimaud that he doesn’t think to check his back when he has the spymaster in his sights.
Back in Paris things are moving fast for Sylvie and her new role as a teacher. She has had leaflets printed out to distribute among the people of Paris, but it seems the Queens good intentions are likely to back fire. Grimaud has got hold of one of these leaflets and comes up with a scheme to discredit the Queen using her own initiative against her. He proceeds to have a new leaflet printed out via the same printers that blatantly shows Queen Anne with a new lover. This outrages the people of Paris and someone has to pay.
The Red guard arrest Sylvie for distributing inappropriate literature and she is sentenced to 30 lashes.
Meanwhile Milady has reconnected with Athos, but it soon becomes apparent that their relationship has run its course and will never be functional. Milady who is hurt by this and hurt by her Sylvie decides to take Treville up on his offer. But not before Witnessing Athos and the Musketeer’s save Sylvie from 30 lashes. Though a good few lashes have already stung her, which will likely make Athos more determined to get Grimaud.
With Queen Anne’s reputation in question and a truce between France and Spain looking very iffy. It would seem that Aramis, who has tried to play politics but failed is potentially at odds with his fellow musketeers as well as Treville.
I look forward to seeing how all of this gets resolved.
Among the many highlights of this episode was the return of Maimie McCoy as Milady. I didn’t realise how much I had missed what she brought to the series until her return, which shows how strong the acting has been on this show overall for one of the main characters to have been gone for a whole series.
I enjoyed the the thing with D’Artagnan and his cousin, but it did feel a little shoehorned in. One of the Cadets could have just as easily saved the life of Athos and had received a filed promotion.
I really have enjoyed the social justice angle that Simon Allen has brought into the series this season and this episode in particular really highlighted that point, but it also highlighted how real good reforms can be corrupted by misinformation and how the power of the press can turn people against each other.
- Incidental Music9.6