Warning: Spoiler Alert
Have you ever had a boss, that every once in a while, likes to let his hair down and have a night out with the boys? I’ve gone through that experience more than once and it always leads to an awkward evening. The big guy tells his employees he wants to be treated like one of the guys, but since you need to return to work the next morning, you’re ill at ease throughout the whole experience. Could you imagine how far more awkward the situation would get, if your boss is the King Of France?
That’s the situation that confronted “The Musketeers,” in the latest episode of the BBCA series, as King Louis XIII, decided it would make for a delightful evening, to rub elbows with his citizens incognito. Although the King’s soldiers attempted to dissuade him, the King wanted Athos, Porthos and D’Artagnan, to introduce him to the life of a commoner, starting in a very rowdy pub.
The episode starts as the King and his soldiers return from a Royal Hunt and Athos begs the King not to go through with his plan. Louis asks the Musketeer, if he’s telling him that the King can’t do as he pleases and Athos is far too savvy to tell him otherwise. The French Monarch, yells to another Musketeer to take off his clothes and soon Louis is giggling like a schoolboy, as they prepare to enter the pub.
The foursome gets lubricated quite quickly and Porthos takes on and beats another man in a boxing exhibition, much to the King’s delight. Louis watches a card game going on and soon joins them as he loves playing cards. He wins the first few rounds, bragging to his opponents that he doesn’t even need the money. One of the other men win the next hand and Louis accuses him of cheating, which quickly turns into a brawl.
Athos tells D’Artagnan to grab the King and get out of the pub, Porthos and he would join them outside. The barkeeper steers them out the back door, but soon it’s apparent they’ve gotten set-up and are overcome and taken prisoner. Athos and Porthos, of course are beside themselves with worry, when they can’t find the pair.
The next morning Athos and Porthos break the news to Aramis and Captain Treville. The Captain, in turn informs Queen Anne about the situation concerning her husband. Not only is Anne worried about Louis’ safety, but the Baptism of their son takes place the next day and if the King’s missing, it would cause a scandal. The newly appointed Captain of the Red Guard Rochefort, never missing an opportunity to enhance his reputation, tries calming Queen Anne, suggesting that they spread word the King’s taken ill, to cover if he’s not back for the Baptism. He also tells her the Red Guard will join the search and they’ll find her husband.
The three soldiers head back to the pub and talk with the barkeep, who claims ignorance, until Aramis empties one of his beer kegs with a bullet, then Porthos pulls out an axe, saying it’s more effective. The barkeep gets very chatty suddenly, tells them a man gave him a choice about a month ago; to help him get victims, or he’d burn his pub to the ground. The barkeep’s job’s to get men drunk and disoriented, then send them out the back door, as their captors await.
We next head to the morgue and we watch a woman and her daughter looking for her husband, but his body’s not there. The Musketeers come in next and neither the King or D’Artagnan, are among the corpses. The mortician says that it reminds him of two-years before, when there was a sudden surge in missing people. As the soldiers leave the morgue, they remember that groups of men, captured by Sebastian Lemaitre, who sold the men to the Spanish, as galley slaves for ships heading to the New World. Lemaitre, got convicted and got sent to the Americas, as a prisoner and to work off his crimes.
However, we soon find out Lemaitre, never made it out of France, bribing some official and he’s back in business again. They go visit Sebastian’s brother Bruno a blacksmith, who tells the soldiers his brother’s not in France and he’d keep it to himself if he knew Sebastian was in Paris. Aramis notices that Bruno’s making manacles and they soon hear Bruno saying he truly doesn’t know where Sebastian is.
We get our first look at D’Artagnan and Louis in manacles, walking with a group of prisoners, all chained as well. Louis wants to tell his captors who he is and he believes they’ll then be released but the soldier tells him that’s the worst thing he can do. A man falls to the ground out of exhaustion and Lemaitre orders the man whipped until he gets up. He finally says to the rest of the prisoners, they’ve got a choice, to carry the man or watch him get shot to death. D’Artagnan says he’ll carry him and we soon realize the man’s Pierre Pepin, the husband and father of the woman and her daughter in the morgue.
Rochefort, whose Sleazeball quotient grows with each appearance on-screen, asks Treville just between them, where Louis really is. Treville, naïvely trusts him and tells Rochefort about Lemaitre’s operation. Rochefort runs quickly to inform the Spanish Ambassador the news and the Ambassador says they’ll kill Louis, then take over France. Rochefort tries to convince him otherwise, but the Spaniard tells him his only worth is as a spy, he’s a despicable person.
As the prisoners march deep into the forest, we see a familiar figure on a horse, looking at them from a cliff above, our first appearance of the Lovely but Deadly, Milady De Winter. She’s in cahoots with Lemaitre and as all the prisoners valuables get collected, she evaluates them. She says the stuff’s garbage, until she comes across the ring that Louis gave the guards, she tells Sebastian that this is far more valuable than the rest of the lot combined. She asks where he got it and he points to Louis and D’Artagnan.
The Spanish Ambassador tells the barkeep to gather his men and go to kill Lemaitre, his soldiers and the prisoners, nobody can survive. Meanwhile the Musketeers go to the shipping clerk to find out if any Spanish ships are in French ports. There are three, the closest a day’s ride away, they realize that the outlaws are sticking to the back forest roads and formulate plans to stop them before boarding the ship.
The prisoners are told to stop, they sit on the ground and there manacles are connected to posts in the ground. Pierre, Louis and D’Artagnan sit and talk and the King can’t believe this goes on in his country. Pierre says this is the life of the poor of France and the leaders couldn’t be bothered with such trivial matters. Louis says if the King knew about this, he’d put a stop to it, but Pepin disagrees and says the King’s a fool. D’Artagnan, says that King Louis’ a good man and he’s their King and they should support him, ending the conversation.
Rochefort approaches Queen Anne about sending a letter to her brother the King Of Spain, asking for his support if Louis’ dead. She says she can’t do that she promised her husband she’d abstain from writing that letter. Rochefort tells her she’ll be an unpopular Queen and she could lose the throne, before her son can take it over. He asks her to think it over.
As the prisoners and their captors sleep, D’Artagnan’s woken by a foot on his chest, he looks up to see Milady De Winter standing over him with a pistol aimed at him. After some repartee, showing that the Musketeer hasn’t missed his former lover, he wrests he pistol away and aims it at her. She tells him she came to release Louis and him and if he gives her back the pistol she’ll do that. She releases the handcuffs, but they’re still hampered by the manacles around their legs. She tells them to flee.
As the sun rises they think they’re possibly out of danger, when they hear horses and see Lemaitre and two men nearby. Trying to escape, they tumble-down a hill, getting bruised on the trip. When Lemaitre gets them back to camp, he asks to see Louis’ hands and sees they are callous free, he’s about to shoot him when Milady intercedes, saying they’re the two healthiest prisoners, he’d throw away money killing them. They walk away and he says that the man’s wealthy and knows people in power, who will come looking for him. De Winter tells them they’ll be on the ship by the time they discover him missing.
The Musketeers wake the harbor master in the middle of the night and find out the ship leaves the port at dawn. The three soldiers want to reach them sooner than later, as once they’re on that ship, they’ll be gone for good. Athos tells his comrades that they need to search every inch between where they are and the port.
The next morning, Lemaitre’s still ticked off at the two escaped prisoners and pulls them to their feet. He asks the King who he is with a pistol aimed at his chest, when no answer comes, he pulls out a second pistol and aims it at D’Artagnan, threatening to kill him.
The King gets in his face and says “I am Louis, son of Henry IV of the House Of Bourbon and Marie De Medici. I am your King and you can not treat me like this.”
Louis then does something I though him incapable of, he hauls off and slugs Lemaitre right in the jaw, dazing the criminal and Lemaitre accidentally killed one of his own men. We hear the barkeep yell to his men, kill them all and chaos breaks out immediately.
The Musketeers sense an ambush and send out their horses rider-less, and they sneak up on their would-be attackers, taking them out. Bruno’s still alive, but steps in a bear-trap and pleads with the soldiers to spare his life, he then tells them exactly where Sebastian and the men are and they get the trap of his foot and sling him over a horse.
D’Artagnan, Louis and Pierre are dodging bullets and Pierre says that if they’re about to die, this is the way he wants to go out, fighting by his King’s side for freedom, instead of in the belly of a ship. D’Artagnan says they’re not going to die, they just need to make it to the trees up ahead. He grabs the keys off a dead guard and the three men break for the trees, Pepin doesn’t make it, getting shot in the back. D’Artagnan lets out an anguished cry, but he’s gone and they run for freedom.
After they’ve run ten walked for a while Milady De Winter arrives, with two other horses for D’Artagnan and the King to ride to safety. Soon they hear horses, it’s their comrades and Bruno, telling them they need to get Louis to safety and they’ll fight off the barkeep. The King praises Milady for saving their lives and D’Artagnan tells him that she’s part of the gang, but Louis pardons her for all past misdeeds. He tells Bruno that if he aids the Musketeers fighting off the enemy, he’ll pardon him as well.
The Musketeers wait for the barkeep and his remaining men to arrive and quickly get the better of them, until it’s just the barkeep and two other men, who start to ride away. The barkeep shoots one dead, then prepares to take on the Musketeers, high on his horse his sword raised defiantly. Aramis raises his pistol, but D’Artagnan, lowers his friend’s arm and says he’s mine. Then he grabs Athos scarf, wraps it around his hand and as the barkeep rides for him, he grabs the sword, knocks the man off his horse and stabs him in the chest.
The next morning we’re back at the Royal Church and we watch Captain Treville greet Queen Anne and her ladies in waiting. A second later, Louis and the Musketeers enter the church, the Queens dumbstruck and the King apologizes that he got detained. The future King’s baptized.
Just when it seemed that Louis had matured during this ordeal, we realize our assumption was false. He’s gathered with the Musketeers, Treville, Rochefort and Bruno Lemaitre. The King tells D’Artagnan, for saving his life he got a gift, he gets to kill Bruno. The soldiers all gasp and state he granted Bruno clemency, Louis says his clemency’s getting a swift death. He then asks D’Artagnan, if he’ll do as told, the Musketeer says he’s a soldier not an executioner. Rochefort steps in quickly and impales Bruno, saying he’d gladly do it for his King, making him look good and the Musketeers lame once again. Louis chews his Musketeers out and praises Rochefort.
Still angry the Musketeers and Treville are talking on the streets of Paris and Treville attempts to make Louis look better. Then the men reach into their pockets and put all their money in a handkerchief. They knock on the door of Simone Pepin and tell her that her husband died a hero serving the King then give her the money.
The Story Continues Next Saturday Night at 9:00 pm on BBCA.