The Musketeers

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Regular readers of these pages realize how much this writer respects The BBC and their mastery of what’s now referred to as “The Limited Run Series.” Our cousins across the pond, have proven that oftentimes “Less Is More,” giving it’s viewers, a taut, exciting, fully fleshed out story in just ten episodes. The BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers,” did anything but slump, during it’s sophomore season, finishing the campaign that exceeded the exciting finale of season one, with an episode jam-packed, with intrigue, espionage, betrayal, ending with a wedding and the talk of war in season three.

This despite the loss of a major part of the cast in the first season, as Peter Capaldi, left 17th Century France, for the TARDIS, taking his character Cardinal Richelieu with him, as the season begins with the Cardinal’s funeral. Taking the part of “The Big Bad,” in season two, Marc Warren as Count Rochefort, former adviser to Richelieu, a prisoner of Spain for the last few years, who in reality got sent back to Paris, as a spy for the Spanish Crown. French King Louis XIII, looking for guidance got easily fooled by the wily Rochefort, as the man he’d eventually name First Minister of France, had his own agenda.

We found out early in the season that Rochefort tutored Queen Ann in Spain as a 14-year-old girl in Spain, when France and the Spanish arranged marrying the King of Spain’s sister, to at that point the next King of France. He fell in love with the girl, became obsessed with her over the years, believed she indeed love him as well and planned to knock off Louis, marry Ann and run the country as it’s Regent. However he deduced that Ann and the King’s Musketeer Aramis, had an intimate moment and Aramis fathered the Dauphin. In this episode he revealed that to the King, nearly costing the Queen and the soldier their lives, before he became discredited in Louis’ eyes.

The Queen’s consult and confidante, Constance Bonacieux’s about to get executed, early the morning after the day portrayed in the previous episode. Treville and Rochefort stand side-by-side witnessing the event, Treville says it’s cold-blooded murder, the Minister counters with it’s justice and the Captain says Rochefort doesn’t know the meaning of the word. She’s offered a blindfold, but refuses it saying she wants to see as much of the world as she can in her time remaining, the executioner starts to swing his blade at her neck, when he’s shot and killed from under the platform they’re standing on.

It’s D’Artagnan, who quickly rescues Constance, joined by Aramis they fight off the Red Guard soldiers, Rochefort starts shooting at them, but Treville relieves him of his pistol with a blade to Rochefort’s chin, he jumps on the back of Athos’ horse and the four ride off to a safe-house. They talk about killing Rochefort, but decide without Louis finding out that Rochefort’s a Spanish spy, then Aramis, the Queen and the Dauphin might still get killed. They’re relying on the fourth Musketeer, Porthos to get that done.

Porthos on horseback’s in the countryside as he looks at a lake from the top of a ravine, he then rides down to the lake and starts crying out a name Vargas, repeatedly, until a prosperous looking middle-aged man rides out to meet him. Porthos tells Vargas, the letter he received wasn’t from Rochefort, he forged it, he knew the best way to smoke-out the Spanish Spymaster’s through his operative at the Royal Court. Vargas smiles and says lets discuss this, when a shot from the woods misses Porthos and the Musketeer runs to higher ground and escapes.

Rochefort’s in Louis’ chambers in his attempt to poison the King’s mind against his wife, when Ann bursts into his chambers, begging her husband listen to her, she’s a good Queen and a loving wife and Rochefort’s making wild accusations. Louis says we must let the evidence get presented and she’s taken back to her quarters. The King says he should’ve let her speak, when his Minister says that Richelieu had evidence that Ann consorted with his Musketeer Aramis and the Dauphin’s the Musketeer’s son. Louis holds his head in anguish as he hears the news then tells Rochefort he wants the truth now.

Rochefort then heads for Aramis’ cell and tells the Musketeer, although he’s as good as dead, he can still save Ann and the Dauphin by making a full confession. The King will divorce the Queen, disown the Dauphin and let them live in exile. He sees the Musketeer doesn’t buy a word he says, so he says one more time you can save them both, then stomps out of the cell.

Vargas and his men search for Porthos, when his Captain says they’re venturing too far out, if the French catch them any further they’re dead. Vargas says they can’t risk the Musketeers survival and tells his men to fan out and find him. Porthos’, ready and waiting with his pistols all loaded and in position, quickly kills the first man that discovers his location, then quickly kills two more. Vargas’ party now down to five men, including himself.

Rochefort convenes a hearing on Aramis’ guilt or innocence, having the Musketeer swear on the Bible, that he’s about to tell the truth. When Rochefort asks if he slept with the Queen and fathered the Dauphin, Aramis says those are lies and that he knows he won’t let Ann live as she knows that he’s a spy for Spain and has filled the King’s head with lies. Louis is watching the proceedings through gaps in his ceiling boards and wonders if Aramis accusations have any validity.

The First Minister brings in the Dauphin’s Governess Marguerite, who admits to sleeping with Aramis, but says he’s the Dauphin’s father and he and the Queen were intimate. She then breaks down crying trying to extend her hand to Aramis, when the guards take her from the room. Rochefort sentences the Musketeer to death in a manner fitting to his crime, he walks ahead of the guards as he goes back to his cell.

Rochefort, then visits the King, saying Aramis will get put to death immediately, however how does Louis want to handle the situation with the Queen and Dauphin and Louis says, not now Rochefort. The Captain of the Red Guard tries to press the matter, when the King tells him not only did he just lose a Queen, he lost his son, the only one he ever had.

Back in the woods, Porthos quickly kills his next attacker, but then struggles viciously with the next man, until he recovers his blade and jams it between his opponents shoulders. He’s unarmed and surprised when an attacker is upon him brandishing a pistol, but the man’s killed by a shot coming from the woods, a second shot rings out, killing the Captain, leaving Vargas alone. Treville, Constance, Athos and D’Artagnan come out of the woods, Constance puts a blade to Vargas neck and tells him to surrender. Vargas asks Treville if they always bring women to fight their battles, Constance asks how he knows she didn’t bring men to fight her battle, while Treville takes his pistol.

Vargas at first refuses to speak, but when he finds out the Spanish King’s sister’s in danger of getting executed, he admits that Rochefort’s a spy for Spain. He says that Rochefort had the most remarkable tolerance for pain, he ever encountered, he thought if he could turn him, he’d serve Spain well. However, even he had no idea, what Rochefort was up to.

Aramis, tries in vain to break his chains, then prays that if Ann and his son are spared, as well as himself, he’ll renounce everything and join a monastery. He then hears his cell door start to open and says he’s not worthy of God’s grace, but he’s shocked to see it’s Milady de Winter, who killed the guard and came to free him. She tells him to high-tail it out of Paris and Aramis says he’ll be a wanted man if he escapes, Milady corrects him, telling him she rescued him.

Rochefort hears the Dauphin crying endlessly, he walks into the nursery to find Marguerite dead on the floor next to the crib, a bottle of poison in one hand, a suicide note/confession lying beside her. Of course Rochefort immediately rips up the note, then leaves the nursery, for someone else to find the dead Governess.

Milady brings Aramis to the house and they greet their lost mate with hugs. Everybody ignores de Winter, except Athos who comes to her with a cup of wine, which she refuses. He thanks her, then asks her plans and she says she’s starting a new life in England, Athos scoffs, says it constantly rains and the food’s terrible. However she wants him to join her and start a new life with her, she tells him she’s leaving in two days and will wait for him until dusk at the crossroads to join her, otherwise he’ll never see her again. D’Artagnan, interrupts the conversation, saying we have to get Vargas to the Palace.

Rochefort gives Louis a document to sign, authorizing executing the Queen, he tells him that the Musketeer escaped and likely confederates are coming to rescue her, which will set-up conflict and civil-strife. Louis stares at the document then starts crying saying he can’t condemn his wife to death. Rochefort says then he wants the unfaithful wife to remain by his side and a boy not his son to inherit the throne? Louis gets angry, then signs the order telling Rochefort to do it quietly and quickly, he promises he will. He then tells his Red Guard leader Villefort, to clear the palace of everyone but the Red Guard.

The Musketeers, Vargas and Constance, make their way into the Palace and exclaim their surprise at the emptiness, they’re soon joined by the Red Guard and the fight’s on. Constance and Aramis head to save Ann while the other four escort Vargas to Louis’ chambers, Louis hears the fighting outside his room and the group enters, with Porthos clutching the sword he killed Villefort with. The King says if he’s going to die, he’d rather get shot then stabbed, Porthos laughs and introduces Vargas.

Rochefort walks into Ann’s quarters and starts stroking her neck, she tells him he’ll never touch her again, then he produces the chain he’s going to choke her to death with and puts it around her neck. He starts to tighten it, when he’s shot in the shoulder from behind by Constance, he turns around to see her and Aramis with his sword drawn. He then starts dueling with Aramis, who knocks him down twice, before taking his sword and stabs Rochefort in the back of his shoulders, the blade going deep into the First Minister’s back.

They say that the Russian Mad Monk Rasputin, survived getting shot, hung, drowned, electrocuted and a host of other tortures before succumbing to death. Rochefort may’ve been modeled after Rasputin, as he pulled the blade out of his back and then went into the hallway, to see the Musketeers and Vargas. The Spaniard tells him it’s all over, he told the French King everything, Rochefort spits out, you betrayed me and Vargas responds you left me no choice.

Athos tells Rochefort to surrender, but instead he tries dueling all four Musketeers, but it’s D’Artagnan that starts truly fighting him, finally running his sword though Rochefort, as he stabs him in the gut and the sword rams through his back, then pulls it out. Rochefort sits down, looks at Ann and says he’s all alone, then takes one last raspy breath and dies. Aramis prepares to close his eyes, but Ann stops him from doing it.

Outside the Palace, Louis meets with the Musketeers and Treville, he apologizes to Aramis for believing Rochefort’s lies. Aramis says no apology’s needed, all part of service of the King and Louis says spoken like a great French soldier. He then apologizes to Ann, saying she’s a wonderful wife and Queen, then picks up the Dauphin and says the boy looks just like the King, he then tells Treville he needs to talk to him.

Ann thanks Aramis and his friends for saving her life, then Louis summons her as well to be in on the meeting with Treville. The King tells him that he’s declaring war on Spain and Treville’s to become his War Minister, he then says Treville best not turn him down a second time. Treville graciously accepts the promotion and all are happy.

The four Musketeers leave the Palace grounds and Aramis informs his mates, that he’s leaving to join a monastery. D’Artagnan and Porthos try talking him out of it, but Athos asks if that’s what Aramis truly wants and he replies with all his heart. Athos then hugs him and Porthos asks if he’s letting Aramis go, Athos responds that Aramis’ letting them go. They all hug and Aramis walks down a road without looking back.

D’Artagnan and Constance get married, as Athos gives away the bride while Porthos plays best man. The Priest pronounces them man and wife, but Athos’ lost in thought as he thinks of Milady waiting in the carriage for him. He starts to leave to mount his horse when Treville stops him saying there’s war with Spain approaching all leaves cancelled. Athos says he’ll return to the barracks as soon as he’s finished, Treville says he’s riding to the barracks immediately, as Louis named him War Minister and he’s promoted Athos to Captain. Athos says he’s unfit to lead anyone, but Treville says the men all love and respect him.

De Winter sits in her carriage and waits, just as she’s about to leave she hears a horse approaching, but alas not Athos. He however leaves the barracks to find her, but finds only her glove remaining.

Constance kisses her new husband goodbye, before the Musketeers head off to battle. Porthos says it seems weird just the three of them and Porthos says if Aramis knew of the impending war he’d return looking right at Treville. The War Minister tells his three Musketeers to return after they’ve set things up, but before they cross the border, the soldiers realize that means Treville will have their mate ready and waiting. The three take off racing each other giddy as schoolboys as they head off to War.

Season Three Has Already Been Given The Go-Ahead And We’ll Return To The Story Once The New Season Begins On BBCA.

Photo: Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo: Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Back in motion picture’s infancy, when folks gathered at their neighborhood movie theater, to enjoy silent films, the audience took to hissing at the screen, each time the villain of the piece appeared. This viewer’s tempted to engage in that archaic tradition, each time The First Minister and Captain of the Red Guard in France Rochefort, appears during an episode of the BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers,” shows his face, as he’s amongst the most despicable characters, ever portrayed on the small screen.

The former lieutenant to the late Cardinal Richelieu, Rochefort spent the last several years in a Spanish prison, finally released as a spy and sent back home to obtain information about the Royal Court. Equal parts, master politician and toady, he’s become the most trusted adviser to France’s dimwitted Monarch, King Louis XIII, convincing the King, that Rochefort’s the only man in his Royal Court he can trust.

We’ve known since early in season two, that Rochefort carries an unrequited love for France’s Queen, Ann of Spain, whom Rochefort first met when she was but a girl of 14. He was sent to Spain, to educate the sister of the Spanish King, the language and social graces of Paris, to become the eventual bride of Louis, after their marriage got arranged. Though at least a decade older than Ann, Rochefort fell hard for the future Monarch and believed she felt the same about him. He gave her a jewel encrusted Crucifix, which she promised to  cherish forever.

What complicates matters even more’s the fact that Rochefort’s certifiably insane, even the most evil creature can get convinced to abandon their schemes, if one appeals to their self-interest; convincing the evil-one they will benefit more, by cooperating. However when dealing with someone whose stark-raving-mad, there’s no logic left behind, they’ve abandoned the idea of things going back to normal.

Season Two opened with the death of Louis’ most loyal adviser and surrogate father figure Cardinal Richelieu (portrayed in season one, by the great Peter Capaldi, whose now preoccupied riding in the TARDIS with his gal-pal Clara.) In the first episode, with the Queen’s urging, the King approached the Captain of the King’s Musketeers Treville, about becoming his new adviser. Treville politely declined, saying he’s a soldier not a diplomat, disappointing Louis XIII greatly, while questioning his Captain’s loyalty.

Rochefort got rescued and brought back to the Royal Court by the Musketeers, impressing the King with his brashness and his seemingly undying loyalty, to Crown and Country and named him Captain of the Red Guard, Richelieu’s former soldiers. He’s spent the entire season doing his best to appear in the best light as possible, while pointing out errors allegedly committed by the Musketeers, causing Louis to lose respect for Treville, stripping him of his rank and his soldiers.

Before continuing with our story, Marc Warren who portrays Rochefort’s done an amazing job with this role, conveying the evil and insanity, within the character, without turning the First Minister into a cartoon. Throughout the season, he exercised restraint with the part, until finally coming unhinged in the previous episode, expressing his love for Ann and attempting to force himself on her. A timely entrance by the Queen’s special adviser Constance Bonacieux, stopped the attack by Rochefort and Ann stabbed him in the left eyeball with a six-inch pin, apparently blinding him.

Rochefort, always had his own agenda after returning to Paris, he’d eliminate the King, marry Ann who truly loved him and rule the nation as a regent until the Dauphin could take the throne. However, earlier this season he became suspicious when he saw the Crucifix he gave Ann, around the neck of the Musketeer Aramis, a gesture of thanks for saving her life last season. However he eventually pieced together that Ann and Aramis were intimate and after she stabbed him said he would see her tried for treason for sleeping with a Musketeer.

The latest episode, begins minutes after Rochefort got stabbed, realizing the eye’s useless he has a maid get him a leather eye-patch to cover it with, he tells Louis he suffered a hunting-accident and the King likes the look on his First Minister. Constance gathers the Musketeers, telling them what Rochefort did to the Queen, holding back Aramis and telling him that Rochefort knows about Ann and his tryst.

The Musketeers tell the Red Guard soldiers to clear a path and they accompany the Queen to Louis’ quarters and the King blows a gasket when he sees Ann’s brought in an armed regimen with her. Rochefort’s playing things cautiously, accusing Ann of treason due to a letter she wrote to her brother, the Spanish King asking for help after Louis got kidnapped earlier in the season. She tells him why she wrote it and that she did at Rochefort’s behest, Louis asks like a pompous fool, ordering her back to her quarters and telling the Musketeers to return to their garrison.

Time for the “Big Reveal,” for the Musketeers, only Athos knows about Aramis’ relationship with Ann, but with the walls tumbling around them he needs to let Porthos, D’Artagnan and Treville in on his secret. They all gather in Treville’s quarters and after Aramis stammers and stutters, Athos reveals that their mate slept with the Queen, they’ve barely processed that, when Athos says there’s more and Aramis admits the Dauphin’s his son.

Porthos grabs him to bludgeon him, but suddenly realizes it’s his friend and hugs him instead, Treville’s not as accepting, saying that the next King Of France! Athos says he’s yet to tell them the worst, Rochefort’s aware and fixing to turn them in. Treville say’s they’re lost, but Athos, says he might know a way.

Rochefort enters the Queen’s quarters and orders Ann’s Governess Marguerite to take the Dauphin to Louis’ quarters, saying the Queen’s not fit to care for the Royal heir. Both Constance and Marguerite and Constance argue with Rochefort to no avail, Marguerite apologizes to the Queen. When they’ve left, Ann says to Constance that Louis will take her word over Rochefort’s.

The Musketeers meet with Milady de Winter and she tells them that Rochefort’s a spy for Spain and she killed the Spanish Ambassador at Rochefort’s behest. The soldier’s head back to the Palace to take the Queen to the monastery she hid in last season, Milady makes plans to meet with Athos later to show her estranged husband where Rochefort keeps his most important papers. Unbeknownst to all they’re getting trailed by Catherine, Athos’ late brother’s fiancée, who wants to kill Milady for destroying all their lives.

The Musketeers take Ann to the monastery, but Constance refuses to go, so she can keep an eye on the Dauphin, she tells D’Artagnan, that Marguerite’s a friend of the Queen and will insure her safety. Constance will find out later that Marguerite’s not in a position to help anyone, as Rochefort’s got her deeply involved in his coup-attempt.

The Court physician Doctor Lemay, gives the King a mild opiate to help him relax and it does the job, soon he’s telling Rochefort he’ll summon Ann and yell her he forgives her, she didn’t cause any harm. The First Minister’s unhappy to hear that Louis’ mellowed on the situation and decides to add a little poison in place of Lemay’s opiates. Marguerite sees Rochefort make the switch, he tells her if she talks she’s dead.

Sister Theresa, welcomes Ann and tells her she’s  got a room as long as she needs it. The Queen thanks her and says she’s never countered on the Sister’s help more than she is right then. She goes into her quarters and shuts the door.

Catherine catches up with Milady and attempts to hang her, but Athos waiting in the shadows, saves de Winter and knocking Catherine’s pistol to the floor below him. He tells Catherine, Milady’s helping him on a mission to help save France, but she scoffs at his statements, saying he’s still in love with her.

The pair get to Rochefort’s office and de Winter shows Athos where the important papers are kept, they find nothing incriminating, but take his stamp and a couple of letters, when they hear him approaching. Milady shows him a hiding place behind a bookcase that Richelieu installed, Rochefort doesn’t detect them and leaves, the couple overcome by the close quarters kiss each other passionately.

Louis swallows the poison, Rochefort only put enough him to sicken and scare the King and it worked. Rochefort finds out Ann’s left the palace but seizes Lemay and Constance. Marguerite lies through her teeth, saying she overheard the Queen plotting with Lemay and Constance to kill the King. Louis says he can’t bare to look at them and sends them away.

Athos returns to the monastery with word that Louis got poisoned and Ann insists on returning to the Palace. If Louis survived, he’ll need her by his side and if he didn’t she must protect her son. However before they go, they get Sister Theresa to forge a note by Rochefort and attach his seal to it. Porthos takes the message to Paris.

Rochefort has an executioner cut off Lemay’s head in front of Constance and she sinks to her knees, in horror and pain. The First Minister says she can save herself by testifying against Ann and he’ll let her think about it over night, putting her in a cell.

Marguerite sends Ann a message, saying the King survived and she must return. She trusts her Governess, but when they arrive the Musketeers and Ann realize they’ve gotten lured into a trap. Ann’s confined to her quarters and Aramis to a cell as Rochefort tells him sleeping with the Queen carries a steep price. Next Saturday’s the final episode of Season Two, it should be a blockbuster!

The Story Continues Next Saturday at 9:00 pm on BBCA.

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

So, do we concentrate on the first 51-minutes of the latest episode of The BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers,” or on the last five minutes, which knocked viewers out, with a sneak left-hook to the jaw, leaving us all a bit dazed and confused? The temptation’s great to jump straight to the surprise ending, but we’d do a great injustice to actor Howard Charles and his character Porthos, if we chose that route. So have patience and we’ll get to the jaw-dropping ending in good time.

Porthos became aware, that his former commanding officer Captain Treville, knew the identity of the Musketeer’s father, since the premiere of season two, when the King’s soldiers rescued Treville’s old friend, General De Foix. The General showed interest in Porthos, and the Musketeer caught on, they’d interacted at some point. He thought La Foix was his father, but Treville told him that wasn’t the case. After surviving a serious gunshot wound in the previous episode, Treville promised to tell Porthos about his father after he got some rest.

We join the action, soon after that conversation took place, as Porthos and Aramis are going to meet the Musketeer’s father, the Marquis de Belgard. The come upon the estate to find two young teenage girls running to the front gate, a man chasing them on horseback holding a whip tells them to get away from the gate. Aramis asks what’s going on and the man claims the girls are his wife’s maids and they stole from her, he then whips the younger of the pair and tells her to get back to her quarters. Aramis asks the other girl, if what the man’s saying’s true and the teen nods her head, the man whips her and tells her to go back as well. He then asks what they want and Porthos, tells him they’ve come to see the Marquis, the man says he doesn’t receive visitors, Porthos says, he’ll see me.

The two enter the estate and climb a staircase when they meet an elderly man with long unkempt, hair and beard, who asks why they’re in his home. Porthos says they’ve come to visit the Marquis, the man admits to being him. The Musketeer then says his name’s Porthos and he’s Belgard’s son, he asks who told him this nonsense and he says his Captain with the Musketeers, Treville. Belgard respond’s that Treville’s treachery ruined his life, Aramis takes offense at the statement, then Porthos introduces his friend. The Marquis tells Porthos to follow him and his friend can remain there.

Belgard brings him into his study, excuses the mess, says since he withdrew from society, he’s become a recluse. He then says to Porthos, you have questions and Porthos asks if Belgard’s his father, he says he is, then asks if the Musketeer knows the sordid tale of the infamous Marquis de Belgard. When Porthos replies he doesn’t, he reveals that he was the head of the King’s Royal Body Guard, when Louis’ father Henri, got killed by a lunatic. They needed a scapegoat, so they chose him and La Foix and Treville, went along with them, condemning him with false testimony, leading to his Court Martial.

Aramis gets greeted by Belgard’s daughter Eleanor Levesque, her husband’s the man they saw on the horse at the gate. She says she’ll get him some refreshment, when Porthos and the Marquis walk out and Porthos says don’t bother we’re staying for dinner.

Constance puts flowers on Bonacieux’s grave as D’Artagnan watches, he then tells her he’s glad her husband’s dead, this is fate giving them a chance to be together as they should. Constance feels guilty, that she was unfaithful to Bonacieux and she didn’t love him and she needs time. D’Artagnan’s frustrated and says take all the time you want, hopefully I’m still around when you decide you want me, then walks off.

King Louis’ sitting in front of the fireplace, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, rocking back and forth saying they’re trying to kill me like they killed my father. Cancel my public appearances and have someone taste my food, his new First Minister Rochefort, assures him he’ll taste the King’s food himself. He then asks Louis to sign these documents so he can keep things running smoothly for him, the French Monarch signs the papers without reading, which doesn’t bode well.

The Marquis makes a toast, to his son, who was lost but now found, he then looks to his daughter Eleanor, telling her to raise a glass. Her husband, stands up from his chair and says to Porthos, his wife isn’t related to him. Belgard tells his son-in-law to sit down immediately, he loved Porthos’ mother and he won’t allow him to get treated that way. Aramis asks if he loved Porthos mother, what happened?

Belgard says that Porthos’ mother was a servant for his father’s house, they fell in love and got married in secret. Shortly after Porthos arrived, his father found out and ordered his son to send them away or he’d disinherit him, but Belgard refused. He the says La Foix and Treville conspired with his father and came in the middle of the night, kidnapping them and them in the Court of Miracles.

He says after a time, for his sanity and the sake of his family’s name he married this girl’s mother, Eleanor responds she won’t listen to this. The Marquis says Eleanor got her mothers looks and personality, shrewish and defiant. Levesque stands up again and insults Porthos, the Musketeer said he didn’t come there to cause a fight, Levesque says we know why you’re here, throws a handful of coins at him. Porthos says if Levesque sits down right now he’ll let this pass and the man spits in the Musketeer’s face. Aramis stands up and growls, then hands his mate a handkerchief.

Porthos stands up and says remember you brought this on yourself, Levesque takes two swings, missing widely, Porthos knocks him to the ground while Eleanor calls him a savage. Levesque makes the mistake of standing back up, trying to continue, the Musketeer brings him to his knees, with two swift blows to the back. Aramis says Porthos should stop, unless he wants to kill him. Belgard chuckles, at last a champion, to defend my family name.

Rochefort summons Milady De Winter, to his office, apologizing for the way he treated her the last time they’d been together and says he thinks they can work together. She says you took away my life and an expensive present she received from the King. He apologizes and says there’d been a murderer on the loose and Milady says yes a female one working for Spain, almost as if she had someone on the inside. Rochefort dismisses the Priests, leaving the two alone. Milady’s now aware that Rochefort’s a spy for Spain and taunting him.

He then gets down to the reason he summoned her, her knowledge of Aramis, he asks if he’s sleeping with the Queen and she tells him he’s mad. He says check around, if she hears as much as whisper, report back to him, she says if Aramis slept with the Queen that constitutes treason, Rochefort smiles.

Aramis is in the courtyard of the Marquis’ compound when a wagon rolls up, he picks up some burlap and sees the corpse of the younger girl Martine. He asks Eleanor what happened and she said the stupid girl got kicked by a horse. Aramis isn’t buying her story, saying look at her throat, she responds the girl rode the horse, fell off got tangled in the reins and stomped to death. Aramis knows the girl was murdered. Eleanor goes to find the other girl Camille, tells her to clean up and gives her fresh clothes, telling her now she’ll earn her money.

Aramis follows Levesque and Camille into Paris and Levesque takes her to a house saying this is her home now, they’re met by a town house servant who lets them in and shuts the door. Aramis rides back to the barracks and tells D’Artagnan, Athos and Treville, he says that Martine was murdered and he believes that they’ve got Camille in that house for immoral reasons. Treville says don’t tell Porthos, or he’ll think they’re trying to bad-mouth his father.

Milady finds Athos in a hole in the wall pub, then asks him how much information leading to Rochefort’s downfall would be worth? He says he’d give her his undying gratitude, she says she wants 100 livre, he laughs at her says he doesn’t have that, she says speak to Treville, you want this information. He gets up tells her to tell the info for France, or for her own redemption, then leaves.

After speaking with Belgard, Porthos rides back to the barracks and asks the Captain if he and La Foix kidnapped he and his mother, Treville says they did, but there’s more to the story. He asks if Treville recruited him for the Musketeers out of guilt and the Captain says that’s not the case at all. Porthos however doesn’t believe him and takes off his Musketeers arm-shield, pushing it to Treville and leaving.

Doctor Lemay, finds Constance and proposes, she’s totally shocked and speechless. He says he loves her and promises to make her happy. He then says she needs time, but he hopes she says yes. She’s totally flustered and still speechless when he grabs her hands and kisses them.

Porthos heads back to Belgard’s home and the old man reaches into his desk drawer putting his hand on a pistol. Porthos says he spoke with Treville and he admitted what the Marquis told him was true, he tried to offer an explanation, but Porthos wouldn’t listen and resigned from the Musketeers. Belgard hugs Porthos and says welcome home son.

Aramis heads to the house he saw Camille dropped off at and tells the Town House Servant he wants to see the girl who got dropped off that morning. The servant replies the entertainment doesn’t begin until ten that evening, he says get me her anyway. He’s trying to convince Camille he can save her, when Eleanor walks in and asks what he’s doing, he replies their entertainment’s legendary and he’s hoping for a preview. She sends Camille back to her room and kicks Aramis out.

He heads back to the barracks and tells his mates what’s going on and Treville says they’ve no evidence that Belgard’s involved. Aramis says he doesn’t think the old man’s involved, Treville says if the soldier knew Belgard like he does he’d realize he was. D’Artagnan then asks if Porthos could be in danger and the four ride off to the town house.

The Marquis and Porthos are alone drinking wine and talking, when Belgard says he’s got something for his son, he pulls out a small painting of a Black woman and Porthos asks if that’s his mother. Belgard says it is, isn’t she beautiful and Porthos agrees.

The guests have arrived for the entertainment, an all male gathering, save for Eleanor. Athos and D’Artagnan walk in and Eleanor says this is invite only. Athos says they paid their admittance and some guy they played cards with named Levesque invited them. Eleanor says he’s her husband, D’Artagnan replies that her husband has exquisite taste and kisses her hand. The flattery gains her trust and she welcomes them.

Eleanor then announces it’s time for the entertainment and about eight-to-ten teen girls walk out, including Camille to get auctioned. Camille’s the first of the girls to get bid on, the bidding starts at 20 livre, makes it to 50 livre, then Athos says he bids nothing and he and D’Artagnan are taking the girls with him. Camille tells the girls to follow them and they run out of the house. Aramis is waiting with swords for both his mates and the three soon overpower them all, but Eleanor grabs a sword and tries to get D’Artagnan, who quickly overpowers her. He says he’d never killed a woman but he might in her case, then leaves.

They get the girls back to the barracks, Camille tells them her town Priest recommended her for a job as a governess for a Parisian family, Eleanor showed up in her fancy carriage and paid Camille’s father a year’s wages in advance. She got something to drink in the carriage, which knocked her out. She woke up locked in an outhouse with Martine, Levesque told them they were his prostitutes now and could never go home. However she has no knowledge of Belgard.

Porthos is in the courtyard of his father’s estate when he hears a banging sound, he finds the door it’s coming from and breaks open the door. Levesque has another girl prisoner, Porthos removes her gag and calms her, he’s there to help her. He asks who did this to you and we hear Belgard’s voice say, yes that’s an interesting question from the doorway. He’s holding a pistol, though it’s pointed to the ground. He says that he realized Levesque was involved in some criminality, but nothing like this. Porthos asks if he knew of any of this and he claims he hadn’t Eleanor hires the staff and Levesque runs the estate.

The two bring the girl out of where she’d been imprisoned and Levesque’s standing there asking the old man what he’s doing. He says he and his son are rescuing this girl and Levesque asks if he’s gone mad. Levesque’s men soon surround them, but the Marquis shoots Levesque in the abdomen, Eleanor screams to the man to shoot them, but the Musketeers arrived and Aramis fires the first shot killing one of the men.

As the gunfight rages in the courtyard, Belgard runs up to his study, with Porthos following him and Treville a short distance behind. The Marquis, grabs the pistol out of his desk, Porthos enters and asks what’s going on? Belgard says we shot Levesque, Porthos corrects him and says the Marquis shot him and the old man says his presence gave him the strength. Treville enters with gun drawn and tells Porthos not to listen to him, every time he opens his mouth he lies. Belgard aims his pistol at Treville, Porthos forces him to put the gun on the table.

The Marquis would lose his inheritance unless he got rid of his wife and son, and he pleaded with his two best friends to take them to the Court Of Miracles, or he’d kill them both. Treville and La Foix had pledged a blood oath with Belgard to protect each other, and he felt bound by it. He immediately regretted his decision, tried to find them but they moved on. Porthos earned his position as a Musketeer, Treville respects the uniform too much to give a man one out of pity.

Belgard tells Porthos to shoot Treville, when he sees his son won’t he grabs the pistol but Porthos shoots him in the hand. He then says he almost convinced him, but he overplayed his hand, then pulls out the picture, this isn’t my mother, you probably found it in some shop. He leaves, Treville sneers at the old man, says Porthos takes after his mother.

After a talk with Queen Ann, Constance realizes how stupid she’s been. She first refuses Lemay’s proposal, telling him she’s in love with someone else. She then runs down to greet D’Artagnan when he arrives, she says he’s the only man she’s ever loved, or will ever love and they kiss. She says she has to get back to the Queen.

The Queen’s in her chambers, when Rochefort walks in, looking rather strange He says he’s needed to talk to her in private, when he went to Spain to become her tutor, he gave her a jewel-encrusted crucifix. Ann looks uncomfortable says she has so much jewelry. He says she told him she’s treasure it always so imagine how he felt, seeing it around another man’s neck, she’s getting alarmed now. He says just tell me you’re in love with me and I’ll forgive all transgressions. She’s shocked, tells him he’s mad and tells him to leave.

She turns away, but says they’ll soon be together and kisses her on the neck, she whips around, slaps him across the face and says leave now or she’ll have him arrested. He says her cries will go unanswered, all the staff works for him now, he wrestles her to the floor and keeps kissing her. Constance walks in, realizes what’s going on and screams get off of her, the Queen grabs a long pin stabbing Rochefort in the left eye. He screams the King will hear of your affair with the Musketeer, then screams for the guards saying treason’s at hand. Constance and the Queen look at each other in horror.

The Story Continues Next Saturday Night, at 9:00 pm on BBCA.

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It’s not very often that a secondary character can alter the trajectory of a TV series, make that character a villain and the odds decrease even more, and bringing that character in during the second season of a series, the chances become wafer slim. Despite those overwhelming odds, Marc Warren’s come into the second season of the BBCA series “The Musketeers,” and his character, Rochefort’s become a major focal point in almost every episode of the second season. Although, he wants to see the French King Louis dead, Rochefort’s made himself indispensable to the Monarch and his most trusted adviser.

There were times watching the most recent episode “An Inconvenient Marriage,” that reminded me of watching professional wrestling when I about ten or eleven-years-old in the mid-sixties (Sorry, if they wrestled after Gorilla Monsoon, I don’t know them.) As a child I got outraged that some of the bad-guy wrestlers, took a blackjack out of their shorts and hit their opponents in the head with it, with the referee allegedly unaware, what took place.

I almost found myself screaming at the French King while watching this episode, out of frustration, as Rochefort got rid of two of Louis’ closest advisers and walked away at the end of the episode, with a promotion. Of course it helps to have an overgrown spoiled-brat, who only becomes involved in things that interest him as a boss. However Rochefort still has two mighty obstacles to overcome, the distrust of the Musketeers and the knowledge of his deepest secrets, by Milady De Winter, an opponent not to trifle with.

The show doesn’t tip it’s hand often, but something felt hinky about this episode from the opening scene, as if something was amiss. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but things started to fall together far too conveniently, for fate to be it’s only guide. A woman seemingly averting danger at every turn for most of the evening, seemed a little too lucky, to keep avoiding death.

Although I’m not a psychiatrist, or play one on the Internet, I think it’s a safe assumption to make that Rochefort’s certifiably insane. He truly believes that he’ll have the King of France killed, marry Queen Ann and rule the country of his birth. Even if he were to kill Louis and somehow, convince Ann to marry him, the people of France would never allow him to ascend to the throne. Perhaps because he’s loony-tunes, he’s able to walk through mine-fields without getting harmed, so far anyways. Rochefort’s comeuppance awaits and I look forward to watching him squirm like the rat that he is.

The Captain of the Red Guard and now First Minister to King Louis, set a plan into action that allowed him to kill two of Louis’ inner-circle and he nearly succeeded with taking out two more, as Captain Treville, nearly died from a gunshot wound, while Chancellor Dupre, barely survived an attack on his life. Rochefort hired a male and female assassin team to portray Louis’ cousin, Princess Louise of Mantua, scheduled to wed the King of Sweden, thus ensuring a treaty between Sweden and France.

The fake Princess rides in a carriage, with her partner and lover Francesco playing her bodyguard. Something felt wrong, when a few minutes after the Princess asks them to pull over so she can get some fresh air and stretch her legs, the party gets ambushed. Of course the Musketeers, although outnumbered, barely broke a sweat before killing all their opponents.

The Princess gets blessed by the Archbishop of Paris and we see someone seemingly have Louise in their sights, but at the last second she trips and the Archbishop’s  killed when the arrow strikes him in the Adam’s Apple. A bit later Rochefort walks in berating the Musketeers and chiding them, he then says he hopes they’re up to the task of guarding the Princess, before she embarks to Sweden.

Queen Ann tries to see her husband, but when she knocks on his bedroom door, he tells her to go away. Rochefort, says the King’s not receiving visitors, but Ann beseeches Rochefort to try to talk with him. He knocks on the door announces himself and Louis lets him in.

The King says I want Milady out of the castle and I don’t want to deal with my cousin Louise, Rochefort says it’ll appear that Louis is against the marriage but the King tells him that’s nonsense. Rochefort tells him that Dupre’s arriving that afternoon and Louis really should meet with him. The King says fine but until then he’s going to bed as he’s exhausted.

Porthos and Athos recover the crossbow and the arrow that killed the Archbishop and admire the craftsmanship. Treville says there’s just one man capable of this work, it’s Boucher, a Huguenot, that despises the Catholic Church and the French Monarchy. They have Boucher come in and he immediately recognizes the work as his own, then tells them the weapon and arrow got seized by the Red Guard and they keep all his stuff in their armory.

Athos questions Rochefort about the crossbow and arrow and the Red Guard Captain, says perhaps it got stolen from the armory. He then says he’s got 500 soldiers, how’s he to know if one went rogue? He then sees Milady leaving the Palace and he takes back the necklace Louis gave her as a present, then tells her if he sees her in the Palace again, he’ll arrest her for stealing. De Winter says you don’t want to make me your enemy.

Rochefort suggested to Queen Ann that Treville pick up the wedding present for Louise, one of the reasons why, giving Francesco a chance to kill him. Milady recognizes Francesco when she leaves the Palace, follows him and watches him shoot Treville. The Musketeers hear about it quickly and are able to save their former Captain’s life, with help from Aramis, Constance and the Royal Court physician Dr. Lemay.

Constance sent a message to her husband Bonacieux, that she needed to talk to him and he shows up at the Palace. She tells him that she and D’Artagnan are in love and he backhands her in the face, splitting her lip. He tells her she’s coming home and he’ll be back later that day to collect her.

The present that Treville rode over to get was a painting of Princess Louise by an artist, Athos and Porthos head over there, they find the artist’s murdered and the portrait stolen. However they see by the artist’s sketches of Louise, that the woman under their protection’s not the princess.

Rochefort tells D’Artagnan to go to the courtyard and greet Chancellor Dupree, he’ll guard Princess Louise in his place. When the Musketeer leaves, Rochefort brings in a crossbow and arrow for the fake Princess to take out Dupre upon his arrival. However, Athos and Porthos arrive at the same time as the carriage and scream for the Chancellor to get back in his carriage, the arrow ends up dead center of the doors. They see the shot was taken from the Palace and D’Artagnan runs in to catch the archer.

He finds it’s the fake Princess, she tells him to drop his weapons, while having a gun aimed at his heart. She says she did him a favor and he’s welcome, but Porthos and Athos capture as she attempts to escape. She’s thrown in a cell, shackled when Milady walks in and says if she tells her who hired her, she’ll free the trained killer. The woman tells De Winter that Rochefort’s a Spanish spy, that’s why they allowed him to escape. Milady says until she heard that she was going to free the woman, then sticks a blade in her heart.

Rochefort tells Louis everything and of course the King’s so proud of the way the Captain of the Red Guard handled things, he names him First Minister. Rochefort’s gaining power on a weekly basis, who’ll be the one to stop him in his tracks?

The Story Continues Next Saturday Night at 9:00pm on BBCA.

Photo Courtesy Of BBC - Photographer: Dusan Martinek

Photo Courtesy Of BBC – Photographer: Dusan Martinek

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The odds of a TV series getting aired are enormous and the chances of that series making it to a second season, aren’t much better. However, for a series to have a strong first season, then follow it up with an even better second campaign’s an impressive feat. The BBCA series “The Musketeers,” breaths that rarefied air, that few shows ever get to taste, that fact was obvious in the latest episode, entitled “Through A Glass Darkly.” While most nights, the major storyline revolves around one of our four Musketeers, this episode was a true ensemble piece, emphasizing the strength of the cast.

We first see a strange man in a building flipping a coin, as the camera pans wider we see there’s a brass contraption that’s a model of the planets revolving around the sun, with each sign of the zodiac displayed in a circle on the ceiling around it. This is 1682, so there’s no machinery instead a man wearing a white mask with a beak, like a giant hawk, moves the machine with a series of ropes and pullies.

The Musketeers ride up to the Palace grounds and start to guard, the outdoor contingent King Louis has gathered. The French King seems to have a strong knowledge of astronomy, telling his audience about the findings of Senor Galileo, whose proved that the moon rotates around the earth and the earth in turn, revolves around the sun. The bodies revolving as they do’s the cause of the solar eclipse, that takes place later that day. They will witness the event, at the building established by the famous Parisian astronomer Marmion, who according to the King’s adviser Rochefort’s transformed an abandoned fort, into a new world.

All the Musketeers accompany the party save Athos, who can’t stand the sight of the King’s mistress and his wife Milady De Winter. Porthos says that Louis will notice his absence, but D’Artagnan, responds that the only thing Louis’ noticed for weeks is De Winter.

We see the man again, this time flipping his coin outside, when a younger man walks up to him and the first man asks if all the preparations are in place for the King and his party. The younger man responds, he handled it personally. The first man flips his coin and tells the other man to call, which he calls heads and guesses wrong. The man who flipped the coin says and so it begins.

The Royal Carriage arrives on Marmion’s property and the younger man comes out to greet them, he says he’s the Great Marmion’s servant Robert, his master’s putting together the finishing touches on his display, but he’ll lead them to the fort. Constance tells D’Artagnan, she’s nervous and he assures her there’s nothing to fear. She says she just can’t shake the feeling. Robert points out to Louis the camera obscura on the top of the fort, which we’ll make their viewing the solar eclipse possible.

The Royal Party, the Musketeers and three members of Rochefort’s Red Guard enter the building. Rochefort immediately assigns the three men to different sections and they’re quickly killed by Marmion’s men. The rest of the group is on the upstairs level, as Marmion (the coin-flipper) talks to them from below. The King’s party’s surrounded by men wearing the identical white man with the prominent beak. I realize that fashions were more ornate and gaudy in this era, but if I see those guys with those masks, I hightail it out of that fort and head back to the palace.

They head downstairs where Louis greets Marmion as the great astronomer, they goes to the table used for the camera obscura. (A camera obscura’s an ancient device, which a pinhole’s cut into the roof of a building that’s dark inside. The device first discovered by the Romans, projects a full color image of what’s seen through the pinhole, with the use of mirrors, the image appears right-side up.)

Marmion starts to lecture his guests on their ancestors believing a solar eclipse was the end of the world. But even in this era of science, one should reflect on fate and each person’s place in the world. The King interrupts him, saying if he wanted a sermon, he’d have gone to church, we can see the disdain in the face of Marmion. He lifts the cloth and the image of the sun appears on the table, Robert provides all the guests with rudimentary sunglasses.

Back at the Musketeer’s barracks, we see Treville packing some stuff and throwing other things away, when Athos enters with a jug of wine and two glasses. Treville says he was a damn fool, turning down Louis’ offer to become his council, now he’s got Rochefort and no longer needs him. Athos says you’re still a Musketeer, but his former commanding officer says, no a new Captain will soon arrive.

Porthos and Aramis each guard one wall of the top floor, while D’Artagnan guards the bottom floor and keeps trading glances with Marmion. When the eclipse is total, the astronomer nods his head and all the guests get accosted, then held with blades to their necks. Just to show how serious he is, Marmion shoots one of the men in the party dead.

The Musketeers continue to battle Marmion’s men, when he shouts out one more step and the King dies. Aramis and D’Artagnan, immediately stop, but Porthos keeps struggling to get control of his opponent’s pistol. Aramis barks out Porthos and he reluctantly stops fighting.

Treville and Athos, oblivious to the trouble the Royal Party and their mates are in, watch the eclipse from the porch of the barracks. Treville, takes a slug of his wine and then says he’s lived there far too long, it’s time for him to visit new lands and new challenges.

Aramis looks down at Marmion and asks him to show compassion, at least allow the dauphin and the women to leave. Marmion walks up the stairs and stands right in Aramis’ face and asks what he said, the Musketeer, again asks him to at least allow the baby and the women to leave. Marmion smiles, then pushes Aramis through the upstairs window, and possibly to his death.

D’Artagnan, Porthos and Rochefort start to fight again, D’Artagnan, comes close to getting stabbed and Constance tries to interfere. Marmion fires a shot at the ceiling and says that’s it, he knows the pain of loss and grief, but unless they want to die, the fighting stops. Porthos glares at him and says he’ll kill him and the astronomer says to take him to the dungeon. Rochefort says he’ll have Marmion’s head and he’s then sent to join Porthos.

Marmion then approaches Constance and asks why she attempted to defend D’Artagnan and she says she has feelings for him, he’s her friend. Marmion laughs and tells his men to tie the two friends together with rope, D’Artagnan whispers to Constance they’ll get out of this.

Rochefort and Porthos, chained together by their hands, on each side of a pillar. Although the two men despise each other they realize they need to work together to escape. Porthos notices brass hooks on the walls in front of them and says if they can to one, they unlock their manacles. Rochefort tells him to try to reach one, but when Porthos stretches, Rochefort screams in pain from the chains on his arms.

Back with the Royal Party, Marmion says now it’s time to make choices and Louis asks what kinds of choices? The astronomer says simple choices with simple outcomes, then pulls out his coin, flips it and tells the King to call. Louis says what’s this for and Marmion once again says call, the King says he’s not saying anything until he knows what’s at stake. The astronomer says, you call correctly you live, guess wrong you die. Louis just sits there, white as a sheet and his mouth moving, but no words come forth.

He smirks and asks the rest of them if any of them are braver than their King and are willing to risk it all for their freedom. After several seconds of silence, Milady says yes, she’ll take the chance. Perhaps because she beat death once, she believes she can do it again. Marmion starts to tell her no second chances, no begging and De Winter says she’d rather die than listen to him for one minute longer. D’Artagnan, begs her not to do it, she smiles coldly and says she appreciates the concern. Louis says he forbids it and Milady says maybe she can help.

She calls heads and wins, Marmion sets her free but tells her if the King’s guards attack the fort, the Royal Party will die before they dismount. She leaves the fort, tells a young man she needs a horse, he helps her up and she gives him her tiara, then rides as fast as she can to the palace.

Back on the lower floor, an older man, part of the Royal Party stands up and shouts heads, I want to go next and I choose heads. Marmion flips the coin and it’s tails, as the man starts to beg, he’s shot in the back, dying instantly. Marmion smiles and asks, who’s next?

Aramis awakens on a lower roof, with a crow sitting on him and cawing, he pushes the bird off him, then reaches behind his head and pulls out a large shard of glass. He then sits up, then stands, then starts climbing the outside walls of the fort, so he can get back in and help rescue them all.

Marmion tells his prisoners, they think he’s cruel, but life’s cruel and fate’s cruel. D’Artagnan asks what fate has to do with it, they all share the same fate, but the astronomer says the privileged, the wealthy and the aristocracy, have a way of avoiding their fate. They never need to make critical decisions, Louis says some choices are difficult, but they carry repercussions.

Marmion smiles and tells the King he’s finally understanding the game, then says to two of his men, take them and they grab Queen Ann, their baby and the governess Marguerite, then take them away. Louis starts screaming, then crying and begging Marmion not to hurt his wife or son. Constance says he’s only a baby and Marmion tells more men to take the three remaining members of the Royal Court away as well. The only ones remaining are the King, Constance and D’Artagnan.

Robert and another man accompany the Queen, her son and Marguerite, Ann says they’ll get royally compensated, if they allow them to go free. Robert says Marmion’s his brother and he’d follow him to Hell and back. The Queen says he’ll meet him in Hell and Robert responds he’s already been there, he’s not afraid.

After they’re locked in the room, Marguerite says she’s scared and Ann says they all are, but they can’t show it. Besides they have the Musketeers to protect them. The governess says, yes but Aramis got himself killed, the fool, the Queen looks out the window to see if she can see him.

Milady rides up to the Musketeers barracks and Treville looks out his window and asks what she’s doing there? She says we need to talk and get Athos. Athos arrives and says she’s a liar and a cheat, why should they believe her story. De Winters says, Aramis is dead and the King’s in danger, want to talk about my credibility? Treville says he’ll gather the men, but Milady says they’re expecting an attack, we need to surprise them. Treville says we and she says she knows the location, she’ll guide them.

Treville leaves to gather men and Milady asks Athos why he’s staring at her. He says he’s truly surprised that she’s about to commit a selfless act, worrying about someone else instead of herself. She says if Louis dies, she’ll lose her place in the Royal Court, that would be disastrous. Athos shakes his head and grins then says forgive him for being naïve.

Robert comes back and asks to speak to Marmion privately. He tells his brother if they kill them all, they’re as bad as they are. He didn’t sign up for a massacre. Marmion says, to remember the plague years and he’s doing this for all they lost.

The astronomer then walks up to Louis and says do you choose one or two and Louis asks what that means. After a couple of more times, of asking without getting a response, he tells the King, his wife, son and the governess are in one room and the three members of his court are in the other. He’s sending his man down to kill which ever room Louis chooses, now the King’s hysterical, how can he choose without knowing which room his family’s in? Marmion says, if he doesn’t his man will kill them all.

After sitting there terrified, he finally chooses one and says God forgive me. The man goes to kill the  occupants of room one. As he reaches the area, he gets the keys to the room from the guard, then goes into the room where the rest of the Royal Party are in and kills the two women and men. Just as he finishes, Aramis enters the area, he waits for the killer to leave then looks at the carnage in the room. He then realizes there’s just one guard and starts to formulate a plan.

The man reenters the room and the King asks who did he kill and gets met with silence, he begs them to tell him who survived. Finally D’Artagnan reaches his limit and screams damn it, stop torturing him. Marmion says that the Queen and the dauphin are still alive. Louis sheds tears of joy.

Aramis stands in the doorway, feet away from the guard and asks what he thought about the eclipse? The guard gives chase but Aramis soon overpowers and then kills him, he then breaks down the door of the room Queen Ann’s in and rescues them, saying he’s getting them to safety.

Milady, now wearing slacks and a riding jacket with her hair pulled back, isn’t recognized by the guard at the gate. She says she needs to get to Marmion to deliver a message and the guard says his master’s not receiving visitors. She says if Marmion doesn’t get the message, his master will kill the guard with his bare hands, he lets her in, she pulls a knife and throws the guard backwards over a cliff. Treville and Athos quickly follow and take out the rest of the outside guards, then the three head to the fort.

Because Porthos can withstand pain better than Rochefort, he has the Captain of  the Red Guard to grab his hook, he gets it but dislocates Porthos shoulder in the process. They get free and Rochefort asks if Porthos can walk, he says his legs are fine but Rochefort has to put his shoulder back in place. He says he isn’t a doctor, and the Musketeer says all he has to do is pull his arm as hard as he can. Suddenly Treville and Athos hear Porthos scream, Athos says it’s either an angry bear or Porthos.

The three Musketeers, Rochefort, Treville, Milady, Queen Ann, her son and Marguerite all meet up. Athos tells Aramis to get the Queen and dauphin to safety, then head right back to the fort, so they leave the fort.

Back with Marmion and his prisoners, D’Artagnan asked what made him then way he is and the astronomer tells him he and Robert are the only survivors of their village. The plague infected their village and people healthy that morning were dying that night. However it seemed as if the plague would only kill a few, when Louis ordered the village barricaded. The people didn’t die by the plague, they died from starvation as Louis failed to provide food for the village.

His wife died first as she wouldn’t eat a bite while their two sons were hungry. It got to the point when Marmion only had enough food for one son, he loved them both equally and couldn’t choose, so he flipped a coin and his younger son won. His brother died that night, but a week later Marmion lost his younger son. He says Louis starved his village to death out of indifference.

Robert then pulls his brother aside and says we have to leave now, or the King’s soldiers will find us and kill us. Marmion says he won’t leave until the King’s dead inside. Then he tells Louis, the game’s back on, call right and Constance will get freed, call wrong she dies. He calls wrong and Marmion heads over to shoot her. She tells him to look her in the eyes and realize how ashamed his wife and boys would be of him.

D’Artagnan says take my life instead, the astronomer asks why and he says he loves Constance. Robert tries to talk Marmion out of shooting D’Artagnan, but can’t so he steps in front of D’Artagnan and takes the bullet in the chest. Marmion asks his brother why and he say’s it was his choice then dies. The astronomer breaks down sobbing.

Treville’s no longer a Captain but he still gave the orders, telling Aramis and Porthos to take out the two guards on the top floor and the rest of the crew to follow him. Porthos couldn’t let the moment go by without a good-natured dig and says yes sir Captain.

Two guards take away Robert’s body, then two other men grab Louis by the arms and stand him up as Marmion’s about to shoot him. D’Artagnan says that’s not right let fate determine the outcome, we win you set us all free, we lose and you kill the King. Marmion agrees but says D’Artagnan will execute the King if they lose. He flips the coin and tells the astronomer to call it, he says heads you’re freed, tails the King dies, it comes up tails and Marmion starts to hand the pistol to the Musketeer, when the cavalry comes to save the day. They kill all but Marmion and Louis screams he wants his head, Rochefort sees him running down a hallway and shoots him dead.

Louis tells Milady to pack her things, she’s no longer wanted at the palace. She says that’s what I get for being noble, kicked out? Athos says well you won my respect, she replies at one time that would have meant something. Rochefort tells the King he killed Marmion and Louis says he’s the hero, ignoring the Musketeers really saving the day.

They all meet up at the Royal Carriage, Constance and Ann embrace and start crying, then Constance sees D’Artagnan in a field and runs to him. She says she loves him, she doesn’t care what people says she’s spending the rest of her life with him. The two then kiss passionately, as Ann watches glowingly and Aramis has an ear to ear grin.

The Story Continues Next Saturday Night at 9:00 pm on BBCA.

 

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Many people try to run away from their responsibilities, I guess if you lack a conscience, you can do something like that without any remorse. Perhaps I give my fellow human beings too much credit, but I sincerely believe, even many of those who successfully leave and never get found, still have trouble sleeping at night, due to the guilt that they feel. The past however, tends to catch up with most people, even in France, back in 1682, as Athos found out in the latest episode of the BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers.”

Athos is the least approachable of the Musketeers, as well as the most intimidating. He plays things close to the vest, he’s the angst-ridden strong, stoic type. He’s the first among equals, their unspoken leader and it’s a thankless role in many ways. We found out last season, that Athos lived the life of a nobleman, he was a Count and owned a village as well as the family estate. He walked away from his life after his wife, whom we know as Milady De Winter, killed his brother. He ordered her death via hanging, but she made a deal with the executioner that spared her life. Athos still has to get her out of his system.

Milady was spot-on when she told him recently, he’ll never stop loving her. She’s his addiction and so far he’s lacked the strength to kill her himself, which I guess is a testament to his humanity, as well as the thing that keeps him from being happy. He tries to bury himself in fighting evil and when things are peaceful, he buries himself in a bottle. This latest episode, concentrates on the unfinished business left behind, when Athos left his home.

We see two men dragging an unconscious man by the arms, his feet dragging in the dirt, they bring him into a building, binding his hands and feet, then tie him to a chair. Water’s thrown in the man’s face, he wakes up and we realize it’s Athos. He asks his captors who they are and where they have him? Someone pulls out a blade and he says if you’re going to kill me, at least show me the courtesy of telling me why.

A voice from the crowd in front of him says they mean him no harm, then a young woman opens a door, letting sunlight stream in, she asks if he recognizes them now? His eyes begin to focus and he realizes it’s Bertrand the Innkeeper in Pinon and his daughter Jeanne. He asks what they’re doing and Jeanne said this was their only choice as Athos refused to answer his letters. They need him to come back and take his place as Lord of the Manor and leader of their village.

Back in Paris, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan, tell their former commanding officer Treville, their concerns about Athos. He asks why they’re coming to him as he’s just another Musketeer now, illustrated by his cleaning up horse dung. Besides, he says Athos’ drunk somewhere, Aramis responds that they checked all the taverns and he hasn’t appeared in days. Treville says well the quicker we get this done, the quicker we can find him, gives the shovel to D’Artagnan and walks off with the other two soldiers of the King.

They search his room and they see letter after letter to Athos, from Bertrand asking for help, Treville says it’s a family matter, no concern of theirs. D’Artagnan stops him from leaving, saying that Pinon’s less than a day’s ride, Treville says he’ll go, but not as their commander but a fellow Musketeer. D’Artagnan slaps him on the back and says, what ever you say Captain.

Athos tells the villagers that he’s not going to listen to complaints tied to a chair, they cut his binds off and he goes outside to se if he recognizes where he is. He quickly sees, that he knows this place all too well, this is Pinon. He screams to them he left this place how dare they bring him back there. Jeanne responds that he’s the one to blame, this is his land and he’s abandoned it, the soldier counters with just work the land and live off your crops, the foods all yours. Bertrand’s daughter informs him that Baron Renard, burns the crops and poisons the rest, that he wants Athos’ land. Suddenly he shows up with some of his men and his son.

Renard must have many descendants who emigrated to the United States, and now are among this nation’s most wealthy citizens, as his lies and accusations, sound strikingly, like comments emanating from the One Percent in our era, about the poor. He called them lazy parasites and thieves, he’s just being a concerned neighbor and tried to restore order. Athos replies, he’s certain they can work it out like gentlemen and Renard and his son dismount from their horses and go inside to meet with Athos, Bertrand and Jeanne.

The conversation didn’t begin well, as Athos told Renard, he’d renounced his title and was no longer a Count. The Baron, dumbstruck and angry, couldn’t believe his ears. He told the Musketeer, that he can’t do that, it goes against the natural order and it’s his God-given birth-right. Athos responds that God wasn’t involved and then Renard asked who owned the land? The soldier responded he did, it’s his family’s land and he’s the rightful owner. He then said all he wanted was Renard’s word, that he’d leave these people in peace. Renard extended his hand and promised to treat them just as they deserved.

As he and his son walk out the building, the son says his father promised him the land. Renard basically calls his son a complete dope, then says he said he’d treat the people how they deserved to be treated and in his mind, they’re vermin. Athos walks out at that point and the Baron says he’s no longer royalty, that means he’s a peasant and he has to bow to his betters. Two of Renard’s men try to take him down, he quickly takes them out, then a group surrounds him and he holds his own until somebody hits him with a blunt instrument and he blacks out.

He regains consciousness to find himself tied to a crossbar by his hands, his feet dangling in midair. He looks over and sees a woman of means standing about 50-yards away, dressed very sharply in a blue suit and hat, pointing a pistol in his direction. The son comes over to whip Athos, but Bertrand attempts to stop him, ending up getting whipped instead. At that point the woman fires her pistol cutting the rope, that’s tied Athos to the crossbar, and he hits the ground. Renard says soldiers are coming lets book and grab the girl, they take Jeanne as prisoner and ride away. The Musketeers ride up a few minutes later, but the Baron’s men are too far ahead.

Pretty predictable what happens next, Athos asks his fellow Musketeers what they’re doing there and they respond to help. Athos says this land and his past life are meaningless to him and this isn’t his fight. D’Artagnan, says he may not care about the land, but what about the people and he walks past him. Porthos blocks his path and says if he heard these words from anyone else he’d think they were scared. But I know you, you fight for the people and you fight to the death. Athos looks Porthos in the eyes and says not this time and Porthos lets him pass, the Musketeer gets on his horse and rides away.

Treville and D’Artagnan, will stay with the villagers and have them collect all their weapons, Porthos and Aramis get directions from Bertrand where the Baron lives and they go to rescue Jeanne. Bertrand gets emotional as they start to leave and Porthos assures him they’ll get his daughter back safe and sound.

Athos rides a couple of miles, then stops when he gets to a field. He starts to daydream about he and Milady romping through those same fields, him trying to catch her, then the two making love in the grass. He decides to visit the Family Estate, burned to a charred hulk, last season by De Winter, as she attempted to kill her husband.

He walks inside, pushing away boards to enter a room and suddenly sees Milady, right after she shot his brother Thomas to death with a bullet to the heart. She tells Athos, he made improper advances and she had no choice, but she’s dragged away by two of the house servants, begging Athos to help her.

Suddenly Athos hears a woman’s voice calling his name, it’s the woman who shot the rope earlier, but this time he recognizes her, it’s Thomas’ fiancée Katherine. Turns out her titled father’s business sense was miserable and all their assets got taken right after he died. She tells him she’s living in one of the servants quarters at his estate, she didn’t think he’d mind.

She takes him to the one room cottage she lives in and the Musketeer’s jaw nearly hits the floor, you live like this he asks her. She says she Exists like this, she’s become quite self-sufficient, she hunts and traps her food for every meal. She then says that De Winter’s the cause of all her sorrow, she took everything away from her that meant anything. She tells Athos, he did the right thing in hanging her, she hopes she’s burning in Hell. He tells her she’s still alive and she’s the King’s mistress and Katherine slaps his face, saying he has no honor.

Porthos and Aramis find Renard’s home, where the men are all downstairs drinking and Jeanne’s tied to a poster bed and gagged, they quickly untie her, just before Renard’s son goes to check on her, due to the knotted sheets hanging out the window, they assume that’s how she escaped and plan to track her like a fox. They run from the house yelling and laughing taking off in horseback, while the three of them emerge from a room across the hall. Porthos says he didn’t think it would work, they then take Jeanne back to Pinon.

Treville and D’Artagnan, sit at a table as the villagers bring in their weapons and a sorry lot it is. Dull axes, even duller blades, sticks, some farming equipment and one pistol, that looked ancient in 1682. D’Artagnan pulls Bertrand aside and asks if this is really all their weapons and the Innkeeper says yeah. Treville says they can’t beat Renard with this stuff, they’d barely scare the birds. We have no swords and no firearms, suddenly Athos walks in and says there’s plenty at the house, he and D’Artagnan, load up a buckboard wagon and ride to the estate.

Athos explains that all royalty’s supposed to keep a militia, his father stocked an armory and he maintained the tradition. The rooms filled with scores of swords, pistols and barrel after barrel of gunpowder. They load all the stuff onto the wagon and ride back to Pinon.

When they arrive back, Athos goes into the building where all the villagers gathered. He apologizes for not telling them he was leaving or answering the letters. However, he says that they’re too reliant on his family and have to start taking initiative to make their lives better. He says if they defeat Renard the next day, the land is there’s with all getting an equal share.

Treville, takes the floor and says when it comes to war there’s two solutions. You can sue for peace and get the best deal you can, or you can fight. But if you fight, you’d best be sure, your cause is worth dying for. Now you folks are fighting for your homes, your families and your lives, what’s Renard fighting for. Now we’ll fight with you if you want to battle, meet us at dawn.

The five soldiers find themselves alone at sunrise and Athos says they’re not coming let’s go home, when a boy about twelve shows up. Soon an elderly couple and Bertrand and Jeanne arrive, then the whole village turns out. Porthos says well looks like we’re staying, but how we going to turn these folks into soldiers?

Aramis gives shooting lessons, while Treville teaches some men how to battle with small trees, whose ends got shaped into points. They’re very ragged at first, then they start improving, with Bertrand, the first to hit the target with his shot.

They then build a barrier around three sides of the village, giving their opponents just one path to use, which has no cover, or seclusion. Treville tells all the villagers to wait for his command before they pull the trigger. Katherine, who refused Athos invitation to join them suddenly arrives, she crouches down near Athos, see’s an enemy in the bushes and kills him with one shot, Aramis then does the same. Athos mentions something about him turning his land over to her, but she believes she’s getting the whole estate.

Renard’s men start charging, Treville holds the command until they’re about 25 feet away and screams fire and the Baron’s men start hitting the ground like bags of cement. More men start coming and some climb the barrier, soon wishing they hadn’t as the Musketeers and the villagers beat them bloody. Renard calls for his men to retreat and regroup. Treville  says reload your weapons, tend to the wounded and repair the barrier, this isn’t over.

Later Renard rides over waving a white flag, with his son by his side. He offers Athos a deal, sign over the land to his son and the people will get spared. Athos says it’s no longer his land and Jeanne responds, that’s right this land belongs to us now. We don’t intend to give up and we refuse your deal. Katherine’s face loses its color, she says you’ve given the land to the peasants and Athos nods and says, yes and to you as well. She runs away.

Preparing for the second wave, Aramis and D’Artagnan, bury kegs of gunpowder in the dirt right in the path that the enemy will use. Aramis asks if he’d seen this work before and his mate replies he’s never seen it fail. Treville calls for his two men to take their positions and again tells the villagers to wait for his command before they shoot.

As the enemy starts charging, Aramis shoots at the gun powder kegs and they explode like land mines, each keg taking out bunches of soldiers. The Baron and his break the barrier and get inside the perimeter and everybody but Renard start fighting but they’re badly outnumbered. They get down to one man, Renard’s son who calls out Athos. The duel ends quickly as the Musketeer knocks the sword out of his opponent’s hand, then knocks him to the ground, his sword resting on the younger Renard’s neck. The son says do it, kill me, Athos responds don’t tempt me.

From behind him Athos hears Katherine’s voice telling him to drop his weapon, she’s got her pistol aimed for his head, the soldier drops his sword and gun on the ground. She asks Renard’s son what he’ll give her for Athos and the Musketeer asks what she’s doing. She says she can’t breath in a world where De Winter lives, so she’s trying to salvage something that will give her happiness, even from the Renards.

The son reaches into his sleeve, pulls out a small dagger and attempts to stab Athos, but Katherine shoots him dead, then runs away. The Baron runs to his son’s side who starts saying he doesn’t want to die and Renard says remember your stature courage son, the son whimpers and dies and Renard falls to pieces holding his son’s body, his body racked with tears as he repeats, My poor son, my poor son. Katherine goes back to her room and takes out a pair of pistols that Thomas left her, could she have plans to head to Paris to kill Milady?

Athos thanks his fellow Musketeers for their help and convincing him to do the right thing. He gives Bertrand a letter and his ring and tells him he’s now the Mayor of Pinon. The soldiers ride away, with villagers lining both sides of the street, nodding inn respect to Athos as he rides by.

The Story Continues Next Saturday at 9:00 pm on BBCA.

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Religious fervor’s lead to more deaths of human beings, than probably any other cause of death throughout man’s existence on this planet. Although we’ve evolved and advanced in so many other areas, organized religions and their followers, still drive people apart as much in the USA in 2015, as it did if France back in the late 1600’s. This week’s episode of the BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers,” concentrated greatly on religion, as a French young peasant woman, became a hero to her fellow citizens, as she received messages each night in her sleep from God.

The young woman believes it is her mission to join French King Louis XIII, on the battlefield, as they lead the French people to war over Spain. The young woman says that God’s revealed to her that Spain’s King Phillip’s actually Satan and he’s called upon her to drive him from the throne. The woman named Emilie’s and she’s gathered an army of followers from the small towns and villages in the country, on her journey to Paris, and are willing to follow her straight to the Spanish border and fight, without a weapon among them.

We get our first look at the people’s prophet at the same time the Musketeer’s do as they’ve set up camp on the outskirts of Paris. Emilie’s frightfully young, no older than her early twenties, thin and frail looking, resembling a young Cissy Spacek, when she portrayed Carrie in the seventies. However, she’s got the heart and courage of a lion and the faith that only a true zealot possesses. She addresses her followers and the only sound’s her voice, ringing clearly through the forest.

Some of the men recognize the Musketeers and ask why they’ve arrived. Athos asks Emilie if she’s aware that forming an army without the King’s permission’s treason and she replies they love King Louis and want to meet with him and have him join their crusade. D’Artagnan, Porthos and Athos, leave the camp saying they’ll pass their request on to the palace.

The King’s soldiers return to the palace and talk to the Musketeer’s Commander, Captain Treville and their mate Aramis. The three who saw her say she’s touched in the head, D’Artagnan tells the pair she even fainted in the middle of talking to them. Aramis says that religious people refer to that as the special sickness and berates his comrades for not reading the Bible more often. Treville tells Aramis, since he’s so knowledgeable, he’ll act as their spy in Emilie’s camp to determine just what’s occurring. When asked what Louis thinks of the situation, Treville responds the King’s concentrating on matters of State.

Actually Louis’ concentrating on his new playmate Milady De Winter, excited as a boy on Christmas day and randy as a teen at senior prom. He tells Milady he’s got a present for her and she says a small principality, would be lovely and he laughs at her sense of humor, then gives her a new necklace. He asks her to take off her ever-present choker, but she tells Louis it hides a birth mark, however he can see other parts of her frame if he desires.

The citizens are attacking Spanish citizens in France, the French Ambassador’s secretary’s ripped from his carriage by an angry mob, found by a young boy and his dog, hours later, dead and covered in cuts and bruises. Ambassador Perales, summons Red Army Captain and his agent Count Rochefort, to complain and to tell him to convince the King to arrest Emilie and put an end to all the madness. Rochefort asks why he should as he’s told and Perales reminds him rather brusquely, that Rochefort works for Spain.

Rochefort tells Perales to watch his tone, as soon he’ll rule France with Queen Ann at his side and he’ll have the Ambassador’s head on a chopping block. Perales stunned, looks Rochefort in the eye and tells him he’s as mad as a rabid dog and Rochefort slaps him across the face. The Ambassador tells the undercover spy, that’s the second time he’s hit him, there won’t be a third time.

Aramis’ about to leave the bed of the Royal Prince’s governess Marguerite, who he started sleeping with to have more contact with his son. She says he’s got time before he needs to leave, but he says he’s got to get to work. She asks him if he loves her and he tells her, he’s very fond of her. Then he says that she needs to marry someone from her own class, as a soldier he’s below her. However, until she meets Mr. Right, let’s have a good time, then takes off.

Perales decides to pay a visit to Rochefort’s role-playing call-girl. She thinks Perales wants a roll in the hay, but he quickly corrects her, telling her this concerns Rochefort, then opens a money pouch emptying the contents on her table. She says I don’t think you want the usual thing and he smiles and says that’s correct.

Emilie’s talking to her mother about the troubling visions she’s had recently and her mother says, that God’s showing her what will occur if she fails. Aramis walks into their tent, but he’s soon followed by six other guys who tackle him, they ask who he is and he says he came to meet Emilie. She recognizes him as a Musketeer, he tells her he heard her talk, got so inspired he deserted his post to join her. She looks him in the eye and says sit down and eat.

Rochefort runs into Milady in a hallway, when it’s just the two of them and pins her against a wall, asking who she is and what’s her game, he removes the choker and sees the noose-mark around her neck. He asks her what the King would think if he found out his new lover got convicted for murder. He then says the conversation’s not over.

Aramis and Emilie get along well and he says that people call her the new Joan Of Arc, she says she’s not Joan, the thought of being burned to death haunts her. She then tells Aramis, she’s glad he’s joined her movement, that he will be right by her side when they march into Spain. He says they have no weapons, does she expect God to protect her army and she tells him of course he will.

As Emilie sleeps, she screams in terror through the night and Aramis hears it all. The next morning, Emilie’s mother Josette, tells Aramis her daughter wants to see him, but he’s going to help her first. The Musketeer talks to Josette about Emilie’s screams and the old woman says when God talks to her daughter, sometimes it rips her like a hurricane.

He then asked her if hearing her daughter scream like that doesn’t bring her great anxiety? She responded, that her daughters an innocent, God gave her to Josette to protect. He goes to see Emilie and she tells him that he was in her dream last night and the two of them will meet with King Louis. Aramis asks her if all her dreams come true and she says they do.

Ambassador Perales suddenly hears a crowd on the street below, and rocks start crashing through his office window, the Musketeers tell the crowd to stop and go inside the Embassy to rescue the Ambassador. Perales says this is madness, that he spends every day trying to make peace between two Catholic nations, but some in Paris and Barcelona, have their own agendas. Porthos says you can blame this on Emilie and Perales says he’s referring to someone else.

Queen Ann’s beside herself, not only was she born and raised in Spain, her brother’s Phillip the Spanish King. She tells Constance, that she’s heartbroken over the death of Spaniards in Paris, due to that silly girl and her silly visions. Constance says that her followers say all she wants is to talk to the King, but Ann says he’s too entranced with Milady to meet with her. So she tells Constance, the two of them will go to see Emilie, not a great plan.

Another plan that didn’t work out was Perales attempt to get the call-girl to murder Rochefort, she attempted to stab him, but he easily overpowered her. He asked who had set up the hit and she told him it was Perales, then Rochefort took the knife she tried to stab him with and gutted her, the life slowly oozing out of her body.

Back in the woods, Emilie tells Aramis that her followers are restless and want to go on and march to Spain and take Phillip from the throne. She asks why Louis doesn’t love his people, when they have so much love for him? Both the King and her are servants of God and God wants them to do their bidding. Aramis asks her how she’s so sure that’s God’s plan and she smiles and says she realizes, Aramis doesn’t believe her. But she tells him, you won’t betray me.

Rochefort seeks out a Priest that was a trusted aide to Cardinal Richelieu and asks what he know of Milady De Winter and the Priest replies she just arrived in Paris. Rochefort knows he’s lying and starts bringing up some sordid affairs the Priest’s involved in. He then tells Rochefort that Milady was the Cardinal’s agent and assistant, she’s a spy and a murdering whore. Rochefort thanks the cleric for playing along and says he might spare his life.

Constance and the Queen quickly realize how stupid Ann’s plan was as Emilie’s followers and mother start saying they should hang her, so that Louis can marry a French woman and make her the new Queen. Luckily for them Aramis is there, but more lucky is the decision by Emilie to have God instruct her what to do that evening while she slept. Until that time, they’re guests of Emilie’s.

A messenger arrives with a package for Perales and Porthos brings it to him, the Ambassador quickly opens then screams as the box contains one of the call-girl’s ears. Porthos then opens the box and looks at it and Perales says he knows where I am, but won’t tell Treville or the soldiers whom he’s referring to, saying he’ll only tell Louis or Phillip.

As much pleasure as Louis exhibited earlier, De Winter may have shown even more pleasure she wakes up in her own bed in the palace. She’s made it, life doesn’t get better than this, she’s the Royal Courtesan and will receive all the benefits that come with the position, she opens her window and takes in the view of the grounds, when her mood quickly sinks as she sees Rochefort waving at her holding an envelope.

Rochefort has a list containing every crime she ever committed, but offers her a deal. Commit one murder for him, the list disappears and all debts are taken care of. She agrees to the deal.

Aramis gives Ann a cup of the broth and says it’s quite tasty, Emilie says she’s not hungry so Constance eats her bowl. A short time later Constance has these terrible nightmares, involving Louis, Ann, a masked executioner  with a two-sided hatchet and lots and lots of blood. She wakes up screaming, her clothes soaking wet and Ann says she had a nightmare, but Constance said it was more real than any nightmare she ever experienced. Emilie, says perhaps Constance received  a vision.

A messenger arrives with a written order by Rochefort saying that a carriage’s arrived  that will take him to Barcelona. Treville sends D’Artagnan, ahead to make sure the carriage’s there, but for some reason he decides not to wait for his soldiers response. The four soldiers, walk towards where the carriage’s said to be, while D’Artagnan arrives, quickly realizes it’s a trap and runs back to warn the others. However it’s too late De Winter stabbed Perales with a poison pin, while all were walking he died soon after.

Emilie wakes up the next morning, telling all that God told her to free Constance and Queen Ann and that Aramis will take them back to the palace. She tells Ann however to send the King that it’s imperative that they meet as soon as possible and Ann says she’ll do everything in her power to have her husband meet with her. Aramis fills a canteen from the bowl of soup that Constance ate the night before, he explained that bowl was meant for Emilie and perhaps the soup caused the visions. He asks her to summon the Royal Doctor when they return to the palace.

The pair present the soup to the doctor, but he says he’s not an alchemist, however, he’ll have a look-see. Turns out it was the broth that had caused the visions as Josette had fed her daughter “Magic Mushrooms,” from childhood onward and the psychedelic visions resulted from the narcotics in the mushrooms.

Rochefort denies sending the message saying it’s not his signature and the stamp’s a poor imitation of his. He then blames Treville and the Musketeers for Perales death. Louis explodes when he hears the news, having the fire in his belly generously stoked by Rochefort. Louis sends Treville and the Musketeers to arrest Emilie for the murder of Perales, though completely innocent.

However Aramis has a far better idea and a way to solve the problem. They tell her she’s got an audience with the King, so she rides away from her followers, the conquering heroine. When they arrive at the palace, Treville tells her she’s under arrest for the murder of Perales. Constance, Athos and Aramis all tell her they know she’s innocent, but her mother’s been drugging her, causing the visions. They go through a hellish night of withdrawal, but then she crashes and sleeps 15-hours. She had no dreams.

She doesn’t want to accept it but she does and Aramis tells her there’s only one way to make things right. She goes back to all her followers, denounces Josette and says she was deceived and in turn deceived them. There’s no mission, no war, go home and live your lives. But the folks are just stunned and stand there, in a last-ditch effort Josette says they substituted another girl for her daughter and she’ll lead them all to Spain. One of Emilie’s men screams false prophets, hits Josette in the head and she died instantly. Emilie told Aramis to leave. The army dispersed and all went home, crisis averted.

Except France needs a scapegoat for Perales murder and Rochefort talks King Louis into dismissing Captain Treville. When the four Musketeers arrive at the palace, Treville tells them he’s relieved of duty and no longer their Captain.

The Story Continues Next Saturday night at 9:00 pm on BBCA.