Maimie McCoy

All posts tagged Maimie McCoy

Courtesy of BBC America

Courtesy of BBC America

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Rochefort emerges from behind a very ornate four-post bed. He rudely gives a strange woman instructions. When she speaks, he immediately informs her she is to only speak if he says so. She has the look of a commoner. Rochefort is indulging in a sexual fantasy using this woman and acting out a scenario where she is Queen Anne and the Queen is renouncing her love for Louis and confessing it to Rochefort. It’s very awkward to watch.

A hooded man takes out a patrolman in the Garrison courtyard. He sneaks into the Garrison placing a knife at Treville’s throat, demanding an audience with the king. Before he is able to finish his ultimatum, D’Artagnan and Athos have guns pointed at this intruders head. The mystery man (Tariq) is a former officer in the Spanish army who would like to offer his services to King Louis.

Tariq kneels by a statue in the King’s garden as the King enters, very displeased at the early hour. He pours out about enough ‘powder’ to fire a musket, set a fuse to it and politely suggests everyone take a step back. The small amount of this mystery powder disintegrates the entire statue and the stone foundation it sat on. The King is very pleased at the show he was awakened to witness. All of this boils down to a simple extraction, in turn, Tariq will turn over the formula for this powder. The Spanish have taken and are hiding his daughter in Paris. Even trade, a very powerful and new weapon for France to use against Spain for one man’s daughter.

Unsurprisingly, Tariq’s daughter is being held in Paris. There is a very real discrimination toward The Moors in Spain. And the Ambassador is behind it, to no one’s surprise. The Ambassador believes this particular gunpowder will be the determining factor for winning the upcoming Spanish/French war.

Constance finds an irregularity in the morning routine. Marguerite explains that the child has been off this morning. Constance asserts that the child needs a doctor. Not good for anyone involved.

When the Ambassador is summoned before the King he selectively denies everything while at the same time willing to make inquiries as to Tariq’s claim. This is behavior that should stand out. You cannot reject the premise on sight, then upon hearing what Tariq has and is offering to give up, decide that it’s worth looking into.

The Musketeers discover that Tariq’s daughter is being held by a man named Balthazar, curious choice. Balthazar served as Tariq’s first lieutenant and in hindsight, hated Tariq for being a Moor. While there seems to be an amicable working relationship in the early going, Tariq doesn’t trust the Musketeers and the Musketeers don’t trust Tariq.

Milady appears at the castle with an urgent need to speak to the King. However, he cannot oblige, she chose the wrong day to make her request. He was very pleased to see her though.

The meeting has been set for the town square. Athos and D’Artagnan scope the square for Balthazar’s man. Before they secure his identity, Balthazar presents himself. He demands the cipher. Aramis is distracted by the visual of a woman carrying a crying baby. Aramis misses the window to take his shot. When Balthazar realizes the box holding the cipher doesn’t contain the cipher, a brawl ensues. Porthos is hit and this fight does not go the Musketeers way.

When Louis is told of his son’s marginal improvement, he snaps. A wonderful moment of strength (and overreaching) on his part. Anne leaves the room attempting to suppress her emotions. Which serves as an opportunity for Rochefort to pursue. Queen Anne as a Spanish-born woman married to a French king, feels compromised. Anything possible will be blamed on her. Rochefort is all too pleased to be a shoulder to cry on. Whether she sees it or not, Rochefort is executing his plan. That is until he gets caught up in the moment and crosses the line prematurely. Then quickly saves the overstep.

In the aftermath the blown exchange, Tariq reveals that he never had the cipher. If, however, the Musketeers help him secure his daughter, he will give them what they want. To which, Athos replies, there’s only one way to find out. By handing over Tariq to the Spanish. The x-factor they are unaware of is that Tariq’s daughter has Porthos. She is abrasive. And a poet. She offers to read Porthos poetry instead of tending to the arrow stuck in his leg. After which we discover that the cipher machine is in the poetry book. Moments later, Porthos finally decides to bear down and rip the arrow out. She warns against it, but his plans go beyond the immediate medical issue. The arrow represents a weapon he can use to get them out of Balthazar’s safe house.

A meeting is arranged to put the Spanish representatives, the King, and the Musketeers (with Tariq) to discuss the immediate future. The Musketeers will turn over Tariq to the Spanish and receive Tariq’s daughter and Porthos. They ask about the cipher and France washes their hands of any secondary prize. Louis plays it up that France wants no more bloodshed. When the Spanish agree and leave, Treville and Louis have a quick, quiet conversation about still having their sights set on that gunpowder formula.

Louis (whispering to Treville): We cannot afford another incident with the Spanish. If in doubt, error on the side of caution. But bring me that cipher and I will never speak a harsh word of the Musketeers again.

Milady has weasled her way into a dinner with the King. This is yet another ploy by Milady that the King can’t see. She gladly takes advantage and they kiss, playing right into her plan. Whatever that is.

Constance, out of dire concern for the heir to the throne, distrust of the royal physician, or a death wish, steals the infant prince. Meanwhile, the Musketeers observe Tariq’s transition of custody as he is taken away. At the last possible moment D’Artagnan runs across and swiftly jumps on to the carriage taking Tariq away.

Milady has not only distracted the King from attending to the Spanish conflict and now the disappearance of his son and heir, but now he is under his own bed in pre, post or mid coitus when Rochefort and the Queen come looking for him.

Balthazar, mid ‘interrogation’, signals for one of his men to release Tariq’s daughter. When the man makes it to the holding room, he is taken by surprise by Porthos at arrow point. The first gunshot is all that is needed for Athos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan pounce. Not before Tariq gives up the location of the cipher. In this moment, the Musketeers make up for their sub par performance earlier.

The Ambassador (a man I wish would die) emerges. Playing the political angles, he suggests the Musketeers leave. Athos agrees to leave with Tariq, his daughter and the cipher. In the end of this standoff, Tariq agrees to leave to Spain as long as they release his daughter.

Rochefort leads a search party for the Dauphin (or heir). They first reach Constance’s husband asking about Constance’s whereabouts and even threaten him with the promise of the gallows if he is in any way involved. They find the Dauphin and Constance in short order. Instead of accepting her claim that she was trying to save his life, says that the punishment for kidnapping the heir is execution. When it seem s that Rochefort really just wants to be able to tell Queen Anne, he was the one that found her son.

The Musketeers and reinforcements have surrounded the building holding Tariq, Balthazar and the cipher. Tariq claims he will show Balthazar how it works. He takes the book and chucks it into the fireplace. He is shot immediately. Balthazar is relieved and claims no damage was caused. Then Tariq pulls something out of his chest pocket. “As always, you’ve missed the point.” He throws it into the fire and an explosion decimated the building.

Constance is brought before the King and Queen. She reiterates that it was an attempt to save the child’s life. They both lash out at her. Rejecting the idea that something as ‘common’ as steam could possibly do any good. Louis orders her to be hanged. The second, she is taken away the royal physician enters the room excited to report that the child’s lungs are miraculously clearing up. The doctor gives complete credit to Constance.

King Louis: Well then. I suppose we’d better not hang her.

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Have you ever had a boss, that every once in a while, likes to let his hair down and have a night out with the boys? I’ve gone through that experience more than once and it always leads to an awkward evening. The big guy tells his employees he wants to be treated like one of the guys, but since you need to return to work the next morning, you’re ill at ease throughout the whole experience. Could you imagine how far more awkward the situation would get, if your boss is the King Of France?

That’s the situation that confronted “The Musketeers,” in the latest episode of the BBCA series, as King Louis XIII, decided it would make for a delightful evening, to rub elbows with his citizens incognito. Although the King’s soldiers attempted to dissuade him, the King wanted Athos, Porthos and D’Artagnan, to introduce him to the life of a commoner, starting in a very rowdy pub.

The episode starts as the King and his soldiers return from a Royal Hunt and Athos begs the King not to go through with his plan. Louis asks the Musketeer, if he’s telling him that the King can’t do as he pleases and Athos is far too savvy to tell him otherwise. The French Monarch, yells to another Musketeer to take off his clothes and soon Louis is giggling like a schoolboy, as they prepare to enter the pub.

The foursome gets lubricated quite quickly and Porthos takes on and beats another man in a boxing exhibition, much to the King’s delight. Louis watches a card game going on and soon joins them as he loves playing cards. He wins the first few rounds, bragging to his opponents that he doesn’t even need the money. One of the other men win the next hand and Louis accuses him of cheating, which quickly turns into a brawl.

Athos tells D’Artagnan to grab the King and get out of the pub, Porthos and he would join them outside. The barkeeper steers them out the back door, but soon it’s apparent they’ve gotten set-up and are overcome and taken prisoner. Athos and Porthos, of course are beside themselves with worry, when they can’t find the pair.

The next morning Athos and Porthos break the news to Aramis and Captain Treville. The Captain, in turn informs Queen Anne about the situation concerning her husband. Not only is Anne worried about Louis’ safety, but the Baptism of their son takes place the next day and if the King’s missing, it would cause a scandal. The newly appointed Captain of the Red Guard Rochefort, never missing an opportunity to enhance his reputation, tries calming Queen Anne, suggesting that they spread word the King’s taken ill, to cover if he’s not back for the Baptism. He also tells her the Red Guard will join the search and they’ll find her husband.

The three soldiers head back to the pub and talk with the barkeep, who claims ignorance, until Aramis empties one of his beer kegs with a bullet, then Porthos pulls out an axe, saying it’s more effective. The barkeep gets very chatty suddenly, tells them a man gave him a choice about a month ago; to help him get victims, or he’d burn his pub to the ground. The barkeep’s job’s to get men drunk and disoriented, then send them out the back door, as their captors await.

We next head to the morgue and we watch a woman and her daughter looking for her husband, but his body’s not there. The Musketeers come in next and neither the King or D’Artagnan, are among the corpses. The mortician says that it reminds him of two-years before, when there was a sudden surge in missing people. As the soldiers leave the morgue, they remember that groups of men, captured by Sebastian Lemaitre, who sold the men to the Spanish, as galley slaves for ships heading to the New World. Lemaitre, got convicted and got sent to the Americas, as a prisoner and to work off his crimes.

However, we soon find out Lemaitre, never made it out of France, bribing some official and he’s back in business again. They go visit Sebastian’s brother Bruno a blacksmith, who tells the soldiers his brother’s not in France and he’d keep it to himself if he knew Sebastian was in Paris. Aramis notices that Bruno’s making manacles and they soon hear Bruno saying he truly doesn’t know where Sebastian is.

We get our first look at D’Artagnan and Louis in manacles, walking with a group of prisoners, all chained as well. Louis wants to tell his captors who he is and he believes they’ll then be released but the soldier tells him that’s the worst thing he can do. A man falls to the ground out of exhaustion and Lemaitre orders the man whipped until he gets up. He finally says to the rest of the prisoners, they’ve got a choice, to carry the man or watch him get shot to death. D’Artagnan says he’ll carry him and we soon realize the man’s Pierre Pepin, the husband and father of the woman and her daughter in the morgue.

Rochefort, whose Sleazeball quotient grows with each appearance on-screen, asks Treville just between them, where Louis really is. Treville, naïvely trusts him and tells Rochefort about Lemaitre’s operation. Rochefort runs quickly to inform the Spanish Ambassador the news and the Ambassador says they’ll kill Louis, then take over France. Rochefort tries to convince him otherwise, but the Spaniard tells him his only worth is as a spy, he’s a despicable person.

As the prisoners march deep into the forest, we see a familiar figure on a horse, looking at them from a cliff above, our first appearance of the Lovely but Deadly, Milady De Winter. She’s in cahoots with Lemaitre and as all the prisoners valuables get collected, she evaluates them. She says the stuff’s garbage, until she comes across the ring that Louis gave the guards, she tells Sebastian that this is far more valuable than the rest of the lot combined. She asks where he got it and he points to Louis and D’Artagnan.

The Spanish Ambassador tells the barkeep to gather his men and go to kill Lemaitre, his soldiers and the prisoners, nobody can survive. Meanwhile the Musketeers  go to the shipping clerk to find out if any Spanish ships are in French ports. There are three, the closest a day’s ride away, they realize that the outlaws are sticking to the back forest roads and formulate plans to stop them before boarding the ship.

The prisoners are told to stop, they sit on the ground and there manacles are connected to posts in the ground. Pierre, Louis and D’Artagnan sit and talk and the King can’t believe this goes on in his country. Pierre says this is the life of the poor of France and the leaders couldn’t be bothered with such trivial matters. Louis says if the King knew about this, he’d put a stop to it, but Pepin disagrees and says the King’s a fool. D’Artagnan, says that King Louis’ a good man and he’s their King and they should support him, ending the conversation.

Rochefort approaches Queen Anne about sending a letter to her brother the King Of Spain, asking for his support if Louis’ dead. She says she can’t do that she promised her husband she’d abstain from writing that letter. Rochefort tells her she’ll be an unpopular Queen and she could lose the throne, before her son can take it over. He asks her to think it over.

As the prisoners and their captors sleep, D’Artagnan’s woken by a foot on his chest, he looks up to see Milady De Winter standing over him with a pistol aimed at him. After some repartee, showing that the Musketeer hasn’t missed his former lover, he wrests he pistol away and aims it at her. She tells him she came to release Louis and him and if he gives her back the pistol she’ll do that. She releases the handcuffs, but they’re still hampered by the manacles around their legs. She tells them to flee.

As the sun rises they think they’re possibly out of danger, when they hear horses and see Lemaitre and two men nearby. Trying to escape, they tumble-down a hill, getting bruised on the trip. When Lemaitre gets them back to camp, he asks to see Louis’ hands and sees they are callous free, he’s about to shoot him when Milady intercedes, saying they’re the two healthiest prisoners, he’d throw away money killing them. They walk away and he says that the man’s wealthy and knows people in power, who will come looking for him. De Winter tells them they’ll be on the ship by the time they discover him missing.

The Musketeers wake the harbor master in the middle of the night and find out the ship leaves the port at dawn. The three soldiers want to reach them sooner than later, as once they’re on that ship, they’ll be gone for good. Athos tells his comrades that they need to search every inch between where they are and the port.

The next morning, Lemaitre’s still ticked off at the two escaped prisoners and pulls them to their feet. He asks the King who he is with a pistol aimed at his chest, when no answer comes, he pulls out a second pistol and aims it at D’Artagnan, threatening to kill him.

The King gets in his face and says “I am Louis, son of Henry IV of the House Of Bourbon and Marie De Medici. I am your King and you can not treat me like this.”

Louis then does something I though him incapable of, he hauls off and slugs Lemaitre right in the jaw, dazing the criminal and Lemaitre accidentally killed one of his own men. We hear the barkeep yell to his men, kill them all and chaos breaks out immediately.

The Musketeers sense an ambush and send out their horses rider-less, and they sneak up on their would-be attackers, taking them out. Bruno’s still alive, but steps in a bear-trap and pleads with the soldiers to spare his life, he then tells them exactly where Sebastian and the men are and they get the trap of his foot and sling him over a horse.

D’Artagnan, Louis and Pierre are dodging bullets and Pierre says that if they’re about to die, this is the way he wants to go out, fighting by his King’s side for freedom, instead of in the belly of a ship. D’Artagnan says they’re not going to die, they just need to make it to the trees up ahead. He grabs the keys off a dead guard and the three men break for the trees, Pepin doesn’t make it, getting shot in the back. D’Artagnan lets out an anguished cry, but he’s gone and they run for freedom.

After they’ve run ten walked for a while Milady De Winter arrives, with two other horses for D’Artagnan and the King to ride to safety. Soon they hear horses, it’s their comrades and Bruno, telling them they need to get Louis to safety and they’ll fight off the barkeep. The King praises Milady for saving their lives and D’Artagnan tells him that she’s part of the gang, but Louis pardons her for all past misdeeds. He tells Bruno that if he aids the Musketeers fighting off the enemy, he’ll pardon him as well.

The Musketeers wait for the barkeep and his remaining men to arrive and quickly get the better of them, until it’s just the barkeep and two other men, who start to ride away. The barkeep shoots one dead, then prepares to take on the Musketeers, high on his horse his sword raised defiantly. Aramis raises his pistol, but D’Artagnan, lowers his friend’s arm and says he’s mine. Then he grabs Athos scarf, wraps it around his hand and as the barkeep rides for him, he grabs the sword, knocks the man off his horse and stabs him in the chest.

The next morning we’re back at the Royal Church and we watch Captain Treville greet Queen Anne and her ladies in waiting. A second later, Louis and the Musketeers enter the church, the Queens dumbstruck and the King apologizes that he got detained. The future King’s baptized.

Just when it seemed that Louis had matured during this ordeal, we realize our assumption was false. He’s gathered with the Musketeers, Treville, Rochefort and Bruno Lemaitre. The King tells D’Artagnan, for saving his life he got a gift, he gets to kill Bruno. The soldiers all gasp and state he granted Bruno clemency, Louis says his clemency’s getting a swift death. He then asks D’Artagnan, if he’ll do as told, the Musketeer says he’s a soldier not an executioner. Rochefort steps in quickly and impales Bruno, saying he’d gladly do it for his King, making him look good and the Musketeers lame once again. Louis chews his Musketeers out and praises Rochefort.

Still angry the Musketeers and Treville are talking on the streets of Paris and Treville attempts to make Louis look better. Then the men reach into their pockets and put all their money in a handkerchief. They knock on the door of Simone Pepin and tell her that her husband died a hero serving the King then give her the money.

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

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” and Alexandre Dumas “The Three Musketeers,” maybe the two works of great literature adapted to the screen, more often than any other novel. BBC America has brought back the Dumas classic to the small screen, as the pilot of “The Musketeers” premiered Sunday night. The production is beautifully filmed and authentically portrays France in the year 1630, complete with all the opulence for the Royal Class and covered in grit and grime for the peasants under the rule of King Louis XIII (Ryan Gage.)

The story opens on a rainy late afternoon as an older man and his younger companion are riding horseback en route to Paris. We quickly realize that the man Alexander, is the father of the younger man D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino), as the son asks his father whether they should end their trip for the evening and find lodging. Alexander replies that he could ride straight through to Paris, but to make D’Artagnan happy he agrees to seek sleeping quarters. The pair soon come upon an inn, Alexander enters the house to register, while his son goes into the barn to set up their horses for the night.

Alexander walks in to see an elderly man sleeping in a chair and nobody else around, he bangs on a horseshoe suspended from the ceiling and a man soon responds. A large man who appears about 40-years old comes down the stairs and welcomes his guest. As the three men are getting acquainted inside the house, a band of men ride in wearing the uniforms of the King’s Musketeers, but wearing bandanas to cover the lower part of their faces. As they dismount, one men shouts to the others to check the barn.

The rest of the men walk inside the inn and the spokesman and apparent leader, introduces his group as the King’s Musketeers and identifies himself as Athos. He then asks the three men to empty their pockets of money and jewelry. Alexander responds to his captor that he was always under the impression the Musketeers were honorable men, but their actions prove otherwise. The leader replies that they have yet to taste his cruelty and pulls out a pistol to shoot Alexander, but the old man pulls out his sidearm and the bandit shoots him instead. He then shoots Alexander who is fatally wounded.

D’Artagnan encounters two of the men in the barn and proceeds to fight them both with his sword, when he hears the gunfire he shoots one of the men, while his accomplice flees on horseback with the rest of his squad. Alexander stumbles out from the house and his son tells him that the man he was chasing had gotten away. His father falls to the ground and D’Artagnan realizes his father is grievously wounded, Alexander’s dying word is the name of his assailant, Athos.

We head to Paris and find the real Athos (Tom Burke) is waking up and nursing a massive hangover. He revives himself by drinking a slug from the bottle from the night before and then fills a wooden bucket filled with cold water and submerges his head in it. He then does some warm-up exercising, gets dressed and heads to the local pub, where he encounters his fellow Musketeer Porthos (Howard Charles.) Porthos’ engaged in a game of cards playing against a member of the Cardinal’s red guard. The other soldier is certain that he holds the winning hand and starts to grab for the pot, when Porthos stops him and then produces the true winning hand.

The member of the red guard accuses his opponent of cheating and holding cards up his sleeve. Porthos laughs at the accusations, which gets the other soldier more angry, he produces his sword but Athos informs him, that if he kills Porthos who does not have a weapon, it would be murder. Porthos then picks up  fork that looks like a tiny trident and starts dueling his opponent using the eating utensil. After watching for a while Athos, bores of the fight and knocks out the other soldier with a blow to the back of the head. Walking out of the pub he asks Porthos where the third member of their team is, then becomes agitated when he realizes the answer.

The third Musketeer Aramis (Santiago Cabrera),  is enjoying the company of the woman he professes to love, but its a complicated relationship, as she is also the mistress of Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi,) who is on his way to her home and will arrive momentarily. The Musketeer, tells her that the Cardinal does not love her like he does, but she tells her lover that Richelieu pays the rent. The commotion in the street below informs the couple that the Cardinal has arrived and Aramis must leave immediately. She suggests he jump out her window, but the length of what would be his fall dissuades him from doing that. He throws his sword and coat out of the window then realizes his pistol is on her floor. She tries to toss it to him, but accidentally kicks it under her bed just as the Cardinal enters her chambers. Aramis is hanging onto the ledge beneath the window by his fingertips, when Athos and Porthos arrive on the scene.

The Musketeers head to their headquarters and get summoned by their commanding officer Captain Treville (Hugo Speer),  who informs them that a fellow Musketeer who was on an important assignment has vanished. Treville informs them that finding the missing soldier is their top priority.

D’Artagnan has arrived in Paris and finds accommodations for lodging in an establishment run by an elderly woman. She informs her guest that the fee he is paying her is only for a room and a bed, anything else he wants whether it be a meal or soap will cost extra. Later that evening, he is sitting drinking in the building’s main room when a heavyset man and a beautiful woman arrive and check in. The woman informs the old lady that she wants fresh water for her bath and  D’Artagnan jokingly tells the woman that it will cost extra. The rotund man asks D’Artagnan whether he was addressing him, to which the young man responds only if he answers to Madam. The man turns to the woman that he refers to as Milady (Maimie McCoy) and excuses himself, informing her he will teach the brash young man some manners and pulls out his sword. D’Artagnan produces a pistol and tells the other man to put his sword down and walk away, his female companion tells the man named Mendoza to ignore the “drunken lout.”

Later that evening D’Artagnan and the woman pass each other closely on the staircase, he soon realizes his sidearm is gone and that the woman has it. She tells the young man that he really does need to learn better manners than kisses him full on the mouth. When he asks about  Mendoza, she tells him not to worry. After they make love he becomes aware that she is still wearing a velvet collar around her neck, although she is otherwise totally nude. He pulls it aside to see that it hides a scar on her neck, she tells him that the scar came at the hands of a former lover. D’Artagnan offers to kill the man for her and she replies that she might take him up on his offer one day.

He wakes the next morning to find that he is alone in the bed and the pillow his companion had been lying on,  was now stabbed with a blood-covered letter opener. Seconds later he hears screams from the hallway and he runs out there with the letter opener still in his hand. He sees Mendoza’s dead body and the woman who runs the house accuses him of killing Mendoza. He jumps out of an upper story window to escape, but the woman sends the rest of the lodgers after him. As he is running he sees an attractive young woman selling from a cart, he embraces her and kisses her as the people looking for him run right past them. The young man is rather proud of his quick thinking until the young woman kicks him in the family jewels.

She immediately feels remorse for her actions and starts having sympathy for the young man. He asks her if she knows where she can find Athos and she responds that he is her friend and why is he searching for the Musketeer.  She then introduces herself as Madam Constance Bonacieux (Tamla Kari), and tells D’Artagnan that if he intends on a fight he is in no shape to have one. He then passes out at her feet seconds later.

When he regains consciousness, he finds himself in a house with Constance tending to his wounds. He asks where he is and she informs him that he is in her husband’s house. He tells her he needs to leave and once more asks her where he can find Athos. He tells her that Athos killed his father in cold blood and he must seek revenge.

The next scene opens at the Musketeers headquarters and all three of the soldiers are standing in the courtyard when D’Artagnan arrives. He then asks the trio who is Athos, and the soldier immediately identifies himself. D’Artagnan tells him to prepare to die and lunges at Athos with his sword. The confused Musketeer asks the young man why he wants to kill him and he responds because Athos killed his father. Athos tells D’Artagnan that he is mistaken and he does not want to take the young mans life over a mistake. He soon disarms his opponent and tells him the fight is over. The young man refuses to quit however and throws a knife in his opponent’s direction hitting a wall close to him. At that point Aramis tells the young man that his friend told him the fight is over and if he wants to keep dueling he will now face two adversaries. Seeing that  D’Artagnan still won’t give up, Porthos joins in and the trio soon have their opponent pinned to a wall.

Constance enters the fort right at that moment and chastises the Musketeers that they have the young man outnumbered three to one. Athos tells her they weren’t going to harm him and then pull their swords from his neck. D’Artagnan tells Constance that he is now totally confused, he was certain the Musketeer had murdered his father, but now he doesn’t know what to believe.

We get our first glimpse of the Royal Court as King Louis XIII was shooting at birds when released from their cage, an activity that his wife Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling,) is noticeably bored with. Captain Treville and Cardinal Richelieu soon arrive, each with their own agenda for the King. The Cardinal starts denigrating the Musketeers, much to Treville’s consternation. Richelieu then tells all gathered that he has heard tales of a band of Musketeers who are nothing but murderers and thieves in uniforms. The Captain dismisses the stories as foolish rumors.

We head to a stretch of open road where a young man is driving a carriage containing his Master and Mistress, when he comes upon what looks like a dead soldier in the middle of the path. After kicking the body, the driver starts to turn him over when he realizes the soldier is not only alive but he is holding a pistol pointed at the driver’s head. The phony Musketeer tells the driver to let his friends know that the Musketeer named Athos has spared his life. As the driver runs away, the assailant shoots the man and the woman inside the carriage.

Richelieu’s mistress is looking at the pistol left by Aramis that she has hidden in her top dresser drawer when the Cardinal arrives. She hides the weapon then asks her lover if he is feeling well, or is suffering from a headache. The Cardinal then verbally tears apart everyone he works with, but tells his mistress that she is the only person he can trust. A momentary look of concern crosses the woman’s face but disappears quickly.

Captain Treville encounters the Three Musketeers, as he arrives with other members of his regiment along with two members of the red guard. Treville then sadly informs Athos that the two members of the red guard have arrived to arrest him, as witnesses have stepped forward with stories of a man identifying himself as Athos who has robbed and killed people over the last few weeks. The Captain then tells his soldier that he had assured the red guard that he would not give them any trouble. After the soldiers take Athos away, Treville tells Porthos and Aramis that if they hope to clear their friend’s name they have to track down the missing Musketeer. The pair then ask D’Artagnan if he could identify any of the phony Musketeers and he replies that he shot one of them back at the inn. The three men head back to the place that Alexander died.

The man’s body was still at the inn when the trio arrived and immediately Porthos and Aramis realize that the corpse was not a Musketeer despite the uniform he was wearing. D’Artagnan then notices the uniform jacket had two bullet holes in it, while he shot the man just once. As they examine the body they quickly discover the bullet hole that killed him, but there is not a wound that matches the other hole. They soon deduce that it was a stolen uniform and they track down a squad of dead Musketeers including the soldier they were looking for. As the men examine the scene Porthos sees a Spanish coin and laughs, as it is the second one that he has seen that week. When the other two men asks where he saw the first one, he tells them that he won it from the red guard soldier during their card game. The three men quickly deduce that the red guard soldier who accused Porthos of cheating played a role in the deaths of the Musketeers.

The next scene was rather surprising as we find out that the French King’s Brother-In-Law,  is the King of Spain (Queen Anne’s brother.) The Monarch has written a series of letters meant for the Spanish King and given to one of Treville’s men to deliver, however the letters and the messenger have vanished.  In the messages Louis XIII makes overtures to his Spanish counterpart for a treaty between the two countries. If the letters became public, Louis would be perceived as the weak ineffectual ruler he actually is.

Back in Paris, the three men hunt down the member of the red guard and inform they will get a confession out of him either the easy way or via torture. After first denying involvement, he then admits that he was part of the group that committed the heinous acts. He refuses to name who was in charge at first, but when he is staring down a bullet, he names a red guard Captain named Corte as the leader and the one who is impersonating Athos.

The King and the Cardinal are in the midst of  a discussion, when Richelieu criticizes the passive way that France is dealing with Spain, whom the Cardinal proclaims is the nation’s enemy. Louis XIII reminds Richelieu that Queen Anne is from Spain and the Spanish King is his brother-in-law. The monarch soon becomes a simpering wimp, as he confesses to the Cardinal about the letters he sent to the King of Spain and tells Richelieu that the missives have been lost. Richelieu does not reveal what he knows and puts on an act for the King, stating that he will have to retire from public life. The King is almost crying as he begs the Cardinal not to stop being his adviser. He apologizes for not informing Richelieu about the plan and promises he will always heed his advice and grant the Cardinal’s wishes, what ever they are. Richelieu tells the King that he will remain his loyal servant.

The three men track down Corte and his squad and Aramis tells his two companions to wait for his signal as surprise will be their greatest ally.  D’Artagnan completely ignores the Musketeer’s request as he immediately charges the squad screaming out Corte’s name. The three men vanquish their enemies quickly, leaving only Corte alive. Although D’Artagnan truly wants to kill him, the two soldiers tell him they need Corte alive, to prove Athos’ innocence and save him from a firing squad. Seconds later Corte tries to kill D’Artagnan only to die by the young man’s blade which he raised in self-defense. Porthos states that with them recovering the stolen uniforms and the member of the red guard’s confession, they should still be able to prove that Athos was not the killer.

We meet up with the Cardinal and his mistress who are in a carriage on a trip that Richelieu tells his companion is a surprise. Her anticipation soon ends as the carriage stops in the middle of nowhere. The Cardinal has found out about her clandestine relationship with Aramis and he is about to have one of his soldiers murder her for being a traitor. She goes to her death chanting that she loves Aramis, until a bullet silences her forever.

Athos is in front of a firing squad and finally screams out to the soldiers to shoot him already. However Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan arrive with a letter from the King revoking his sentence. The four men then head to the pub, thinking about the one woman he truly loved that he believes he killed. After showing him approach her in his memory throughout the episode, the woman finally turns around and we realize she is Milady.

The final scene of the pilot is in the cell of the red guard soldier who confessed about the plan and implicated Corte. Richelieu enters the cell and makes social niceties with the prisoner. The soldier responds that the only reason he would be happy to see the Cardinal, would be if he came with news of his release from the prison. Richelieu tells the prisoner that is the reason for his visit, as he has arranged for the soldier’s release. He then produces a bottle and two cups and pours them each a drink. The soldier quickly drains his cup, but then notices Richelieu has not taken a sip. Seconds later he realizes why, as the Cardinal has killed him with poison.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on BBCA.