Ryan Gage

All posts tagged Ryan Gage

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

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

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. 

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 BBC

Photo Courtesy Of BBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although The BBCA premiered the first season of “The Musketeers,”  last June, the network broadcast the premiere of season two on Saturday night, a welcome addition to the Television schedule, as we bide our time waiting for shows to return from their Fall or Winter Hiatus. The British version of the Alexander Dumas classic, showed us multi-faceted versions of characters, well-known by the public.

The series took great care in showing the contrasts in Paris back in 1630, as Royalty and Land Barons, surrounded themselves with opulence, while the poor lived in some of the most rancid dwellings in the history of humanity. We see both extremes, through the eyes of the Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, Aramis and the newest member of the King’s Musketeers, D’Artagnan.

For those of us wondering how Peter Capaldi could handle being the latest incarnation of Doctor Who, on the BBC classic, as well as play the part of Cardinal Richelieu, as he did in the first season of the series, the answer appeared in the opening seconds of the episode, he won’t. We are sitting in a church at the funeral of the main adviser to French King Louis XIII, as we see the Monarch looks desolate and very much alone with the Cardinal gone from being by his side.

The next scene brings us to rolling fields, as the Musketeers appear on horseback, they’ve been sent by Captain Treville to meet with an unidentified agent, at the local village inn, who will make himself known to the soldiers. Suddenly the men become aware of a party of other men, who have a prisoner that they’re about to hang, the Musketeers ride to the party to find out what’s going on and see that the prisoner has a hood over his head and his hands are bound.

Athos asks the leader what’s going on and he’s told that they’re hanging the man as he killed was the local innkeeper, a man beloved by the village. Aramis says, they’re not going to lynch him, instead he’ll get a trial before the local magistrate, then tells the villagers to untie their prisoner and take off his hood. Any sympathy that the three veteran soldiers have for the prisoner evaporates as his hood’s removed. Athos spits out the man’s name Rochefort and he responds, that it’s the Musketeers, as if his day wasn’t already going bad enough.

D’Artagnan asks his mates who the man is and he’s told he’s one of Richelieu’s Lieutenants and imprisoned in Spain. Rochefort explains that he escaped while they attempted to transfer him to another prison. Athos looks at the villagers and tells them to kill him and he starts to get back to his horse, Rochefort says they can’t just leave him and Porthos responds they’re late for a meeting with an agent at the inn. Rochefort tells them, he’s the agent and he has urgent news for the King.

Athos apologizes to the villagers and says they’re going to have to take him with them, but the leader refuses, saying Rochefort must pay for his crime. Porthos steps up and asks to please not make things more difficult, when a man about two-thirds his size attempts to throw a punch at the Musketeer, Porthos swats him away like a mosquito. Although the villagers clearly outnumber the soldiers, the Musketeers are taking them out easily without even using weapons. Rochefort climbs one of the Musketeer’s horses and tries to sneak away, when the leader said enough take him with you and Rochefort shot the man straight through the heart, then galloped away. They catch him quickly and bind him to all four horses, forcing him to walk while they all ride.

Back at the palace, we see a maid running as fast as she can with a bowl of apples and we hear a woman screaming. We then hear a doctor telling Queen Anne to bear down, her baby’s almost out, one more push and we see the future King of France being handed to his mother. After all’s gotten cleaned up, the Queen’s Ladies In Waiting are surrounding the foot of the bed, when Louis comes in to get his first look at his son and he falls hopelessly in love.

The following scene, takes place in the main room of the palace as Queen Anne dressed in full attire and her son join her husband. Louis asks her if the activity’s too much and she replies her place is by her husband’s side. The King walks over to Captain Treville and tells him that things haven’t been the same since the Cardinal’s death, he relied so heavily on his counsel. He tells the head of the Musketeers, he needs a man he can rely on and he believes Treville’s the man.

Knowing full well what the Monarch’s alluding to, the Captain says he doesn’t understand. Louis says he wants him to become his special counsel and a member of his court and he believes he foresees a time when Treville will get named First Minister and take the place of Richelieu. The Captain stammers and stutters, then says he’s overwhelmed at the honor, but he believes he can best serve the King leading his Musketeers.

He says he lacks political and diplomatic skills, but the Queen interrupts him, telling Treville both are skills he can learn and he’s being far too modest. Queen Anne saw right through Richelieu and knew he manipulated her husband, Treville, incredibly loyal to the King is a good man, who would point Louis in the right direction on matters of major importance.

Capaldi moving on and the death of the Cardinal, gives the show-runners some room to play with as the characters are no longer the same as in the Dumas novel. However, putting Treville as the voice whispering in the French Monarch’s ear, would deviate too far from the original story and change the entire story-arc of the series. So the scenario that seemed too good to be true, proved that it was exactly that. Louis now feels betrayed by the Captain of his Musketeers, saying that Treville refused to step up to serve his country and he had cut the King to the quick.

The Musketeers return to the palace and hand Rochefort over to their Captain. He tells Treville that French General De Foix’s, imprisoned by the Spanish in the same prison he was held at. The French military and the Royal Court, thought De Foix died in a battle assisting Sweden, but Rochefort says that’s why his body was never found. He tells the Captain he believes that the General can be rescued and Treville tells Rochefort that De Foix’s like a brother to him.

We watch Constance and D’Artagnan in bed together kissing each other passionately, she tells him she loves him and he tells her the same, when suddenly we hear another man’s voice. It’s Constance’s husband Bonacieux, and she suddenly realizes she’s standing outdoors between clotheslines, on which sheets are hanging. He asks if she’s okay and she tells him she was just dreaming. He tells her to try to avoid talking to any of the Royal Family, as she’ll show her inferior breeding. He then preens as he says to her that the King summoned him to the palace and Constance smiles at his joy. They enter the carriage sent by the palace.

Rochefort’s presented to the Royal Couple and it turns out that Queen Anne and Rochefort are old friends, as he tutored her about France when she first came from Spain to marry Louis and she’s pleased to see him. Suddenly a man with a Spanish accent enters the Royal court and demands to talk to the King and one of the King’s men announce the arrival of the Ambassador from Spain.

He demands that Louis relinquish him to the Ambassador at once and says the Cardinal never would have allowed it, which was the wrong thing to say, at the wrong time, to the wrong person. The King gets up from his throne and stands toe to toe with the Spanish Ambassador, screaming at him for invoking Richelieu’s name with his body barely in the ground.

He tells the Ambassador that he won’t turn over Rochefort  and the Spaniard tells Louis to realize what he’s doing, with that comment Rochefort slugs the Ambassador in the jaw and says he’ll address the King with respect in his presence. The Ambassador asks if Louis’ going to allow Rochefort to get away with his actions and the King tells him, he wished he’d done it himself. As he leaves he asks to talk to Rochefort alone and the rest of the Royal Court exit quickly and quietly.

Queen Anne meets with Bonacieux and Constance, completely ignoring him, calling Constance by name and says that D’Artagnan speaks about her in glowing terms. Bonacieux asks the Queen if she’s referring to the Musketeer D’Artagnan, then asks if they’re to speak to the King. Anne tells Bonacieux she summoned them and it’s to offer Constance a position as her confidante and messenger. She asks the husband if he’d be alright with that, as Constance would now live in the palace and he says that would be fine.

We move to the office of the Spanish Ambassador to Spain and we find out that Rochefort’s secretly spying for Spain, that’s how he got out of prison. He tells the Ambassador to call his Governor at the prison and arrange for He and General De Foix to escape, but for the four Musketeers to get killed. That way Louis will think he’s a hero and win the King’s confidence.

As the rescue party prepares to take off they realize that their mission will have one of two outcomes, as General De Foix knows all the military strategy France would utilize in a war against Spain. The General must get rescued or killed so that the Spanish can’t torture the information out of him. When they reach an area near the prison Athos sends D’Artagnan to scout out the prison to find out what the others will face. As soon as he rides off, Porthos gets hinky, saying he smells a recently doused fire and they’re ambushed by Spanish soldiers.

The four split up into two pairs and quickly overpower the Spanish soldiers, but as Rochefort and Athos move forward, Rochefort makes eye contact with a Spanish soldier and tells Athos it’s all clear. Athos moves forward and has his pistol shot out of his hand by the Spanish soldier. He tells Rochefort to shoot him, which he’s forced to do when Aramis and Porthos arrive. They take the opponents uniforms and ride to the prison pretending to return the escaped Rochefort.

D’Artagnan dives into a reservoir and realizes it leads to the prison grounds, but there’s a wooden fence, blocking him from swimming through. He removes one of the posts allowing him to swim through and as he comes up for air, he realizes he’s in the bottom of a well. He climbs the sides and just as he nears the top, an opposing soldier sends the bucket down to get himself a drink. D’Artagnan hugs the sides of the well as the bucket goes down, but just as the bucket nears the top, he pulls on the rope, stopping the bucket. The soldier looks inside the well and the Musketeer knocks him out with a punch to his face.

He grabs the soldier’s uniform and runs into the prison changing clothes as he runs. He suddenly meets an attractive young blonde woman and he tells her he’s with the Musketeers and he’s there to rescues General De Foix, the woman’s the General’s sister Lucie De Foix and takes D’Artagnan to the room he’s held in.

The General’s playing chess with the Spanish Governor when D’Artagnan and Lucie break in and overpower the Governor. But they’ve no choice but to wait for the other three Musketeers and Rochefort to show up to help them escape. De Foix tells him that a guard comes by once an hour, the Musketeer says if his comrades survived they should arrive by then.

They hear the guard rattling his keys trying to open the door and D’Artagnan aims his pistol at the General and apologizes. However Porthos over powers the guard and they rescue the others. Lucie slaps D’Artagnan across the face and the General tells her the Musketeer was doing what he had to.

They escape the prison but their only way out is a rope and pulley system that runs across a giant ravine. They send the General over first, then Porthos, followed by Lucie, then D’Artagnan, followed by Aramis and the tied-up Governor. The Spanish soldiers start shooting and Athos and Rochefort use belts to propel themselves across the ravine. As soon as all reach the opposite side, Porthos cuts the rope, sending a Spanish soldier falling to his death. A bullet hits De Foix, but goes through his side, without hitting any organs. Aramis staunches the bleeding and they ride off with the Governor as their prisoner. Just before they head off, General De Foix stops Porthos and asks him his name and the General grows a bit pale when he hears it. Porthos asks if they’d met before and De Foix responded I don’t believe so.

After riding for hours, the party finally dismount and take a break from their travel. Athos helping the General off his horse congratulates him for being back home in France and being a free man once again. The Governor starts shouting that this is an act of naked aggression and demands to be released immediately. Athos tells him all in good time, he’ll be turned over to the Spanish Ambassador once they reach Paris, a situation Rochefort doesn’t want to take place. He tells the Governor to hit him then steal his horse, he’ll distract the others, the Spaniard knocks him to the ground with a blow to the chin and runs to the horse. Rochefort pulls out his pistol and kills the Governor with one shot. He tells the others the prisoner tried to escape and left him no choice.

Upon returning to the palace, Louis’ delighted with the rescue and gives Rochefort all the credit. He says that the Red Army’s still without a commander since Richelieu passed and asks Rochefort if he’d like the post. Rochefort lays the flattery on thickly as he quickly accepts, Louis says he’s glad some of his staff are willing to stand up when needed and stares at Treville.

Treville and De Foix talk privately and the General asks if Porthos is the General’s son. The Captain said he searched for the boy and his mother for years, but Porthos finally found him. De Foix says he needs to tell Porthos that he’s nearing the end of his life and doesn’t want to die with a guilty soul.

Rochefort now looks like a man of power with his new haircut and black outfit as he meets again with the Spanish Ambassador. Although things didn’t work out as planned the Ambassador’s still pleased with what Rochefort accomplished. He then tells the Spaniard that the Queen loves him and the King trusts him and he’ll soon drive a wedge between them that will destroy France.

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

Photo Courtesy of BBCA

Photo Courtesy of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

As the fourth episode of the BBCA Original “The Musketeers,” we find the royal court’s waiting for a special visitor expected whose scheduled to arrive by this time. King Louis XIII was complaining about the delay as he’s anxious to sign a treaty with Savoy, a small county and the best option for France  to buffer Spain. The Duke and his family will stay at the palace until both-sides create a treaty, or negotiating breaks-down and he and his entourage head back home the deal dead in the water. The Musketeers are standing nearby the French Royal Couple, as the wagon arrives the Duke, his wife and son, plus an aide to the Duke.

After the couples exchange greetings there’s a disturbance  as a masked man from the nearby woods fires his pistol attempting to assassinate the Duke. Guards get the Royalty into the place as quick as they can, but the Musketeers split and search for the gunmen. Aramis is suddenly attacked by a man with a familiar voice, he quickly realizes is his old friend and former Musketeer Marsac, whom he has not seen in the last-five-years.

Aramis soon gets the top hand as he disarms his old friend has him get rid of any hidden weapons and asks  why he shot at the Duke. Marsac explains that the ambush they survived five-years earlier that slaughtered 20 of their friends as they camped out for the night nearby Savoy’s castle, was not the deed of Spanish soldiers. Instead somehow the Duke and his aides got hold of Captain Treville’s field orders and it was actually soldiers from Savoy that had killed their mates. Marsac and Aramis were the only two of their regiment to survive the siege, as Aramis was badly wounded and Marsac carried his friend into the woods as they both hid until the attackers parted. Marsac overcome with guilt for surviving, tore off his uniform and went into hiding.

As Marsac is in the midst of telling his former soldier-in-arms the true tale of that horrid night, D’Artagnan finds them and asks Aramis what’s going on. Aramis tells the former farm boy about Marsac and asks to keep the info between them, they then take him with his hands bound to Constance’s home, where D’Artagnan lodges. Aramis and D’Artagnan both vouch for Marsac and Constance agrees that he can stay with D’Artagnan in his room. The two men then take him up to the room and tie him tightly enough that he can’t escape.

The Duke meanwhile refuses to talk about any treaty between France and his principality, until they have found and imprisoned the attempted assassin. There’s a very terse conversation between Cardinal Richelieu and the Duke over past grievances between the two, when the Duchess asks her husband, with them under the safety of the palace guards, shouldn’t they negotiate a deal so that the family can return to Savoy. The Duke questions her loyalty to him and their country and wonders aloud whether her true loyalty is to the land she was born in (The Duchess is the younger sister of Louis XIII.) She shows the hurt in her face when she tells her husband that her first and utmost loyalty is to him. He apologizes for the outburst and tells his wife he trusts her implicitly.

Treville meets with Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan as to how they lost the assailant, although both Porthos and Athos stories ring true, that duo believes that Aramis and D’Artagnan  are hiding something and they demand answers. Aramis looks if he’s going to explain the situation, but the camera cuts to Constance’s house with all the Musketeers and Marsac. Constance is most upset with D’Artagnan  because he lied to her even though they were friends. Marsac tells the four men that he can prove his story’s valid if they cut off his bonds, they do and the five men leave to see the former Musketeer’s proof.

They find a man bound to a pole by his hands and feet and Marsac explains he heard the man drunkenly boast about being part of the team that carried out the massacre. The man tells them that the Duke’s top advisor Cluzet, who was secretly working on behalf of Spain had gotten the battle plans of the Musketeers gave them to the Duke and the leader of the principality led the ambush. When asked where Cluzet learned about the plan, the prisoner says a man named Treville, implicating the Captain the men had always trusted. Marsac believes it instantly, while Aramis is unsure of Treville’s loyalty. Porthos, Athos and D’Artagnan, dismiss the story as lies and as they head back to question the prisoner further, they arrive just as Marsac had finished choking the life out of him, for talking about his fallen comrades.

Cluzet has been held in solitary confinement in a Paris prison for the last five years, captured by the French the night of the massacre. The Cardinal comes to his cell to taunt his prisoner, telling him that the Duke’s in Paris to sign a treaty and Cluzet is powerless to stop it. However at the same time the Duke and his aide are planning to try to find the former advisor. The aide ends up taking to a jailer at the prison Cluzet is in and he describes the former advisor perfectly.

Athos and Porthos are to guard the Duke during his stay and they head back to the palace. Before they leave Aramis tells them that he sliced open the leader’s back the night of the massacre so if it was the Duke he would have a long scar across his back. The Duke’s displeased with his new protectors comparing the two men to wolves. As the subject of the treaty comes up, the Duke proposes that he duel with Athos, if the Musketeer triumphs he will discuss the treaty, if he prevails he and his party leave for Savoy immediately.

Athos’ the finest swordsman in the King’s service easily bests his opponent, but his anger overcomes him and he makes the Duke look foolish in his loss. Treville chastises his soldier and tells him he’s to apologize to the Duke. The Musketeer heads to the Duke’s quarters and apologizes for being over zealous. The Duke still fuming removes his shirt and offers to engage Athos in a fair fight, as he tells the Musketeer he could see the soldier wanted to kill him during their duel. Athos tells him that he’s mistaken and does not accept the challenge. However both Athos and Porthos saw the scar on his back, proving he did indeed lead the massacre.

The Musketeers and D’Artagnan storm into Treville’s office and demand he tell them what he knew about the massacre five years previously. The commanding officer becomes indignant and tells them they are treading dangerous territory that could lead to them all getting court-martialed. They are not intimidated by the threat and keep pressing for more information. Finally Treville admits that he was in cahoots with Richelieu and allowed the plans to get to Cluzet, but offers no further explanation. Richelieu meanwhile finds himself in a precarious position, the Duke and his aide tell him that they know Cluzet’s imprisoned in Paris and if they find him all negotiations will end immediately. The Cardinal follows the pair to the prison sweating bullets the entire ride of visions of his plan falling apart consume his thoughts.

The Musketeers get approached by a hooded figure on horseback and shocked to find it’s the Duchess. She informs the soldiers that her husband is about to find his former advisor putting many lives in jeopardy including her own. The four men ride to the prison, get Cluzet and the guard hidden and put another man in the cell, while D’Artagnan masquerades as the guard in front of the cell. As the trio arrive Richelieu tries anything from keeping them out of the cell, but realizes the situation’s in hand when he sees D’Artagnan. They enter the cell to find an older man with horned-rim glasses inside, who inquires if the Duke is the new cook for the prison. Humiliated the Duke leaves the cell and chews out his aide for his incompetence. As they leave the prison, we see the Musketeers are 50-yards away, with Porthos’ hand tightly keeping Cluzet’s mouth shut.

We head back to Treville’s office and find Marsac has entered the office through the window with his only purpose to kill his former commanding officer. As he pulls out a pistol to shoot Treville Aramis enters and immediately points his pistol at his former comrade and Marsac takes out a second gun and points one at each of them. He fires a shot at the Captain but it misses its mark, however Aramis shot Marsac at the same moment and that bullet took his former comrade’s life.

Treville then explains that the reason his plans got to become possessed by Cluzet, was to create  diversion so they could kidnap him, saving the Duchess’ life in the process. The advisor was a spy for Spain, while the King’s sister was spying for him and Cluzet had recently found that out. They removed him from Savoy before he could inform the Duke. However Richelieu double-crossed Treville by stating that the exercise that the Musketeers were on was actually an assassination attempt of the Duke. Which led to the massacre in a pre-emptive move.

The Captain and Aramis bury the former Musketeer and Aramis states that Marsac’s soul had died five years earlier, but his body finally caught up. He then sticks his sword into the grave a sign of respect for a fallen Musketeer.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night 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.