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.