[Season 1 !Season 2 !Season 3 ]
This was the new BBC place-holder for Doctor Who . After the limited success of the other shows ( Robin Hood, Merlin, Atlantis ) this was not guaranteed success, so it has been given a Sunday 9pm slot instead.
Dartagnan and his father are en route to Paris. They have a run-in with some men claiming to be Musketeers. Instead of the original story - the villains besmirching Dartagnian's honour - they take it to the next level and give him a personal grudge. Yes, the old My name is Inigo Montoya cliche is now squeezed into the Musketeers story. The killer hides his face, but calls himself Athos.
Dartagnan arrives in Paris, seeking revenge. Instead, he meets the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Then he gets framed for murder, which by coincide turns out to be part of Richelieu's plan. And when he finally meets the Musketeers, he must help Athos prove his innocence and find the real killer.
Apart from the ramping up of new cliches, all the old cliches are there too. Richelieu is still portrayed as a villain, although his only crime is protecting France from the Hapsburg Empire. Milady, brutalised by her selfish ex-husband, is likewise villainised. And the Cardinal's henchmen, brave soldiers obeying orders and earning a living, are swatted like flies.
Dartagnan gets arrested by the Cardinal's Red Guards. Accused of Duelling, he is put in the condemned cell. The King automatically sentances people to death, and the Queen gets to free them. This is the corrupt system that the Musketeers are pledged to protect.
Dartagnan's cell-mate is Vadim (Jason Flemyng - Primeval ), who is planning a breakout. It turns out he is a revolutionary armed with tons of gunpowder.
Aramis saves the Queen's life, and she takes a liking too him. Athos points out that it seems like he has forgotten about his previous wench, Adele - the Cardinal's mistress who left town and has not been seen since.
Milady is still lurking about. She tells the Cardinal that she will manipulate Dartagnan with lies, but instead is completely upfront about everything with the Gascon. It seems that when he is around, her IQ drops sharply.
Captain Bonnaire (James Callis - Battlestar Galactica ) arrives back from a voyage of exploration. The Musketeers arrest him and take him back to Paris, where he will have to face the King. He stands accused of breaking a Treaty with Spain, by setting the groundwork for a French Empire overseas.
The Musketeers have to avoid Bonnaire's business partners, as well as a couple of Spanish assassins on the prowl. And Bonnaire's wife is like Milady-lite.
There is a bit of hypocrisy on the issue of slavery. Did Porthos' ancestors work harder as Tobacco farmers than Dartagnan's did on the farms of Gascony? Is life on a plantation worse than freedom in the gutters of Paris? And if it is immoral to put a man in chains and sell him for profit, then how can Porthos justify his bounty-hunting work as a Musketeer?
The Musketeers take the opportunity to drop by Athos' family mansion. It has been derelict, ever since ... well, they go into his back-story.
The Duke of Savoy (Vincent Regan - Lockout ) pays an official visit. Unfortunately, an assassin has him in his sights.
The Musketeers are plunged into Richelieu's murky world of International politics. This involves a rogue musketeer who alleges double-dealing on the part of their beloved Captain. Which one can be trusted?
The episode sends mixed messages with regards to its moral tone. Apparently war is hell, but at the same time girls should learn shooting and swordplay because why should boys have all the fun?
It is Porthos' turn to be locked in prison. He escapes to the Court of Miracles, the slum where he grew up.
The Musketeers investigate a conspiracy. There is a gunpowder plot, and the Huguenots may be involved.
Aramis and Dogtanian go to the countryside to retrieve a baby. Unfortunately some bad guys get there first, and steal the baby. Aramis (the Priestly one) tries to seduce the babymomma. Dogtanian sends his landlady undercover as a wet-nurse. After a couple of lessons from the farmboy, can she swordfight a professional killer?
The King's mother, Marie de Medici ( Tara Fitzgerald ) returns. Is she planning another coup? The young King is inept, but the Musketeers want to keep him on the Throne as the Cardinal's pawn. After all, who would want a mere WOMAN in charge of the country?
Vincent, the ex-Queen's bodyguard, seems to be another renegade Musketeer. He also resembles the new super-villain in The Tomorrow People (2013) . It turns out he was Marcus Crassus in Spartacus - will he get a good sword-fight scene with the Musketeers?
The Musketeers are escorting the Royal carriage through the streets of Paris. They are distracted when a knife-wielding Jesuit (John Lynch - Merlin ) gets mugged by some locals. A Suffragette takes advantage of their laxity, and ends up under the wheels of the carriage.
The Jesuit is a Papal envoy. The Pope is a pawn of the Spanish Hapsburg Empire, and disapproves of France's alliance with Protestant Sweden. Richelieu is actually the good guy in this, seeking to build up the French Navy so he can defend his country. Unfortunately, since the slave plantation scheme was sabotaged by the Musketeers (who gave it to the villainous Spanish) he needs a new source of income.
The Suffragette is the servant of the corrupt Countess Ninon de Larroque, a woman who lives in an ivory tower filled with over-educated bimbos. Rather than prepare young women for a fulfilling career as home-makers, she instead tells them to live with their parents until the fossils die. That way, the bimbo can inherit the family money and spend it all on shoes. Or something like that - her logic is never explained, because she is so absurdly rich that she has no need of logic. The idea that ANYONE could marry for love in the Seventeenth century is almost absurd in itself. The Queen did not get that privilege, but neither did the King. Marriage was a career in itself, because there were no middle-class careers open to women. After all, someone cannot be a Web Designer before the invention of the Internet!
The Musketeers investigate the Countess, and Athos has more luck with her than Aramis. Richelieu has Milady portray the Countess as a predatory lesbian, He needs the woman's fortune so he can build the French Navy, after all. The plan is to have her convicted of Witchcraft, so her assets can be seized by the State.
Vinny Jones ( Swordfish ) is wanted for arrest by both the Musketeers and the Cardinal's Guard. In fact, they would rather fight each other than fight Vinny! When the King hears of the rivalry between the two regiments, he arranges for each to appoint a champion for a public contest.
Vinny was Governor of Gascony, where Dartagnan's father's farm is. It turns out that he burned the farm to the ground to make an example. This gives Dogtanian a greater incentive for getting a commission in the Musketeers. It also gives him a personal motive for fighting Vinny - revenge!
The Captain invites his regiment to compete against each other so the champion can be selected. He charges them all an entry fee, to cover the cash prize. The Musketeers are all broke, and cannot afford the entry fee. Porthos decides to whore himself out to a rich widow.
The Cardinal gets Dogtanian's landlord to spy on his tenant. He witnesses the wannabe's liaisons with two women - Milady, and his own wife!
The King plays host to a German Protestant, Count Middendorf, and his desirable daughter Charlotte. Later, while in a drunken stupor, the King makes a Who will rid me of this turbulent priest? statement regarding his wife Anne to Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu takes the suggestion up, although the result (increased Huguenot influence) is not one that would actually help Richelieu himself!
Milady hires Gallagher, leader of the Wild Geese - the elite guard of Hugh O'Neill, rebel Earl of Ulster. He has fallen on such hard times that he uses rats to target practice, although why the farm-wife does not just buy a cat rather than hire a professional hit-man is not explained.
The Musketeers are escorting Queen Anne to her annual bath. Once a year she goes for a dip in a remote lake in a place that looks reminiscent of Picnic at Hanging Rock . They get attacked, although Gallagher only sends a single sniper when he should have sent his entire force. The Musketeers are equally stupid, stopping to catch, over-cook and pretend to eat fish at the first opportunity even though they are being chased.
The Musketeers and the Queen take refuge in a nunnery. It is an impressive structure, allowing for amazing camera-work in an exciting siege. Athos and Aramis are left to guard the Queen. Aramis especially enjoys himself in the nunnery. One of the nuns is his old flame, while the Queen herself is quite obsessed with her bodyguard. One almost pities the poor King. He may THINK about getting a new wife, but he does not take it as far as actual adultery.
Dogtanian and Porthos ride to Paris, and discover that the conspirators have left a paper-trail. All signs point to the German Count, but the suspicion of a female assassin implicates Milady (and thus Richelieu).
Milady should have left town after the previous episode, but she is mysteriously hanging around near the Musketeers' barracks. Despite being so drunk he can barely walk, Athos overpowers and disarms her. Luckily, Porthos and Aramis run and fetch Dogtanian. Yes, finally we get a long-awaited confrontation as the best buddies fight over a woman. Naturally, Porthos and Aramis (not to mention the Captain) all take Athos' side.
Poor Dogtanian should have accepted that commission in the Cardinal's guards he was offered a few weeks ago. Now all he can hope for is Milady's charity.
As a follow-up to the previous episode, the Captain is trying to put doubt in the King's mind with regards of the German Count's guilt. Despite making a written confession, the man has still not been executed. The Musketeers aim to uncover proof of the Cardinal's scheme.
Milady takes precautions. She hires a former mentor, Sean Pertwee ( Event Horizon ) - king of the Parisian underworld. Can the Musketeers defeat his mob? He must have hired the best cut-throats in the Court of Miracles ...
There are a couple of twists concerning the Queen and the Cardinal. This sets up the next Season perfectly.
The Cardinal gets a state funeral. Well deserved, because he protected the country from the stupidity of the trigger-happy Muskehounds. Now he has gone to a better place – Doctor Who , in fact. Which makes you wonder what would happen if the TARDIS suddenly appeared in the 1600s in a non-English-speaking country for a change …
The muskehounds ride across some truly incredible landscapes, making us forgive the shameful fact that the BBC films this and its other fantasy shows abroad ( Merlin in central Europe, Atlantis in Morocco) but the American HBO channel makes Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland!
Our heroes’ mission is to rescue a French spy of Richelieu’s. It turns our to be Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ), who the Muskehounds have a grudge against. The grudge seems to be mutual, but to remove the shades of grey the audience learns that Rochefort is a vicious turncoat who secretly backs both sides and who kills his own friends at the slightest excuse.
Rochefort offers to lead the Musketeers to Spain and rescue a famous General. He plans to get them all killed, and make himself look like a hero in the process. You cannot really blame him, considering they would happily leave him to a lynch-mob if they had the chance.
The King gets bored with hunting on his vast estates, and instead decides to spend the evening disguised as a peasant. After all, he will be in the company of his four best bodyguards. What could possibly go wrong?
The King believes he is unbeatably skilled at cards, probably because his sycophantic courtiers always deliberately lose to him. So when he loses a real game, he accuses the winner of cheating. In fairness, the thug may well have been cheating, but the very accusation is a challenge to a deadly duel. Dartagnan tries to save him, but they end up getting into an even worse situation.
With the King missing, Rochefort (Marc Warren - Hogfather ) tries to ingratiate himself with the Queen. She already has Aramis hanging around her Lady in Waiting, his excuse to see the child the Queen bore in the King’s name. Also, poor Constance now gets to see how the court works, with office politics all the time.
The Princeps and the Pauper end up on a chain-gang, about to be sold as slaves to the Spanish navy. The slavers have hired Milady DeWinter ( Mamie McCoy ) to fence their valuables. The poor girl has fallen on hard times, and the months have not been kind to her. She looks quite haggard, but while she is no longer the breathtaking beauty she was last year, she manages to catch the King’s favour.
The King has the chance to be a better man. He could reward those who helped him. But will he do so?
A Spanish General (Colin Salmon - The World Is Not Enough ) offers his services to the French king. He has the secret formula to a super-powerful explosive, and a code-machine to decode it. All the Musketeers have to do is rescue his daughter ( Antonia Thomas ), who the Spanish are hiding in a safe-house in Paris.
The Moorish General was framed for treason by a racist underling. Yes, the moral of the story is racism is baaad, and ignores the clash of virulent ideologies - Franco-Spanish catholicism versus Moorish Islam.
Back in the Palace, the Dauphin is ill. Aramis is concerned, but not enough to shirk his duty to the other Musketeers. Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) is left to save the day, and ingratiate himself into the Queen's good graces.
Milady DeWinter ( Mamie McCoy ) scrubs up nicely, and gets herself a new dress. It is implied that she stabs the previous owner to death, although the dress has neither knife holes nor bloodstains. However, this is a family-friendly show so presumably the off-screen murder was family-friendly too. However, her encounter with the King shows her to be a fast worker. If she had met him in Season One, she would not have had to work for the Cardinal!
Can Constance cure the Dauphin? The doctor claims a concoction of heavy elements will do the trick, although in the real world they would be lethal.
A peasant woman named Emilie is rabble-rousing. Not only are the peasants revolting, they have also begun a race-war against the Spanish. However, the King and the Musketeers have many other distractions so they are slow in formulating a response.
Dartagnan and Athos are unhappy about Milady's return. However, since she is now the King's mistress there is nothing they can do about it.
Porthos gets a mention in the will of the General he rescued in episode 2.1 ... He obsesses about finding more info on his father.
Aramis gets sent undercover as a deserter to investigate Emilie. Queen Anne, a Spanish Habsburg Princess, takes it upon herself to visit the Prophetess. She takes poor Constance along as well.
Poor Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) has a bad time of it with his allies. The creepy Spanish Ambassador decides to retire, and wants to get rid of his best asset for some reason. Milady, who like Rochefort was also the Cardinal’s pawn, has her own agenda. She wants to control the King, just as Rochefort wants to have the Queen for himself. However, Rochefort has a plan of his own.
Athos gets kidnapped, and wakes up back home. His tenants have decided to force him to take his responsibilities as a landlord seriously. His plan is to sign the land over to them. He does not need the income from his land, although it is unrealistic to expect anyone to survive on his soldier's salary. After all, Dogtanian nearly left the Muskehounds when Vinnie Jones foreclosed on the family farm last year. Worse, income from the tenants is all that Athos' sister-in-law has to support her.
We get an extended flashback to the snobby Athos sentencing his wife to death. Not for killing his brother, but for pretending to be a wealthy aristocrat while she was really a peasant from the Court Of Miracles.
Luckily, the village is less than one day's ride from Paris (just like everywhere else in France). The Musketeers, including their recently-demoted ex-Captain, turn up looking for Athos. They train the peasants, Magnificent Seven style, to defend the village from the nasty neighbouring Lord.
The King gives his court a lecture on astronomy, which involves Milady temporarily eclipsing the Queen before darkness is lifted. Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) makes a passing remark to the Astronomer Marmion, who has apparently converted a local fort into a camera obscura for observing celestial events. The King then takes his entire court to visit the said Astronomer. The group includes most regular and recurring characters - even the Dauphin. But to make it more interesting, Marmion decides to take them all hostage!
This is the Desperate Hours episode, when the writers run out of ideas and just stick the main characters in captivity together. It usually happens towards the end of a show, and is a Jump The Shark moment. Marmion's sadistic game, like Two-Face in The Dark Knight or Chigurr in No Country For Old Men, is to let his victims toss a coin for their life. Now, will any of the important characters die? Or will it be just a bunch of nobodies and extras who get wiped out? Well, we all know the answer - and as a result, there is no actual tension!
Milady saves the day, but we know how the King has rewarded help in the past. Athos thanks her, but does not bother to warn her that his brother's widow will try to kill her.
The King's cousin is summoned to Paris, so she can be sold off in an arranged marriage to a Swedish Prince. After all, the French need a Swedish alliance to face off the Habsburg threat from Spain and Austria. Therefore it would be completely unthinkable for a Huguenot to oppose the marriage ...
The royal party falls victim to a series of well-executed assassination attempts. The Musketeers make certain not to take any suspects alive, although they do pick up a suspiciously large amount of evidence which leads them in different, misleading directions.
Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) cements himself in position as the King's right-hand man. This includes evicting Milady DeWinter from her apartments, and confiscating any gifts the King gave her. Will Milady choose to help the Musketeers, including her ex-husband (who offers her money, but still forgets to tell her she is in danger) or will she join her arch-rival Rochefort?
Porthos goes off to visit his long-lost father - Liam Cunningham ( Game of Thrones ). However, his newly-found daddy is the ex-Captain's arch-rival. Will Porthos side with the guest-star, or just play along for half the episode for no reason in particular except to make the final confrontation more climactic?
Aramis discovers that Porthos' in-laws have a family business. An aristocratic clique are oppressing the peasants by rescuing farmers' daughters from their virginities. Unfortunately, without a virginity the women will never be able to find a rich husband! The aristocratic Musketeers decide to promote socialism again, siding with the peasant women instead of their own kind.
Unfortunately, Athos still does not want to give his own ex-wife the same benefit of the doubt that he gives to the peasant girls. Milady discovers what Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) is up to. She tries to sell him out to Athos, but Athos feels entitled to get info without paying for it.
The merry widow is still in mourning. Dogtanian does not care, he wants her immediately. She is more circumspect, since his friends Athos and Aramis have both casually discarded their girlfriends. Also, she has a spare suitor - the helpful doctor!
The King is isolated, and the Queen is banned from seeing him. The Musketeers are confined to barracks, although they are unlikely to obey orders.
Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) loses his temper with Milady, and she realises that he is too crazy to trust as an ally. Luckily for her, her ex-husband decides to take her up on her offer. A pity he did not do this in the previous episode. Also, a pity he did not bother to warn her that her ex-sister-in-law had sworn blood vengeance on her.
Rochefort plays all his cards, throwing everything he can against the Queen and her courtiers. The doctor and Dogtanian's GF are both for the chop. The ending is a cliffhanger - more next week!
At last week’s cliffhanger, Dogtanian’s girlfriend was about to mount the scaffold. The executioner is using a sword, which would make a much cleaner job than an axe ... and Rochefort (Marc Warren – Hogfather ) threatens Aramis with breaking on the wheel, so there is some historical authenticity. But will Dogtanian abandon his lady love? Will this show embrace a downbeat or bitter-sweet ending? We all know how the original story ended for Milady and Constance ...
Porthos is sent to meet with the Spanish spymaster, Vargas. Can they convince the Spaniard to come to Paris and confess everything to King Louis? Will Vargas turn up without a small army of bodyguards? Will he sends his bodyguards in one at a time, letting Porthos pick them off until his backup arrives?
Finally the Musketeers must infiltrate the lightly-defended Royal palace. Can the Musketeers kill lots of Royal guardsmen, who are not involved in Rochefort’s scheme and are only doing their duty? After all, with the terrible poverty of Paris can anyone afford to quit the Royal employ on grounds of conscience? They could always become a Monk, like Aramis in the books, although conscience does not sit well with joining the Spanish Inquisition!
Will the King believe Vargas? After all, Vargas will say or do anything to save the Queen of France (a Spanish Habsburg Princess). But even if the King suddenly changes his mind about Rochefort and the Queen, will this prevent a terrible war with Spain ... or cause one?
War has finally broken out between Bourbon France and Habsburg Spain. The three Musketeers - Portos, Athos and Dogtanian - are in charge of the ground assault. This is a cliched case of Lions led by Donkeys, since their command is delegated by a General who sits - in the manner of Arnold Judas Rimmer in Red Dwarf - in safety atop a nearby hill. The Musketeers do not have muskets, merely swords. They lead a foot charge against artillery, muskets and pikes. A terrible slaughter, but luckily our heroes are bulletproof. By the end of the battle, can you guess who the only three survivors are?
The supply wagon, filled with gunpowder for the French artillery, is late arriving. It gets hijacked by French bandits led by a Parisian gangster named Grimaud (Matthew McNulty - Misfits ) and a henchman with an Ulster accent. The bandits intend to sell the cargo to the Spanish. The truth is, the Spanish do not need more gunpowder - all they really need is to make certain the French army does not get it. As long as it is moved or destroyed, the Spanish have a victory.
Aramis is now a monk in a nearby monastery. His duties are to look after a gaggle of orphaned children. One of them is a headstrong young boy who wants to become a Musketeer, despite Aramis trying to talk him out of it. However, it turns out that the boy is obsessed with tales of the Musketeers' bravery. These tales were told to him by ... Aramis, of course.
The bandits store the gunpowder wagon in the monastery. Aramis and the Musketeers must play Die Hard and save the day.
Back in Paris, the former Captain of the Musketeers is the King's Minister. However, the new Governor of the city is the Marquis de Feron (Rupert Everett - Inspector Gadget ), a corrupt hunchback. The Red Guard are meant to be the city's police force, but they have been slacking off and allowing crime to flourish. What is the Minister's answer? He and Dogtanian's girlfriend conspire to humiliate the only law enforcement in the town. This is nothing more than petty revenge for a grudge he has held since the days of Cardinal Richelieu. It certainly will not help make the city a more lawful place to live in.
The Musketeers investigate a crime involving a corrupt nobleman. He is the King's best friend, and he claims to be the victim of a theft. Some peasant made off with his sacks of grain. Predictably, the Governor of Paris (Rupert Everett - Inspector Gadget ) is involved in the plot.
The victims on the receiving end are refugees from the war against Spain. They are forced to live in a slum in Paris, which makes them easy scapegoats. Also, they are prone to violent rebellion against the Crown.
Athos gets a love interest, an Afro-Carribean woman. Her father was a Socialist pamphleteer, so she is basically a trouble-maker, However, it is unlikely she will ever be held to account for her treason.
The Musketeers investigate a crime involving a corrupt nobleman. He is the King's Brother, and he claims to be the victim of a theft. Some peasant made off with his wallet. Predictably, the Governor of Paris (Rupert Everett - Inspector Gadget ) is involved in the plot.
The victims on the receiving end are war veterans from the war against Spain. They are forced to live in a slum in Paris, which makes them easy scapegoats. Also, they are prone to violent rebellion against the Crown.
The Musketeers face off against the City Guard. So much for respecting law and order.
The bad news is, the Queen of England was visiting Paris without a bodyguard and got robbed by a highwayman. The good news is, before the title credits roll the heroes have rounded up the prime suspect - Captain Bonnaire (James Callis - Battlestar Galactica ).
The English Queen (sister of King Louis) complains that London has fallen to Cromwell. She has come to France to sell the stolen gems, to raise funds to support her husband's army. The Musketeers reflect on the extreme gap between the wealthy and those in poverty. This ignores the fact that as officers in a Royal regiment they are all landed gentry. Dogtanian claims to be a horse whisperer because he used to be a farmer ... what he should have said, his father owned a vast agricultural estate!
Aramis has a sub-plot involving Pauline ( Laura Haddock ), a young woman he knew in his childhood. It turns out that their mothers were in the same line of work as this Season's villain. Instead of turning cold-hearted, the young woman is a bleeding heart who gives money to beggars and refuses to allow wicked children to be punished. Unfortunately this makes a prime target for blackmail. Will her husband (stale, male and pale) be as meterosexual about it as Aramis? This storyline mirrors the original relationship of Athos and Milady.
Athos also has a sub-plot with a love interest, specifically the Afro-Carribean woman. She has taken up where her father left off, as a socialist rabble-rouser. This whole ep has a subtext concernimg social mobility.
There is a riot in the Paris prison, and lots of convicts escape. The City Guard cannot cope, so the Musketeers are called in to help. This is the first time our heroes have actually HELPED the local law enforcement this year, since the storyline dictates that the guards are antagonists rather than allies. The Musketeers are just a bunch of glory-seekers who should be off looting corpses on a battlefield, rather than doing crowd control alongside hard-working patrolmen.
Some of the escapees go to the refugee area of town, where they take Athos' Afro-Caribbean love-interest and her friends hostage. She is still a ringleader of socialism and treason, and complains that the Musketeers are doing the same job as the City Guard. Well, they serve the same King and the same law, so in fact she is right. She also says that the Governor of Paris (Rupert Everett - Inspector Gadget ) locked the innocent up with the guilty. Ironic that the ones that held her hostage were the guilty ones, but the plot demanded an excuse for a fight scene rather than some conversation.
One of the convicts was a locksmith who built the vault for the King's treasury. Presumably he was not paid well, because he ended up in debtors' prison. Of course that would never happen in the modern world. Instead, he would declare bankruptcy, sell his house, end up homeless and end up in prison for vagrancy. Totally different situation, huh? Anyhow, the Governor's henchmen abduct him and get him to break into the vault. Luckily it is conveniently located in the basement of the prison.
Another one of the prisoners is a mentally ill man with long hair and a beard. He may be intended to look like Jesus, but the result is more like Vandal Savage from Legends of Tomorrow . Dispite his sinister appearance, Dogtanian takes pity upon him. But this story asks important questions like - can Dogtanian murder a defenceless man?
Back at the Palace, the King is celebrating his son's sixth birthday. Apparently this is a big deal, although it may only be important to the King because he thinks he is unlikely to live long enough to see his son's next birthday. The Dutch Ambassador is unable to attend, so he sends the banker who made the Governor of Paris a secret loan last week. The Governor cannot manage two plots at the same time, so leaves himself vulnerable to exposure on both.
The villains decide to bump off the four Musketeers, for once and for all. As the title suggests, a recurring character dies heroically. But who is it?
Athos is having pre-marital sex with his Afro-Caribbean Socialist woman. The cut-throat, Grimaud (Matthew McNulty - Misfits ), arrives to kill him personally. Will the gangster be a better fighter than the Musketeer? Or will the civilian woman be a better soldier than either?
Porthos and Dogtanian go off on a fool's errand. They never suspect they are riding into an ambush.
Aramis is requested personally to guard the King on a pilgrimage. Just the two of them, all alone. Since it has been made evident that the King realised long ago who the Dauphin's biological father was, does the King have something nasty in store for Aramis?
The Musketeers give one of Grimaud's henchmen a severe interrogation, with the help of some Musketeer cadets. The Captain is party to this, so he can hardly complain if they pick up bad habits.
Despite knowing they are walking into an ambush, our heroes get captured by Jessica Hyde ( Fiona O'Shaughnessy ) and her village of Amazon women (like in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ). Captain Athos comes out with the post-modern revisionist claptrap There is nothing we hold more sacred than a woman's sovereignty over her own life. Among other things this is a blatant lie, if you remember how he treated his own wife - Milady DeWinter.
The Amazon women are the wives (and widows) of men who were conscripted to fight the king's war. They are besieged by French deserters, men who were conscripted peasants like their husbands. The Musketeers have an easy way of picking which side to help. One lot are a gang of thieves and murderers who are on Grimaud's side, while the others only want to retrieve that which rightfully belongs to them. The Musketeers do not care about right or wrong, they just sign up to massacre the starving men. Yes, they kill more French conscripts than the Spanish Army did in the first episode!
Captain Athos has not has his wound dressed since the previous episode, two days ago in story time. Luckily he bumps into Meera Syal , who is playing a caucasian French woman for a change.
The Queen uses Aramis as a messenger during secret negotiations with the Spanish King. Remember, she is a Spanish Habsburg Princess and France is at war with her Spanish Habsburg brother. However, Grimaud (Matthew McNulty - Misfits ) abducts Aramis and holds him hostage.
The Musketeers must deliver three Spanish Generals for a hostage exchange. Unfortunately the Spaniards are accused of war crimes against French prisoners, and are due to be publicly executed by the Red Guard. There is a fourth prisoner on the scaffold - Dartagnan's cousin, who has been accused of stealing a loaf of bread. One has to wonder how fair a trial any of them got before the execution. It is more like mob justice, which the Musketeers would normally be in favour of under guise of democracy. Unfortunately for them, this time it is the Red Guard Captain who stirs up the lynch mob.
Dartagnan defies the Red Guard more out of habit than anything else. He frees his cousin along with the Spaniards, and takes them to the prisoner exchange. Naturally it all ends in a violent battle.
Milady DeWinter is back in town. She is at a loose end since the Cardinal was the Chief Minister and she was his staff assassin. Now Treville is the Chief Minister, but he is happy enough to hire her again. Yes, the more things change the more they stay the same. However, he also gives her advice to stay away from Athos.
The King is dead - long live the King! Treville has Athos take the little boy into Paris so he can be hidden. Naturally Athos delegates the task to his girlfriend and Mrs Dartagnan. Unfortunately Aramis and the Queen care more about getting their little boy back than about keeping him safe. They deliberately try to get him back, which puts him at risk of Grimaud (Matthew McNulty - Misfits ) and his men. Even worse, the Red Guard is disbanded so there is nobody to keep order in the city.
The rightful King of France, the dead King's brother, has teamed up with his cousin the Duke of Lorraine. They lead an army to the gates of Paris, and start to negotiate with Treville. His strategy is to turn the rebels against each other. After all, there should be no freedom of speech or opposition to an absolutist monarch. But will the other team be stupid enough to fall for his obvious tricks?
After tying up the events of the previous week, the Musketeers all go to the local Tavern to get drunk. Who is standing guard, or protecting the gunpowder in the armoury? Well, nobody as it turns out. As a result, the villains find it a simple task to wipe out the Musketeer regiment. The four Musketeers are the ONLY Musketeers.
In every previous encounter, the Red Guard Captain took a severe beating while Grimaud (Matthew McNulty - Misfits ) ran away and let his minions get wiped out. This episode is pretty much the same, but the Musketeers are not in the mood to take prisoners. This is not a fair fight, it is a case of able-bodied Musketeers beating cripples to death.
The rest of the episode is tying up three Seasons worth of loose ends. Beware Spoilers ...
The Spanish Habsburg Queen is now ruler of France, which is nominally at war with her Spanish Habsburg brother the King of Spain. All this is glossed over, because she makes some unilateral declarations that are meant to create utopia. To start with, she disbands the Musketeers as the Royal Bodyguard and re-establishes them as a Parisian police force to replace the Red Guard. In other words, she officially designates a military regiment to oppress her capital city! They will not keep the peace or enforce the law, they will merely oppress the citizens and enforce the will of the Queen. However, nobody sees that. Yet.
Aramis is appointed Chief Minister to his own son, the illegitimate child King. This way the Queen can have her cake and eat it. Athos takes a leave of absence from the Musketeers, so he can shack up with his mixed-race Socialist - who is now a monarchist, thanks to cronyism and nepotism. Dogtanian takes over Athos' job as Captain of the Musketeers. And speaking of mixed-race cronyism and nepotism, Porthos gets the best deal of all. He is promoted to General and sent to the front line, so the common soldiers can see how a man may rise as far as his talents permit. Of course, they may not see it that way. To start with, to get a commission as an officer he was obviously an aristocrat to begin with. Also, his promotion was due as much as anything to the fact that his best friend is the one who got the Queen pregnant. Yes, it is not what you know but who you know - in the Biblical sense. At least Porthos has a girlfriend to keep him company - a female carpenter, because gender equality blah blah.
Finally, we get to see what happened to Milady DeWinter. Treville hired her a few episodes ago, and the Queen wants her for what is presumably the same job. It turns out that there is still one legitimate claimant to the Bourbon throne. Not for long ...