The Musketeers episode 4: ‘The Good Soldier’ Review

The fallen Musketeer tests Aramis’ loyalty

The Musketeers

(C) BBC / Dusan Martincek

With the Duke and Duchess of Savoy arriving to sign a peace treaty the talks soon take a dim turn when Marsac – a former Musketeer, deserter and old friend of Aramis’ attempts to assassinate the Duke.  Marsac believes the Duke was responsible for the massacre of 20 Musketeers five years previous and Treville gave the order.  The usual smiling, flirtly Aramis is replaced with a haunted and angry man drawn into Marsac’s plans for truth and vengeance.

The ladies are also kicking ass; or at least they will be very soon.  It would appear the writers are going to deliver a strong able female, as Constance has decided she wants to learn how to shoot and sword fight and she wants d’Artagnan’s to teach her – secretly!  We all know where that’s leading… Meanwhile, the Duchess, who is also the sister of King Louis seems to have inherited the balls her brother didn’t as she is revealed as a French spy, married and indeed in love with her husband despite her secret patriotism and betrayal.  It’s brilliant but tragic story all the same.  Phoebe Fox is a welcome addition to the cast with her calm but inner battle which is something I’d like to see much more of along with the reliably able performance of Vincent Regan. With series 2 recently commissioned these two should definitely return on a more permanent basis.

Regan’s Duke also brought out the best (i.e. the worst) in the Cardinal as Peter Capaldi relishes playing crafty one minute and alarmed the next whenever he thinks the Duke’s imprisoned chancellor will be discovered in a French jail.  It also showed a more comical side to the character that so far has been shown as more ruthless.  As we all know, Peter is soon to be seen as the new Doctor which unfortunately means no return for the Cardinal in the second series.  His character will be much missed.  Of course with six more episodes to go we don’t yet know the fate of the Cardinal?  Who will take his place will be interesting and a big role to fill.

Santiago Cabrera plays his pain of broken loyalty sincerely and angry which he acted with aplomb, but for pure shallow reasons it’s a shame to miss that lovely smile of his.  Hugo Speer also got a chance to show what he can do as Treville, I imagine he keeps the throat sweets near with all the shouting he seems to do in the series.  JJ Field‘s guest spot was consistent but a little tedious.  Although, I find he has one of those faces you know from somewhere but can’t place (of course IMDB is our friend), probably because he has a striking resemblance to Tom Hiddleston.

I did find this episode lacking. mainly because I felt the storylines were to easily wrapped up with poor explanations.  With Treville accused of betraying The Musketeers (which led to the massacre), I’m surprised Aramis was so forgiving after all his bluster.  It all seemed a little to neat.  Same with Marsac’s attack on Constance who seemed to bounce back very quickly considering Marsac was attempting to rape her.  The episode didn’t feel as much of an ensemble as it usually does, which for me made it a middle ranking episode but nowhere near the worst either.