The power of prayer and guns!
(C) BBC/Dusan Martincek
The hinted at relationship between Aramis and Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling) comes to fruition this week as they’re thrust together through circumstance, while the King bemoans his wife’s lack of understanding leading to the Cardinal to make a huge error in judgement.
While Anne is away soaking in the waters hoping to increase her fertility, the king is entertaining Count Mellendorf and his daughter Charlotte. Taking a particular interest in Charlotte, leads a drunk filled Louis to complain to the Cardianl how the Queen isn’t as exciting as his new fancy and he would be better off if she were dead. Taking this quite literally the Cardinal takes the hasty move of getting Milady to hire an assassin named Gallagher to take her out. Gallagher is cut-throat in his approach as Athos and Aramis take refuge with Anne in the local convent while Porthos and d’Artagnan go for reinforcements.
This episode is a great lead-in to the finale as the stakes are raised for our villains and our Musketeers are more melancholoy. Milady is hanging on by a thread as Peter Capaldi acts out his villanous side to leave Milady in fear of her life and realising that she probably should have chosen a less riskier alliance. We get to see a small glimpse of her (lapsed) morals as she frets over her treasonous act: “An ordinary death does not concern me, but this is no ordinary death.” Was Athos’ brother a ordianry death? Maybe best not to get on her wrong side at a family gathering then! Meanwhile, the Cardianal is back-peddling for his life when he realises his error in judgement as Louis cries out in distress: “The Musketeers will protect Anne, they will not allow any harm to come to her. What will I do without her?” In a way, it’s comical but never farcical with the Cardinal’s treatment of Milady highlighting the danger. Louis’ stilted reconciliation with his wife was both humourous and tragic as it’s clear he actually cares for his wife a lot; maybe even loves her? And the sadness that Anne probably doesn’t.
Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) is in for a rollercoaster of emotions at the convent when he finds his former lover, Helene (which was hinted at in ‘The Exiles’ episode) living as a nun. Unfortunately for Aramis he gets his heart-broken twice when Helene (Alice Patten) firstly tells him she purposely hid from him believing they would never work, and then when she gets shot. Grief makes him lose his sense of reason as he beds the Queen much to Athos’ anger. Talking of Athos, he’s easily becoming the most interesting character – his one-liners delivered in a dry tone yet with a hint of a smile is a joy to watch. Tom Burke adds gravitas to the role even more so than Capaldi. A mention must go to the brilliant Gabrielle Reidy as the gutsy mother superior who wouldn’t have made a bad Musketeer herself if she hadn’t answered her calling.
The finale next week and I have high expectations. The trailer hints at a Musketeer death – if I was to guess who… I’d say Treville (Hugo Speer) is the only Musketeer they could really dispose of currently, without tipping the balance they’ve worked so hard to build up between the four leads. However, it could all be smoke and mirrors. D’Artagnan and Athos finally come to blows over Milady too. Basically, don’t go making a cup of tea till the credits roll.
Thoughts to ponder
– How did Milady lift the banker onto the door hook by herself?
– Aramis and Queen Anne sleeping in the Mother Superior’s bed in a convent! Not sure prayer can help them with that one.
– D’Artagnan doesn’t want to scuff his shiny new uniform – he might want to be careful he doesn’t burn it with his hair straighteners.