The Musketeers: 1.06 - The Exiles
Babysitting duties on behalf of Richelieu is the Musketeer's lot this week, as they’re trying to protect the baby of Agnes (Downton Abbeys Amy Nuttall) to bring to Richelieu in Paris. On their way to collect the Mother and child the baby is kidnapped. Coincidentally, the King's Mother, Marie De Medici (Tara Fitzgerald), has reappeared at court after being banished for previously trying to steal his throne. The kidnap of the baby is linked to a plot that she is hatching and the Musketeers, working with Richelieu, have to try and rescue the child (Henry), and foil her plot to overthrow the King and place Henry on the throne. You can’t argue with the quality of guest stars the Musketeers attracts, and Tara Fitzgerald, as Marie’ De Medici is another strong female character, in a series chock full of them. With a plot that goes right to the heart of the throne of France, and the power at the heart of the throne, Richelieu, this week Capaldi has much more to do. His Cardinal is confident, secure in his position, and pulling all the strings. The scenes he has with Tara Fitzgerald in particular bristle with menace, and the fiery spark between the two characters is superbly realised. As each week progresses The Musketeers has grown in confidence, there’s a swagger in the fighting, a spark to the writing and there’s even a tongue in cheek nod to the A team when D’Artagnan exclaims ‘Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?’ In a further twist it is revealed that this baby is the heir to the throne of France and Treville, fully aware of the fate that will befall any child with a claim to the throne, orders Aramis to take the baby to Richelieu, giving him a get out clause. This allows Agnes and young Henry to escape to Spain, and out of the way of the plotting and counter plotting. Assisted by the other three, to aid the escape mission, the Musketeers have to avoid the Queens men, and in daring plot, which looks like, Henry is dead, Marie’ De Medici’s plans collapse and Richelieu retains control of France. Aramis returns Henry to Agnes so they can live out their lives in peace in Spain. Whilst I’ve said before the female characters here are quite strong, it’s a shame for the writers to slip into lazy clichés with Tamla Kari’s Constance Bonacieux when they have her play nursemaid for the baby and have her going all gooey and broody over him. Especially when in one scene the character has proved her sword fighting skills beyond all doubt, it shows a lack of imagination, and undoes a lot of their good work in the development of Kari’s character. Other than that the story was well scripted, cleverly plotted, and gave Capaldi a fine foil to bounce off in Tara Fitzgerald, I do hope we see her character return.