The Musketeers 1.08 The Challenge
This week’s episode of the Musketeers focused on the main characters and development of their individual stories, with the bigger lesson of the week being all about the consequences of their actions. The peg that this particular narrative hat was thrown on was a wager between Richelieu’s Red Guards and Trevilles Musketeers to see which was the better regiment. Thrown into the mix is Vinnie Jones’ fearsome Labarge, a bullet headed stooge of the Cardinals, who it transpires also burnt down D’Artagnans farm depriving him of an income. Jones, as is his style swaggered about the place looking menacing and snarling his lines like Noel Fieldings Hitcher had been sent back to France. The relationship between Constance and D’Artagnan was nipped in the bud by her husband, played superbly by Bo Poraj, under the promise of a commission from Richelieu. This, combined with D’Artagnan feeling spurned for not getting his Musketeers commission leads him into trying to deal with Labarge in the Bastille himself. A fine scene where Luke Pasquiliano really shone, his anger and disillusionment evident. The Musketeers themselves are shown to be moving into two factions, a D’Artagnan/Athos axis and a Porthos/Aramis side. Also each characters behaviour and traits are starting to be teased out, bit-by-bit, scene-by-scene. With the distraction of the duel between regiments leading, inevitably to D’Artagnan defeating Labarge and getting his commission, the drive of the story and potentially the rest of the series, is another of Richeliues schemes. Capaldi is relishing this role, as every scene he’s in he steals, and his curt dismissal and veiled threat to Milady, whose role this week gave Maimie McCoy plenty to get her teeth into, was sublime. As I said consequences weighed heavy throughout this episode, with D’Artagnan killing Labarge a consequence of his actions. D’Artagnan and Constance reaping what they sowed with their liaison, whilst the Cardinal sees the consequences of his string pulling to get D’Artagnan into the Musketeers. As its revealed that Milady is subtly working on D’Artagnan to use him as the tool to break the Musketeers apart, this brief, more introspective and reflective story lines up a very promising couple of closing episodes.