The Musketeers 1.09 Knight takes Queen
This weeks Musketeers takes a dramatic turn into darker waters as the King, when drunk and flattered by the daughter of the German banker Count Mellendorf, he declares he would be better off without the Queen, and how much better it would be for France if he had the German bankers money, and a wife who can provide him with a heir. This drunken conversation with Richelieu sets in motion a train of events that blow open the story and leave us with a dramatic finale for next weeks episode.
The Musketeers, who are now fully rounded individual human beings, are guarding the Queen, when the assassination attempt kills one of the Queens handmaidens. Aramis and Athos take the Queen and find sanctuary in a Nunnery, whilst Porthos and D’Artagnan, bit players in this weeks story, track the assassins trail back to Paris, where they summon up assistance from Treville and the Musketeers. This week as the King Ryan Gage is given far more to do, and his portrayal of the King as an unlikeable, malleable, petulant spoilt child is superb, and shows how easily manipulated by events and the Cardinal he is. Taking refuge in a monastery where, it transpires one of the Nuns is Aramis’ former fiancé, adding an extra dimension to the Aramis/Queen flirtation. Finally Alexandra Dowling as Queen Anne gets a lot more screen time, and she doesn’t disappoint, showing a human face behind the regal façade. This intense siege situation finally leads her and Aramis to the bed chamber, a plot line that has been signposted since episode one. One which I’m sure will also come back to bite them. The trail leading to the moneylender also gives Capaldi something to do, as his performance as his assassination plot comes close to unravelling, his barely restrained temper and anger at Milady is a masterclass in screen acting, and I hope he brings this intensity to his performance as the Doctor. Richeliues scheming ends in a dramatic double cross where he frames the banker Mellendorf, throwing him in the Bastille. Athos, who is stepping forward more and more each week as the de facto leader of the Musketeers, knows that Milady is involved in the plot, and hints as much to Richelieu, which leaves the door open for a massive showdown next week. With plenty of action this week, and plotlines neatly being tied up ready for the finale, despite some obvious reveals, and the cavalry turning up at the siege just in the nick of time, this was another strong episode. Next weeks season finale looks set to be even better.