The Musketeers 1:10 Musketeers Don't Die Easily
This week’s explosive finale concludes the first series of the Musketeers, with the events from last week sending shockwaves through the Musketeers world. Setting D’Artagnan and Athos against each other - seeds of discontentment that had been sown back in Episode One, finally come to fruition as Milady De Winters little scheme on behalf of the Cardinal threatens to blow their world apart. This is neatly revealed to be a double bluff, as the Musketeers show of hatred for D’Artagnan is merely a ruse to get information from Milady. Sean Pertwee guests this week as Saracen, an old adversary of Milady, looking more like his Father every time, rips the scenes apart each time he is there. His role as the old mentor of Milady is a cross between Fagan and Jack Sparrow, his menace and barely concealed anger all kept under control. Especially when he kidnaps Constance as part of Milady’s plan. With some confrontational set pieces, brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and some fantastic acting from all the Musketeers the pace never lets up as it heads towards its gripping conclusion. As Richelieu labours under the impression that Athos is dead, and some amusing banter from Porthos and Aramis at the ‘grave’ side, D’Artagnan manages to worm his way into the Cardinals confidence. The episode brings us a superb confrontation between Constance and Milady, two powerful women at the heart of D’Artagnan life. Capaldi as the Cardinal is superb, justifying his reasons for trying to kill the Queen, and his poise and presence throughout the episode even when he is tricked into admitting his role in the plot, in front of the Queen. His performance is another masterclass, especially when he casts Milady aside to the Musketeers without a twinge of conscience. It is a great pity that in this fast paced, well written episode managing to tie up loose ends, that there was no room for a scene or two with Peter Capaldi and Sean Pertwee together. With the driving force behind Milady’s motivation being revenge on Athos, the ambush at the end of the episode is a tautly choreographed, blockbuster fight scene, and there’s even time for the ‘One for all, and all for One’ line to make a satisfying debut. Unsurprisingly at the end, surrounded by all the carnage the Musketeers walk away. Constance is saved, and reunited with D’Artagnan, albeit briefly. The final showdown between Athos and Milady is poignant, tense and ends what was essentially a massive lovers tiff, which happened to embroil the crown of France in its turmoil. In conclusion, after its ten week run, and after a slow start, the pace and drive of the episodes picked up. The characters became fully rounded individuals, and the individual episodes seeded elements that built up to a satisfying climax. The Musketeers has become an excellent drama serial, with some superb performances from the ensemble cast as a whole, with Peter Capaldi standing out. On this basis his performance as the Doctor promises to be exciting. The Musketeers has worked hard, and earned its second season, and I am looking forward to seeing where the episodes take us.