musketeersconstance

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Wow! That was quite a finale. I’m sorry to all the UK viewers who were horrified that BBC America got this before they did. Sorry, guys. Only in the sense I’m sorry you didn’t see it, not sorry that we got to see it instead. It was a really solid ending, and in a strange way it could have almost been a series ending. It has a third season coming, but they wrapped up a few storylines and I got the feeling ‘okay if this is where it ended, I would be satisfied.’ It was a very tense episode before that though, and while this season had ups and downs, there are plenty of parts I enjoyed. Previously on The Musketeers, Anne and Aramis had an affair and the dauphin is his son. He finally told his friends the truth, but he was arrested by Rochefort at the end of last episode for treason. Constance was also arrested, falsely accused of helping poison the king, and had to witness her doctor friend executed. Ouch. At least she and D’Artagnan are finally together? For all the good that will do them. Athos and Milady had a heated reunion of sorts, but there’s plenty still unsaid and unfinished between the two of them. Rochefort has gone off the deep end, and Louis is in a paranoid place no one can break him out of. I have to give them credit for how terrifying Rochefort’s ended up. I was skeptical for him as a character, but he turned into an excellent villain.

Constance’s near execution is the first thing we see, and I’m glad they handle that so quickly, because it was very stressful. She’s rescued by the group, and they are all officially named as criminals and stripped of their titles as Musketeers. Anne attempts to talk to Louis directly and beg him to believe in her, but then Rochefort tells him about Aramis. It’s a very strange situation here because he’s not lying. Not that I think Louis should have the right to execute Anne over this, mind you, which is what he ends up agreeing to do. But by law they did do treason and the baby isn’t his, so they are perpetuating a lie. It’s part of why I never liked this storyline in the first place. This entire season was about covering up for that secret, and then Aramis was distracted by baby cries and seduced the nursemaid to use her.  It left a bad taste in my mouth from day one. They were not falsely accused of a crime in this case, and I wonder if they purposely made Louis unbearable this season so I’d feel less bad for him believing in this lie for the rest of his life. Hm. Eventually Rochefort does persuade Louis to sign the execution warrant against Anne. At this point he believes she’s behind his attempted murder (false) and guilty of adultery (true). Kings have executed people for much, much less. It’s shocking to me that at the end of the episode we’re supposed to accept Anne is just okay with hanging out with her husband. Oh yeah, honey, you definitely were going to Rochefort murder me. It’s okay though all’s well that ends well. Stab him in the eye too, Anne. Although I do hope this is the general end of the Aramis/Anne ship. It feels like it ran its course and the two of them will be watched super closely from now on. Let’s move on, thanks.

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Porthos managed to yoink back the Spanish spy master who agreed to turn on Rochefort. The King is flat out losing it and curled up in his room, especially after the murder warrant was given. The Musketeers made it in time to tell him the truth with the proof they needed. And they got to Rochefort as he was about to strangle Anne to death. He has a thing about strangling. Pretty much everyone gets a chance to beat on him, including Constance, but D’Artagnan gets the kill. That was odd to me, he said it earlier that Rochefort was his, but he was hardly the one with the most complaint at that point. Aramis, Anne, and Constance were the ones harmed the most, probably, and Treville for losing his job. But it was fun to see all of them get to fight and beat Rochefort before he finally died. If only Milady got her last dig in first! Speaking of Milady, she told Athos that she wanted to start over for real, but she couldn’t stay in France. She was going to England and she wanted him to go with her. She said she would wait until sundown at a road and if he didn’t show up, he would never see her again. Now that’s unlikely. She’ll be back. They haven’t announced that she’s less of a regular, so maybe this is just lead in to England getting more directly involved in the show. If there’s a war with Spain, that’s a good way to bring the English in. Maybe the Duke of Buckingham??? Just saying. They need a new villain!

I would think Louis would be more paranoid now, but instead he seems fine now. And he insists Treville take the job as his war advisor, because he’s going to warn with Spain due to Rochefort. Treville agrees this time, and promotes Athos to Captain of the Musketeers, which means he definitely can’t go off with Milady. Not with his people counting on him and France about to be in a war. Still, he does try to get to her in time, most likely to explain why he couldn’t leave, but she’s already gone. Treville gives Porthos his sword, a nod to the fact they grew closer after Porthos’ father situation was revealed. Aramis says he told God he would become a priest if he lived, which he did, thanks to Milady saving him. She really became a champion in the last few episodes, didn’t she? A Slytherin-esque champion, but still. He leaves the group, and unfortunately misses D’Artagnan and Constance getting married. Booooo! It seems very unlikely Aramis would miss the wedding, he could wait to take the cloth a few days. Sigh. But it was held back because the group goes there’s a war coming, we need to get Aramis, and then they go to spring him from the church. All for one, and one for all!

This was a rough season. My dislike of the Anne/Aramis plot made it difficult since that was the major plot of this season. Porthos was shuttled to the side, and his one episode really didn’t do him much justice. Athos and Milady at least were scorching up the screen and I liked their progress overall. Treville had good storylines, so I’m glad they gave him more, and he’ll have more going forward. Constance as usual was fantastic, and her deep friendship growth with Anne this season was brilliant. More ladies as friends, please! Rochefort I didn’t like from the start, but he grew into a genuinely daunting bad guy, so top marks for that. But the finale really did tidy up things well, didn’t it? Next season we might see the show get more serial as they go to war. Unless the show opens up and the war is over. I hope not, they could get good storylines out of an actual war. Duke of Buckinham seems the most obvious choice as a new adversarial character. They could always kill Louis. He did die relatively young. Just throwing it out there. I always liked his character before, or at least found him amusingly harmless. But their stubborn refusal to let his character growth stick, and reverting him into a pathetic near-villain, made him ruined for me. If they did kill him, they could do some interesting stuff with Anne as regent and introduce Cardinal Mazarin.

One thing I’d really like to see next season is them getting the fun back on the show. This was a too serious season, I think, and while the first season had serious plots, it also had some good comedy first. The characters didn’t get any chance to have a lot of fun, and they should do more group-plot fun. The best stories are when the team is all together fighting for good, so separating them less would be nice too. Also could Constance, Milady, and Anne get plots  that have zero to do with the men in the show? I’m just saying. I’d love them to have stories of their own. Constance becoming a lady and caring for Anne and the dauphin was lovely. Keep that up. Until next season!

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