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The Musketeers “Friends and Enemies” 

Photo Credit: BBC America
Photo Credit: BBC America

It’s 1630 in Paris, France and Cardinal Richelieu is scheming to discredit (and eventually disband) the Musketeers. As First Minister, he is accustomed to the weak-willed King of France listening to and acting upon his every suggestion. Lately is seems Treville, the captain of the Musketeers, is gaining favor with Louis. In fact, Queen Anne urged Louis to trust the Musketeers with a very important mission that Richelieu was supposed to have no knowledge of. Determined to have his own way, Richelieu knows he must do something to cement his worth and strike a fatal blow to Treville and his Musketeers.

Posing as Athos, Gaudet – under the direction of the Cardinal – commits acts of robbery and murder. D’Artagnan believes his father has been shot and killed by Athos and now travels to Paris to seek his revenge. Along the way he meets – and ends up in bed with – Milady, a beautiful woman with an agenda. She frames D’Artagnan for the murder of her traveling companion Mendoza, a Spanish traitor. Now D’Artagnan has two people to seek out in Paris.

Aramis is almost caught in the bedroom of Adele Bessett, who also happens to be Richelieu’s mistress. He manages to escape before they’re discovered, but always suspicious, Richelieu knows something isn’t right. Back at the garrison, D’Artagnan calls Athos a murderer and challenges him to a fight to the death. Athos proclaims his innocence, but D’Artagnan won’t hear it. It isn’t until Aramis and Porthos join the fight, that D’Artagnan is disarmed. It’s then the King’s regiment arrive to take Athos into custody. With eye-witness accounts, there is little Athos can say or do to prove his innocence. Determined to send a message that not even the Musketeers are above the law, the king sentences Athos to death.

But D’Artagnan has doubts now and when Aramis and Porthos set out to prove Athos’s innocence, he joins them. They track down Gaudet, with the (reluctant and less reluctant) help of  Dujon and Constance respectively. Even though they need Gaudet alive, D’Artagnan is forced to kill him after Gaudet tries to stab him in the back, literally. They’re able to stay Athos’s execution in the nick of time, much to the dismay of Milady. It was Milady who suggested that Richelieu frame Athos, but we aren’t sure why. Athos carries around a tremendous amount of guilt, presumably because he thinks himself responsible for her murder. Whatever went on between them – clearly love, but also something else – Milady wants him dead. Richelieu doesn’t understand her motives, but she tells him all he needs to know is that she’s loyal to him. Richelieu doesn’t stand for traitors or spies in his midst and has one of his men kill Adele for her betrayal. Just before she dies she declares that she loves Aramis with her last breath. I guess that’s one more nail is the coffin of the Musketeers.

I had very high hopes for this show and I wasn’t disappointed. Most of these actors are new to me since I don’t watch a lot of British television. I think this show is extremely well cast and well acted. I might even have to read Alexandre Dumas’ book now. I’m very interested to learn more about the Musketeers and the scheming Richelieu. But in the short-term, I want to see how Aramis handles the disappearance of Adele and how long Constance and D’Artagnan will deny their mutual attraction.

The Musketeers airs Sundays at 9/8c on BBC America.

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