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The Musketeers “The Challenge” 

Photo Credit: BBC / Larry Horricks
Photo Credit: BBC / Larry Horricks

In what may have been the shortest honeymoon period ever, D’Artagnan and Constance are done before they really ever get started. And it’s all because of the Cardinal. Wanting to see his talents put to use in the Red Guard, Cardinal Richelieu gauges D’Artagnan’s interest. It is odd that he hasn’t received a commission yet from the Musketeers, as more than one person has reminded him. But D’Artaganan would rather take his chances, especially since it seems the Cardinal has no interest in bringing Vinnie Jones‘ LaBarge to justice. Enticed with the promise of a lucrative job outfitting the Red Guard, the Cardinal gets Bonacieux to spy for him. Bonacieux reports back to Richelieu about Milady’s advances and also discovers his wife’s affair with D’Artagnan. He tells her to break it off or he’ll tell the Cardinal of a plot he overheard D’Artagnan scheming about, even though there’s absolutely no truth to it. She does and D’Artagnan thanks her for helping him see things more clearly. What is having love compared to having money?

Photo Credit: BBC / Larry Horricks
Photo Credit: BBC / Larry Horricks

The king only sees one way to settle the pissing contest between Richelieu and Captain Treville over whether the Red Guard or the Musketeers are the better regiment: a contest. In order to enter said contest, a few of the Musketeers go in search of some money. Porthos and Aramis find patronesses amongst recent widows and Milady gives D’Artagnan the money, which he’ll only accept as a loan. He promises to pay her back once he wins. Porthos isn’t able to play this seduction game on the same level as Aramis and starts to have feelings for his patroness, Zoe Tapper‘s Alice. She’s envious of all the places he’s been and the adventures he’s had. When she wonders if he might want to be her tour guide, Porthos seems like he’s genuinely considering it. But after the contest he knows his is the life of a solider and Alice knows she cannot be his wife.

Athos and Milady have a moment after he’s rescued D’Artagnan from LaBarge. She tells him he can ask her anything. Athos wants to know about her connection to the Cardinal. She tells him she’s a soldier just like him. She has to exploit her natural talents and makes a living somehow. Milady wonders why he still wears her locket around his neck. Athos wonders that himself right before they kiss. Even though that attraction is still there, he tells her he can never forget who she is and what she’s done. She tells him to leave her alone, or he’ll regret it. My question about whether or not they’re still married is answered by Richelieu. He’s discovered her marriage to Athos as well as her patronage of D’Artagnan. She tells the Cardinal D’Artagnan is the key to destroying the Musketeers. She’s confident her skills of seduction will bring him over to their side. She doesn’t have much luck tempting him to take ride with her as D’Artagan makes his way to the garrison, but I have a feeling she won’t give up that easily.

And after D’Artagnan kills LaBarge – for his father and for Gascony – he’s finally commissioned as a Musketeer by the King. Finally. D’Artagnan has deserved it for a while now and I’m glad he’s able to have one thing he wants. With this recent heartbreak, I’m worried about him making bad choices. But I think the other guys will look after him and I’m certain Constance will find some way to let D’Artagnan know why she had to break things off. I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

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

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