Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

The Musketeers 3.06: Where are all the gods?

Out in the wilds of Musketeerland, we're half-swashing, half-sobbing our way into the second half of the season already. Doesn't time fly when you're gawping at men in leather? Anyhow, here are my thoughts about Death of a Hero:

  • Quiz question: what's a better way to start an episode than with a gratuitous sexytimes montage? Why, a gratuitous sexytimes montage with an ominous voiceover, packed with symbolic weaponry and entirely justified bondage accoutrements, of course! In other words, the first two minutes of this episode amply justified my entire licence fee for 2016, containing as they did the following delights:

    • D'Artagnan and Constance auditioning to be the next Bond and Moneypenny with a classic shaving/snogging combination scene (and let me take this opportunity say that Constance would make an excellent 007).

    • Athos and Sylvie spicing up their love lives by doing a porn remake of the first time they met. This means leaving out the critique of musket technique he actually gave her (mansplaining is SO unsexy), and going straight for the "and then I tied him up and gave him a thorough debriefing!" female-gaze fantasy version. Well, it certainly sated MY appetite.

      Athos unbuckles

    • And finally, Porthos and Aramis doing their sexytimes montage together AND in front of an audience with a blindfold AND they get paid for it. Win-win-win! All right, they weren't actually engaging in snugglebunnies, but it's the thought that counts. MY thoughts, that is.

  • At Evil Plan HQ, Feron forges a letter from Treville and Grimaud announces that by sundown, all the Musketeers will be dead and the entire series will have to be renamed "THE". Sounds legit, Lucien.

  • Down at the garrison, Porthos wanders in, fanning himself with his hat – can I borrow that after you, sweetie? It's become strangely hot in here – and Aramis learns that being shamelessly shirtless makes it easier for Constance to frisk you for your dinner money.

    A letter arrives

    And speaking of sustenance, what's on Porthos's high-energy raw-food breakfast menu for today? Why, it's only CARROTS. Will this week's pleasures never cease?

    Porthos demonstrates the two-handed carrot attack

  • Feron's fake letter sends the three Muskeboys off on a wild and dangerous goose chase, but they don't take Athos because he's too busy lying on Sylvie's floor, being post-coitally dishevelled and playfully pantsless. Crikey. While Sylvie pops out to fetch pain au peasant underclass for two, Grimaud attacks – fortunately for both himself and the BBC compliance committee, Athos has managed to put his trousers on by this time, so his nasty wounds are not half as intimately positioned as they could have been (yikes). Luckily Action!Sylvie is there to help out with her lovely blouse and well-honed gun skills, but Grimaud escapes: my theory is Grimaud has somehow got his hands on the horse-drawn space-time wormhole that the Muskeboys use for instantaneous travel around vastly distant bits of France and is now using it for quick getaways.

  • Feron pops in to see little bro Gaston in his four-poster prison cell. Gaston immediately starts whining, but it's okay, Feron has got him a prezzie – stabby-stabby death for his guard! Oh, and a lovely new outfit... which he has to take off the corpse himself. Yuck. I must admit, I love the way that when Feron turns murderous, his face always looks startled by what his right hand is doing, as if his limbs keep committing terrible social faux-pas without the permission of his brain. Frankly, we've all been there.

  • As if Constance hadn't had enough sexy clean-up operations to coordinate this week, she also has to mop up Athos, who has changed into his Black Shirt of Shaggability because it doesn't show the bloodstains. Oh sweetie, this is precisely why you should wear the BSS all the time. It's practically pornographic!

  • Oh dear, the King's coughing into a bloodstained hankie, which as all viewers know is a sign of forthcoming dramatic doom. He's off on a day trip to his dad's tomb and wants to dress like the common people, even though we all remember how well that worked out last time around (short version: not well).

  • The other three Muskeboys are on their way into Grimaud's Blatant Trap of Blatantness when Marcheaux turns up to say that Aramis has been seconded into another subplot this week. Yes, he's being forced to accompany the King on his pilgrimage, which won't be awkward at ALL, no sirree. Then again, no stylish monarch-about-town should ever go anywhere without some attractive luggage to hold his necessities...

  • Gaston wasn't keen on the Bastille but life outside is no picnic either: he's obliged to wait in a shed, call himself Victor, AND watch Grimaud's wincemaking attempts at self-surgery, which are soon to be a major Channel 4 series called 24 Hours of Arghh and Eeeeeh. They're also a waste of perfectly good wine (although maybe not as a bad as pouring it on a fish). Grimaud's messily severed earlobe, however, gets no such luxurious treatment, which means that Feron is forced to stare straight at it while Grimaud moans about his evil plans going awry. They WERE hopelessly stupid plans, though: I mean, "jump on Athos and hope for the best" isn't a cunning strategy, it's a date night. Silliest of all, Grimaud now wants Feron to kill Aramis and the King himself. Are there no professional henchpersons to be had in Paris at this time of year? Are they on strike? On holiday? Attending Henchconvention 1643?

  • Porthos and D'Artagnan arrive at Grimaud's Wild West Theme Park of Death, which Grimaud seems to have built especially for them (did he also arrange the Morricone-style background music? Hell's teeth, that man's villainous priorities are all over the place). But there's booze, so at least Porthos can have another crack at his wine-reviewing career (incidentally, "please be good, please be good, please be good" is exactly what he says to Aramis every Saturday night). "To easy missions, well earned," they toast, tempting fate so loudly that it scares the horses. Or maybe that's the massive crowd of gathering henchpersons outside – oh, so THAT's where they all are!

  • As Louis and Aramis hit the pilgrimage trail, looking like Dick Whittington and a sexy Jedi, Constance must have heard my plea from last week because she turns up to offer moral support to Queenie, correctly ascertaining that she still has a bad case of Aramisery. Louis, meanwhile, is drowning his own Aramisery by handing out chocolate coins to random priests and giving some serious thought to renouncing Satan.

  • Back at the Theme Park of Death, things are about to get explodey, but before that happens, Porthos and D'Artagnan have a nice sit-down and a lovely heart-to-heart about the fact that they can't die today, especially when there are still four more episodes to go this season. The other great takeaway from this scene is that PORTHOS NEEDS LOVE. SOMEONE SHOULD COME AND LOVE PORTHOS NOW, HE DESERVES IT, AND IT SHOULD BE ARAMIS SOMEONE WORTHY OF HIM. Okay, now that matter's settled, there's only just time to yell "WE REFUSE TO DIE!!" before the roof falls in and Athos and company arrive.

  • Grimaud must have lent Feron his secret wormhole because somehow he's lurking in advance when the pilgrims pop in. His lack of sneaking skills also mean that Louis spots him and is overcome by a wave of niceness. Gosh. Feron's so startled at this display of brotherly love that he can't even bring himself to go all stabby and bursts into tears instead. Awww.

    Feron gets a hug

    And that's not all. Louis also has a prezzie for Feron. It's... a gravestone! How, um, festive. Well, actually he shows him that there's a prearranged spot in the family plot where his royal bones will go, and offers him a job as the Dauphin's guardian. Poor Feron, what a time to have to rethink your entire evil career.

  • For a terrible moment amid the rubble, it seems like Athos's day has just gone up to five buckets on the Athos-scale of man-pain, but it's okay – "WE REFUSE TO DIE!!" Porthos and D'Artagnan are dusty but fine and Aramis wasn't even there, so the only casualty of Grimaud's Day of Doom has been Athos's pretty face. No wonder the poor boy feels a bit victimized.

  • Oh dear, it's time for the King and Aramis to have a little chat. The King wants to hear the truth... right up until the minute he hears it, then he doesn't want to hear it anymore. Realizing that things are now as awkward as they can metaphysically get in this universe, Aramis decides some some real talk is on the cards, and confesses: "I slept with the loneliest woman in Paris." Whoops, the King now wants you dead for treason, but at least you got it off your chest, eh? Thank goodness, conspiring forces mean you won't have to walk back home together – that WOULD have been a silence and a half.

  • Feron tries to call off Grimaud and his henchmob but Grimaud takes this about as well as you might expect. "Today is my day", claims Feron, flashing back to his opening speech this week and being promptly killed by a stab of dramatic irony. Alas, poor bastard. And right after he chose to start the day with a random monologue about death, too. What are the chances? Helpfully, however, he fires a warning shot and Aramis and the King come out to have a go at Grimaud and friends, conveniently providing the King with more fun than he's had all day. When the Muskeposse turn up, Grimaud seems genuinely cheesed off that even with a face full of bruises, Athos is still way prettier than him. The two have a face-off but Grimaud vanishes down his wormhole before Athos can say "YOU'RE PAYING MY BILL FOR CONCEALER STICK, LOSER".

  • The King finds Feron's body (let it be said that he died with his Louboutins on!) and proclaims him a hero. Showing mild gratitude for once in his entitled life, the King also calls off Aramis's execution, which is something of a relief. Admittedly, Aramis does have to listen to a speech about how he'll never look at or come within 100 yards of the Queen or the Dauphin ever, ever, EVER again, but Treville probably gives him the same spiel every Tuesday afternoon and it hasn't sunk in yet.

  • By his own stoic standards, Marcheaux looks a teeny bit upset by Feron's death (alas, who will disdainfully rub bloodstains off his face now?) and goes to take it out on Grimaud. Of course, his conviction lasts for all of five minutes since he realizes it would require Actually Doing Some Work™. Besides, even if he HAD shot Grimaud, I suspect Grimaud would barely have blinked. He's turning into a sort of shambling zombie figure before our eyes. At this rate, I doubt he'll stop sneering even when bits start dropping off.

  • Okay guys, time for a quick Muskemeeting in Treville's office to discuss Grimaud, Gaston and other irritating plot details. When Aramis lets it be known that the King's dying, Athos is VERY pissed off that Treville didn't tell him (you have to let him grow up and do Captainy things on his own, Treville, or else he'll never learn!), because now he feels he has to storm off and make a needless emotional sacrifice by dumping Sylvie in order to be all brooding and warriorlike on his own. What a prize plum. Fortunately, I suspect Sylvie knows he'll be back, because she knows he's a twit yet she still loves him. And in the meantime, at least she's got her lovely blouse to comfort her.

  • Showing the obedience to authority that we all expect from him at this stage, Aramis meets Queenie in the cellar for a plot update. The King Knows™ about them AND he's dying! Queenie is understandably distressed but is encouraged to pull herself together for the sake of France: she's even allowed a small ration of Aramis hugs to help her along – it IS an emergency, after all. But after all her ups and downs, at least it seems she's not alone any more. Awww.

  • In conclusion: Goodness me. Action, sexiness, plot developments and some wonderful character work all round. I'll miss the fabulous Feron like mad – Rupert Everett's face was simply made for this show – but even oft-annoying characters like King Louis were given a chance to shine here, and glitter they did. Excellent stuff, in other words. Long may it continue!

Now that sporting events have calmed down for a while, the next episode is in the Saturday 8.30pm slot on 16th July, so I will see you shortly afterwards for the fourth-last (eek!) episode of the season...
Tags: the musketeers
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