At last, The Musketeers make a triumphant return to BBC One with their final run of episodes, and I for one am positively beaming with delight about it.
Season 3 opens on a dusty battlefield, our beloved heroes at war. With a rubbish general in charge, to boot, and it’s up to our heroes to show him where to stick his crappy leadership. But at least he soon loses a hand to a gentleman who turns out to be Grimaud (Matthew McNulty), one of the season’s new villains, and a creepy, menacing one at that.
But there were only three Musketeers in battle, so where’s the other one? You may or may not remember that, as of the end of the second season, Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) had decided to give up the Musketeer life in favour of a more pious career path, and when next we see him, he’s swathed in handsome monastery robes and herding a gaggle of children who apparently have no idea that their guardian was until recently one of the swashbuckling gentlemen they admire.
Which would probably have continued along fine, had his monastery not then been taken over by Grimaud and a load of purloined munitions. What ensues is probably the most tense game of hide and go seek those kids will ever play.
Meanwhile, in Paris, Treville (Hugo Speer) finds himself in disagreement with the not very nice Marquis de Feron (Rupert Everett), who seems not to mind letting the city descend into chaos and bad times, and the Red Guard aren’t being very nice either.
Also meanwhile, King Louis (Ryan Gage) is far more invested in parenting than in politics, and has elected to gift the little Dauphin his own age-appropriate steed. It’s adorable. Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling), on the other hand, has had it up to here with everyone’s nonsense, and rightly so.
While the Musketeers assist in rescuing the monks and the kids from the monastery, Treville and the splendid Constance (Tamla Kari) have a bone to pick with the captain of the Red Guard, which leads to a rather amusing festival of public nudity.
This episode sets up a lot of the tensions that are likely to escalate as the season continues, as well as some of the relationships between our various adversaries. And thankfully, Aramis decides to abandon the monk business and rejoin his Musketeer chums, but it’s pretty obvious from Feron’s ominous declaration upon meeting the Musketeers for the first time that it’s not going to be smooth sailing for our heroes over the next nine episodes.
But the real star of the show was the Dauphin’s little wee horsie. Aww, blessums!
Aired at 9.30pm on Saturday 28 May 2016 on BBC One.
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