‘The Musketeers’ Season 2 Episode 6 review: ‘Through a Glass Darkly’

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What a surprise this episode of The Musketeers was: I never would have guessed that an afternoon of fun with a camera obscura could be so terrifying and dangerous?

King Louis and his friends – hanging out with his wife and girlfriend at the same time no less, which is more than enough danger to begin with – are invited to get a fascinating astronomy lesson, but Marmion (Leo Gregory) has some considerably less wholesome activities in mind, like horrifying psychological torture culminating in murder. Fun!

Much to the horror of our heroes, Marmion uses the coin toss to determine the fates of his captive audience, endangering the Queen and the little Dauphin, and mercilessly slaughtering some aristocratic redshirts we’ve never met before, while forcing the King to make impossible choices about the fate of his loved ones.

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Leo Gregory plays Marmion with all the terrifying calm of a man with little enough left to lose that his only motivation is revenge, and the result is chilling. King Louis’ desperation and grief is heart-breaking.

I suppose it’s pretty sad that it takes someone as truly frightening as Marmion to force all of the people on the show to band together in order to save the day – not just our heroes, but arch manipulators like Rochefort and Milady de Winter get in on the heroic action too. It just goes to show how much can be achieved when everyone cooperates.

And then there’s that bit with the King at the end. Louis, dude, I love you to bits and your hair is looking especially fierce this week, but you make it really hard to like you sometimes: how is it that our very special king manages nearly every time to pick the wrong people to be friends with, alienating the people actually working to protect him?

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The Musketeers will always be there for you no matter how much you shout at them for, you know, actually doing their job. Besides, Rochefort is in love with the Queen. Granted, Aramis is too, but at least he has the perspective mostly not to be creepy about it.

And then there’s Constance and D’Artagnan. I don’t know whether to rejoice that love has triumphed, or despair in advance that M. and Mme. Bonacieux are cruising towards a horribly awkward breakup, if the ‘Next Time’ teaser is anything to go by.


Aired at 9pm on Friday 20 February 2015 on BBC One.

> Buy the Season 1 boxset on Amazon.

> Order the Season 2 boxset on Amazon.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…

> Read more by Sami Kelsh on her website.