At long last, all of those things I’ve been shouting at the people of The Musketeers about since this second season began are finally resolved in this final episode, and thank goodness for that.
Constance is rescued at the last possible moment from execution – and after last week, I wasn’t wholly convinced she would be. Rochefort continues to manipulate with increasingly unhinged cunning, but unbeknownst to him, the Musketeers are tracking down the Spanish spymaster Vargas, a source credible enough to persuade the King that Rochefort is, in fact, a very very naughty man, who’s been spying for Spain all along – and has deviated far enough from the original plan that even Spain wants no more to do with his services.
Rochefort probably thinks he’s a Nice Guy, doesn’t he? There’s something inherently wrong about anybody who thinks it’s acceptable to attribute that sort of behaviour to love. What, it’s not okay if the Queen is unfaithful to her husband unless it’s with you, Rochefort? The Queen, once again, demonstrates a beautiful strength, if nothing else than in putting up with Rochefort’s garbage. Poor Marguerite, though.
Speaking of Rochefort’s garbage, what a relief it must be to Aramis and the Queen that their (actual) indiscretion can so neatly be lumped in with the rest of the nonsense that Rochefort has been spewing into the King’s increasingly gaslit ear, because really, it does nobody any good for that knowledge to be out there, especially not the little Dauphin, who probably just wants to play peek-a-boo with his mum.
If this episode suffers from anything, it’s the multitude of threads left to tie up from the season: by no means does it reach a Return Of The King level of codas, but more than once I caught myself thinking that that was a rather nice ending, only to realise there were still a few minutes left to go.
They’ve taken Rochefort down and saved the day with a good seven or eight minutes of wrapping up to do: Constance and D’Artagnan get a nice little wedding, Aramis announces his retirement from Musketeer-ing to devote himself to a quiet monk’s life – which I suspect will last little more than about ten minutes into the next episode, Spain and France decide to go to war (but hey, Treville gets a sweet promotion out of the deal), and Athos just narrowly misses taking off for the grey skies and bland cookery of England with Milady.
I feel I can forgive this lengthy denouement, however, simply by virtue of the fact that each of these threads at least served some purpose, and it’s clear that we’re seeing what is likely to become a main thrust of the next season in this little prelude to a war.
While war sure sounds a worrying prospect, this episode has given us what I expect can be the happiest ending we could have expected for our heroes and their friends, and I’m very pleased with that indeed.
Aired at 9pm on Friday 27 March 2015 on BBC One.
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