After two fantastic episodes to start season two, The Musketeers came slightly back down to earth with a less-than-amazing third episode. “The Good Traitor” was an important episode in regard to the story points and character progression, but the overall theme was less lighthearted and fun than previous episodes. In fact, this episode actually delved deeper into Rochefort’s creepiness and King Louis’ horribleness. So, what aspects of the show worked out and which aspects failed?
“The Good Traitor” is named after a Moroccan slave who has escaped from a Spanish general and fled to Paris. Tariq Alaman, played by Arrow’s Colin Salmon, fled from a general named Baltasar in order to protect a secret formula for explosive powder. Using a gram of this powder, Alaman was able to blow up a massive statue at the palace, quite impressing the king. Alaman was willing to trade the formula and the cipher to the king, but he had one major catch—the Musketeers needed to rescue his kidnapped daughter from Baltasar.
Sadly, this rescue attempt was a massive failure—due in large part to Aramis screwing up—and Porthos was injured and kidnapped. Even worse, multiple civilians were murdered by Spanish agents, and a market was destroyed. This failure (unsurprisingly) angered the king and spawned another secretive rescue mission disguised as a hostage exchange under the cover of darkness. Ironically, this rescue attempt also didn’t work out well, but it did have an explosive result.
While the Musketeers were planning for the rescue, Constance and the queen were furiously trying to find a cure for a mysterious sickness that had taken the newborn king. Aiding in the attempts was a Swiss doctor and Rochefort (mostly so he could spend time with the queen). The Swiss doctor had many ideas for making the sick baby better, but most of these remedies involved leeches or other barbaric methods. Constance, on the other hand, had the proper remedy in mind, but she had to deal with the frustrating attitudes of Rochefort, the queen, and the Swiss doctor. Obviously, these individuals were extremely close-minded, so Constance took matters into her own hands and “borrowed” the baby to take it to a different area. Constance’s method was well-meaning, but the result was a city wide manhunt.
“The Good Traitor” had some great sequences involving some major battles, but the actual episode was fairly depressing. To be fair, this somber tone may have come from the fact that the episode revealed how terrible some of the characters actually are. The Musketeers may be honorable, fun-loving drunks, but the king, Rochefort, and Milady are all horrible people. These characters spend most of their time trying to find the worst way to achieve goals and stab other characters in the back. The king, in particular, makes some seedy decisions and immediately blames them on other characters. He even takes his anger out on the queen during her time of need.
“The Good Traitor” is also a very eye-opening episode about Rochefort. Apparently, Rochefort isn’t a simple antagonist who wants to watch France burn. Rochefort actually has some strange goals in mind, and he acts them out in disturbing ways. While I am glad that Rochefort’s motivations were included in the episode, I did find his actions a strange way to start the episode.
Honestly, The Musketeers third episode wasn’t the best one ever, but it was a far cry from the worst. The episode still had some great action sequences and important plot points included, but the trademark humor was nonexistent. This humor is what keeps the mood light during tense moments and helps give you a reason to cheer for the heroes. Plus, this humor has a tendency to make you laugh during big action sequences. Hopefully, the continuing episodes will show a return to this humorous style without losing the important character moments as well. The Musketeers had been quite adept at mixing the two styles together, so this return to higher quality shouldn’t be an issue.
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