We discover that King Louis isn't the only mad king in Paris this week, as the Musketeers are tasked with catching prisoners that escaped the Chatelet. Check out our review for The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 5 below!
Episode 5 of The Musketeers was a frustrating one. As always, it was an enjoyable romp, and it actually had some extremely interesting mirrors between King Louis and the madman who claimed that he was an impostor, but it was also one that was riddled with conveniences. The plot was solid enough; Theron orchestrates a distraction for our intrepid heroes while Grimaud carries out a heist, but for once it all falls apart for Theron. While this was a refreshing change in direction of the show, it was ultimately overshadowed by the conveniences that restored the status quo and put The Musketeers and Theron and his Redguard on equal footing.
So first with the frustrating conveniences - why wouldn't Treville keep hold of the letter that incriminated Theron? It would clearly be more safe on his person, and he's well aware that Theron would be the sort of man to lurk about the King's chambers, yet he leaves the letter there on the King's desk, open for the taking. Of course, Theron wasn't able to take the letter which made us happy that Theron might finally see justice, but it felt like a real kick in the face when the madman (who we shall refer to as the Mad King, because when is it ever a bad idea to allude to Game of Thrones?) decided to burn the letters. How did he even get in there past all of the security? It feels ridiculous.
Likewise, the dutch financier's murder is conveniently pinned on the Mad King rather than Theron, and while it was a clever move on George's past, the conveniences really grated on us this episode. If only one of them had happened we might have overlooked it, but there were so many that left the Musketeers in a difficult situation next week, and it comes across as lazy writing. Credit where credit is due should go to the writers for connecting all these plot points to incriminate Theron, but unfortunately the hard work is undone by a reliance on conveniences. It was stupid and uncharacteristic of Treville to reveal the existence of the letter to Theron in the first place, and for him to then place it somewhere that someone else could easily pick it up is extremely frustrating.
It wasn't all bad though, and we have several highlights from the episode. The scene in which King Louis asks Theron to bow down to his son is exemplary, as he shows complete and utter disdain when Theron collapses and is unable to bring himself to his feet. While we're no lovers of the governor, in that moment we genuinely felt sorry for the villain, and it served to hold up a mirror to Louis and show the audience that he's not so different from the Mad King. Yes the Mad King is deplorable, but isn't Louis too? He may not carry out the executions himself, but he unjustly protects murders and throws lavish parties while the poor people of Paris starve and die. As D'Artagnan so adequately sums up at the end of the episode: "Why do I feel like I'm fighting for the wrong side?"
As early as The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 2 the morality of the Musketeers for serving the monarchy was questioned, and it's highlighted once more here. On his deathbed, Louis is a lost man, and just as unpredictable as the Mad King. It's tragic when Anne is saved and brought before him, because he didn't care that Anne was safe, and instead was just furious because it was Aramis who saved her.
Perhaps just as tragic though, was D'Artagnan's realization that he was responsible for several deaths that could have been prevented. He was sympathetic towards the Mad King for his mental state and even played along with his games throughout the episode, heck he seemed to enjoy playing along too. Yet when he found the dead bodies of the two nuns who had trusted him that the Mad King was a person that needed their protection, the tables were turned, and he realized that while he might have been having fun, he was playing with the lives of real people. By the end of Episode 5, we're left with a D'Artagnan who has lost faith in the Musketeers and is angry that Treville has not used the intelligence he has to bring down Theron, which leaves him in a vulnerable state for the final few episodes. For regular updates on The Musketeers, click the green subscribe button below. And if you haven't already, check out our review for The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 4! What did you think of the episode?