D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Athos find themselves in a dangerous predicament in "Death of a Hero", as Grimaud vows to kill them all before the day is over. Read our review of The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 6 below!
The Musketeers, just delivered us not only the strongest episode of the season, but potentially the show's finest hour. From the opening shot of The Musketeers seemingly meeting their ends while Feron ominously mused about the nature of death we were completely gripped. The twist that our intrepid heroes weren't in danger, and that this was just a normal day of their lives, really emphasised the point that death could come at any moment, and kept us on the edge of our seats for the entirety of the episode. This is The Musketeers at its best, and of course it came from writer Peter McKenna, who also penned fan-favorite "Knight Takes Queen" back in Series 1.
The genius of Feron's opening narration, is that while we genuinely felt worried that one of D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Athos might die at any point, we never once suspected it to be Feron. While Grimaud has always been doing Feron's dirty work, Rupert Everett's villain has very much appeared to be the primary antagonist this season, and it was both shocking and exhilirating to see him killed off so early. If your main villain dies midway through your final season, what other shocking plot twists can we expect in the coming episodes? And Everett was on fine form this episode too, giving his best performance yet. While we were initially hesitant about the character and saw him to be an amalgamation of Richlieu and Rochefort, the governor evolved into something much more complex, as he repented of his ways and in an act of defiance refused to kill the king.
The dynamic between Louis and Feron was an interesting one to watch this episode. Since the start of the series, we've only really been given the impression that Feron is using his position with Louis to get what he wants and that he doesn't much care for his brother, yet in their family's crypt, we bear witness to another side of their relationship. As an illegitimate child, Feron has been mocked and despised all his life, yet here Louis shows him the first bit of compassion he's seen in a long time.
It's a huge reversal of character from the Louis that humiliated Feron at the court in The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 5, but as his most vulnerable Louis shows his brother a side the latter hasn't been shown before. It's a real feat that we actually were made to feel empathy for Feron, and it's a heartbreaking moment when he sees that Louis has made preparations for Feron to be buried in the family tomb when he passes, and he realizes he is loved. It's a truly fitting note for their time together to end on, and while Feron is no hero, he found his principles in the end before he died.
It's no secret that death was a pretty huge theme in the episode, and after Athos survived his brutal duel with Grimaud after Sylvie came to the rescue (seriously, this episode boasts some of the best set pieces we've seen in The Musketeers), our concerns shifted over to D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos. When Aramis was summoned to Louis, part of us thought that it was going to be a trap, and it's a testament to the whole team who worked on the episode for giving it the feeling of a finale, and really hitting home the idea that some of our core cast of characters could die.
D'Artagnan and Porthos' heart-to-heart about the lives they wanted to lead certainly made it seem like they were going to die, and as a good writer should, their death was heavily foreshadowed and it looked like they were going to die, before the carpet was pulled from under our feet. We can't speak highly enough about McKenna's work on the episode, but kudos also has to go to the cast, particularly Howard Charles and Luke Pasqualino, for really bringing McKenna's script to life.
We don't usually get much time to explore the relationship between D'Artagnan and Porthos because there's not normally any conflict between them, and this whole segment was a fascinating insight into their relationship. Their defiant shout 'We refuse to die!' as the lit fuse approached the gunpowder was extremely poignant as we knew it could be their final moments, and in the episode's darkest moment when it appeared D'Artagnan was dead, the same shout served as a rallying cry to let us breathe a sigh of relief and know that everything was going to be okay.
Going forward, we're in for a very interesting final few episodes. Grimaud has Gaston and plans to return with an army to take Paris in his name when Louis dies, the Redguard are under Grimaud's control, and Aramis is in a dire position. The musketeer's honor and honesty may be his downfall as Louis puts out a death sentence on him, and with the truth revealed, is Anne also in danger? Aramis may be a loyal servant, but Louis is a petty king at the best of times, and he's not going to let Aramis' indiscretions slide when they're sleeping with his wife. The Musketeers Season 3: Episode 3 made the musketeers question whether the monarchy was worth defending, so will Athos, D'Artagnan and Porthos jump to Aramis' side to defend him if he is destined for the noose? The finale is titled "We are Garrison" which conveys a sense of togetherness, so let's hope that if they go down, they all go down together fighting! What did you think of the episode?