The Musketeers: 103 “Commodities” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
Well, I think The Musketeers has outdone itself this week. I’m not one to jump to conclusions, but I think that might have been the best episode of the show to date.
The story juggled the two different plots rather well. We have the Musketeers escorting trader Bonaire to Paris to be tried for breaking the trade treaty with Spain. However, when the heroes learn Bonaire’s true crimes it creates a significant problem for them. Especially for Porthos. The way this storyline was treated worked great at first and it was handled with care. What could have been a huge mess ended up as quite a nice, touching bit of work. But no doubt the best part of the episode was Athos. His story (and the truth behind his connection to Milady) was brilliantly done. And of course, Milady and Athos’ reunion was a great scene. Milady finding out that Athos still carries the locket was a nice touch. Sadly D’Artagnan showed up before we could see if she would have followed through on killing Athos or not. But yes, those scenes were magnificent and I found them to be the highlight of the episode.
Athos and Porthos received some development this week which was a definite improvement with them feeling more like background characters for the past few weeks. Athos in particular feels fully developed now and is quickly becoming one of my favourite characters on the show. With his backstory now fully revealed, Athos is interesting! Hopefully this trend can keep up for the rest of the series.
Meanwhile, the humour and action is still coming together nicely, lightening up the show when things get too dark. Porthos’ humour is still a little groan-inducing, but Aramis and D’Artagnan are excellent at lighting up the screen.
The episode was brilliantly directed by Saul Metzstein, who some of you may remember lent his directing talents to Series 7 of Doctor Who, with memorable episodes like A Town Called Mercy, The Snowmen and The Name of the Doctor. Indeed, the unique style he brought to those episodes is present here with many beautiful and engaging shots throughout.
Susie Conklin’s writing was masterful here, capturing the personalities of the characters down to a T as well as delivering a well thought out and engaging script. I really hope she writes another episode later in the series.
The cast were all spot on this week, as they always are. But special praise must go to Tom Burke as Athos, portraying the character with amazing skill and emotion. Burke is really rivalling Peter Capaldi as the show’s best actor. Maimie McCoy was once again brilliant as Milady de Winter, mixing raw emotion and villainy as the character.
A special shout out must go to Murray Gold. The composer has truly outdone himself this week, delivering a really brilliant soundtrack for the episode. Some of the tracks are still stuck in my mind. Murray always manages to blow me away and this time he’s done it again. If the BBC don’t put together a soundtrack release for this show, I’ll be severely disappointed.
All in all, this was the best episode to date and the show has really found its feet. Hopefully the momentum of this episode can be kept going for the rest of the series. The show now has me hooked and eagerly anticipating the next instalment.