The Musketeers: 202 “An Ordinary Man” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
Series 2 of The Musketeers enters its second week and provides us with a rather enjoyable filler episode and some nice character development for King Louie, something he’s been sorely lacking.
Louie was revealed as a rather sensitive individual, haunted by the death of his father. It provided some nice background to the character’s immaturity and his close connection with the late Cardinal. The episode’s ending also revealed the King has a dark side however, with him breaking his promise of clemency and ordering the execution of Bruno, stunning D’Artagnan. This ruthless side of Louie will certainly come into play later, perhaps when he finds out his son is actually the son of a certain Musketeer. It’s nice to see the King show a lot more three dimensional character than in previous episodes, perhaps now we can get around to lots of juicy drama to go with that development.
Perhaps what was most worthy of talking about is the return of Milady de Winter played by the ever fabulous Maimie McCoy. Throwing her lot in with the slavers, Milady then sets her sights higher upon meeting the King, soon making her intentions known. It seems she’s intent on starting an affair with the King, but what she hopes to accomplish by this is unknown. Does she just want to be lavished with riches? Or does she hope to hold France to ransom by threatening to reveal the King’s… indiscretion? Or both?
What is certain is that her new position as a trusted friend of the King certainly makes her untouchable by Athos and the Musketeers. Perhaps that’s what she sought all along – Protection? What I love the most about Milady is that it’s impossible to guess what she’s thinking or what her goals are. Her slightly tender speech to D’Artagnan as she freed him casts into doubt the issue of whenever she’s still using him or if she genuinely has feelings for him. I’m incredibly excited to see how Milady’s new position in Paris affects the rest of the series.
Rochefort meanwhile tries to gather more influence with the Queen, and seemingly gaining it. He continues to develop as a worthy replacement for the Cardinal. With just enough threatening malice to be scary, but enough charm to be watchable. Marc Warren has delivered an amazing performance so far and is delivering a very strong villain for this second series.
The scripting for this episode was OK, but there were problems. The episode was well paced and exhilarating at times, my only gripe being its emotional heart. We didn’t spend enough time with Pierre for us to feel impacted by his death and feel D’Artagnan’s thirst for vengeance, or indeed be touched by the final scene with Pierre’s wife and daughter. Perhaps if the episode had devoted an extra scene with Pierre the episode would have turned out stronger. As it is, it’s hard to connect when the episode tries to make us feel sad.
The direction in this episode was stunning. The Christening scene in particular stands out as perfectly framed and shot. The Musketeers however has always been a show to attract particularly talented directors. I hope this can be a trend to continue in future episodes.
I must commend the cast for continuing to give amazing performances every episode. In fact, the cast just excel all the time. I think I don’t praise the cast enough. Everyone gives amazing performances in every episode so far. And I think they all need to be praised.
This episode didn’t do much to advance the main series plot. However, that isn’t really a complaint. Sometimes a filler episode is needed to deliver a fun plot to remind us why we love the show so much. And that’s exactly what this episode delivered. A very fun adventure for the Musketeers that thrilled and entertained, delivering excellent entertainment for Friday nights.
The Musketeers seems to be on a winning streak. Delivering two excellent episodes in a row, the show seems to be climbing ever higher. I wonder how far it’ll climb.