The Musketeers: 203 “The Good Traitor” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
So… how to describe that episode of The Musketeers? “A disappointment” works well. Not that the episode was bad, but it was a definite step down in quality from last week’s instalment. There just wasn’t an awful lot that was interesting me.
Well the plot this week was a bit of a disappointment. It felt like a retread of old ground, even though it wasn’t exactly. It just felt overly familiar. Porthos is separated from the Musketeers and finds himself questioning his place among them. Yes. Been there done that. I refuse to believe the show has reached the point where they have to repeat themselves with character arcs, so we don’t need to. So what else happened this week? Well Colin Salmon appeared as Tariq and possessed powerful explosives that he would exchange for the rescue of his daughter. And this led to a lot of running about in a largely forgettable storyline. Nothing really developed at all. All that changed was the King being increasingly disappointed with his Musketeers. Well, he wasn’t alone this week at least.
Elsewhere baby Dauphin fell ill in the more interesting storyline. So the court physican could not heal the baby, which forced Constance to take matters into her own hands, kidnapping the baby and taking it to the local washerwomen so the steam would clear the baby’s lungs. And it worked. And Constance got off with a slight slap of the wrist. And so that storyline resolved and actually turned out more interesting than the main storyline. Perhaps because it gave Constance something to do finally this series. She’s been sidelined for the last 2 episodes so it’s great to see her contribute again. It’s a shame when you see a great character with so much potential get sidelined. If the writers want to take Constance’s character down the route she goes in the original story then they need to start to using her much more, otherwise it’s a waste.
And perhaps the big development this week was the King sleeping with Milady De Winter, which if we’re all honest we all saw coming a mile away. So with Milady apparently now the King’s mistress, well she’s in a perfect position of power now. And with Constance now knowing Milady is in the castle, well it seems things are slowly bubbling up as well with the Spanish Ambassador’s small hint that Rochefort’s plan may only be for his own interests hinting there may be more little surprises to come. Especially with the Rochefort scene at the start with him paying a prostitute to dress as and pretend to be the queen revealing Rochefort has feelings for the Queen and for him to be quite a perverted character. It’s going to be interesting to see this storyline develop over the next few episodes.
The acting from the guest cast this week was particularly great. Colin Salmon (who you may recognise from Arrow, James Bond and Resident Evil) delivers a great performance as usual. He lends his character gravitas that the script fails to deliver and emerges as one of the better things about the episode. Even Antonia Thomas delivered a great performance as Samara making the character very earnest and emotional. The actors managed to make the characters leap off the screen and perhaps becoming the best thing about the episode and perhaps lending it rewatch value.
The directing in this week’s episode was nice and flashy, the attempted rescue was particularly memorable. It just goes to show, even if The Musketeers cannot reach the same heights every week, it will consistently look amazing via the talented directors working on the show.
I’m not sure what it was about this week’s episode. There were things that worked and things that didn’t. Perhaps it was an issue of the script failing to juggle all this various threads. The main plotline was not as interesting as the subplots leading to the plot being very forgettable. But the characters were well-written and the show thrives on the drama and interaction between its characters more than delivering a strong plot at least this week. Mamie McCoy, despite not being in a lot this week, still emerges as the strongest member of the cast in the absence of Peter Capaldi. So even if I don’t enjoy an episode’s plot at times, I still love its characters and direction, perhaps the main reason I’m a fan of the show.
So yes, a slight misstep this week, an entertaining if otherwise forgettable episode that I won’t rush to watch again in a hurry. But here’s hoping the show can pick up when it returns in two weeks.