The Musketeers: 204 “Emilie” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
After a slight misstep last week (no wait 2 weeks ago, how the time flies), The Musketeers has bounced back with a remarkable episode that quickly erased any lingering doubts the last episode raised. Yes. It was that good.
Introducing Emilie, a woman who thinks she’s the prophet of God. That’s one way to start an episode I guess. Of course it was soon revealed that Emilie was not a true prophet and was only acting on hallucinations from drugged food given to her by her mother. However despite this, Emilie was a very strong character. Starting out the episode as a very devout character, she slowly was broken down and left a shell of her former self at the episode’s conclusion having lost nearly everything. It was moving to say the least. All of this was bolstered by a magnificent performance by Emma Lowndes as the would be heroic prophet.
It’s a shame Emilie will probably be a one off character, as seeing her become a recurring character would have been a huge bonus to the show’s female cast which is currently limited to Constance, Anne and Milady. Having another female character on board wouldn’t hurt. In fact, if that’s my one complaint of the Musketeers it’s that most of the best characters are one off guest characters. What happened to the King’s Mother from last series? She was amazing. I’m petitioning for her and Emilie to become main cast members in Series 3 (if it gets renewed).
The montage of Athos helping Emilie break her addiction to the drug her mother gave her by making her go “cold turkey” was perhaps one of the episode’s most poignant moments. Here we have Athos, a man who has been through this before and knows what it’s like to lose everything helping a woman who’s about to lose everything. It may not have been long, but it was touching.
Now, the scene that peaked my interest in the episode was Constance’s “prophecy”. While it was quickly revealed to be a dream brought on by the drug, I think there’s more to it than currently appears. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if all of Constance’s prophecy is fulfilled by the end of the series finale. Anne kneeling and praying, blood pouring down her hands and the rosary she holds. Louie lying in a chair, seemingly dead. Keep those images in mind. I expect we’ll probably have those fulfilled in some manner. As well as piquing curiosity, it was also a very well directed sequence. Unsettling yet enthralling as well.
And it’s also important to note we saw a slight change in the status quo of this series. Rochefort has seemingly cut his ties with the Spanish and is now striking out on his own, to fulfil his own interests. Exactly what those interests are is unclear. But what isn’t in doubt is that his “interests” in the Queen will be part of it.
And speaking of the Queen, it looks like she’s now committed to continuing her affair with Aramis. And Constance knows. Meanwhile, Milady has become Louie’s official mistress while D’Artagnan and Constance are incredibly (and adorably) awkward as they realise they probably cannot be “just friends”. It’s all about the adultery this series isn’t it? Nearly everyone seems to be cheating on their spouse. Next thing you know Treville will break up with his fantastic and glorious hat. That we haven’t seen in a while… Oh dear.
More seriously, it’s going to be interesting how the show handles all these affairs. Do D’Artagnan and Constance really love each other? Or is it simply D’Artagnan longing for the life and family he could have with Constance, and Constance longing for the life of adventure she’d have with D’Artagnan? Do Aramis and Anne love each other? Or is it just lust? And… well it’s pretty clear Milady does not love Louie and is manipulating him for every penny she can get from him. As these storylines progress, it’ll be interesting to see where they end up. Let’s not forget Constance’s vision… perhaps it could be connected to Aramis and Anne…
The cinematography on this episode was stunning. I cannot recall an instance on the show where the palace has looked more stunning than it did in this episode. The shot where Milady opens her bedroom windows and looks out over the gardens is simply beautiful to look at and probably stands out as one of my favourite shots from the show so far. While I may have said it many times I’ll repeat myself again. The Musketeers is perhaps one of the best looking shows on BBC. It just looks marvellous. The costumes, the sets, the props, the lighting, the cinematography. Everything, It all looks perfect. And this episode really showcased it.
All in all, this was a return to form for The Musketeers despite its little misstep in the previous episode. With a wonderful plot and supporting cast, this episode had me riveted from start to finish. Let’s hope the trend continues.