The Musketeers: 205 “The Return” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
And so The Musketeers is back after yet another week’s break to deliver a very mediocre episode. A shame really. Perhaps it’s because this episode didn’t really do anything. With the major storylines and character arcs all taking a holiday, this led to the Musketeers defending a small town from a ruthless baron and his spoilt brat of a son. And… That’s kind of it really.
That said, the expansion on Athos’ back-story and Catherine was welcome. She proved to be a character that dances on the lines of grey morality very well. Despite initially seeming to be a good character, she showed herself to be deceitful and selfish. Yet there was no denying she was partly in the right. She seemed to be a very complex character that should hopefully be reintroduced in future episodes. The ending seemed to imply she will with her taking the pistols of Athos’ brother presumably to seek vengeance on Milady. Of course, if this is another one off female character who is dropped then I will be very annoyed. This show has a habit of introducing great female characters and then dropping them after one episode.
The villains this week were a little dull. The baron and his son just seemed to be evil for evil’s sake, only wanting the land because… they’re evil and they want it. Sure this was pretty much all the motivation they needed, but this show has been exemplary at introducing well developed villains in the past. It’s a shame to drop the ball now. In fact I’m struggling to recall their names they were so forgettable, which is a shame as the actors did a good job with what they were given.
I was extremely disappointed with this episode, simply because it felt like a waste. Apart from Catherine, it felt like a retread of old ground. Athos returning to his past? Been done. The Musketeers defending a small location from a villain and his soldiers? Been done so many times I’ve lost count. This episode had filler written all over it. It has pretty much killed the momentum the main plot has been building, and honestly it felt like a waste of an episode.
Hopefully if Catherine becomes a recurring character then this episode won’t feel like such a waste on future viewings. But ultimately, with the absence of most of the familiar recurring characters (Constance, Louie, Anne, Rochefort and Milady), this felt like an episode made on the cheap with the core cast. In fact, if the trailer for next week is any proof, then this episode seems to be the dedicated “cheap” episode. The new characters introduced weren’t interesting and were very dull and one note. Sadly even a big action sequence at the episode’s conclusion wasn’t enough to make me feel invested. In fact I felt my attention wandering to random things at several points. And if my attention isn’t kept, then the episode isn’t doing its job.
And… I must admit Murray Gold did a pretty poor job on this episode. Which I’m very sorry to say. Gold is a fantastic composer. You need look no further than any episode of Doctor Who or previous episodes of The Musketeers. Most of the tracks seemed to be placed randomly, with no real matching to the on screen action. I’m not sure if this means that this episode had no new music scored for it and instead relied on old tracks or if Gold just didn’t have his heart in this episode, but it certainly damaged the musical feel of the episode.
Overall, this episode was just disappointing filler. Not much changed. The “lesson” Athos learned this week will almost certainly be forgotten next week. Ultimately I just wasn’t invested at all and my interest strayed. Perhaps with a rewrite this episode could have been something, but as it stands it’s currently one of the worst episodes the show has ever produced.