The Musketeers: 209 “The Accused” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
What an exhilarating episode! Well written, well directed, well acted, well paced. It was everything an excellent part one of a two part finale should be. Everything was perfectly done. I honestly think this is a contender for perhaps one of the show’s best episodes.
Picking up shortly after last episode’s cliffhanger, We see Rochefort acting fast on his plans to expose the queen’s treachery and hide his own. Luckily the Musketeers were on hand to make a daring rescue on the part of Milady… only for the queen to return once she learned the king was in ill health after being poisoned by Rochefort. Yes. It was pretty clear this storyline was just a way of getting most of the characters away from the palace so Rochefort could scheme freely. But it provided some nice scenes so we can’t complain.
This episode provided several big developments. First of all, it seems Milady and Athos are back together! After a whole two series of “does he still love her?” and “Does she still love him?”, we got answered with a resounding yes to both questions. If the massive kiss they shared is anything to go by at any rate. Also it was nice to return to Katherine’s search for vengeance from earlier in the series. Even if it was resolved fairly quickly. This also apparently makes Katherine the first female characters introduced in one-off filler episodes to reappear in a later episode. Although it’s pretty clear her story is done now, it’s nice to see the writers open to making characters recurring at least.
Milady’s scenes working with the Musketeers were a ton of fun to watch. While it’s possible she isn’t on the side of good for long, it’s nice to see her in a more heroic light for a change.
It was also nice to see a little morally grey area for The Musketeers. By stopping Rochefort, they fulfil their duty to the royal family but also breaking their duty by keeping the queen’s infidelity secret. I’m hoping this get explores more in the next episode, it would be nice to make our heroes not as heroic.
And it seems Rochefort has finally swirled into pantomime villain territory. I honestly expected him to start twirling a moustache and breaking out in an evil laugh at times. While this could be pinned on Rochefort going insane slightly in rage, he does seem to lose some of his menace here. I hope this is fixed slightly in the next episode. The writers seemed determined to make sure we certainly hate Rochefort by the end of this episode and remove any trace of pity the audience may have. Threatens nearly everyone, executes a supporting character and places several more characters in huge danger. Well. He’s certainly doing well. In fact he’s accomplished more in one episode than the Cardinal did in one series. And that’s no small feat.
Meanwhile, Marguerite begins to question her loyalty to Rochefort and indeed, it’s likely she’ll jump ship to Team Musketeers the first chance she gets, at least when it’s most safe for her. It’s been great seeing this character develop throughout the series and here’s hoping things end well for her next week.
Also, I’m getting the increasing sense that one of the main characters will die before the end of next week’s episode. As to who it will be I have no idea. Although I think Constance is pretty safe for now. The trailer heavily teased her death which just makes it obvious she’ll live. Of course she could still die and I’ll be feeling sheepish next week. But I honestly believe the most likely candidate for death remains Treville. He seems to just be… there fulfilling no purpose apart from offering the odd piece of advice.
The writing for this episode was very good. The plot developed at a reasonably good pace and, while not a lot could happen as this is only part one, enough happened to make this episode feel substantial and not a waste of time that can be summed up in a quick previously trailer. The directing as well complimented it. The scene in which Athos and Milady hid from Rochefort in a hidden cabinet was increasingly tense. This episode was probably one of the tensest in the series so far, I honestly don’t feel anyone is safe at the moment. Anyone could die next week.
One note, are the guards of the palace hiring from the same stock as the guards of Camelot from Merlin? Because, like them, they’re growing increasingly incompetent at noticing people sneaking in and out of the castle.
This episode was a great one. While it was mainly set up for next week’s episode, it’s put all the pieces in place for what promises to be a great finale. The stakes are high and expectations are, naturally, even higher. But I have large faith that after this episode, The Musketeers can rise to the task.