The Musketeers: 210 “Trial and Punishment” Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst.
And so another series of The Musketeers draws to a close. Was the conclusion to series 2 a satisfactory one? The answer is a teensy bit complex.
Not to say the episode was bad at all. In fact it’s a great one. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I did feel a little disappointed. Perhaps it’s because there just didn’t seem to be any consequences to anything. Aramis leaves the Musketeers, but then 5 minutes later the other Musketeers are setting out to bring him back making me question why they bothered having him leave in the first place. Unless Santiago Carbera decided to leave the series, then changed his mind at the last minute forcing a quick rewrite. Even so, it made Aramis’ leaving a little pointless.
As for Rochefort, he finally got him comeuppance. After a tense duel with Aramis and then a less tense duel with the other three Musketeers, he finally died with all his lies revealed. I did find Rochefort’s defeat slightly anticlimactic. He just dies and then that’s it. I’d have preferred a few scenes of Rochefort in prison before being executed, but oh well, I suppose it’s the same result. It’s just a shame we’ll have to bid farewell to Marc Warren. It’s just a question of who will be the new villain in Series 3, but if you’re a fan of the original book then Milady mentioning heading to England should give you a very strong hint as to who it could be. A certain Duke of Buckingham is looking very likely.
Speaking of Milady, it seemed all our hearts were doomed for breaking when Athos arrived just a little too late to elope to England with her. Just when things seemed to be looking up for the pair too.
As for our other big couple, D’Artagnan and Constance are married! Hooray! Now that subplot has finally been resolved. But don’t expect the marriage to stay happy for too long, the writers will need relationship drama at some point in Series 3 mark my words.
And now France is at war with Spain, which is an interesting twist. This is a huge event and will probably change the format considerably for Series 3. Yet what I found odd was how casually everyone took the declaration of war and not a single character thought “Hmm… maybe war isn’t such a good idea right now”. But hey, I suppose they had to try and find a hook for Series 3 and this works well I suppose.
In fact, if I could sum up this episode it would be “Anti-climax”. I just didn’t feel everything was resolved as strongly as it could have been. Literally after Rochefort died nearly all the related storylines just ended suddenly. Anne is reunited with her husband and son, the king is once again none the wiser Dauphin isn’t his son, Aramis and Anne are once again yearning for each other from afar, nothing’s really changed there. There’s still a lot more to be done so hopefully the writers have a good crack at it in the future.
As for the rest of the episode, I can’t complain. Well, apart from how exceedingly obvious it was the masked man at the execution was Athos in disguise. It was such a terrible disguise it wasn’t even a disguise. Anyway, the production was all very well done as it usually is. I can’t fault it. Everyone did a fantastic job, both cast and crew.
As a whole, the episode was great. It wasn’t perfect, several characters felt underused, several elements felt under developed and the ending was slightly anticlimactic. But it was still very entertaining.
As for The Musketeers Series 2 as a whole, it was very strong. A step up from the hit and miss Series 1. It seems the writers are slowly but surely getting more confident with the show now. If they could work on the few elements that aren’t working that well and take notes of what worked and what didn’t work Series 3 could be something truly special. But that’s for next year. Friday nights will feel empty without The Musketeers, but it will hopefully be welcomed back with open arms next year. Just please have less 2 week breaks next year BBC. It’s not good.