As the penultimate episode of the season, “The Accused” is understandably an episode of The Musketeers that moves along quickly from one tension-filled scene to the next as season-long plot lines begin to be resolved. Additionally, because the episode was scripted (and perhaps filmed) before the series was renewed for a third season, the resolutions of these plot lines seem to be headed toward a possible conclusion of the series. Thus, now that the series has been renewed for another season, it’s not clear what next season will look like—which, is ultimately a good thing since it keeps the show interesting and fresh. In this episode and the previous episode (“The Prodigal Son”), there have been so many revelations there is no way the series can return next season with a “status quo” interaction between the characters. At this point (and not surprisingly) the only principal character who doesn’t know all that has been going on is the king, and even he isn’t ignorant of everything despite how much of an ignoramus the creators of the series have made the character. I continue to love all aspects of the series EXCEPT the presentation of King Louis XIII. I’m fairly certain my hatred for the character has nothing to do with his portrayer, Ryan Gage. He is simply playing the king as he has been instructed by the producers, writers, and directors—all of whom seem to be intent on keeping the king in the manner he has been presented in other cinematic adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’s D’Artagnan novels. For some reason, when the books are adapted to cinema and television, the king is presented as a buffoon despite Dumas not presenting him as a fool in the novels. The character in Dumas’s novels is similar to the real Louis XIII, who had many faults but he was not a fool. I suppose it’s easier for theatrical films and TV shows to make the king an idiot as a way of explaining why Louis XIII delegated so much of his state authority to Cardinal Richelieu; it’s easier to show the king as a fool of whom Richelieu took advantage instead of adequately developing the king’s character and presenting a more plausible dynamic between the king and the cardinal. Thus, Louis is still the buffoon in BBC America’s series despite the death of Cardinal Richelieu (which was used to explain the departure of Peter Capaldi). In place of Richelieu, we now have Marc Warren portraying the Comte de Rochefort as the person whom Louis idiotically trusts. However, even the king is not going to be able to return to a status quo position next season. Rochefort gave Louis a non-lethal dose of poison for two reasons: So he could seem to save the king from death by acting quickly to counteract the poison that wasn’t meant to be lethal anyway. To frame the queen for the supposed assassination attempt; in this way, Rochefort would further gain the king’s trust while simultaneously removing the queen as a rival for the king’s ear (as well as getting his own revenge on Anne for preferring Aramis over him). Regardless of which way the season finale resolves this plot point, the king’s relationship with either the queen or Rochefort would seem to be irreversibly damaged. I suppose, though, it could be resolved by having the king believe Dr. Lemay acted along in poisoning him. Lemay wasn’t responsible at all, of course, but Rochefort switched medicine bottles to frame the doctor for poisoning the king. Rochefort substituted the bottle with the poison for a bottle with an opium suspension the king was using for his headaches. The doctor and Constance are then falsely accused by the dauphin’s governess of tampering with the medicine bottle by order of the queen—because the governess is being blackmailed by Rochefort, naturally. So, yes, I suppose the king could go back to a status quo position if he ends up idiotically believing Dr. Lemay acted alone. After all, Lemay’s head has already been separated from his torso as punishment for his alleged role in attempting to assassinate the king, Thus, he is incapable of defending himself against the false accusations that were made against him. Constance now awaits her own execution for the false accusations that were made against her in assisting the doctor in poisoning the king. As the queen’s advisor, Constance is also accused of being the intermediary in the assassination attempt—delivering the queens supposed orders to the doctor. Thus, she is scheduled for decapitation in the season finale, and to have her understand the horror of her fate, Rochefort forces her to watch the doctor’s execution. As I watched, I assumed something would happen to prevent the doctor’s decapitation; I thought the creators were setting up another romantic triangle in D’Artagnan’s life even though Constance said no after the doctor proposed marriage. However, I was wrong; the doctor lost his head. Thus, we should not assume D’Artagnan will rescue Constance before she loses her own head. In fact, there are two reasons why the character might die in the season finale: Milady de Winter murdered Constance in Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, and the first season covered most of the original novel. Thus, Constance is already past due, and having Rochefort order her execution as a substitute for Milady murdering her would make sense due to another plot twist that was introduced in this episode—a possible reconciliation between Athos and his estranged wife. When a network renews a series, the producers are often asked to maintain or reduce production costs. However, returning actors are usually set to have an increase in salary. Thus, one way for a series to keep production costs low is to kill off characters. The four main characters are not likely to be killed off in a cost-saving move. However, all other actors in the series have a reason to worry about job security (except for Marc Warren, as he will be entering only the second year of his contract rather than the third year). Thus, in order to eliminate Tamla Kari’s salary, it’s possible Constance will die in the season finale and that Olivia Llewellyn will be brought in to reprise her role as Lucie de Foix (the woman who kissed D’Artagnan in the season-opening episode), as her salary would be lower regardless of whether she has either a regular or recurring role. In fact, the previews of the season finale make it seem as if Constance is definitely on her way out; D’Artagnan is going to have to act very quickly to save her. However, if Constance does die in the season finale, her death will underscore what I mentioned earlier—the third season is going to be entirely unlike seasons one and two. Not only will D’Artagnan need to find a new romantic interest—and I’m assuming it will be Lucie de Foix because it certainly seemed she was introduced to be something more than a one-episode character whose main function was to kiss D’Artagnan so Constance would be jealous. The first season ended in a way that concluded the various plot threads but that brought the characters back to a status quo position so the story could basically pick up where it left off if the series was renewed. When Capaldi quit the series, it was a simple matter to bring in a previously unused minor villain from the novel to replace Richelieu as a major villain who would essentially have the same type of relationship with the king. However, as we approach the conclusion of the second season, there are several plot points that cannot be resolved in a way that will return all the characters to status quo relationships: The queen stands accused of treason and attempted assassination. Constance faces execution as an agent of the queen. Rochefort knows the queen had sex with Aramis and that the dauphin is Aramis’s child. Aramis awaits execution for high treason because he had sex with the queen. The musketeers know Rochefort is an agent of the Spanish king (Queen Anne’s brother), and they probably suspect his only true loyalty is to himself rather than to Spain. Athos passionately kissed Milady de Winter, and she has been softening in her egotism—to the point where she might be switching from villain to anti-hero. Other than the last one involving Milady and Athos, none of those plot points will be easy to resolve while also keeping the characters’ relationships the same as they were at the beginning of seasons one and two. The only things I’m sure will be the same next season is that our four musketeer protagonists will return and that King Louis will still be a buffoon—if he returns. I wouldn’t mind one of the changes being the elimination of Louis from the show in favor of Anne and Aramis’s child becoming king with Anne ruling as regent (10 years earlier than in real life). In fact, Rochefort could be persuaded to kill the king if Louis continues to make jokes about Rochefort’s new fashion accessory. As far as the king knows, the queen’s only offense was in writing a letter to her brother after slave traders kidnapped Louis when he was slumming as a lower lord. At that point, Anne asked her brother to send Spanish troops into France to safeguard the throne, but the musketeers rescued the king and brought him back to Anne before the letter was sent—though Rochefort kept the letter and is now using it as evidence of the queen’s treachery. Thus, the queen is accused of treason for requesting Spanish forces to occupy France, and Rochefort is urging the king to punish his wife the way he would punish any of his subjects who committed a similar act of treason: King Louis: I suppose you’re right; she must be punished. Let her think I’m still angry for now, and later I will forgive her bad judgment. He then decides to comment on Rochefort’s new eye patch—giggling before pointing at it and saying, “I like this; it’s very piratical.” It’s clear Rochefort isn’t amused by the king’s jest. Also, Rochefort encountered similar jesting about the eye patch earlier when Milady de Winter made a snide remark about it: Milady: Some new fashion I missed; not sure it will catch on in the salons of Paris. Rochefort: You think me a suitable target for your humor, hmm? I am ridiculous to you. To show his lack of amusement, Rochefort then grabs Milady by the throat, tosses her atop a desk, and demands that she beg for her life—which she does. Finally, I will leave you with this bit of dialogue as we ponder the season two finale and the possible story arc for season three: Athos: Aramis slept with the queen. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Porthos: Why didn’t you tell us? Aramis: I had to protect the queen’s reputation. D’Artagnan: You could have done that by not sleeping with her. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.