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The Musketeers - Death of a Hero & Fool's Gold - Review: "We refuse to die!"

© BBC Pictures
Episode: 3.06 "Death of a Hero"
Directed by: Nicholas Renton
Written by: Peter McKenna
Air date: 9 July 2016

Reviews so far:
Episode 3.01 - "Spoils of War"
Episode 3.02 - "The Hunger"
Episode 3.03 - "Brothers in Arms"
Episode 3.04 - "The Queen's Diamonds"
Episode 3.05 - "To Play the King"

Let me start the review by saying this one is definitely my favorite episode this season, including episode 7. Lucky number 6 once again. There are so many great scenes, developments, quotes and character moments in the hour that it's impossible to choose the best ones. Going step by step, then... Opening monologue sets the tone for the rest of the hour, with the death approaching the Musketeers as they enjoy their life with their loved ones. Athos' relationship with Sylvie should certainly be considered a serious one, judging by their morning activities. Meanwhile, D'Artagnan and Constance finally share a moment, and Aramis and Pothos return to their favorite trick (these two!), though Aramis takes a second to contemplate on his choices, seeing the monks in the city. As the Musketeers take a breath from their usual struggles, Feron and Grimaud decide they've waited enough and plan to strike fast and end their enemies once and for all.

There's a moment, before the storm, where everyone seems truly happy and it makes one realize how rarely we get to see the Musketeers at peace like that. Doesn't take long for everything to change rapidly. Starting with Athos. I have to admit, I expected the plot against our heroes to happen in a number of ways, but such an open attack was a true surprise for me. Grimaud surely lost his patience and chooses not to hide his hate and intentions any longer. No more secrets. And it's especially interesting as we're only on episode six... He goes after Athos in the most brutal and sudden way, and he has no problem hurting anyone else on his path, including Sylvie. Luckily Athos' quick thinking, fighting skills and Sylvie's support end up saving their lives. But even though he gets shot, multiple times, Grimaud still manages to get out, mostly in once piece, leaving everyone hurt and shocked, as he's going after his next targets.

Meanwhile, the others get a letter they believe to be with orders from Treville, not knowing it's a trap set up by Feron and Grimaud. Aramis gets called back to the palace and commanded to accompany the King on a pilgrimage to his father's grave. Porthos and D'Artagnan, however, leave Paris and ride to the place mentioned in the letter. It turns out to be abandoned and though the two wait for the arrival of the general's aid at first, they eventually realize something is wrong. They fight bravely, but they don't have enough ammunition, they're completely surrounded and they end up being caught in the explosion, before Athos, Treville and cadets can arrive to their rescue. I really enjoyed the interactions between Porthos and D'Artagnan in the episode, they have grown closer during the war and their quiet conversation about the things they want before they die was beautifully acted by both Howard Charles and Luke Pasqualino. Porthos' sad reflection, about not having a family, was especially meaningful, as he deserves all the love and support just like the rest of them. We're almost at the end of the series and Porthos finding his happiness is one of the things I'd still want to see the most. Porthos and D'Artagnan screaming "We refuse to die!" was such an emotional and easily one of my favorite parts of the episode. Athos' frantic search for his friends after the explosion was another great scene. If I'd have to choose just one, best thing about the show, I think it would be the brotherhood between the Musketeers. Their loyalty, friendship and simple act of always being there for each other, truly means the world. Porthos' voice breaking as he's waiting for D'Artagnan to wake up, repeating their words from before, was such a heartbreaking moment. Loved the reunion as the two are eventually rescued by Athos and the rest. And they all ride together to help Aramis, who is also in danger.

When his friends fight for their lives, Aramis has to visit the royal mausoleum with the King. The two exchange a few words about faith, before finally getting to the conversation that has being awaiting them for years. The King reveals to Aramis (of all people!) that he's dying and he wants to know the truth before he leaves this world. Though at first, Aramis tries to avoid the confrontation, he eventually admits to his relationship with the Queen. He also explains her situation and calls out Louis on the way he has been hurting his wife during their marriage. Furious King informs Aramis he's going to hang for his treason and orders him to leave his side. Only a moment later, Grimaud arrives and attacks the two, forcing Aramis and King Louis to stand and fight together. They're actually doing surprisingly well, even share a joke at one point ("Are you afraid I'm going to shoot you?") and manage to stay alive until Treville and the Musketeers arrive to support them. As I pointed out a number of times in my reviews I haven't been a biggest fan of the King since the episode nine of first season but I found him really likeable at that moment. With nothing to lose, he was fighting side by side with Aramis and it was not only a freeing experience for him but also one of my favorite scenes with him on the series. As always, Ryan Gage and Santiago Cabrera did a wonderful job in the episode, especially in the moments of their characters confrontation, during the fight and with Feron. In the end, Grimaud's plan fails miserably and all the Musketeers and the King come out of the day alive.

The death in the episode turns out to be the one of Feron, the narrator of the opening monologue. Though at first Philippe actively participates in the plan against the Musketeers, his doubts and arguments from the previous episodes, return this week when angry Grimaud tells him to kill the King. Because when the time comes, Feron is simply unable to kill his own brother and is greatly moved by the way Louis cares about him, even asks him to be the one to look after Dauphin after he's gone. He wants to change the plans, but when confronted with Grimaud at the end, he knows he's going to die and still chooses to betray his partner in crime, instead of the King. A noble act, especially as he gives Aramis and Louis a fighting chance, with a warning shot that helps them realize that the attack is about to happen. There were a little clues, but who would have expected such a honorable choice from Feron? Even more surprising as he starts the episode murdering the guard and helping Gaston escape from his prison. In the end, it only adds to the fascinating character of Feron. Such a brilliant role performed by Rupert Everett! Will definitely miss him greatly in the last episodes of the season. Governor of Paris ended up not only being an interesting villian but the most surprising hero in the King's eyes.

And lastly, after all these events, King Louis decides not to punish Aramis for his romance with the Queen, though he orders him to keep distance from his son, never to let the little one (or anyone else) know the truth. It's a hurtful statement for Aramis, but things are even worse for the Queen, who, after spending the whole day worrying about Aramis and Louis spending time together, meets with the Musketeer at the end and learns what happened. And as if the news of the King getting a confirmation about her treason wasn't bad enough, she finally finds out about the fact he's dying. And it's what truly breaks her down. It's a good thing Aramis tells her to stay strong and that she's not alone. Anne's the Spanish Queen, in the eyes of the people, during the war between France and Spain. Strength is something she's going to need the most in the not so distant future. It's another beautifully acted and emotional moment. Kudos to Alexandra Dowling for another great hour of her work. Such a fantastic episode overall, can honestly say it will end up as one of my all-time favorites of the show. Thank you cast & crew for that!

© BBC Pictures
Episode: 3.07 "Fool's Gold"
Directed by: Sue Tully
Written by: Kelly Jones
Air date: 16 July 2016

In the episode seven, the Musketeers want Grimaud to pay for what he's done. Everyone searches for him, but no one more determined than Athos, who once again ended things with Sylvie after the attack, trying to stay completely focused on his life as the Musketeer. His wounds haven't healed and he barely pays attention to them as he refuses to stop and take a moment to rest, afraid to let Grimaud get away.

The hour starts with the interrogation of one of Grimaud's men, with the Musketeers finding the direction of Grimaud's escape route. What stands out the most in this beginning is the growing presence of the cadets, especially Brujon, who is taking more of an active role in the events lately. Looks like the new generation of our Musketeers is getting ready to fight and I like how confident and similar to our heroes they become. There's a great hope for France in people like that. Soon after the opening sequence, Sylvie reveals a piece of information she learned about Grimaud - the place where he's from, the little village named Eparcy, thus giving the Musketeers a place to look for their enemy.

On their way to Eparcy, the Musketeers encounter a group of women, the mothers, wifes and children of the soldiers fighting and fallen during the war. They make quite an impression on our heroes, building and keeping their little village safe on their own. The group meets them when Porthos and D'Artagnan get caught in one of their traps set in the forest. It's clear that these women have survived a great deal of painful experiences and are not willing to trust men easily. Eventually they let the Musketeers into their home and that's where we meet a new interesting character - Elodie. She's pregnant and a skilled archer who's waiting for her husband to come home from war. Her and Porthos quickly come to mutual respect and easily bond over a number of things. He also reveals to her that every French soldier stationed where she believed her husband to be, has died during an attack, six months ago. Despite this heartbreaking news, Elodie is strong, she finds comfort in knowing the truth about her loved one's death and keeps living and fighting for her child and herself. Quite an extraordinary character.

The Musketeers also get a chance to meet Bastien, a cripple that the women from the village rescued recently. Soon they discover him to be a deserter and later, he turns out to be one of the men attacking them. Though initally Athos chooses to split the group, taking D'Artagnan to continue the search for Grimaud and leaving Porthos and Aramis to deal with Bastien, the plans change when the shooting takes place in the village and D'Artagnan returns to help the rest. During the fight, one of the men can't bring himself to shoot pregnant Elodie and is caught by the Musketeers, telling them about the missing gold that the men are after. He also reveals that the men are convicts, promised to be spared from death if they fight with the soldiers, who eventually escaped after witnessing the horrors of war.

At the same time, Athos, barely standing, hurt and exhausted, continues to look for Grimaud. He finds the cabin in the woods that one of the women, Theresa, mentioned, only to be locked inside by her. She reveals she's a friend of Grimaud, trying to keep him safe. Theresa cared for him, being his guardian for a long time, after finding him as a boy when his own mother tried to kill him. Turns out that Lucien's mother suffered through a horrifying events when she was being raped and beaten mercilessly, having a child as a result, being still only a young girl herself. As Athos points out, however, tough childhood doesn't change what the person has done. He also learns how smart and capable Grimaud can be, having endured the worst of things. This is one villain that will not go down easily. Athos manages to get out of the cabin, fights with Theresa and only worsens his condition.

When searching for Athos, Aramis realizes that Juliette, a woman particularly against the strangers, is hiding something. He discovers she's the one who found and took the gold, the reason for all this fighting. As all the Musketeers are reunited, Elodie and Aramis take care of Athos, who is suffering the result of his wounds and poison. He manages to pull through and tells the others what he learned about Grimaud. It leads Aramis to the conclusion that Juliette is actually Grimaud's mother, right before she is taken prisoner by the village's attackers. Finally the Musketeers and the women face them together and end the attacks once and for all. Porthos misses the fight, however, helping Elodie when she goes into labor. The Musketeers leave the village at peace, with Juliette able to face her past life and move on, Elodie staying strong for her child and with thief, who previously attacked them, choosing to stay by their side and protect everyone living in the village.

Meanwhile, at the palace, the regency becomes the focus of interest. With Feron being both traitor and dead, and Gaston conspiring against Louis, he has to rethink his choice for his replacement in the time before the little Louis grows up. Not that he plans to do that anytime soon, still hoping Gaston is not truly his enemy. One of the most interesting events of the episode ends up being the honest conversation between Louis and Anne. Now both sides knowing the truth about each other, can finally talk openly and it gives them a chance for a small act of forgiveness, or at the very least, an understanding. Anne asks Louis to name her the Regent after his death, so that she could continue on with his legacy and promises to keep the memory of him always in the mind of their son. Though he doesn't agree at first, after talking to Treville, he eventually changes his mind and for the first time since what seems like forever, he actually listens to his wife. I really love the idea of even a glimpse of their friendship back before Louis' death. There's comfort in ending on good terms like that. Great episode, great developments.

Notes, thoughts and quotes:
Character of the Episode: All the Musketeers (in 3.06) & Porthos (in 3.07)
Best Interactions: Porthos and D'Artagnan (in 3.06) & Anne and Louis (in 3.07)
Favorite Scene: Porthos and D'Artagnan talk and "refuse to die"
Most Awkward: King orders Aramis to accompany him on a pilgrimage
Most Emotional Scene: Porthos and D'Artagnan are rescued after the explosion
Most Awaited Scene: The confrontation between Aramis and King Louis
Biggest Change: Feron's change of heart
Biggest Shock: Grimaud's open attack on Athos
Funniest Scene: Porthos and D'Artagnan caught in a trap (in 3.07)
Best New Character: Elodie

Memorable quotes:
1. Feron: "The day you die is just like every other day. You wake and dress and eat and drink. Just like every other day. You don't see death coming. Or hear its approach. Because you are too busy living. Too busy enjoying your life. Sating your appetites. Rich man or beggar, it does not discriminate. Death doesn't care about fleeing your demons, or making amends for them. It doesn't care about any of that. It cares only that this is your time. Your day... to die. And this is the Musketeers' day."
2. D'Artagnan: "The three of us are to leave immediately." Porthos: "By "immediately", I do presume you mean after breakfast?"
3. Porthos and D'Artagnan: "We refuse to die!"
4. Juliette: "Something amuses you?"
Aramis: "I've been tied up by women too but... it's only ever been recreational."
5. Porthos: "Listen to me. I know a lot about fear. You asked me if I've ever been scared on the battlefield. Well I was. When I was on the front line at one point, we were losing more men than we could bury. Seeing things like that, it does something to your mind, fear takes over. One night it got so bad, I left. I got five miles away. Then I realised what I was doing and I came back. No one ever knew."
Elodie: "Why did you come back?"
Porthos: "My men. My friends, I... however bad it gets you keep going for them, for Juliette, for your people, now your baby. You don't give up. Fear has no power over you."
6. King Louis: "Queens have been beheaded for less
Treville: “And yet no king has been beheaded for such a crime

Favorite to Least Favorite Season 3 Episodes Ranking:
1. "Death of a Hero" - With high stakes and all the Musketeers fighting for their lives, this episode is easily my number one. Beautifully acted, great story and action. Kudos!
2. "Fool's Gold" - I love a good emotional story, so this one's definitely a great hour for me. Loved the introduction of Elodie (hope to see her back!) and the development between Louis and Anne.
3. "Spoils of War"
4. "To Play the King"
5. "The Queen's Diamonds"
6. "Brothers in Arms"
7. "The Hunger"

Don't miss all new The Musketeers which airs on Saturday July 23rd, 2016 on BBC One in the UK!

And now, what did you think about "Death of a Hero" & "Fool's Gold"? Any favorite scenes or quotes in the episodes?

Justyna JJ Kubica
24. SpoilerTV Writer. Loves Movies (especially Marvel Cinematic Universe), TV Shows (The 100, Agents Of SHIELD, Teen Wolf, Sherlock, Person Of Interest, Supernatural (especially 1-5), The Musketeers, Agent Carter, The Flash, Doctor Who, Fringe, Psych and many more) and Books (Harry Potter!). Fantasy & SciFi geek! Scene Of The Week articles author. Writes reviews for Doctor Who, Sherlock & The Musketeers. Member of SpoilerTV team since 27th November 2011.
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