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The Musketeers - Prisoners of War - Review: "Trust a Few"

© BBC Pictures
Episode: 3.08 "Prisoners of War"
Directed by: Udayan Prasad
Written by: James Payne
Air date: 23 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"
Episode 3.06 - "Death of a Hero"
Episode 3.07 - "Fool's Gold"

As it turns out, for a while now, Queen Anne, with Aramis' help, has been contacting her brother, Spanish King, to negotiate peace between their two countries. While it's a noble thought, hiding this fact from Louis and everyone else on court, only results in trouble, first for Aramis who gets caught by Grimaud and for Anne, whose Spanish connections bring her appearance down in people's eyes and make the King question whether she can maintain the power after his death.

Aramis acknowledges the danger he finds himself in, but remains loyal to the Queen and takes part in the peace talks between France and Spain. Even though I'm not happy about the secrecy once again surrounding these two, I'm glad to see new side of Aramis, with his diplomatic skills on display. However, on his last meeting, he gets caught in Grimaud's trap. Seems that Grimaud is feeling better and is now working with Gaston which can only mean trouble for France. Meanwhile, d'Artagnan and Porthos escort Spanish generals ("prisoners of war") to Captain Marcheaux and to Ch√Ętelet prison. As always, the Musketeers and Red Guard don't see eye to eye when it comes to respectful treatment and fair trial for the prisoners.

King Louis is clearly fading away, with Treville watching over him and staying by his side as the pain grows stronger. The friendship between these two has officially became one of my favorite things about the final season and both characters in general. As the King is walking around in the gardens (assumed missing at one point) he encounters a familiar face - Milady de Winter. I really missed her this season! As much as I've grown to like Sylvie's character, I feel like we have missed the opportunity for a great redemption story for Milady, and possibly a better resolution for Athos as well. It's been so long and though Milady is presented as if nothing changed for her, I'm still glad to see her again. And the incredible Maimie McCoy! What's interesting is that the person Milady comes to visit is Treville. She needs money and he requests her skills, just like the Cardinal once did.

Milady doesn't waste the time and goes to Athos' office as well, introducing herself as his wife, and later meeting with Sylvie. The most powerful part of her time in the episode, however, is definitely her reunion with Athos, who's absolutely shocked by her return. It says so much about the two when his first reaction is almost losing a breath and a kiss, before going angry at the thought Milady might have hurt Sylvie in any way. The dynamics between both these actors are absolutely incredible. Makes me really wish they could have shared more screentime on the show. The characters' bond remains quite addictive, though sadly painful and full of mistrust once again. Looks like there's no happy ending for the two after all, despite some fans' wishes in the past years. Eventually Milady understands that Athos loves Sylvie after he risks his own safety to help her later in the episode, and she accepts her fate and Treville's offer. It honestly feels like such a sad and quite a disappointing moment for the character like Milady.

Aramis and Grimaud get to spend some time with each other in the hour. It's quite an interesting conversation and a chance for both actors to shine, as Aramis tries to get through to Grimaud, or maybe just understand him and keep him occupied, talking about his mother (met in the previous episode). Eventually the word of Aramis' capture gets around, after the Queen receives the letter with demands from Grimaud (posing as the Spanish King) and shares its content with Treville. Queen Anne believes the demand to be a test of her resolve on her brother's part and is willing to exchange the Spanish prisoners for Aramis, even though it threatens her reputation. The Musketeers, however, expect there's more to the letter, though they don't manage to change Queen's mind. Chaos ensues when the Musketeers, acting on Treville's official orders, come to release the Spanish Generals, just moments before their execution. People want blood and justice, and it doesn't take much to turn the crowd against the Queen. One of the men also sent to his death, turns out to be d'Artagnan's old friend, Espoir, who escapes in the middle of the protests and is taken by the Musketeer back to garrison.

Aramis does his best to get himself out of this situation but despite making quite a progress, he eventually gets stopped and shackled once again. Grimaud uses his capture to act on his personal vendetta against the Musketeers, wanting to kill them all when they come to rescue their friend. Soon before the exchange is supposed to take place d'Artagnan and his cousin Espoir find Grimaud's hideout, inform the rest of the Musketeers and start their own attack against the enemy. Together with Aramis they win the fight with Grimaud's men but Lucien still manages to get away from them. Espoir saves Athos' life in the middle of the fight and is rewarded with his freedom and a horse in exchange, while Aramis and Porthos have a short argument. Porthos confronts him about keeping secrets from them and Aramis gets angry that his friends weren't willing to sacrifice him to kill Grimaud and reveals his reason behind the secret meetings - the desperate need for peace after seeing everything that war's doing to the people of France. As always, both sides have good points, making this one a very memorable moment for me. It's probably the most powerful scene of the episode and it's wonderfully acted by Santiago Cabrera.

The plot to discredit and shame the Queen is quickly evolving when Duke of Lorraine joins forces with Grimaud and Gaston. Constance and Treville take an active role to convince the Queen of the severity of the situation. On Queen's behalf, Constance reaches out to Sylvie, and the people she looks after, with provisions and the place to educate the poor in whole Paris and beyond. Plan works really well and fast until Grimaud uses the Queen's seal to distribute the paper meant to harm her reputation and once again make things far worse for the Crown. This time the news also reaches the King and he doesn't take it well, he even finds Sylvie guilty of discrediting the Queen and orders her to be publicly punished. Athos ignores the King's orders and runs to her rescue. Sylvie stays strong, even when Marcheaux wants her to name Constance as her accomplice, promising to reduce her punishment. The Musketeers come to stop Red Guard, though the Sylvie is already hurt in the process. The event brings her closer together with Athos. But the tension between Marcheaux and the Musketeers (especially D'Artagnan) only gets worse. In the end, the episode once again puts a rift in the recently repaired partnership of the King and Queen. Things are looking up for Grimaud and his friends...

Notes, thoughts and quotes:
Character of the Episode: Aramis
Most Dynamic Interactions: Milady and Athos
Best Scene: Porthos and Aramis' argument
Best Return: Milady de Winter
Best Plan: Constance works to repair Queen's reputation by helping the poor
Worst Plan: All the secrets
Most Painful to Watch: Sylvie's punishment
Worst Change: King and Queen once again at odds

Memorable quotes:
1. King Louis: "She's angry with me... She's still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, you know?" Treville: "Who, majesty?" King Louis: "Milady de Winter."
2. Porthos: "What happens when he starts seeing the Cardinal?"
3. Aramis: "You should've all fired! Killed us both!" Porthos: "You shouldn't keep secrets!" Aramis: "I wanted peace! We've all seen what war does to the world! It makes refugees! Men like Grimaud, places like Eparcy." Athos: "There can be no peace, as long as Grimaud lives." Aramis: "No, not for you, my friend."
4. Duke of Lorraine: "We must make the people love us and not her." Gaston: "She is Spanish. Is that not enough?" Duke of Lorraine: "Has being French salvaged your reputation, dear cousin?"
5. Treville: "If you'd come to kill me, I'm certain I'd be dead already. So, what is your business here?" Milady: "Mmm. Minister Treville? I'm disappointed by your calm demeanour. I'd hoped for shock. Panic. Even a faint note of surprise would have been nice."

Favorite to Least Favorite Season 3 Episodes Ranking:
1. "Death of a Hero"
2. "Fool's Gold"
3. "Spoils of War"
4. "To Play the King"
5. "Prisoners of War" - It's a good episode, but not one of my favorites, with all the secrecy and another argument between the King and the Queen.
6. "The Queen's Diamonds"
7. "Brothers in Arms"
8. "The Hunger"

And now, what did you think about "Prisoners of War"? Any favorite scenes or quotes in the episode?

About the Author - Justyna Kubica
24. SpoilerTV Writer. Loves Movies (especially Marvel Cinematic Universe), TV Shows (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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