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The Musketeers - We Are the Garrison - Review: "Goodbye my Friends"

17 Aug 2016

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© BBC Pictures
Episode: 3.10 "We Are the Garrison"
Directed by: Udayan Prasad
Written by: Simon Allen
Air dates: 1 August 2016

Season 3 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"
Episode 3.08 - "Prisoners of War"
Episode 3.09 - "The Prize"

It's the final page of the book. Makes me think of one of the Doctor's quotes "Oh, I always rip out the last page of a book. Then it doesn’t have to end. I hate endings!" Letting go and saying goodbye is never an easy thing. Especially when you get attached, start caring and make something a part of your life, like a friend or an experience you'd like to revisit. Then again, it's all just stories in the end and as long as they're the good ones, we'll remember. I do believe that all the best things stay with us and wouldn't it be nice to come back to them one day and start from the beginning? Sounds like a plan to me. But for now, let's go back and go through the final hour of "The Musketeers".

It all starts with the funeral for the "Savior of France" - a soldier, a minister, the regent Treville, the captain of the Musketeers. Everyone remembers the hero responsible for finally bringing some peace to Paris, stopping the civil war and saving the little King. As the Musketeers raise a toast for their absent friend, Grimaud plans his revenge against them. First there's a diversion and then a true attack on their home. The garrison is torched, leaving many casualties among the Musketeers' cadets, and weapons and gunpowder get destroyed or stolen by the former Red Guard and Lucien.

It's a very emotional beginning overall, first with the speeches made by the Musketeers about Treville. D'Artagnan's especially, as he feels like he owes Treville his life, speaking of the way he became a father to them all, giving them home and family, a chance that most of people wouldn't. He's also the one most affected by the explosion in the garrison. When Constance is trapped in the fire, he almost dies trying to save her. Not even Porthos is able to keep him away from the flames... There's a moment when the Musketeers (and Grimaud) believe d'Artagnan to be dead and their reactions are absolutely heartbreaking. Depth of the heroes' friendship is visible like never before and once again this season the bond between Porthos and d'Artagnan is highlighted in the scene. When the latter eventually finds a way out for himself and his beloved wife, he breaks down himself as she appears gone for a while before finally waking up. I loved the way d'Artagnan calls Constance "a musketeer", refusing to accept she's gone. Seeing how much she's been through with them all and the way she was taking care of the garrison, it made perfect sense to include her like that. Very powerful performance by Luke Pasqualino and the rest of the cast!

One of the young cadets, a recurring character in this season, Clairmont, is badly hurt in the fire. His passing is very painful process and another truly sad scene. The other, Brujon, explains how he got himself and Constance to the door, saving their lives until the rest arrived, earning the very much deserved official title of a Musketeer. In the aftermath of the fire, there's a part when the Musketeers plan their next move and Athos gets one of his rare moments to be the Captain, saying exactly what they need to hear. There's more to the garrison than a building and supplies. There's people, the Musketeers, and they're truly what made it a home, everywhere they make a stand, save a life - that's the garrison. "We are the Garrison." It's probably one of my favorite Athos' speeches and it's absolutely true.

Grimaud's plot is not only focused on killing the Musketeers, but he also looks for a way to get to the Queen and her son. However, his need for vengeance blinds him and though Marcheaux would rather leave Paris behind, they're far from over. While Sylvie searches for necessary provisions, Grimaud attacks her at her home and takes her prisoner as a bait for Athos and his friends, along with the other refugees he threatens to execute if the Musketeers don't show up. The one advantage the heroes have is the fact that Lucien believes d'Artagnan to be dead, making him a secret weapon they can use when needed. Porthos plans the details of the rescue and attack on Grimaud's men. Before they leave to fight, though, Elodie shows up with her child. She explains to Porthos that her village was once again threatened and it soon becomes clear that both Elodie and Porthos want her to stay with him in Paris. The two quickly developed a beautiful bond a few episodes ago and I'm really glad that at the end they are reunited and get together for good.

When it comes to the fight, the new motto the Musketeers take to win with Lucien is "no rules, no honor." It's quite uncharacteristic for them to take such an approach, but not surprising considering everything that's happened. The stakes only get higher when Athos finds out (from Grimaud!) that Sylvie is pregnant with his child. The fight is brutal, but after Lucien escapes, it's mostly focused on the confrontation between d'Artagnan and Marcheaux. "No mercy" indeed. D'Artagnan takes revenge on his enemy for all the people hurt in the fire, taking a stand in the name of the Musketeers' cadets he spent so much time to train but who didn't get their chance because of the former Captain of the Red Guard. The hate building up in the season ends when d'Artagnan finishes Marcheaux' life on the streets of Paris. The fight continues later, when Grimaud goes to Constance for help (after getting hurt confronting the Musketeers) and then sets a trap for the Queen and everyone attending the official ceremony at the cathedral. Athos and d'Artagnan manage to prevent another explosion and finally put an end to Lucien's terror. In the last fight of the show Athos faces Grimaud and kills him after a longer and ruthless confrontation in the canals.

As for all the endings... The Queen offers Athos a new position, to take over from Treville as the new Minister. He kindly declines it, but advices Anne to ask Aramis, who might be more experienced in the diplomatic work and will certainly be more happy with the job that places him on the court, next to the Queen and little Louis. It was a lovely thought and considering the fact Athos was there when Aramis and Anne's love affair started, always actively against such a dangerous choice, it seems fitting for him to reunite them in the end. Athos also uses his meeting with the Queen to recommend Porthos for promotion, as his plan saved the life of Sylvie and the refugees, and over the course of the entire series he earned the recognition a number of times (including saving Anne herself last season, bringing proof of Rochefort's Spanish connection to the King). The Queen also wants to start the new era for France, with the first step being inviting everyone, no matter who they are and where they're from, to the blessing ceremony for the Dauphin and for everyone who died protecting him. At the ceremony she also declares there will no longer be King's Musketeers, but instead she makes them protectors of all people of France, with everyone getting a chance to become a Musketeer and fight for justice and honor. Anne spent the entire series waiting for Louis to include her in his decisions, to have power to change things and influence men and events. She finally gets her chance at the end, and is accepted by the people, with the hope of the brighter tomorrow for France. Like with every power, there's a price she has to pay, in the Queen's case it's the co-operation with Milady de Winter, quietly removing the threats like Gaston before they can ever get to the King. It might seem quite cold and calculated but it's also logical and it's actually in line with Anne's character, strong and always fierce when it comes to protecting her child. Just a shame there's no happy ending, or even a redemption story for Milady at the end...

The Musketeers also say goodbye at the end. Each of them finds their place in the world and, at least for a while, it takes them in different directions. Athos leaves his position and Paris with Sylvie to start a new life and family, opening a possibility to one day return but knowing the rest will be fine without him. D'Artagnan is named the new Captain of the Musketeers and realizing how he changed from the pilot and how much it means to him makes the moment even more beautiful and special. Him and Constance stay and look after the new generations of the Musketeers. Porthos gets his long overdue promotion, returning to the battlefield as General du Vallon. He says goodbye to his closest friends and Elodie (who he wants to marry before leaving), knowing he has everything and everyone he needs, waiting for his return with love and understanding. Meanwhile Aramis, after getting one last advice from Athos (similarly to their scene in the season premiere), chooses to accept the Queen's offer to become the new Minister and watch over her and their son. His happy ending is the one I was worried about the most, so I'm glad to see that even though nothing can ever be perfect for him, he still gets the best of possible options and is given a chance to live his life with those most important to him. In a way, each of the Musketeers gets to become more like Treville, their father figure and friend, taking to the heart all that he taught them. It's a beautifully done ending. I wish we'd see all the heroes together at the end, but I'm glad the ending lets them go on separate journeys, still letting them reunite later on somewhere in the future... Most importantly, the creators leave the viewers with the feeling that all these characters we were rooting for since the beginning will be okay. And it's the happy ending I could only ask for. Thank you!

Notes, thoughts and quotes:
Character of the Episode: The Musketeers!
Most Memorable: The ending
Most Awaited: Porthos' promotion
Biggest Change: Anne's first decisions as the new Regent
Best Advice: Athos to Aramis & d'Artagnan to Athos
Most Heartbreaking: The aftermath of the fire at the garrison
Best Speech: Musketeers about Treville & Athos about garrision & Closing montage
Most Brutal: Athos vs. Grimaud & d'Artagnan vs. Marcheaux
Most Missed: Treville
Biggest Regret: No redemption story for Milady
Most Bittersweet: All the goodbyes

Memorable quotes:
1. Athos: "This was our home. A place where people came for justice, sanctuary. But it was only ever that, a place. This is not the garrison. Wherever we draw breath, make a stand, save a life, that is the garrison, we are the garrison."
2. Athos: "Does it change things, risking your life when your life is no longer your own?" D'Artagnan: "It changes everything. It's the greatest cause you'll ever have. It makes you fight harder."
3. D'Artagnan: "We owe him everything we are. He didn't care if you came from a farm, he didn't care if you came from the streets. All he saw was the man that you could become, the soldier!"
4. The Musketeers: "No mercy, no rules, no honour."
5. "If we face every challenge the way we always have. With great passion. Hearts that stay true to all they hold dear. Courage. No matter how many enemies lie in wait for us. Faith. Daylight will always follow the dark. And love? Above all else."

Favorite to Least Favorite Season 3 Episodes Ranking:
1. "Death of a Hero"
2. "We Are the Garrison" - It's the ending, a very memorable and really well done. It could be my number one if you ask me after a few re-watches. For now, leaving it here, but happy to see all the Musketeers get their new great beginnings at the show's end.
3. "The Prize"
4. "Fool's Gold"
5. "Spoils of War"
6. "To Play the King"
7. "Prisoners of War"
8. "The Queen's Diamonds"
9. "Brothers in Arms"
10. "The Hunger"

And now, what did you think about "We Are the Garrison" & season 3 overall? Any favorite scenes or quotes in the episodes? Thank you for reading & commenting in the past two years! Couldn't have asked for the better fans of the show and the readers that I was always happy to write for! Miss you all already. May we meet again on re-watch of this amazing show.

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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