Athos, who has been a bit on the sidelines this season, is brought front and center in this episode that explored more of his past. It wasn’t pretty.
We’ve already explored Athos’s backstory in some detail. We knew he was a titled landowner; we knew about his past with Milady; we knew that losing her was the impetus for his joining the Musketeers and his excessive drinking.
What we learned, or at least what was reinforced, is that Athos, drunk and full of self-pity, can be less than heroic. Far less. He has abandoned the people who need his protection to protect others who probably need it less. And, it’s not just the people on his land he has abandoned.
Enter Catherine. Athos and she were meant to marry, but he married Milady and she was “passed on to Thomas.” We will gloss over the fact that she was nowhere to be found the last time we visited Pinon, and concentrate on the woman we met this week.
At first, she is calm and capable. She has survived and managed to teach herself all manner of techniques so that she doesn’t starve or live out in the cold. As the hour goes by, however, we see the extent of her bitterness, especially toward Milady. The hatred there is clear and disturbing. Catherine is, finally, not a very nice person. She is entitled and selfish. Her reaction to learning exactly where Athos's land was going was chilling. Instead of being grateful for what she has received, she gets Thomas's pistols and heads off, presumably to kill the King's mistress.
All of which, of course, throws into question every assumption I have made about the relationship between Athos and Milady. Was it, in fact, Catherine who manipulated events so that Milady (then Anne) would take the blame? If it was she, how was Athos so fooled? And, what was Thomas’s role in all this? The first glimpse we have of Catherine is her accusing Anne of murder. Foreshadowing?
The best part of this episode was its inherent irony. Athos may have abandoned his people, but his people have not abandoned him. The other Musketeers drop everything to come to his land and to help him when he needs them. The whole set-up of forming a group of peasants into a fighting force has been done, but it was fun to watch and it made me smile more than once.
Renard was an adequate villain of the week. A tad mustache twirling for my taste, but he and his son were despicable enough that we wanted our ragtag army to beat them back. What I did appreciate was that said ragtag army did not come through the fight unscathed. There were deaths and injuries, which raised the stakes and made the ultimate victory that much sweeter.
This was a dark and disturbing hour that raised more questions than provided answers. Something tells me we have not seen the last of Catherine. Three out of four homemade land mines.
-- All four of the Musketeers are very, very handsome men. But, let’s just pause for a moment to appreciate Athos in that white shirt and black gloves. Sigh...
-- Funny that a barely literate innkeeper in 17th century France could write a letter in perfect English.
-- Porthos is still pushing Treville for the truth about his father. Treville is still not budging. Maybe, it’s time to move this story along a bit as well.
-- Renard is the French word for fox.
-- Considering the series began with D’Artagnan wanting to kill Athos, the resulting friendship is simply lovely. It is to this younger man, and to him alone, that Athos shows just how much he is truly suffering. Can you imagine Athos crying in front of any of the others? D’Artagnan instinctively knows not to say anything. He claps him on the back and carries on.
Treville: “All right, I’ll ride with you. But, as a comrade, not your commanding officer.”
D’Artagnan: “Whatever you say, Captain.”
Jeanne: “Hate this place if you like, but don’t punish its people.”
Catherine: “It’s amazing what you can learn when you’ve run out of choices.”
Athos: “Little battered, but just about serviceable.”
D’Artagnan: “Talking about yourself or that pistol?”
Porthos: “I didn’t think that would work.”
Aramis: “Centuries of inbreeding is making the aristocracy stupid.”
Catherine: “I cannot breathe in a world where your wife lives.”
ChrisB now understands it is possible to be in love with four men at the same time.
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