The Musketeers: There's An Unwelcome Family Reunion In Store For The King

This weeks episode is all about mothers and their children. One son ripped from his mother's arms, as another mother puts her plot into motion to rip France from the arms of her son. The Musketeers have their hands full.

The story kicks off with D'Artagnan and Aramis on a mission to retrieve a mother and child from the French countryside and bring them to the Cardinal. Unfortunately they arrive to discover someone else had got to them first, in the ensuing fight the baby is kidnapped and Aramis is left with a very distraught and angry mother on his hands.

Agnes (Amy Nuttall) isn't to pleased with Aramis (BBC Pictures)

Meanwhile, as one mother and son are torn apart, another mother and son are about to have a reunion (of sorts). Whilst hunting in the countryside the kings party is approached by a small group of armed men and Marie de Medici, the Kings mother. She had been banished years prior for trying to seize the throne while her son was a child. so as you would expect the reunion is not a welcome one, for the King, the Musketeers or the Cardinal.

She claims that her life is in danger and as the King puts it "I can't have people running around trying to kill my mother... not unless I tell them too". The Musketeers aren't convinced by her story and ally with the Cardinal to work out what she is up to. This happily means a lot more of Peter Capaldi's Cardinal Richelieu in this episode. He's been a small presence throughout all episodes, but hasn't taken centre stage for a while; and as ever he's on blistering form.

Peter Capaldi's Cardinal Richelieu advising the King against trusting his mother (BBC Pictures)

Meanwhile, the kidnappers are tracked back to a building in Paris. Agnes, the child's mother, claims not to know any reason for the kidnapping, or why the Cardinal wanted her to be brought to Paris. D'artagnan comes up with a plan to infiltrate the building, sending in Constance as a wet-nurse for the baby. As ever, planning (and thinking in general) is not one of D'Artagnan's best qualities.

Back in the palace, Marie is quickly able to work her way back into her son's affections, claiming that she was only ever doing what was best for him. While the King does seem very childish at times, its still slightly hard to believe that he would be this gullible.

Tara Fitzgerald, recently seen in Game of Thrones, is a highlight of the episode, with some great verbal bouts with the Cardinal, she is equal measures cold, calculating and manipulating. Amy Nuttall (of Downton Abbey fame), as Agnes on the other hand is heartbreaking and brings some real soul to the episode. Many may find a tear in their eye during some her scenes and is a perfect reflection to Fitzgerald's uncaring cold mother.

Tara Fitzgerald as Marie de Medici, the Kings banished mother (BBC Pictures)

Marie plans to overthrow the king and replace him with the kidnapped child, her grandson and the rightful heir to the throne. The baby is the child of the Kings older twin, who because he was born deformed, was hidden away. Not even the King or the Cardinal knowing about his existence. However Marie gives away her plan by secretly going to see the child, where Agnes recognises her and reveals to the watching Musketeers that the child is Marie's grandson.

With Constance trapped inside with the baby, the Musketeers revert back to what they know best, the use of force. Storming the building and rescuing the child and Constance, who puts D'Artaganan's lessons in fighting to good use. However with the truth now known, the Cardinal plans to kill the child to end the threat to the King (and himself). Aramis who has grown fond of the mother and child, doesn't like the sound of this and attempts to spirit them away from Paris. However even with the help of the other Musketeers, the plan fails and little baby Henry dies. Or does he?

Agnes (Amy Nuttall) setting off to start a new life, with little Henry alive and well (BBC pictures)

With her plot ended, Marie is sent back into exile; which is a shame. With Capaldi leaving at the end of the season for some adventures in space and time, Marie would have been a great character to take his place as the Musketeers foil.

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