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'The Musketeers' recap: Do you want to see a magic trick?

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Sleight of Hand” | Aired June 29, 2014

Last week’s premiere episode of The Musketeers served as a big introduction. Now that D’Artagnan is truly part of the gang, it’s time for the real fun to begin. With four leading men having very distinct characters, it’s really easy to pick a favorite. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m #TeamAthos. Something about those brooding, serious types.

The episode opens with a Wild West–like field duel. Instead of guns blazing, we have swords drawn. The Musketeers and D’Artagnan are standing in the woods, looking down at an opponent. Porthos leans over to give D’Artagnan a bit of fighting advice: “Don’t get killed. Biting, kicking, gouging? It’s all good.” D’Artagnan replies, “I was raised to fight like a gentleman.” The retort: “Were you raised to die young?”

Even though Athos tells him that he doesn’t have to do this, D’Artagnan insists that he can handle it. The duel begins with D’Artagnan finding that he actually has to take Porthos’ advice.

Suddenly the Red Guard appears, because they’ve been tipped off about the illegal dueling match, and everyone starts to run for their lives. The trio manage to escape, but D’Artagnan is arrested. Aramis tells the others not to worry because D’Artagnan knows the Musketeer motto, “Every man for himself!”

Captain Treville is angry that D’Artagnan awaits execution, and rebukes Athos, Porthos and Aramis in front of the rest of the Musketeer unit. But wait! This all turns out to be part of a plan to get D’Artagnan into the prison to get close to one of the prisoners, Vadim (Jason Flemyng, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), who has stolen a huge amount of  gunpowder — enough to start a small war.

In their shared cell, Vadim shows him a magic trick of making a gold coin disappear, along with some advice on how it’s done: “The secret to a good trick? Making people look the wrong way.” To keep the facade going, D’Artagnan tells everyone he hates the Musketeers for betraying him and allows himself to be beaten for complaining about the food. Granted, there was an actual rat in his stew.

Constance and her husband arrive at the garrison to provide new material for those stylish capes when she finds out what’s happened to D’Artagnan. She’s furious at them and slaps Aramis for allowing it to happen. He still manages to act quite the gentleman toward her.

Vadim tells D’Artagnan that he’s going to walk out of the prison in broad daylight and no one is going to stop him. Before D’Artagnan can give his cellmate a dubious look, Vadim starts having a spasm on the floor. The jailer thinks he’s just faking, but then he sees the gold coin on the floor. His greed is his downfall, however, because after he picks it up, it’s revealed that Vadim has stolen his keys, and he promptly knocks the guy out. He and D’Artagnan escape.

queenQueen Anne (Alexandra Dowling) arrives at the jail to perform her yearly ritual of pardoning certain prisoners on Good Friday. Right after she finishes, all hell starts to break loose. Vadim and D’Artagnan have released all the prisoners and there’s a massive jailbreak. The Musketeers try to protect the queen, but somehow Vadim manages to capture her. Holding her at gunpoint, he demands the gates to be opened. D’Artagnan tells him to let the queen go or else things will get worse. Vadim consents and throws her down before rushing out on horseback in a blaze of gunshots with D’Artagnan at his side.

The Musketeers, episode 102: Aramis, Queen Anne (BBC America)As the queen falls, Aramis rushes to protect her. They share a tender moment. Though she was THIS CLOSE to being killed, not even the queen can resist that charmer.

Cardinal Richelieu is not pleased at the turn of events. He’s ordered that whoever finds Vadim is to shoot him at first sight, and if D’Artagnan happens to get killed during that skirmish, so be it. Milady then comes out, and we learn that she’s been in Richelieu’s service for five years and that he wants her to find Vadim as well. She says that D’Artagnan will still trust her because he’s half in love with her. And sorry, Cardinal, those blue flowers aren’t for you.

Vadim proves that D’Artagnan has won over his trust after threatening to cut off his fingers, but backs off because he knows a man’s character after looking into his eyes, and he’s never wrong. He says that the plan is to kill the king and queen and give the power back to the poor.

While waiting after being summoned to the palace by the queen, Porthos muses that perhaps she is going to thank them for saving her. Aramis reminds him that they were the ones who put her in danger in the first place, and maybe she’s going to have them whipped. Porthos suddenly looks uncomfortable. The queen walks in and wants to speak with Aramis privately. “Bravest of all the king’s Musketeers!” she declares, as Porthos shakes his head disapprovingly. They have another “moment” together, and she gives him a necklace as a token of her gratitude in hopes that it will keep him safe. Porthos reminds him that she’s not just any woman, but the queen, and that he needs to set his sights a little lower for all their sakes.

Meanwhile, D’Artagnan follows Vadim to what appears to be a late-night rendezvous with his mistress. He then finds he’s being followed himself. To prove that he’s not a spy, he makes up a story that he too is visiting his mistress. He heads to Constance’s house, where he tells her he’s being watched, and she needs to kiss him and make it look good. This is starting to become a habit that both parties don’t seem to mind.

Inside her house, the other Musketeers hear what D’Artagnan has found out about Vadim. Athos wants to him to leave now, but D’Artagnan says that the king and queen are still in danger. There’s a little scene with Constance’s husband arriving, and we also see that the chemistry between Constance and D’Artagnan is obvious to everyone. Oh, and Aramis get slapped again.

As D’Artagnan leaves the house, members of the Red Guard chase him down into a corner. Just as all hope is lost for him, they are suddenly both killed by Milady. She offers him power and riches (and some near-kisses) if he takes her Vadim. Before any decision can be made, Athos can be heard approaching and she disappears. Seeing the dead guard, Athos tells D’Artagnan to go back with Porthos to follow him.

After some investigative work, the Musketeers find out that Vadim used to work at the palace as a servant. With Richelieu, they try to convince the king that Vadim will try to harm him and the queen during the Easter Mass at Notre Dame. The royal couple doesn’t want to hide, and insist they will still go out — and that they trust the Musketeers with their protection.

Treville and Athos find out that Vadim worked in the kitchens and knew his way around the palace. During his employment, a piece of the queen’s jewelry had gone missing in the royal vaults, and Vadim had been near the scene. He wasn’t arrested, because he disappeared.

Vadim goes over the plan for tomorrow with D’Artagnan, telling him that they’ll strike at 11. Giving him the map and plans, Vadim tells him to go buy some wine so they can celebrate. On his way, D’Artagnan drops the map near Porthos and tells him to give it to Treville. When he returns, the rest of Vadim’s men have arrived, only to hear that there is a traitor among them. Looks like the charade is over and D’Artagnan has been found out; he’s promptly knocked out.

The Musketeers arrive to storm the place, but find it empty and blood on the floor. Since their main duty is to protect the king and queen, they leave D’Artagnan to his fate. If only they had just searched a little longer, since Vadim’s crew was hidden JUST BELOW THEIR FEET.

This would have been beneficial to D’Artagnan, who awakens and finds himself tied up to all that stolen gunpowder. In 15 minutes, the candle will light the fuse. D’Artagnan tells Vadim that his plan has failed, because he’s already told the Musketeers everything. Turns out he actually hadn’t. Oh, D’Artagnan, you should have listened to when Vadim told you that trick about making people look the wrong way.

The king and queen walk back from Mass out in the open, heavily protected. Suddenly Vadim’s men create havoc in the streets, starting mass panic and confusion. They start their attack, and the Musketeers immediately start to fight back.  Then a bomb is thrown into the street mere feet from the royal couple. Aramis dives and covers the bomb with his body to protect the queen. (STOP MAKING ME SWOON, ARAMIS!)


But it turns out the bomb is a dud. Athos realizes that they’ve been looking in the wrong direction. Vadim doesn’t want to kill the king and queen; he wants to rob them. He’s correct, as Vadim has gotten to the vault and begins to gather all the jewels.

D’Artagnan manages to free himself, and within seconds, stops the fuse from lighting. His moment of relief is cut short as he tries to leave, but it turns out the entire room has been rigged! He frantically tries to stomp out the fuses but soon realizes that there are too many, and he just needs to get the heck out of there and RUN.

At the same time, the Musketeers have cornered Vadim, who has planned this timing perfectly. The gunpowder goes off, leaving an escape route for Vadim and unconscious Musketeers on the floor; however, D’Artagnan catches up with Vadim, and a quick fight leaves Vadim stabbed with his sword. Mortally wounded, the only way out for him now is literally the light at the end of the tunnel. He dies with his gold coin in hand.

After some quick apologies to Constance’s husband and some flirting banter with Constance, D’Artagnan returns to his room to find blue flowers on his bed. Though from his reaction, it looks like he thinks Constance left it for him. Meanwhile, Richelieu asks Milady if she knows what happened to the pendant. She’s kept it for herself.

Aramis wins tonight for being overly charming and even getting me, who wants more Athos, to swoon over him. The best quips tonight come from him and Porthos:

(After being yelled at by Treville …)
Aramis: I’ve never been this unpopular.
Porthos: Try trading places with me.
Aramis: Well, you’re used to it. I’m more of the romantic-hero type.

(After getting slapped by Constance …)
Aramis: I love that in a woman.
Porthos: Passion?
Aramis: Violence.

(After the queen leaves …)
Porthos: You know you were giving her the stare.
Aramis: (all innocent-like) What stare?

I also wanted to bring to attention to the fantastic opening credits to this show. Excellent opening credits are a dying art, and I’m rather geeked out at how excited I get every time I see them. The music is incredibly catchy, and the scene of the trio near the end with their swords is particularly swoon-worthy.

THE MUSKETEERS BBC Titles from MOMOCO Film Titles on Vimeo.

The Musketeers airs on Sundays 9/8 C on BBC America. 

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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