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'The Musketeers' recap: Duty over emotion

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Commodities” | Aired July 6, 2014

Last week I bemoaned the fact that I, a loyal #TeamAthos fan, was forced to favor #TeamAramis due to a shortage of Athos on screen. This week, however, I got my wish, as Athos’ backstory is revealed. We learn why he’s been so moody and more about the mysterious Milady, who seems to have a hold on both him and D’Artagnan. This episode touches all bases, from silly banter to serious social issues and everything in between.

With the confidence of Captain Jack Sparrow and what looks like the same eyeliner, a man walks into a bar and offers to buy drinks for everyone. Cheers are had, but still, many aren’t so glad to see him. Everyone is out to get Emile Bonnaire (James Callis, Battlestar Galactica), a merchant who seems to cheat his partners out of their shares of the profits. The Musketeers have been tasked to bring him to Paris, and that’s what they intend to do.

Bonnaire flirts with a barmaid, but is interrupted by a woman who storms into the bar and fights the barmaid. During this scuffle, all those who have a beef with Bonnaire advance on him, including the Musketeers. The woman fights with Aramis and bites D’Artagnan. They finally arrest Bonnaire, and he introduces the woman as his wife. After they find numerous weapons on him, Bonnaire asks if he can have one last moment alone with his wife before going to Paris.

We hear lots of noises inside the bedroom and Porthos and Athos, in a rare moment, chuckling to each other. The joke is on them, however, because instead of farewell lovemaking, Bonnaire and his wife are executing his escape. She breaks open another door, and he jumps through the window to a wagon waiting for him. Just when he thinks he’s gotten away—surprise!—Porthos is in the front seat waiting for him.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Milady tells Cardinal Richelieu that two members of the Spanish envoy have arrived in search of Bonnaire. She asks if she can go away on personal business. He reminds her that her personal life disappeared after he plucked her out of the gutter and made her his creature, especially if it has something to do with Athos; however, he allows her to go her way after reminding her to never let personal issues cloud her judgement.

Bonnaire regales the Musketeers with his tales as they escort him to Paris. In the course of conversation, we find out Porthos’ background: His mother had been a slave and came to Paris after she was free. Unfortunately, she died and he was on the streets since he was five years old.

BonnaireTwo men dressed in black from the inn are following them, so they pull over to lose the trail, but are ambushed by dozens of men. While Porthos stays with Bonnaire, the rest of the Musketeers take on the men, and a huge fight ensues. Things seem to be going well, but then Porthos gets hacked in the back with an axe. It turns out that these men are after Bonnaire, who had been funded by his business partner for his expeditions, but then never contacted him after the ship arrived. The partner wants justice now, but Athos explains that Bonnaire must be brought to Paris first.

Porthos’ wound turns out to be very bad, and he needs surgery immediately. Athos seems hesitant to stop, but Aramis says if they don’t, Porthos will die. Athos reluctantly brings them to a large estate, which is revealed to belong to him. It turns out he is the son of nobility; he is the Count de la Fère. They finally get Porthos on a makeshift operating table so that Aramis can stitch him up. (Is there anything this man can’t do?) Athos punches Porthos to render him unconscious.

While Porthos is recovering, Athos decides to take a turn about the building. We are treated to a wonderful scene of Athos opening multiple doors as he struts through his house. We also see memories and flashbacks of romantic moments between him and Milady. D’Artagnan finds him staring at family portraits on the wall. There’s one of a woman whose face has been torn off, as well as one of his brother, Thomas, who had died.

A rider on horseback approaches the estate; it is Bonnaire’s wife, who says she was attacked by the two men who had been following the Musketeers previously. D’Artagnan lets his guard down to help her, but that turns out to be yet another trick, as she and Bonnaire escape. The Musketeers insist Porthos stay behind, while Aramis and D’Artagnan track down the Bonnaires in the woods. They hear gunshots as they approach. Bonnaire’s wife is killed, and he leaves her to continue his escape. Aramis shoots the assassin, who turns out to be one of those men from the Spanish envoy sent to hunt down Bonnaire. (Note to the show’s writers: Please have Santiago Cabrera speak more Spanish in this show.)

D’Artagnan catches up with him because Bonnaire has ridden his horse to exhaustion. Returning back to the estate, they find Porthos in a rage because he’s discovered Bonnaire has been planning to get into the slave trade. Given his personal revelation earlier, he’s furious that anyone would want to get into such a business.

Athos reminds him it’s still their duty to protect him and that even though he’s disgusted, slavery is not a crime. While watching over Bonnaire digging his wife’s grave, Porthos and Bonnaire have a discussion of why someone would choose to be a slave trader. Bonnaire says he is making a better life for them than someone else, and that he only deals with commodities. Porthos tells Bonnaire that a man is not a commodity. After the funeral, Athos has another flashback, in which Milady is being hung on his own command.

The other three head off to Paris with Bonnaire, leaving Athos to attend to some business in his village. He goes into town to speak with the man who was to have carried out the order to hang Milady, but finds he has been killed. Upon returning to the house, he drinks himself into a stupor and passes out. When he wakes, the house is dark and silent—except for the part that’s on fire. Athos turns around sees Milady walking around carrying a blazing torch. He’s shocked she’s alive, and then the big reveal happens: She was his wife!

Those scars from the first week that she had shown D’Artagnan? Those were from the rope around her neck. In their conversation, Athos reveals she had killed his brother, who had found out she was a criminal. Now she just wants to erase the past by getting rid of the house and, it appears, Athos with it, as she holds a knife to his throat. However, she’s unable to harm him after seeing the locket with the painting of the blue flowers in it. There still seems to be love between them, but because of all the lies and hurt that they’ve suffered throughout all these years, they can’t bridge that gap.

Milady leaves when D’Artagnan arrives. He drags Athos from the house, and they watch it burn. Athos reveals that he saw his wife, and says the reason he condemned her to death was because it was his duty to uphold the law—a tragic love story at its finest.

Milady visits Constance, reveals her name (Milady de Winter), and calls out Constance on her attraction to D’Artagnan despite her already being married. Later, when Constance asks D’Artagnan about it, there’s jealousy in her voice.

Bonnaire finally meets with the Cardinal, who admonishes him for at first going after France’s trade agreement with Spain. After seeing the plans for the slave trade, the Cardinal agrees to invest in Bonnaire and lets him go freely. The Musketeers, not pleased with this decision, decide to do something about this. At Bonnaire’s farewell party, his former business partner shows up, threatening him for not following through on his deal again. The Musketeers rush to Bonnaire’s defense, except for Porthos, who starts fighting with Aramis. D’Artagnan leads Bonnaire away to safety on a ship—but this time, the trick is on Bonnaire: He’s been led to the Spanish envoy. The Cardinal will just assume that the Spanish have kidnapped Bonnaire, and the goods in Bonnaire’s warehouse will be handed over to his business partner.

If only all wrongs were so easily corrected …

athos horse

Quotables This Week

After watching Bonnaire charm a barmaid:
D’Artagnan: Seduced by a feather? Really?
Aramis: Anyone can tell a woman she’s beautiful. Making her believe it? That’s where the genius lies.

After Bonnaire asks to be alone with his wife:
D’Artagnan: You must think we’re stupid.

D’Artganan: Terribly sorry, apparently we are.

Bonnaire: My father raised me on tales of the great heroism of the Musketeers.
Porthos: Who was he? Nostradamus? The regiment didn’t even exist then!

Right before getting ambushed:
Aramis: Come up and state your business!
Athos: That was very formal.
Aramis: I like to be polite.

After Athos knocks out Porthos before surgery:
Bonnaire: Dear God! What kind of brute are you?
Athos: It’s the best way with Porthos. We’ve learned from experience.
Aramis nods enthusiastically.

Porthos: Did someone punch me?
D’Artagnan: Don’t be ridiculous.
D’Artagnan runs away.

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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