YMMV / The Musketeers

  • Actor Allusion: Once again a character played by Santiago Cabrera finds himself in love with an unattainable Queen.
  • Base Breaker: Monsieur Bonacieux's suicide attempt. The reaction from the fandom seems to be either sympathy for him, hatred that he didn't die so D'Artagnan and Constance can be together, or disgust that he blackmailed Constance into staying with him by threatening to kill himself if she ever left him again.
  • Complete Monster: Comte de Rochefort, the Big Bad of season 2, is a former agent of Cardinal Richelieu, who, realizing how unhinged he was, abandoned him to the Spanish. He is introduced being sentenced for murder; Rochefort later murders the judge who sentenced him. Initially appearing to have been turned and now working for the Spanish, Rochefort quickly proves to be working for no one’s benefit but his own. Building himself up into the king’s favor through fake charm and cunning, Rochefort causally treats all others as pawns to pave the way for his success. Taking over as the king’s advisor, throughout the season Rochefort creates/manipulates situations to make the increasingly-paranoid king more and more dependent upon him, while also destroying his faith in the Musketeers. Secretly, he plans to murder the king and steal the throne for himself. Rochefort murders numerous people for his self-serving cause or simply for fun (six in his first episode alone). Possessing a lust for the Queen that began when she was 13, Rochefort eventually tries to rape her and then reveals her secret affair with Aramis, to have Aramis, the Queen and her baby executed. To incriminate her, Rochefort poisons the king, just enough that it leaves him in agony,even framing and murdering the innocent Doctor Lemay to complete the ruse. Rochefort tries to force the King to sign the Queen's death warrant and finally tries to strangle her himself. A complete and utter monster of a man driven by his own ego and ambition, even Milady de Winter considers him a mad man, and the Musketeers know him as their most vile enemy.
  • Ear Worm: The opening Theme.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show's UK ratings almost halved over the course of the first series and failed to recover with the second, with ratings sinking below three million. It has managed to be commissioned for a third series largely due to good overseas sales.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Any internet search will tell you that Louis Amadeus, son of the Duke and Duchess of Savoy, was already dead by 1630, so it's likely he died in-universe not long after going to France in episode 1.04 which is rather tragic considering all the talk about his potential to be a ruler one day.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Since Peter Capaldi was cast as the Doctor, the poisoning scene at the end of the first episode now looks like a deliberate reference to Fedorin's death in "The Enemy Of The World": an ambitious political villain who happens to look just like the Doctor disposes of an unsuccessful minion with poisoned wine.
    • Luke Pasqualino played Freddie in Skins. Freddie and his friends Cook and JJ called themselves the Three Musketeers. Might be Actor Allusion.
    • Santiago Cabrera who played Lancelot in BBC's Merlin once again plays a commoner turned soldier who is hopelessly in love with a married queen.
    • The Man in the Iron Mask, an adaptation of the Musketeers' later adventures, also took the liberty of one of them having an affair with the Queen - namely D'Ártagnan.
    • In First Doctor episode The Massacre the Abbot of Amboise, another 17th century French clergyman, is played by William Hartnell.
  • Ho Yay: When Porthos is hurt in "Commodities", Aramis almost loses it at Athos for being willing to risk Porthos's life just so they can get a couple miles down the road and Athos doesn't have to reveal his former household.
    • In "The Homecoming," Aramis again loses it, this time at d'Artagnan for questioning whether Porthos was guilty of manslaughter.
    • Again in "The Prodigal Son": Of all the Musketeers, it's Aramis that Porthos chooses for a companion when he goes to confront his biological father for the first time.
  • I Knew It/The Untwist: Anne being pregnant, after the events of "Knight Takes Queen", was the exact opposite of surprising.
  • Ironic Fake Nationality: In discussions about Santiago Cabrera's Hispanic appearance contributing to Aramis' status as a Latin Lover, it was noted that "to a French audience, he does look less Spanish than d'Artagnan" whom is played by Luke Pasqualino whose heritage is ''Italian''.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: The King becomes this in season two, while its true he becomes more ruthless, selfish, ungrateful, callous and arrogant, its impossible to argue his life didn't take a turn for the worst, what with: The Cardinal (and his only father figure) dying, Captain Trevile rejecting his offer to replace him, him himself being kidnapped by Slavers and forced to deal with the prospect of never seeing his son again. His son failing ill with a fever and nearly dying. Then his son is temporarily kidnapped. He, his wife, his son and his court are kidnapped by Marmion. His queen and son taken from him and he is forced to take part in a game where he had a fifty fifty chance of ordering there deaths. After this is done Marmion forces to partake in another game to decide his own. By the end of the series, he's reduced to a paranoid wreck, refusing to see anyone but Rochefort, is convinced that his life is constantly in danger and fears he will be killed the same as his father was. Left with only Rochefort to trust, and still being unaware that Rochefort is planning to kill him. Then Rochefort has him poisoned, leaving him at deaths door (temporarily), and convinces him his own queen has betrayed him. Upon this, Rochefort also reveals that his son, is really Aramis's. Upon hearing confirmation of this he completely breaks down, and following prompting from Rochefort agrees to have the queen executed. The look on his face as he does shows how broken a man he has become.
  • Moral Event Horizon: For the Cardinal and Milady in "A Rebellious Woman", when they frame an innocent woman for witchcraft and lesbianism and try to have her burned at the stake because the Cardinal wants her money to renew the Navy and because it may help him become the next Pope.
    • In-universe, this occurs much earlier in the series when the Musketeers find out that the King, Cardinal Richelieu and Captain Treville himself sent twenty soldiers on a supposed training exercise, only to be slaughtered by the Duke of Savoy and his men, all to protect the King's sister, who is spying on her husband the Duke for France. In Treville's defense, he didn't know about the massacre until after it happened. Aramis - one of two survivors of the attack - is still shaken by what happened.
    • Richelieu definitely crosses it in 1.09 by trying to have Queen Anne assassinated for no discernible reason other than the King's drunken lamentations of her not being fertile enough to give him a son and heir.
      • Mind you he does reveal his reason in the next episode he believed the queen to be infertile, and feared that if the king was to die, France would be plunged into civil war.
    • If there was any doubt left that Rochefort isn't an unstable lunatic and pure evil, he completely destroys it when he tries to rape Queen Anne, for rejecting him. Then reveals her adultery with Aramis, knowing she will be executed, just cause she defends herself from him. This is absolute, as up to this point, Rochefort's only redeeming trait was his apparent love for her.
  • Older Than They Think: Some reviewers considered the depiction of the central characters' sex lives, in particular D'Artagnan's relationship with Constance being adulturous and the other Musketeers having sex with rich middle-aged women for money, to be gratuitously Darker and Edgier. In fact, those elements are included in Dumas's original novel, but were left out of many earlier Bowdlerised translations and adaptations.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Just before the Cardinal has his mistress executed in the first episode, she loudly confesses her love for Aramis, over and over. You'd think this would make Aramis a specific target for the Cardinal, who already hates the Musketeers in general and now has solid proof of wrongdoing. However, aside from a brief mention in Series 2 (when the Cardinal wasn't even present) it never comes up again.
  • What an Idiot: The prince is ill with a fever, and the physician thinks that applying leeches and bleeding him is the only cure. However, Constance has experience with clearing lungs by way of steam.
    You'd Expect: She would tell the Queen, who would then readily take Constance's advice and all would be well. After all, no one wants the child to be bled, and steam is harmless.
    Instead: Constance kidnaps the prince of France and takes him to a common laundry, telling no one. She's then almost executed for treason.
    • The King, his courtiers and the Musketeers are all trapped by a madman with a vendetta. Milady manages to win her freedom, after which she goes straight to the Musketeer garrison, recruits every Musketeer she can find and they manage to arrive in time to save the King's life. Meanwhile, Aramis single-handedly saves the Queen and the Prince.
      You'd Expect: This would be acknowledged in some way.
      Instead: The King spurns Milady for 'abandoning' him, ignores the efforts of the Musketeers and ascribes all of the credit to Rochefort, who did next to nothing.
  • The Woobie: While already trapped in a marriage to a man she didn't love, and having spent years being looked down upon and humiliated at seemingly being unable to produce children. Anne only truly becomes this in season Two. Where first her husband is kidnapped and she is left to deal with the fear of being forced to become regent in a country where she is already unpopular. Then her son falls ill with a near critical fever, and is then kidnapped by her own friend Constance. And when she goes to tell the king she discovers he has taken a mistress, humiliating her in front of the other nobles. Then following a rise in anti-Spanish hysteria brought on by Emile, she becomes outright hated by her subjects to the point where she is near brutalised when she goes to try and reason with Emile and called "the Spanish Bitch" to her face by one of Emile's followers. Meanwhile, rather than provide her with public or even private support the King is to busy in an open affair with Milady, leaving her humiliated and alone. After putting up with this humiliation for several weeks, she (along with her husband and son) are kidnapped by Marmion, and locked alone with the prospect of her own and her son's life hanging in the balance. These experiences lead the King to refuse to leave his room out of fear, leaving Anne all the more alone. And to top it all off, she is almost raped by Rochefort (who up to this point she believed was her friend), upon defending herself, he resorts to spilling her adultery knowing she, Aramis and her son will be executed for it. Afterwards she is forced to flee and suspected of treason. Upon insisting they come back so she could be with the king, she discovers she was betrayed by her friend Marguerite, and sentenced to die. She is only saved from being strangled, in literal seconds.
    • Arguably Athos. Pre-series, his wife murders his younger brother and as the Comte is duty-bound to have her executed, sending him into a almost permanent state of depression for 5 years. In Series 1, he discovers not only that she's still alive, but also that she's a professional assassin and consistently puts him and his friends in mortal danger. He then has to choose between killing her again (bearing in mind he still loves her) and letting his brother's death go unpunished. In Series 2 he is forced to see her almost everywhere, including as a mistress to the king, and to work with her closely later on in the season, meaning it is virtually impossible for him to move on. No real surprise he tries to shut down all emotions and drink himself to death on a regular basis.
    • Marguerite in season two. She goes from being a naive girl who made the honest mistake of falling for a ladies' man like Aramis to being implicated in attempted regicide and other acts of high treason, because Rochefort said he would tell her father of her affair with Aramis and ruin her socially if she didn't help him spy on Queen Anne. She even ends up killing herself, upon realising she's doomed them both.
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