'The Musketeers' Recap: 'Sleight of Hand'

By Rosie Hertzman,

The episode opens with the Musketeers getting D’Artagnan ready for a duel. Just as he manages to disarm his opponent, the Red Guard shows up, capturing D’Artagnan, while the rest escape unscathed because as Aramis quips, the Musketeer motto is “Every man for himself.”

It might seem like sort of a disgraceful thing to do but their honor is saved as it turns out to be a setup to gain information. The world, apparently, had to believe D’Artagnan had really been captured. If he can get the information from a prisoner, Vadim, who has stolen enough gun powder to start a war, then it was all worth it.

D’Artagnan makes friends, or at least acquaintances with his roommate, Vadim, whose special talent is misdirection — he twirls a coin around and makes it disappear, which D’Artagnan finds very impressive. What’s even more impressive is his faking a fit in order to trick the guard into opening the door, allowing him to escape. It’s not so much the trick that impresses but rather the confidence with which he assures D’Artagnan he will be walking free.

The Queen has come for her annual visit to the prison where she will pardon a few of the inmates so as to appear merciful and to give the people hope. Treville has gotten the Musketeers into her guard so they can visit D’Artagnan but when Athos goes to see him, he’s greeted by a mass of escaping prisoners, and among them is D’Artagnan.

After deeming D’Artagnan trustworthy, Vadim and his friend Felix reveal their plan to create a new France by killing the King and the Queen. D’Artagnan manages to meet up with the Musketeers, who, after hearing of Vadim’s plan, propose to take him in immediately. D’Artagnan vetoes the idea, reasoning that the King and Queen would still be in danger and it would ultimately be like covering the wound with a Band-Aid instead of treating it properly.

The crew figure out that the assassination attempt is most likely going to happen when the King and Queen present themselves to the public after Easter Mass. So they come up with a plan to send decoys in their place and catch the criminals in the act. However, when the King and Queen are informed of the plan, they turn it down in favor of going themselves, so as not to appear cowardly.

The Musketeers barge into Vadim’s hideout but everyone has disappeared by the time they make it inside, leaving D’Artagnan at the mercy of Vadim. It turns out Vadim is a better magician than we thought and definitely much smarter since he knew all along that D’Artagnan was working with the Musketeers.

On the day of the Easter mass, Vadim has D’Artagnan tied to barrels and barrels of gunpowder, that is set to go off in 15 minutes, killing D’Artagnan. The supposed assassination attempt was a distraction and a trick that D’Artagnan played right into, telling the Musketeers exactly what Vadim wanted them to hear. What Vadim really wanted was access to the royal vault.

D’Artagnan manages to cut himself loose before he is blown to pieces but as he is opening the door, he triggers another set of fuses but quickly gives up trying to put them all out and makes a break for it. The Musketeers, who have figured out Vadim’s plan, if a bit too late, make it to the castle just as Vadim is on his way out with his stolen goodies from the royal vault. He sort of warns them of the impending explosion by saying “Boom” seconds before the gunpowder is triggered.

Felix isn’t very happy with Vadim and confronts him. He accuses Vadim of betrayal because he didn’t put any gunpowder in the bombs he gave them. Vadim mocks Felix’s intelligence, then unceremoniously kills him and escapes, leaving the rest of his assassination crew to face the wrath of the Musketeers. Vadim doesn’t get far before D’Artagnan catches up with him and the inevitable duel between the two of them ends with a sword through Vadim’s chest. Once again, D’Artagnan and the Musketeers save the day.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com



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