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The Cardinal has tasked D’Artagnan and Aramis with “collecting” a woman and her baby. They were also meant to meet up with a priest but upon arrival they find him dead on the floor of the church. A scream alerts them to the fact that the same men who murdered the priest are outside stealing the woman’s baby. Yes, the same woman they’ve been sent to transport and protect. They rush outside and manage to save the woman, mostly because it was her offspring the men were after. The baby, however, is carried off on horseback, screaming his little lungs out.
The King and his wife are enjoying a picnic in the French countryside, when a surprise visitor interrupts their lunch. It's the King’s mother, Marie de Medici. She betrayed her son by trying to take his thrown and now she’s back on bended knee, with nowhere else to go. Her son isn’t very happy with this news and reminds her of the terms of her banishment, which included her execution if she were to ever return to France.
After a second attempt on Marie's life, they manage to make it safely back to the palace, where the King and his wife await their arrival. The King is understandably conflicted; his mother betrayed him and he’s angry with her, but he doesn’t want her killed. It seems he’s having a bit of difficulty dealing with his various emotions, so instead of staying and dealing with the issue at hand like an adult, he screams at Treville and runs from the room.
Thankfully, the King has the Cardinal to deal with the more unpleasant and difficult matters of the kingdom. The Cardinal informs Treville that Marie’s former allies have turned on her, which isn’t exactly surprising considering she couldn’t even stay faithful to her own son. The Cardinal warns that with Marie there’s always more to the story. Well the Cardinal would know, considering the same is also true of him and his fondness for schemes.
D’Artagnan follows the kidnappers into a village, while Aramis leads the woman back to Constance’s place. Aramis confides in her that he was once in love, at 16, and had his heart broken when she broke off their engagement. And in return, the woman tells Aramis about her husband, Philippe and how he was disfigured since birth and she was sent to care for him. His life and death were reminders that people are incredibly cruel to those they consider “other.” The townspeople made her watch as they stoned and burned her husband to death.
D’Artagnan and Aramis decide that the best way to get the baby back is to have Constance pretend to be a wet nurse and walk right in. At this point, she should get paid for her services considering she’s harboring fugitives and putting her life on the line every week. Meanwhile, Porthos and Athos tail Marie to the same place the baby is being kept. Coincidence? Doubtful. In fact, it turns out that Philippe’s mother is also Marie de Medici. When she leaves, sans baby Henry, the Musketeers rush in. Aramis heads straight for Constance, who hands Henry over and promptly fights off one of the kidnappers with her recently acquired sword fighting skills.
Committing treason is just another day in the life of a Musketeer. Here’s how it plays out: one of them commits treason right under the King’s or the Cardinal’s nose, they don’t tell the others in order to protect them and then, of course, the others inevitably find out and always try to help. In this case, it’s Aramis who potentially goes against his King, by coordinating the escape of his majesty’s own nephew. Like clockwork, the rest of the Musketeers do eventually catch up with him and offer their services.
Unfortunately, Vincent and his men also catch up with Aramis. On the plus side, the Musketeers are nothing if not masters of diversion. They throw some barrels of brandy on the fire, and watch as they explode, allowing Aramis through with the baby. Vincent still manages to intercept Aramis, knocking the “baby” over the side of a bridge and into the water. In reality, the “baby” was nothing more than a bundle of carefully constructed blankets. This way, everyone wins: Marie’s plan is foiled, the King knows nothing about his mother’s serious lack of faith in his ruling abilities, and the woman and her baby are able to ride off into the sunset.
Okay so Marie doesn’t really win, and Vincent definitely doesn’t as he is blamed for everything and likely sentenced to death. See, killing the King’s mother wouldn’t be very good PR for France or the King himself. Still, chalk this one up as another win for the Musketeers and Constance, their trusty partner in crime.
image courtesy of Tim Whitby/INFevents.com