Death of a Hero Recap

A blindfolded Aramis stands before a wall.

Someone puts a gun to Athos’ back and forces him to remove his sword belt.

As D’Artagnan relaxes in the bath, Constance shaves his neck and then they kiss, undress, and have sex.

Porthos hands Aramis a pair of pistols, and then puts pebbles in a bottle, rattles them, and tosses them up into the air one at a time. Aramis shoots each one before they hit the ground, then removes the blindfold and accepts the applause of the people watching the exhibition. Three monks walk by and Aramis looks at them, and then goes into a nearby church.

Athos kisses a sleeping Sylvie

Lucien lights a candle and watches as Feron forges a letter with Treville’s signature. He then says that it is the Musketeers’ day to die. As Feron applies the seal to the letter, Lucien grabs his wrist and says that there had not be any mistakes, and vows that by dusk the Musketeers will be dead.

At the garrison, Porthos complains that Aramis waited until almost too late to shoot the second bottle. He gives Aramis his share of the winnings, and Constance promptly takes it to pay for their room and board. She then gives a letter to D’Artagnan. After he reads it, he tells the other Musketeers that it’s an order from Treville to meet General Verdet’s aide in Bourgogne and escort him back to Paris with news from the front. D’Artagnan wants to wait for Athos to return, but Aramis wonders how long they should wait.

Sylvie wakes up Athos and jokingly kicks him out so he can be about his duties. She then goes to the market and sees Lucien walk by. He finds Athos and prepares to shoot him, and Athos sees him in his mirror and uses his shaving bowl to deflect the shot. Lucien draws his sword and moves in, and Athos remembers seeing him on the battlefield. They fight and Athos manages to grabs his sword to defend himself. Lucien manages to throw Athos through a catwalk and kicks his sword away, and then smashes him over the head with a board . He then wraps a chain around Athos’ throat and starts to choke him, but Sy7lvie fires a shot, hitting Lucien’s ear. He advances on her, sword drawn, and Sylvie grabs a pistol from a bystander and shoots him again. Lucien goes down and Sylvie runs to Athos. He has her take him to where Lucien fell, and they discover that he’s gone. Athos realizes that his comrades are in danger.

Feron visits Gaston in the Bastille, and Gaston objects to his treatment as a prince. After a moment, Feron stabs the jailer dead and tells Gaston to swap clothing with the dead man.

Athos returns to his office and prepares to go off after the others, as Constance tends to his wounds. Treville arrives in response to Athos’ summons, and Athos confirms that he didn’t send the orders. He tells Treville that Lucien was involved, and Treville confirms that he saw Lucien with Feron.

At the palace, Louis is preparing to ride to the pilgrimage on the anniversary of his father’s death. Anne suggests that she accompany him, and Louis abruptly says that he’s already arranged an escort.

D’Artagnan, Porthos, and Aramis ride across the country, and hear five riders behind them. They turn and draw their guns, and Marcheaux and four of his Red Guards ride up. Marcheaux says that Louis has ordered Aramis to come to the palace with him, and Aramis has no choice but to go with them.

Once they leave the Bastille at the Red Guard garrison, Feron tells Gaston that they will take him out of Paris after sunset. He then goes to make sure his absence hasn’t been noticed, and tells Gaston to keep a low profile. A wounded Lucien comes in and removes the bullet from his stomach, and then douses the wound with wine. Seeing Gaston, Lucien tells him that there will be time later to discuss Gaston’s debt and takes a swig of wine.

Louis shows his pilgrim’s clothing to the court, and asks Feron if he is transformed. Feron quickly agrees, and Anne says that her husband would be safer if he were accompanied by a royal guard. Louis complains that Anne has angered him, but breaks off to cough. Aramis arrives and Louis informs him that he will be accompanying him on the pilgrimage. The Musketeer says that he is just a soldier now, not a servant of God, and Louis says that it may be time to reacquaint him with his God. As Louis leaves, Aramis looks over at Anne, who quickly walks away.

D’Artagnan and Porthos arrive at the seemingly abandoned town where the aide is supposedly waiting.

Lucien meets Feron in the latter’s office and asks why Aramis is back in Paris. Feron says that Aramis is accompanying Louis to the Royal Mausoleum, but assures Lucien that D’Artagnan and Porthos went on ahead. He suggests that they should reconsider their plans, but Lucien warns that it is too late. He says that they must kill Louis along with Aramis, and Feron insists that they can’t kill Louis yet. Lucien warns that Athos saw him and there’s no going back, and if Feron doesn’t kill Louis then the King will discover Feron’s betrayal and have him executed. Feron has no choice but to agree.

In the town, Porthos finds a cask of wine and pours himself a drink. D’Artagnan joins him... unaware that mercenaries are closing in on them. Inside, D’Artagnan and Porthos are sharing a toast to easy missions and D’Artagnan hears the horses whinnying outside. He spots one of the mercenaries and points him out to Porthos, and kicks the cask out. The mercenaries shoot at it, much to Porthos’ disgust, and the Musketeers realize that most of their ammunition is on the horses. There are no other exits or entrances in the building they’re in, and the windows are boarded up. Porthos tosses out a plate to draw the mercenaries’ fire, and then they shoot at the attackers. The horses run off and the Musketeers reload.

As Athos, Treville, and the cadets stop for water, Treville points out that Lucien managed to leave his mark on Athos, and it’s not like him to be caught unawares. Athos assures him that it won’t happen again and they ride on.

Porthos points out that they’re down to four balls each and they have hours until dawn. A mercenary tosses torches in through the roof, and D’Artagnan shoots him while Porthos puts out the flames. D’Artagnan then tells Porthos to cover him and go out the door. He drags in the dead man from the roof, take his ammo, and reload.

Lucien arrives to check with his mercenaries. He tells his men to force them out using the gunpowder. Lucien looks at his wounded ear and realizes that it’s still bleeding.

Louis and Aramis walk to the Royal Mausoleum.

Anne summons Constance and wonders why Louis would take Aramis with him. She points out that Louis has hated her for five years in private, slighting her at every turn. Constance tells her friend to be strong, but Anne worries that Louis plans to reveal that the Dauphin isn’t his son. She’s sure that the King would never risk the scandal, and suggests that Anne’s feelings for Aramis aren’t entirely gone.

Louis hands out money to priests, and one of them says that a rich man must repent of his sins can pass into Heaven. Aramis joins Louis and warns that rumors of a man passing out money to churches has spread, and a crowd is gathering. Louis asks the Musketeer if he believes in Heaven and Hell, and if a man will be punished for his sins. Aramis says that he does, and Louis agrees. He then says that he is going to visit the tomb of his father in Saint-Denis before they return to the palace.

Lucien watches as his mercenaries mine the building. Inside, D’Artagnan assures Porthos that they’re not going to die that day because he has too much left to do, and he can’t die without seeing Constance’s face one last time. As Lucien lights the fuse, D’Artagnan says that he will live to bring up his future children. Porthos admits that he none of that, and D’Artagnan tells him that he has great friends. He assures his friend that one day he will have a wife and child of his own, and Porthos agrees. Agreeing, Porthos says that they won’t get them those days and the both shout that they refuse to die... and the gunpowder explodes. As the building collapses around them, D’Artagnan and Porthos head for the exit and an explosion blasts them back.

Athos and his men hear the explosion and gallop forward.

Lucien enters the ruins and fires twice into the rubble. As he walks away, Athos and his men rides up and they dig through the debris.

Louis and Aramis go to Saint-Denis, while Feron watches them from the shadow sand prepares a gun. Meanwhile, Louis tells Aramis to wait there and goes into the mausoleum. As he kneels to pray, Feron steps out and Louis assumes that he is there to honor their father. The King assures Feron that he is blood no matter his parentage, and says that Feron is the only one who has never betrayed him. Louis hugs his brother, who secretly draws a dagger from his cane. After a moment, Feron breaks into tears and sheathes the dagger, and Louis shows him the tomb that he has prepared for Feron. He then asks Feron to be the Dauphin’s guardian, and Feron says that he will raise the boy as his own.

Buried in the debris, Porthos wakes up and sees D’Artagnan’s hand nearby. He takes it and pleads with God, and D’Artagnan returns his grasp and says that it is not their die. They shout that they refuse to die, and the Musketeers dig them up. Once they’re free, Porthos and D’Artagnan says that Aramis is with Louis. A message comes for Treville, and he tells the Musketeers that Gaston has escaped the Bastille while Louis and Aramis haven’t returned to the palace. Athos says that they ride for Saint-Denis.

Aramis comes to get Louis, who says that death has a grip on him. He asks Aramis for the truth of his affair with Anne, and angrily orders the Musketeer to obey him when he refuses. Aramis finally says that he slept with the loneliest woman in Paris, who endured the same of Louis parading Milady through the palace. The Musketeer insists that he is protecting Louis, and Louis says that Aramis will hang for treason. With that, he orders Aramis out and Aramis goes.

Outside Saint-Denis, Feron meets with Lucien and his mercenaries, says that Louis has given him guardianship of the Dauphin. Lucien realizes that Feron didn’t kill Louis, and Feron says that if he has to choose who to betray, then he will betray Lucien. Lucien stabs him and kicks the gun out of his hand when Feron tries to draw it. Once Lucien leaves, Feron grabs the gun and fires a shot to summon help.

Aramis hears the shot, draws his guns, and goes to investigate. The mercenaries return fire and Louis comes out to demand a pistol. Aramis tells him to go back inside, but the King demands a pistol and points out that he has nothing to lose. The mercenaries spread out to flank them, and Aramis gives Louis a pistol and they both return fire. Lucien sees the Musketeers riding up and they attack the mercenaries. They get Louis onto a horse and Treville tells Aramis to get him back to the palace while they cover him.

Treville and the Musketeers fire on the mercenaries and Lucien manages to wound Aramis. Louis sees Feron in the yard and dismounts to embrace his half-brother’s corpse.

Athos sees Lucien drawing a bead on D’Artagnan and yells to the man. They both fire at each other, and Athos hits the buckle on Lucien’s chest. Before Athos can get to him, Lucien crawls away.

Louis tells Aramis that Feron fired the shot to warn them, and declares him a hero and a patriot. He then tells Aramis that he will have no contact with Anne or the Dauphin, during his life or after his death. Trevilleand the Musketeers ride up, and Louis declares Feron a state hero and orders a funeral for his half-brother. Marcheaux and the Red Guard arrive, and Louis tells them to cover Feron so he won’t be a spectacle.

Lucien returns to the Red Guard garrison and tells Gaston that they’re leaving. Marcheaux comes in and tells them that Feron is dead, and Lucien figures that it’s the best because Feron was a liability. The captain draws his gun when he realizes that Lucien killed Feron, and Lucien said that Feron would have betrayed them all to the king. He tells Marcheaux to go if he must, but nothing has changed and he will return to Paris with Gaston, the next king of France. Marcheaux says that he will have his men clear the area so that Lucien and Feron can escape unnoticed.

At Treville’s office, Treville and the Musketeers wonder what Lucien plans to do with Gaston. Aramis tells them that Louis admitted he was dying, and Athos figures that Treville knew. Athos points out that he would have put Lucien under heavier guard if Treville had told him, and walks out.

Later, Athos meets with Sylvie and says that his duty is to Louis and to France. If they stayed together then he would betraying his country, and Athos warns that he can’t compromise that by having a relationship with her.

Lucien and Gaston ride out of Paris.

Aramis meets secretly with Anne and tells her that Louis knows of their affair. Anne fears that Louis will banish him, but Aramis says that he knows how a man behaves when a man is facing death. The Queen realizes that her husband is dying and breaks into tears, and Aramis warns that she can’t afford weakness as a Spanish Queen in a French court. He tells her to prepare to be equal to her enemies’ challenge for the sake of France. With that, he kisses her hand and assures her that she’s not alone, and then walks away.

Written by Gadfly on May 22, 2016