The Duke of Orlean, Gaston, tells his aide to ride to the Duke of Lorraine and tell him that the letters will reach their friends. Once the aide runs off, Gaston opens the door… and finds the Musketeers there. They inform him that Louis wants to see him. They escort Gaston through the streets of Paris and tell him to pull up his hood. When he wonders what the urgency is, they refuse to answer his questions.
Sylvie goes to a tavern to meet with Christophe and his wife Josephine. Despite his wife’s assurances, Christophe isn’t happy to let Sylvie and her revolutionaries meet there.
As Gaston and the Musketeers ride through the streets, Gaston spurs his horse and falls to the ground. They take him to the nearby tavern where Sylvie is, and Athos sees her at the bar. Meanwhile, Gaston glances over at the courier waiting for him as the Musketeers take him to a table and get him a drink. Gaston discovers that the letters in his pouch are missing, declares that he’s been robbed, and starts attacking the customers. He kills three men before the Musketeers restrain him. Christophe and the war veterans in the bar draw their guns, and Gaston warns that they can’t kill him because he’s Louis’ brother. Athos says that they’re leaving but will come back, and Sylvie assures Christophe that Athos will keep his word. After a moment, Christophe lowers his guns and tells the veterans to do the same. Athos apologizes and leaves with the others.
The Musketeers bring Gaston to the garrison, and he’s surprised to see Feron and Marcheaux waiting for him. Feron wonders why he’s there, and Gaston explains that the Musketeers dragged him from bedon Louis’ orders. The governor is surprised to hear that Louis summoned Gaston, and Gaston blames the Musketeers and insists that they didn’t protect him. Feron offers to take Gaston to Louis, overriding Athos when he points out that Louis assigned them to bring Gaston in.
At Versailles, Treville wonders why Louis is bring Gaston back. Anne insists that her husband has his reasons, and Louis agrees. The Minister of War points out that Louis exiled Gaston for plotting to overthrow him, and Anne sides with him until Louis insists that he can determine who can be trusted. Louis goes to throne room as Feron brings Gaston in. The King asks what Gaston has been doing in the three years since he was exiled, and Gaston says that he’s been waiting to stand in Louis presence once more. Louis silences him with a gesture and holds out his ring to be kissed. Gaston does so and Louis says that he is to build bridges, and takes his brother’s hand. Feron admits to Treville and points out that neither one of them knew of Louis’ plans.
Afterward, Feron congratulates Gaston on his performance. Gaston feigns innocence, and Feron says that if Gaston betrays Louis then Louis will come to him.
Treville questions Athos about who robbed Gaston. Athos admits that he has no idea, and Treville insists that Gaston should not have been brought back. He wonders why Athos didn’t tell him what was going on, and Athos points out that Treville is no longer the Captain of the Musketeers. He was given a direct order by Louis, and Treville warns that Louis isn’t himself. Treville tells Athos that he needs to think like a leader, not a soldier, and tell each other everything. Athos warns that the veterans will want justice, and Treville says that he’ll try to reason with Louis.
Athos returns to the garrison and finds the cadets spar. He watches as D’Artagnan advises the cadets and then goes inside.
Constance goes to the palace to see Anne. Marcheaux is there and wonders what her business is. Anne comes out and reminds Marcheaux that her quarters are not his demands. When Marcheaux starts to object, Anne silences him and says that she knows that he’s a spy. The Queen promise to have him arrested if she sees him again, and Marcheaux departs. The two women talk and Anne admits that she will soon have no friends now that Gaston has arrived. Constance assures her that she, Treville, and the Musketeers remain her friend. Anne asks when the garrison will be blessed with its first child, and Constance explains that it may not be because she doesn’t want to raise a Musketeer’s orphan.
Treville meets with the brothers and suggests that Gaston apologize to the veterans. Gaston dismisses them as animals, and Louis agrees. He tells Treville to find the thief and return what was stolen. Gaston says that it’s not necessary but Louis insists and tells Treville to show the veterans a strong hand.
Aramis and D’Artagnan meet with Sylvie, who angrily says that all she saw was an aristocrat murder three innocents. D’Artagnan wonders why she was there, but she avoids the question. She wonders what their orders are if they find the thief, and they’re unable to answer.
At the tavern, Josephine secretly looks at Gaston’s secret letters and then hides them away.
As Lucien tends to Feron, Feron notes that Louis has lost confidence in Anne. He figures that Anne feels terribly alone since learning that her husband plans to make Gaston part of the Royal Council, and wonders what his half-brother is up to. Gaston barges in and asks Feron for his help. He says that his pursue contained letters from him and the Duke of Lorraine to their allies across France, Feron realizes that they were planning to raise an army, and Gaston admits that he didn’t anticipate Louis calling him back. He asks Feron for his help.
Athos and Porthos go to the tavern to find the thief. One of the veterans, Leopold, points out that Louis has cut off their pensions and his brother has murdered their friends. Leopold says that the men who died fought with them at Burgundy so that Louis could buy horses. Josephine comes in and Christophe reminds Leopold that the thief betrayed them as well. He says that he will find the culprit, but in return he wants Louis to put Gaston on trial. Outside, Porthos warns Athos that there will never be a trial. There’s a note on Athos’ saddle from the thief, offering to turn himself and Gaston’s stolen documents in after the funeral for the three dead veterans. Since Gaston denied there was anything but money in his purse, the Musketeers realize that Gaston was lying.
Feron and Lucien question the courier, who says that he didn’t see who took Garcon’s purse. Lucien threatens him with a knife, but Feron stops him and tells the courier to tell Garcon’s allies that all is well. Once the man leaves, Lucien says he’s busy negotiating with their buyers and doesn’t appreciate being interrupted. Feron explains that he doesn’t care about Garcon, but the letters implicate a dozen nobles in the plot against Louis. If they can acquire the letter then they’ll control all of the nobles. Feron wants to have Marcheaux arrest all of the veterans, but Lucien advises him not to take on the men on their own territory. He suggests that they strike at their weakest, at the funeral.
The next day, Marcheaux and his men ride to the chapel. Inside, the Musketeers come to pay their respects before meeting with the thief. Christophe delivers the eulogy for the three dead veterans, but breaks into tears and is unable to finish. Aramis speaks up, finishing the poem that Christophe was quoting, and Christophe nods to him in thanks. Porthos sees Lucien in the back, and a veteran says that Lucien met the cost of the service.
Lucien goes outside and nods to Marcheaux as he arrives with his men. Inside, Aramis continues with the eulogy. Josephine fingers the letters. The Red Guards burst in and says that Gaston has orders the veterans’ arrest. When Leopold speaks up against Louis, Marcheaux shoots him dead. The Musketeers hold the veterans back, and Treville arrives to order Marcheaux to leave. The captain hesitates and Treville reminds him that he is the Minister of War. After a moment, Marcheaux leaves with his men. Furious, Christophe blames the Musketeers for what happened. He glares at Sylvie and says that they will take one of them, and they go to the tavern to get their weapons. Treville tells the Musketeers to come with him.
At Versailles, Feron and Gaston take the Dauphin out to play on the lawn. Gaston is less than thrilled that the Dauphin is next in line for the throne instead of him, and Feron notes that tragedies can occur. Meanwhile, Treville tells the Musketeers that he wants them to tell Louis what is going on so he’ll appreciate the severity of the situation. Aramis looks out the window and sees the Dauphin--his son--and goes outside.
Anne goes outside and asks Feron and Gaston why they took the Dauphin out. Feron claims that Louis wanted the boy’s two uncles to become friends with the boy. When Gaston wonders who Anne is to question them, Feron reminds him that Anne is their queen. Undeterred, Gaston reminds Anne that she is in exile now, and Anne says that when the Dauphin is grown he will not love the same people as Louis. She sees Aramis and goes over to join him. Meanwhile, Marcheaux arrives and tells Feron that Treville and the Musketeers are with Louis. Feron tells Gaston to show Anne that he can be friends with the Dauphin and goes to find Louis.
Treville tells Louis that Gaston ordered Marcheaux to attack the church. The Musketeers warn that the veterans are going to march on the palace and there are men with similar feelings throughout Paris. Treville suggests that Louis have Gaston make a public apology, and Louis orders the Musketeers out.
Aramis watches Gaston playing with the Dauphin, and Anne approaches her former lover. He bows to her and says that his four years away felt like forever. Anne tells him to do what he came to do, as the Musketeers come out, and Aramis quickly leaves.
Louis tells Treville that his first responsibility is to his family, and Treville offers his resignation if the King won’t listen to him. Feron listens from the shadows as Louis insists that he has been abandoned, and says that he has the white plague and it is his last summer. Staggered, Treville takes it in as Louis goes to the window and watches the Dauphin. He says that he was 9 when his father was assassinated, and he must spend every moment with the Dauphin or his son will forget him. Louis wants Gaston to take his place at the Dauphin’s side and makes sure the child remembers his heritage and his father. Treville warns that half of Paris hate Louis and the other half will soon follow, and Louis tells him to make a gesture to keep the peace. However, he insists that Gaston must stand strong for the sake of the Dauphin. Louis promises to hang Treville if he lets the secret slip, and goes to spend time with his son.
Treville leaves and tells the Musketeers that he will speak to the veterans on Louis’ behalf. They advise against it, but Treville insists that he has to contain it before it spreads. Athos realizes that something is wrong, but Treville says that he’ll talk to the veterans alone. Porthos insists on going with him, and Athos notes that earlier Treville had said that there were to be no secrets between them.
At the tavern, Josephine watches as the soldiers prepare their weapons. Porthos and Treville come in, and one veteran tries to run Treville through. Porthos knocks him away but more veterans take them both prisoner. Treville says that he was a soldier like them, and tells the veterans that Louis will grant compensation. He warns that the palace guards know that they’re coming,, and will wipe out the veterans despite the men’s superior numbers. Josephine goes to Christophe, saying that he can’t win, and Christophe says that the people have to know what they have lost. Treville begsthem not to throw their lives away, and Christophe wonders what Louis will give to get Treville back. He has the veterans tie them up and tells the others that the palace will come to them.
The veterans barricade the tavern and Christophe sends word to the garrison that they have Treville. Josephine wonders how it will end, and Christophe says that it will end when he kills the thief who took Gaston’s purse. The Musketeers ride up and Christophe sends a man to present his demands. He refuses to negotiate or heed the Musketeers’ warnings that Louis won’t respond. Athos tells the others to wait and rides to the palace.
At Versailles, Athos presents the veterans’ demands to Louis. Louis insists that they can’t afford even half of what the veterans are asking, and Anne points out that Gaston’s reputation has caused chaos. Gaston insists that he’s an innocent victim, and Feron offers to have the Red Guard raze the tavern to the ground. As for Porthos and Treville, Feron says that he will try and prevent it. Anne reminds Louis that Treville is his friend, and Gaston points out that that the veterans will tear him apart. Louis considers and nods to Feron, and Athos asks for permission to attempt a rescue first. Louis agrees but tells Feron that if Athos fails then Feron will attack with everything he has.
Lucien meets with Marcheaux and learns of Louis’ plans. The Red Guards will destroy Gaston’s letters, but only if they’re sent in. Lucien promises that the rescue attempt will fail and tells Marcheaux to hold the attack until he sends the signal.
At the barricades, D’Artagnan tells the cadets that no one is to draw a weapon without his orders. Aramis reassures a nervous cadet, Brujon.
Inside, Porthos tells Christophe that Gaston won’t come. Christophe insists that a fight is all that they have left, and Treville says it isn’t how the veteran can change things. The veteran asks if they will fight with them if he unties them, but neither prisoner will. As Christophe goes to the barricade, Josephine insists that they’re right and her husband knows it. She doesn’t believe that Christophe would kill them in cold blood, and insists that her husband is a good man. Christophe says that he’s a man of his word, and will kill the prisoners if his demands aren’t met.
Athos arrives and wants to see the prisoners, alive and well. The veterans bring Porthos out, and Porthos confirms that Treville is okay. Athos says that once he gives the word, Louis will call an emergency Council meeting. Until then, he tells Porthos to be strong as he was at a previous battle, and Porthos gets the secret message. Lucien watches from an upstairs window as D’Artagnan circles around the tavern and joins Aramis, who is digging through the rear wall. The young Musketeer explains that during the war, a Spanish regiment captured Porthos. They got him out by coming in through the tunnels beneath. They enter the tavern cellar and Lucien secretly follows them.
Athos tells Brujon and the others that it’s time. The Musketeers open fire as a distraction, and the veterans fire back. D’Artagnan and Aramis run up the stairs and take on the guards. Treville and Porthos, who have been tied up at a window, kick their captors.Once the veterans are down, the Musketeers cut the prisoners free and they head back to the cellar. Lucien lights off a trail of gunpowder and his bomb goes off. Marcheaux hears it and orders his men in.
When the Musketeers go back upstairs, Christophe and his men are waiting. Josephine begs her husband not to shoot.
Outside, the Red Guards open fire on the barricades. The Musketeers, caught in the middle, take cover and return fire. Aramis and the others beg Christophe to let them help their comrades, and Christophe tells the veterans to provide cover fire. The combined fire of the veterans and the Musketeers drive the Red Guards back, and Athos tells Treville that Marcheaux has direct orders from Louis to kill them all, no questions asked.
Treville and Christophe agree to fight together, and D’Artagnan goes inside to get more gunpowder. Josephine follows him. She shows him the purse and admits that she’s the thief, and explains that she robs the occasional patron to keep the debtors at bay. D’Artagnan examines the letters and tells Josephine that they could bring Gaston down one and for all. He and Josephine go outside with the gunpowder, while Marcheaux has his men reload and then open fire. Christophe warns that they’re trapped, and the defenders prepare to charge forward. However, Constance arrives with more veterans and attack the Red Guard from behind. The3 defenders run forward, catching the Red Guard in the middle. Sylvie arrives with her men, and Constance captures Malcheaux. Disgusted, she says that he’s no man.
The townspeople capture the surviving Red Guards. Treville tells Malcheaux that he’s safe. When Malcheaux insincerely says that he’s relieved, Treville punches him and then tells the captain to crawl back to Feron. Josephine, mortally wounded by gunfire, staggers outside. Christophe goes to his wife, and with her dying breath apologizes. He says that she stood by him and fought bravely, and D’Artagnan assures her that she kept her honor. Sobbing, Christophe holds his wife’s body while D’Artagnan looks over at Constance.
Later, Treville shows Louis and Anne the letters. He explains that they were taken from Gaston, who was plotting to raise an army against Louis. Anne figures that her husband will punish his brother, and Treville warns that if he takes revenge against the veterans then he’ll make martyrs of them and inspire thousands moiré. Louis agrees not to punish the soldiers... or Gaston. He has another fate in mind for his brother.
The Musketeers escort Gaston out of Versailles and inform him that he will be staying in Paris, but not at the palace. Feron has ordered Gaston to be taken to the Bastille.
At the garrison, Aramis and Athos are sparring when Sylvie arrives. She talks to Athos privately and thanks him for his help. Sylvie says that she never doubted him. Sylvie figures that she shouldn’t kiss a captain in front of his men and leaves, smiling.
Feron visits Gaston in the Bastille, and Feron warns him that only a fool would mistake physical infirmity for weakness. Gaston promises to cut Feron’s throat when he’s freed, and threatens to tell Louis how Feron was willing to work with him. Feron suggests that Gaston may die in the future, and they should both take the time to consider it.
Written by Gadfly on May 8, 2016