At the garrison, Aramis takes aim at a bottle perched on the head of man, Durand, and shatters it with a single shot. D'Artagnan asks again where they can find Lucien, and Durand notices that Athos is still injured from his earlier encounter with Lucien. He says that Lucien will finish the job soon enough, and Porthos points out that Lucien tried and failed... and they never fail. D'Artagnan calls Cadet Brujon over and invites him to take the next shot at Durand. Porthos puts an apple on Durand's head, and Durand finally cracks. He says that Lucien left Paris the previous night heading east, and Porthos removes the apple and tosses it to Aramis. Aramis tosses it up into the air and Brujon easily shoots it. The Musketeers assure Durand that Brujon is a cadet... a Musketeer cadet. Durand promises that Lucien will kill them all and Athos slaps him.
As the cadets take Durand away, Sylvie arrives and suggests that they start at the village of Eparcy, Lucien's childhood home. Lucien told her where he grew up when he was trying to recruit her, The Musketeers agree that Lucien will go there to tend to his injuries, and Athos looks at Sylvie. After a moment, she turns and goes without a word. Meanwhile, the others figure out where Eparcy is, in the Eastern Battlefields, a day's ride away. Athos joins them and Aramis points out that arm is still inured, but Athos insist on going.
Louis summons Treville and Anne to his bedchamber and insists that Feron receive a full state funeral. Treville points out that they don't give traitors state funerals, and Louis points out that a man who saves him is no traitor. He offers 100,000 livres for the man who brings him Lucien's head, and Treville tells Anne that Lucien will be gathering allies using Gaston for support to raise an army. The War Minister warns that with their army scattered across France, the garrison won't be enough to defend Paris. He then brings up the regency, and Louis refuses to condemn Gaston before he can speak in his defense. Anne brings up Gaston's loyalty and the Dauphin, and Louis angrily asks her if she wants to go there. He tells Treville to escort Anne back to her rooms.
The Musketeers ride toward Eparcy and they spot a girl watching them. She runs off when D'Artagnan approaches her, and he and Porthos give chase. They're caught in a net and armed hooded figures emerge from hiding. Aramis and Athos arrive and identify themselves, and their leader Juliette says that Louis should be answering to them. She says that the French soldiers run wild through the countryside, and they were only defending themselves. The other figures remove their hoods to reveal that they're all women.
When Aramis asks about the girl, Juliette says that soldiers will follow a crying girl for several reasons. Athos asks for somewhere to spend the night and any information they have. Aramis chuckles and says that in the past when women have tied him up, it's been recreational. He steps forward to cut down his comrades, and Juliette points out a bear trap he would have stepped in. Athos insists that they hold nothing more sacred than a woman's sovereignty over her own life. He takes out the warrant against Lucien, and Juliette says that there's no such man there and advises them to go on. When Athos refuses to move on, another woman--Theresa--says that one night can't hurt. After a moment, Juliette reluctantly agrees and her people free the captive Musketeers.
The women take the Musketeers to their camp in the caves, populated entirely by women, and Porthos is impressed that they built it. Another woman, Elodie, objects to his tone and Porthos assures her that he's impressed, not surprised. As the Musketeers settle in, Elodie explains that Juliette doesn't like strangers. They've had raids and their traps keep most of the looters out. A crippled man, Bastien, comes over with ale. Elodie explains that they found him in the forest and he's staying with them for a few days, and he explains that he was heading to Eparcy to work when bored soldiers decided to have some fun with him. Elodie is pregnant, and she explains that all of their men are away fighting. They've heard of her husband's regiment, which due to advance on Freiburg, and Juliette warns that he's as good as dead.
As Aramis goes to help the women get firewood, Athos explains that Lucien is a dangerous criminal and will kill again. Juliette abruptly walks off and Athos goes after her. He realizes that she knows Lucien, and Juliette explains that they grew up together and his mother was her best friend. Her family disowned her and she left the village a long time ago. As Juliette walks off, she figures that the mother is dead.
That night, Theresa serves food to the Musketeers. She explains that they moved out of Eparcy after their men left and the soldiers kept coming. Athos warns that it won't be safe if Lucien knows of it, and Theresa says that she saw a fire, a pair of men's boots, bloody bandages, and a signet ring at an abandoned cabin in the woods.
A woman screams and the Musketeers go to investigate. Soldiers are raiding the camp and run away, after killing one woman. Bastien is there and says that he tried to stop them but failed. They take her inside and Juliette attends to her injuries. Elodie says that it's the third raid that week, while D'Artagnan assures Bastien that it's not his fault that he cant fight. Aramis realizes that Athos is more badly hurt than he's let on, and checks the shoulder wound. He asks Juliette for clean needle, thread, and a poultice. Juliette says that they have nothing to spare for injuries, and Aramis insists that they're not like the looters. She doesn't believe him, and tells Aramis to take Athos home in the morning. Aramis refuses to abandon the camp, and Juliette insists that they can survive without the Musketeers.
The next day, Porthos is urinating outside and sees Elodie working despite her pregnancy. She knows that he was lying earlier, and Porthos admits that the entire regiment was wiped out at Freiburg. Elodie wishes that her child knew its father, and Porthos assures her that he grew up without a father and his mother was strong like Elodie. When Elodie worries that they can't survive much longer on their own, Porthos assures her that they're not on their own anymore.
D'Artagnan goes through Bastien's things and finds a regimental uniform. He tells his comrades that Bastien is a deserter, and they figure he's working with the looters. Aramis points out that the looters left empty-handed, and they came looking for something else that they needed but didn't find. Athos tells Aramis and Porthos to deal with Bastien while he and D'Artagnan continue searching for Lucien.
On the edge of the camp, Bastien meets one of the looters. They start searching the nearest cave, and Juliette grabs the newcomer and holds a knife to his throat. Bastien says that she knows what they want and figures that the women found it in the caves. He wants their property back, insisting that they paid for the gold with their blood. Juliette cuts her captive's throat and goes for Bastien, chasing him outside. She yells for the others to stop him, and Porthos and Aramis open fire.
As they ride through the woods, Athos and D'Artagnan spot a cloaked figure. They hear the shots from the camp and D'Artagnan rides back while Athos chases the figure.
Bastien returns fire and runs, leading the Musketeers into an ambush. Aramis asks Juliette if she knows what the looters are asking for, and Bastien yells that they just want what is theirs. Porthos tells them to put their weapons down and they'll talk, while a looter draws a bead on him. Elodie shoots him and then another looter, and more women open fire with their bows and arrows. A looter, Robert, gets the drop on Elodie but hesitates to shoot her... and D'Artagnan knocks him out. Bastien and the surviving looters retreat, and Bastien yells that they'll be back to take what is theirs.
In the woods, a bear trap goes off near Athos' horse. It rears and throws him off, and then runs off. A weakened Athos manages to get to his feet and continues on.
The Musketeers drag Robert to the camp and ask if he's working for Lucien. Robert has no idea what they're talking about, and they figure that the gold is loot. Robert insists that the woman shouldn't have died, and he's a thief but not a woman-killer. He explains that he's a convict, and the army spared him and the others if they'd fight. Bastien made them come back for the gold because it was their only way out. Robert tells the Musketeers that the gold was in the caves but now it's gone, and Aramis figures that they can take the convicts because they're low on food and ammunition. Porthos warns that they're dangerous because they have nothing to lose. As they talk, Athos' horses rides into the camp.
Aramis goes looking for Juliette and finds her and the others burying the bodies of the dead convicts. One of them has a cut throat, and Juliette says that he attacked them. Aramis explains that Athos is missing, and Juliette merely says that Athos shouldn't have gone into the forest alone.
Athos staggers through the forest and finally comes to the abandoned cabin. He goes in and finds bloody bandages and a recently used bed, but no sign of Lucien. Theresa locks him in and says that she can't let Athos find Lucien. She says that she nursed a young man who might have died, and he'll have left France by the time the other Musketeers find Athos. Athos insists that Lucien is evil, and Theresa insists that she saved Lucien when his mother tried to drown him. The mother tried to make friends with the soldiers, and they tied her up and flogged her when she escaped. She got Lucien out of the water and raised him as best he could. Athos says that they should have left Lucien to drown, and Theresa tells him that he'll never capture Lucien.
Theresa runs off and Athos manages to smash the door open As he searches for her, Theresa doubles back and hits him, and Athos manages to grab her leg. She yells at him to do what he wants because she doesn't care anymore, and figures that Athos was a good man once but violence has consumed him. Athos releases her and says that Lucien will face justice, and Theresa jabs him in the neck with a needle. As she runs off, Athos collapses.
The Musketeers and the women search the woods for Athos. Once he's alone with Juliette, Aramis figures that the dead boy didn't attack her. He wonders what the war did to her, and Juliette insists that it taught her to survive. Athos staggers forward and identifies Theresa as his attacker. They take him back to the camp and realize that he's been poisoned, and Elodie warns that there is no antidote. All they can do is wait and hope that Athos survives. Athos writhes in pain and delirium, calling for Sylvie and hallucinating Lucien watching him.
In Paris at the palace, Louis is playing with the Dauphin when Anne comes in. After dismissing the Dauphin, the King doesn't want to see her. Anne admits that she slept with Aramis once, but the Dauphin is Louis' in every other way that matters. She doesn't expert her husband's forgiveness, but promises to keep Louis' memory alive for their son if he names her Regent. Louis says that he can never forgive her, and warns that she asks too much.
At the camp, Elodie tells the Musketeers that Athos has pulled through. He tells them how Theresa delayed them so that Lucien could escape, and Aramis tells him of how he dreamed of Sylvie. As the Musketeers leave, Elodie winces at a labor pain.
Aramis finds Juliette bathing and waits until she dresses. He then confronts her and says that he knows she is Lucien's mother. As Juliette walks away, Bastien and his men grab her and demand the gold. When the convicts threaten the women and children, Juliette tells Aramis to have Elodie bring the strongbox.
At the camp, Porthos thanks Elodie for helping Athos. She asks what it's like on the battlefield, and Porthos tells her that it's muddy and boring, and he was never afraid. Aramis arrives and tells them what happened, and Athos prepares to ambush the convicts when they come to make the exchange. Porthos assures Elodie that he'll be right next to her, and D'Artagnan picks up a gun and goes to the tied-up Robert. He points out that he saw Robert refuse to kill Elodie either, and Elodie asks if he'll fight with them if they arm him. Robert agrees and D'Artagnan gives him the gun. Aramis tells the women to listen to Elodie and do what she says, and has Elodie get them into the caves and block the entrances.
At the palace, Anne is playing with the Dauphin. Louis and Treville watch, and Louis wonders if he should behead his wife. Treville points out that Louis was also having an affair, and suggests that Louis make his peace with Anne before it's too late.
Porthos notices that Elodie is in, but she shrugs it off and says that she's fine. Meanwhile, Aramis takes the strongbox to the convicts and shows that he's unarmed.
Elodie goes inside and Porthos follows her. He realizes that the baby is coming, and that she's bleeding.
Bastien sends a man to get the strongbox, and the women set off a tripwire to pull the convict away. Other women collapse the catwalk the convicts are standing on, and Athos, D'Artagnan, and Robert open fire. Aramis grabs a sword and joins his comrades in fighting the convicts hand-to-hand.
Porthos assures Elodie that he grew up in a slum and helped a neighbor give birth, but Elodie isn't convinced that he knows what he's doing.
The women continue trapping and killing the convicts. As one man draws a bead on D'Artagnan, Robert knocks him out from behind. When he finishes off his opponent, D'Artagnan nods his thanks.
Juliette helps Aramis finish off the convicts in the camp's center. Bastien runs to the strongbox only to discover that it's empty. Juliette arrives and Bastien goes after her.
When Elodie insists that she can't do it, Porthos says that he lied earlier and there was a time when he was afraid. He ran from the battlefield, but then came back because he realized that he couldn't leave his friends. Bracing herself, Elodie gives birth to her child.
Bastien catches Julien and demands to know what happened to the gold. She says that she spent it to help create the camp, and Aramis arrives and kills Bastien. They go back to Elodie's cabin and find her holding her newborn daughter.
Louis invites Anne to have a drink with him. She accepts and Louis says that he never accepted love from their union. Anne hopes that they can be friends as they began, and promises that the Bourbon line won't die with Louis. Louis agrees to name her Regent, but Anne must never reveal their secret. She kisses his hand, and Louis says that carrying the secret will be her punishment.
At the camp, Elodie tells Porthos that now she'll grow crops and raise her daughter. He offers to stay and help, but Elodie says that France needs men like him more than they do. As they watch, Juliette asks Aramis if he has children of his own. He admits that he doesn't, and she tells Aramis Porthos that he would have made a good father. Juliette says that she made herself forget what had happened, and Aramis hugs her before walking away. As the Musketeers mount up, D'Artagnan nods to Robert, who is working with the women. Elodie and Porthos look at each other one last time and then the Musketeers ride off with their prisoners.
Written by Gadfly on May 25, 2016