Anne receives a message and summons Aramis. She tells him that her brother Philip wants to hear France's terms for peace, and Aramis suggests that it's the perfect time to tell Louis about their negotiating. Anne refuses, saying that her husband isn't well enough.
Treville brings Louis medicine for the pain, and Louis begs him to make the pain stop. The Minister admits that he can't, but promises not to leave Louis' side.
Anne begs Aramis to take one more message to the Spanish Ambassador, Perez, and he agrees. He warns that they must tell Louis after they have the Spanish terms, as it is too dangerous to proceed without the King's knowledge. Anne agrees and says that the ambassador expects Aramis at dawn, and he departs.
Porthos and D'Artagnan turn over the Spanish generals to Marcheaux, and the Red Guards brusquely haul them away. When the Musketeers object, Marcheaux reminds them that hundreds of French soldiers were slaughter in their custody, and insists that they will receive better... until they hang, to satiate the people's thirst for judgment. Once the Musketeers leave, Lucien emerges from the shadows.
The next day, Aramis meets with Perez's man at a ruin and both men toss aside their weapons. Aramis doesn't recognize the man, who walks around the corner of the nearby building. When Aramis follows him into a building and the man grabs a club. Aramis says that he came to talk peace, and Lucien emerges from a doorway and says that there is no peace. More men emerge and subdue Aramis, but he manages to throw Anne's letter into the fire. Lucien takes the remains of the letter from the fire and sighs in irritation.
Later, Lucien meets with Gaston and tells him that Anne was secretly negotiating with Philip. He assures the nobleman that Philip will never answer but they will.
Treville wakes up and discovers that Louis is gone. He looks for him and finds Anne, and she has no idea where her husband is. Treville summons the Musketeers and wonders where Aramis is, and Athos explains that he left the garrison at dusk. The Minister tells them to search the garden for Louis, warning that the cold air could further damage his health.
Louis wanders through the garden, laughing. He finds a snail on the ground and then passes out. D'Artagnan finds him as Louis gets up, laughing, and the others arrive. Louis says that Milady is angry with him, and she's still the beautiful woman he's ever seen. Treville tells Athos that the physician gave Louis a new opiate for the pain and he's taken too much, and they take him back to the palace.
Lucien questions a chained-up Aramis, asking if he saw his home. Aramis says that Lucien's mother was brutalized by soldiers, and Lucien says that she was weak. The Musketeer doesn't believe it, and Lucien takes his rosary and says that they didn't protect her. Aramis says that they can only protect someone from themselves, not others, and Lucien says that Aramis doesn't need them and tosses them in the fire. He promises that when Anne meets his demands, Aramis needs no protection against anyone but him.
Treville gets Louis to bed, and finds a handkerchief with Milady's monogram in the King's sleeve. He goes to Anne, who is reading a letter bearing the seal of Madrid. Anne shows Treville the letter, and he realizes that Anne has been negotiating with her brother. He wants the Spanish prisoners in return for Aramis, and Anne insists that there must be peace. Treville warns her that she isn't the Regent yet, and she may have cost Aramis his life.
Aramis hangs from a post and watches his rosary burn.
Treville meets with Anne and the Musketeers, and warns that releasing the prisoners would deliver a devastating blow to Louis' reputation or turn the people against their king. Anne believes that Philip is testing her resolve, and Athos suggests that someone else is involved. Porthos hesitantly asks if Philip would do something so dishonorable, and Athos sides with his comrade. Treville leaves with Musketeers and says that the release must not be given royal assent so he'll do it himself. The Musketeers go to the chatelet to get the prisoners, and Athos promises that if someone else is involved then they'll bring them before Treville.
Treville returns to his office and realizes that Milady is there. Sure that she isn't there to kill him, he asks what her business is. She steps out and Treville knows that she is on the run. Milady married a duke and he died of natural causes, but she killed his son. When she says that she needs money, Treville offers her a retainer in return for her skills as an assassin. Milady insists that she has a husband, and Treville warns her that Athos has a new life and new duties, and cannot be distracted. He tells Milady to stay away from Athos, and Milady leaves without accepting or refusing his offer.
At the chatelet gallows, Marcheaux incites the people against the Spanish prisoners. The Musketeers ride up and realize that Marcheaux has brought the executions forward. Athos says that they have orders to take charge of the prisoners, and Marcheaux loudly reads the letter and says that there is no royal assent. He accuses Anne of authorizing the release, and the remaining non-Spanish prisoner, Espoir, calls to his cousin D'Artagnan. Espoir says that he stole one load of bread, but Marcheaux warns D'Artagnan that the orders only pertain to the Spaniards. Espoir calls to the crowd, saying that they'll hang him as a thief but spare the Spanish. As the crowd riots, Porthos fires a shot into the air and leaves with his comrades. Espoir slips off the gallows and D'Artagnan grabs him and drags him away in the confusion.
The Musketeers return to the garrison and figure that Marcheaux is involved. They see D'Artagnan bring Espoir in, and tell Constance what happened. Porthos warns that in the wrong hands, the Spaniards could be used against Anne and D'Artagnan agrees but warns that there will be no peace if the people turn against Anne.
Lucien and Gaston meet with Gaston's cousin the Duke of Lorraine and tell him of the unrest. The Duke insists that they must bury Anne in shame, and insists that they must make the people love them and not Anne. Lucien says that they will find another way, and the Duke demands the Spaniards so that they can use them to turn the people against Anne. He tells Lucien to keep Aramis alive until after the handover. As they leave, Lucien tells Gaston that they'll use Aramis as bait to lure in the Musketeers and then kill them all so that he can have his revenge.
At the ruins, Aramis asks his captor to stoke the fire. When that fails, he suggests that the guard get word for the fire for his own sake. Once the man leaves, Aramis manages to inch himself forward over the beam he's chained over. He then gets the remains of his rosary from the fire and uses it to pick the locks on his manacles, and knocks out the guard as he returns. Aramis runs into the woods as Lucien arrives, yelling at his men not to shoot as he cuts off the Musketeer's escape.
Treville and Constance meet with Anne and tell her that Marcheaux is part of the plan to tarnish her reputation. Louis refuses to disband the Red Guard, and Constance finally suggests that Anne show the people that they matter to her.
At the garrison, Espoir is eating when D'Artagnan comes in. Furious, he asks why Espoir became a thief, and Espoir explains that the authorities razed the farm to the ground. He came to Paris for work to make an honest living, and D'Artagnan insists that he fought to become a Musketeer. After a moment, D'Artagnan relents and Espoir figures that his cousin will turn him back over to the Red Guard.
The next day, D'Artagnan asks Athos and Porthos to help him release Espoir in the countryside. Later, the cadets put Espoir in the wagon with the Spaniards. They ride out to the rendezvous.
Constance and the cadets take provisions to the refugee camp, and Sylvie thanks her for her help. After a moment, Constance takes Sylvie to a printing press and says that with it Sylvie can spread her message through Paris and beyond. She explains that Anne will pay for it, and asks Sylvie to trust the Queen. After a moment, Sylvie accepts. She asks how Athos is doing, but insists that Constance not mention her inquiry to the Musketeer.
Lucien visits Aramis, who warns that Anne won't give him whatever he asks of her. When Lucien says that the Musketeers are on the way, Aramis informs him that they're both dead.
Treville meets with Anne and tells her that the Musketeers should be at the rendezvous. Louis speaks up from his bed and demands to know what's going on. Anne distracts him by talking about her plan to teach the people how to read and write, but Louis isn't convinced of the plan's success. Louis soon drops the matter and asks for his medicine.
At the garrison, Milady is going through Athos' things and finds one of her gloves. Brujon comes in and Milady says that she's Athos' wife. When the cadet says that Athos isn't there, Milady says that she's looking for Sylvie and asks if she's a whore. Brujon assures her that Sylvie is good and kind, and that Athos won't be back until the next day. Satisfied, Milady starts flirting with him.
The Musketeers take the wagon to a spot a mile from the rendezvous and Athos tells D'Artagnan to release Espoir. Espoir quickly leaves and the Musketeers make camp.
At the printing press, Sylvie has Rochelle distribute the new flyers across Paris. Milady comes in and tells Sylvie to fetch her master, and Sylvie says that she has no master. The newcomer examines the flyers and dismisses Anne and her compassion as weak, and realizes who she's dealing with when Sylvie objects.
D'Artagnan leads Espoir away and they come to the ruins. Aramis' horse is visible, and D'Artagnan spots Lucien preparing an attack. He tells Espoir that it's safer if he stays with him and they head back to the camp. D'Artagnan tells Athos that Lucien is there with six men, and Athos insists that it's their chance over Porthos' objections. He confirms that Espoir can shoot and prepares to ride out.
The Musketeers, cadets, and Espoir approach the ruins and says that Porthos will go in and rescue Aramis while he, D'Artagnan, and Espoir draw the enemy out. If anyone gets a shot at Lucien, they're to take it. Porthos sends the horses away, and the Musketeers open fire when the mercenaries run out to catch them. Aramis realizes that his comrades are nearby and calls out the enemy numbers, and Lucien beats him. The mercenaries take Aramis down, and the Musketeer warns Lucien that he's a dead man.
Athos tries to get a clear shot at Lucien, and a mercenary secretly draws a bead on him. Espoir kills the mercenary, and Athos ducks back under cover.
Lucien grabs Aramis and tries to use him as a shield, and Aramis warns him that he'll lay down his life to stop him. Porthos charges in and Aramis hits Lucien, and the two men struggle until another mercenary helps Lucien subdue Aramis. As they lead Aramis away, Porthos kills the last opponent after a vicious fight.
Once the mercenaries are down, D'Artagnan, Athos, and Espoir move in. Meanwhile, Porthos yells at Lucien and his man to stop. Aramis tells him to kill them both as Lucien uses him as a shield, just as Athos arrives and wounds Lucien. Lucien runs as D'Artagnan and Espoir join the fray, and escapes on horseback. Aramis complains that Porthos should have killed them both, and Porthos says that he shouldn't keep secrets. Angry, Aramis says that he wanted peace, and Athos notes that there can be no peace as long as men like Lucien live.
As the Musketeers break camp, D'Artagnan gives Espoir his horse but jokingly says that there are no vacancies. The cousins hug and Espoir says that he's the better shot before riding off. Meanwhile, Athos says that he's tired and Lucien is gone, and they're going back to Paris.
Lucien meets with Marcheaux, who warns that the Duke won't be pleased with their failure. After taking a drink, Lucien says that they haven't failed yet and Marcheaux shows him the flyers. The program is making Anne popular, and Lucien says that they can use the order with Anne's seal to ruin her.
The Musketeers arrive at the garrison and has Brujon buy wine for the Spaniards before taking them back to the chatelet. Brujon says that he's sorry and quickly leaves, and Athos goes to his office. Milady is waiting and she says that she knows he came to the crossroads to be with her. They kiss but then Athos tells Milady that she has to go. Milady realizes that it's Sylvie, and Athos asks what Milady has done to her. He grabs her by the throat, and Milady says that's who he's always been. After a moment, Athos releases Milady and goes, and Milady says that Sylvie safe. He doesn't believe her and continues out, and Milady realizes that Athos will never believe her.
Athos goes to Sylvie's apartment, and Rochelle says that the Red Guard took her. There are flyers of Anne with Aramis, her "latest lover."
Anne is on the streets giving money to the poor, but some of the people see the flyers and throw the money back at her. As a riot breaks out, the Musketeers arrive and fire into the air, and Aramis sees the flyers. Athos orders him to get Anne back to the palace, and he leads Anne to her carriage.
At the palace, Louis complains about the peace talks happening behind his back and the flyers. He says that the program was ill-conceived and doesn't believe Treville when the Minister warns that someone is plotting against Anne. Athos defends Sylvie, but Louis doesn't believe it and says that they should be glad he isn't having Sylvie executed. When Athos runs out against Louie's orders, Treville sends the other Musketeers after him.
Marcheaux and the Red Guard chain Sylvie up and the captain declares that Louis has ordered 20 lashes be administered. Milady watches from the crowd as Marcheaux changes it to 30 lashes when Sylvie objects. He whispers that they will keep the strokes light if she names Constance as her conspirator, and Sylvie warns him that there is no going back for him. Athos rides up as the flogging begins, and the Red Guards manage to restrain him. When Marcheaux warns him that he's committing treason, Athos yells to hell with the law. Porthos and D'Artagnan arrive and tell Marcheaux to put down the whip. Athos frees Sylvie as Milady watches and then runs away.
Later, Milady tells Treville that she accepts what she is and will kill for him. Treville insists that she's killing for the crown, and figures that they've both found their place.
At the garrison, Constance tends to Sylvie's back until Athos takes over. Constance blames herself but Athos says that it was Lucien, not her. She wonders where it will end and leaves with D'Artagnan.
Aramis meets with Anne, who worries that her reputation will never recover. She wants to speak to Louis, but Aramis says that he will take it upon himself. Anne refuses, warning that Louis has no time, and says that she has to put it right before the rumors take hold. She goes to Louis, who shows her the flyer and says that's what the people think of her. He call her a Spanish harlot and walks away.
Treville warns Aramis that he's endangered them all and a soldier should never play at politics. Aramis points out that's what Treville is doing, and Treville angrily orders him out.
Written by Gadfly on May 31, 2016