The Musketeers S1E2 - "Sleight of Hand" Recap

The Musketeers coach D'Artagnan as he is about to fight in a duel. Aramis and Porthos tell him he can fight dirty but D'Artagnan insists that he was raised to flight like a gentleman. The due begins and he ends up landing a kick to his opponent's crotch, leading Porthos to proudly declare that he taught him that move. It appears that D'Artagnan has won until the Red Guard comes after them. D'Artagnan is separated from the Musketeers, who point out that D'Artagnan knows the "Musketeer motto": Every man for himself. D'Artagnan is captured and the Musketeers escape.

The Musketeers learn that D'Artagnan is to be executed and that duel was provoked so that this punishment could be carried out. While incarcerated, D'Artagnan meets another prisoner named Vadim who teaches him that the key to a good trick is to make them look the other way. Vadim's curiosity is piqued when the guard refers to D'Artagnan as a Musketeer, though he professes that he is no Musketeer and that he hates them for their betrayal. Vadim tells D'Artagnan that he plans on escaping. He fakes being sick to bait the guard into the cell, steals the keys, and brings D'Artagnan along after he claims he can help him. They also release the other prisoners.

The Musketeers encounter Madame Bonacieux in the marketplace and she is angered by their seemingly apathetic reaction to D'Artagnan's capture and sentenced execution. Her temper flares and she strikes Aramis. Her husband sees this and apologises for his wife's behaviour but Aramis covers for her and the couple leaves. Aramis cheekily professes his love for the quality of violence in a woman.

The Queen provides some lower-level imprisoned criminals with some money and and grants them freedom. During her visit, the escape causes a violent commotion and the Musketeers begin fighting the various escaped prisoners. The guards are determined to get the Queen out safely but she ends up being taken for ransom by Vadim. He manages to escape with D'Artagnan and during the commotion, Aramis uses his luscious body to shield the Queen. She appears concerned at his injuries and they engage in some sexy eye locking.

The Cardinal is angered by the breakout and orders that Vadim be shot on sight. He also mentions that D'Artagnan is in danger as long as he is with Vadim. Milady de Winter overhears the conversation and offers to go after D'Artagnan. She shows that she can manipulate D'Artagnan if she were to encounter him, despite her getting him blamed for murder. The Cardinal tells her that her priority is to go after Vadim.  He threatens to cut D'Artagnan's fingers off if he doesn't admit to being a spy. As it turns out, it was just a test and believes D'Artagnan to be on his side. Vadim reveals that his plan is to kill the King and Queen so that the lower classes can join them and they will all take back what belongs to them.

The Queen has summoned Aramis and Porthos to the castle. She asks for a private moment with Aramis, checks up on his wound, and gives him a necklace from round her neck as a token of gratitude. Porthos is weary of the trouble this interest could lead to but Aramis declares that Adele has left Paris (not knowing that the Cardinal had her killed). Porthos warns him he should set his sights a little lower.

D'Artagnan attempts to visit Constance but is caught by Vadim's lacky. To cover his tracks, he states that he is visiting his mistress. He kisses Constance yet again and tells her they are being watched. She ushers him inside and D'Artagnan relays Vadim's plan to the Musketeers. As they are leaving, D'Artagnan is caught by Constance's husband. He tries to shout for guards but Constance defends D'Artagnan and is joined by the Musketeers who intimidate him into silence. D'Artagnan is spotted by some guards but Milady de Winter kills them and rescues him. She works him over with her feminine wiles, states that she wants Vadim, and warns him that aligning himself with the Musketeers will lead to his oblivion. She runs off before the Musketeers can spot him. Vadim warns D'Artagnan to ask before taking another conjugal visit.

The Musketeers visit a lady of the night named Susette and question her about Vadim. They learn that Vadim used to work at the palace and this was when he developed his obsession and hatred for the King. His disdain for the monarch appears to be of a political nature. They remind her that the amount of gun powder he has stolen can kill a tremendous amount of innocent people. She claims to not know more but they know she is covering for him. The Musketeers relay the information on to the Cardinal.

The Musketeers and the Cardinal want the King and Queen to not attend church, where the attempt on his life is expected to take place. As it turns out, the king has more honour and bravery than anyone realised. He says that he will not be seen as a coward and believes in the Musketeers' ability to save his life.

The night before the attack, Vadim reveals that he knows about D'Artagnan's involvement with the Musketeers. The Musketeers raid Vadim's hide-out too late; everyone's gone and D'Artagnan's blood is on the ground. When he comes to, D'Artagnan is tied up in the room with the gunpowder and Vadim says that the information he passed on to the Musketeers was exactly what he wanted passed on. In fourteen minutes, the gunpowder will explode. On the streets, Vadim's followers make an attempt on the monarchs who are guarded by the Musketeers. A bomb is thrown and Aramis throws himself on it and (un)intentionally diffuses the fuse by doing so. The Queen looks back longingly at him as he kisses the necklace she gave him. The monarchs escape and the Musketeers realise that the bombs there were duds. It was a merely a distraction and Vadim's true motive is to rob the palace.

D'Artagnan manages to escape from his bindings and put out the fuse in time. However, when he opens the door to leave, several fuses are lit and he scrambles to put them out. Back at the palace, the Musketeers are hot on Vadim's trail. There are too many fuses for him to put out and he runs off to escape being incinerated in the explosion. The Musketeers catch up to Valdim right before the gunpowder goes off. Milady de Winter kills Susette as she is preparing to escape.

Vadim's lacky, Felix, tries to kill Vadim for tricking him with the powderless bombs but Vadim kills him first. Vadim's other followers get into a fight with the Musketeers. D'Artagnan corners Vadim and plays around with misdirection before finally engaging him in a sword fight. Vadim is wounded and wanders off. The Musketeers catch up to him and D'Artagnan and him exchange words before he succumbs to his wound. They all pay a visit to the Bonacieuxs to apologise and explain D'Artagnan's involvement. D'Artagnan shares a private moment with Constance before returning to his room and finding a flower on his pillow.

The Cardinal discusses D'Artagnan with Milady de Winter. He is determined to either have him join his side or be killed. Milady de Winter states that she can coax him over. He questions her on the whereabouts of the Queen's pendant (which we saw was in Susette's possessions) and Milady states she doesn't know. After he leaves, we see that she now possesses it.

The Musketeers airs on Sundays at 21:00 on BBC One.


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