Okay, I am going to do yet another rant because this show’s previous episode was so suspenseful and intense and its finale was nearly perfect in every way. I only started watching The Musketeers this summer (because the BBC played previews so much during their promotion of Doctor Who’s season eight premiere ). But in such a short span of time, the show has got me hooked line and sinker and now ties with Doctor Who as my favorite current tv show. So now, here is the break down of the Season 2 finale of this beautiful, wonderful show:
-Omfg, I was so freaking nervous about Constance and holy shit, what an incredible rescue. Athos, D’artagnan, and Treville are bosses. Once again, Constance has shown she is equally if not more tough than the Musketeers by refusing the blind fold before the almost execution. Props for Treville for handing Rochefort’s ass to him and showing that loyalty is far stronger than any manipulation.
-Ah, Porthos and the Spanish ambassador. That was a western style shoot out and it was brilliant. He’s got some serious balls for taking out like ten guards on his own and a great strategy with having guns in specific places on the forest ground. And lets not forget Constance with her zinger line to the Spanish ambassador: “Perhaps, I bring men to fight for me.”That’s another great thing about The Musketeers is that it says fuck you to sexism. I mean because Treville is such a dad, he at first shoots Constance down when she days she wants to come with, but not one objects after she says that Rochefort is her enemy too (Lemay was her medical bro). D’artagnan treats her more as an equal in this episode and only tells her to be careful. God, the four of them were so awesome together.
-Milady-master of sass: “God works in mysterious ways” when saving Aramis. It was also very much of a “surprise bitch, thought you’d seen the last of me” moment that made me laugh. While showing that Milady is a bamf (but we already knew that), the scene also intrigued me. It shows the contradictions Aramis is made of. On one hand he is the Don Juan, a great soldier and not bad with charming the ladies. On another hand, he has a deep respect for God and has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong (which he may not always act on, but what can we expect, he’s human). We can see the look/mask of Milady fade when Aramis just punches out the guard (He says she doesn’t have to kill him) and says that she values life too lightly. The thief, the manipulator, and the chameleon will always be a part of her, but that doesn’t erase the desperate girl (when she was a common street thief) and the desperate woman (the genuine feelings for Athos and her attempt to clean herself up through her marriage) thats also inside.
-I don’t think BBC ruined Milady’s character by having the scene between her and Athos saying that they are bound together (a fear that some fans have). It showed a lot of vulnerability on on both their parts. It in no way, dumbed down their story line. In fact, it made it much more complicated because she gave Athos an ultimatum. Deep down she knows Athos will choose the musketeers because its his duty, but she still hopes to have the life with Athos that they were robbed of. She doesn’t outwardly say she loves him and neither does he. I had major feels when Athos in his own way said he loved her by saying “It rains a lot in England…” My Milathos feels, you guys…
-The scenes with Louis and Rochefort were like WTF, but at the same time, gave me more perspective on Louis’ character. He is so alone in the world (father was murdered, his trusted advisor is dead, he’s been kidnapped (ok that one was more his fault), and he had a psycho play russian roulette with his wife and child). I understand his feelings of paranoia and since he’s super weak minded, it makes sense he’d latch on to Rochefort. Louis desperately wants to save his wife because she is the only companion he has had. Multiple times, he pretty much tells Rochefort to shut the fuck up, because having to execute his wife and give up his son is in no way just a matter of state. I still don’t excuse him though for giving in and signing Anne’s death warrant. And OMFG, after the emo-king phase, is he really ready to declare a war with Spain like a day later…Jesus, his character is so flippant.
-The trial scene for the most part went the way I expected (good for you, Aramis for calling Rochefort out), and, therefore, I was more interested in watching Magritte. I like the subtleness they put with her character to show how much her guilt is destroying her from the inside out. She looks so worn out with dark circles around her eyes and the dark gowns. Her face looks pale and angular. I know some of you were like she got what she deserved when she killed herself, but I always to a degree felt sorry for her. She was at the mercy of Rochefort (you have to really understand the time period to understand how much reputation and position meant economically for not only a singular woman/girl, but also for her family). In the end, she is laughed at for having confessed for sleeping with Aramis, which was the thing she was trying desperately to both hide (her reputation) and forget (her broken heart). Rochefort completely threw her under the bus by doing this and therefore, like Lemay, I’d count her as another victim of Rochefort’s cruelty and ruthlessness.
-My boys and Constance storming the palace gave me the “hell yeah” feeling and was the centerpiece of the episode. And Treville was there with them, which gave him an opportunity to dad (he can never not do this) and reclaim his honor (not that it was actually gone, but you know, Louis ruined him). Man, and the scene leading up to it, showed a huge character growth in Queen Anne, especially with another verbal bitch slap (”know that I did not think a day about you” when Rochefort was being the creepy dude he is).Anne was every bit a queen when she knew/saw what Rochefort intended to do with the chain. There was no fear in her eyes, just utter bravery (something her husband should really get). There’s so much coldness when Rochefort looks up at her after being stabbed and she looks back, unemotionally, and does not move an inch. She’s no longer so naive nor merciful to others who dare threaten her.
-Rochefort, the douche/fuckboy he is, is one tough fuck. I mean he gets shot in the arm by Constance, stabbed in the back by Aramis, and he’s still able to fight? And he just pulls the sword out of his back and tries to fight D’artagnan, Athos, and Porthos. As evil as he’s been the whole series, the comparison i made to Rochefort’s last moments was that of a trapped animal. He knows that Anne despises him, the Spanish ambassador spilled everything, and that Aramis can no longer be executed. He’s been tortured physically for five years (also lets you know how sadistic the Spanish ambassado is) and now the only thing left to do is not surrender/face execution to gain half an ounce or redemption, but to claw and snarl back.
-On that note, I’ve got to say, I think everyone within the show, was shocked at D’artagnan straight up stabbing Rochefort through the heart. I mean, I know earlier he said Rochefort is mine, but he had a certain coldness in his eyes and an element of ruthlessness (Rochefort was pretty much done for anyway). And no, I’m not at at all sympathizing with Rochefort, it’s more on the grounds of the Musketeer’s code of honor. I think it opens up the gate for a little more darkness for D’artagnan’s character. Not that I want him to go the opposite direction from the way he already is (love my Musketeers the way they are), but it’s a definite step away from innocence. Basically, it opens up for more character development for season 3.
-The wedding was freaking adorable and one that D’artagnan and Constance deserved. It was so sweet Athos walked her down the isle (he’s so much like Treville). The only bad thing Treville has done the entire show was cock block Athos from getting to Milady on time by telling him he has to prepare for war. There’s a sense of grief as he watches the wedding of his friend out of his own broken marriage and it is the trigger that pushes something inside him to say that he wants to fix it. His bros cover for him as he neglects Treville’s orders to go and catch her carriage. Once again, Milady’s vulnerability is shown through the scenes in between. She’s dressed in a flowy, blue gown, which was very good symbolism to show that she is bearing herself to Athos and is opening herself up to the feelings of guilt/despair but also hope. The way she jumped out of the carriage when she heard that random horseman was so heartbreaking. I wonder if she thinks that Athos doesn’t love her now…NOOOOOOOOOOOO, but we know he does. So sad that he realizes he’s too late and he finds the singular blue glove. He’s heartbroken…Damn you BBC, she better be coming back.
-Whelp, Aramis learned the moral of the story and that is to control his dick. But in all seriousness, I think his commitment to live a monastic life shows more about his character and that he truly is trying to fix who is as a person. He cannot bring the Cardinal’s mistress or Magritte back to life nor can he take back how much fucking danger he put Anne in. He realizes that and him staying away and living a different life is part of the long road of redemption. As Porthos said, “That boy is the king’s son.” I mean, I was heartbroken when he said he was leaving, because he’s my favorite (okay, it’s actually always been a tie between him and Athos because I can relate a lot to Athos and he’s basically the Obi-Wan of the show). And I didn’t want some random newbie showing up to take his place. Really glad that it ended with Athos, Porthos, and D’artagnan riding off (of course with dad Treville’s permission) to tell Aramis about the war with Spain and how they’re going to need him. Most likely, he’ll be back in the game and the perfect team will be united again.
-The world of The Musketeers just got ten times bigger with the on coming war with Spain.
-I’m really hoping Milady will return and part of me thinks she will. She’s going to England, which leads me to my theory of the season 3 villain. I think it’s going to be the Duke of Buckingham (the righthand of the king of England). Pretty sure the book had France and England as allies against the Spanish, if I remember correctly. Somehow, I think she will be linked to him and it will be a way for her to reunite with Athos.
-Fan girl me says nope Aramis, nope, you’re not leaving your bros and me to go pray. Nope.
-Really glad Treville is guiding Louis. Not really happy it’s through war (and neither is Treville), but at least there won’t be another Rochefort running the show.
-Louis is freaking moody and needs to grow up.
-Athos needs to be happy one day and BBC needs to compensate him for his Someone-just-kicked-a-puppy look when he picks up Milady’s glove.
-The cinematography for this episode was beautiful (when Aramis is walking off on his own with the autumn leaves falling and the other three riding off to go get Aramis). It was also so well used (the blue of Milady’s dress as well as the emphasis of her left-behind glove in Athos’ hand).
-Louis: “It’s like I’ve woken up from a nightmare.” Everyone’s like no fucking shit and thinking so have we, so have we…
-Hoping Annamis doesn’t go away. Their relationship is very domestic, whereas Athos/Milady’s is complex and disfunctional and D’artagnan/Constance is passion/young love. I like all the ships on the show.
-Constance is awesome and I hope she has no less screen time in season 3 than she had in this season.
-The ladies of the show had all the best lines. Preach it, ladies…
I stumbled across your minifics on AO3 and migrated to read more them here, they're fantastic! Here's a prompt if you're still taking them: Amy somehow convinces the Bellas to visit her in Tasmania. Hijinks ensue and in a bizarre series of events involving a eucalyptus tree, a sheep and a rugby team, BeChloe reveal their feelings to one another.
“Okay, explain to me who the fuck those dudes are and why they look like they could literally sneeze and blow us all away.” Beca was tired, scratching at the edge of her temple with a sigh. Between jetlag that wasn’t capable of leaving her tiny body and the full day of traveling they had had searching for “The Tree of Acapella Music” - dubbed by Amy because it was the precise tree she stood under when she was inspired to audition for Fiddler on the Roof ( “Why isn’t it just the tree of Musical Theater, then?” Emily had asked on the carride there, to which Amy responded, “Because without the inspiration for that audition, the acapella world wouldn’t be aware of my aca-godliness. Don’t take this the wrong way, aca-child, but you’re the dumbest person on the planet”).
the-girl-whos-waiting-96 is back biddies! And I’ve got a holiday recap for y'all!! Grab your hot chocolate, Santa hats, dreidels, and lutefisk because here we gooooo
We open on some lovely piano music playing over shoppers buying gifts. We also see Binky getting gifts hand delivered from a toy shop to his doorstep, which always confused me. I mean I understand his relatives shipping gifts to his house, but these are hand delivered by a guy in an elf costume. Is this a thing? Does this happen?
One of the shoppers, Bitzi Baxter, drops a small present and a stranger kindly returns it to her. This puts us in the Christmas mood as we move on to Casa de Read where we are treated with a surprise song. Yes, this episode is a semi-musical, meaning there are musical numbers but not very many. Also the songs just sort of show up in the special like uninvited yet unexpectedly pleasant dinner guests. No one saw them coming, but no one is upset over their arrival.
During the musical fantasy Arthur describes his vision of a perfect Christmas featuring a ton of snow, a traditional dinner with 17 types of pie (dayyyum son), and a huge tree decorated perfectly with absolutely NO TINSEL. I never really understood Arthur’s loathing of tinsel. In the fantasy DW tries to put on a bunch of tinsel but Arthur tells her to get that bitch ass shit out of his face and then he punches her again. Truly a perfect Christmas.
When the song concludes, DW comes in bitching about how Arthur has to write her letter to Santa for her since there are only three days until Christmas and time’s a wasting! Dis bitch. If she wanted to guarantee presents from Santa she should’ve mailed that shit months ago. What a scrub. As DW laments over how she should greet Santa in the letter Arthur tells us that everything will be “Almost perfect” this Christmas and resists the urge to deck DW.
The next morning as the kids are on their way to school an ad for Tina the Talking Tabby plays, an annoying toy DW desperately wants for Christmas. She asks her mom if Santa will get it for her and Jane responds with a “I don’t know we’ll just have to wait and see” accompanied by some foreboding music. Sorry DW the foreshadowing just screwed you out of a toy.
At school Muffy boasts to Francine about her party and when Francine tries to tell Muffy she can’t go, Muffy runs off to invite George.
I guess this is one of those gotta-invite-the-whole-class kind of parties.
Francine rants to Arthur that she can’t attend the party because her family is celebrating the last night Hanukkah. Arthur suggests a direct approach so Francine walks right up to Muffy and declares, “Muffy I am not going to your party tomorrow”. However, Muffy ignores her and talks about the band she hired. Dis bitch.
In class, I guess Ratburn gave up on a lesson plan because George describes a tradition from Sweden where they have a parade early in the morning of December 13th in which people follow the Queen of lights. This is a real St. Lucy’s day celebration in Sweden. Afterwards George tries to pass around the Lutefisk, fish that’s been tried and boiled that his grandparents sent him. Of course Buster is the only one to eat it. See George? This is how you ruin a lesson about your culture, by saving the worse for last! This is why you’re left out of the promotional stuff. (Although the ornaments on his antlers are adorable)
Next Binky presents his attempt at a pecan pie, since he’ll be making dessert for the homeless shelter this year. Everyone is excited to try it, until they learn that Binky hasn’t shelled the pecans! Was no one supervising him when he made this? Ratburn pulls a real dick move here by making the class think there’s no homework then psyching them out by assigning a 5 page essay on what they did over break. WTF five pages? That is crap Ratburn, there is no way they’ll be able to fill up five pages on that shit.
After class, Buster tells Arthur that ever since the divorce, every year his mom keeps waking him up everyday for about a week until the 25th thinking it’s Christmas. After Buster tells her the correct date, she goes back to bed. He knows that his mom is only doing this to compensate for Buster’s dad not being there. Damn, this kid is pretty smart for his age, if only he would study.
Outside Muffy has donned a princess outfit and is announcing her epic party to all through the sunroof of her limo. Didn’t she already invite everyone in person? Guess she just wants to toot her own horn! (Pun intended) She tells Francine to come early to help her set up, and Francine once again tells Muffy that she can’t come and is once again ignored.
Arthur and his mom go last minute shopping at the over crowded mall with too many Christmas displays. They agree to meet back at one of the candy cane displays in an hour. Wait, hold up, this kid is only 9 and he’s allowed to wander around by himself? What the fuck Jane?!
Arthur tries to get the perfect gift for everyone on his list, which only consists of his parents apparently. I guess DW and the grandparents get the cold shoulder. Arthur wants to get his dad the veginator, a kitchen tool that can do practically anything which is only $5.99 due to the 1950’s prices! Before Arthur can even ask if the store has a veginator the employee tells him they’re sold out but offers Uncle Niko’s olive de-pitter and even throws in the olives for free. Arthur then spots the perfect gift for his mom, an exact replica of the glass bird he broke last summer. This is an ongoing gag in the show, and I think this is where it originated.
Having purchased the last gift from a bitchy cashier for only $9.59! Why can’t I live in a world with 1950’s prices? Arthur has to go through the hell that is the toy store to get to his mom all while the annoying Tina the Talking Tabby ad is playing. It’s pretty intense. When they meet up his mom explains that she got almost everything on her list but there was just one thing that was all sold out…HMMM I WONDER WHAT IT COULD BE!!!
Back at Casa de Read Jane explains to DW over a plate of cookies that Santa can’t always give kids what they want. DW thinks it’s because she’s been bad but Jane lies to her face and says that she hasn’t been bad at all, but before she can continue with her bullshit explanation DW concludes that it’s because Arthur wrote her letter all wrong. Jane doesn’t bother to correct her, so i guess she’s fine with throwing Arthur under the bus for this one.
David comes in with Uncle Fred’s video christmas card! Ah yes, good ol’ Uncle Fred, the character whose only appearance is in this special and is then promptly left out of the rest of the series, which is a shame because Fred is awesome. (I just looked it up, apparently he’s mentioned once in season 18) Fred says in the tape that he can’t be with them this Christmas because he and his dog Rory are going to Florida! What kind of hotel allows giant ass dogs? The tape gets interrupted by Rory eating the camera. The kids laugh about their uncle and joke about how last christmas he stepped on the tea set David got for Jane. How do you step on an entire tea set like wtf?
The family has a traditional Christmas dinner before Christmas because David wants to have an authentic Christmas dinner this year with food people might have actually eaten in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Arthur thinks that sounds like a load of suck but tries not to let it show in front of his father, since David doesn’t need anymore disappointment in his life.
At the Baxter Residence, Bitzi wakes Buster up thinking it’s Christmas when it’s only the 23rd. She puts the presents away once more and says that she “just can’t wait for the holidays to be over” 😞
Thinking Arthur has failed her
, DW mails her own letter to Santa at the mailbox next to the Tibble house. We cut to Muffy’s Christmas party where things are in high gear as the band sings to have “a boogie woogie Christmas and a rocking and reeling New Year”. I demand a full version of this song. For some reason Mr.Ratburn is there. Ok weird. Wow this literally is an everyone-in-class-gets-invited kind of party.
Arthur bitches about the lack of snow even though Christmas is tomorrow, Brain responds by saying that technically no one really knows what day Jesus was born on, boring him with facts and Arthur tells him to stuff it. Muffy announces that the time has come to give out presents and there is one for everyone at the party. Wait…so she invited like everyone in the school, how many gifts does she have?! When Francine doesn’t come to collect her gift, Muffy angrily calls her in front of everyone, demanding to know where she is. Francine explains that she told her 28 times that she couldn’t come because of Hanukkah. Muffy says “it’s not like Hanukkah is as important as Christmas” and Francine hangs up on her bitch ass.
Arthur and Brain find Buster sleeping on his cake, and tell him that maybe he and his mom shouldn’t celebrate Christmas since it just makes him tired. They suggest Buster create his own holiday, Brain, the human textbook, says that he celebrates Kwanza which wasn’t a holiday until 1966. Brain’s only function in this special is to spout facts.
Buster fantasizes about Baxter day, which is the chillest holiday of all time. Stop whatever you’re doing, let me hear you say today is Baxter day!
Buster likes the idea but thinks his mom will never go for it. Meanwhile Mr. Ratburn tries Binky’s brownies which he neglected to put sugar in. Who is allowing this child to bake?!
Arthur comes home to find that tragedy has struck! DW has decorated half of the tree and it’s NOT FOLLOWING TRADITION!!!
Jane lets Arthur decorates the top half the way he wants, but he whines that it’s still weird. On the way to church Arthur begs his dad to change the station when the Tina the Talking Tabby ad plays. Without skipping a beat, David puts in the Crazy Bus tape. David is such a douche. After church, Arthur tries Binky’s banana bread which I guess he’s just been carrying around in his pocket or something? Somehow Binky forgot to peel the bananas. HOW HAS HE NOT BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN AT THIS POINT?!
DW insists that she and Arthur make sure everything is set for Santa’s arrival: no fire in the fire place, cookies and milk, and even water for his reindeer. As a snowflake falls in Arthur’s hand he thinks it’s finally going to snow but it rains because the universe hates him. Arthur awakes after hearing a loud crash outside and comes downstairs to find that Uncle Fred has crashed into their fence and has to spend the night since no one can fix his car until after Christmas.
Fred’s dog Rory chases Pal around the house and manages to snag the gift Arthur got for Jane and runs off with it. Arthur and Pal cause Rory around the house, they get the gift back just before it breaks because Arthur Read don’t take shit from nobody. He puts the gift in the upstairs closet to prevent another mishap and goes to bed.
It’s Christmas morning and DW runs to wake everyone up when she notices Uncle Fred shaving in the bathroom and thinks it’s Santa. But when she goes to show her dad, Arthur is in the bathroom peeing! Pretty sure this is the most adult joke this show has ever gotten away with! DW saw her brother’s ding-a-ling!!!! (Editor’s note: That moment was 100% intense.)
At the Baxter residence, Buster is the one to wake his mom up this time because it’s actually Christmas! Bitzi gets nervous that she accidentally bought Buster a toy he already has but Buster explains that they are two different characters entirely. Duh mom!
Unfortunately Bitzi manages to burn the pancakes and Buster tries get her to mellow out. Just give her some of your stash and this will be over in like 10 seconds Buster!
At the Crosswire abode Muffy excitedly goes to play with her 37 presents, but laments that she won’t be able to play with Francine because of their fight. Oh woe is her! Who will she brag to now? Another fantasy song sequence starts as Muffy imagines Francine basically being her bitch at playtime. Clearly their friendship is one of high value.
Back at Casa de Read everyone is about to exchange gifts when Arthur runs up to get his mom’s gift, fantasizing about how everyone will know he’s perfect after this. He’ll even get a balloon in a hero parade! (No one tell him that his balloon was cut from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade). But when Arthur reaches for the present it falls over and breaks. Wait a minute, so you’re telling me that this thing can survive being bounced around in the toy store and chewed on by a dog without a scratch, but a littlet fall takes it down?! That is bogus!
We cut away to see Bitzi has taken Buster to a fancy restaurant for brunch to make up for burning the pancakes. The place is cleverly called “La Bruchenie- A Fancy Place For Brunch” subtle. Buster tries to tell his mom not to make a big deal over christmas but chickens out.
Going back to Casa de Read, Arthur is crying because he broke his mom’s bird again and thinks he ruined Christmas. Fred goes to comfort his nephew convincing him to come back downstairs.
In the Muffy storyline we see her eating her feelings at the Brain’s ice cream shop, better known as the lesser Sugar Bowl. They’re open because Kwanza doesn’t start until the 26th. Okay, I understand that the Powers family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but having their shop open is just a bad business practice. They have to pay to run the electricity- the lights, the air conditioning, etc. on a day they’ll be lucky to get any customers, because
a) it’s Christmas and b) it’s December, most people don’t want ice cream when it’s cold outside Wait a minute…do the Powers even pay Brain? He’s the only employee! Does the time loop cancel out child labour laws?
Once again back at Casa de Read we see everyone opening presents, and the Read family is struck with another tragedy as DW gets a talking duck instead of Tina the Talking Tabby and throws a tantrum until the duck talks and she finds that she loves it.
Arthur imagines what will happen if he tells his mom the truth, his family will hate him! Binky crashes his fantasy trying to get Arthur to try his shitty ass peach cobbler. In reality Fred has Arthur take the credit for his gift to Jane, the tea set Fred broke last Christmas! And a miracle tow truck shows up to get Fred the fuck out of the series.
We then head to the Frensky home where the Crosswires have come bearing ham. A fucking ham. To a Jewish family. White people.
Muffy apologizes to Francine and Francine explains why Hanukkah is so important to her and why Muffy is a piece of shit for ignoring her when she said she couldn’t go. Muffy realizes she sucks and they all go to the movies!
Back at the fancy Baxter brunch as Bitzi goes over the day’s schedule, Buster interrupts saying that Christmas doesn’t have to be a big deal, in fact they could celebrate their own holiday, Baxter Day! Bitzi is 100% down to clown and they go celebrate Baxter Day.
Transition to Christmas dinner at Casa de Read and Arthur is surprised that the dinner doesn’t completely suck ass. As Fred leaves the series–I mean, house- -Grandpa Dave gives him a ride hitting the fence on the way out. Nice. It finally snows and Arthur is over the moon as he sings the final song and we get a glimpse of what the other families of Elwood City are doing. George’s family is partying it up Swedish style
Brain’s family is getting amped for Kwanza
Binky’s family is working at the homeless shelter where he feeds the homeless store bought cookies pretending he made them! What a sneak!
Ratburn is planning all of his tests for next year because his family disowned him long ago and he has no friends…festive!
The Frenskys and Crosswires are living it up at the movies
And the Baxters are looking for Doctor Who
We rejoin Arthur as he reiterates the moral of the story through song. “Sometimes the thing you hope for isn’t the thing you get. But after today, I just have to say, this was the best Christmas yet!”
DW interrupts the moment with her annoying ass duck, and Arthur breaks the fourth wall wishing us all Happy Holidays, before going back inside to beat DW over the head with her duck. It may not have been what he expected but it was Arthur’s Perfect Christmas.
Grade: A (This is honestly one of my favorite holiday specials from any show, I love that it celebrates all sorts of holidays rather than being all about Christmas. The morals are ones that I feel everyone needs to be reminded of every holiday season. The songs are fun and silly but unnecessary as they don’t drive the plot forward at all. Baxter Day steals the show.)
Rating: 200% intense Forgotten Uncle Fred is intensely cool!!!