Bonjour! Here we go again. I apologise for the silence/delay. My doing other things, took longer than I thought it would take. I did those other things and I was quite flattered so many of you could not wait for me to continue with the reviews. The day has finally come, so lets ramble on…. but before we start, let me just quickly say that Louis XIV, the real Sun King is out by now and Jesus, I love that you guys love it so much. If you have bought it already, make sure to leave a review at the page you bought it from or on GoodReads. I read them all… and everything behind this sentence will be very full of spoilers.
Madame de Cassel and Mademoiselle Eléonore gallop through a splendid forest on exhausted horses. Eléonore is quite exhausted too, but Sophie insists they must continue their voyage. If they stop, they will be captured by Evil Fabien and the royal guards. Can’t have that. Sophie urges her horse faster as we see said Fabien and guards chase through a forest as well. It appears they are close. Lots of tension. The ladies gallop over a crossing, which is shortly after reached by Fabien. He dismounts to look for traces and finds…. something that looks like a golden ribbon. If it is one, Fabien is very familiar with it, since it appears to be from Eléonore’s dress and although she is a Habsburg Princesse, she can only afford one gown, which she has been wearing since we first saw her. The war must have cost the Emperor a pretty penny, I think, as a pissed looking Fabien urges his black steed after the ladies.
Meanwhile in Versailles, Louis runs into Bontemps, who informs him that the ladies have not been located yet. Philippe approaches, grumpy-faced as usual, to have some serious chat with his big bro. They have to talk about the planned hunt, says Philippe, in order not to get Bontemps more suspicious. Louis plays along and both withdraw to the royal bedchamber. Monsieur ensures the doors are firmly shut and tells Louis he has been successful and traced the midwife, she lives a days-ride away from Versailles. Louis wants Philippe to summon her at once, but Philippe argues that wouldn’t be smart. Louis says Philippe should go and pay a visit to the woman then, Philippe, slightly aggressive, returns Louis must hear what she has to say with his own ears. They will go there together. Louis frowns. That would be dangerous. He would put himself at risk for something he still does not believe to be true. (If he goes like the Emperor with only one guard, or alone, then most definitely. What’s the bet it will only be the two of them?) Philippe raises his voice. He is telling the truth, Philippe says, the Damascus Knights protect a prisoner, the church is behind it all, Cardinal Leto is the leader, his grim priest tried to kill Philippe because he stumbled over the truth. Philippe has no doubt that Mask Man is their bastard brother. The midwife could confirm it. Louis is still not quite sure about it all, but Philippe is. Who else should be under that mask? Louis figures they might want to use Mask Man to remove him from the throne. Philippe agrees. If the Church confirms Mask Man as older brother of the current King, they could indeed declare Mask Man to be the rightful King of France, because right of succession and all that. I think I pointed out last episode that an illegitimate son, no matter if older or younger, has no right to the throne over a legitimate heir… which we have to presume Louis is atm. Anyway, Louis looks very alarmed suddenly and says they should go visit the midwife at once. And tell Bontemps about it. They can’t tell anyone, says Philippe, especially not Bontemps. Louis looks like he just has been hit by a carriage drawn by ten horses as he realises Bontemps could be involved.
I feel a bit sorry for Louis as we return from the Intro. After all Bontemps is probably the only person Louis ever really trusted.
You must prepare yourself for the worst, says Cardinal Leto, to Emperor Leopold regarding Mademoiselle Eléonore’s disappearance and what could happen to a girl like her on the streets. There is plenty happening on the streets, at least in Paris. The dead body of a woman is carried out of a house. Guillaume, who has just been roaming the street, hurries over. He appears to know the poor woman. The other shoe shop guy whose name has totally slipped my mind right now, the one with the son, is there too and urges a group of men to stop carrying furniture out of the house of the deceased. They should not steal from each other. He gets into a bit of a melee with one of them, while trying to stop the theft of a chair. The thief replies he is hungry. Yep, says shoe-shop-man-whose-name-I-forgot, but that’s not their fault. They all live in shit, while the one responsible lives in a large golden palace. (That smelled quite shitty most of the time.) “The King says France belongs to all of us, he promises us the world, but he just taxes us. Look what we live with.” Shoe maker guy had enough and storms off… I hope he does not plan to start the French Revolution. That would be a bit early.
Back in Versailles, la Bitchenon is with Louis and nervously brings up the topic of the King’s re-marriage on behest of the council. She hopes Louis might allow her to take care of it, without a doubt also hoping that she can cancel such plans this way. If you want, says Louis. Of course she does. After all she knows Louis’ needs better than anyone else on the council. Oh, shut up, you silly cow. I have said it before and I will say it again, I can not stand that woman. I have a deep dislike for the historical Maintenon and while I love the work of the actress here, I do not like this Maintenon at all either. At times I even like show Maintenon less than historical Maintenon. That’s quite something.
Cowtenon gets a snog from Louis, who says it may take a while. The council expects him later, she says. (The council does not command the King, the King commands the council. That is stupid phrasing here again. Happens quite often in the show.) Louis says Maintenon ought to deal with council, he got other places to be. She wants to know where he’s off to…. “Tell them I have gone hunting.” says Louis and skips away. The look on her face makes me think she thinks he’s about to meet some pretty and young girl. Serves her right.
Louis meets with Philippe at the stables of Versailles. (Vaux-le-Vicomte.) Louvois waddles to them in company of an irritated looking Bontemps. There is news, the Ottomans are gathering their forces. Louis wants to be informed the very minute they move on Vienna. Of course, says Louvois, and Bontemps takes his chance to inquire where Louis and Philippe are heading. They must know for the sake of his security. Philippe says a huge boar has been spotted and they are off to hunt it, before Louis can say something. Bontemps insists to come with them. No reason, says Louis, and rides off with Philippe… and four guards. Hurray for the guards.
The Chevalier admires a piece of fabric worthy of a Queen as Marie-Louise is fitted for a dress. Probably a wedding dress. She is not eager to wear it. “I’m sure someone could find a home for it.” Liselotte tells him to shut his well-formed mouth. Marie-Louise wants to know what she ought to do. Just wait? She has not been sent en route to Spain yet, that must mean there is still hope. Quite possibly, says Liselotte, but Marie-Louise does not buy it. She wants to know if her uncle might still send her to Spain…. “If that is his decision, then you shall go.” “To my death.”
Madame d’Angers roams the salons and approaches one of her Protestant friends, asking if it is true that he will leave. “There is no future for us here.” They need to stick together, she says, but he is of a different mind. Louis has taken their money, forced them to change faith, took their bibles… how much longer until he will take their lives? Oui, that is why they must stick together. Confront him with one voice in front of the Cardinal. He must listen then… what if he won’t? Then they must protest, she says with a firm voice. How should they do that? It would only mean their complete downfall. A servant approaches with a note… looks like he won’t be leaving after all. He has been refused permission.
Back to the Chevalier…. and the more I see of his hair, the less I like it. Looks like he comes straight from a 80s aerobic class. He nibbles on a blackberry and is seated at a table in the salons. The Duchesse joins him there. She suspected to find him amusing himself, he takes pleasure where he can, he returns. He seems quite uncaring about her presence and gestures her to sit with him, as her behind is pretty much already seated. A la ‘Sit if you must. I do not care.’ A ever-observing Maintenon stalks about in the background. Madame d’Angers needs his help. The Chevalier is surprised and amused. Now she wants something from him, after she has treated him so very rudely before. She has always been generous with him, she says, and he laughs. He wants to know what she wants from him. Nothing for herself, she says, her friend has been forbidden to leave for the Netherlands. He is a man of some influence (Now he suddenly is one? After he has been treated like a street-dog all the time. FFS.) and he could help. He has no influence anymore, he says. (As if he ever had it in this show, although he is a Prince.) All her friend needs is the fitting document and a signature under it. He taps her nose playfully and says it would require the right spirit. She eyes him, saying that underneath the mask is a man who would do the right thing. His mood changes, the risk is too great. They talk of forgery, after all. She does a manipulative-Maintenon-move and touches his fingers lightly, saying she was aware he enjoys to talk… but she did not suspect him to be a coward. Jesus. I need a break. I think you might be able to guess what I think right now. Let’s just move on…
It appears I am not blessed with a break, for we stay with the Chevalier. He has relocated himself and is now in company of Liselotte. He is stretched out and she seated next to him as he ponders loudly if he is a coward…. I take a deep breath… I do not want to rant about it anymore… Liselotte replies with a dry yes. “Couldn’t you at least hesitate?” “Why bother if there is ample evidence.” You go, girl. The Chevalier argues that he is a survivor and not a coward. It appears he has told her about what trespassed with Madame d’Angers (Since they talked rather loudly about it in the salons, it might as well be that all of Versailles knows of it.), for she wishes to know if he will do the noble thing or not. “Oh, the noble thing. It is not my job to look after the Protestants.” Damn right, but it appears the only reason he is in this season at all is to look after the Protestants, because someone has to. I guess. And why not also get him into some stupid semi-love-story with a woman, gotta give the man something to do after all. He’s like a fan favourite, so lets fuck him up even more. Hallelujah. Liselotte, former Protestant herself, is worried about said Protestants. “It starts with burning books and ends with burning people.” (“Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”- Heinrich Heine) Yeah and Madame de Maintenon carries the torch. Liselotte argues, that if the Chevalier does it, it might help him to get Madame d’Angers back. He is over that, he says, I seriously doubt it. The Chevalier has other things to do and to consider… Liselotte says it might be time for her to do the same.
Paris bridge shot. Thanks to Guillaume saying his name as the other shoe shop guy enters the shoe shop, I know again that he is called Bastien. And he is late. Guillaume is not happy and says if it happens again, he will be forced to look at Bastiens wages. Bastien says he was paying his respects to the demised, but Guillaume believes he only wants to stir trouble. He does not, argues Bastien, he only says what people are thinking. He should not pick a fight with the King, for that is a fight he can not win. Things are as they are for a reason, says Guillaume and his sister buts in saying that this will change one day. One day the people will stand up united and things will change. Yeah, but not in my workshop, says Guillaume. If they involve themselves in that kind of stuff and the King hears of it, the shop will be closed at once. “You think you are better than us, don’t you?” Bastien should remember his place, for Guillaume won’t have that kind of talk either in his shop. Bastien does not shut it and instead goes on about how Guillaume bent over and took it. Shoving follows, Guillaume tells Bastien to sod off, his sis tries to calm the situation, but Bastien storms out.
I really would like to talk history with you guys, but so far there hasn’t been much history to talk about. By the way, I think it was Jules, who showed me an interview with someone from the show saying if they went on with a season 4, they would need to invent things because they would run out of historical background stories. We both had a good laugh about that.
And we return to the forest and Madame de Cassel and Mademoiselle Eléonore. Something is wrong with one of the horses. It appears to be Eléonore’s horse and Sophie attempts to deal with it, a skill she probably learned during her voyage from the Netherlands. She tells Eléonore to get up, her horse is lost, so they must both continue on that of Sophie. Eléonore looks positively exhausted and says she needs to sleep for a moment. Sophie agrees, they can rest for a moment.
In the meanwhile on the Parisian streets, Guillaume’s sister spots Bastien. He will not take back what he said. Guillaume would sell his own mother. His sister hands Bastien’s wages over. He does not want the money in first, saying it is blood money, but then takes it. What will he do now? He wants to do something. She does as well.
Leopold receives an urgent message in the gardens of Versailles and rushes to Cardinal Leto. The latter is nomming with his usual pleasant table manners and not quite happy to be disturbed. Leopold throws a parchment on the table, it is covered with blood, and rages on about how Louis has betrayed him by signing a trade deal with the Ottomans. Seems like he successfully tracked that trader down. That is only business, says Leto, trade must be allowed to proceed. Yes, but why now? Now as the Ottomans gather their forces on his borders. Then he must prepare to fight them back, says Leto. Leopold suspects Louis might have teamed up with them…. “That is a bold accusation.” Leopold rages on, Louis seeks to destroy him and the Cardinal as well. “Remember your place, Emperor! No one in this world dictates the Church.” I think he should hurry home in a swift. Not that he ever was at Versailles, but when a huge army is gathering at ones border, even show Leopold see a sort of urgency to return home as quickly as possible.
We are back outside the splendid palace. The full moon stands high in the sky and creates a slightly creepy atmosphere. What first looks like a single cloaked rider on a white horse, turns out to be Sophie and Eléonore. They are still in a forest and spot a small house. It looks uninhibited. Eléonore does not fancy to sleep in it. Sophie lets a frustrated sigh out and reminds her they do not really have a other option. The place is not at all to Eléonore’s liking, way too peasant. Maybe she will find a different dress in it. She starts to worry about spiders in the building and while I understand her concern regarding that, Sophie and I agree that spiders are, considering the general situation, the smallest evil.
As they vanish inside the building, the scene shifts to a group of men gathered around a camp fire in an equally forest-like environment. Turns out it is actually two camp fires. Guards seated around one and a bit away, Louis and Monsieur seated by another. They have a bit of a brotherly moment, for the setting wakes childhood memories. Awww, although I think them as kids at a camp fire in a forest might have been during the Fronde. Philippe glances up at the stars… and I was waiting for something like that.
Louis mentions Castor and Pollux. Philippe adds “The twins.” Castor and Pollux were twin brothers and demigods in Greek and Roman mythology. It seems like a hint regarding one version of the Iron Mask story, in which Louis had a twin. That twin, born in secret and taken away in secret, was brought to a country house and eventually ended up as the Man in the Iron Mask. Louis looks over to Philippe and questions if Philippe really believed Louis was involved in the Iron Mask mystery. Louis has not really a white vest in matters of trust, says Philippe. Louis’ tone implies disbelieve and anger as he says he would never endanger his brother in such a way. Philippe wasn’t sure what he should believe. He knew there was a plot and he knew that people in high places were involved. Since Louis is in the highest of places, Philippe presumed he must know of it. Stupid church, says Louis, it causes only trouble. Louis figures that Leto might want to destroy him using Mask Man. Mask Man the rightful King, adds Philippe. We already talked about how that is nonsense… and how both of them should be very aware of it.
In the meanwhile, Bontemps kneels down to pray in front of the empty royal bed. He sighs and might by sobbing. I’m not sure.
Daylight has returned to the forest. Eléonore is fast asleep on a pile of straw. Fabien sneaks in. Hand on dagger. He gets closer… Eléonore startles awake. Sophie, who has been hiding, hits the back of Fabien’s head with a stone. Wrestling follows, until he pins Sophie down. She yells at him. How could he possibly kill an innocent girl? He draws his dagger and places it upon Sophie’s pale throat. She has betrayed him, just like her mother did, he says, and commands her to close her eyes. But she refuses. “You can not kill me, if you see love in my eyes.” She tells him it is true that she worked for Leopold and plotted against the King, but it is also true that she loves him. Fabien lets her go and looks to Eléonore. Fabien is a good man, better than Louis thinks him to be, says Sophie. Louis does not own him. “It is not my place to question orders.” Fabien looks away, a bit touched, if he can not do his job… what will be left? His heart. Fabien looks away again… then suddenly jumps towards Eléonore…. he rips a necklace of her throat and leaves the building. His men wait outside….. and I wonder how they are all relaxed and did not hear the yelling and fighting. They are not that far away. Sophie pokes her head outside and Fabien instructs her to wait a bit, then ride on and stop for nothing. Kissing. “If I see you again, I will do my duty.”
Back in Versailles, Louvois argues with Guillaume. He ain’t got time to worry about the people being concerned. Or taxes. Guillaume urges Louvois to listen and he actually does listen as Guillaume says he believes the people might rise up against the King. Louvois wants names and addresses, so the plotters can be arrested, but Guillaume refuses. He came to warn the King, not to hurt his people. Well then, says Louvois, and cancels the contract they made regarding shoe supply. Guillaume looks dumbstruck as Louvois waddles away. Louis XIV actually had to deal with a few tax related revolts during his life and also with people being a little unhappy with him. Especially when there was a bad harvest after a harsh winter. One winter it got so cold, that Liselotte complained of the wine freezing in the glasses. You can read about two of those revolts here and here. Also, Louvois was quite a bit of an ass for real.
From Louvois to Colbert. He sits in the council chamber as a casual Chevalier enters and attempts to make small talk. Monsieur Colbert ain’t got time either. He shuts the Chevalier up, a bit harshly, and asks what the hell he wants. To apologise for the demise of Colbert’s niece. (Season 2) Strange timing, says Colbert, not believing anything of it. The Chevalier tries to act all touched and turns away. But Colbert isn’t done yet and asks again what the Chevalier wants.
The Chevalier starts to talk about a chocolate-maker from Lyon who has not received the papers necessary to pursue his business overseas. Since Colbert is a man believing in trade and understanding its importance, he surely could do something regarding the papers. The Chevalier hands some papers to Colbert. He signs them, after asking if he has the Chevalier’s word, for what it’s worth, that this chocolate-maker is real and the whole thing not a trick. “For what it’s worth.” Not much, it appears and it also appears our Chevalier is aware of that fact.
But he is rather pleased with himself after engaging in some forgery, during which he changes the name on the paper, in presence of Madame d’Angers and her Protestant friend Monsieur Cavanel. They are pleased too… until the Chevalier requests money for his services. The sum of 3000 livres will be sent to him at once, says Monsieur Cavanel and turns to Madame d’Angers to inquire of she is sure she does not want to join him. She is and wishes him good luck as he leaves the room. “You demand money for helping people in need?” (….helping as in committing a crime that could get him imprisoned for life in the best case…) Of course, he demands money. He got to live from something… and if she knows more people in need, she knows where to find him.
Louis and Philippe arrive at a small house in the country. They enter and approach an old lady seated at a table. It is the midwife and she appears to be blind. Louis, being all polite, tells her to sit back down and places his royal behind on a chair, while Philippe roams the room. The midwife recognises Louis’ voice and identifies him correctly as her supreme sovereign. He is a bit astonished and so is Philippe. She is honoured to welcome them in her humble house, she says, and Louis thanks her. They got questions. Does she remember Louise de La Fayette? She does, but there are things she swore never to speak of. What if Louis commands her to do so? She pauses…. then says Louis XIII was fond of Louise de La Fayette. They know that, adds Philippe, also that they had a child. She closes her eyes and presses her lips together…. that is true, she says, the child was born early… a boy named Robert… and he had a birth mark on his face… the child cried… but only once. He died, asks Louis? Of course, she says, otherwise he would be King. (I slowly but surely lose my patience here with the whole ‘would be King’ stuff. And the worst is, there are people out there who will believe that crap.) Why no royal burial, asks Philippe… he got one is the answer and the scene moves to cross on a hill as the midwife gives instructions where to find the grave. Louis and Philippe follow the instructions and unearth a grave stone… the boy has been buried there in secret, because Louis XIII wanted to avoid people questioning his ability to father healthy children. Louise left for a convent afterwards, but Louis XIII and ANNE visited her every month to share the pain of their loss. Pardon my French, but what a stinking heap of bullshit is that again??? So, Louis XIII, who is married, makes a baby with a mistress, plans to make that his heir… and since Anne appears to have been aware of it, maybe even pretend it is the kid of him and Anne. The kid dies, so they secretly bury it to hide that Louis XIII is not able to produce healthy kids. Neither could he make a kid he had with a mistress his heir as long as there were legitimate heirs, his bloody brother, nor could they simply pretend Anne gave birth to the kid. A royal birth was a grand affair with plenty of people present, and watching every step of it, to avoid something like that. My dislike for their laissez-fair attitude regarding history and what is historically possible grows with every scene.
As Louis and Philippe are about to leave the midwife, Philippe turns to inquire who else was in the know of it. Just the King’s inner circle…. the King’s surgeon arranged everything… and that surgeon happens to be the daddy of Bontemps. Philippe is pissed off again. If it was Bontemps daddy who arranged for it, Bontemps surely knew all of it and kept it from them. He should be applauded for keeping their father’s secret, says Louis. Is that all? Philippe gets more pissy as Louis says a baby was born and died, end of story. Who is the dude in the mask then? Some dude, whoever it is, he can not take Louis’ throne. End of story. What about the Vatican? Leto and Bontemps? The latter probably knows nothing, argues Louis. Philippe grabs him… who the hell told them that story about Marquart? (Did I spell that right?) Who said it was all fiction from the start? Who deals with Leto and that Priest of his? Louis’ face falls. That prisoner, whoever it is, is kept hidden from them for a reason. Bontemps knows why. (SPOILER It’s SPOILER their SPOILER bloody SPOILER father, SPOILER if you SPOILER ask me. SPOILER)
Bontemps is with Cardinal Leto, who inquires why on earth they would send the “creature” to the Colonies? It is the best way to get rid of the problem forever. Non, Mask Man must remain in France. “But as long as he remains in Europe, he is a threat.” “…and a very useful one.” What sort of use? To blackmail Louis and to remind him of his duties towards the Church. Bontemps doesn’t want anything to do with that. He better does play along, or Leto will spill the beans to Louis and tell him all about what Bontemps did. Bontemps goes a bit pale.
Back to Eléonore and Sophie. They stop by a small river and Eléonore wants to know how much longer they have to ride… if she hurries, then she should reach the Dutch border in a couple of days. Sophie wants to go back to Versailles and Eléonore needs to continue alone, she says. Why do you want to go back? There is something she has to do, namely destroy the King. As revenge for what he did to her mother… who wanted to kill him. Eléonore grabs Sophie by the arm, saying it is stupid to go back. They would kill her and she is too young to waste her life. She ought to come along to the Dutch, where they could start a new life together. (I don’t even want to ponder how that could work.) Sophie shakes her head. Eléonore will not make it to the Dutch alone, she says, and nobody knows what the future would bring, but at least they would have each other…. Eléonore moves away with the horse and after a moment, Sophie follows. Smiling.
A troubled looking Bontemps enters the chapel and its confessional for some, you guessed it, confession. Bossuet sits in the other half of the confessional as Bontemps accuses himself of lying. Does he regret it? No, he does not. He did it for someone close to him, whom he loves and wants to protect… from a terrible secret… his voice shakes and tears run down his cheeks… a secret that would destroy that someone. Cardinal Leto makes his way up the staircase as Bontemps says there are people who would use it to harm his master. Then you must find a way to stop that, says Bossuet. That would cause utter havoc.
Louis and Philippe have reaches the chateau again and dismount their horses. Louis spots Fabien and asks if the ladies have been found yet. Yes, replies Fabien and presents Louis with the necklace wrapped in a blood-stained handkerchief. He took care of them. Glorious, says Louis, now let’s find Bontemps. Louis strolls ahead as Philippe gives Fabien a quick update on what happened in the meanwhile.
The King has gone to meet the Emperor and hands him the necklace, assuring him that he will make sure whoever did it will be found and punished. That’s not gonna be hard, says Leopold, since it were your men who did it. Louis looks aghast. Does Leopold really think he could order an innocent girl to be murdered? He does. Pfft… it is Leopold’s fault, says Louis, he let her run off and roam the roads.. Leopold grabs Louis by the lapels of his elegant coat… Cardinal Leto stops him from head-budding the King and asks him politely to leave, for he wants to speak with Louis alone… Maintenon is there… With Eléonore gone, Louis will surely want the Cardinal’s blessing for a Marie-Louise and Charles II of Spain marriage. “Only of you see fit, of course.” “I do not. Your claim to Spain is void. You have betrayed the Vatican.” (It is not void. Period.) That is not true, says Louis. It is, returns Leto, he knows of the deal with the Ottomans. What deal? You know what deal. Yes, but is it the Vatican’s business? If Austria falls, the Ottomans will not stop there. Louis gives his word that he will not let something like that happen. Louis’ word is not worth much anymore, says Leto. King and Bitchenon exchange glances, she mouths something and nods…. If Leto wants it that way, then Louis will go ahead without his support. “You defy the Church?” “Yes.” “This is a declaration of war.” Louis would not advice Leto to wage war against him. “And I would advice you against crossing me, Louis, King of France. You may have armies, but I have a weapon that would destroy your empire before it is even completed.” “Are you threatening me?” “It is not me that threatens you.” “Who then?” “You are about to find out.”
A pissed off Leto leaves the room and orders a Priest to fetch Bontemps at once. Fabien has been looking for Bontemps as well, but as he reaches him Bontemps rides off with unknown destination.
We return to Louis, in company of Maintenon and Ministers, who does a bit of a speech about his motivation. He is done with reasoning. He wants what he wants and that now. This would mean war… exactly. Louis doesn’t care. Colbert is shocked. Would it not be wiser to seek alliances? Non, says Louis, France fights alone from now on. (Jesus. That is not how to King at all. That is not what Louis XIV would have done. He was smarter than that.)
Bontemps races through a forest on horseback. Lots of forest action this episode. Fabien races after him. Back in Versailles, the courtiers have aligned themselves in front of the chateau as Louis and Philippe emerge from it, side by side. Philippe should stop to worry, for Fabien will find Bontemps in time. Where is the bride, asks Louis loudly, and Marie-Louise appears together with Liselotte and the Chevalier…. as if they were her parents. I can’t even. Leopold and Leto watch from a window. “Ladies and gentlemen of the court, I ask you to salute my niece Marie-Louise, the next Queen of Spain.” And there is so much wrong with that one sentence that I can not help myself not to comment on it…. starting with why ladies and gentlemen instead of mesdames et messieurs. We are in France after all. Why not French it up a bit? And then the next Queen of Spain. Really. She was already married by proxy, thus Queen of Spain, as she left court and there is not one way on earth a King would send the bride off without being married by proxy first. Why? Because there is nothing that can assure him the intended groom will indeed marry the bride upon her arrival in the foreign country. They could keep the bride hostage. They marry by proxy, then they marry in person. That is how it is. On we go…. Marie-Louise, not happy at all, embraces Liselotte as we return to Leto and Leopold. The latter has heard word the Ottomans are already on the move…. but he is still in Versailles for whatever reason. Right. Leto says he must return home to Vienna to deal with that and is warned by Leopold not to underestimate Louis. Leopold shouldn’t underestimate the Church either, says Leto.
Philippe closes the carriage door as his daughter has seated herself in it… totally untouched by her misery, but that’s not surprising is it? In real, he actually accompanied her, wept plenty of tears knowing he will not see his favourite child again, but at the same time being really proud his daughter was a Queen now.
Louis runs into the Emperor and Cardinal Leto, inviting them to mass. No, says Leopold, he gotta go home now. Finally. Louis is glad about it… but not so glad that the Cardinal will stay.
It is night as Bontemps arrives in Paris. Fabien arrives shortly after and attempts to track Bontemps down, but the latter noticed Fabien’s presence and leaps at him from the shadows. “Where you sent to kill me?” He was not and Bontemps should return to Versailles with him now. Bontemps can not do that. He must protect the King. Fabien manages to break free and corners Bontemps, dagger to throat contact. Bontemps says he is not a traitor and Fabien lowers the blade. In the meanwhile, Cardinal Leto is told his men could not find Bontemps and wants a carriage to be prepared for him at once. Bontemps is busy sneaking into a…. is that a crypt? with Fabien. It is guarded by Damascus Knights, who block their entry until Bontemps identifies himself, adding some words in Latin and that they have a message from the Cardinal. They are shown into a room where Mask Man sits and Bontemps kneels down beside him. “Have you come to kill me?” “Your journey is reaching its end.” Fabien draws his sword behind the back of Mask Man…. the scene fades…. Bontemps runs out with a cloaked gentleman… forest riding…. Philippe drinks wine… jumps at Bontemps’ throat as he suddenly appears in the King’s bedroom.
A angry Philippe throws Bontemps on the well-polished parquet. “Let him speak!” orders Louis. Bontemps did what he did in Louis’ interest, to protect him. From whom? The Church. It was a secret that turned into a curse, says Bontemps. Louis wants to know the truth, now. While Leto arrives at the crypt? and finds all guards dead and Mask Man gone. The latter might be gone, but Fabien is still there. Back at Versailles, Bontemps leads Mask Man into the King’s bedroom. Mask Man doesn’t know what is going on. “This is your oldest wish coming true.” The mask in removed. Mask Man looks at Louis and Philippe. Who are you, asks Louis. “They call me the Duc de Sullun.” Louis wants to know his real name… “It is not my name, but who I am….” Who are you, asks an angry Louis…. “I am your father. ”
That’s it for this episode and you can be sure that we will talk about how insulting I find the whole thing next time. Until then.