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Thoughts on Versailles season three, episode ten…. – Party like 1660

Thoughts on Versailles season three, episode ten….

Episode ten. They very last one of this season and of Versailles. Are you eager to know what will happen? I haven’t seen the episode before, same goes for the last three, so I have no clue what to expect… but I know some details as to what will happen to one character…. and everything behind this sentence will be very full of spoilers. Last episode, we had a mid 1680’s remake of Saint-Barthélemy, Fabien turned against the King, the Chevalier and Madame d’Angers got arrested, Philippe is having a breakdown and Louis married a scarecrow. Since this it the last one, I think I shall put portraits in for pictures this time.

George Blagden (Louis XIV), Catherine Walker (Scarron, Madame de Maintenon)


We start with a shot of Versailles’ parterre d’eau and if you have a close look at the chateau, you will notice that the roof of the Opera and the Chapel has been digitally removed, for they did not exist back then. Louis appears to have had a pleasant wedding night. He is cuddled up in bed with the new wife and caresses her hair. She smiles at him as she awakes from sweet slumber and he smiles back. Snogging. She went to bad last night as the happiest woman… but then she woke up, she says. He returns a sorry and is told he does not have to apologise to her. Louis says he has all he wants now and Maintenon adds that he still lacks a Queen. His expression changes and becomes a bit more serious as she says that is why he married her in secret. She turns away and looks at the ring on her finger, then removes it. What is that about, asks Louis, as she returns the ring to him. She wishes to protect his reputation, because it is enough that both of them know the truth. He takes the ring and beholds it, asking if she ever wondered what she will leave behind once she is gone. Will it only be ashes, or something that will last for eternity? Maintenon returns that Louis has already built something that will last, a beautiful palace and an Empire. “Yes, but at what cost…” Louis says he wishes to bring the Dauphin to Versailles, so he might learn what it needs to be King. What about Philippe? What of him, says Louis. “Perhaps you should let him go. Allow him his freedom.” Why? Because sometimes the past stands in the way. No, says Louis, what binds them is stronger than what drives them apart and Louis needs Philippe, just like Philippe needs Louis.

The intro plays and let’s talk about stuff in the meanwhile, shall we? The marriage of Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon took indeed place in secret and thus was not officially recognised. It was what is called a morganatic marriage or left-handed marriage, which means that a person of higher-rank marries a person of lower-rank. Such a marriage prevents the lower-rank, in this case the wife, to take the title of the husband and his privileges and this also applies for children born in such a marriage. Thus Madame de Maintenon could not take the title of Queen of France…. but she acted it in private. You can read all about the secret marriage here. As for the Dauphin being brought to Versailles, he lived in Versailles already by then, the mid 1680’s. He was also married, to Marie-Anne de Bavière, since 1680 and had a son, born in 1682, and another son, born in 1683. His wife, the Dauphine, actually moved into the rooms of the Queen after her demise. If we see him again this episode, I hope he is not a kid anymore or I will lose my shit. (Fun fact, the Dauphin also married a second time and just like with his papa, the second marriage was morganatic. Liselotte’s papa did it too.) I guess what they are referencing here is that the Dauphin was allowed to take part in the council in the 1680’s. And I have to say again, that Versailles was not a prison. Philippe lived more at Saint-Cloud or the Palais-Royal, his residences, than at Versailles and he was free to leave whenever he wanted. He had his own little court and his own palaces.

Back from the intro, Bontemps rushes into the council chamber to inform the King that Fabien was spotted in town last night, during the disturbances as Bontemps calls it. (I hope someone put those fires out.) They must, says Bontemps, presume Fabien knows it all. He guessed Mask Man must have been close to Louis already. Never minding his loyalty in the past, he is now a threat and must be found. Louis agrees and wants to send Musketeers at once. What if he resist? Louis remains silent, but his eyes say enough. I don’t like that the writers made Fabien the enemy now and I guess very few fans like it. It makes sense story-wise, with him sacrificing his life to Louis, and then fearing he might have been played and all that… and I guess with Leto and Leopold gone, they needed a bad dude for the last episode. It’s always the same, isn’t it? I mean the general story of all seasons. Someone plots against Louis. First Rohan, then that poison chick, then Leopold, then Leto, now Fabien. Makes things less interesting… and you sort of know already how it will end.

Louis XIV in 1673

Bontemps leads some Musketeers through the woods. The non-Musketeer looking guy from last episode is there too. Might be the new Fabien. The old Fabien is hiding in the printer’s workshop and looks at that pamphlet. The scene cuts to Jeanne in the shoe shop. She works on a pair of shoes, as Bastien saunters in, looking irritated. Does she think they can go back to normal after what happened? She does and he should join. Nup. He got his own plans. Jeanne gives him a ‘don’t do anything stupid’ look. Their attention is drawn away by the neighing of a horse, judging by their expressions that must be a totally unusual sound to be heard on the Parisian streets. Both move closer together and Bastien whispers he heard talk of muskets being relocated from the Bastille and they want to raid the convoy. Can you hear that? I just sighed very very very loudly. People are screaming on the streets and Tristan rushes in, the Musketeers have returned. Jeanne hurries out in a swift. Just in time, because non-Musketeer looking guy appears at the doors and tells his men to search the house. Bastien is punched. Bontemps, with an expression very common for a Fabien, walks in. Has Bastien seen Fabien anywhere? No, but he will make sure to let Bontemps know if he does…. which leads Bontemps to offer those present a purse full of gold coins for the one to bring Fabien to him, adding that anyone who should dare to help Fabien will be hanged. Bontemps looks down at Bastien, if he sees Jeanne he should make sure to turn her in as well. Of course, says Bastian and I am irritated. I thought he is a Protestant as well. Jeanne returns once the Musketeers have left. Does she still think they can have a normal life again?

Bontemps and his men search the printer’s shop next. He orders the men to search by the river too and stops non-Musketeer looking guy to add that Fabien should be taken alive… but if he makes a fuss… then he knows what to do. Both of them do not know that Fabien is hiding above their heads.

Back to the council chamber, where Louvois, in company of Louis and Scarecrow, reads aloud how a Protestant plot to kill the King was stopped and that the King has seized the property of the ringleaders and imprisoned them. Louis asks how many and the answer is over 10k…. which is indeed a lot of ringleaders. They should be sent to the galleys, says Louis, who then utters the desire to meet the people of France. Glorious idea. How does he want to do that? Touching says he, referring to the Royal Touch, a ceremony during which the King would touch ailing people. Maintenon likes that idea a lot. Louvois inquires if Louis wants to go to the people or have them brought to Versailles. He will go to them. Louvois appears rather shocked that Louis want to go to Paris. (He did not like Paris too much, but he went there quite often for this and that.) That is dangerous, says Louvois, but Louis tells him he has considered the risks of going there and also those of not going.

The ennobled Guillaume is in the salons and reads the Gazette, which I guess is also what Louvois just read… speaking of the devil, Louvois waddles to Guillaume and seats himself next to him….and there comes Liselotte. She appears to look for something. Or someone. She starts to ask courtiers if they have seen the Chevalier. They did not. While she carries on with the mission to locate the Chevalier, we know where he is, Guillaume asks Louvois if the story in the Gazette is true. It is the official version, says Louvois. Guillaume is worried about Jeanne. She is not on any of the lists, so she should be safe. Louvois leans in, saying that Guillaume can no longer rely on the shoe shop for income and they must find him a job, he actually uses this word, and suggests Guillaume should do something military. He will speak with the King about it…. Liselotte has now reached the table of Guillaume and repeats her question. Where is he? “Exactly where he should be, your Highness, in prison.” Liselotte can’t believe it. Nor can I, because that never happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with adding a little fiction to history in order to spice more boring things a little up. My fave movie is Le Roi Danse (You should watch that one. Best Louis XIV eva.) and that is not historical correct either… but it is way better done and the fiction is actually believable and not over the top soap opera like Versailles is now. There needs to be a balance between fiction and history, which they did well in season one, but now there is no balance at all. Either things are complete fiction or messed up history taken from 300 years of French history, with the occasional mention to the important stuff.

Élisabeth-Charlotte du Palatinat, also known as Liselotte von der Pfalz, Monsieur’s second wife

Louis is busy caressing Maintenon‘s cheek as an angry Liselotte storms in. “Sire, you have gone too far!” she says rather pissed off and storms towards him. “A pleasure to see you too, Princesse.” “Not only have you destroyed the lives of decent Protestant people, you have also locked up a man I deeply care for. The Chevalier de Lorraine.” Maintenon feels the desire to butt in again, she is a master at that, and explains the Chevalier was opposing the King’s orders. Liselotte hisses at her, he was only helping a friend, which is something not many people are inclined to do in Versailles. Louis recommends Liselotte should calm her words a little and chose better friends. “I am begging you to show mercy.” I am angry like Liselotte as I hear Louis say the Chevalier and Madame d’Angers will be deported to Louisiana. What the fuck is this fuckery again? I am so bloody angry on behalf of the historical Chevalier de Lorraine, you can’t even imagine… but let’s finish the scene before I start my rant. Liselotte backs away, saying he will not survive such a journey. Louis might as well execute him now. “Lorraine is responsible for his own actions, as we all are.” Louis trusted him and feels betrayed now, not for the first time. Liselotte eyes him, then turns her back to him to leave. What is that supposed to mean, asks Louis. Liselotte replies she will go to Saint-Cloud, to join her husband. This is your home, says Louis, but Liselotte returns  a ‘not anymore’ before turning again. Wait, calls Louis. “Since the days you have set foot into this palace, you have been a source of honesty and charm. Without you and my brother, Versailles would lose some of its sparkle and I would lose a part of my soul. I know that I have lost your trust and more than anything else in the world, I want it back.” Tears run down Liselotte’s cheeks…. she leaves. Louis can not let her go, says Maintenon to a shocked looking Louis. He can, returns the King, and hopes that once she returns, Philippe will as well.

Sooooooo….. where shall we start? What they did here, is going back to the story of the historical Chevalier’s imprisonment. If you remember, in season one he was arrested for mingling with Rohan and sent to prison.  They didn’t mention some parts of it back then and are coming back to it now. The Chevalier was actually arrested on shady grounds, because of Minette and her bro Charles II urged Louis to do something about him, or Charles might not sign a secret treaty. No reason was given as the Chevalier was arrested and Monsieur had an utter breakdown. He did what Liselotte does here now, urged Louis to release him, but Louis refused. So, Monsieur left the court of his brother, like Liselotte does here, saying he will not return until the Chevalier is released. They made Liselotte do what Monsieur did. Monsieur also wrote a letter, not to Louis, in which he calls the Chevalier a dear friend, a bit like what Liselotte said to Louis. Louis was pissed about Monsieur leaving and sent the Chevalier to an even worse prison, saying he had no intention to ever release him. Colbert kept up a conversation with Monsieur and managed to somehow settle it. Louis released the Chevalier and send him to exile, Monsieur returned. The exile was not in Louisiana, but in Italy, where he had a splendid time with Marie Mancini. Louis planned to have the Chevalier full-fill his obligations to the Order of Malta, by sending him on boat-campaign, but the Chevalier’s brother, also called Louis and bff’s with Louis XIV, talked him out of that. The Chevalier was eventually allowed to return, because Louis needed skilled officers for a new war. That’s the story behind it and if you want it in more detail, click here. Also, Liselotte and the Chevalier were not on friendly terms until way later. You know, there are a couple of movies that also have the Chevalier de Lorraine as character in them… and he has been portrayed as either a vile monster or a complete idiot in pretty much all of them. They had a chance here to tell his story proper and it pisses me off that they did not.

Philippe de Lorraine painted as Ganymede, “the most beautiful of humans”.

After all the talk about him, we now see him in a gloomy cell with Madame d’Angers. She looks awful and asks if the Chevalier thinks the King will let them rot in there. Maybe, but he also could find them a different place. He turns to a guard and requests paper and a pen, I think what he means is a quill, as she ponders where they would be now if they had not been caught. On the way to Italy, he says. (Here we go.) The Chevalier scribbles something on the paper, meaning to send it to the one person who he is still liked by. Colbert. (And again, as mentioned Colbert served as mediator between Louis and Monsieur, and also was in contact with the Chevalier during his exile in Italy.) What would they do in Rome, asks the Duchesse, they would live merrily is the answer. (She might nearly drown in the Tiber and he could fish her out. #Insider) She does not like the idea and calls it a lunatic dream. (I’m tempted to call this last season the same.) We can not lose hope, says the Chevalier as the Duchesse glances to the guard and sees him burn the letter to Monsieur Colbert. (I’m not sure if this is just for drama’s sake or a reference to the Chevalier not being allowed to exchange letters with Monsieur while he was imprisoned. Probably drama, because I somehow doubt they know about that.)

Back to Louis, who enters the council chamber and asks Bontemps if Fabien has been found. Not yet. Louis turns to Bossuet to asks how the ceremony planning is going. They should do it this Sunday. Bontemps has an issue with that. Bossuet explains it is the perfect day for such a ceremony. Louis turns to Bontemps to ask if there is a problem. The latter finds the chosen day not good, for the city is not happy with their King and something could happen. Louvois adds there are security problems since Fabien is gone and is told he himself should handle that then. Louvois would love to do that, but they already found someone else perfect for the task. Bontemps again utters his concern and is told by Louis that God will watch over him. No need to worry then, huh?

Jeanne sneaks over the Parisian streets to pay Fabien a visit and is greeted by dagger to throat contact by him once she steps into the old printer’s shop. He releases her at once and says sorry, old habits and all that. They looked for him at the shoe shop, says Jeanne and is told the King believes Fabien to be a threat. Is he one? He smiles. Jeanne and the people need his help. For what? To stop the King. Waste of time, says Fabien, if you step into the King’s way, he will crush you. They still need Fabien, he has to lead them, without him they are just an angry mob… but with him… Is he not angry? Does he not want revenge? He helped them before and can help again now. No, says Fabien, he has seen enough bloodshed. He has killed, maimed, tortured guilty and innocent people. He has destroyed families and wants nothing to do with that anymore. Then do the right thing, says Jeanne, stick with us and justice.

Louvois is led to Colbert’s chamber by a servant that looks like a younger version of him. Colbert looks close to death, yet Louvois asks if he is not going to council. Colbert feels a little unwell and asks Louvois to forward his apologies. He also compliments Louvois on dealing with those vile Protestant assassins and asks him to hand a document to the King on his behalf. It’s a calculation of what the crown will gain, if Louis marries the Infanta. Louvois hopes Colbert will feel better again soon and Colbert hopes the same, for there has to be someone ensuring things go the right way.

Philippe, in a dashing night-shirt, receives a surprise visitor at Saint-Cloud in form of Liselotte. Philippe is reading some philosophical Rochefoucauld. “How can we know what we want in the future, when we don’t even know what we want now?” Good question. Philippe asks if Louis sent her as Liselotte takes a seat. No, she came because she wanted to. Why? To take him home. SAINT-CLOUD IS HIS BLOODY HOME. Pardon…. but fact is, they spent more time there than in Versailles. Especially Liselotte. That would please Louis, says Philippe. Yes, but it is not for him. It’s for her, for the Chevalier and for him.

We are in a filled salon, where two guards clear the way for a young gentleman. It’s the Dauphin, who now looks like a copy of Louis… and appears to walk for the very first time on heels. He looks older, but by far not old enough. He should be in his mid-twenties. The Dauphin is shown into the council chamber and greeted by Louis. He has heard his son is quite smart, but spends too much time chasing girls and foxes. Little Louis wants to explain his motivation, but is stopped by his papa. He ought not to worry, he was the same as he was young. Louis turns to Maintenon, who calls little Louis the image of his father. She does not bother to curtsy, but he is gallant and kisses her hand. Louis remarks on his son being a little quiet and how he should call him father and not Sire. The Dauphin has troubles with that. (He was quite scared of Louis most of the time.) He asks if the King has a task for him…. no, Louis just wants to spend time with him. In waddles Louvois in company of Guillaume. The King remembers Guillaume saved Philippe in battle and approves of Guillaume leaving his family and shop to live at Versailles. (Gimme a break. Jesus.) Guillaume says it was worth it and Louis introduces the Dauphin to him. (What did I say about how to introduce someone proper?) ….. and what the actual fuck. Louis now asks Guillaume if he is willed to sacrifice everything for King and country. He is, of course. Louis turns to the Dauphin to lecture him on how important it is to be surrounded by loyal people. So, it appears Guillaume is getting Fabien’s job, or what? Of all things that do not make sense in this show, this is a new apex. A King, who has so many skilled officers, men that did nothing else their whole lives but to train to serve him, men who are skilled in various departments, chooses a former shoe maker, who fought in a battle or two, over them. I cook a very good pumpkin soup and my spaghetti are quite respectable, but that doesn’t qualify me to work as a chef in high cuisine, does it?

We see Vaux-le-Vicomte in disguise of Saint-Cloud from a distance. Liselotte asks Philippe if he intends to remain for the rest of his life in an empty palace, like an outsider surrounded by memories. (The thought that we still have over half an hour to go is very displeasing to me right now.) Philippe looks at his lap, before he, kind of unsure, asks if the Chevalier wants him back. He needs you, says Liselotte, he is in prison. Did something stupid again, hm? No, he risked everything to stop some wild Musketeers from destroying the chateau of Madame d’Angers. Philippe is surprised and marvels at the Chevalier’s sudden courage. (He fucking shot someone for you last season.) Liselotte smiles and explains the Chevalier has changed…. and it might be time Philippe changes too. Philippe sighs, waves a hand and rises. He ought to go back, so Louis can boss him around again? Liselotte laughs, that is how Louis is. Philippe knows that. Louis does what he has to do, he is the King after all. It will always be like that, but this does not mean that Louis doesn’t love Philippe. “We are a family, Philippe, and families stick together.

Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon. Morganatic wife of Louis XIV.

On the Parisian streets, Musketeers inform the people the King invites them to be royally touched. They look like it is the first time they ever heard of such a thing, when it is actually tradition and was often acted out. Bastien finds it all very silly, which is his right, but many actually thought the King really had healing powers. (Click here for more on that.) The rest of the people are quite taken with the idea. Jeanne wants to go back to work, but Bastien has to tell her first how that ceremony is their perfect chance to kill Louis. Jeanne looks irritated and not really as if she wants to kill the King.

Maintenon meets the Infanta on a corridor. The Infanta could swear the Scarecrow is trying to avoid her. Not at all. Hm, she thought they were meant to discuss the wedding. Maintenon tells her the King plenty important things to do and the Infanta inquires if she is still an important thing to the King. She is….but even if not there would be no need to be upset, because she surely has plenty of admirers. “I’m not bothered with any Prince or King. I am interested in the King of France.” They all are, says Maintenon and excuses herself. (I think I know what will happen and will have stuff to say about that.)

We stick with Maintenon, now in company of Louis. They discuss the Infanta’s confidence. Bitchenon suggests that the Infanta should be sent back home with a thank you note explaining Louis will make a final decision the following year. He shakes his head. To keep her here, will encourage her to believe she will soon be Queen. (This is painful.) That will not happen, says Louis, he can not endure to see his Scarecrow hurt any longer and snogs her. There is only one way to end the story.

Liselotte and Philippe have returned to Versailles. Hurray. Everything appears to be gay in the salons. The royal family, shouts Bontemps, and Liselotte’s widen. “My God he has married her.” In saunter King, Maintenon and Dauphin. My head meets my desk. Louis instructs Maintenon how to act now. I want to throw everything out of the window. It was an open secret that he married her, but he NEVER showed her off in public as his wife. Never. The Infanta is as shocked as I am… and offers her congratulations. JFC. Just think about that. He marries some low-born chick and shoves that into the face of a royal-born Princesse. This is such a huge insult, Portugal could declare war against France at once… and not just that. Being snubbed like that, can actually ruin all future marriage prospects for her. You know why he never showed her off as his wife in public? Because it was also an insult to his own family. Philippe was strongly against it and Liselotte was outraged. The Dauphin didn’t like it much either. Louvois actually asked Louis if he has lost him mind. You see, there was a strong opposition and the court surely did not think what a nice love-story it is, they thought it degrading. Plus, it is a huge insult to introduce her as member of the family for Philippe and Liselotte and everyone else, who are actually part of that family, and all of this is the very reason why no King sends their kids abroad without a proxy marriage. Louis introduces the Infanta to the Dauphin. She finds him quite handsome and hopes he has better manners than his papa. They should get to know each other, says Louis, and is told by the Infanta that she knows enough people already. That might be as it is, but none of them are going to be the next King of France. (The Infanta did not marry the Dauphin, nor was she handed down to him. She was considered as his bride and dismissed. This was already before the Queen died. As mentioned, the Dauphin was already married where we are now time-wise.)

A pleased Louis moves to speak to his court. Talking about what those who live at Versailles owe Versailles, as in money, and since he is happy he will erase all debts. They should have a drink and be merry now, but not forget the rest of France, who fights their wars, bakes their bread and washes their garments. They are all one, one huge happy family. Philippe is not so happy at the sight of his brother, but puts a fake smile on as he and Liselotte join Louis for a chat. Louis hoped to see them tonight and Philippe keeps his fake smile on as he greets Maintenon, who tells him she would like to be called sister by him. He just nods. I just want it to be over. We married last night, says Louis, and gets some irritated glances as answer. Philippe wants to know if she is the new Queen of France then… and before Louis can answer, Maintenon butts in with a no, but adds she is the King’s wife. (This is all so very wrong.) Philippe and Liselotte play polite for a moment longer, before Philippe asks to speak Louis in private.

Philippe de France, Monsieur, frère unique du roi, Duc d’Orléans, par Antoine Mathieu

We follow them and see them both seated across of each other. Philippe informs Louis that he did not come back for Louis’ sake, but for his own. Louis sets his glass of red wine down and returns that he needs Philippe at his side. That won’t work, returns Philippe, there is too much between us. (Isn’t there always? From like the very first episode of the series?) Philippe says he always stood with his big bro and only get shit in return? What does he want in return, asks Louis. Maybe Lorraine? Philippe can free him at once, if that pleases him. Philippe leans forward, saying he saved Louis. Louis wants to know how. By finding their father and stopping the Vatican, of course. “You didn’t just save my life, you saved our life. You are still my brother and I am still King, aren’t I?” That is true, whispers Philippe. “And do you have my back?” Long silence.

The scene cuts and we are in the prison, where a guard opens the cell door. The Chevalier grabs his Duchesse by the arm and wants to get out in a swift. He is let out, but not her. He does not want to go without her, but she tells him to do so. The Chevalier promises to come back to her as he is shoved out. That man is a Prince, just so you remember.

Scene cuts again and we return to Philippe. He does look very fancy in that coat. Also a bit nervous. The Chevalier, dishevelled from prison time, enters with slow steps and eyes Philippe, who stands by a table full of noms. “So…. how are you?” “Take a wild guess.” Philippe nods and looks to the table, saying he thought the Chevalier might enjoy some noms… but first he must have a bath. “Hang on…. do you really think we can just pick up where we left off?” (You know, their story repeats itself over and over again too. One of them has a brain, the other lacks it, who that is changes, but the basic tone is the same. One is pissed off with the other. Which leads the other, who tried to be decent, to get pissed off as well.) Philippe would enjoy that. He has done the Chevalier a favour. (I mean, I get why he is pissed off, but for unicorn’s sake, did nobody ever came up with the idea to have the pissed off part speak in slightly more reasonable ways, so the other part understands the issue and they can work together on it. Does there always have to be passive aggressive drama? It ruins things.) They stand across of each other as the Chevalier says Philippe did himself a favour. Philippe looks a bit sad. “What’s next? Sexual favours? Am I your whore now?” I did the decent thing and this is the thanks I get.” “Do you really want to do the decent thing? There are dozens of innocent people behind bars. Why not save them?” “Look…. there is nothing you can do for Delphine…. we have to try and forget her now…. and make the most of what we got.” That might work for Philippe, says the Chevalier, but it won’t work for him.

It’s the next morning. Colbert attempts to work on a day-bed and receives a visit from Louvois, who has brought some noms along. Colbert needs to eat some fresh fruits, says Louvois, but Colbert thinks the time for that has passed. The King wants to see Colbert, but he is not inclined to receive him. “Do you know what it says on my coat of arms, Louvois?” He does not. Country before King. Colbert respects the King, but he has changed, for the King inspires more hate than love now…. but he worries about you, adds Louvois. Still, Colbert does not want to see him.

Louis life has led up to this moment and he can not fail, he says. Maintenon is sure that he will not fail and believes in him. Louis smiles and sweeps out of the royal bedchamber to go to Paris. Bontemps urges him again not to go, for it is too dangerous, but Louis does not care. He will go. Guillaume, who is seriously the new Fabien, is told by Bontemps to check every house and the people for weapons. Guillaume is responsible for the King’s very life now.

François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois

The Chevalier has washed himself and put clean garments on. He is in a hurry and shoves people aside as he moves through the corridors. Fake smile and nod at Louvois, who at once looks suspicious. A terrified looking Madame d’Angers is still in the cell and watched by the guard…. as we see an arm holding a pistol. Aimed at the guard. The guard turns and sees the pistol, the Chevalier aims straight at him, and is told to open the cell door. Said guard appears to be the only guard anywhere close, because he does not yell for help and opens the door instead. The Chevalier knocks the guard out and runs off Madame la Duchesse d’Angers. He has arranged for a cart, which waits outside. The Duchesse hops on it and the Chevalier tells the driver not to stop for anything. And Louvois appears. What is that about, he asks. He did not come alone and brought some Musketeers along, which all aim at the Chevalier. Soap opera tension. Nice try, says Louvois, and orders the guard to take the Duchesse back to the cell…. as Philippe appears and shouts no! More soap opera tension. Philippe orders the men to let the Duchesse be. Louvois wants to say something and is stopped from doing so by Philippe covering Louvois’ round lips with his fingers. Louvois is politely dismissed and the Musketeers remove themselves too, leaving only Philippe, the Chevalier and the Duchesse… which is the order in which they rank… Philippe turns his gaze away as the Duchesse snogs the Chevalier, telling him not to forget what a good man he is. She mouths a ‘thank you’ and the cart rolls off. The Chevalier, looking quite touched, turns to Philippe and is told to come along. “Let’s go watch my brother play God.

It appears Bastien succeeded in getting muskets from the Bastille and hands them out now to the shoe shop people. I do not even what to know how he did that. They ought to kill the guards and Museketeers, Bastien will deal with the King. That won’t work, says a suddenly appearing Fabien. They all will be killed, before firing a single shot. Bastien turns to his people saying, if they are afraid to die, they may leave… but if they want to fight for freedom, they need to stay and fight. Jeanne turns to Fabien to inquire if he will help them. No, he will leave. Bastien does not like the idea and wants Fabien to be seized… or rather shot. Jeanne steps between Fabien and the aimed muskets, begging Bastien to let Fabien go. He can not, for Fabien might spill the beans on them. Jeanne declares Fabien to be trustworthy and the weapons are lowered. She is warned by Fabien not to engage in Bastien’s plans. She will die and the hopes of the people with her.

Back to Louvois. Colbert, huffing and puffing, sorts through some papers as he spots Louvois in the door frame. Why is he not at the ceremony? Because there is something he has to tell Colbert. They know each other for ages, says Louvois, and although they did not always get along well, he admires Colbert more than anyone else, because Colbert has sacrified his life for the King and France… if they hadn’t been otherwise occupied, they might have even become friends…. and those are the last words Colbert hears. What looks quite touching here, wasn’t touching at all for real. Louvois was partly responsible for Colbert losing favour and as Colbert died, aged sixty-four and bedridden, on September 6 in 1683, Louvois had managed to discredit Colbert so much, his coffin had to be protected by guards to keep the mob away from tearing his corpse into pieces.

Louis XIV touching the scrofulous in 1690; painting by Jean Jouvenet

Some serious Fabien forest riding. They are riding more this seasons than in the previous two together…. and we have less naked flesh this season, haven’t we? Fabien rides along a path, serious Fabien staring, then turns his horse and gallops back to Paris.

The Parisian streets have been nicely decorated and a lot of people cheer the King as he rides past, accompanied by… let me count… I think it is eight Musketeers. I have no clue why he is on a horse. He should be in a carriage. Musketeers search the people, Jeanne among them, but fail to notice the gun she carries. Ceremonies like this usually did not take place in some random Parisian street, they usually took place on large public places like the gardens of the Tuileries. I’m too lazy right now to check how often, and where they took place in the 1680’s, but you can bet on it that it was at least once a year, during Easter time. Louis did the royal-touching since he was a small kid. Half the court gathers on a dais, nicely decorated in gold and royal blue and with a matching throne on it, while the people gather in front of it. There is Maintenon… and Liselotte, who is joined by Philippe and Philippe. The latter Philippe is asked where he has been and cheekily replies he saved damsels in distress from dragons.

Guillaume asks non-Musketeer looking guy if everything has been searched. Yes. Bontemps appears to announce the arrival of the King. The people cheer, Bastien and his men get into position. Louis shows himself to the cheering crowd and proceeds to heal people by putting the royal hand on them and speaking the magic words. (As mentioned above, you can read all about that here.) Bastien nods. Someone jumps up. Guillaume yells protect the King. Shots are fired. People scream. Guillaume goes down. The young girl in front of the King is shot, saving his life, people run away. More shots are fired. Bontemps leads Louis quickly away, while Jeanne stares at the body of her brother. Fabien appears and races to Jeanne, who is also hit by a bullet and goes down. Lots of screaming. For some reason, Louis emerges again and sees Fabien with Jeanne. Fabien holds Jeanne in his arms, Louis watches with hatred in his eyes, non-Musketeer looking guy aims at Fabien. Bastien is still hidden….. then steps forward…. “Over here, Sire.“… he aims at Louis……. and is shot…. by Philippe. Louis, with glorious curls, looks at the dead bodies around him…. then at Fabien.

Louis XIV and his brother Philippe.

The court is back in safety. Everyone is at Versailles, where Louis and Philippe have a chat, while they look at one of many portraits that shows them as kid… and this portrait in particular is the reason why many believed Anne d’Autriche did dress Philippe in gowns on purpose, because Louis wears breeches in it while Philippe does not. It has nothing to do with dressing him as a girl on purpose to make him effeminate. All boys, Louis as well, wore gowns as kind until they were around seven years old. Louis wears breeches here, because he is older than Philippe.

Philippe says he had to do something as the gun was aimed at Louis, because he realised he might lose him otherwise. Now Philippe, looking at the portrait, says who would have thought a little girl like that would save the King one day. My head meets my desk again. Why would they fucking do that? Do you know how many people are trying to get that idea out of people’s heads by explaining the real reason for it? This is just beyond me. It will lead to countless arguments with people, because since it was on the show it must be true. Jesus.

There will always be some who want him dead, says Louis. Philippe knows. “You are King.” “I could have not been King.” “No, Louis. You have been King since before you were born.” Philippe disliked him for it and was jealous, Louis always got all the attention and he got nothing. What about now? Philippe has grown up. He sees who Louis is and can not judge his decisions, because he is not in the same position. Two brothers, says Louis, who have started their lives together and must end them together. (That sounds like a suicide pact.) They embrace.

The next morning, we have the Chevalier assisting Philippe at getting dressed. Just like in the good ol’ days, eh? The Chevalier, with slightly shaking voice, says he can’t have Philippe go out looking like a scarecrow. The latter turns… can we stop fighting? “I’m sorry…. I’m just… scared.” “So am I… still… perhaps we should….” The Chevalier steps closer again. “…yes. Perhaps we should.” Philippe needs to say something. “.…you never said it.” he whispers. “I will if you will.” “Alright.” They look at each other… and say in turns “I” “I” “love” “love” “you.” snogging “you.”… more snogging…. they stop as Liselotte comes in. Philippe feels the need to apologise to her, saying there will always be a place for her. “Don’t worry. I accepted my fate long ago. I am married to the two men I love.” If that isn’t cheesy soap opera, then I dunno… and why the heck do they suddenly feels strange about snogging? She knows. You know, that snogging scene feels like something that was included to appease people for lack of romance between them. Like a ‘we have to give them something, or they will not be happy with us’ sort of thing. Appease the #MonChevy fans for lack of actual #MonChevy with a snog at the end, so they won’t be utterly disappointed by it all, since there at least was a snog.

Fabien has landed in the cells he was once master of in the meanwhile…. and Louis led the Dauphin to the Hall of Mirrors. One day, Louis says, this will all belong to his son. The glory, the power, the duty. Can he deal with that? Is he ready? To shed tears and blood? The Dauphin thinks so. It will not be easy, says Louis, he will make mistakes, take the wrong path and friends will become enemies. He must trust himself, because he will be the King and is chosen by God. (Unfortunately for the Dauphin, he never became King. He died before his papa. One of his sons became King of Spain, but it was a great-grandchild of Louis XIV who succeeded him as Louis XV.)

Always look to the future, says Louis as he has returned to the cliff with Philippe and throws the iron mask down into the river, but to do that one must over come the past. The End.

That’s it. Versailles is over. Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen as we Germans say. From all the episodes of all seasons, I must honestly say this one impressed me the least. What’s the point of it all? Of the whole season, I mean. It’s like nothing matters. At all. Louis is a bum, but that’s alright because he is King, which also justifies wanting to kill a little girl. He has no right to anything, but that doesn’t matter either, because they are all one big happy family and love each other. Fuck all the problems of the past, fuck the people, there are no consequences because there must be some sort of silly happy ending for everyone.

I will do a summary post, so stay tuned for that and thank you for reading. I know there are some of you, who read every single review and I greatly appreciate that and you, because you are bloody fabulous people. Who knows, maybe we will be blessed with another, and hopefully better, series featuring Louis XIV one day and we will all see us again for some review time.


  • Elisabetta

    I lack words to comment such insanity so I won’t even try. I don’t know the reason but what irritates me most in this shameless amount of stupidity is Bontemps. Wasn’t he supposed to be friend with Marshall? I find his dogdgy loyalty to his stupid and routheless King irritating rather than touching. He doesn’t even seem able to formulate a thought on his own. Anyway, in the end the family is happy altogether, hourray.

    • Aurora von Goeth

      All’s well that ends well, or something like that. I honestly don’t what they where thinking, but hey, happy ending.

  • Tess

    Oh dear! I watched this episode (and the entire season 3) with a squeezed heart and mixed feelings. I can tell you in confidence that I felt a bit like Fabien in his last scene, betrayed and deceived. It seems that in this fairytale land called Versailles everything ended well, the king is saved (no matter it is a false king according to this story), the revolution is over, the brothers are reconciled… But all this is too sweet and untrue. I think the MonChelotte trio looks fabulous in the pictures from the set and it is a great storyline for one of the fanfics, but not for the actual historical series. Sorry, maybe I’m in the minority, but I can’t help it. Besides, I agree with you about #MonChevy. Philippes’ kiss was kinda like a consolation prize for all disappointed fans. This scene should be in ep. 2 or 3 of this season. Watching it in ep.10 I feel like a beggar who got some crumbs (but this beggar here has big heart eyes ;-)).

    I really liked one scene. Colbert’s death. He was not a main character, but his presence in “Versailles” has been beautifully completed (a round of applause to Steve Cumyn!). If we only could forget for a moment that the screenwriters tried to push the happy end even here. I mean Louvois and his attempt to reconcile with Colbert. Their mutual animosities are widely described in every Louis XIV’s biography. In my humble opinion Bontemps should be in this scene, not Louvois. It would be more believable.

    Thank you for all the reviews. I will miss your passion and emotions (in historical articles you are more restrained). I am sure the Palace of Versailles and Louis XIV will appear in many other movies and series. I’m also sure we will not see a better actor in the role of Philippe, Duc d’Orléans than Alexander Vlahos. Period.

  • Deb Taylor

    Suffice it to say that I found episode 10 rushed, and, once again, too historically inaccurate for my liking (I do not mind some fictionalizing to add drama to a TV series but I draw that line at radically changing who historical characters actually were, and the scrambled timeline of the TV series was always a problem for me). Tess — I agree with what you said about the Monchevy reunion — it was as if the writers felt that they had to throw us some crumbs, so they did, but it was too little, too late. I had trouble with the whole “the Chevalier helps the Protestants” storyline because such events never occurred in history in any way, shape, or form. I also was truly disappointed in the “Masked Man” storyline throughout season 3; the idea that Louis XIV and Philippe were not the sons of Louis XIII is unbelievable. Lastly, Aurora, the book that you and Jules authored has arrived at my door, and I am reading it, only about 25 pages in but I am hooked. I will let you know more when I have finished. And Aurora — please keep the articles on actual history coming, I read each and every one of them,

  • Daerrina

    Grave disappointed. Even after the very weak previous episodes, this no-ending came as a shock.
    No reflection on what happened in that square, most living characters just abandoned… and Fabien given something that to me – and not only to me – looks like a very nasty cliffhanger. I mean, what’s going to happen to him? Will he be hidden in some secure prison for the rest of his life? (and if he allegedly can disclose a serious secret – with even less proof than the Vatican had – why put him in his dungeon even temporarily? so he could communicate what he “knows” to as many people as possible?) Is he going to be executed? killed quietly? transported to the colonies?

    Frankly, I feel like the writers wiped their feet on me thoughout the whole season, and then spat me in the face, for good measure 🙁

    • NealK

      If Fabien is in trouble now, imagine what will happen when Princess Eleonore (or whatever title she has) eventually surfaces in the Netherlands. Fabien told Louis he killed her. He gave Louis her bloody necklace. Louis then passed it along to Leopold with his phony condolences. Oops.

  • Kelly

    I’m going to miss Philippe and Fabien… the actors made a wonderful job of breathing life into characters I grew to care about. The rest lost my interest somewhere in season 2.
    This whole series left me feeling cheated, and the final episode had so much expectation on it to finally ‘come good’, it was never gonna end well… Meh

  • Stella

    I agree with you, honestly I don’t know if you are in the minority. I watched the last ep after spotting a few pics on Tumblr and I was curious to know how Liselotte and Chevalier ended up being best friends. Her last line just doesn’t make sense, and I agree with you that maybe it’s good for a fanfic but not for the drama in fact I don’t get why the writers decided to make this stuff up when the real history is so much more interesting. I’m so disappointed by this season, and after reading the recaps I don’t think I will watch it.

  • Laura Gharazeddine

    Well, that goodness that’s over. The series, not your writing! (Which is marvelous!) But, yeah- what was the point of season 3? Except to use the incredible sets and gorgeous costumes? The actors had contracts? Tygh wanted more time with Minos? Otherwise, I don’t get it. And I feel like poor Fabien at the end. #JeSuisFabien

    • Daerrina

      IMO it’s not really fair, especially since Tygh barely did get any time with Minos.
      I’d say season 3 could have been a good one, as can be season 4, if they ever make it. All the ingredients are there… except, it would seem, good writers 🙁
      Versailles is yet another reminder of how important it is to have decent scriptwriters. Pity it had to be such a drastic example 🙁

      Although, considering what season 3 did turn out to be, I can’t help thinking it would indeed have been better for the show had it ended after season 2. Ironically, THEN it would have had an ending, the only loose end being Sophie.

  • Susan Klinger

    Thank you so much for all of your reviews and knowledge about that time period. I just found this series, living in the U.S. I enjoyed tremendously the actors, the costumes and the scenery. I had read all of Jules reviews, which are also amazing, but then when her’s stopped went frantically searching for some more, so thank you. Still hoping she will do the rest. I totally understand how much time these must take, but you should both know how appreciated you are.
    I had no idea how much I was missing until I read them and it was great getting both of your opinions. I only wish they had asked y’all to help with it, because the story could have been so much better. I was really bummed about the Man in the Iron Mask, it was just silly. I would have enjoyed more seasons, and sounds like there was plenty of real drama they could have used but it had to cost a fortune to make this show.
    Anyway, thanks again for all of your hard work. I look forward to reading your books and learning about it all. I will be imagining these actors as the the main characters though 🙂

    • Aurora von Goeth

      Jules is studying at the moment and lacks the time to finish her reviews, but I will remind her to do so once in a while. I still find it sad in which direction they went with it all. I mean, yes, the audience has to be entertained and it is not a documentary… but then they advertised at the start of the series with how very close to history they kept things, especially with etiquette. It really disappointed me that I had to correct things constantly. I wanted it to be good and I did not want to complain, or rather have reason to complain. Which is pretty much how Jules thinks about it too. We really looked forward to a great show on our favourite topic and got some fictional fact and character twisting series that could have been so much better with a little more time and care.