This week, Louis signs a cease-fire to end the war and plans a huge victory party. Phillipe comes home to his unfaithful lover and PTSD. He deals with it by drinking and “marking” all his brother’s female territory, to put it politely.
Montcourt royally messes up, leaving one of Cassel’s drivers behind after a supply raid. The driver is injured but alive. Claudine proves her worth again, by saving the driver’s life. And Fabien proves his worth by torturing the driver and uncovering Cassel’s involvement in the raids and murders along the road.
Our suspicions are confirmed, when Beatrice tells Sophie that no papers exist for their family. A date between Sophie and Benoit is cancelled, when Sophie is pulled into a game of cat and mouse to entice Cassel to Versailles.
Phillipe ironically gives Cavalier a book he saved from a monastery, written by a man of chastity. Phillipe knows full well that Cavalier hasn’t been chaste. He quickly dismisses Cavalier and takes a chamber maid to bed instead. How bad of a burn does THAT have to be? A commoner and a woman!
Louis finally takes Montespan as a lover. But not until she helps Louis snare Cassel in Versailles’ web. Finally, Beatrice and Fabien start that affair during a walk in the garden.
Our Favorite moments:
As the show opens, Louis is triumphantly signing his cease-fire while Phillipe zones out on the bloody battlefield.
The troops are reverent outside the king’s tent. But as soon as Phillipe arrives, they erupt in celebration for him. Louis doesn’t need to turn his head to know who it is they cheer. The nobles within the tent attempt to applaud Louis, as if to say the men are cheering him. But it doesn’t convince him. Louis still has not earned the respect deserving a king, while Phillipe has the respect of France’s whole army.
Louis’ Victory Party
After tricking Cassel to the party, Louis forces him to bow down and kiss his ring. As Cassel storms off, the fireworks start. Phillipe, who finally happy to celebrate with his brother, abandons his brother’s side and collapses in the field. He flashes back to war. Earlier Phillipe stole Louis’ cease-fire victory and insulted him in front of the advisors, calling himself “The sound of distant thunder.” As in the thunder Louis didn’t steal from Phillipe with the cease-fire. Then Phillipe went all alpha male on all Louis’ females. The brothers once again dance around their problems.
Phillipe lives subservient to his brother and Louis has to live vicariously through Phillipe’s victories, never able to prove himself. Louis seems pleased with himself as he gets the last word, and leaves his broken brother among the fireworks, as he was on the battlefield. What a jerk. Such a sad substitute for a war, Louis.
Montespan threatened that the king will bring his court to Cassel’s estate for a victory party, at Cassel’s expense, unless he visits Versailles. She knows better than others that Cassel is not nearly as wealthy as he claims. She also uses Sophie as bait to capture his interest. But Montespan prevents Cassel from ruining Sophie’s virtue, sending Sophie away at the party. Or was she simply ensuring the credit for delivering Cassel to the King’s feet? Hmmm.
Montespan has to confront her own PTSD. Cassel raped her as a child. Hopefully, the revenge upon Cassel is therapeutic. She has managed to secure what she wants, the king. She also takes the king’s affections away from a grateful Louise. Will Beatrice and Henriette now conspire against her?
I am a little shocked that I like Montespan’s character. But she doesn’t like Cavalier, so she must have a good head on her shoulders. Who would like Cavalier? He barges into lady’s dressing rooms! And he’s so insulting. “I find several things more appealing than a lady. A warm fire, new stockings, down pillow, a breeze on a summer’s day. Cabbages.” Madame de Montespan tells Cavalier she hopes he was patient (while his lover was away?). He says he adores waiting, “Just think what it does for wine.” To which she retorts, “Personally, I think it all comes down to the grapes.” Considering Phillipe passed on Cavalier for a chambermaid, I’d say, if you can’t keep a cork in it, you just get vinegar. Was this the revenge upon Cavalier that Montespan offered up to Henriette?
Sophie’s Small Victory
Sophie’s triste with Benoit is postponed when she is called to accompany Madame Montespan to Duke Cassel’s estate. Her mother warned her against seeing the worker Benoit. They have no papers and could be hanged. Even so, she lets Benoit lead her into the garden at the celebration. Leaving her shoe behind. Is he a prince? No, we’re pretty sure he isn’t. I still hope she ditches the evil stepmom and finds happiness. But one question, how does someone not know they lost their shoe?
Fabien has had it rough with all the murders and raids. He can’t please the king despite his devotion. After the torture of Cassel’s driver, we assume he got information. When Cassel returns to his estate, he finds the broken body of his driver, as a lawn ornament, and his whole house burned out. The king’s men are there to collect Cassel’s papers, which are now burned in the rubble. And without papers, he owes taxes, which he doesn’t have. So he is arrested. I think more nobles will be visiting Versailles.
Up next week, do Sophie and Benoit find happiness? Where will Fabien and Beatrice’s affair lead? Will she be safe without papers? And does Phillipe take Cavalier back?