The really important news this week is that Chevalier returns to Philippe. But let’s pretend that we care about the King for a bit, shall we?
This week opens with a chandelier almost falling on Louis. The Bishop claims this is a “still small voice.” And that voice is concerned with Louis’ crumbling spiritual interior, mirroring by the deterioration of Versailles interior. The voice isn’t happy with the King’s double adultery and the court’s general debauchery.
Louis isn’t too happy with the church questioning his desires, when he’s more than willing to let his subjects die in a war against the Protestants. To punctuate his disapproval of the Bishop’s judgement, the King immediately has sex with his very pregnant, very married, mistress, in the next scene. That had to have been as uncomfortable for Montespan as it was for the audience.
The Queen is helping the church’s moral cause, or maybe asking them to force the issue. Marie Therese has installed a new, not so subtle, fire and brimstone, priest. She and the local clergy devise a plan, denying Louis’ troops shelter and food on church properties. Louis confronts the Queen’s passive aggressiveness with his own passive aggressiveness, insisting the creepy priest has to go. I wonder if he knows keeping troops off church properties was her idea.
For some reason the court has problems peeing this episode. Chevalier, who’s back in town, claims to have been faithful to Philippe while in Italy. But Chevalier’s having quite a difficult time pissing without fainting – as he poetically describes it, “A cascade of jagged tadpoles thrashing down stream to spawn.” He sneaks off to Claudine for a cure.
Even the most poised in Court are caught pulling their pants down. Montespan, with a baby sitting on her bladder and can barely makes it through a confessional. She ends up threatening the Bishop over her holy purpose as a vessel for the King’s seed. She has to run into a back room, lowering herself for relief.
And when Philippe meets his new bride, the Princess Palatine, with no other options available, relieves herself on the side of the road. I guess no one is immune to the pain and pressure put on them by the King.
Fabien deduces the poison that killed the last Minister of Justice, was accidentally administered by his wife. The Minister’s wife thought she was giving him a 17th century Viagra. Louis decides he will no longer tolerate any of the drugs around Versailles.
Philippe insists he’s not going back to Versailles, even after Chevalier is given back to him. It’s a good thing Philippe won’t go back to Versailles, because Chevalier has developed the habit for the stimulants banned in Versailles. He casually sharing snorts with the same servants who hold his chamber pot. But wait, while commiserating over his new bride, Philippe learns he’ll be forced to take his new bride to Versailles. Can Chevalier control his new addiction in Court? And will Louis’ control over Philippe, drive his brother to drugs as well?
Out of the blue, the historian kills Louis’ gardener. Who will Louis turn to for spiritual guidance now – certainly not the church?
My favorite moments this week have nothing to do with plot, only interactions between great characters.
Louis and Montespan
Hell hath no fury like a woman in the last weeks of a pregnancy. After Montespan’s puts the sanctimonious Bishop back in his place, Louis tries to make her feel better. If he really wanted her to feel better, he would have gotten rid of Cassel.
Louis and the gardener
Louis watches the manure spread about the gardens. He wonders if any of it is worth it, since we’re all doomed to return to the dirt. His faithful servant reveals the King’s father thought much the same thing at times in his life. Louis retorts that He is building Versailles over his father’s favorite place, so his father’s ghost wouldn’t recognize it if he came back. Do We still have a few daddy issues, Louis? Is Versailles just Louis’ way of pissing on his father’s memory?
Chevalier & Philippe- I can’t pick just one moment with them.
Upon Chevalier’s return, he insists he never did anything truly wrong.
Although Chevalier has very few traits I like, I never grow tired of seeing him on screen. Especially when he manages to make Philippe feel better about his overshadowing brother.
Princess Palatine & Philippe
Philippe meets his new bride and it goes something like this. They will get along just fine.
Princess Palatine & Chevalier
Then the Princess has to deal with Chevalier. Leaving out the dirtier cut-downs, it went something like this. You have to respect her composure against Chevalier. Will these two become friends?
Finally this week, Montespan cares more about her duties and face-time with the King, than her unborn child. She goes into labor at the reception for Palatine. Even Philippe and Palatine’s big day is overshadowed by the King’s habits.
Will Montespan and her baby survive the birth? With Chevalier accept Princess Palatine? What was the Historian doing in the garden when confronted by the Gardener? And who is conspiring against the King this season? Honestly I don’t care who’s trying to kill Louis, but we’ll pretend to care so we can keep watching Philippe, Fabien and Montespan. See you next week!