We open Versailles Season Two in much the same place as Season One premiered. The nobles are glamping at Versailles. They are understandably upset. They can’t handle business in their own lands and OSHA safety standards for construction sites haven’t been invented, nor has deodorant! They are kept cooped up in rooms with people for whom they have general contempt, namely other nobles. And Louis is distraught over the death of a beloved female. This time it isn’t his mummy, it’s Henriette, who died at the end of last season. Louis is so upset that the siren of Henriette is making him sleep walk, drawing the king into the snow and into the water. Philippe however is not living at Versailles. Louis exiled Chevalier to Rome and Philippe in his defiance has moved to his own residence in Saint-Cloud. He’s trying his best to distract himself.
In other realms, Louis’s son is still missing. Rohan lured him away at the end of Season Two. And Louis new mistress Montespan is heavy with child. Louis’s wife is not very happy about her presence. Louis is committing double adultery with Montespan since bother she and Louis are married, exactly the same as with Henriette. If you’ll remember, Louis’ wife, Marie Therese of Spain, had a child by an African prince. So I don’t know why she’s so upset about this turnabout.
This episode quickly disposes of the storyline of Louis’s kidnapped son. Versailles is about the Sun King after all, it just wouldn’t do to have other characters casting a shadow on his Royal-ness. Louis’s bloodhound, Fabien, finds the young prince in England with Rohan close at hand. Rohan is shot off his horse and brought to the King. We learn William of Orange is behind the kidnapping. He purchased Rohan’s loyalty in the Spanish Wars. Personally, I think Louis is jealous of William of Orange because he’s better looking.
Murders are still happening in the court as well. This new threat starts with the murder of the Minister of Justice. Fabien is in charge of finding the murderer. This proves difficult since most of the court is using stimulants and powdered drugs, the same medium as the poison. Sweet Sophie is still helping Fabien spy on the nobles. I like these two as a couple. Let’s see if that goes anywhere.
In the end Rohan, Louis’ great boyhood friend, is brutally tortured for his betrayal. Fabien is allowed to unleash torture as Louis watches. A new solar magnifying lens is being weaponized, emphasizing the full power of Louis as the Sun King. Fabien burns out Rohan’s eyes with it. Fabien would be happy to keep Rohan blind and tortured his whole life. But Louis later appoints Cassel, who is still living in abject squalor (Which is where he belongs, in my opinion.), as the new Minister of Justice. Cassel has Rohan beheaded. I really don’t like Cassel having so much power. Nor do I like that Fabien’s favorite hobby of torture may be taken away.
Our Favorite moments:
The Playwright becomes an historian
We finally see Philippe happy this episode when Louis walks out of the Parian theater after learning of the poisoning of a minister. Later Philippe tries to start a theatre troop to pass his time without Chevalier, only to learn that the new brilliant playwright has been taken by Louis to Versailles, to be his historian of all things. What a better way to paint a prettier picture of history than to have an artist write it in the image you desire. Philippe throws a fit. But still refuses to go to his brother.
Philippe’s new bride
Louis, narcissistic male that he is, must be worried about his manhood this season. He forces Montespan and Marie Therese to work together to select Phillipe’s new bride. Maybe he’s being kind in not creating another rivalry in the palace. If both women select the bride, they won’t worry about Louis going after the new woman. He was after all sleeping with Phillipe’s last wife. He thoroughly enjoys the women cutting each other down during the process. The women both decide on Princess Palatine, who is young, fertile, and must be good at conversation, since her looks aren’t going to open doors for her.
Fabien interrogating people
This is a short item. I just adore watching Fabien freak people out. You never know what he’ll do. I don’t think he even knows. He may go all “No Country for Old Men” on someone, or may start an affair with them. In this scene he only had to look at the Queen’s dog and I thought for sure the next scene would have her poor King Charles spaniel in an iron maiden.
Montespan at Saint-Cloud
I love that Philippe’s residence is named Saint-Cloud. What can clouds do? They cover up the sun, that’s what. Philippe has been sulking because no one will come to his parties. All the invitees are stuck at Versailles. Montespan attempts to bring Philippe back into the fold, so all Louis’ attention can be under Versailles’ roof. Philippe always delivers the best lines, reminding Montespan that Louis is playing her and everyone, pretending to give them influence, or actually care about them. Just when Philippe thinks he has delivered a good insult, Montespan informs him that Chevalier has been granted leave of Rome due to the impending nuptials of Philippe and Princess Palatine.
My final moment is the eclipse viewed by all the nobles. Louis has his solar weapon that blatantly strokes his ego as the all-powerful Sun King. But in the end he is reminded that even the sun can always be eclipsed by a smaller satellite.
Will Louis continue playing Montespan against his wife? Will he succeed in bringing Philippe back to Versailles? Will Chevalier approve of Philippe’s new wife? Keep watching this season to find out!
Photo Source: Versailles, Ovation TV