TV Show Review

TV Review: THE MUSKETEERS: Season 1, Episode 3: Commodities [BBC]

Luke Pasqualino James Callis Santiago Cabrera The Musketeers Commodities

BBC’The Musketeers Commodities TV Show Review. The Musketeers: Season 1, Episode 3: Commodities offers more improvements than disadvantages in comparison to previous episodes. Once again, we have an interesting antagonist, a fast, interesting storyline but this time around we can see an overall improvement in almost every aspect. There are more surprises, more laughs, the cinematography is significantly improved, the editing and the looks of the fight sequences finally goes through a positive change, the acting is better and there really is a very solid focus on the individual characters which results in several solid dramatic moments. As an episode of The Musketeers, Commodities offers nothing exceptional in the end of the day. However, the improvement is obvious and although this time around the ending doesn’t leave you eager for the next episode, the critical viewers will finally cross the border between doubting if they want to come back and actually enjoying the show.

The story offers more moments of surprise, most of which are good enough to exclaim quietly, if not out loud, at least in your mind. There are physical wounds, twists, unexpected deaths, as well as jokes and humorous moments, all of which really bring the entertainment to you. What is really new about Commodities is the very strong approach of the dramatic storyline. We get to know our characters better. The drama surrounds both the protagonists and the antagonists and this will really pull the viewer’s sympathy in the show. We finally get a clear view of the hidden romance of Atos with the secret femme fatale which is the main source of his pain. We learn of Portos’ dark childhood memories and we even have a brief sequence that explores the remorse of the bad guy. The antagonist here is different; he’s friendly, comedic and even shares several friendly conversations with the musketeers-maybe this is what is necessary for us to feel closer to him in order for the drama to work.

The cinematography and the battle scenes go through an obvious improvement. There are some really nice shots in the forests and the mansion the majority of the action in the episode takes place and the style of the flashbacks through which some of the more important dramatic information is delivered is created very nicely. The battle scenes were immediately obvious to be better. The shots are slightly wider so we can see the swords flashing and colliding, the editing is cleverer, with a sense of rhythm and the shots are more stable, which unlike the fights in the two previous episodes doesn’t make us feel like we are drunk. There are very few fight scenes in this episode in comparison but it is much better to see one which is good than many which simply tire us with their clumsy editing and annoyingly bad visual style. Hopefully, the next fight scenes will preserve the spirit of those from Commodities.

There are still some disadvantages. We had some sort of a showdown in the end of each of the first two episodes. We don’t get such a thing here. It ends with an unexpected twist which is not particularly thrilling or dramatic in any way; in fact it was almost comedic. On one hand, the episode was the most dramatic one but on the other the ending was far from satisfactory. Regardless, it is a good thing that so many things have improved in Episode III and the most important message we get from the creators is that they can keep raising the bar with each episode. It would be great if Episode IV manages to completely surpass the first three but we will wait and definitely see.

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Deyan Angelov

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