Monday, November 5

The Massacre Part 2/4: The Sea Beggar

So we ended last episode in sixteenth-century France in the midst of a little Catholic/Protestant kerfuffle. Steven is off being seduced by a hot French Protestant dude, and the Doctor, bizarrely, is somehow in charge of the Catholics. No idea how that happened.

It is the morning after the end of the last episode, and everybody is carefully avoiding the subject of what happened between Steven and Nicholas. Gaston showed up at Nicholas's place while Steven was checking the tavern to see if the Doctor was there (he was not) and now all three of them are having a light morning chit-chat. Steven is visibly worried about where the Doctor could have gone (Gaston's mutterings about the Catholics probably killing him don't help much) and Nicholas offers to take him to Port St Martin. What a gentleman.

Before they can leave, though, Shady Roger arrives looking for the servant girl. Gaston and Nicholas both evade the questions about her, but then she ruins everything by walking in to serve them all drinks.

SHADY ROGER: Surely, that is the very girl!
GASTON: That girl?
SHADY ROGER: Yes, her name is Anne Chaplet. Allow me take her with me.
GASTON: Oh, no, no, no! You must be mistaken! That girl is called... erm. Genevieve. And she's been working here ever since the Admiral came to Paris.
NICHOLAS: And this is my platonic friend, Steven! We didn't have sex last night!
SHADY ROGER: ... I don't even know with you people.

Shady Roger leaves, and Gaston watches him go from the window. He voices his amazement that the Abbot himself took the trouble of coming out to Protestant territory for the sake of a servant girl; Nicholas and Steven go over to the window and Steven is all, '... but... that's my bro the Doctor?' He tries to leave so as to go and speak to him, but Gaston holds him back because in his eyes Steven just admitted to being a Catholic spy, there. A brief interrogation occurs before Steven tells them that they'll go to Port St Martin and they'll see the Doctor there and they can all see how weirdly similar the Doctor and the Abbot look and then they'll laugh about it over drinks. Nicholas suggests that maybe Gaston should stay there while just he and Steven go. I'm not even kidding.

So, Nicholas and Steven head on over to Port St Martin and find the shop. There's no answer, and a weird old woman passing by tells them that Charles Preslin (the apothecary) has been dead for YEARS. Steven is confused, and Nicholas is hurt that Steven lied to him. They have a bit of a fight, which results in Steven knocking Nicholas over and then running away. The hearts of Tumblr users everywhere break in two.

Meanwhile, Simon, who I get the impression is the Lord Varys of these episodes, is consorting with all sorts of people. He hung out with a guy called Tavannes, Marshal of France, who told him to keep an eye the Abbot, because he has a weird feeling, and also to watch out for the new Englishman who has appeared (Steven), because it would be just typical of Queen Elizabeth to butt in on French matters. Simon then meets up with Shady Roger, and tells him that they're suspicious of the Englishman now too. Also they talk about an assassin, whose name is Monivere, but who they're calling Bondot so people don't get suspicious. Come on, lads, if you're going to use a secret code name, don't use a French version of the name 'Bond'. Skyfall's just come out, anyone can see right through that.

Simon and Shady Roger then BOTH go to meet up with Marshal Tavannes, who tells them that the Abbot has disappeared somewhere, because as we know, the Doctor likes to disappear off on his own for 15 minutes per episode, and also the French Queen Mother has instructed Bondot to assassinate the 'Sea Beggar', which is apparently French slang for a Dutch person, or something. Steven, who had crept over to Catholics United HQ to see if he could find the Doctor, overhears this and rushes back to Nicholas's crib to pass on what he's learnt.

When he gets there, though, he doesn't find Nicholas, but Gaston. Hot-headed foo' that he is, Gaston goes a bit mental at Steven and threatens him with some sword action (not a euphemism) before kicking him out again. Nicholas shows up just after Steven leaves and asks what all the commotion was about. Gaston proudly tells him that he just spared that little shit of an Englishman's life instead of killing him dead, and Nicholas is immediately concerned for Steven. Of course.

GASTON: Oh, you're having a very bad effect on me, my friend. I just spared that wretch's life.
NICHOLAS: What are you talking about?
GASTON: That... Englishman!
GASTON: Yes, I caught him here!
NICHOLAS: What did he say?
GASTON: Say? Nothing.
NICHOLAS: Why did he come back?
GASTON: He was spying! I caught him going through your papers!
NICHOLAS: He must have had a message otherwise he'd never have come back...
GASTON: Getting a little jealous over here, man. I thought you and I had something special.

Cold, dejected and alone, Steven is wandering the streets of Paris just before the curfew. He slowly comes to realise that he is being followed, so as the bell signalling the start of the curfew rings, he turns around and manages to grab his pursuer. It's Servant Girl Anne/Genevieve! She wants to go with Steven because the Catholic baddies are looking for her at Nicholas's place, and also Steven was nice to her. Steven is like, 'That's cool and all, but I ain't got nowhere to stay tonight, love, so unless you fancy cuddling in a doorway somewhere, you should probably go.' But eventually they decide to go back to Port St Martin and have a kip in Preslin's apparently-deserted shop.

Back at Nicholas's place, the Admiral de Coligny (Protestant In Charge, I think) shows up to tell Nicholas that he has great news! The King has agreed to ally himself with the Dutch and go to war with Spain! Excellent! And even better: the King said that if everything goes well, the Admiral will go down in history as the 'Sea Beggar'! How cool a nickname is that?!

See, at first I thought the Admiral meant that the Sea Beggar was Nicholas, so I'm actually not too bothered by this. The Admiral has a voice that just makes me a little uncomfortable. It's all oily and strange. Assassinate him all you want, Bondot, anything to make him not say words at me any more.

The end screens for this serial are weird and difficult to read, so. The next episode is called Priest of Death! Sounds well cheerful, I look forward to it.


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