So I'm enjoying BBC's blissfully dumb Musketeers โ€” mostly for the hot dudes, but the plots aren't all-out terrible.

That said, at the start of this season, they had one of the show's lead female characters offer up a very interesting and somewhat impressive speech about the limitations on women during this time period.

The tl;dr version is that she was married when she was a teenager to a guy she barely knew and didn't like. She fell in love with D'Artagnan several years later, but unfortunately they can't run away together for very time period-specific reasons.

He calls her out for being "cowardly" and not allowing their love to save the day. She responds by saying that his swashbuckling enthusiasm is nice and all, but a common woman in 17th Century France doesn't exactly have a lot of options. If she runs off with him, she'll suffer a massive fall from grace in the eyes of her family and friends. On top of that, religion dictates that she can't marry him without being a bigamist (because divorce isn't a thing), and that if he dies she'll be completely screwed because she'll have no money, no reputation, and nowhere to live.

He basically replies with, "But babe, I love you." So fuck him. I acknowledge that D'Artagnan has always been Quixotic and silly โ€” so the problem isn't with the character, but rather the rest of the show which seems to be privileging his perspective on it.

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Naturally, this past week, he risked his life for her, so all of those really, really compelling reasons for why a woman can't just run off with some hot guy in the middle of her marriage? Forget 'em. They don't matter anymore, apparently. She runs into his arms and admits she was just being "silly." Like everything she said isn't completely true.

This show is frustrating because it'll be fairly empty-headed entertainment, and then it goes and does something smart โ€” like the speech from the first episode โ€” but quickly undermines it by returning to the "love will find a way" trope. Which is really just code for, "But babe... it's all about him."

Plus... what stops them from just having an affair? Everyone else is doing it. It's France.

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I guess the trouble is that the show tends to "dabble" in feminism, but drops it when it doesn't make for a romantic/enticing story. Well, that's surely part of the problem for the actual female characters. In general, this season has been much better about not offing the female characters to contribute to manpain, but otherwise it still kind of sucks where their development and/or rationalizations are concerned.

Please update your FMK power rankings in the light of the new series. At this point I want to shove most of them off a bridge. Except for Athos, who seems to share my frustration.