Episodes – Season 2 Admin_LVL
Season 2 Episodes
Louis has every reason to be happy – his palace is expanding, and is admired the world over; his troops are preparing to invade Holland and crush Guillaume d’Orange, after Fabien saved the Dauphin from Rohan’s claws. However, he is still haunted by nightmares, and his paranoia grows, whilst his brother, Philippe, refuses to set foot back in Versailles. Louis finds strength and comfort in the arms of his favourite, Madame de Montespan, who is pregnant with their child, and whose influence continues to grow, much to the dismay of the King’s entourage, and, in particular, the Queen, Marie-Thérèse, who is forced to suffer daily humiliation inflicted by the favourite. Louis, however, has reason to be afraid: poisonings are rife in Versailles, murders are on the increase, and the assassins remain without trace. He lets the wolf into the sheep-pen when he welcomes the playwright Thomas into the Court, who he admits into his service to write the “official” history of Versailles.
The Church rises up against the King, commanding him to end his adultery with Montespan. The bishop Bossuet forms an alliance with Father Pascal, who has come to the Court at the Queen’s behest to return order and morality to the Palace. But Louis remains deaf to their orders. He has managed to convince Philippe to return to Versailles, or more to the point, has coerced him, by returning to him the Chevalier who he had exiled to Italy. But on his return, Philippe must wed the bride that Louis has chosen for him: the Princess Palatine. Fabien continues to investigate the poisonings with the help of Sophie, who is spying for him in the parlours. Montespan fears that the King will lose interest in her once she gives birth…so she seeks to retain his love by following the advice and aphrodisiacs procured by Madame Agathe.
Poisonings continue to spread, and Fabien’s investigations have reached a dead end. The King’s decisions are criticised, such as his appointment of Cassel to the position of Minister of Justice. To ensure Cassel is kept under constant surveillance, Louis decides that he must marry Sophie. She finds comfort in the Princess Palatine, to whom she has become lady-in-waiting. The marriage of Philippe and Palatine is celebrated, but Philippe, under pressure from the Chevalier, is unable to fulfil his conjugal duty…In the Court, Madeleine de Foix is deeply offended by Cassel’s appointment: she had done everything in her power to ensure the position was given to her son Gaston! Montespan welcomes her friend, the humble Madame Scarron, into the Court as the governess to her child.
Madeleine de Foix is thrown into prison for murder by poisoning. Before her last breath, she sends Gaston to the only person who may be able to help him win a position in Court: Madame Agathe. At the Palace, Louis and Montespan’s child has become gravely ill. Whilst Scarron and Claudine are sick with worry, Montespan feigns her distress so as not to make an enemy of the King. Louis sees the illness as a sign: could it be a message from God? Louis is suffocating, the pressure from the Church is becoming intolerable. In Court, the Chevalier is getting caught up in drugs and squandering Philippe’s money on gambling, in the vain hope of attracting his lover’s attention. Sophie discovers her husband, Cassel’s, cruelty at her own expense, who make her his prey. But the predator himself is put in danger when Thomas commands him to provide him with confidential information on Louis’ plans in Holland…
Louis is afflicted by terrible insomnia, which feeds his paranoia. He dismisses Fabien from his duties, and distances himself more and more from his entourage – with the exception of Montespan. Fabien goes to live with Claudine to start a new life, but Claudine continues her investigations into the source of the poisons. Gaston has made a pact with Agathe: having won back the favour of the Court, he must help Montespan to rid herself of her enemies, and expand the witch’s customer base. Louis decides to assign the Dutch War to Philippe, much to everyone’s surprise. But his paranoia prevails, and so, to assure his own glory, and to escape the palace that oppresses him, Louis eventually decides to go into battle himself. Philippe, humiliated, finds unexpected comfort in the arms of Palatine. Consumed with jealousy, Chevalier seduces Isabelle, Colbert’s young niece, who has newly arrived to Versailles.
The King’s army wins several victories on the Dutch front, but it isn’t enough for Louis, who wants to crush Holland and bring Guillaume d’Orange to his knees. But he doesn’t foresee Guillaume’s guile. He draws Louis into a trap and forces his army to retreat. During this time, in Court, Marie-Thérèse oversees a pious, austere rule. But her authority is questioned by the courtiers, starting with Philippe, who takes on the role of King-for-a-Day during the visit of the Sultan of Bijapur. Philippe gets caught up in the game, spurred on by Montespan, and disobeys the Queen’s orders by organising a decadent evening in his quarters. Montespan takes advantage of the evening to push Isabelle, who she views as a potential rival, to the worst excesses. In town, Claudine has finally uncovered the source of the poisons, but she has also attracted the attention of dangerous criminals.
Louis and Guillaume d’Orange engage in a merciless face-off. In a game of cat and mouse, they size each other up, study, and challenge one another. At the end of this formidable one-on-one, Louis finally emerges from the tiredness that paralysed him, and made him so dread his own creation, the Palace of Versailles. Imbued with a new energy, he returns to the Court, leaving his demons behind…but he is still unaware of Thomas’ double dealing. At the Palace, shock reverberates around the death of Isabelle. Marie-Thérèse tries to persuade Fabien to resume his duties as Chief of Police. But Fabien, devastated by the death of Claudine, refuses her offer. Montespan feels more and more isolated, and starts to doubt the sincerity of her friend Scarron: could she too, also be in love with Louis? Complicity between Philippe and Palatine grows, leaving the Chevalier bitter and desperate.
Louis is determined to regain control over his palace and his life. He begins by ending his relationship with Montespan. Humiliated in front of the Court, she decides the unthinkable: if God has forsaken her, then it’s to the Devil she must now turn. Palatine falls gravely ill, leading to fears she has been poisoned. But these fears are lifted when her diagnosis is revealed: she is pregnant. The Duke of Cassel, poisoned by Sophie, dies a slow and lingering death. Knowing he is on borrowed time, he reveals to Louis Thomas’ true intentions. Gaston’s misdoings backfire on him when the Maquet’s, ruined by his blackmail, put an end to his days within the walls of Versailles. Fabien agrees to return into the King’s service, determined to avenge Claudine’s death and to finally put an end to the Poison Scandal.
Montespan seals a pact with the Devil by taking part in a black mass orchestrated by the defrocked priest Etienne Guibourg. Fabien and his men interrupt the satanic ritual at its climax, but Montespan manages to escape without being seen. In Court, Philippe diligently enforces Louis’ commands and grows closer to Thomas, who seems to have fallen under his charm. Chevalier, ravaged by jealousy, is determined to fight off and eliminate his new rival. Palatine’s joy at her pregnancy turns to dismay when she learns that her people have been decimated by the King’s armies. Louis, accused of authorising the massacre of the Palatinate, breaks down: Has God completely abandoned him? He turns to the only person who can bring him internal peace: Madame Scarron, now Madame de Maintenon. Louis, reassured once again, realises that Agathe could be at the source of the poison scandal.
Agathe’s arrest shocks the Palace: Montespan and Gaston keep a low profile as one by one the royal guards arrest every noble person implicated in the poison scandal. Humiliated by her fall from grace, a desperate Montespan prepares for revenge: if she cannot have Louis, then Louis must disappear. But the trap closes without remorse. Thomas realises that he has been discovered and prepares to escape with Sophie. Philippe almost dies trying to stop them: but the Chevalier finally gets his vengeance and saves the life of his beloved. Versailles is finally rid of its evil. As the witch is burned at the stake and commands the people to rise up against their tyrannical King, Louis remains unruffled. Thanks to Maintenon, he has found his strength once again.