Versailles (2015–…): Season 2, Episode 1 - The Labyrinth - full transcript

There is a poisoning at Versailles. Fabien rescues the Dauphin from Rohan. Philippe, still reeling from Henriette's death, refuses to return to Versailles.


'Louis, can you hear that?
The flowers, they are singing.'


'Let me bathe in the lake.'


Sire, please, go no further.

A bad dream, Your Majesty, that is all.
Smelling salts will help.

You were sleepwalking, Sire.

Has Fabien returned?
Is there news of my son?

He will find him, Sire.

1,000 men have died here, building this.

Thousands more may perish still
before the work is done.

Versailles is a wondrous creation,
Sire, an artefact for all eternity.

A king will write his epitaph in
stone or he will write it in blood.

I wonder what mine will be.

Is Rohan captured?

Nowhere to be seen.


Monsieur Marchal, the Dauphin!

Your Highness.

It's all right. Hey, hey, hey, hey!


My name is Fabien Marchal.
I serve your father. You're safe.

You're safe.

Is he alive?

Let's see.


Bind him.

Our informants in the Kingdom of France
grow by the day, Master William.

There is no shortage of courtiers
who will talk for money.

I'm all ears.

The King has quashed the rebellion
which threatened his son,

the Dauphin, recently rescued from
Brittany, I believe.

The French also captured the
ring leader who, I'm afraid,

happens to be one of our own agents,
the Chevalier de Rohan.

A shame. He was a very promising spy.

A replacement is arranged?


'Versailles grows in stature day by day.

'Exterior works are complete.

'The palace is bursting at the seams
with new rules, called etiquette.

'Noble tenants increase in number.'

'And the King's bed?'

'The King is remaining remarkably
faithful to his first mistress,

'Madame de Montespan,
who is now fully installed as

'the principal favourite
in the Royal Household.'

And the brother?

'Prince Philippe enjoys an animated
social life away from Versailles

'at his family home in Saint, Cloud

'while his lover, the Chevalier
de Lorraine, remains in exile.'

This new spy, tell me more.

Young, very willing, very able.

Let us hope so.

Why do you need a historian?

I need a writer with a loyal mind
and the heart of a poet.

Is that why we're going to the theatre?


I'm cold.

We're going to Paris, Madame.

Breathe the fresh air while you can.

With the King in Paris for the night,
we shall focus only on

the preparation of an agenda to present
to His Majesty tomorrow on his return.

what is the status of the prisoner?

Alive, unrepentant,
awaiting His Majesty's decision.

What say you, Monsieur de Reynaud?

Does the Justice Ministry have
any report on the interrogation?

Reynaud, did you not hear Colbert
addressing you in Council?

Help him! Call the guard! He's dying!

Guard, quickly!

A full house. How satisfying.

You cannot be that satisfied,
with Chevalier still exiled abroad.

How would you keep warm at night?

It's called a blanket,
green and full of feathers

a bit like you.

The King's here.

Don't look at him!

Have you seen this coat?
He should be on stage.

Take it from me, he's never off it.

You must promise me that,
when we return, you'll come with me

and let my lady do your cards.

I have heard good things about
this young writer.

I want you in my cunt. Hm!

Your Majesty,

my name is Thomas Beaumont, playwright.

The story you are about to see takes
place many hundreds of years ago

but, despite what you might have read,

the past is not a prologue.

History offers us not a context,
but a lens,

a lesson for our present
and a vision of our future.

Sire, there's been a poisoning.
You must come with me at once.


although this is a story of the men
of yesterday,

doubt not that,
in this moment, in this very space,

they live again, reborn,
reaching out over the centuries

to show us all that,
as the sands of our lives

dwindle and vanish,
we are all of us making history,

here and now.

He's clever you know, very sharp.

Who is, Sire? William of Orange.

He poisons my minister
to show what he can do,

to show how close he is to poisoning me.

I'm almost impressed.
You realise what is going on, of course,

across Europe, across the world?

Versailles is a shining jewel that
glows in the night! She's beauty,

she's power. There can be
no doubt of what we symbolise.

So it is, then, that an ambitious
upstart in Holland will look over

at his glorious neighbour and
the lustrous symbol of his power,

sees it starting to grow.

And what do you do when your
enemy's fortunes rise?

Hm? When their fields blossom?

Poison their well. Drip by drip.

You take all that is nourishing them and
you pollute and defile it with venom.

William knows what he's doing.
He has tried to take my son.

Instead, he has taken my love,
my peace, my sleep.

Now he takes my minister.
But soon I will take his life,

and that will be the end of it!

Did he pay you? When you fought
for me in the Spanish Netherlands,

the Dutch came to you.

They made an approach
and they gave you money.

Something has hurt you. I wonder what.

William of Orange paid you to hurt me,
to take my son,

poison my Minister.

Poison what minister?
You think me a fool.

You believe it is William who hates you?

And, trust me, everybody hates you.

Then know this,

when my scribes lay down the
chronicle of my days, I will ensure

that they erase every
last nub of you from it.

No drop of ink shall mark your time.

No image nor crest nor lock of hair.

Your worldly goods,
your clothes, all burned.

Your lineage disowned,
cast out, forgotten.

You will be to history what
you are to me at this moment


Unlike you, Majesty,
I do not care how history will paint me.

My astronomers tell me that,
one day very soon,

the moon will traverse the sun

and, for a few seconds,
our day will become night.

I want you to remember that moment,
if you can,

because whatever your fate,
it is then, at that instant,

that you shall meet it.

I was worried.

You're burning.

Is the King awake?

His Majesty is not yet risen.

I will wake him for the lever
as usual at eight.

Please tell him that I need to
see him at once.

When he wakes,
Your Majesty, I will inform him,

although you know his many commitments.

I can assure you,
I'm acutely aware of those.

The more of you I consume,
the hungrier I become.

Then I cannot be very satisfying.
Oh, you stimulate my appetite, Sire.

I'm not ashamed to admit it.

In any case, how else am I going to
prevent you from getting up

in the middle of the night and
walking to the water?

I'm worried, one day, I shall wake up
and find you presenting me with a fish.

Do not eat that!

It's only a biscuit.

It has not yet been tested. Bontemps!

Your man nibbled on it last night,
did he not?

And so he must test it again.

Send for the Officier de Bouche
and his Esquire to cuisine,

and prepare the room for the lever.

At once, Sire.

Two tasters?

What concern is that of yours?

I would have thought at least three,

one for the hall, one for the kitchen,
one for the table.

Who will be next, do you think?


Well, now that poor,
sweet Henriette's gone,

there is, as it were, a vacancy.

Don't tell me Philippe
will not be married again!

It's clear that he must, but to whom?

I have not yet decided.

Well, I can't wait to help you.

Where were you?

In the forest, collecting herbs.

Minister Reynaud died one hour ago,
long, great pain,

a swift decline.

Our Princess Henriette was the same.


And you need me to examine the body?

I do,

but burn it afterwards.

You must take every precaution.

I appreciate your concern for my safety.

It is the King's safety that
concerns me, nothing more.

Many stand to benefit from
Minister Reynaud's death,

a few enemies in court,
Cassel being one of them.

Not to mention the widow herself.

I believe the Reynauds were
clients of Cassel

when he held power in his
lands in the north.

But now that power has gone,
along with much of his lands.

In any case, your investigation must
bearfruit, and quickly, Marchal.

That a poisoner had access to
the King's own Council Chamber.

There is no evidence
the crime occurred here.

We must act quickly to stop the
inevitable tidal wave of rumour.

All communications are being monitored?


All letters are being opened and offending
material will be adjusted or burned.

What of a successor to the Chancellery?

De Foix is keen, but lacks experience.

His mother is
a very good friend of my family.

Lesigny has more.
I have known him for many years.

Time is nojudge of loyalty.

I wish to meet each candidate in turn.

If I may, Sire

might Monsieur Colbert address them
first, together?

Whatever for?

If they're all with him, Your Majesty,

they will not be in their apartments.

Madame de Reynaud,

do you know of any enemies your
husband had as Minister ofJustice?

I cannot think of anyone.
He was loved equally by all.

Was he a good husband?

We had our disagreements,
like all couples do,

but he was devoted

and Ito him.

I shall miss him so very much.

It's all I ask of you,
your last stop before retiring.

Always. Why do you abandon me?

Should I say a Hail Mary?

The matter of your conscience and your soul
is a conversation for another day, Sire.

I talk merely of
the commitments between us.

At any rate, I'm glad you are here.

It is good to see you.

Thank you, Sire.

It's good to see you, too.

I have a problem, however.
I wanted to ask your advice.

I will help if I can.

Oh, there you are.

And three heads is better than two,
in this case.

That depends on the heads, of course.
Your Majesties.

I'm sure I don't understand.

You are no doubt both aware that
my brother requires a new wife.

Since you both know him, and know me

it is my feeling that, between us,
we will find the perfect choice.

I would rather it was women who
were advising me than anyone else,

since it often takes
a woman to know another woman.

Wouldn't you say?
I don't think this is appropriate.

Perhaps, but it is necessary.

Sire, while I respect your wishes,
of course,

selecting so important a person in
court is surely a matter for a king.

Or a queen.

There are so many roles for a queen,

There are even times when
I wonder whether you already

perform them, in some way.

I'm sure whatever role
I occupy in the King's life

holds no candle on your own, Majesty.

I'm happy to say I stopped holding
candles many years ago, Madame.

You see? Isn't this fun?

Perhaps if we discussed the candidates?

Are we all gathered?

Where is Gaston de Foix?

Is he here?

I am now.

Very well.

Check all the rooms thoroughly.

Good day, Cassel.

I must teach you how to knock.

It's a useful social tool.

It involves hitting things,
so I'm sure you'd enjoy it immensely.

Our Court Etiquette is quite
clear on the subject.

Yes, yes. I know the King's social
handbook favours the pinkie.

Useless method if you ask me.
Scratching a door?

How's anyone supposed to hear that?
I'm forever breaking my nails.

But where are my manners?

Would you care for

a rat?

Freshly caught.

I'm investigating the death
of Minister Reynaud.

And you wish to secure my advice?

You did not care for him.

No, no. I hated him.

And I think you'll find the person
who poisoned him

didn't like him very much either.

Why did you dislike him so?
Tremendous bore.

Reynaud's family used to petition
mine for credit, as I remember.

I, er

almost set him to work ploughing
my fields with his wife's face.

She has a very agricultural jaw.

He took many of your lands, did he not?

After the fall of your house,

they were sold at
a substantial discount.

Will you excuse me?
I'm late for a game of cards.

It stands to reason I'm a suspect.

You must be desperate
to search my quarters.

So, by all means help yourself.

So, it seems we are down to three.

Well, it cannot be Montpensier. No!

I agree.

Quite right. Her time has passed.

The Princess Palatine, how about her?

I don't think she's suited
to court life.

Who is before they get here?

Quite so.
You think she's suitable for my brother?

none of these women will ever live up

to our late, departed Henriette.

Well, then, it must be Caumont.

So it appears.

She would be a fine choice. Although.

Ah! No, still It's no matter.
Very well, then.


Speak, Madame. What is it?

Well, I do not wish to cast
aspersions on her character.

But I couldn't help but overhear

that she'd travelled
to Bordeaux recently

in hopes of rekindling a romance
with a common man.

Why would she do that?
Well, for love, or so it appears.

And he has fallen for her. But who
can blame him. She's very beautiful.

No surprise a man would find her
quite the catch.

I wonder if it would be fair to
marry Philippe

to someone who's already in love?

Marriage is not for love.

As much as it is for the State.

then we have the perfect candidate.

Madame is right. Palatine.

She's certainly the plainest.

And being plain, no doubt has to
work very hard at conversation.

She might be fun.

She's young. No doubt fertile.

Lands in the east. Beyond the Rhine.
Very true.

I mean, if you close your eyes enough,
she's almost a man.


If I may be so bold.

What would you have done,
if they had chosen someone else?

The territory of the Palatinate
is an excellent ally

in our coming war with the Dutch.

This way, both ladies now feel
like it was THEIR decision,

which tends to be better for everyone,
don't you think?

Indeed, Sire.


The next few days are auspicious,
Madame de Foix.

An eclipse in the light tells
of great change.

Do go on.

Of course. Excuse me a moment, Mother.

I see you are wearing last week's cuffs,

Today's fashion favours the sleeve.

I give my advice freely since
our grandmothers were second cousins

and that is surely worth
a morsel of assistance.

Too kind. I do not claim
your encyclopaedic knowledge

of modern etiquette, de Foix,

except when it comes to
winning at cards, of course.

Maybe your mother
would have better luck.

Or does your family curse
span the generations?

A man of youth has plenty of time
to recoup his losses, Cassel.

And a man of experience
has no need of it,

since he tends to be so much better
at cards, de Foix.

Ah, Madame de Reynaud,

such a jolly little thing since
her husband died, don't you think?

Inheritance does that to a woman.

Have the apartments of
the ministerial candidates

been searched? They have.

And was anything found?

Nothing to imply a knowledge
of poisoning

or any implements
to assist in its creation.

We shall see what the
widow's quarters reveal.


A gift from the Duc de Cassel.

"With warm wishes for the Feast
of the Immaculate Conception."

What kind of man gives a rat as a gift?


I need you to be my ears in the salons.

Talk to your friends. I want to know
what the rooms are saying.

Well, at the moment the only
subject is Reynaud's widow.

She's very young, compared to him.

Will she inherit all
of her husband's property?

The will declares it, the King
approves of it, his fortune is hers.

She's popular,
but doesn't speak much in public.

It might be useful to discover
what she says in private.

I agree.

Then I shall need new clothes.

I must at least appear to be
a woman on the rise.

You are doing
a good job of that already.

Where is Thomas Beaumont?

The playwright.
I have been searching for him endlessly.

I wish to make him part of
my theatrical troupe.

Will he attend the play tonight?
Where might he be found?

Versailles, Your Highness.

The King has given him a position.

He left this morning.

Oh, really?

Oh. Excuse me.

You will detail the life of
His Majesty's court here at Versailles.

Focus only on the glory of the King.

He is the light that shines
eternally in our hearts.

Yes, Monsieur Colbert.

Sire, may I present Thomas Beaumont,

the court historian you requested.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we are about to start.

Your Majesty, when the light of the sun

hits the glass of the mirror,

its particular shape and disposition

entreats the rays of the sun
to form a common beam,

a focal point of light with
the potential for enormous power.

The mirror, Sire, is you.

The scrap of driftwood,
why, that is Holland, of course!

Now, should Your Majesty's attention

turn towards the republic of the Dutch,

As Archimedes once roasted
Roman ships from a promontory.

While the sun nourishes,
protects and warms us,

the sun is also all powerful,

and if he chooses,
may decimate his enemies.

I thank you, Villette,
for this timely reminder.

So, will you come? Sire.

Oh! Let him wait his turn.

So, will you come with me to the cards?

Madame Agathe taught me a love
spell and I chant it every night.

I think I have heard it.

Very well. I shall hear my fortune.
Sire, I believe.

Oh, Bontemps, I nearly forgot!

I took a bath yesterday and the
olive soap was nowhere to be seen.

Would you be an absolute dear
and order me some more from Paris?

My ladies just don't seem capable.

Give her what she wants.

My dear!

Madame Agathe!

You mentioned an extremely
important consultation

but I did not dare dream
it would be here.

I hope you understand how vital it is

that he be inspired
by his time with you.

I brought only the best for you,
my dear.

In the time of an eclipse,

a deck of great power and prophecy.

You'll speak only of the glories
you see, nothing more.

Just the light.


But even in the light,

it is our shadows that speak the truth.

The glory.

The glory, as you say.

Just look at you.

Like the blooming of a winter rose.

Majesty, this is such a great honour.

Well, Sire

please approach the table.

And, please

split the cards.

Madame Agathe
is very talented in divination.

Then she will, no doubt,
know exactly what I am about to say.

I cannot see your mind, Sire.

I see only what is on the cards.

I listen only to them.

Only they may speak
the truth about your future.

The labyrinth.

Is something the matter?
What do the cards say?

Perhaps the decks are mixed.

What do they say?
What glories do you see?

I am told the content of the cards
does not reflect their message,

isn't that right, Madame?

In many readings, yes.

But this combination of cards.


I cannot lie to my king.

I see no glory.

Thank you for all the fun.

We are leaving.

You have seen Paradise.

And you have built it for yourself.

But now, a scourge is coming,

five points of the same vengeful star.

The well is poisoned.

But still you drink.

Hell will rise, Sire,

and consume all you have built.

The fires are coming,

not just for you, but for all of France.

Terrible things happen to kings.

If ever, in the future, you see me
under the influence of a woman

in matters of state,
I want you to tell me directly,

without delay, of your concern.

And I vow to you,
whoever that person may be,

she will be gone the next morning.

Do I have your word?

Until my dying day, Sire.

We found this in Madame de Reynaud's

Good work.

This silver phial was found
in your rooms.

Can you explain the contents?

I can.

It is powdered Satyrion root,
from a rare exotic orchid.

At court,
the ladies call it "Fountain of Youth".

Acquired at great expense, I might add.

I gave my husband
just a little every day.

To kill him?

To enhance our marriage.

It drives the blood
to the organs of pleasure.

Both sexes may benefit.

My husband found it very effective.

His ardour was significantly improved.

Sold in Paris, I presume?

No. I acquired it here, at court.

From whom?

Well, it depends on
the circles one evolves in.

Some powders you may find
freely available,

on the table,
like one may find the salt.

But for powders of this quality,
one has to ask.

Money passes through numerous hands,
and the powders arrive.

You believe it is poison.
I can see your doubt.

It is poison that killed your husband.

Of that I am sure.

Don't be ridiculous!

It's perfectly harmless.

I don't understand.

The Fountain of Youth, indeed

I arrest you, Madame de Reynaud,
in the name of the King.

Take your hands off of me!


You may leave His Majesty and I alone.

How did you know it was me?

I sensed you, Sire.

As always.

If I may, before you begin.

The behaviour of Madame Agathe
was beyond reproach.

The moment was only meant to
temporarily divert you

from your troubles, just for a moment.

Instead, well,
I feel it's driven a wedge between us.

Now, I know there's no way to atone
for what's been done.

I want to offer you my sincere apologies

with all of my heart, and my soul,

and my body

and my mind.

I feel a draught. You must be cold.

Perhaps you would care to join me?

Breathe the fresh air while you can,
Your Majesty.

Now, what was it you wanted to tell me?

I forget.

Is it too much? I wasn't sure.

Many ladies tell me
of a popular volume read at court,

The Pleasures of Venus.

It's an instruction book
to help improve the quality.

Of amorous congress.

But there is a new edition
that strongly advocates

the use of stimulants and aphrodisiacs.

The Widow Reynaud mentioned the same.

Where is she now?

Under arrest. She poisoned him?

Either that

or someone wishes very strongly
for us to believe so.

I have been thinking about your brother.

Not recently, I hope!

Have you spoken to Philippe?

Does he have the happy news
of his bride?

He remains at Saint-Cloud.

And when does he return home
to Versailles?

I wanted to speak to you about that.

What about Gaspard?


De Busseys?

Is no, one coming? Where is everyone?


You're not everyone.

It's time for you to come home.

I AM home.

This is my home.
You are sitting in my home.

Why can't you announce yourself
like a person of quality

or just say "bonjour"
like a normal person?

The King has sent me to your soiree
in his stead.

You did send him an invitation,
did you not?

It appears I did.


help yourself to some drinks.

I will find a blanket
and hide until this is over.

Enough is enough, don't you think?

The past has gone.

Has it?

I believe so.

Has yours?

Tell me.

How is your husband?

Please! How is the old goat?

Still a drunken lunatic?

He remains in his lands, Your Highness.

I do not see him.

Last I heard, he held a funeral for you.

Buried you in the back garden.

You're looking very well, considering.

Our shadows walk alongside us,
do they not?

Versailles has changed. Believe me.
I have had a hand in it.

You tell yourself that.

Your brother listens to opinions.

Does he cock his ear, like so?

Fixes you with his eyes? He hears me.

No. He makes you THINK that.

Which is, as you will find out,
what makes him so very kingly

and it is not the same thing. At all.

He sent a rider to Rome two weeks ago.

He's agreed to make
the necessary arrangements

for the Chevalier de Lorraine
returns to France.

In exchange for what?


May I just say, the King has made
his list of replacements,

and my son's is the only
credible name upon it.

Prepare yourselves for pleasant news.

I have it on good authority
that the new minister's apartments

are nothing short of lavish.

Pardon my ignorance,
but isn't Monsieur de Foix

a little young to be a candidate
for a ministry? The King!

His family stretches back
to the time of Clovis.

Please, continue.

There was a time when you could
have bet all night

and not made a dent in your fortune,

Alas, Sire, those days are long gone.

I am doomed to remain here

enjoying the fruits of your glory.

You do not miss your lands in the north?

Every day, Sire. Though I must admit,

the flowers are much prettier here.

Come to my apartments
after my promenade.

There is a matter
that I wish to discuss with you.

The smell of failure.

Hard to wash off. Poor fellow!

His Majesty entrusted me

with devising an appropriate
punishment for you.

But what kind of pain, I asked myself,

would be fitting for a man who betrayed

the King's trust and friendship,

abducted his first, born,

and killed the woman
he loved most in this world?

And it struck me.

We are all graced by the King's favour.

We are blessed, every day,

to witness the grandeur of his creation.

We truly live every day in Paradise.

But imagine to live under the sun

and not feel its warmth.

To know the breathless beauty
of this world,

but not be able to look
upon it ever again.


That would be far from Paradise.

That would be pain everlasting.

That would be Hell.

May you live long in hellfire.

The King's favour is no longer upon you.

You are no longer worthy
to gaze upon his glory.

Do I not bring you money,

and clients and riches?

And you defy my word before my king?

Do not doubt my gratitude, Madame.

I gave you a king!

And I have given you more.

Much more.

those cards helped you win your king.

Showed you the way to his bed.

Did you doubt me then, dear heart?

Don't you love him now?

Don't you want to keep him safe?

What I saw in his cards
could not be silenced.

What I saw

was a sentinel of warning.

And it will help you keep your king.

Please tell me what to do.

So many questions.


I have a few answers.

To calm your nerves, dear.

I am bringing forward
my invasion of Holland.

I will henceforth view
any opposition to my plans of war

as an act of treason,

and they will be dealt with swiftly
by my new Minister For Justice

the Duc de Cassel!

A blessing, Bossuet, if you please.



In case I don't see you,
have a lovely Christmas.