Three Pines is a crime series revolving around Chief Inspector Armand Gamache who is tasked with investigating a murder in a small village in Quebec but ends up uncovering a deeper mystery. The episodes are now streaming on Prime Video.
Episode 1 recap: Whiteout Part One
A group of indigenous women protest the disappearances of several women from their community over several years and how the authorities do not put in much effort to find them.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache watches on and when he notices one of the officers manhandling one of the protesting women, he goes down and stops them before driving the family back home, much to the displeasure of his superior.
He learns that they are looking for Blue Two-Rivers who has been missing for close to a year. Blue’s mother, grandmother and sister are the ones involved in the protest and Armand tells Blue’s grandmother that he’ll try to help if he can.
He goes home where his wife is hosting a Christmas Party and he meets Pierre, his colleague and he asks him to look into Blue Two-River’s disappearance.
CC is in bed with a younger man while Richard and Crie rush to church because she is singing in the choir. Crie eagerly waits for her mother who arrives late, only for her to argue with Richard.
The young man is Saul Petrov, a well-renowned photographer who is also having an affair with CC. He tells her that he loves her but she doesn’t feel the same way.
CC doesn’t have a lot of love for her husband and daughter either and wishes Crie were never born. The next day, while the whole village is watching a curling match, CC gets electrocuted on a metal chair and dies.
Armand’s holiday is cut short by his superior when he is sent to the village of Three Pines to investigate CC’s murder. Along with him are Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Sergeant Isabelle Lacoste. Agent Yvette Nichol is an inexperienced agent who is also there to assist.
They survey the crime scene and find the possible cause of the electrocution and after talking to people in the village, they slowly learn that CC wasn’t well-liked by the others.
They set up a situation room in the Be Calm cultural centre which is managed by a woman named Bea. Be Calm is also the name of CC’s book that was recently published. They find evidence of CC’s affair with Saul and then try to figure out how she was electrocuted.
They find that the boots she was wearing had metal claws in the soles, making her the perfect conductor. They question Petrov and ask him for all the pictures he took on the day of CC’s death.
Armand gets a call from Pierre who says that he found a picture of Blue with Tommy and others supposedly in Brooklyn. Armand and Isabelle take the picture to the Two-River’s house but they refuse to believe that Blue would just ignore them and leave behind her baby.
Blue’s mother, Missy, insists that the police aren’t doing their job properly and Blue’s sister brings out the jacket that she is wearing in the picture, possibly proving that it is fake or outdated.
Armand puts all the villagers on the suspect side and tells agent Nichol that it could be possible that they all killed her together as they all didn’t like her very much.
Episode 2 recap: Whiteout Part Two
CC is seen visiting an old woman in a nursing home before smothering and killing her with a pillow. The woman had the initials “BKLM” on her forearm.
Armand gathers the villagers to recreate the crime scene and later asks Jean-guy to keep an eye on Saul as he sees him leave. Isabelle tells Armand that CC’s husband Richard was born into money and also has extensive knowledge of electric circuits.
Agent Nichol is asked to run a check on Richard’s finances to see if there’s something wrong with them. Isabelle also says that she isn’t able to find out much about CC’s parents and hypothesises whether she has a connection to the cultural centre since it has the same name as her book.
Pierre calls up Armand to tell him that Missy is sitting outside the headquarters in Montreal again. Jean-guy is staking out Saul’s place and catches him trying to burn some evidence.
The inspectors learn that CC had an abnormal amount of niacin in her body which could have given her a hot flash, causing her to take off her gloves and touch the bare metal of the chair, electrocuting her in the process.
Isabelle and Armand discuss CC’s family and Armand tells Isabelle that the people she claimed to be her parents were actually historical figures which meant that she lied about her past.
Saul says that he was destroying the pictures so that his wife doesn’t find out about the affair. They also find a picture of Richard putting sugar in CC’s coffee, which could actually be niacin.
When they ask Saul if he knew something about CC’s family, he just says that CC hated her mother because of all the pain she went through.
They figure that one of the older women in the village could be CC’s real mother. Their main suspects are Bea Mayer, Kaye Thompson and Emilie Longpre.
Armand gets another update from Pierre claiming that Blue and Tommy were spotted by a drug dealer who sold them meth recently. He goes to Missy’s house to share this news but they still refuse to believe that she just ran away.
Agent Nichol gets back to Armand and tells him that Richard is in debt and he also received a huge life insurance payout for CC’s death which immediately makes him the main suspect.
When Armand hears that Missy is waiting outside the police headquarters again, he sends Isabelle to check on her. He runs into Emilie and finds out that she had a husband and daughter who died 30 years ago in a car accident.
Agent Nichol reports to Armand with evidence stating that CC’s real name was Cecilia de Longpre and that her mother’s name began with E. Armand goes back to see Emilie and brings up this new information.
Emilie says that CC was her sister Eleanor’s daughter, not hers. She tells him that Eleanor suffered from depression and she took it out on CC which eventually led to her being institutionalized.
She also says that CC forbade Emilie from telling Richard and Crie who she really was or that they were related. She just wished good things for Crie because CC was very cruel.
Armand wants to ask her more questions but she says that she’s tired and would like to go home. He tells agent Nichol to keep an eye on Emilie as their latest suspect.
Missy insists that Blue was taken and is now probably dead even though Isabelle tries to convince her with the evidence that they found. Armand figures out that Be Calm comes from the names of Bea, Kaye, Eleanor and Emily. He asks Bea how they knew each other and asks her to stay in the village for the next few days.
The next morning they find agent Nichol asleep in front of Emilie’s house with Emilie gone. She recorded a video admitting to the crime and Armand rushes to Bea to find out where Emilie would have gone.
She tells him that she would be near the spot where he husband and daughter died and he rushes over there, finding her just in time.
As they’re packing up the stuff, agent Nichol asks if she can have CC’s boots and Armand realises that the metal claws are not easily noticeable and someone must have known she was wearing those beforehand.
He says that Emilie is not the killer and they head over to Richard’s house where he finds Crie in the basement. Also in the basement is an electric chair used in the past to punish children and that’s how Crie must have got the idea to kill her mother.
Crie says that she was just taking care of a problem on her own, just like her mother did, revealing that the woman CC killed was her own mother. Crie is taken away and Armand heads back after solving the case.
When he gets back to the office, he sees Missy’s sign of Blue on the ground and Missy on the roof of the building. He rushes up there but cannot get there in time and watches as Missy commits suicide.
- The snowy backdrop of Three Pines looks absolutely magnificent and pristine, especially in the sunlight. The cold, harsh setting adds another layer to the drama of the episodes.
- This series does not have the same kind of frantic urgency as is the case with certain other crime procedurals. Armand goes through the case methodically and even though the reveal of the killer is a surprise, they appear to have everything under control.
- Alfred Molina is great as the lead character and he offers up good insight and a measured performance in the role of Armand Gamache. It’s already clear that these crimes will be solved by his careful process and veteran instincts, making it a slower paced series.
Three Pines season 1 episodes 1 and 2
Director: Sam Donovan
Date Created: 2022-12-02 12:30
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