When we spoke to Baptiste writers Harry and Jack Williams at the beginning of the series, they told us episode three would answer a lot of questions and serve as a big turning point in the drama – and it didn’t disappoint.
***Warning: major spoilers ahead for Baptiste episode three***
In this week’s episode, we finally discovered the connection between Herman (Gijs de Lange) and Natalie (Anna Prochniak), learned the motivations behind Edward’s (Tom Hollander) desperate actions and found out that Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) has a long lost son.
Here, we recap the events of Baptiste episode three and pose a few questions about what might be in store…
- Baptiste episode two recap
- Baptiste episode one recap
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What we learned from Baptiste episode 3
Edward stole money for Natalie and is being blackmailed by a Romanian gang
After Baptiste finds a decaying head in his basement, Edward has a lot of explaining to do.
He reveals to the detective that Natalie was lying about him being a jealous and dangerous client, and that in fact he began to meet with her just to talk with her and hold her, because she resembled his teenage daughter Lucy who had died of an overdose.
But when Natalie’s 15-year-old sister Cristina was sex trafficked by a ruthless Romanian gang, known as the Brigada Serbilu, Edward and Natalie’s relationship became more complicated. Natalie asked Edward to steal €1 million from the gang so that she could use it as leverage to negotiate the release of her sibling. Edward obliged but, not realising he’d been caught on camera, became the gang’s new prime target.
Romanian gangster Constantin (Alec Secareanu) threatened Edward, saying he would kill his loved ones – first his father, then his ex-wife Claire, then everyone else dear to him – if he didn’t return the money. Edward tried to persuade Natalie to give him back the cash but she refused, and that’s how, 24 hours later, Edward came home to find his father’s severed head on his kitchen table (played out gruesomely in the series’ very first scene).
Now, not only are Constantin and the Romanian gang after Edward, but they are also after Baptiste’s family. After a close shave which saw the detective’s wife narrowly escape the clutches of Constantin, Baptiste’s family are hiding in a safe house.
Baptiste knows that the only way to get the gang off his tail is to find that €1 million. And so the hunt begins…
Herman is Thijs’ father – and Natalie has sent him the stolen money for her son Matty
For the past two episodes, we’ve been pondering the possible connection between Herman the kindly tulip farmer and the murderous, sex-trafficking antics we’re witnessing in Amsterdam. Well, now we know.
Herman is the father of Natalie’s horrid ex-boyfriend Thijs, and therefore the grandfather of their child, Matty. Having followed instructions in a letter from Natalie (which we tried to decode last week) Herman now knows that the bag of cash he found in his field had been left there by Natalie who, unable to help her sister, had intended it for Matty to have a better life away from his abusive father.
However, just after Herman explains all this to Matty, he goes out to the car to fetch the €1 million and, lo and behold, it’s been stolen. But by whom? (More on that below…)
Europol is investigating the Brigada Serbilu’s sex trafficking network
When a warrant goes out for Constantin’s arrest in Amsterdam, Genevieve (Jessica Raine) – a British liaison officer working at Europol – is alerted.
She wastes no time getting involved with the case, but her arrival at the police station ruffles the feathers of both Baptiste and Martha (Barbara Sarafian) when she (rather condescendingly) informs them that any movement on Constantin could ruin her entire investigation. Genevieve then dismisses Baptiste from the case before trying to persuade Edward that arresting Constantin will not help anyone.
She tells him that Constantin is a mere cog in a huge machine, and argues that the best course of action would be to wear a wire recording the Romanian confessing what he did to Stratton Snr, and use that to blackmail the thug into snitching on his colleagues higher up the chain.
Edward tells Genevieve to “piss off” and promptly walks out.
Niels is Baptiste’s son
As if Baptiste doesn’t have enough on his plate what with hunting down €1 million and trying to keep his family safe from ruthless Romanian gangsters – he also discovers that Niels (Boris van Severen) is his son, and that Martha has been lying to him about it for decades.
Baptiste clearly had his suspicions as he sent both their coffee cups for DNA testing. At the end of the episode he arrives, raging, at Martha’s door.
We learned a lot in episode three, but it also left us with a new list of questions…
Who was Genevieve visiting in hospital?
In episode three’s opening scene, we see Genevieve visiting a man named Lucas in hospital. He is conscious but appears entirely paralysed, and a distressed Genevieve wonders whether he can even hear what she’s saying.
What’s the relationship between Genevieve and Lucas? And what happened to him? Is he linked to the case in Amsterdam and what we’re led to believe is her obsession with Constantin? (Later, in her apartment, the camera lingers on a “link chart” – an intricate mind map showing people, locations and information connected by string and scribbled notes – with a big picture of Constantin at its centre.)
Does Genevieve’s connection to the case go beyond her professional obligations? She’s quite dismissive of Constantin’s importance when she speaks to Edward, so why is he at the centre of her sprawling wall decoration?
Where has Thijs disappeared to? Why hasn’t Matty been reported missing?
When Baptiste and Niels go off in search of the money, their first port of call (thanks to information from Natalie’s friend Lina) is Thijs’ apartment. But he’s not there and is nowhere to be seen at the hospital.
And even though Matty was taken by Herman the day before, no one at the hospital seems to be alarmed that he’s no longer there (thanks to a nurse who’s clearly been paid off to delete the security footage), and it’s clear that Thijs hasn’t reported his son missing – a curious reaction from a man who clearly fought hard for custody.
So… where is Thijs?
Who stole the money from Herman?
Herman has been on quite the journey with his bag of cash – from finding it in his tulip field to almost handing it in at the police station, and then taking Matty from the hospital and buying a new car when his truck mysteriously breaks down.
Once back home, Herman goes to retrieve the cash from the boot, only to discover his car has been broken into and the money stolen.
But who has taken it? When Herman bought the new car, someone in a white car appeared to be watching him take wads of cash out of his boot. Could they have followed him to the farm and grabbed the money?
Was it a member of the Romanian gang? Or the doctor who helped Herman with Matty at the farm? Or perhaps Baptiste tracked down Herman after speaking to the nurse? (Although we suspect smash and grab isn’t really the detective’s style…)
What will the Romanians do with Edward?
At the end of the episode, we see Edward apprehended by Constantin and his men. What are they going to do to him?
Edward can’t track down the stolen money – will the Brigada Serbilu move to the next person on their kill list and go after his ex-wife Claire? Or do they have other plans for him?
We’ll have to wait until next week to find out…
This article was originally published on 3 March 2019