REVIEW: Baptiste (S2 E4/6)

After taking a week off and camping in the wilds of Cornwall, I was eager to catch up with Baptiste, if only to find out what happened in the wake of surely one of the most brutal scenes ever committed to crime drama.

Episode three’s climax saw a bloody, extended massacre scene in the Baross Józsefváros area of Budapest. Ultra right-wing snipers indiscriminately opened fire on the immigrant area, leaving many dead and Emma Chambers shot in the back. We also saw Julien shoot one of the gunmen dead – Emma’s son, Alex.

This episode was very much the calm after the storm, with the main group of characters reflecting on what was a life-changing incident.

Emma had to come to terms with both losing her mobility and her son, and she various lashed out at Julien and aide Nadeem. She felt guilt, hopelessness and anger, some of which she turned on herself. As for Julien, he had to grapple with the idea that he was now a hero, even though he felt shamed. Zsofia was summarily fired.

She also lost her father to a heinous attack by Viktor and his thugs.

The way the main characters grappled with various feelings of shock, anger and guilt – as well the consequences of their obsessions and need for redemption – was hugely impressive. If there’s one thing about this (final) series of Baptiste, it’s that everything before it is coming home to roost. Complex feelings and compulsions are being examined, consequences to actions are being exposed and those closest to the main characters are bearing the brunt.

If the human drama was (very) good, things were hotting up in the present day. And, as predicted, we began to focus on the end game.

At the end of episode three, we saw Andras Juszt be carted off in the back of a van by Kamilla Agoston’s thugs. However, there in the basement was Julien, who had found a Gamorrah mask and proof that some ransom videos had been shot there.

Everything pointed in the direction of Agoston, but Zsofia’s low-key investigation into her father’s legacy of kindness led her to Balazs, the reluctant member of the gang that killed her father. He revealed that Zsofia’s killer Viktor was now tight with Gamorrah himself… and it wasn’t Agoston. It was her husband, Michael (Peter Sullivan in excellent, malevolent form).

Bolstering this claim were Julien, Emma and Nadeem’s corresponding investigation into his finances. It seemed that he was head of a construction firm who just happened to buy everything up in the Baross Józsefváros area after the massacre.

So could Gamorrah by a false profit, only interested creating chaos and violence in order to drive the price down of property so he could slip in a make millions? It’s often how these thugs work.

In a very risky move, Julien and Emma confronted Michael with their evidence. To get off the hook (or not, we’ll see) he told them his wife leaves the house at dawn at a certain time on a certain day every week, and urged them to follow her to find the truth out about Will.

So they did, and so they found him – collecting a bag full of cash of Agoston.

The Chambers family, ladies and gentlemen – there’s a lot going on there.

And all this intrigue and little twists (oh and Julien shaved off his beard, too) made this the best episode of the series. Reflective and poignant, it also settled down into one timeline… and it was all the better for it.

Excellent stuff.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

    I binged watched it but read your weekly reviews. I think it deserves a 2nd watch from me.
    Much, much better than the 1st series.


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