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SPOILER ALERT! Reading this article reveals key points of this program! How about watching it first?


Paris Police 1900 has a rich plot full of political machinations and complex characters. To keep track of it all (and for fun) we are recapping each episode as they premiere.


Guilt gets complicated

Just like a well-designed game of Whac -A -Mole, as soon as the evidence mounts in one direction the game quickly presents a host of new possibilities to deal with. This episode was no different as damning evidence literally goes up in smoke and heroes, villains, and those in between struggle for leverage.

Quick recap from the last episode (4) – it ended with the strongest case yet for who the suitcase killer is. Colonel Gabriel Sabran de Pontevès is part of a corrupt family entwined with both the military and the Antisemitic League, allegedly the father of Joséphine’s son and wears army shirts like the one found on Joséphine’s body.

This episode we start with Antoine hot on the trail of finding Pontevès’ bachelor pad. He uses the key from Emile (the one Joséphine gave to Emile) to unlock the door of the suspected love nest only to find the apartment is being actively used for the exact purpose of what one uses a love next for. He hears Pontevès and Meg mid-pillow talk about the details of Meg’s informing gig with the police while also spotting a similar looking shirt to the one found on Joséphine’s body. Everything then quickly goes downhill once a shadowy figure, who had seen Antoine enter the building, calls the bachelor pad house phone to warn Pontevès. Meg and Pontevès make a hasty exit but Antoine keeps sneaking around and finds what looks like the murder scene complete with hospital bed, surgical equipment, and a lock of red hair. The evidence was so strong and complete that it almost stands to reason the shadowy figure then sets the whole place on fire, evidence and all.

The exit of Meg and Pontevès was apparently too premature for them, so they head to Meg’s house where they are awkwardly busted by Meg’s husband who was clearly supposed to still be away at his mother-in-law’s place. An uncomfortable verbal standoff ensues with Monsieur Meg sizing up the situation as perhaps more than just business and wonders aloud how they’ll explain it to their daughter. Surprisingly, before Pontevès leaves he implores Meg to stay away from him and extricate herself from Puybaraud by pretending that her cover has been blown. With his concern for Meg’s safety Pontevès – aka suspect #1 for killing his baby mama Joséphine – is not acting like a cold stone killer. Consider my swift judgement of him to not exactly be up in smoke, but definitely less than rock solid.

However, there’s nothing as rock solid as Puybaraud being a villain. He may be acting all nice during a suppertime visit with Fiersi’s family and dangling a promotion over Fiersi’s head, but that man is as cold as ice. And that promotion mention sounds more like a threat disguised as a bribe wrapped in a future demand for more dirty work.

Meanwhile, Antoine who at this point thinks he has found the ultimate smoking gun for Joséphine’s murder, is getting his bubble burst pretty hard. Cochefert is briefing him on the Fiersi induced forced confession by Eugenie’s husband (he now has a name – Jean Dornet). Antoine knows its bullshit and begins to protest but then Cochefert tells him about the bachelor pad burning down. Poor Antoine has a perpetual rain cloud over his head. But its not all doom and gloom as the patient and methodical Cochefert reminds his star pupil that while the suitcase murder case is closed, the Emile one is still wide open. There’s still an opportunity to hope for justice and you can feel how much these two want to be actual good policemen.

As salt in the wound, we must endure Puybaraud toasting to Fiersi’s promotion/bribe as a reward for the forced and false confession he extracted from Dornet. Even Fiersi can barely handle it as we later see him overcome by guilt and tears once at home. We also learn that Puybaraud has more traps and spies laid everywhere since the Ministry of Home Affairs has gone directly to him, circumventing Lépine in the process, to order surveillance on all the Leagues causing a raucous in Paris. Lépine is not pleased to be out of the loop and protests that the government has no right to go this far in squashing discontent – Dreyfus trial or not.

In the meantime, the Bonapartists, Royalists, Patriot League and Antisemite League, led by Guérin, are uniting to cause more said raucous. Guérin is over the top in working up the crowd, but he thankfully doesn’t enlist the butcher’s help in this latest performance of crazy.

One of the leagues is notably absent in uniting for chaos – the Anarchists. They seem more concerned with providing security for Jeanne at her home. Perhaps a bit overenthusiastic about it since they beat the crap out of Antoine who comes to see her. He wakes up the next morning naked and confused in her bed. His morning after then gets even stranger when he walks into the kitchen to find an anarchist helping himself to some breakfast. Its all very domestic and a little funny but not to Antoine who gets his panties in a bunch over the whole situation.

PP1900 S1E5 Antoine Anarchist Kitchen
Paris Police 1900, S1 E5

After waiting most of the day in awkward company with anarchists Antoine immediately starts in on accusations when he hears Jeanne come home. How can you sleep with anarchists! But oh its Weidmann (LOL) who retorts that he certainly does NOT sleep with anarchists but Jeanne has been known to have a soft spot for stray cats (LOLOLOLOL). It quickly descends from there with Antoine being unable to contain his rage. Weidmann had come to the house with Jeanne and Joséphine’s mother, who they’re representing in a custody case for Matthias (Joséphine’s son). Somewhere in there Antoine calls Jeanne a slut and angrily insists on questioning Joséphine’s mother, but she only speaks German and he’s promptly kicked out of the house. I desperately want to give Antoine a pep talk (Jeanne is out of your league!) because despite his outbursts I really want him to be the good guy who wins the day.

PP1900 S1E5 Antoine Jeanne
Paris Police 1900, S1 E5

Meg also wants to win the day, or at least survive the day. After Fiersi declares her to be somewhat useless for his purposes she lies about destroying the photo taken of Madame Lépine passed out in a state of undress. Instead, she had her husband develop it to use as collateral and goes further to instruct her husband to contact Fiersi, and only Fiersi, should she disappear one day. Sounds ominous. Later Pontevès, who I need to keep reminding myself is suspect #1 for killing his baby mama, advises Meg to sell the photo to the press or at least blackmail Lépine as a way to protect herself. He then basically dumps her but insists it’s for her own good. I’m inclined to believe him.

This all assumes Madame Lépine is some helpless addict. She’s an addict alright but is about to prove she’s also not afraid to throw some punches. Literally. She visits the drug dealing backstabbing countess who seems to be living in shabby chic squalor and proceeds to successfully execute a lady-on-lady shake down of all shake downs. Its not as bad as the Fiersi dirty work method, but its effective enough to get the countess to finally admit that Puybaraud set up the whole entrapment scheme. I’m left with some grudging respect for Mrs. Lépine, who would probably make a decent cop!

PP1900 S1E5 MadameLepine Countess
Paris Police 1900, S1 E5

We haven’t had Fiersi lurking in a while and there he is about to ambush Antoine AGAIN from the shadows outside his apartment. Instead of punches there’s an invitation to talk and have a drink. Fiersi, who has ben wracked with guilt this whole episode, relieves his conscience by telling Antoine everything he knows about Puybaraud’s connection to Joséphine. He hands Antoine a file he stole from Puybaraud’s office confirming that Matthias’ father is in fact Pontevès, making Matthias heir to the Sabran fortune. Interesting…

The episode ends with Meg being coerced into joining the Guérin clan on the creepiest of evening walks through butcher stalls. Just when I begin to worry she’ll be axed we see that it’s instead going to be a secret meeting with Pontevès’ father, the head of the Sabran family.

PP1900 S1E5 Fiersi Son
Paris Police 1900, S1 E5

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