The Plot Thickens
After the dramatic end to last week’s episode, Baptiste returns and picks up right where it left off from before. Julien Baptiste comes face to face with Natalie and she informs him about Edward Stratton and what he’s doing. From here, most of the episode revolves around a cat and mouse game ensuing between the two as they try to outsmart one another.
It turns out Stratton is working with the Romanian sex traffickers but as Baptiste is told this information, so too is Stratton about our ex-detective’s knowledge on the case. After telling Stratton he doesn’t want to continue on, we get our first glimpse at the maniacal mindset of this man, as he quietly seethes with anger, promptly confronting Baptiste.
Unfortunately, this gives him enough time to steal Julien’s car keys and check the last known location of Natalie, which leads back to the houseboat where she’s been kept safe. Safe enough until an unwelcome Romanian guest arrives, intent on taking her away thanks to Stratton’s tip off.
After a tragic accident under the water occurs while Natalie is trying to evade capture, Baptiste blames himself and begins questioning his own motives in this case. It takes a while for Julien to come around but once he does, he throws himself head-first into the investigation.
The rest of the episode follows a pretty formulaic routine, with numerous interviews and bites of characterisation used to pad the episode out as Baptiste tries to ascertain whether Stratton is of a sane mind and whether he’s a threat or not. We get our answer at the end though and as Baptiste makes a shocking discovery in Stratton’s basement, his wife gets a surprise house call late at night. From a gas meter reader.
For most of the episode, there isn’t an awful lot to get really excited about. The first and last segments are the best moments here but everything in between feels a little lacklustre and not as tightly woven as it perhaps should be. Still, given crime thrillers are BBC’s forte, it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes from here.
Baptiste is an enjoyable series nonetheless and has enough twists and turns along the way to keep you coming back for more. It appears the show is looking to carve out a slice of formulaic cat-and-mouse pie going forward but whether Baptiste can continue to feel original in the face of this is left up for debate for now.