The Sins Of A Father
After last week’s cliffhanger ending, Baptiste returns this week for the final twist in the tale. With everything hanging in the balance and Baptiste finally realizing that Martha has betrayed them all, the episode begins with Stratton taunting the man he stabbed last week. Killing Claire is the last straw for a man with nothing left to lose. It’s here where he learns more about Dragomir who happens to be the only one left alive who knows where Natalie’s sister is.
Determined to find out the truth, Baptiste confronts Martha about her involvement with the Romanians. As they deliberate over what Martha says, an intense car chase follows that sees Baptiste and Genevieve narrowly escaping amid a flurry of gunfire and police sirens. Someone wants Julien Baptiste dead and they’ll go to any means necessary to do it. As we catch our breaths after this intense segment, we cut back to Edward Stratton who tells the police about what’s happened to Claire before tracking down leads on Dragomir and the ringleaders for the Romanian gang.
It turns out Martha wasn’t the one leaking information – it was her Son. As the sins of a father come crashing down around Batiste’s head, the pieces of the puzzle finally align as he tells Martha the bad news. She seems upset until it turns out it’s actually a double bluff; Martha warns Niels about Baptiste’s investigation into him and sets into motion an emotionally charged confrontation between Niels and Baptiste as flesh and blood go head to head.
After sharing a final meeting together in which Stratton offers some valuable information to the French detective, Genevieve heads home to find a few items misaligned. As dread sets in, she slowly creeps around her apartment (failing to turn the lights on in the process) as she’s convinced someone is there. Thankfully, this turns out to be nothing and Baptiste breathes a sigh of relief as it appears their family is safe as they’re told through a contact across Europe that Niels face is out in the public now and the gang want no part of this fight. For now.
From here we cut forward two months to find Baptiste with a broken arm and Stratton reminiscing about old times by the beach. This acts as a proverbial interlude before cutting back to show the police storming a Romanian stronghold and freeing a handful of girls being held ready for sex work. Baptiste quizzes them over the whereabouts of Christine and only one girl has information – she is alive and out there somewhere but not amongst this group of workers, leaving Stratton hopeful to finding her alive sometime in the future.
It turns out Martha and Niels are alive and well too, meeting up for the first time in several months where he reveals a bit more about his motivations around working with the Romanians. Or, at least it seems that way until its revealed Martha has been working with the police all along, leading to the foreshadowed confrontation between Niels and Baptiste. With Martha at gunpoint and Baptiste pleading with his son, he snaps, killing Martha in the process and injuring Baptiste.
As Genevieve gains closure and Baptiste bows out with one final monologue, we leave the door wide open for the second season and a chance to reflect on the various characters and where they are now.
While some may lament the lack of a cohesive ending to this one, especially with the slightly clumsy time jump forward, the closure given is just about enough to make for a satisfying watch nonetheless. After a slow start, Baptiste has really grown into its story, with enough twists and turns along the way to make for some really enjoyable TV. I’ll be the first to admit I was highly skeptical early on, especially after the first couple of episodes, but Baptiste has really improved over the weeks to deliver a solid season of thrills.
Unlike Bodyguard, which quickly petered out in its second half, Baptiste has shown much more consistency with its longevity. It may not be the best work BBC have put together and it does leave things with some plot threads left dangling, but it’s certainly a step up from ITV’s recent efforts and for that alone, Baptiste’s journey has been well worth taking. Will there be a second season? Given the way Baptiste shrugs off the idea of retirement, it’ll be great if this gets the nod for a follow-up but for now, if you can ignore some of the plot holes, this one ends on a high.