Notre Dame – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

Four days before the fire, episode 3 of Notre-Dame starts with the Apostles being removed from the cathedral for the ongoing renovation. They are considered the watchdogs of the building. Some people take it as a bad omen. Our focus falls on one of the roofers, Bassem, whom we saw both, in episode 1 and episode 2. He looks out from the vantage point toward the window of a young woman, who comes out every afternoon to take in the fresh air. But he isn’t able to get a look good enough to draw her. He buys binoculars from Billy of all people for some money.

In the ensuing chaos on the first day of the fire, we see Bassem enter the opposite building g and go up to the woman’s apartment. She is afraid and tries to barge in when he doesn’t say anything. She passes out in the bathroom when she cuts herself with a piece of mirror. Bassem’s wife actually looked just the woman. He is a Syrian refugee, who came to the country a few years ago. At first, he is leaving but then his conscience sends him back to help the woman. Varese and Zacharie once again clash, as the latter instructs everyone out of the frame of the gallery as it is about to collapse.

Raina thinks Max is a client but is quickly unsettled when he mentions Victoire. She later realizes he only means good for his daughter and points him toward Aksha, a place where Victoire usually goes to buy drugs. Billy and Victoire are on a journey of their own after Hamidou isn’t on the fire scene. Victoire buys new clothes for herself and Billy and eventually ends up taking him with her to pawn off Larrier’s mojo for drug money. Zacharie focuses on cooling down the spire and the roof to make sure the eastbound winds do not spread the fire.

Victoire is displaying withdrawal symptoms and it is getting worse with every passing hour. Taupin and his men are finding it difficult to get the water from the low height. Seeing this and remembering a day with Ben when he showed a face in the fire to Alice, she jumps up on the entanglement of steel pipes to get a better angle. Taupin sees her and tries to stop her but Alice is relentless. Zacharie and Varese are still discussing saving the nave and the vault. The “Crown of Thorns” is in there and this fills the religious Varese with even more determination to protect it at all costs.

We see she lives alone and is indeed very fond of her faith. She takes a team inside the vault to save the nave after convincing Zacharie. Elena finally gets in and starts shooting. She goes without a guide and the fireman who takes her in implores her to get out. But she can’t and is then stuck inside when one of the roof pillars collapses. As the roof comes down, Varese too is stuck with her team inside. The attempts of the firemen to resolve the situation from the South and the east transepts are all going to waste as the winds are too strong and the fire spreads every minute.

Max stations himself outside the store that Raina told him Victoire would come to for drugs. He remembers when he himself was taken to the cathedral by his mother. She showed him all the precious things in the gallery and the nave and it had a profound impact on him. When he had Victoire, he returned the favor to her and we see a glimpse of them together, praying in the cathedral. Adamski reaches the top but then falls off with the structure. She is buried once again under the rubble in a fire but this time she is alone.

The Episode Review

Episode 3 brought out some glaring shortfalls in how the story is structured. The subplots for each of the characters and how they have a personal connection with the cathedral do not have a punch. It is not to say that the dynamics won’t become interesting going ahead.

But for that to happen, some change needs to be there. Right now, the attempts seem too superficial and close to the surface to make a difference. Another thing that is confusing for the viewers is the plan of action to resolve the fire. Isn’t that the whole point of the show? Saving Notre-Dame is tougher than the departments would have liked it to have been.

As of now, it seems unsalvagable and we have no idea how Ducourt will proceed. Random instructions about cooling the roof, and saving the spire and the frame are blurted out without them being legible for us. The inclusiveness charade through Bassem is another annoying waste of time that the makers really couldn’t afford.

Episode 3 is perhaps the most disappointing episode until now. What was supposed to be a tipping point has turned into the final nail in the coffin almost.

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You can read our full season review for Notre Dame here!


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