Varese always seemed like an interesting character. She occupies a high-ranking spot in the department, something not very common to see. Even though she looks like a toughie on the outside, inside, she is a compassionate and empathetic person.
Episode 4 of Notre Dame throws her portrait down a spiraling staircase as it is revealed she is a homosexual. It rests in stark contrast to her faith and religious beliefs. The contradiction is quite deliciously placed in the realm of the show’s universe. In a flashback, she goes to a meeting of the closeted individuals coming out and meets a woman, whom she later sleeps with. She tells the woman about the white rabbit dream she had and why she has a tattoo on her body of it.
In the present day, Ducourt and others try their best to bring down the main entrance. Varese and other members of the department are caught inside and must be evacuated at the earliest. All the comms and radio inside have gone bust due to the heat and radiation. As the firemen start to regain consciousness, Varese is once again in their case to keep working. The debris is blocking the way and they start to clear it. Varese delegates the duties to oversee operations in her absence to another. She takes two men and sets out to find Taupin and his team, while another tries to find Elena.
Elena is still alive but in dire condition. She is finally found by the firemen and taken to safety. Steph is unable to make contact with Elene either as the bandwidth in the region is completely occupied. In a bid to find out for himself, he leaves the office and heads straight toward the cathedral. The love-hate relationship between Billy and Victoire continues. But the important thing is, they still stick together. Rico warns Max of the consequences after he hurts his brother and friend. Max goes inside the shop as Victoire too makes her way there. The police raid the shop while he is still inside, which Victoire sees from afar and turns the other way. Max follows one of the peddlers whom he saw escape the raid. He finds an address from the man where he delivers the drugs.
When Max reaches the address, he sees an unconscious Pamela lying on the floor. Actually, she wasn’t dead but was choking on her own vomit. Max helps her come out of it and calls the paramedics. Billy helps Victoire when she falls down due to her withdrawal symptoms. Varese shows her leadership skills as she goes on the south ledge to clear the area and look for Tapuin and his team. She finds them in need of help, wounded and unconscious. Taupin tells Varese that Alice fell off the scaffolding and she must find her. Alice is once again trapped like she was in her first rescue. But this time she is alone. Or is she?
Her mind goes back to the day at the cathedral we saw in the last episode. She and Ben are shown to be profusely in love. Ben admits to Alice that he didn’t feel good at the concern for having to stay away from her. She sees an apparition of Ben at the site and tells him that she is pregnant. Ducourt and the men are able to push down the door and get inside. The stuck firemen and Elena are rescued. Steph too has reached the spot and sees Antony and Elena hugging and going toward the medical camp. Varese is determined to find Alice, even when it means risking her own life. She goes off on her own through the blockages and fire.
Ducourt keeps waiting for Alice and Varese to exit with the other firemen but they don’t. He is getting desperate and anxious by the minute and goes in himself to see where they are. Varese has indeed found Alice through the fallen debris and brings her out in her arms to where Ducourt is standing.
The Episode Review
There is so much melodrama in every interaction in Notre Dame that makes one wonder what they breathe. Is it some form of vile air that normal people do? Has the smoke from the cathedral made a difference?
Episode 4 once again ties up the many subplots around the central one without taking appropriate care of the latter. We still do not have any clarity on how the cathedral is to be saved and we have passed three-quarters of the series. Seeing the various performers here, the acting does not come across as sincere either.
It is hard to blame the actors when the script itself is so bland and misdirected, but their efforts are very weak. Bad acting, bad writing, and an even worse attempt to make a story about a burning building without focusing on it: Notre Dame until now.