The Murder Stone – Part 1
Episode 5 of Three Pines season 1 whisks us back to our troubled townsfolk up in what’s quickly becoming known as murder city, Three Pines. We’re in the Morrow household as all the family gather to hear Mr Maynard read the Last Will and Testimony for Charles Morrow. The house is left for Julia, much to the bitter resentment of everyone else in the room.
Fast forward to the present and Inspector Gamache finds himself tumbling head-first into a new mystery, also struggling to deal with the ghosts of the past following Missy’s death.
Watching from afar, he notices Julia show up late to the table at a dinner. She points out that her father is not a nice man and in fact, she intends to find her son and give him the house. With a bottle of wine in hand, she heads to the roof alone and begins whooping and cheering.
The next day, Julia is crushed under the stone statue of her father that appears to have fallen forwards and hit her. Now, it would appear to be an accident but upon closer inspection that’s not the case. Julia was hit with some sort of blunt instrument, given the wounds across her head. With sensors and alarms around the perimeter, it could well be that someone within the house is to blame. It’s basically Knives Out at this point, as all the family members are suspects!
Irene Morrow, the matriarch, is next of kin to inherit the hotel now that Julia is dead. That gives her an incentive, which Gamache soon realizes. He decides they should look at the family members first, with Agent Nichols showing up to help out.
Gamache speaks to Irene and points out the anger and bitterness around the dinner table that now. Now, we didn’t see all of the dinner, as we see snippets of that throughout the episode. Julia got pregnant when she was 15 and under Charles’ order, was to give the child up for adoption. Irene seems resentful and distraught, believing she lost Julia then and has lost her again for sure now.
Another suspicious character is Peter Morrow, who’s found on the cameras lurking about outside, and even standing up in the middle of dinner and storming out. He does confirm though that the carvings on the side of the statue appear to be some sort of puzzle, which goes with Charles’ nature. Peter himself is keeping secrets, and his partner soon confirms that Julia confided in Peter that she planned to elope with her boyfriend. Peter put the photo of the baby scan on Charles’ desk, hence why Julia saw this as a betrayal.
A note found in Julia’s room, encouraging her to head outside, could be another clue. Julia was found with racoon excrement under her fingernails which she smeared on the carving of a stag. Clara speaks to Peter and confronts him about meeting Julia outside, realizing that she’s the person who he’s been drawing in his artwork; his own personal way of saying he’s sorry.
Mariana seems to have been passed out the whole time, having emptied her hotel minibar that night. She admits that she’s invisible in the family and a brief flashback, showing Julia taking potshots at Mariana for her interior designing could be a clue.
At the same time, Gamache interviews Thomas about the carvings. Given he was financially involved with his dad, Gamache realizes that the stag symbol is a reference to him. Not only that, but the excrement could well hint at deep-rooted anger and issues between the pair. As a result, Gamache asks for a copy of his handwriting.
Further revelations are unveiled when Gamache learns that Elliot’s DNA was found on a wine glass in Julia’s room. Right now he’s the last person to see Julia alive, and he admits he met her on the roof and then subsequently went into her room where the pair had sex. He’s adamant he didn’t meet her outside.
Kevin gets in touch with Isabelle but refuses to relay on his concerns with Blue’s family. Kevin will only talk to Isabelle and is adamant that he’s not the one who hurt the woman.
Meanwhile, Thomas is confronted about his handwriting – it’s a match with Julia’s. Gamache and Jean-Guy corner him and question the finances, specifically how he’s swimming in debt and he’s on the verge of being bankrupt.
As the episode closes out, and Gamache closes in on the potential suspect, we cut across to a montage of all our different suspects, with big question marks over exactly who could have killed Julia. Was it really Thomas? Or is there more going on here?
A gunshot echoes through the house as Gamache heads to the rooftop and finds Thomas up there, completely hysterical and about to shoot himself. Given we know Gamache has experience with this in the past, will he be able to sort this situation out?
The Episode Review
Three Pines is back and the latest case feels very akin to something like Knives Out. We get a whole rabble of characters that feel distinct and very suspicious, each with their own motives and potential reasons for killing Julia.
Thomas seems too obvious a candidate right now so we’ll have to wait and see how the second half plays out to properly see who killed her. Either way though, this is another decent chapter.