Three Pines – Season 1 Episode 7 “The Hangman – Part 1” Recap & Review

The Hangman – Part 1

Episode 7 starts with a man named Ellis coming crashing into the Bistro in Three Pines, telling them all that he knows what they’ve done and that they’re all “going to pay for this.” Although he’s taken out by force, those inside happen to be our usual rabble of suspects we’ve seen across the season and they cast a concerned glance at one another.

Meanwhile, the search for Blue continues, with the community scouring the forest to try and find clues. Off the edge of Pine Ridge, the group end up finding a hanged man – Ellis as it turns out. Although it initially looks like suicide, several sets of footprints seem to debunk that theory.

When Gamache shows up, he notices the man’s hands don’t look like that of a climber’s, and he has white pine tree needles on him too. Bea confirms there’s only a handful of places those pine needles can be found in the woods.

The general theory here is that a group worked together to hang Ellis. When Clara Morrow shows up, she confirms the man was at the Bistro the night before and he “did some damage.” He had to be restrained and taken outside by force and was staying at the town’s B&B.

Gamache and the team arrive at the Bed and Breakfast, exchanging pleasantries with Ruth (well, she tells him to fuck off which is basically her way of saying hello). The man paid cash and had no guests the whole visit. The team are able to check out his room too, where everything seems to be in order. At least upon first inspection.

The bag he has only has enough for 3 days not a week, while there’s no phone or wallet either. A letter on the bed reads like a suicide note but the handwriting is way too neat and it seems like it has been staged.

Ellis’ anger appears to be aimed at no one in particular but Olivier – one of the men there – shows and is tasked with pointing out exactly who was at the Bistro that night. The Chief Inspector appears first and speaks to Gabri Dubeau, the waiter, who happens to have been punched in the mouth. He doesn’t reveal much, but a conversation between Olivier and Gabri in French says more, specifically how the pair ended up having a big fight that night.

Interwoven around this case is the situation involving Blue. Kevin is the prime suspect here, despite being dead, while Gamache does some research into the police involved with the Blue case. It would seem that there’s a trigger-happy officer that could be at the heart of this.

The next day, Gamache and Isabelle end up finding two bodies buried in the woods. Blue and Tommy. Not only that, but Gamache also finds more bullets at the scene of the crime. They’re police-issue too.

Blue appears to have been running away from cops, and whoever this officer is, shot her and also shot Tommy. It’s a heartbreaking revelation, especially for the family, and something that doesn’t go down well.

Meanwhile, the group learn that Ellis had a rental car and his suicide note is actually his handwriting too. But how did he write under so much duress? One of the more crucial clues here comes from the residents themselves, with Clara and Myrna rushing up to the Inspector in town with big news. The Book Club are actually reading The Handman the next month.

Ellis is just a pseudonym, it would seem, as his family have a long history of being on the tougher end of the law. More specifically, Ellis happened to be Canada’s most prolific executioner. He had over 600 people hanged. Their family had been hanging people for over 300 years. It seems this Ellis character is very much along the same lines, and could have been using this name intentionally to try and get revenge (“casting vengeance”) to those who have wronged him.

Soon, Isabelle learns the man was actually called James Hill. He packed up his whole apartment, he had a family but seemed to have been living alone. The suicide note could be genuine but he may have been killed before he actually did it himself.

Anyway, Gamache is en-route to the city, intent on closing out this Blue Two-Rivers case once and for all. With ballistic records done under the table, to avoid suspicion, the markings are traced back to two different guns. Their names and badge numbers are in the report and neither gun was reported as lost. Daniel Chowski is the first name. And the second? Pierre Arnot. Oh no.


The Episode Review

The revelation that Pierre Arnot is the one who actually shot Blue Two-Rivers and is involved in the whole mess is a devastating revelation – especially for Gamache. Given how much he’s confided in the man all season long, not to mention their long history together, that must be a bitter pill to swallow.

The Hanged Man case is a fascinating one though and it’ll be interesting to find out exactly who’s behind this and how they’re connected to the case at large.

This first part does manage to tie up most of the Two-Rivers mystery at the same time as opening that situation around James Hill, giving crucial clues over where this one is going next.

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You can read our full season review for Three Pines here!

  • Episode Rating
    (3.5)
3.5

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