Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Amazon’s latest original, Three Pines, serves up a deliciously moreish crime drama to round out the year. With a tight-knit cast, solid two-part chapters throughout and an enticing set of mysteries, there’s certainly a lot to like with this one.
The show makes the most of its surroundings too, boasting a lush, picturesque setting in the town of Three Pines. Sharing some similarities with British series Midsomer Murders, the real inspiration comes from Louise Penny’s novels, which work to form the foundations for this series, which predominantly takes place in one sleepy town.
In its simplest form, Three Pines is a no nonsense crime drama. There’s nothing particularly complicated or difficult here (beyond guessing the killers in the mysteries of course) and that works to the show’s advantage.
At the heart of this one is Inspector Gamache. A man with a troubled past who righteously sets out to do the best he can, Gamache finds himself entangled with different mysteries in this town. And those mysteries usually end up with murder.
From the opening ep to the last, Gamache and his hardened team – including Isabelle and Jean-Guy – work together to try and solve each, poring over evidence and character witness statements to try and learn the truth.
Interwoven around these individual cases is a larger story involving a runaway called Blue Two-Rivers. The general narrative seems to be that she ran away from home and was never seen again, but what really occurred is soon unveiled in shocking revelations across the 8 episodes. All of this builds up to a big finale where, unfortunately, things do end on a tantalizing cliffhanger.
However, the individual cases are all resolved, although one could argue that some of the resolutions come about a bit hastily. The first case is a particular culprit for this, with the conclusion feeling a bit rapid and left-field. It almost felt like a red herring in itself and another part of the mystery was left to unveil. Alas, it was not.
Despite that though, Three Pines is armed with decent writing and strong production values. The simple but effective character arcs make this an easy binge and enjoyable throughout. It’s not the sort of show that’s going to move mountains or light the genre on fire, but it’s a good watch all the same.
Verdict - 7/10