Three Pines: The Crulest Month, episodes 3 and 4
December 11, 2022 9:44 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Gamache returns to investigate the disappearance of a popular resident but it soon becomes a murder case.

Part 1:
Meanwhile, Lacoste discovers a key piece of evidence has been faked, and with Gamache's encouragement secretly reopens the case.

Part 2:

The villagers confront the truth of their past and exorcise their collective demons as Gamache makes a breakthrough and realizes Marc's killer had a very personal motive.
posted by bq (7 comments total)
I’ve been impressed with the way they’ve tweaked the original storylines to make them slightly more modern and more interconnected.

I was not impressed by the bear. It looked fake. And why not just put the car in reverse? That whole scene did not make sense at all.
posted by bq at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2022

This is really not for me. I had hoped it would be. I found the elaborate murder in the first two episodes really unconvincing and I hated what they did with Blue's mom.

Then this mystery hinges on the murderer having insider knowledge of the old residential school, including that there's a long hallway in the basement, and beyond that there's a secret door hidden behind three other doors and beyond that there's a bolted punishment hole AND there are secret passageways in the walls and then the reveal is that Sophie's dad knew about all this because he gave some piano lessons to CC's daughter? C'mon.

And then that BEAR?
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 5:04 PM on December 11, 2022

There was a secret passage in one of the books FWIW it was in a church I think.. Honestly the books weren't exactly a triumph of fiction either.
posted by some loser at 2:39 AM on December 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

And why not just put the car in reverse?

I was thinking more that they should stay in the damn car until the bear went on his own way, because he wasn't going to sit in the road forever. What else was he going to do, use his claws like a can opener? Getting out of the car seemed like the stupidest course of action.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:48 AM on December 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Agreed that the books weren't a "triumph of fiction" but I enjoyed them in a discreditable way, if only because I get homesick for Quebec. (Which is also why I'll probably stick with the series.) So far the story has almost nothing to do with the books, though the characters are consistent. I'm not seeing that the series story line is any "more modern" either, except that it incorporates the recently exposed horror of residential schools.

I keep wanting to apologize to Molina who's doing the best he can with the embarrassing script he's stuck with.

And yes, that bear thing made no sense at all, except maybe as another "Three Pines meets Twin Peaks" strand. I'm generally sympathetic to a little weirdness in stories but I'm finding this a bit of an eyeroll.

But visually it's a pleasure to watch.
posted by tangerine at 11:26 AM on December 25, 2022

When I said ‘more modern’ I was referring to some specific things. First, the homophobia subplot in Still Life. Homophobia still exists, to be sure, but homophobia teenagers would be very different today than they were in 2005. Second, there was all this smudging with burning sage in the first few books - which now is a bit cringe and appropriation-y. I’ve noticed Penny has dropped that completely in the more recent books. Third, Myrna has been toned down from Penny’s original descriptions of her as extremely fat and wearing exclusively bright colored caftans which hinted at a Mammy dynamic. It would have been nice to see a plus size actress in the role but that character drifted too close to stereotype for my liking.
posted by bq at 8:32 PM on December 25, 2022

Those are all good points! I also agree it'd have been nice to see a bigger Myrna, but that's a minor quibble. And I love the glasses they gave her.

The casting is really well done, I think.

Except maybe for Ruth? She seems much too frail and vulnerable. In the series she's social and engaged: the only concession to the intimidating, misanthropic poet of the books, especially the earlier ones, is that she scowls and says "fuck" a lot. But that's the script, not the actor. I confess I miss the mean old grouch.

I'm about to watch another episode or two. Thanks for posting!
posted by tangerine at 9:39 PM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

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