'Baptiste' Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: "For Blood"


Baptiste On MASTERPIECE Mystery! French Detective Julien Baptiste of The Missing Returns in the Titular Role Sundays, April 12 - May 17, 2020 at 10/9c on PBS Episode Three Sunday, April 26, 2020; 10 - 11pm ET Edward finally confesses the exact nature of his relationship with Natalie and Constantin. Shown from left to right: Barbara Sarafian as Martha and Tchéky Karyo as Julien Baptiste For editorial use only. © Two Brothers Pictures and all3media international

At the end of last week's Baptiste, it seemed like both Julien and Celia were in for it, with one trapped in a basement with Stratton and the other about to be a victim of Constantine. Naturally, the cold open leaves both these cliffhangers to wait to neither of these and instead introduces Genevieve (Jessica Raine), the other much-ballyhooed guest star this season. She's a detective with Europol in the UK, on the hunt for Constantine. 

Constantine: You should know this. I like my job.

Back at Stratton's house, Baptiste is not dead, and he's finally admitting the truth. He became obsessed with Natalie because she looked like Lucy. Stratton claims they never slept together. "It's pathetic, isn't it," he asks. (More like super creepy, but sure. Let's be nice, I guess.) Natalie told him about Cristina, her sister who'd been kidnapped, and then sprung an idea on him. She overheard the Brigada Serbilu planning to move a million euros on some deal. He could steal the money for her, and Natalie could buy back her sister. Stratton, smitten, does as she asks, but without a mask. (The money is the gym bag from the tulip farmer, in case it wasn't obvious.) 

The lack of mask meant Constantine came after him, since the van had cameras inside. He brought a photo of Stratton's father (the man from Deal) saying he would remove his head and mail it back to Stratton if he failed to return the money. Next would be Claire, etc. Horrified by the trouble he caused, Stratton went to Natalie demanding the money. She refused, and Stratton went nuts, trashing the place. Lina came in and smashed him over the head with a bat. By the time he woke up and got home, his dad's head was in his kitchen.

And that's when Stratton mentions Constantine knows everything about Baptiste, including having staked out his wife. The phone switcheroo means Sara has both mobiles, so there's no way to call Celia. By the time the police arrive at Baptiste's place, it's empty. Blessedly, Celia is at the laundromat. As I noted in the premiere, she's a clever one. Celia recognized her "gas meter reader" from that supermarket encounter the second she opened the door. She wasn't fast enough to keep him out, but she was quick enough to race through the flat and escape out the back, staying in public places with CCTV once she hit the streets.

(Credit: Courtesy of © Two Brothers Pictures and all3media international)

Niels confirms Constantine's identity, a known high-ranking member of the Brigada Serbilu. Martha says the whole Baptiste clan should self-deport to France immediately, with extra protection. Celia gives her evidence, but Edward refuses to speak to the police, terrified it will be the death of Claire if he does. He does hand over his keys to his house and tells them to take his father's head and whatever other evidence they find. Meanwhile, the rest of Julien's family are moved to a safehouse in Almere for the time being, much to Sara's displeasure. Celia tells Julien if he's smart, he'll find that money and return it to Constantine to get them home.

The next morning, Kim is out shopping at the market, admiring the tulips from De Boer Farm for sale, when she looks up and sees Constantine following her. He constantly deadnames her, insists she must be behind the plan to steal the cash. Kim's not the only one Constantine is keeping tabs on either. When Baptiste questions Lina, she says the Brigada Serbilu is following her at all times. She has no idea where the money is, only that Natalie said if anything happened to her, the money should go to her son, Matty, and there was an arrangement to make that happen.

Matty is, as everyone's probably guessed, the kid in the hospital whose father, Thijs, she named her next of kin. (He has full custody.) The tulip farmer is Thijs' dad, Herman, and Matty's grandfather. Herman knows his son is a dirtbag, and rather than trust the money to him; he's stealing away the kid. Unfortunately, he breaks down on the side of the road as the kid sleeps in the backseat. He gets towed to a garage and is stupid enough to pay for a new car in cash out of the gym bag. Upon arriving home, he has a doctor friend make a housecall. The kid is set up with an IV to recuperate from the recent operation. He pays the Doctor in cash too.

(Credit: Courtesy of © Two Brothers Pictures and all3media international)

Over at Europol, Genevieve gets word Martha has issued a warrant for Constantine's arrest and flips out. She arrives at the Amsterdam station and cancels it, insisting Martha brings both Baptiste and Stratton in. Europol has been building a case against Constantine and those above him for years. She is displeased Baptiste has stumbled in and could upend the whole operation just as it nears completion. She dismisses him, and corners Stratton,  demanding he cooperate with their investigation. Stratton refuses to wear a wire, walking out in frustration.

Baptiste is semi-hysterical about all this. It's not like he likes the idea of returning the money, but he needs to protect his family. Martha says officially she can't help, but unofficially she doesn't like Genevieve one inch. She is 100% behind the plan Baptiste is following. That's why she's setting him up with Niels, who has magically been given the day off to track down Matty. Thijs is not answering his phone, and of course, Matty is gone, and the CCTV cuts out right on time to hide Herman, who paid one of the nurses in cash to make that happen. Even so, Baptiste and Niels get along shockingly well, exchanging cancer stories, etc. They get along so well, Julien starts doing some math about his relationship timing and Niel's age.

A DNA test confirms: Niels is his son. Baptiste is incandescent. How did Martha keep this from him for decades? Meanwhile, Matty wakes up the next morning, doing well. His Opa goes out to the new car to bring the gym bag in, only to discover the car smashed and the cash gone. Meanwhile, back in Amersterdam, as Baptiste fails to answer the phone, Constantine picks up Stratton and takes him away.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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